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Leonid Fridman's Analysis of Anti-intellectualism in America's Society

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Words: 897 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

Words: 897|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Dec 16, 2021

In today’s society being educated or knowledgeable is often criticized, this action induces intelligent people to be humiliated about their special gift. Many of us have seen books, tv-series, or movies that has shown a wise kid being terrorized for his/her brilliance, while athletes and pretty girls are praised for being popular. These dramas have displayed the unfavorable viewpoint of being gifted. Even though, there are numerous people who consider bashing wise people being unacceptable, a bare minimum of people has spoken out. However, author and editor (Leonid Fridman), has a sustainably amount of information to express. Leonid Fridman, in his essay, illustrates society needs to completely terminate the anti- intellectualism that occurs in America. Fridman’s critical essay utilizes mode of comparison, antithesis, mode of definition, and colloquialism to emphasize how society sees education in a negative aspect.

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In the second paragraph, Fridman applies mode of definition, while displaying his thoughts towards the negative connotation of the word “geek”. “A geek, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary, is a street performer who shocks the public by biting off heads of live chickens” (2). The author implies that society has changed a practical word, by morphing it into something unfavorable. The rationale for the usage of mode of definition was to acknowledge that humanity denounces intellectuals and associates them with the “mentally challenged”. This rhetorical mode helped the author achieve their purpose by addressing that Americans changed the word “geek” just to harass their smarter counterparts. The author chose this rhetorical mode for the audience, so the audience can outline the sacrilegious behavior that society uses when it comes to one’s education. By the same token, the author provides the audience with a well-known dictionary source “Webster’s New World Dictionary”, this allows the audience to indicate even credible dictionaries define clever human beings poorly. In addition, to mode of definition being used in the second paragraph, colloquialism was used in this paragraph as well. The author writes, “freak biting the head off a live chicken” (2). The significance of this quote was to criticize Americans about turning the word “geek” into negative content, all while bullying intelligent human beings. Colloquialism strengthened the writer’s essay by informally comparing an intelligent person to a freak who bites chicken heads off. Fridman chose this rhetorical device for the audience to sustain the negative content of “geek”. In brief, Fridman uses mode of definition and colloquialism to highlight the disturbing correlation between intellectuals and “freaks”.

As the text progresses, Leonid Fridman uses antithesis to distinguish the different treatments that one may receive based off their social status. “Nerds are ostracized while athletes are idolized” (3). The function of antithesis was to contradict that “nerds” and “geeks” are oppressed, while athletes are glorified due to their popularity and skills. This is unfair treatment considering the fact that both parties work extremely hard in order to complete their goals rather it is winning a game or making an awesome grade on their essay. So why should academics be deemed as peculiar, while athleticism is deemed as sensational? This is a question that society needs to start asking themselves before judging someone, due to their academic success. Antithesis improved Fridman’s writing by, contrasting “jocks” and “nerds” to showcase that both sides are treated differently, because of athleticism. Antithesis connects with the readers by putting emphasis on the idea of nerds being treated badly. To end things off, the essayist used antithesis to compare the different treatments that sports players and gifted people receive, even though they both work hard doing the things they enjoy.

Another rhetorical device that Fridman used to help develop his argument is mode of comparison, this strategy was used constantly throughout the entire essay. As the author completes his essay, he starts to compare America to other countries across the world. “In many parts of the world, university professorships… materially rewarding positions… but not in America where average professional ball players are much more respected…” (7). Fridman uses mode of comparison to specify the countries around the world that appreciates their wise students at their universities, however U.S universities praise their ballplayers instead, of their academic scholars. Apart from this, he uses mode of comparison to make U.S citizens realize that we can come together as a country and appreciate our brilliant citizens as well. This rhetorical strategy enhanced Fridman’s essay by contradicting America and other countries to propose the idea, America needs to start appreciating its nerds. Additionally, this strategy helped the audience by increasing their understanding of how the U.S treats their academic scholars. Overall, Fridman uses mode of comparison to compare the United States and other high intellectual countries to demonstrate the way nerds should be welcomed.

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In the long run, Leonid Fridman’s critical essay used mode of comparison, antithesis, mode of definition, and colloquialism to point out the anti- intellectualism in America’s society. Mode of definition was added to analyze America’s pessimistic viewpoint on the word “geek”. Not to mention, the colloquialism that was used to reveal unpleasant correlation between geeks and absolute weirdos. The use of antithesis helped contradict that smart children are harassed for being mentally gifted, at the same time athletes are basically worshiped. Lastly, mode of comparison was used in order to showcase American citizens the proper way to appreciate brilliant people. All in all, America needs its nerds, without them the U.S would not prosper.  

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Leonid Fridman’s Analysis Of Anti-intellectualism In America’s Society. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/leonid-fridmans-analysis-of-anti-intellectualism-in-americas-society/
“Leonid Fridman’s Analysis Of Anti-intellectualism In America’s Society.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/leonid-fridmans-analysis-of-anti-intellectualism-in-americas-society/
Leonid Fridman’s Analysis Of Anti-intellectualism In America’s Society. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/leonid-fridmans-analysis-of-anti-intellectualism-in-americas-society/> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
Leonid Fridman’s Analysis Of Anti-intellectualism In America’s Society [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Dec 16 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/leonid-fridmans-analysis-of-anti-intellectualism-in-americas-society/
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