The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot Essay

768 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
Victimized by the exploitation of white scientists, Henrietta Lacks’ cancerous cells were taken without her consent as she sat in John Hopkins Hospital, the very place that would mark her death. These cells would eventually revolutionize the field of medicine and save millions of lives, but they also killed Henrietta, leaving her family behind in poverty and absolute turmoil. Throughout The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot most effectively appeals to her readers through the use of pathos, which causes them to become emotionally invested in the story behind Henrietta Lacks, the woman who changed the world of medicine without knowledge of doing so, whereas ethos and logos grant her credibility and defend her argument with reliable information. As Skloot applies pathos throughout her book, vivid descriptions and appalling life experiences impels readers to become emotionally attached to Henrietta and her family. Once appealing to their emotions, Skloot is then able to expose the harsh realities behind scientific research and the unknown cruelties Henrietta’s family was left to face. The story dives into the racism that overpowered society throughout the 1950’s, which left blacks with insufficient health care. Skloot explains that the Lacks lived within, “an era of Jim Crow—when black people showed up at white-only hospitals, the staff was likely to send them away, even if that meant they might die in the parking lot” (15). Moreover, racial discrimination led…

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