The Disappearing Spoon Analysis

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Our lives and the lives of those before us, have been unknowingly (or knowingly) shaped by elements. In The Disappearing Spoon, the author Sam Kean, discusses the wonderful world of the periodic table in depth. Within the first nine chapters of the novel, Kean explains the importance of location on the table, origin and discovery of each element, and its impact on other aspects of human life. Through various tales, the table is pulled apart and analyzed in an ingenious way. To a reader, it is interesting to follow how our life is determined by the elements of the periodic table, as they can create, heal, or destroy our entire world. To begin, Kean introduces the periodic table to readers, in a creative and approachable manner. He metaphorically …show more content…
The first two elements in the poisoner’s corridor, cadmium and thallium, are potentially lethal to humans, as evidenced by both the itai itai cadmium poisoning epidemic, and CIA’s assassination plans using thallium. The last two elements in that corridor, thorium and americium, are radioactively poisonous.. Bismuth serves as a meeting point between these two types of killer elements. Yet, instead of being a chimera, and in more than one way harmful to humans, it is the opposite. This contrast between the helpful and malevolent neighbors on the periodic table only deepens the mystery of chemistry, and lures readers in further to marvel at the enigmatic elements. Throughout The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean tempts the reader with tales about the periodic table. The most interesting aspect of this novel was how it proves that elements can both create and destroy all matter. The elements are the most powerful and confounding force in the universe and humans are merely an awestruck audience in a cosmic performance. Prior to reading this novel, I did not appreciate the extent to which my life was impacted by the elements, their characteristics and their

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