The Dying of the Light is an article by Dr. Craig Bowron that captures the controversy surrounding the role of medication in prolonging life. The author describes that many medical advancements have become a burden to particularly elderly patients who in most instances are ready to embrace the reality of death. Dr. Bowron believes that dying in these modern times has become a tiring and unnatural process. “Everyone wants to grow old and die in his or her sleep, but the truth is most of us will die in pieces,” Bowron notes (Bowron). The article does not advocate for euthanasia or the management of health care costs due to terminal or chronic illness. Bowron faults humanity for not embracing life and death with dignity as it was in the past. He blames the emergence of modern medical advances and democracy as the sole reason why everyone is pursuing immortality or prolonging of life rather than embracing the natural course of things. The article is very articulate and comes out rather persuasive to its target audience that happens to be health-conscious. Craig Bowron uses effective rhetorical strategies such as logos, ethos, and pathos to pass on his message. The article’s credibility is impeccable due to the author’s authority in health matters as he is a hospital-based internist. The author is better placed as an individual to dissect this issue by analyzing his experiences in the healthcare profession. The article incorporates a passionate delivery that appeals to the readers’ hopes, opinions, and imagination.
The audience of this publication is the typical health-conscious American folk that are grappling with the pressures of modernity and the morality of embracing natural course of life. The readers are notably people well aware of the controversy surrounding the place of medical advancements and the sanctity of life. The article captures perfectly their quest to understand the dignity of death from a medical professional’s view. The readers understand “that never before in history has it been so hard to fulfill our final earthly task-dying (Bowron).” The author, further, hopes to appeal to readers that have elderly or terminally ill relatives who rely on a “myriad of medications and interventions” to ultimately prolong life. The article seems to incline the target audience to understand the dignity of accepting the natural stages of life-birth and death. The article is credible in every sense due to two core factors: the author’s profession, and interest in the subject matter. Craig Bowron, the author, is a Twin Cities internist who regularly reports and writes for notable papers such as Huffington Post, Minnesota monthly and the Star Tribune. He is an authority in every sense on the subject matter and thus he easily comes out as a knowledgeable and convincing writer. The author also has vested in the subject, which is evident with the number of cases as well as experiences used related to the article.
Craig Bowron broaches the subject matter sensitively as much as possible striking a balance between the interests of individuals opposing his notions while at the same time emboldening the resolve of the many that support his idea. He, however, uses raw statements that are likely to irk the audience in some instances. Statements such as “once you have shoved some guy’s guts back into his stomach” can be rather upsetting to conservative audience that would rather be spared such graphic details. The next statement “everyone wants to grow old and die but the truth is that most of us will die in pieces” also may rub readers in the wrong way. The author fails to capture the sensitivity of death as perceived by a number of people or cultures. The author acknowledges opposing argument by citing that the desire to have loved ones around would go to great lengths to use medication and technology. This goes to show that the writer understands that his opinion need not be paramount on the audience’s decisions and understanding of the article subject matter.
Craig Bowron employs pathos or emotional appeal in his delivery of the subject matter to the audience. The article adopts a persuasive tone as well as a passionate delivery, which evokes sympathy on the part of the readers. The use of personal experiences, for instance, allows the audience to put themselves in the shoes of the elderly patients in the Minnesota medical facility. He perfectly uses metaphors such as “ the green that must be cherished until life returns in the earnest” and “the elderly facing an eternal winter with no green in sight” to evoke emotions (Bowron). He helps the audience envisage the plight of the elderly as they prepare to meet death in a rather painful manner. He uses the green associated with flourishing plants to show how human life is. The green is used to further, show how the life cycle operates. When life is green it is dubbed productive but with age and illness it withers away. The “eternal winter” for the elderly, in this instance, is used by the author to illustrate the prolonged misery many elderly patients undergo as a result of the humanity’s desire to achieve immortality. The winter helps the audience to sympathize with the elderly’s cold and harsh days that are prolonged by used of medical advancements and technology. Statements such as “they tell us things that they can’t tell the family” draws compassion for the elderly under hospital care that are miserable and suffer alone in silence. “What in the world are we doing to this patient?” asks the author in the article evoking feelings of regret on his part and the audience. The audience that share in Dr. Bowron experience may feel regretful of participating in the unnatural prolonging of life of individuals familiar to them.
The Dying of the Light has a logical appeal or simulates logic in its subject matter. The author uses his professional knowledge as well as professional experiences to appeal to the audience logically. Craig Bowron notes that as a hospitalist he has “seen all patients of all ages and complexities (Bowron).” This statement seeks to justify the article’s subject matter as factual. He hints to the audience of his vast encounters with patients of all walks of life. Dr. Bowron succeeds in illustrating his vast experiences in the hospital setting and patient management. The author also cites “an elderly person or family must choose for example between death and dialysis.” This statement reflects the author’s logical argument of the medical advancements in prolonging life. He seeks to show the painful dilemmas afforded by medical advancements, which would have been avoided if life had taken its natural course. “It’s not hard to identify one of these difficult cases in hospital” is an assertion that illustrates the author’s logos regarding the subject matter. The presence of difficult cases in hospitals is evidently presented as common knowledge to all and sundry. The author also quotes fellow professionals who note “medics all staggering under the weight of feeling complicit to in a patient’s torture.” The logos are used effectively to support the author’s opinion on unnatural prolonging of life. The logos in this instance will be convincing to the audience because other professionals support the author’s essence of the subject matter. The article, however, presents some disputable areas. The author argues that elderly people can never heal full. He, further, notes that that “at the end of every illness is just another illness and another struggle.” This is disputable as there are many cases of elderly individuals that come out of their illness healthier and full of life. Medical advancements are not thoroughly bad for the old or the elderly as the author posits in the article. The author counters this by affirming that medical advances have established “at least the façade of choice “(Bowron). It is a choice to prolong one’s life with the technology and medical advancements.
In conclusion, The Dying of the Light comes out as convincing due to the high level of evidence and personal experiences shared by the author. The article also presents a well-thought-out narration that is backed by a credible hospitalist, Craig Bowron. The author also has ensured that the subject matter augurs well with a diversified audience. He uses a simple language that avoids blatant display of medical terminologies in order to ensure that the readers’ gains the practical wisdom contained in the subject matter. As for the Pathos, Dr. Bowron employs a persuasive tone in his narration that effectively sways the audience to his side of argument. The tone and use of metaphors in the article livens the audience by ensuring they experience vivid imaginations. The” winter” and the “green” metaphors enable the audience to connect plant life to the human cycle. The subject matter appeals to the greater audience values such as human dignity. Craig Bowron effectively faults humanity for not embracing life and death with dignity as it was in the past. He advocates for a natural way of life rather than one based on a “faced of choice” between natural death and artificially prolonged life.
Bowron, Craig. "The Dying Light." The Washington Post [Washington] 11 Jan. 2009: BO1. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/01/09/ST2009010903215.html>.