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To the Mercy Killers

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Sarah Donley

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of To the Mercy Killers

To The Mercy Killers The speaker is most likely a man suffering a long-term disease. This disease makes the doctor suggest euthanasia.

The setting is the time of the man's life where he is contemplating his death because of the illness he has. There is no specific place this poem takes place in. Speaker and Setting If you, the doctor, wants to euthanize me, I pray that you will let me live. I would rather live with this illness than die. Even if I have all of these health problems, I want to keep my life. Even though I need a lot of medical attention, I do not want to die. Paraphrase and Summary Tone: Urgent, anxious, pleading. Shift at "Even though..." showing his hopeless life, while in the beginning he seemed stronger. Tone and Diction Syntax: The author makes use of long lists to show the negative qualities of his condition because of the illness. He uses a dash at the end to show a tone shift from recognizing his weakness to persevering. He writes in 2nd person point of view to add a personal quality, which amplifies the pleading tone. Syntax and Imagery Metaphor: “Even though I be a clot, an aching clench, ... a putrefying stench gives him inhumane qualities, showing why the doctor thinks euthanasia is a good option.
Personification: death is shown as a person that the doctors can conspire with Figurative Language and Sound Devices The title is "To the Mercy Killers." This shows that euthanasia is seen by many as merciful because the patient is in pain and approaching death anyway. This is ironic in itself is a paradoxal concept because killing is not supposed to be seen as merciful. It is also ironic that he is begging for his life even though he recognizes his inhumane qualities because of the illness. The last line, "Let me glow" is ironic as well because his current state is not characterized as glowing. Title Analysis and Irony The man is facing a life-threatening illness, but does not want euthanasia. Diction: "Murder" shows his strong feelings against euthanasia. The words "stub, stump, scab" shows his vulnerability because of the illness, while the words "screaming" and "putrefying" shows that his life does not hold much promise. "Glucose, blood, and machinery" assert that even though he is in ill condition, he is still a being and his fate should be decided by God. Imagery: There auditory and olfactory images. The words throb”, “pain” and “to swell the lungs and pump the heart” give sensation to the reader. The phrases “a clot”, “an aching clench”, "a mute shelf of glucose, “bottled blood,” and “machinery” give a visual outlook on his vulnerability. The phrase “ a screaming pain” adds to the auditory qualities of the poem. Alliteration: "kindly killers" emphasizes these words- the doctors shown as killers
Alliteration: stench, stump, stub.. emphasizes his weakened state
Assonance: "move you" repeated vowel sound draws the reader into his desperate plea If ever mercy move you murder me,

I pray you, kindly killers, let me live/.

Never conspire with death to set me free,

but let me know such life as pain can give/.

Even though I be a clot, an aching clench,

a stub, a stump, a butt, a scap, a knob,

a screaming pain, a putrefying stench,

still let me live, so long as life shall throb/.

Even though I turn such traitor to myself
as beg to die, do not accomplice me/
Even though I seem not human, a mute shelf

of glucose, bottled blood, machinery

to swell the lung and pump the heart even so,

do not put out my life/. Let me still glow/. kindly killers
Let me still glow.
a stub, a stump, a butt, a scab...
a mute shelf of glucose, bottled blood... Phrases, Quotes, Single Words Form: English Sonnet, Iambic pentameter. Gives it a calm, ordered quality despite its desperate tone. Form and Rhyme Indirect Bibical allusions that relate to theme. He mentions "death" which can be interpreted as a struggle between angels and demons. Overall, the author is taking a stand against euthanasia because he feels that life is decided by God, not man (Theme). During Randall's time, euthanasia was strongly debated, and this poem takes a stand against it. My view is generally the same as Randall's, as I believe that God should decide when to take someone's life. Allusions and Theme/TILL Dudley Randall's poem, "The Mercy Killers" shows that the end of one's life should be decided by God, not doctors and his stance against euthanasia through the use of figurative language, diction, and syntax. Thesis Sources Rhyme: abab cdcd efef gg. Couplet at the end adds to the effect of the contrast and irony in his motivations and the situation itself (mentioned later). The use of a sonnet allows the author to add a deeper meaning at the end, while having a lyrical, melodious tone. http://www.daltonstate.edu/faculty-staff/bmurray/EXEMPLAR/exemplar2002/exempf02an_analysis_of_dudley_randall.htm alliteration personification enumeration metaphor imagery metaphor imagery Irony
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