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Personal Response: “How To Live To Be 200” By Stephen Leacock

828 words - 4 pages

As Francis Bacon once said, “A healthy body is a guest chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison” (Quote World). In his quote, Bacon explains how people should relieve their stress in order to live a healthy life. By the use of this quote, it is used to represent how people should not be obsessed with their health habits. Henceforth, should people be captivated with their health habits? In Stephen Leacock’s essay, “How to Live to be 200”, Leacock’s arguments are compelling because he develops a sarcastic tone by making satirical statements, and uses rhetorical devices, allowing readers to draw personal connections.
In Leacock’s essay his arguments are valid because he conclusively ridicules the facts of how people should not be overly obsessed in being healthy. For instance, Leacock argues, “And after all their fuss they present incur some simple old fashion illness and die like anybody else” (13). Based on this example, Leacock implies that it is not guaranteed people will live a longer life even though if they remain physically healthy. As a result, this portrays how people should just live and enjoy life normally because everyone is going to pass away one day.
Next, another reason Leacock’s arguments are adequate is due to the sarcastic tone that he establishes. For instance, Leacock states, “And just one word about fresh air and exercise. Don’t bother with either of them . . . don’t keep using your lungs all the time” (27). Based on this example, a sarcastic tone is established because we all know that we need fresh air and our lungs to function in order to survive. By the use of this sarcastic tone, it is used to criticize the idea of how people should not spend the majority of their lives doing useless activities.
On the other hand, even though the majority of Leacock’s essay is sarcastic there are some minor parts of his essay where he develops a serious tone. For instance, Leacock uses an anecdote to support his arguments. To clarify, Leacock quotes, “Twenty years ago I knew a man called Jiggins, who had the Health Habit . . .Jiggins is dead. He was, of course, a pioneer, but the fact that he dumbelled himself to death at an early age does not prevent a whole generation of young men from following in his path” (1-9). Based on this example, this develops a serious and an ironic tone. This example causes the reader to ponder about the fact of how...

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