Whose life is it anyway? is about Ken Harrison, a paralysed patient in
hospital, and his battle to end his own life. The problem here is that
he is incapable of committing suicide and has to turn to euthanasia.
The hospital is against this. They cannot deliberately let a conscious
person die. In this essay I will tackle the question above, how Brain
Clark persuades us that Ken’s decision is right.
The title of the play, 'Whose life is it anyway?' announces the issue.
It is evidently Ken's life, but the amount of choice and free will he
now has in it is minimal. Ken believes he is already dead,
metaphorically speaking. Because, being in a state where he cannot
carry out the things he would in an every-day life, is the same as
being “dead” to him. I looked up the word ‘life’ in the dictionary and
I found that it means “ Human existence, relationships, or activity in
general: real life; everyday life” This is exactly what Ken does not
have. So I can clearly see his point of wanting to die. Ken voices
this point in the play:
“I do not wish to live at any price. Of course I would like to live
but as far as I am concerned I am dead already. I merely require the
doctors to recognise the fact. I cannot accept this condition
constitutes life in any real sense at all.”
The absence of freedom and choice makes you wonder just how much of a
life he is now in possession of. Despite it is his life - he isn't
running it. Hence the title. This starts the play with a question and
all further events are in answer to it. This shows it is meant to be,
partly, a battle of wills between two sides over his...
... middle of paper ...
...he play is about one man fighting for his right to end a 'shadow
of a life', against an authority who cannot give consent to him dying.
Doctors say they should always preserve life. Before I read this play
I agreed with this statement. Now, my opinion has changed. I believe
it is not a matter of life and death, but an issue of happiness and
unhappiness, or more importantly, choice.
To sum everything up, the ways in which Brain Clark persuade the
readers that Ken’s decision to die is right is by using Ken’s
personality, his intelligence and the important quotes he voices, the
conflicting view of the doctors and they way Brain portrays them as
the “bad guys”, and most importantly, the matter of something that
goes beyond life and death. The matter of Ken’s happiness.
Anyway, who is to say life is better than death?
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