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The Disappearing Spoon Analysis

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The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean provides a flashback to when humans first began using chemical warfare. The use of chemical warfare can be traced back to Ancient Greece. Kean talks about the Spartan’s attempts at surprising the Athenians with a stink bomb. Though it had failed, it marked the start of chemical warfare. Twenty-four hundred years later, chemical warfare still has little strategic value until World War I. In chapter five, Kean discusses how chlorine and bromine were first experimented during World War I. The French first practiced with bromine which proved to be ineffective when the shells had no immediate effect on the German troops. Soon after the attempt, a famous Jewish-German scientist named Fritz Haber emerged with big contributions to German warfare. He began a process to “capture” nitrogen and created an efficient killing explosive. It also pioneered future fertilizers. Afterwards, Haber redirected his efforts to chlorine. Chlorine proved to be the first successful gas attack when it left French troops scarred for life. The effects of chlorine turned victims’ skin to different shades of colour and the fluid inside one’s lungs would build up. Haber became one of the greatest minds in chemistry. A few years after WWI, Haber was convicted for prosecuting thousands with his chemical warfare innovations. When…show more content…
The strategies exemplifies the “big picture” that though the elements can be wonderful, it can also be destructive. He brings in true stories and facts relating to the subject matter. The stories can invoke emotion and help us connect to the book. For pathos, Kean tells us about Haber’s wife, Clara Immerwahr, and her “refusal to help on the bromine gas work” (84). She was horrified by the deaths and did not support Haber in his input in the war. This invokes sympathy and sorrow for the ones that stood against violence and the innocents that
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