In this essay I am going to write about Brian Clark’s imaginary character Ken Harrison in the play whose life is it anyway and how he keeps us interested in it. Ken Harrison is a patient that arrived 6 months ago to the City hospital with low chance of surviving but as time passed Ken Harrison’s condition became stable but not yet perfect. I am also going to look at the issue of free will with Ken Harrison side thinking its a human right to chose whether something is right or wrong and the medical staff lead by senior Dr Emerson who thinks its a doctors job to save his patients live and not just let him die.
Ken Harrison is a believable character because although he is paralyzed he has a good sense of humour and he is confident in communicating with others. At the beginning of the play we come to know Ken Harrison as a lively and funny character who makes jokes of his long term paralysis, e. g. when 2 nurses massage his back he says as shown in the play ‘I have always dreamed of being massaged by 2 beautiful women’, this also express Ken’s sexual humour which would have been quite rude towards the nurses if he wasn’t ill but because of his illness the nurses do not mind Ken Harrison behaviour as they know he cannot harm them.
Another scene where we can spot Ken Harrison’s sexual humour is when one of the nurses called nurse Sadler says something about the floor to another nurse and Ken Harrison says: ‘Have me on the floor nurse, have me on the floor. In the beginning we can also see Ken Harrison making comparison between rubbish and his current situation where he says ‘ but you must be in charge of the compost heap that’s where I belong’. This shows can has wounds deep inside him and believes he is not worth anything. Brian Clark creates lots of sympathy for Ken Harrison which keeps the audience interested and wanting to what’s going to happen next.
Brian Clark keeps us engaged with the play by creating suspense. One of the main things that create the most suspense is whether Ken Harrison is going to change his mind and will he be allowed to end his life or what will the hearing in the court result this creates suspense because we are not sure if Ken Harrison is going to be alive at the end of this play. There are also other things that create a lot of suspense like Ken Harrison relationship whit his fianci??e, should he really have broken up with her or the matter of free will.
Many people would have thought that isn’t it alright for Ken Harrison to stay alive and hope for a miracle. Brian Clark’s play whose life is it anyway is very emotional which keeps us engaged with it. The most emotional part is obviously that Ken Harrison wants to die. It is also emotional because Ken Harrison tries to cover his pain in humour which is funny to us at first ,but when you think about it you realise that is in pain and nothing is helping him at that moment.
As written in the play Ken Harrison uses humour to hide his pain is shown where Ken says: ‘isn’t it about time u got some fertilisers to sprinkle on me and get some movement going in this pant’. This shows that Ken is referring himself to a plant that needs cutting by a Gardner and can’t do this himself. Ken Harrison also calls himself rubbish and thinks he is worthless, this shown in the play as Ken Harrison says: ‘You must be in charge of the compost heap, that’s where I should be’. This also leads Ken Harrison into conflicts with Dr Emerson and others.
Brian Clark creates conflict in the play as a way of engaging the interest of audience. The main conflict which Brian Clark creates is about whether Ken Harrison should have the free will to decide to make his own decisions. This conflict is between the character Ken Harrison and Dr Emerson. This conflict is first shown in the episode of valium, where Dr Emerson sticks a needle into Ken Harrison although can didn’t want that but Dr Emerson thought he knows the best for Ken Harrison and wants to go ahead with it.
Brian Clark makes it really challenging for the audience for the audience to decide who’s side to be on because poor old Dr Emerson is only trying to help Ken Harrison although he doesn’t want the valium. All good plays/dramas have conflicts . the climax of this conflict is when Ken Harrison appeals for a solicitor called Mr Hill who is going to represent him in court. Dr Emerson gets people on the hospitals behalf who were going to be against Ken Harrison ending his life. This lead them to a hearing.
This creates suspense and wants us to find out what is going to happen in the hearing, will Ken Harrison be allowed to die. Ken Harrison behaviour in this hearing is formal he speaks in such manner to the judge that the judge believes that he hasn’t made this decision in depression and to show he is capable to make such decision. Brian Clark interests us in the issue of free will in this play by making matters harder for Ken Harrison . Before I read the play I thoughts a person has not got the right to just end their life because I thought it is gods decision to take or give life.
But as we went along and the play Brian Clark idea of free will changed my mind. I think if someone’s in the state Ken Harrison was there is only death that could save them from more pain Brian Clark makes us sympatric with Ken Harrison because of Ken’s condition and the things that were happening to him. First the doctors tell him that he will never recover and remain paralyzed for the rest of his life. We then found out that he has a fianci?? and he left her because he thought she isn’t worth living with a man that can’t give her any of what she wants.
At the end when the case is over and when Ken Harrison is finally allowed to die Dr Emerson ,who was playing a part like a villain in the story who is against the hero (Ken Harrison) ,offers Ken Harrison to stay at the hospital and die here patiently rather then on his own struggling on his own. Brian Clark creates suspense till the end of the play where he creates such scene where the audience that want a happy ending believe that Ken Harrison might as well just survive some how at the end. I personally think Brian Clark has engaged interest to this play by making us wanting to know what was going to happen to Ken Harrison.
He also showed can as a humorous character who gave the audience something to laugh although it made me feel a bit pity for Ken Harrison. I think the hospital would have been able to survive can if they could keep him in for longer because at the end of the play where Dr Scott comes forwards to kiss Ken Harrison h backs off because he thinks that this could make him want to live longer and change his decision. I think this shows that can wasn’t sure himself what to do and still had the frae of changing his mind.