Friday, April 17, 2009

"Malaria: Stopping a Global Killer"

Michael Finkel's essay is well-written on a number of levels, but one of the essay's stronger points is his use of description.

For example, his line "Then she plunges her stiletto mouthparts into the skin" is an effective metaphor that compares the mosquito's mouth to a stiletto, which is a long, thin knife. In this way, Finkel describes a mosquito (which we usually consider an annoying nuisance at most) in a way that makes it sound like a stealthy assassin we should all fear.

Find one desciption you find effective, and explain why it works so well.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heather Walker

"They come on foot. Some walk for days. They follow trails across borders, into rivers, through brushwood. When they reach the hospital, each child's name is printed on a card and filed in a worn wooden box at the nurses' station."

I think this passage sets a direct tone of the affectsof Malaria. It gives the reader a visual image of how serious this crises truly is. The reader is able to imagine him or herself or even a child in that particular position giving it meaning to the heart for the reader.

Anonymous said...

Leo Contreras 110.10

"In a single feeding, which lasts as long as ten minutes, she can ingest about two and half times her pre-meal weight-in human terms, the equivalent of dowing a bathtub-size of milkshake" (Pg 108)

Finkel makes a great simile by comparing what Anopheles can drink by putting it in perspective the amount it would be for humans. The reason i found it effective is because he compares it to full size bath-tub. No human can possibly drink a bath tub size of milkshake, so its a very effective simile.

Anonymous said...

Ana Sofia Pottella Perez

"In the meantime, several distinctly unprosperous regions have reached the brink of total malarial collapse, virtually ruled by swarms of buzzing, flying syringes."

In the previous excerpt, Finkel implements visual and auditory images along with personification and a metaphor to describe the mosquitoes that carry the pathogen. Reminding his readers about the commanding force of malaria, he effectively depicts the deleterious conditions in which the countries affected by the disease live.

Anonymous said...

Maria Juarez

"Florence, Elijah, Ashili. They come through the heat and the rain and the death dark of the cloudy night. Purity, Watson, Miniva. Some, unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure."

This passage effectively depicts a great image of how this poor little kids suffer from the horrible disease. The reader can see the live descriptions of how the kids are going through the "heat, and the rain and the death dark of the cloudy night." The author used an effective metaphor of the "death dark of the cloudy night" that makes the reader understand his point even better. The reader can also see the image of kids that are "unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure."

Anonymous said...

Maria Juarez

"Florence, Elijah, Ashili. They come through the heat and the rain and the death dark of the cloudy night. Purity, Watson, Miniva. Some, unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure."

This passage effectively depicts a great image of how this poor little kids suffer from the horrible disease. The reader can see the live descriptions of how the kids are going through the "heat, and the rain and the death dark of the cloudy night." The author used an effective metaphor of the "death dark of the cloudy night" that makes the reader understand his point even better. The reader can also see the image of kids that are "unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure."

Anonymous said...

Irene Coutinho


“In its ability to adapt and survive,” says Robert Gwadz, who has studied malaria at the National Institutes of Health, near Washington, D.C., for almost thirty-five years“, the malaria parasite is a genius. It’s smarter than we are.” (Page 98)

The mosquito, a tiny, flying insect, of absolute no importance is considered a genius. In fact, Robert Gwadz thinks it is smarter than any person on earth. The statement is a paradox because the word genius reminds us of great men like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, etc.; men of extraordinary intellect, talent and creative power who through their works benefited mankind; whereas the mosquito with its deadly power, has killed millions of people for thousands of years and continues each year to kill over a million people, most of them young children in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Midhat Farooq
04/18/09

"The parasites can even commandeer blood cells to help aid their survival." (p. 97)

Finkel uses personification in this sentence to give the parasites human characteristics. This makes malaria seem alive, which helps the readers think of it as a bigger problem. Also, Finkel uses the word "commandeer" which is a term usually used in warfare. Finkel uses such a word to make malaria seem like the enemy so the readers can start fighting against it.

Anonymous said...

