For authors realist "death" is always understood literally. An excellent example of this can serve as E. Hemminguey with her, became a classic, the novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls." It is unlikely that you will find in the book of hidden meanings and deeper subtext - the author keeps his idea on the surface, expressed in plain text. Similarly, it goes with the vocabulary and characters: the guerrillas not to philosophical reasoning, therefore, saying that the character is killed, they mean just that.
In many works of lyrical "death" becomes a symbol. If we recall the novel Fowles 'The Collector', they found a very different picture than the realists. The story is filled with thoughts that would not be so interesting, the authors say it directly. Actually, the final product is a kind of metaphor: the death of the protagonist is not an element of the thriller and horror are not forcing it - an inevitable development for all that she represents. It's here - the symbol of all the sublime and spiritual, and it means death and the death of any art in the hands of the "flat" people.
Often, death can be understood as "a legend of its own ideals," "degradation". For example, in everyday speech, you can say, "NTV died as a channel." To paraphrase, you get "the NTV television channel was once beautiful, but now it has become much worse." Actually, this is one of those metaphors that are easy to use in everyday life of each student.
"Death" can also be understood as "morally rid himself." The point is not far from the "degradation", but there is a weighty difference. We are not talking about the fact that the subject has become better or worse - the essence of the absolute lack of demand. For example: "With the advent of electricity, oil lamps have died." Those. Lamps were not needed due to the fact that they have been replaced by a more convenient counterparts.