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Work, Play, And Worship In Whose Life Is It Anyway?

2217 words - 9 pages

In the film Whose Life Is It Anyway? we are introduced to the character of Ken. Ken's life is changed after a life-altering car accident leaves him a quadriplegic. Ken, being unable to live the life he is accustomed asks to be released from the hospital and refuses medical treatment. Throughout this paper I will delve into the roles that work, play, and worship played in Ken's life both pre-accident and post-accident. The roles of work, play, and worship will also tie in with Ken's personal freedom, on how active Ken appears to be, and on the responsibilities Ken takes on day to day. While Ken is an interesting figure who seems to have his priorities in line both before and after his ...view middle of the document...

Also, as part of play and worship, sexual relations had become all but impossible for Ken with the that tormenting him rather than thrilling. Despite these setbacks, Ken is given several chances to regain some freedoms, such as the offer of a reading machine and learning to write again, as well as being able to transport for himself via an electric wheelchair. Yet, Ken is unable to see these opportunities, rather as hindrances. Ken is unable to be amongst loved ones, namely Patty, as he is unable (in his mind) to relive any of his memories as new experiences and is driven to sadness and torment knowing that he cannot love and provide as he once had. Ken's worship of Patty is one aspect of freedom which, if Ken cannot have as he would have pre-accident, does not want. In Ken's mind the only chance at freedom that is left for his life would be the freedom of being released from the hospital, left to die on his own terms; however, with such freedom, leisure is nearly impossible. Allowing himself to die, Ken is unable to enjoy his work, play, or worship, and being unable to enjoy those leads to a lack of leisure in one's life. Ken is more likely to die depressed and scared with a lack of leisure in the forms of work, play, worship. In his book The Pursuit Of Happiness, Myers states that "realizing that well-being is something other than being well-off is liberating," (Myers 46). While Myers uses this quote in relation to wealth & happiness, it is still possible to relate to Ken. If Ken were able to realize that although things are not what they once were, it is unnecessary to have everything he once had in order to be happy. If Ken were to realize that he is free to find other forms of happiness, other forms of work, play, and worship, and other forms of day to day living, Ken may still be able to live a rich, full life. While Ken sees a loss of freedom in his life, from the inability to use his less, the inability to love physically, or the inability to resist treatment forced onto him by the medical staff, Ken is also unable to see other freedoms that may present themselves to him further on down the road if given a chance.
Joblin states that "leisure prescribes an active engagement in life because it is being active that nurtures and sustains experiences of freedom and happiness," (Joblin 14). Being active was also an important part of life for Ken. As shown, Ken lead an incredibly active life before he was involved in his accident. He is shown as being active in his sculptures, with many being presented in his studio and in flashbacks. Ken also has a clearly active love life on both playful and sexual levels. He is shown as a professor, which would insinuate that Ken is also active in the lives of others: students, fellow faculty, and anyone who had been touched by his work. Ken's accident would, obviously, not allow Ken to be as...

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