The Great Influenza Rhetorical Analysis

790 Words 4 Pages
In this passage from The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry, the use of figurative language, imagery, anaphora and parallelism, symbolism and exclusionary tone words to characterize scientific research as a dynamic, tedious, and calculated field of study that requires a variety of personality traits including curiosity, patience, and creativity. Moreover, uncertainty is identified as a central theme and elaborated on as being a necessary part to the process of scientific experimentation. Throughout this essay, Barry uses figurative language, such as extended metaphor, to downplay the severity of decisions that scientists face. For instance, “Would a pick be best, or would dynamite work better- or would dynamite be too indiscriminately destructive?” This metaphor serves to compare a scientist in a lab with his tools to a pioneer in the …show more content…
Uncertainty is emphasized as a necessary part of the scientific process. Additionally, Barry points out that it must be combated by faith in experimentation and scientific inquiry. To support this point he states that scientists must have the willpower to let all of their beliefs be destroyed, but still be able to work through it by relying on personal strength, faith and inquiry, and the curiosity to continue scientific experimentation. Barry also selects phrases like “... A scientist must..” and “ To be a scientist requires not only intelligence…” to create a tone of haughtiness, or a “members-only” feel. A list of personality traits of a scientist includes, “... intelligence, curiosity… passion, patience, creativity, self-sufficiency, and courage,” stated as though they are a requirement. In contrast, Barry notes that not all scientists will have the courage, curiosity, etc. to be a pioneer scientist and venture into the world

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