English lesson 6 - Essay Example

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McCarthy’s ‘On Immortality’: Is Immortality a Worthy Course? In her essay, ‘On Immortality,’ Susan McCarthy appreciates the great effort by humans in trying to achieve human longevity, which will see to it that humans not only have a longer lifespan, but also live healthier lives…
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English lesson 6
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Download file to see previous pages This is the reason for the argument by some scholars against the attainment of human longevity, because they acknowledge the inability to resolve diseases, which eventually cause death. Even so, as humans further research on longevity, they tend to move closer to achieving immortality. But because of the immature and unwise reasons for immortality, the author discredits it, citing the unpreparedness of humans to handle the associated challenges. As such, the author uses figurative language, repetition and irony to appeal to the reader’s pathos by arousing fear, doubt and disapproval on the attainability and attractiveness of immortality. This emotionally appeals to the reader’s appreciation of significant human longevity as having limits and not necessarily being a good thing. McCarthy extensively uses figurative language to appeal to the readers’ fear by suggesting that immortality is dangerous to human life. The author uses metaphorical comparison of “a highway of immortality” to instill fear of immortality to the reader (McCarthy 544). Highways are known to be wider and smoother than other roads, prompting reckless driving that poses the danger of crashes and subsequent injuries or loss of lives. In the same way, McCarthy considers immortality as a hurried idea which poses dangers to humans. Instead of improving on the quality of human life, it could end up destroying it. In fact, by comparing it to a kind of life that does not have “a weigh station of wisdom,” McCarthy (544) argues on the immaturity of the idea of immortality. Normally, weigh stations are meant to check on the vehicles transporting cargo to ensure that transporters abide by the set load limits so as to avoid damaging the roads. Thus, the use of this figurative language in this context suggests the recklessness in the pursuit of immortality without appropriate checks, which in turn exposes humans to the associated dangers. The author’s choice of examples enables her to sample similes that arouse disgust on immortality among the readers. The example of Steven Austad’s comparison of humans to an object, specifically a car, suggests that immortality would cause humans to lose their humanness and in turn be objectified (McCarthy 546). In order to keep a car on the move, the older worn-out parts need to be replaced with newer and more effective ones. In a similar way, in order to keep humans alive forever, their aged body parts would be replaced with fresher ones. Even though scientists are already replacing parts of human body so as to achieve healthier lives, the simplicity of replacement that this figurative language exhibits makes this argument doubtable and unreal; it makes it sound disrespectful to humanity. It portrays humans as simple objects that could be fixed as simply as a car would. This comparison that objectifies humans, likening them to a car, would most likely disgust the reader. This will subsequently portray immortality as an aspect that would cost humans their humanness, hence portraying it as unattractive. Repetition of words has also been used in this essay to emphasize the argument on longevity having limits. When describing Dr. Leonard Hayflick’s view on significantly increased longevity, McCarthy notes that “it won’t happen, it can’t happen, and if it did happen it would be a bad thing” (546). Without being categorical on moderate human longevity, this negation repetition of the word, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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