The Great Influenza Rhetorical Analysis

Words: 907
Pages: 4

Let it be known that novice scientists seldom find themselves sufficiently equipped when investigating the scientific world; they often find themselves trembling at the unfamiliar boundaries that define scientific research. Being a successful scientist, a prestigious role in society, requires multiple imperative traits. To master the unknown world requires conviction, intellect, and courage. John M. Barry’s purpose, informing readers of these necessities of scientific research, rises out of comradery, investigator helping investigator. Barry maintains a politic tone in order to convey to the readers the significance of these traits to face the world of the unknown. In this passage from The Great Influenza, John M Barry employs the consistent use of juxtaposition, sententia, and parallelism, while varying his syntax and using punctilious diction to illustrate the importance of embracing the unknown. In the first paragraph, lines 1 to 5, Barry includes parallelism to emphasize the need for “certainty” while presenting the perilous effects of “uncertainty.” The symmetry in sentence structure paints a picture of two sides on the same coin: “certainty” and “uncertainty. This is …show more content…
Barry’s use of the sententia informs the readers of the necessity of “doubt.” Doubt by itself is not sufficient enough to make a scientist great; as Barry states, a scientist must undergo investigations in order to confirm or deny their doubts through any means possible. The readers must know that perseverance is mandatory, even when given nothing but their hands to uncover the truth. The inclusion of the quote from a renowned scientist further strengthens the credibility of the advice. Barry also uses the quote from Claude Bernard as a metabasis for moving onto talking about a scientist’s ability to doubt himself. This gives the readers a new train of thought to follow, but without disrupting the