There are many people who live the world according to society's standard. One of Seltzers?essay captures a whole country suffering from the consequences of people following society rules. In another essay, Seltzer describes his fear of being patronized by society to change careers. Both essays, "A mask on the face of Death" and "The pen and the Scalpel", Seltzer mentions that materialistic matters are considered to be more important than one mortals. Therefore, people are prevented from facing, resolving, and overcoming certain issues in society.
Seltzer brought up a country in "A Mask on the face of Death" as an example to show readers how people don face the issue that kills citizens everyday. On page 200, a hotel manager covers up AIDS crisis in Haiti by telling tourists that Haiti has "reliable weather, honest and friendly populace, low wages and multilingual managers". The hotel manager does not mention anything about the fact that 50% of the prostitutes are infected with AIDS and that 80% of men with IDS have had contact with prostitutes.
In " The Pen and Scalpel", Seltzer faces some doubts and fears about becoming a writer because of how . By changing careers from a surgeon who attends "its rich cargo of patients"(204) to a writer at age 56 is sentenced to "suffer from impotence of the pen"(204) and to "toil under the very dart of death"(204). Since surgeons are almost 100% guaranteed to be rich and successful for the rest of their life, they are respected by others. Unlike surgeons, writes aren guaranteed a job, therefore, they barely earn enough money to pay the rent. People picture a surgeon living a luxurious life so they label surgeons as high-class.
We would think that being a surgeon sounds like a fulfilling life but in actuality, in Seltzers case, the desire to write was stronger.
In order to remain mentally healthy, Seltzer argues that one must be able to feel free to do what they truly desire. Seltzer doesn mind waking up every night for a couple of hours to write because writing "satisfied and uplifted"(204) his spirit. Waking up in the middle of the night was the only way he can do what he wants without fearing the remarks of others.
People should feel free to do as they please without being ranked according to how much money they make or what kind of job they have. It is impossible to live a happy life without revealing ones true identity.