Vanna San 110.9

"They come through the heat and the rain and the dead dark of the cloudy night. Purity, watson, Miniva. Some unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure. Nelson, Japhious, Kukena. A few families with bicycles, chinese-made one-speeds, the father at the pedals, the mother on the seat, the child propped between. Delifia, Fideli, Sylvester. They filled up the courtyart. Methyline, Milton, Christine. They pour out of the bush, exhausted and dirty and panicked. They come to the hospital. And the battle for survival begins."

This passage is vividly depicts the desperation and alarming threat that Malaria causes to all these people who come to the hospital. The author provides us pathos, the emotion that really connect us to the story. I know I feel sad, and I can even picture that this passage in my head, a gruesome picture it is. I feel really attach to this passage because it also depicts me in it; I was one year old when I got Malaria twice in months, and I almost would not survive if not because of my aunt's donated blood.

Anonymous said...

Brenda Castro

"The alarm has sounded, but the thieves are already under the bed: the parasites swiftly invade a new set of blood cells, and the sequence of reproduction and release continues."(Pg 97)

This is a very effective personification that compares these infectious mosquitos with thieves because that's exactly what they are doing to their victims. They grow and feed themselves mainly on poor children who don't even know what is happening to them. This example makes the reader connect with the authors message creating an emotional appeal. The author not only pursuades us to acknowledge that Maleria is a very serious problem, but also creates a fearful need for saftey and security from it.

Anonymous said...

Jared Taylor

"A mosquito's proboscis appears spike-solid, but it's actually a sheath of separate tools=cutting blades and a feeding tube power by two tiny pumps. She drills through the epidermis, then through a thin layer of fat, then into the network of blood-filled microcapillaries. She starts to drink" (page 93)

This passage shows the female mosquito to be a cold, methodical killer with common tools used all the time. The passage shows the mosquito to be an expert at her job, knowing exactly what to do to get what she wants.

Anonymous said...

Lanie Greer

"Fifty thousand of them could swim in a pool the size of the period at the end of this sentence."

This sentence really shows the reader how tiny these "wormlike creatures" really are. And just one of these parasites can kill a child in a week or less. It is hard to believe that something that small could possibly be that powerful and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Chris W

"They come through the heat and the rain and the dead dark of the cloudy night. Purity, watson, Miniva. Some unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure. Nelson, Japhious, Kukena. A few families with bicycles, chinese-made one-speeds, the father at the pedals, the mother on the seat, the child propped between."

This exaple gives great description and paints a perfect picture of how malaria is feared.It gives a reader a great description and grabs you emotionally because Finkel's writing makes you feel like your there actually there.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Espinoza 110.10

"A mosquito's proboscis appears spike solid, but it's actually a sheath of seperate tools --cutting blades and a feeding tube powered by tow tiny pumps."

I think this is a great use of a metaphor since it says that her feeding tube works like a pump.

Anonymous said...

Rylee Fidler

"It's easy to list every vaccine that can prevent a parasite disease in humans. There are none."

To me this just shows the reality of the situation. That this is a deadly disease that you can get, and theres nothing that you can do to prevent yourself from getting it. It's not like HIV/AIDS, this is a parasite in your blood and there's nearly nothing you can do to protect yourself.

Anonymous said...

Denise Gonzalez


"Now the internal temperature begins to rise as the body attempts to cook away the invaders" "The body is practically boiling itself to death-anything to halt the attack-but to no avail" (PG.97)


I believe Finkel demonstrates great simile description by comparing the body temperature rising to cooking away the invaders. He explains how the body is trying at a great extent to rise the internal temperature to halt the attack, but no advantage comes forth.

Anonymous said...

manuel moreno 110.10

"the cells explode. A riot of parasites is set loose in the bloodstream. Within 30 seconds, though, the parasites have again entered the safe houses of cells- this time, each has drilled into a red blood cell flowing through the circulatory system."

In this passage, Finkel talks about how the parasites get into the blood cells very quick and make their way around the circulatory system. Finkel is trying to say that these parasites travel quickly and can do a lot of damage to a person.

Tesiah said...

Tesiah Carrillo

"Its only in those few rooms whose locks have been picked by falciparum where all is pandemonium. "

I think Finkel used this passage to show how unnoticed Malaria can get. It displays the fact that Malaria just overtakes your body before the vicim has time to reacte. It gives the image that the rooms are cells are involuntarily ovetaken causing chaos (death/sickness) to occur

Danielle Socorro said...

