9/2/16:Into the Maelstrom

After reading Into the Maelstrom, I was not thoroughly convinced or impressed of Jennifer Francis’s theory of global warming. However, I was impressed with the interesting rhetorical tactics used to persuade the readers toward the author’s opinion. First, the layout of the novel The Best American Science and Nature Writing is an unconventional way to persuade readers. Most authors would find data and conduct research to emphasize or prove a point; however, Rebecca Skloot has constructed a series of other author’s writings with similar beliefs to examine her own points such as global warming and scientific collaboration. This form of rhetoric is effective because the reader is able to see that multiple people, including both authors, have the same opinion on the topic of discussion. With respect to the chapter at hand, Into the Maelstrom, I thought the use of a narrative style work was a unique way to effect the reader’s opinion. The story of Jennifer Francis at the White House, sailing around the globe, and convincing Holdren of her theory provides a great setting for the rhetorical device. The narrative was able to keep my attention throughout the novel even though it was centered around a topic I do not have much concern or interest in. Also, Into the Maelstrom was broken into sections or “chapters” with unique and fun titles to capture the reader’s attention. For example, the chapter named “A Stiff Headwind” allows the reader to prepare for a section introducing hardship and struggle for Francis while also serving as a double meaning: the jet stream headwind under discussion and a headwind you would face on a sea voyage such as Francis’s. The rhetorical tactics used in the novel were very effective, but I just do not feel the same passion about the topic as Jennifer Francis or Rebecca Skloot.

2 thoughts on “9/2/16:Into the Maelstrom

  1. Skloot did not write this article! That said, I think it’s interesting that you were “not impressed by” Francis or her work. Do you think this is an effect of the article’s presentation of a controversy, and not simply a straightforward, unambigous “discovery”?

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    1. I understand that Skloot did not write the article. I may have miscommunicate my point of view, but I was discussing my interest in the format Skloot chose for her book, The Best American Science and Nature Writings as a whole. I feel that it was not only the presentation that failed to impress me, but also the topic itself. I am uneducated in the field of global warming, and usually remain unbiased unless more concrete and understandable facts are given to me.

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