Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Asimov’s thesis is that the beauty of science is the same as the beauty of nature. He expands on this theory with a in depth explanation of the vast happenings in nature and the universe, such as the speed of light and sound, and the truth that the stars are really amazingly large suns like our own. He presents these facts in such a way that one could almost gather a sense of poetry. This mildly suggests that Asimov is critical of what he calls Whitman’s “convenient point of view.”
Asimov present’s many facts about the universe to refute the view that science drains the beauty from beauty from the stars. He does this by using references to:
The purpose of Asimov’s rhetorical questions is to make the reader contemplate what the world around us is really made of instead of simply dismissing it as “boring,” or claiming it is draining the beauty of something.
Refers to Walt Whitman’s poem
Asimov builds unity and coherence by taking Walt Whitman’s original theory about science ruining the beauty of the stars and poetically expressing the beauty in all of the facts discovered by the astronomers.
Asimov uses Ethos persuasion by mentioning that Walt Whitman was not able to form a proper theory on the beauty of the science of the stars because Whitman did not “know any better,” as he died before the real facts about the stars were presented. Example of Pathos persuasion in Asimov’s theoryAsimov uses examples of Pathos persuasion by putting a lot of emotional, dramatic language in his description of the science and the stars. An example is when he is describing the stars and says some of them as containing “incomparable grandeur.”
An example of Logos persuasion in this essay is when Asimov mentions the lack of rationality and level of shallowness in simply getting pleasure out of looking at something in nature and not getting any joy out of the descriptions of what creates that beauty. He shows that this is what Whitman is guilty of using hypothetical situations, such as, “Should I stare lovingly at a single leaf and willingly remain ignorant of the forest?” to compare the rationality behind looking at the stars and deciding to be ignorant to their truth to maintain their “beauty.”
Some of the pros of writing with multiple forms of persuasion is that it becomes possible to reach many different audiences. This is because you address many different ways of thinking and analyzing information and put your own, personal spin on them. This can, at the same time, cause some people who have very specific ways of thinking to dismiss the information being presented because they disagree with the method of delivery. In writing with different methods of persuasion, one should consider if their audience is a target audience, or just a broad or general audience.
I did find Asimov’s essay persuasive. He made relevant points all the way through the essay about how it is dismissive and simple to deny the beauty in science. He does a great job of portraying the beauty and wonder he finds in the vastness of space. He offers a lot of perspective about how dismissing science actually diminishes a lot of the beauty and allows somebody to remain ignorant and not have to think very hard about it. I feel that Asimov, overall, makes all the important points one could make in favour of science and the beauty of the stars being one, against Whitman’s opinion.