Rhetorical Devices In The Great Influenza By John M. Barry

542 Words3 Pages
In an excerpt from The Great Influenza by John M. Barry, many rhetorical devices are used to fully represent the process of a scientist. Some of the most commonly used devices are metaphors, anaphoras, and imagery, these three devices help the reader understand the main ideas of the story. The metaphors allow the reader to perceive the process of a scientist in more simplistic ideas such as science being an undiscovered wilderness. The anaphora used in the beginning of the passage emphasises that the world of science is full of uncertainty and is constantly changing, this drives the idea into the mind of the reader. The imagery is used alongside the metaphors to assist the reader in grasping the foreign ideas. These three devices work in tandem, aiding the reader while they learn about the scientific process. The first rhetorical device used in the excerpt is anaphora, the repetition of the word certainty and uncertainty is used to initiate each of the first four sentences. Barry uses this repetition to implant the idea that science is full of self-doubt and overcoming this allows one to become successful. In the first four sentences he says “Certainty creates strength. Certainty gives one something….Uncertainty creates weakness. Uncertainty makes one tentative…”(line 1) The repetition and rapid…show more content…
The metaphor put the idea in simplistic terms, the imagery then implanted the idea into the mind of the reader by presenting a narrative. In lines forty-nine through fifty-five Barry uses the image of a road being paved over the wilderness path the scientist trekked through to make. This image allows the reader to understand that when scientists discover something new the rest of the scientific community then paves over the path he worked so hard to create. Imagery like this assists the reader in understanding foreign ideas such as the process of a
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