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Life Is Overrated Essay

1637 words - 7 pages

The poem, To the Mercy Killers, by Dudley Randall is by far a poem which tackles the subject of euthanasia right up to its target: the “Killers”. The “Killers” unfairly portrayed in a negative light evokes pity for the terminally ill. For most, subjected to the absolute conditioning of society, the division of beliefs regarding the topic has evolved into a never ending moral dilemma. Euthanasia or mercy killing may seem like a confusing subject that tackles the moral, legal, medical and ethical issues. The idea mind boggles society and even Randall is somewhat unsure about which side to take, although the last line settles everything with: “Do not put my life. Let me still glow” (14), when there is nothing bright about the idea of being robbed off, of the life as a human.

Life in its simplest sense is essentially a characteristic that distinguishes the animate and self-sustaining creations of the universe from the inanimate ones. Death, without associating with human emotion and sentiment, is only the ceasing of such characteristics. Life in a human is clearly far more complex compared to the other existing forms on this planet. The ability to think, along with the possession of higher conscious and greater awareness of its surroundings, makes a human somewhat special in certain aspects. The life of a human, differentiated by its intelligence, makes the experiences stimulating and exhilarating. Pain, an experience felt by a human and restricted only to the living world, is an indicator of damage and in many cases the very cause for death. Most living organisms blessed with the ability to detect pain and use this sensory tool involuntarily to avoid its own destruction or death. For a human, pain could be emotional, psychological or physical; and as observed within society, pain appears only subjective. No amount of empathy will let one truly feel what the other is really going through. Given that, the poem “To the mercy killers” by Dudley Randall in short is not only a paradox but is highly biased. As far as the message against euthanasia is concerned, Randall’s “mercy killers” in modern society have only benefited human, only to be criticized due to primitive ideologies.

The characteristic ‘life’ is given exaggerated emphasis in the poem using words such as “pray”, “kindly” and “glow”. The poem uses unfair advantage it has over human emotions for the victory of its idea. The evocative nature of the poem shrewdly misleads and tends to impair logic. Amongst all the commotion of death and despondency, one may fail to realize that death is not only rewarding to the one seeking it but a good deed on the part of the “mercy killers”. The ideas within the poem assume that ‘life’ is always worth sustaining. It does not realize that certain dimensions of life do not really have a “glow” to it. This cannot be understood by anyone other than the cancer patient or a terminally ill, who is sure to die, except slowly and painfully. This biased...

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