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Death Be Not Proud

Essay by   •  January 22, 2011  •  Essay  •  668 Words (3 Pages)  •  978 Views

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One can choose to handle the dying process one of two ways: fear death and receive nothing out of life or despite the circumstances, live with courage, desire, and passion. Johnny Gunther handles a life-threatening tumor by choosing to not be afraid and to rise above the illness by putting his brain to use in all areas of life. Throughout his struggle, Johnny stays optimistic and reaches an acceptance of death. Author, John Gunther uses many strategies to show the reader to live like there is no tomorrow just as Johnny chooses to do. In Death Be Not Proud, Gunther explains the obstacles Johnny faces in times of illness in order to emphasize the theme.

The first obstacle that Johnny faces is the Gerson’s diet. Dr. Max Gerson had experienced many cancer and tumor patients becoming miraculously well based only on diet. Gerson’s diet is free of salt and fat, and proteins are excluded or held to an extreme minimum. He has a specifically-set menu for every meal of the day consisting of many vegetables and fruits along with a large amount of pills. Gerson’s reasoning was that if the body had little to almost no waste, it would have more energy to do other tasks such as fighting illness. Although Johnny understands that this will be helpful, it is hard on him because he is not allowed to eat any of the foods he always has been able to consume. Once he adjusts, he is once again the hard-working, driven, determined young man that he always was.

Another obstacle Johnny strongly overcomes is X-ray therapy which could possibly shrink the tumor in his brain. Having to make the journey to the hospital everyday, for anyone, would be a difficult task, but for dramatically weak Johnny, this was especially challenging. For twenty one days, Johnny and one of his parents would travel to the hospital and receive the treatment. The author emphasizes how tough Johnny is during this time in order to prove the young man’s willpower to live despite the many misfortunes he faces. Johnny loves life too much just to let it go, so he lives his normal life and does not complain about the X-ray treatment for the remainder of his therapy.

In addition to the Gerson’s diet and X-ray therapy, Johnny keeps up with his education which is the most major and heart-breaking obstacle he lives through. He misses eleven months of school because of his illness, but since education is his life, Johnny



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