Aplac Rhetorical Analysis

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In The Great Influenza Barry contrasts certainty and uncertainty so that there is an understanding that scientific research is in fact a pioneering effort through effective abstract language, romanticized syllogism, and strong metaphors.

Firstly, the author points out the obvious knowledge of uncertainty and certainty where “certainty creates strength” while “uncertainty creates weakness by using antithesis. That’s general knowledge that most people - myself included- involved scientist as well. Then Barry suddenly turns upside down and says that it takes courage to “embrace uncertainty”. Uncertainty which was once weakness is now strength. It takes strength to move with a force of pure courage into the unknown, not knowing what will come of it. Scientists need uncertainty, like pioneers to be successful. Without that courage they will never learn to doubt themselves. Barry characterizes scientists but using abstract language. This is to emphasize that scientists rely on qualities than physical requirements. A scientist doesn’t have to be physically fit like a professional football player must be mentally fit to handle uncertain situations. The second paragraph in filled with abstract qualities like intelligence and curiosity, obviously, but passion, patience, and courage in order to embrace uncertainty. Uncertainty begins with the scientific process by making a hypothesis, a guess that shouldn’t be just thrown out in the open hoping that all goes well but a guess that you are unsure about whether that’s the answer or not. That takes courage to embrace the uncertainty if they are right or wrong.

Pioneers generally exist on the frontier. “All real scientists exist on the frontier.” Therefore all real scientists are pioneers. This implied syllogism shows, in a romantic way, that scientists are in fact just like pioneers. They both venture into the unknown where the tools and techniques to tame it do not apply.

Barry uses the allusion, “there a single step...
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