Skip to content

John Barry The Great Influenza Analysis Essay

 

2008AP«>ENGLISHLANGUAGEANDCOMPOSITION

FREE·RESPONSE

QUESTIONS

(Suggestedtime-40minutes.Thisquestioncountsforone-thirdofthetotalessaysectionscore.)Question2Inthefollowingpassagefrom

TheGreatlnfluenra,

anaccountofthe1918fluepidemic,authorJohnM.Barrywritesaboutscientistsandtheirresearch.Readthepassagecarefully.Then,inawell-writtenessay,analyzehowBarryusesrhetoricalstrategiestocharacterizescientificresearch.Certaintycreatesstrength.Certaintygivesonesomethinguponwhichtolean.Uncertaintycreatesweakness.Uncertaintymakesonetentativeifnot

Line

fearful,andtentativesteps,evenwhenintheright

5

direction,maynotovercomesignificantobstacles.

00

beascientistrequiresnotonlyintelligenceandcuriosity,butpassion,patience,creativity,self-sufficiency,andcourage)Itisnotthecouragetoventureintotheunknown.Itisthecourageto

10

accept-indeed,embrace-uncertainty.ForasClaudeBernard,thegreatFrenchphysiologistofthenineteenthcentury,said."Scienceteachesustodoubt."Ascientistmustacceptthefactthatallhisorher

15

work.evenbeliefs.n~breakapart~~nthesharpedgeofasinglelaboratoryfindmg..njuta~hisowntheoryuntilhispredictionweretested.onemutseekoutsuchfinding.Ultimatelvacienristhanothingtobelieve

20

inbuttheprocessofinquiry.Tomoveforcefullyandaggresivelyevenwhileuncertainrequiresaconfideneandtrengthdeeperthanphysicalcourage.Allrealdentistsexistonthefrontier.Eventheleastarnbitiouamongthemdealwiththeunknown,

25

ifonlyonetepbeyondtheknown.Thebestamongthemmovedeepintoawildernessregionwheretheyknowalmostnothing,wheretheverytoolsandtechniquesneededtoclearthewilderness,tobringordertoit.donotexist.Theretheyprobeina

30

disiplinedway.Thereasinglestepcantakethemthroughthelookingglassintoaworldthatseemsentirelydifferent.andiftheyareatleastpartlycorrecttheirprobingactslikeacrystaltoprecipitateanorderoutofchao.tocreateform,structure,anddirection.

s:

Ainglestepcanalsotakeoneoffacliff.

In

thewildernessthescientistmustcreate.

everything,

Itisgruntwork,tediousworkthatbeginswithfiguringoutwhattoolsoneneedsandthenmakingthem.Ashovelcandigupdirtbut

40

cannotpenetraterock.Wouldapickbebest,orwoulddynamitebebetter-orwoulddynamitebetooindiscriminatelydestructive?

If

therockisimpenetrable,ifdynamitewoulddestroywhatoneislookingfor.ithereanotherwayofgetting

45

informationaboutwhattherockholds?Thereisastreampassingovertherock.Wouldanalyzingthewaterafteritpassesovertherockrevealanythinguseful?Howwouldoneanalyzeit?Ultimately.ifthereearchersucceeds,aflood

50

ofcolleaguewillpaveroadsoverthepathlaid,andthoseroadswillbeorderlyandstraight,takinganinvestigatorinminutestoaplacethepioneerpentmonthoryearslookingfor.Andtheperfecttoolwillbeavailableforpurchase,justaslaboratory

55

micecannowbeorderedfromupplyhouses.

Stella BrownPeriod 510/23/15AP LangRhetorical Essay; The Great InfluenzaThe 1918 flu epidemic was a pandemic that rocked the world and made people realize thevalue of scientists and how crucial their work it's. The book, The Great Influenzaby John M. Barry is an account of this epidemic and on passage in particular discusses the important, challenging, and noble work that scientists do everyday and their research. He characterizes this scientific research very well through contrasted contradiction, extended metaphors and the use ofrhetorical questions.The first paragraph is set up to show what we all know to be true, that certainty is preferred over uncertainty. He uses this paragraph to hook in the reader and make them agree with what he has to say. It is the next paragraph that he completely contradicts what he was saying in the previous paragraph, he claims that uncertainty is a key part of being a scientist and in order to be a good scientist one must embrace it. This is a very effective strategy because it makes the reader have to rethink what uncertainty is, and come to the conclusion that maybe uncertainty isn't the worst thing in the world. In having these two paragraphs Barry is clearly