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2008 Ap English (Rhetorical Strategies)

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Barry expresses his use of rhetorical strategies through is book The Great Influenza, using anaphora, metaphors, tone, contrast, imagery, word choice, repetition of words, and ethos to drive his claim that being a scientist requires dealing with a huge amount of uncertainty, and takes courage, patience, and curiosity to succeed. Barry starts off with a comparison, an antithetical concept: certainty vs. uncertainty. Beginning with a universal truth, defining complete opposites, intensifies the revelation of the paradox in the second paragraph that scientists thrive on uncertainty.

His use of anaphora further solidifies the wisdom that certainty is positive and uncertainty negative. As he goes on talking about what is required to become a scientist he uses a rather common strategy classification, as he lists traits, receiving the highest order of these traits are intelligence, curiosity, and purpose. “It is not the courage…”, “It is the courage…” is yet another use of anaphora to refine connotations associated with “courage” through negation of common concepts.

Ending his second paragraph with reference to Claude Bernard, Barry is using the famous rhetorical strategy ethos. On the third paragraph he is still talking about scientists but he switches from “To be a scientist…” to “A Scientist…” changing from abstraction to practical. In this paragraph he also uses another reference to someone known and praised in the science world, this time Einstein. This could be looked at as ethos but also as an appeal to an authority. Initiating the thought of if he didn’t do it why should we.

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As he talks about how scientist could lose their “works” and “even beliefs” leaving them only to “believe in the process of inquiry” I take on pathos because that is powerful to think about losing everything, that definitely takes courage. But as he ends with “To move.. ” your left with a hopeful tone. You could lose everything but you keep moving on. The next paragraph uses great rhetorical strategies, allusion, simile, and metaphor to build on top of each other creating intensity. “Through the looking glass” is an allusion suggesting going into a world that isn’t real r doesn’t appear to be. This leads to the simile “like a crystal”, which suggestion setting off a chain of events beyond the control of a scientist. Then ends with a metaphor “off a cliff” suggesting some steps could mean the end. As he proceeds to talk about a scientist career style of a scientist, he presents imagery of a scientist a work by creating a slight example with a shovel digging up dirt, asking a series of question to represent the thought process of a scientist. This imagery continues on to the next paragraph, and then in his ending paragraph the tone shifts. Not at all…” is a negation of previous paragraphs reminding you what is common to scientist’s id not in all scientists. The reputation of “experiments” and “yield”, changing the meaning: first meaning to produce as in “yielding a bumper crop” to suggest giving up as in “yielding to a superior force” Through Barry’s use of all of these rhetorical strategies, it is clear Barry is aware of the uncertainty science contains and the courage and strength it takes scientists to deal with this, and keep moving forward.

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