Robert Benchley's Essay 'Do Insects Think?'

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In the essay, “Do Insects Think?” the author Robert Benchley satirizes the scientific community in order to copy the pretentious air of superiority that scientists exude. One way the author proved his point was by using personification. Personification is defined as when human characteristics are given to a non-sentient object or thing. For example, in paragraph two, Benchley states that the insect looked more like a wasp, instead of a child; explaining how this was one of the ways the scientist told the difference. The use of sarcasm is very noticeable in this statement, mostly because it is just a more politically correct way of saying, “Duh! Of course, a wasp is not going to look like a child of your own.” His goal was to personify the wasp for humorous purposes. Another way Benchley satirizes his message by using personification is in paragraph five, when he describes the way the wasp acted when it was unable to pick up the cards on the floor. It is already clear that these are actions a wasp normally would not do. It is just a way for the author to use his obvious humor to ridicule the scientists and their way of thinking in similar situations. Benchley also notably employs communicating his message about intelligence by using sarcasm. This is shown in the first paragraph of his essay when he states, “... With an instance of reasoning…show more content…
Such as when he explains, what he believes most scientists do while they are researching/experimenting. One example of this is shown in the quote, “Working late in my laboratory fooling around with some gin”. Usually scientists are known to work all night in their laboratory, but we never actually think of them drinking while on the job, which was the whole point of the author. Benchley wants us to catch on to his use of satire by adding an idea as to why Professor Bouvier might actually take his time to write about such an absurd
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