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Whose Life Is It Anyway? How does Brain Clark persuade the audience that Ken's decision to die is right

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Whose Life Is It Anyway? How does Brain Clark persuade the audience that Ken's decision to die is right? 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. ...read more.


You're all the bloody same...Well there's another outburst. That should be your cue to comment on the light-shade or the colour of the walls." "Of course you have upset me. You and the doctors with your appalling so-called professionalism, which is nothing more than a series of verbal tricks to prevent you relating to your patients as human beings" This is one of Ken's main aspects of wanting to die. He doesn't want people's sympathy because he finds it very insulting. He wants to die with dignity, and not to go on living with so much effort for so little result. He also can get very frustrated at times, and this shows that he really says what he means. He is passionate about how he feels and is not afraid to speak about it. "I say something offensive about you and you turn your professional cheek. If you were human, if you were treating me as a human, you'd tell me to bugger off. Can't you see that this is why I've decided that life isn't worth living? I am not human and I'm even more convinced by that by your visit than I was before, so how does that grab you. The very exercise of your so-called professionalism makes me want to die." This quote makes a great point of Kens, and is exactly what I have been explaining in this paragraph. That Ken feels inhumane because of the way he is treated. ...read more.


He wants her to have a good life and not be stuck around looking after him. "She wants babies. Real ones. Not ones that won't ever learn to walk." This was an act of kindness beyond anything I have seen. If you or me were in Ken's situation we would need someone to be there for us. Ken has thought of himself last, and let his girlfriend leave him. The conflicting view to Ken's battle to end his unhappiness is that of the doctors. They also thought that living is always better than dying, and again I think that is something that has to be considered for each situation. Whatever the motive, and however well meaning this was, the 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? ...read more.

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