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Making a Human Being an Individual

Neddy in Cheever's story believed that he could fill up the emptiness inside of him with external stuff--alcohol, wife and kids, big house, good body, pools, mistress, and so on. In a sense, he cloned himself in the image of what a "happy" man in this society looks like from outside. He has not sought to find out what makes him special and unique as an individual human being, but rather sought to cram his life full of images of success and images of happiness.

Similarly, Thomas argues that the cloned human being will not be a real or authentic human being, will not even be a true copy of the human being who is being cloned:

Cloning is the most dismaying of prospects, mandating as it does the elimination of sex with only a metaphoric elimination of death as compensation. It is almost no comfort to know that one's cloned, identical surrogate lives on, especially when the living will very likely involve edging one's real, now aging self off to the side, sooner or later (Thomas 386).

In both works, then, Cheever and Thomas deal with the issue of what makes a human being a human being, what values give him or her a purpose in or connection with life in general and his or her own individual existence. Cheever shows us a man who has come to the end of his rope because he is no longer able to keep up the lies of which his life was made. The images he has constructed to fabricate a false happiness have crumbled, and he is exposed as a shell of a man. The same suggestion is made by Thomas with respect to the cloned human being. It will not be a true human being, he says, but will be without a soul, without the unique, unpredictable, spontaneous factors which make a human being a human being. Thomas has no more hope that cloning will succeed in manufacturing happiness than Cheever has hope that the materialistic American Dream can create such happiness:

And obviously, if the whole thing were done precisely right, they would still be cas...

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Making a Human Being an Individual. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 12:08, November 27, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303402918.html
 
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