“The Postmortal” and the Peter Pan Complex

Dr. Pruim and Dr. Chang discussed "The Postmortal," this year's One Book, One Campus read, and how it applies to disorders. Photo Credit / Alexandra Smith
Dr. Pruim and Dr. Chang discussed "The Postmortal," this year's One Book, One Campus read, and how it applies to disorders. Photo Credit / Alexandra Smith

Dr. Pruim and Dr. Chang discussed “The Postmortal,” this year’s One Book,
One Campus read, and how it applies to disorders.
Photo Credit / Alexandra Smith

By Joseph Fialkowski
Copy Editor

Last Thursday, September 25, approximately 80 students gathered in Lower Dansbury for the One Book, One Campus (OBOC) review of the novel “The Postmortal” by Drew Magary.

OBOC committee members Dr. John Chang and Dr. Peter Pruim hosted the event.

According to Dr. Pruim, some of the group’s purposes are to “remind students and faculty of the joys of reading, as well as bring them together on a commonality aside from their respective disciplines.”

A poll was taken at the beginning of the review through remotes that were handed out to the students upon their arrival. The question was, “To what class do you belong?”

According to the results, students from all classes attended the review.

Freshman presence outweighed all other classes at 63 percent. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors each floated around 10 to 15 percent.

The story itself takes place in the not-so-distant future when a cure for aging is accidentally discovered. Many ethical and environmental issues associated with the cure soon follow its discovery.

Take a moment to imagine a life where death cannot be caused by old age.

“It’s hard to think about eternity… how much time there is left,” said Dr. Chang.

A poll was taken asking how many students had read the book, to which 28 percent answered affirmatively. At least 35 percent said they read some of it.

Members of the audience were encouraged to share their responses and opinions to a variety of questions posed during a discussion.

Questions focused on the characters in the story, as well as the psychology at play.

For example, many characters in the book suffered from personality disorders, the most popular being the Peter Pan Complex.

This condition, also known as Puer aeternus, Latin for eternal boy, is a disorder in which the victim is obstinate to social maturation.

One question proposed was, “If you only had one year left to live, would you want to know?”

ESU junior Sabrina Schembeck answered, “I wouldn’t want to know because we should already be living our dreams.”

“Many people would want to know so they could go out and do crazy things, but most of us don’t have the money for that anyway — so there’s no point in being preoccupied by something as inevitable as death,” she continued.

The final question asked, “If you were a part of an administration responsible for the human existence, would you eliminate certain groups of people for the benefit of the world?”

The general consensus, with 69 percent of the students, was yes.

Dr. Chris Dudley will be the speaker for the next One Book, One Campus discussion on Thursday, October 9, at 7:00 PM in Lower Dansbury.

The OBOC committee encourages students to start or finish reading “The Postmortal” prior to the next discussion.

Email Joseph at:
jfialkowsk@live.esu.edu

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