English 1000: Exposition and Argumentation
What if Dying Becomes a Thing of the Past?
How would you feel if someone came up to you tomorrow and told you they have what it takes to enable you to live forever? My immediate reactions would be those of excitement and curiosity for what the future would be like. But as the idea becomes more of a reality, and more research on the topic is done, hesitation and reluctance would replace my excitement. In her essay “On Immortality,” Susan McCarthy introduces many scientists’ perspectives on the advancement of genetic research that could lead to humans living immortally. McCarthy uses emotional appeals, such as diction and choice of examples, to
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I think she uses ‘cancer’ to highlight the feeling of loss in her readers because everyone knows someone affected by cancer, and more often than not, the individual succumbs to this disease. With immortality, if said cancer was not terminal, there is great likelihood you would have to live with it the rest of your life; what a hard thought that is to process when people talk about immortality and the benefits that could come with it. Another aspect of McCarthy’s appeal to our emotions is how she uses names of infamous people who should not have the opportunity of living forever. The names she mentions, like Hitler and Castro, enhance a point she made early on in her essay, “Should all of us be allowed to hang around as long as we want? Even creeps?” (544). When first thinking about immortality, living forever sounds nice. I mean who doesn’t want to have another cup of coffee with their lost loved ones? But then McCarthy brings us an indisputable truth: not everyone in this world is good and her opinion is that “Fidel Castro isn’t ready to die” (549). Then she references Hayflick’s opinion, “’I don’t think that having Adolf Hitler around for the next 500 years makes much sense’” (549). Who could argue with either of those statements? Hitler’s genocide of the Jewish people and the atrocities of the concentration camps continue to haunt the families of the survivors and of