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Ethos In The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

704 words - 3 pages

The credibility and trustworthiness of a person can be achieved through their achievements and titles. Writers have the ability of achieving this by appealing to the rhetorical strategy ethos. Rebecca Skloot’s inclusion of her knowledge in science to provide her credibility and numerous information of all her characters in the novel helps develop the rhetorical strategy of ethos. Skoot’s implementation of appealing to ethos aids in emphasizing on the credibility of both herself and all the other characters in the novel. She demonstrates this rhetorical strategy by indicating titles and achievements her characters in the novel. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot develops the rhetorical strategy of ethos through the use of her characters in the novel consisting of Skloot herself, George Gey, and the virologist Chester Southam.
A prime example of Skloot appealing to ethos in the novel is simply through her character. Skloot presents her vast knowledge in science in the novel countless of times. She displayed this by stating that she had worked on getting a biology degree saying, “As I graduated from high school and worked my way through college toward a biology degree, HeLa cells were omnipresent” (Skloot 5). Skloot ensures her credibility by providing the fact that she has worked on a biology degree. This in turn gives the effect that Skloot is intelligent and indicates that she presents herself as a hard-working individual. With this, Skloot also constructs her reliability by expressing the amount of time she has given in to making this novel. During the duration of the time writing this book, Skloot expressed that she “conducted more than a thousand hours of interviews with family and friends of Henrietta Lacks, as well as with lawyers, ethicists, scientists, and journalists who’ve written about the Lacks family” (Skloot xii). This extends the evidence that Skloot is a hard-worker and that she is considered a determined person. In addition to Skloot, this also gives credibility and reliance to the book itself. In addition to this, Skloot explores the area of ethos through the character of George...

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