The Other Side of Einstein

Topics: Albert Einstein, Special relativity, Science Pages: 2 (798 words) Published: March 16, 2008
The Other Side of Einstein
Albert Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist and mathematician of all time, is mostly known for his prominent scientific discoveries and achievements. He is often perceived by the public as a scientist who lived his life in his laboratory studying, void of any social life. However, in the essay "My Friend, Albert Einstein" by Banesh Hoffmann, Einstein's long time friend attempts to depict Einstein as a humble and compassionate man, contrary to the mythological figure that people thought he was. He accomplishes this by using simple diction, to portray the human side of Einstein, and anecdotes, to show that Einstein is just an ordinary man.

Throughout his essay, Hoffmann uses simplified diction to concentrate the readers' attention on the human aspect of Einstein's life more than the scientific life. For example, when Hoffmann talks about Einstein's scientific achievements and the story of how his friend discovered the physics theory, Hoffmann chooses to write in a simple, avoiding details of the physics. He writes, "... and [Einstein] was right in both cases, though how he could have been is far too complex a story to tell here"(Para. 7). This shows that Hoffmann attempts to keep the explanations of Einstein's scientific accomplishments concise so that the focal point of his essay is on Einstein the man, not that of Einstein the scientist. Hoffmann decides to write in simple diction to ensure that his essay does not deviate from its main purpose, which is to show Einstein's human side. If he were to use technical terms to account Einstein's scientific achievements and go into detail, he would lose focus on Einstein's humane personality. Another example of Hoffmann's use of simple diction is when he writes, "One is the so-called principle of relativity, which means, roughly speaking, that we cannot tell whether we are at rest or moving smoothly"(Para. 14). Even though the theory of relativity in fact requires many equations and...
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