Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Discussion of Research
Organization and Arrangement
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Occasion: Calahan had just released her article "My Mysterious Lost Month of Madness" which was an instant gripper and so she gave her audience more.
Audience: Her target audience is first the general public, then the people who are interested in her story, and lastly the small amount of people who have possibly gone through a similar struggle.
Purpose: Cahalan's purpose for writing this memoir is to first and foremost share her story and how she pushed through the recovery and then she uses it to inspire others to never give up even through the times when you feel it is your only choice.
Subject: The subject is a research of her own personal story about her brain disease and how it affected her life.
Tone: The tone of the story is very emotional and intense in some parts but it maintains a serious underlying tone.
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Pathos: There is definitely a strong sense of pathos throughout the whole book. She uses her "month of madness" experiences not to gain pity but to give homage to medical struggle victims. The traumatic recounts of the time she spent in the hospital does have a way to pull at the readers heart strings.
Logos: The only accounts of logos that she presents are through the medical records and the interviews with the doctors. She pulls from their logic and reasonings to cite facts about her disease.
Images: She uses very descriptive details to describe the intense scene that happens. The reader can almost see the event take place. The vivid images shock the readers and grip their attention. It is definitely a turning point in the book.
Details: The place, action in that environment, and the details of her seizure are included. She does not give details at that time about what went on after she had her seizure but this allows the reader to guess what happens next and lets them hang on the edge of their seat.
Language: The language used is very descriptive which shows the seriousness of the author's tone.
Syntax: The sentences are in standard form and get the point across. There is a variety of long and short sentences. The dialogue makes the scene seem almost real.
Images: There was not a big usage of imagery in this specific excerpt. Because of the medical information given, there is not a lot of room for imagery.
Details: The author uses very descriptive medical records and statistics to take a shift to the more serious less traumatic information.
Language: She uses very big terms from the medical field to explain her condition. The mood does tend to change into a more serious and less interested feeling at times. The reader most likely wants the heavier parts not the medical information.
Syntax: The sentences are in standard form and are complex/compound complex.