Lewis Thomas strategy "On Natural Death" is to invite the reader a new way of thinking about death and pain. Many of us don't give it much thought but the reality exist that death is imminent to all living things. Although we all have been affected indirectly by death, we seldom think about its pain, either physically or emotionally. Thomas deliberately creates a strategy to provoke and support his idea to the reader's curiosity by using examples from the simplest forms of life to the more complex, we humans. Once Thomas has his audience attention, he will bring more doubts on why he thinks in such a manner. As you read his story, through his observations, medical research, from the professional ream as well as his personal you will understand. .
To start with, Thomas establishes a relaxed informative tone from the beginning but he proceeds causally. In the first sentence he uses "so many new books about dying" His first effect was to imagine how easily they are available by placing them by the health diet and home repair paperbacks and the sex manuals. In the first paragraph with a slight sarcastic sympathetic tone, he wants the reader to contemplate how extraordinary dying has become, and his indirect feeling towards it. But, he knows his plan and is drawing us into his story.
After his introduction, Thomas describes an Elm tree in his backyard that one day was a normal-looking elm, and the next weekend it was gone. He wants the reader to understand or just think, "was this a natural death for the elm tree, or was life taken from it?" .
He continues with a dying field mouse in the jaws of a housecat. In this paragraph he introduces why he feels so angry about unnatural deaths. Obviously, he doesn't think that a field mouse in a cats jaw is natural. He thought the evolution of cats through nature was disastrous. This one event as a young man really affected him and created some inner anger.