Analysis Of Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air

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In Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air, he teaches the reader that although time is limited and death is inevitable, life can still be meaningful and have a purpose, even if it is as simple as helping an individual find the strength to overcome whatever hardships they may be forced to face.
The beginning of the book starts off with Paul reflecting on what death is and what it means. In one event at the beginning of his book, years before being diagnosed with lung cancer, he was working as doctor and helping a pregnant woman who was having distress with her unborn twins. The twins ended up being born prematurely and since there was a lack of development in their organs, neither newborn survived longer than twenty-four hours. Reflecting
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As a doctor, he came to the conclusion that death not only affects the person who passed, but everyone they influenced throughout their lives. Therefore he became the person who helped people whose loved ones died understand and accept the deaths of their. He stated, “As a resident, my highest ideal was not saving lives- everyone dies eventually- but guiding a patient or family to an understanding of death or illness… In those moments, I acted not, as I most often did, as death's enemy, but as its ambassador” (Kalanithi 86-87). These actions help people through the hardships that come along with the death of a loved one. In this section he is giving his life meaning by helping individuals to accept death and continue living their lives as happily as possible. While Paul may not have impacted every person in the worlds lives in a dramatic way, his actions had a large effect on the few families who have struggled to move on in their lives. This makes Paul’s life, while short, purposeful. Another example of how he teaches that life has a purpose is that. However, in the middle of the book, the inevitability of death becomes apparent again and making the most of life becomes difficult. After getting diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and becoming very weak, Paul's life got switched into another direction. He stated, “Because I would …show more content…
These experiences, such as delivering unwanted news to a patient's family and seeing death first hand, helped him and the reader to think more deeply about the meaning of life. In the end, the message he delivered to the reader is that having a purpose in life is about helping others feel the joys of living. Death is unavoidable and the amount of time one is alive is irrelevant to the impact they had on the world and those around

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