There is a systematized industry and motif working behind the embalming of bodies and Jessica wanted to bring these points before the common mass, just to make it stronger that the procedure considered inevitable is not at all mandatory. An expert on death and dying, Jessica Mitford is completely against embalming dead bodies after death and puts forward many valid points in support of her contention.
Her motive of writing this essay is explicit from the very beginning of the literary piece. She has placed a strong objection regarding the secrecy maintained during embalming. Another major purpose of writing this essay was to make it clear that the process of embalming is barbaric and it is evident that her real goal in writing this essay was to reach the common mass so that common people should understand, how barbaric the practices are and the mystery that actually lies behind the closed doors of the funeral parlors.
She clearly claims that the ritual of embalming in North American funeral tradition is grotesque. Yet, people seem to remain ignorant about it. By highlighting these points, she wanted to create a common awareness against these rituals and tried to correct them.
She brings out evidences to make her contentions more concrete. She wanted to show that a planned industry works behind these traditions which try to make burial a pleasurable thing. This ritual, according to Jessica, only prevails in North America and does not occupy any place in the tradition of other areas apart from it. She writes with specific examples. She brings forth the example of the ritual of open - casket ceremony only common in North America. She ends her essay with the following line that completely complements her intentions behind writing the essay: “He has done everything in his power to make the funeral a real pleasure for everybody concerned. Consequently well over 90