Danielle Socorro
"The alarm has sounded, but the theives are already under the bed: the parasites swiftly invade a new set of blood cells, and the sequence of reproduction and release continues."

This is an example of an effective description because it describes what the parasites are doing.

Anonymous said...

Jose Ruesga

"They come through the heat and the rain and the dead dark of the cloudy night. Purity, watson, Miniva. Some unconscious, some screaming, some locked in seizure. Nelson, Japhious, Kukena. A few families with bicycles, chinese-made one-speeds, the father at the pedals, the mother on the seat, the child propped between. Delifia, Fideli, Sylvester. They filled up the courtyart. Methyline, Milton, Christine. They pour out of the bush, exhausted and dirty and panicked. They come to the hospital. And the battle for survival begins."

i think this discription show us the power of malaria. Connecting us with the adrenaline rush of a loving father and mother trying to hold on to there love one, paddling with all his might. It is a scarey to even imagen it. As the reader you feel a since of sadness and painful stop to your heart, as if you were suffocating. Even now after reading this story i think to myself how many children die from malaria giving me a sickfull feeling and tear to my eye.

Anonymous said...

Jomarie Apas

" Now the internal temperature begins to rise as the body attempts to cook away the invaders. Shivering sets in--muscle vibrations generate warmth. "

Finkel does an effective job of describing the conditions of the body being attack by the parasite. WIth every description he gives is in a very detailed structure. Especially "as the body attempts to cook away the invaders". It gives us the reader a vivid image of the condition.

Anonymous said...

Randy Davenport
"In a single feeding, which lasts as long as ten minutes, she can ingest about two and half times her pre-meal weight-in human terms, the equivalent of dowing a bathtub-size of milkshake"

Finkel description of Anopheles diet amazes me. It clearly shows that they can eat a large amount at one time. The part where he compares Anopheles to humans is the most effective part.

KMarquez. said...

"Fifty thousand of them could swim in a pool the size of the period at the end of this sentence."


Finkel provides a visual descriptive sentence. This sentence makes the reader think and picture how these parasites look. It is shocking how just one small parasite is so powerful it can kill a child in a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Justin Dial

"The alarm has sounded, but the thieves are already uder the bed: the parasites swiftly invade a new set of blood cells, and the sewuence of reproduction and release continues."f

This passage in the essay describes what the mosquitos do once they get ahold of their prey. The host on the victims blood and there is not one thing the host can do about it. The author describes the mosquitos as being thieves and taking something that is not theirs. It also states that once you notice that the mosquito has done something, it is too late. The process of malaria has already begun.

Anonymous said...

Alfredo Moreno

"They pour out of the bush,exhausted and dirty and panicked. they come to the hospital. and the battle begins."

I think Micheal Finkel is very discriptive in this sentence for the same reason that he makes it sound as if its terrifying and also gives very clear dicription on how they are coming as fast as they can.

Anonymous said...

Kayla Casimiro

"The cells explode. A riot of parasites is set loose in the bloodstream. WIthin 30 seconds, though, the parasites have again entered the safe houses of cells-this time, each has drilled into a red blood cell flowing through the circulatory system. Over the next two days, the parasites continue to devour and proliferate stealthily...and once more there is bedlam."

In this excerpt Michael Finkel establishes the parasites of malaria to be personified as being of an invading army "proliferate steathily" in their goal of destroying all the cells in the body. Finkel makes a clear description of the dangerous and scary reality that the disease of malaria not only is threatening but also dangerous to the human race because of its ferocity and frequent cause throughout the world.

Anonymous said...

Erika Gutierrez

"In 1962 Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, documenting this abuse and painting the damning a picture that the chemical was eventually outlawed by most of the world for agricultural use."

This passage reminded me of a metaphor when he referred to Carson's book to painting a picutre. It is clear that the book can not paint a picture, but the figurative description lets us know that with her book published many were able to see the effects DDT had when it wasn't used properly.

Anonymous said...

