Rhetorical Analysis Essay: 2008 AP Question 2
John M. Barry argues that scientists need to embrace uncertainty within the passage; he asserts that they need the courage and will to overcome the intimidating uncertainty of exploring new fields. With an honest and clear tone Barry highlights the divide between certainty and uncertainty in the passage, discussing the importance of “pioneers”, individuals who are willing to adventure into the unexplored to further their researches. Courage and wit are indeed two crucial factors for the biologists, chemists, and engineers of today to further develop science; it is important to “probe” the unknown in order to search for answers, and it is important to embrace failure instead of fearing it, for mistakes and faults help in perfecting research techniques. In The Great Influenza, Barry employs extended metaphor, repetition, and juxtaposition to deliver his message on the need for scientists to explore the unknown.
Extended metaphor is used to highlight the intimidation brought from exploring undiscovered aspects of science, furthering her argument that researchers require courage. Barry claims that “real scientists” are “on the frontier” and must therefore “deal with the unknown” and develop “tools and techniques needed to clear the wilderness”. He describes the harshness and fear-inspiring nature of conducting foreign and novel experiments by comparing it to a “frontier”, describing it as the “unknown” and the “wilderness”—“frontier” connotes a barren landscape, insinuating the vast and unexplored characteristic of performing ambitious researches, and “unknown” and “wilderness” imply fear and intimidation, deterring scientists away from furthering their hypothesis. In doing this Barry emphasizes that courage is a crucial requirement for scientists to have in developing science. Furthermore, Barry mentions “shovel”, “pick”, and “dynamite” as examples of “tools one needs”. All of the utilities are used for grating and...
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