Veronika Decides to Die
by Paulo Coelho
The story begins on 11th November 1997, the day Veronika decides that now the day has arrived for her to kill herself so she cleans the room she rented in the convent, brushed her teeth and lay down on the bed.
She has all the things in life. She lives in the capital city of Slovenia yet she is not happy so one winter morning she takes an overdose of powerful sleeping pills. Unfortunately for her she doesn’t die instead a week later she wakes up in Villette the feared and much lunatic mental asylum. There she is told that though she is alive but her heart is badly damaged and she only has a few days to live. In these intense days she begins to question her existence and ideas about life. Soon she begins to realize that every second of life is worth living and against all odds she begins to find herself falling in love with life and wanting to live again.
Paulo Coelho is trying to teach the reader several things alongside observing his own promise to reveal his personal experiences of a doctor patient relationship into a mental hospital. The main focus of the story is on Veronika and her relationships with the other inmates of villette.
“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
“You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.”
“Many people don’t allow themselves to love…because there are a lot of things at risk a lot of future and a lot of past.”
“If only everyone could know and live with their inner craziness. Would the world be a worse place for it? No, people would be fairer and happier.”
“The danger of an adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort”
“Life is always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.”
“It’s best to accept life as it really is and not as I imagined it to be”
“If you force yourself to be the same as everyone else. It causes neuroses, psychoses, and paranoia. it’s a distortion of nature, it goes against God’s laws, for in all the world’s woods and forests he did not create a single leaf the same as another.”
“In a world where everyone struggles to survive whatever the cost, how could one judge those who decide to die?”
“There are some battles in life that have only two possible outcomes: they either destroy us or they make us strong.”