Kaisen Yao Yao 1 Writing 1, Section 52 Beales October 29, 2012 Shadowing the Truth For centuries, humans believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Early astronomers structured their scientific experiments and discoveries around this assumption, creating many intricate geocentric planetary models, which were thought to be correct. It wasn’t until the 16 th century, when Copernicus questioned the Ptolemaic system, experimented, and presented the heliocentric model with scientific evidence. It took so long to figure out the heliocentricity of our solar system because psychologically, our human minds have blocked out that possibility after assuming the geocentric model. Emily Martin pointed out a similar issue, while researching the masculine figurative language used in describing the human fertilization process. David Freedman’s essay, The Aggressive Egg, utilizes controversial imagery and a foreshadowing thesis in the introduction, a mild tone, and multiple external viewpoints to emphasize the author’s point that the commonly used masculine metaphor for fertilization is not the central issue, but rather, it is a microcosmic example of how distorted figurative language can slow down the rate of scientific development. First, Freedman opens his argument with a descriptive, feminine perspective on the fertilization process. His first words, “Ah, fertilization” (641), start the essay off with a simple, yet relieving tone, as if it had taken him a long time to finally talk
Yao 2 about this topic. By doing so, he sets up the scene for the imagery about to follow, making it seem dramatic and intensely important. However, Freedman suddenly throws his readers a curveball by reviewing the process that we have been taught in school for so long. His imagery of sperm paints an awkward picture in our minds by using key words and phrases such as “wastefully”, “weakly flops along”, “flailing aimlessly”, and “through sheer odds” (641), striking confusion in our minds and making us question how the fertilization process really works. Freedman’s first sign of his agreement with Emily Martin appears in this introduction, when he asks the rhetorical question, “Or would you have put it differently?” (641), and later contrasts his first image with the incorrect image,
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