Whose Life Is it Anway Character Notes

A few character notes I made in my revision for English last year. Notes on John, Nurse Sadler and Ken

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Whose Life Is It Anyway Notes
-Main character of the play and who the play is all about-Ken Harrison
-An articulate, intelligent man who is a quadriplegic due to a car crash over six months ago and who
wants to die as he will never be able to live a normal life again or continue being a sculptor and
instead will be bed ridden and have to rely on others to take care of him
- Play revolves around Ken and the battle between himself and the doctors, particularly Dr Emerson,
who is following the Hippocratic Oath and is determined to make sure Ken will continue living and so
therefore is preventing him discharging himself from hospital
-Is so used to the hospital he knows every part of the routine of being in a medical ward and what
the professional facade the nurses have should be like and also the stages in medical training and in
the hierarchy
-The play focuses on Ken's desperate and unique situation, his arguments and rational decisions he
makes, his ways of coping with his disability and his case on why he wants to die
-A 3D rounded character who engages the audience's attention from the start of the play and who
the audience are able to sympathise with and his lack of choice on his own fate
- Brian Clarke needs Ken as the articulate character at the centre of the play who is able to put his
own view forward to the audience and is able to provoke emotions in the audience throughout the
-He also provide the audience with various explanations of situations
- Uses black humour, extended metaphors and sexual innuendo /banter to cope with his situation and
compensate for the horror he has to deal with and desperately wants someone who is not immersed
in the professional facade of the doctors to talk to
-Is quick to respond to questions of others but is also capable of lengthier responses, with
maintained arguments and logical reasoning
-Uses a wide variety of intelligent language to show how clever he is, puns, metaphors, famous
quotes etc-his brain and mind is all he has left for himself as cannot physically move and picks up on
everything which is said to him
-The humour he uses is his coping mechanism however some of it is rather dark and shows
underneath his cheery facade he is suffering and feels self pity and is also gaining an emerging view
into the situation he is in and that he won't ever fully recover
Flirts with women nurses and doctors as has nothing else to do
Minor Characters
Nurse Sadler
-Named Kay and is a probationer nurse still at training school
-Has not yet taken on the brisk tone of the other nurses or the professional facade the other
doctors/nurses have as does not know how to deal with patients properly
-Needs the Sister as a mentor
-Doesn't know how to reply to Ken and talk about his situation as says `I' sorry', used by people who
don't have anything else to say
- Young and innocent-not accustomed to Ken's sexual banter and black humour but Ken likes her as
she does not have the professional facade of the others yet

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Compared to an acolyte/vestal virgin-follower of God-here the follower of the doctors higher up
the hierarchal system in the hospital
-Relationship with John gives some light humour to the play contrasting with the bleakness of Ken's
situation and his wish to die
-Drawn to nursing-paradox as knows medicine has improved people's lives as they live longer
Feels guilty that she is able to have a relationship and have a life while Ken is stuck as a quadriplegic
-A West Indian Ward Orderly, who shaves…read more


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