The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks Rhetorical Analysis

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Henrietta Lacks The purpose of Rebecca Skloot’s book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” is to tell the story of Henrietta Lacks, her illness, and how she completely changed science without even knowing it. Henrietta Lacks, a name that had been known to the world only as HeLa up until recent years; the first two letters of a name that belonged to a poor African American tobacco farmer. Henrietta Lacks was a woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and HeLa, the line of cells taken from Henrietta that were the first line of cells to reproduce and survive in the lab indefinitely. Rebecca Skloot uses rhetorical devices throughout the book such as; logos, ethos, and pathos to appeal to the audience and help spread public awareness of this…show more content…
Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with extremely aggressive cervical cancer at the age of 30 and within the year it progressed and she died. Skloot's very vivid medic terminology, as well as her frank and at some points disgusting imagery truly captures her conditions horror. Also not to mention the emotional pain felt by her family and friends as they watched her die. Her story is told in detail in the book, and is something many people can relate to, since cancer is such a common disease. However, Henrietta's personal story is not the only way the book elicits pathos. Later in the book, as Skloot actually gets close to the members of the Lack's family it becomes more and more apparent that they are angry Hopkins took Henrietta’s cells without her consent and that no one had informed them either after she died. Lawrence tells Skloot, “She’s the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance” (Skloot 168)? This shows the Lack’s think it is unfair that Henrietta had, unknowingly, contributed so much to the scientific world, but her family is living in poor areas and conditions without any health

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