Vanessa Cruz

After arriving in South America, the quinine hunters endured a brutal trek through the snow-choked passes of the andes and down into the cloud forest where the elusive tree grew.

I like how this passage uses personification to describe the space between andes and how the hunters have a hard time going through the andes with bruta trek.

Anonymous said...

"The story of malaria is currently being written - by the hands, in ball point pen - by the staff of Zambia's Kalene Mission Hospital."


This passage made me realize that Malaria is still something people are infected with. This sentence really sets a tone for the reader to realize that there is nothing more to do to patients since there is no cure for it. The doctors are still in search for the cure, thus "the story of malaria is still being written".

Anonymous said...

the comment above is from Natalia A. Ornelas

lizsouthwood said...

"It's only in those few rooms whose locks have been picked by falciparum where all is pandemonium."

The mosquitos didn't pick locks, nor do these locks really exist. The writer wants to illustrate that the white blood cells finally stop resisting the infection and gave-in to the invador, like a lock that has been picked. When the falciparum takes effect it is unstoppable, irreverseable, and chaotic.

Anonymous said...

Rubi Ocampo
"It begins with a bite, a painless bite. The mosquito comes in the night, alights on an exposed patch of flesh, and assumes the hunched, head-lowered posture of a sprinter in the starting blocks. then she plunges her stiletto mouthparts into the skin........"

This is the beginning paragraph and it is describing how a malaria starts to take action. I thought it worked really well because it was very detailed giving us a visual image of what was going on. It describes how a mosquito bite causes malaria.

Anonymous said...

carolina castro

"the alarm has sounded,but the thieve are already under the bed."
finkel use's this statement as a metaphor comparing," the alarm has sounded" to the immune system being triggered by invaders. also comparing "but the invader are already under the bed" to the disease going to hide in red blood cells.

think finkel did an excellent job with the alarm sounding the invaders hiding

Anonymous said...

carolina castro

"the alarm has sounded,but the thieves are already under the bed."
finkel use's this statement as a metaphor comparing," the alarm has sounded" to the immune system being triggered by invaders. also comparing "but the invader are already under the bed" to the disease going to hide in red blood cells.

think finkel did an excellent job with the alarm sounding the invaders hiding

Anonymous said...

carolina castro

"the alarm has sounded,but the thieve are already under the bed."
finkel use's this statement as a metaphor comparing," the alarm has sounded" to the immune system being triggered by invaders. also comparing "but the invader are already under the bed" to the disease going to hide in red blood cells.

i think finkel did an excellent job with the alarm sounding the invaders runing to hide.

Anonymous said...

Joana Esquivel

"There are even Boy Scout merit badges for knowledge about malaria."

I picked this passage because it had a good point. Children are being educated about Malaria. I feel that it is good for children know about all the diseases that there is.

Anonymous said...

veronica l

"Fifty thousand of them could swim in a pool the size of the period at the end of this sentence."

I think that it is insane that these little creaters can cause so much harm to thousands of people through out the years. we can till that they are tiny because of how many can fit into a pool its crazy that something so small hurts and kills thousands of people

Anonymous said...

Sylvia Ahumada

"These are the one-celled malaria parasites known as plasmodia. Fifty thousand of them could swim in a pool the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Typically, a couple of dozen slip into the bloodstream. But it just takes one. A single plasmodium is enough to kill a person."(Pg. 93)

I think this passage works effectively well on letting us know how dangerous it is to have malaria, but also on letting us know how easy it is to contract it. I think it is mainly effective when it mentions that it just takes one plasmodium and that, that is enough to kill a person.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Portillo

"In a single feeding ,which lasts as long as ten minutes, she can ingest about two and a half times her pre-mealweight- in human terms, the equivalent of downning a bathtub-size milk shake"

Mosquitoes eat more than a human they eat as twice or more than humans they eat up to the amount of a bathtub for the whole they because they only last for as long as ten minutes.

Anonymous said...

Allison Hunsaker

"Fifty thousand of them could swim in a pool the size of the period at the end of this sentence."

I think it is crazy for creatures this small can infect such a huge society. We know they are tiny when thousands of them can fit into a period. I just dont understand why something so small can kill thousands of people...

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