The theme of death, which continually reappears in many of Marcel’s essays, is here connected – as the title already declares – with hope. Depending on whether Marcel focuses on the relation to his own death or to the death of a person near to him, we can distinguish a certain modification: he feels the most acute uneasiness to the departing of a near one rather than to his own death. Thus his meditations on death unfold around the axis of I-thou, and intersubjectivity (which is really love) grounds, for Marcel, the very possibility of speaking here of a kind of hope. The very continuity of being is grounded on intersubjectivity insofar as its basis is not human beings as summaries of biological processes, but for whom a mutual relation does not allow death to have the definitive and final word. Reference is made here to our previous enquiry into the body which called for “embodied being” and for the relation to body not as an object, but as a subject which, as the body of a person near to us, cannot be an “it”, but only a “Thou”. This is the basis for a relation to a person near to us which is dedicated lovingly, and not in the proprietorial spirit of ownership.
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