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Style Analysis Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By juliamadpezz
Words 602
Pages 3
Julia Pezzullo
Period 1
4/4/14
Style Essay

This passage from The Great Influenza describes the scientific process and how a scientist must have the courage to “embrace” uncertainty to make the unknown known. Through the use of metaphors, analogies, and other rhetorical devices, the author further conveys a scientist’s tedious process to reveal a newfound truth.
Barry begins by contrasting the strength and conviction of certainty with the weakness and fear of uncertainty. He uses clear, definitive language to convey broad ideas. He establishes direction in his second paragraph as he lists the qualities an ideal scientist should have. He emphasizes that a scientist must have “the courage to accept—indeed, embrace—uncertainty.” To conclude this paragraph the author uses Claude Bernard, a famous physiologist, as an authority to strengthen the make-up of a scientist.
Barry opens the third paragraph with a metaphor, which strengthens the courageous aspect of a scientist. “A scientist must accept that all his or her work, even beliefs, may break apart upon the sharp edge of a single laboratory finding.” Barry then uses the example of Einstein to express this point of a total reversal of beliefs in an attempt to persuade the reader that to face a destruction of one’s convictions requires a far greater courage, to perceive uncertainty as an ally rather than a foe.
Paragraph four starts to convey how a scientist must “create” the tools needed to shed light on what is unknown by using many rhetorical features. The author includes an allusion to Lewis Carroll’s novel about Alice In Wonderland, by conveying that careful testing “can take them through the looking glass into a world that seems entirely different.” Barry finishes the fourth paragraph with two contrasting sentences. The second to last sentence is long, elaborate, and relates the finding of the truth to...

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