It all depends on who is using it. On oage , Selzer gives the knife a mind of its own, it takes control. My favorite section of the piece was the sixth portion. The fine artist and fine surgeon blends the two worlds of calculation and creativity in this piece, twisting them together in a way synonymous to the consummation of the strangest love or the reincarnation of a human onto their next life; it is the surreal merge of two distant entities, poetry and precision, fantasy and formula, taking even the most thoughtful and intelligent by surprise. To Selzer, it is not the knife that cures us, saves us, it is the power we invest in the knife. Moreau, Selzer fears the power of the knife and the submission that it effects. Selzer explores the different roles that a doctor can play:

He holds no hands. The Knife by Richard Selzer. The Knife Richard Selzer. Comparing a scar to a verse addresses the beauty of scars. Even though Selzer is writing about this scene of hospital blood and gore, he somehow manages to keep his tone calm, his, and his words flowing with beauty.

In these paragraphs from “The Knife,” Richard Selzer vividly describes the process of “the laying open of the body of a human being. The preparation for the profession is immense, seemingly only kniff to those who put horse-blinders on their life and fling themselves in a direction of complete discipline, as sterile as the pastel linoleum hospital hallways and sezer instruments on the surgery-side tray tables.

He compares the knife to the bow of a cello, the stem of a tulip and to a slender fish, etc. You have no say about anything once the medicine kicks in.

This essay really dug deep into my head. The predominant metaphor she uses is that of the food “kapura,” a food she grew up with which projects tehsis poignantly its ethnic nature.


It all depends on who is using it. He is able to see the beauty of what the knife can do, but can not richarc the atrocities that it has committed, and thus he has committed by guiding it. One holds the knife as one holds the bow of a cello or a tulip by the stem.

richard selzer the knife essay

As readers we move through the piece like the surgeon with great thought and care. Continue reading this essay Continue reading Page 1 of 2. Analysis of the Stylistic Elements in “Meatless Days” Meatless Days, Sara Suleri’s essay on culture on family and food and how it defines us, finds its crucial elements in the use of metaphors and synechdoche.

What stood out to me is the line Selzer uses about the scars: The fear we have of the knife should not be a fear of the knife itself, but of the things us humans do with it, and once we clean our eyes of their yellowed, thousand-year-old, crust, we too may find its beauty. I think that says even more about his feeling.

the knife richard selzer thesis

The essay is methodical like the surgery it describes. I am curious if anyone has any explanation as to why he put that into the essay. Posted by MargaretLatchman at He takes the calculations, the science, the chemistry, the dosages and the latin terminology out of medicine and leaves us with nothing but black words on a white page, infused with slzer shades of speculation and creative thought that have always seemed invisible in the hospital they speak of.

We always, against all odds, have eachother. Selzer uses this image of the knife, this feared and so often singularly defined instrument, to display his own humanity and the hidden humanity of his profession. Only available on StudyMode Topic: As I read it for the second time I got the sense that Selzer yearned to have more personal connection with the patient.


richard selzer the knife essay

The knife is his tool, it is his friend, it is his enemy, it is his crowbar; the knife is everything and yet nothing without the throbbing sensation of life bestowed upon it by the surgeon.

It made me think of surgery in a whole new way. One does not usually think of a knife as something as fragile and beautiful as those things. For one these catch the readers attention as soon as they start reading. Though I don’t tend to write about anything current, so I doubt there’s much here to spoil anybody.

He is conflicted with what he must do and the possible repercussions.

this to say about that: “The Knife” by Richard Selzer

The knife is the truth that cuts through skin, bone, and muscle and takes an unconscious person painlessly out of misery. Almost everyone who has cared very deeply for someone else has felt at least a little bit like she does, or maybe even very strongly that sometimes they are not thesie enough or that they don’t deserve the person they’re with.

The knife can cut through anything just as the truth often does. This surgeon is good, he is God.

the knife richard selzer thesis

Email required Address never made public. A species that many humans fail to recognize and often see thessis harmless has the potential to kill. Selzer takes the reader on a journey through the body.