The Brain On Drugs Is Not A Fried Egg Analysis

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Your Brain on Drugs is a Brain on Drugs
Ever since the 1970’s drugs have been on the rise in America, arguably becoming one of the most controversial topics presented today. In 1987, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, aired an ad referring an egg in a frying pan to the brain on drugs. Ever since this metaphor was presented to the public, it has become a popular image of drug user’s brains. In the article, "The Brain on Drugs Is Not a Fried Egg", Neuroscientist Dean Burnett attempts to convince his target audience, which are drug critics, that your brain on drugs is not comparable to an egg in a frying pan. Although his logos are strong through textual organization, metaphorical and scientific examples, his lack of ethos and pathos in
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He presents a clear claim that “All activity is based on signals passed along and between neurons. Neurons signal each other using chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which travel from one cell to the next across the synapses. Drugs mimic these neurotransmitters, amplifying their effects” (para. 4), meaning drugs do not instantly damage or destroy the brain, but that they infiltrate it and induce activity where there should not be any. After giving a briefing on how the brain works through scientific facts, he backs his facts with multiple examples. Dean Burnett gives his scientific reasoning, that cocaine leads to increased focus and energy, heroin reduces pain, and marijuana acts as a relaxant and gives a pleasant buzz (para. 5). After presenting logical explanations on how drugs affect the brain, he then gives literal analogies to convince the audience. “Rather than an egg, perhaps the brain is like a generator, and drugs are the devices and appliances that need power. The more there are, the more the generator needs to increase its output. Then more appliances are added, so more power is needed, and you get an ever-more-demanding feedback loop”, with the ever-more-demanding metaphor the author recognizes that drugs can still be addicting. While his logos are strong, a successful argumentative paper needs more rhetorical appeals then just …show more content…
Burnett says the belief that drugs fry your brain has “become a modern pop culture” (para. 1), signifying that common society has adopted this absurd metaphor. He uses the words “reckless, thoughtless and just plain stupid” (para. 7), to describe his anger toward people that use this metaphor. Through his explicit word choice, he slightly takes away from his ethos by taking too strong of a position against the audience. The weakest appeal used in the article would be pathos, due to the lack of relation to his audience, besides his own emotional words listed above. In the article the only use of examples that can relate to the audience are his metaphors he uses to convince the audience. Although, none of his metaphors include any emotional connection to the audience, such as “A more accurate metaphor for a brain on drugs would be a high-speed, power-generating, malware-infecting, car. Obviously, such a thing doesn’t exist” (para. 7), comparing human life to an object. With the limited use of pathos, Burnett is unable to relate his beliefs to his audience and leaves them reading but not engaging in the topic.
In the conclusion Dean Burnett left the audience with more of a reasonable and non-bias statement, “the effects of drugs on the brain are very complex and vary from person to person. To deal with drugs and the issues they cause in society, you need an approach that acknowledges this inherent

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