Comparison of Rhetorical Effects

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“The Terrifying Normalcy of AIDS” by Stephen Jay Gould

Quote| Effect| How?|
1. The Terrifying Normalcy of AIDS
(Title)| The effect of the oxymoron in the title is to present just how common AIDS has become in society.| The phrase “terrifying normalcy” is an oxymoron because something that is truly frightening can never be normal in society. The author uses this phrase in the title to allow the reader to know that AIDS is affecting way more people than we think.| 2. Page 754, “unblemished future”| The effect of this phrase is to describe the boundaries that modern technology has with the fast pace of development that is occurring. | The big corporations seem to believe that “technology is the solution to all human problems.” The author however disagrees and questions why they haven’t been able to develop a vaccination against a disease that affects millions of people’s lives. | 3. Page 754-755, “The AIDS pandemic… to nature.”| The effect of this phrase is to remind the reader that the AIDS pandemic is very much real and dangerous and is one thing that proves that we aren’t as advanced as we think.| The author conveys his idea that humans aren’t as advanced as we think by writing “… that we have not canceled our bond to nature.” He compares humans to animals who are susceptible to diseases harming them without them being able to do anything about it. That’s the way humans are with AIDS, we have to live with it without being able to do anything about it to help the suffering. | 4. Page 755, “…we are all susceptible to AIDS.”| This effect of this phrase is to dismiss the idea that only homosexual males were susceptible to suffering from AIDS.| The privately circulated essay was used to bring attention to the disease. At that time people were simply dismissing the threat of the disease and this essay made it all too real to society. John Platt successfully demonstrated that AIDS was exponentially spreading and we were all under equal danger...
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