• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Whose life is it anyway?

Extracts from this document...


How does Brian Clark present Ken Harrison in his play 'Whose Life is it Anyway?'? Of what relevance is the play to modern society? How would you feel if you were told you would never walk again? This is the situation of Ken Harrison in the play 'Whose Life is it anyway?', who is paralysed from the neck downwards due to a tragic accident. Brian Clark presents and explores the modern issues related to euthanasia through Ken's struggle for the right to die. Throughout the play, Ken is presented as a lively, humorous character, using humorous language, for example, ''...going down - obstetrics, gynaecology, lingerie, rubber wear...'', so he appears to be making the most of his situation, even though he knows there is little hope of him ever leading an ordinary life again. However, an alternative interpretation of Ken's humorous approach is that Ken could be using humour as a mask to hide his real feelings underneath. He feels despair that his body cannot fulfil what he wants to do. Ken is a very intelligent character; this is shown through his quick, witty responses, for example, ''What do you mean? Have I finished nurse. I haven't started her yet!'' ...read more.


In the first part, the hospital argues that Ken may not be in a state of mind to make decisions, however, Ken insists that the staff do things his way, for example, when Dr Emerson gives him valium. At this point, Emerson is acting outside the law, but Ken, in his vulnerable position, cannot defend his rights. Ken refuses to have the valium, but is powerless to stop it being given to him, so this makes him angry. Ken also believes he has the right to know all the details of his condition, and the possibilities of his future. His frustration about this is reflected in the structure of the play; the audience does not realise at first what the situation is, but as the play moves on, Ken's condition and details of his past are revealed and built up in stages, for example, we learn that he is a sculptor. In the play, rules and regulations seem to play a large part in the hospital. This annoys Ken because he feels the staff are not allowing themselves to overcome their impersonal attitude and tell Ken what is really happening to and around him. Mrs Boyle also acts coldly towards Ken, finding nothing else to comment on but the colour of the walls, ''...used to be really dismal, all dark green and cream...'' ...read more.


This is shown by the discussion between Ken and Mrs Boyle; Mrs Boyle says, ''it's the job of the hospital to save life, not to lose it.'' Drama is an effective way of bringing issues to the publics attention, because it brings them to life, whereas if someone was simply reading about an issue, they may not take in everything they are reading. Drama informs people, and challenges their opinions, as well as being entertaining to keep their attention. 'Whose Life is it Anyway' is a story, which moves chronologically to show the audience the series of events which happen to Ken. This means the audience can relate it to real life, as an example of what is really happening. This makes the issues involved more believable. I believe Brian Clark was neither for nor against euthanasia, but wrote the play to bring up the issues about it, and show how complicated they are to solve. I think he also wrote it to be an entertaining piece of drama, but with depth beneath it's humorous nature. I think the message of the play is to think carefully about the consequences or things before you make a decision. The play did not alter my perspective of euthanasia, but it made me think more about the issues related to it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Raw by scott monk

    3 star(s)

    When he returns back to the farm Brett symbolizes that he is changing, he thanks Sam for taking him back and accepting his punishment with no argument. Brett changes dramatically when he meets Caitlin a delivery girl. He spends lots of time with her.

  2. Sins of the Past

    It had the seal of the White House on the front, "this came for you." Watson looked confused as he opened the letter, Damien started to walk way, "you've got five minutes to get to work or you're fired!" Watson drew out a letter which was handwritten on a piece of parchment.

  1. Achromatic Life

    Glen holds her hand and takes it with the spoon towards her mouth several times but unfortunately she fails. Lorraine throws that spoon in his face. She is wild and violent. Mr. Glen got very annoyed and become strict with her.


    SOPHIE NEVEU Although you have indeed taken us hostage-. Teabing "humphs". SOPHIE NEVEU I must say you are quite the host for your prisoners. LEIGH TEABING Oh Ms. Neveu. As soon as the Priory's secret is revealed as truth none of us will be prisoners any more, to the church's lies or-.

  1. Wuthering Heights - how it portrays the human condition

    This signifies how in this piece of literature Heathcliff is opressed by the rigid class system, and becomes a victim in the way that class is the very thing that prevents Cathy & Heathcliff marrying. The fact Heathcliff is told every day how worthless he is and how lucky he

  2. Othello - State of Mind

    "Prayer" means "sincere request," and "dilate" means "tell in detail." Othello doesn't say exactly what his "good means" were, but it's clear that he used words, not drugs or magic. She wish'd That heaven had made her such a man" does not mean that she wanted to be such a

  1. Will - Hobson's Choice

    However, throughout the rest of the play, Will is obviously shown to be controlled by Maggie all the time.

  2. a life in the day of dr brian cox

    There used not to be a gate in France until Jacques Chirac wanted to visit and the French said: "We have to have a gate because we keep telling him it's a French lab, and you can only get in from Switzerland."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work