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Why Do Women Have Smaller Brains Than Men

1. The quotes from George Eliot’s novel argues that women can be talented and contradicts from Broca’s argument which is “Women, like it or not, had smaller brains than men and, therefore, could not equal them in intelligence” (519). In paragraph 5, Gould refers to Eliot because Gould’s article is focused on Eliot’s article and conflicts with Broca’s statistics that “prove” women’s smaller brains made them inferior to men.

2. The vulnerability in Braca’s argument is that although his numbers are sound, the numbers by themselves mean nothing (518). Scientists can easily manipulate the numbers in their own favor despite the fact that they “measured with the most scrupulous care and accuracy” (518). By praising Broca’s argument, the author hints Broca took his work very seriously, which strengthens his argument because Gould understands Broca’s viewpoint, but later in the article, the author proves him wrong because the victims were inconsistent in age, health, and weight.

3. In paragraph 9, Gould questions the scientific method because he explains that brain weight decreases with age and “Broca’s women were, on average, considerably older than his men (520). Also, many factors, such as, disease, weight, and height, all affect the brain mass. Gould disproves Broca’s scientific method because each body examined were different. “The true figure is probably close to zero and may as well favor women as men” (521).

4. Each individual Gould cites shows both sides of the argument. Broca, Manouvrier, and Le Bon all argued that women were inferior due to their small brain mass. Women, on the other hand, argues that they are “intellectually superior.” Gould could not have eliminated any of the individual quotes because doing so would ruin the balance between pro and con, which is necessary for the readers to recognize both sides to the argument.

5. The footnote adds to Gould’s credibility because the extra information reveals that Le Bon was a leading scientists even though he strongly believed that women had brains similar to gorillas (520). Gould’s article questions the validity of the scientists because even though Le Bon is important in the scientist field, he was convinced that smart women were as rare as two headed gorillas (520).

6. Paragraphs 9-12 is essential because they prove that Broca’s research is not valid. The victims were too different in terms of weight, age, and terms of death. The paragraphs develop their point by explaining the factors that can affect brain size. For example, brain decreases in size with age, and most of the women studied were older than the men (520). Disease can also deteriorate the mind, and Broca’s subjects were very elderly women, showing that “lengthy degenerative disease was more common among them than among men” (521). In short, this section proves there is no “confident claim that men have bigger brains than women” (521).

7. Gould elaborates on Broca and his colleague to show both sides in the argument, which can prevent bias and improves his credibility. In the beginning, Gould explains that Broca carefully measured brain sizes and concluded that men were superior due to their larger brain size. His other colleagues also strongly believed this false fact. Later, Gould would disprove their scientific evidence because numbers can do nothing by themselves. Instead, scientists can use numbers to strengthen their own argument, even if the numbers are incorrect. By developing Broca’s point, the author can show the readers both sides of the argument first before explaining why the scientific method was not valid.

8. Questioning Maria Montessori’s research and conclusions is an effective strategy because there is no superior gender. Both sides will argue in their own favor, using evidence to boost their validity. By questioning the men’s point and the women’s point, Gould would not look bias. 9. In the final two paragraphs, Gould brings together his arguments by saying that data can be faulty or can be misinterpreted, but people should not put “biological value” upon groups because it is “irrelevant and highly injurious.”

10. Gould appeals to pathos by including quotes form male scientists who think owmen are inferior. Le Bon, a leading scientists in the 1800s said, “women…they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult civilized man” (520). This comment can cause the readers to feel angry or offended because of Le Bon’s narrow-mindedness. The quotes can also support Gould’s argument because they support that the scientists in the 1800s believed that women were inferior and thus they interpreted the brain data to their own advantage in order to “prove” that men were better physically and mentally.

11. The switch to first person shows the author’s voice and point of view. I think it strengthens the essay because the author is not imposing his feelings upon the readers, but rather, expressing his opinions. For example, in the conclusion the author says, “I prefer another strategy” (522). Then he continues to express his view on the imposing values upon groups of people. The first person views shows the author’s opinions in the matter.

12. I think the audience is for educated readers and scientists could be among them. The author uses very sophisticated language like “refutation,” “derivative,” and “egalitarian.” The common reader would have a hard time understanding the complicated language. Also, the author is making a point that data is nothing because it can easily be interpreted in different ways depending on the person. The claim applies to scientists who analyze data and make inferences. The author is trying to say to not use data against groups of people like the head scientists did in the 1800s.

Virginia Woolf

1. When Woolf presents herself in the introductory paragraph, she establishes herself as a poor girl who sought to writing because it was the cheapest option. Writing was an occupation with the least amount of obstacles (525). She connects with the audience because she talks about her experience in literature, about her phantoms that every girl would face, and how she is still trying to overcome them.

2. An irony is “The cheapness of writing paper is, of course, the reason why women have succeeded as writers before they have succeeded in other professions” (525). This ironic sentence hints that many women are poor. An example of parallel structure is “For the road was cut many years ago—by Fanny Burney, by Apra Behn. By Harriet Martineau, by Jane Austen, by George Eliot” (525). The parallelism makes the sentence flow smoother. In the opening paragraph, a rhetoric question I s “but what professional experiences have I had?” (525).

The question gets the audience thinking about Woolf’s struggles as a writer. A metonymy would be “No demand was made upon the family purse” (525). The family purse represents the family budget or savings. An example of understatement is “She had only to move that pen from left to right” (525). This sentence is an understatement because good writing takes more than just simply moving the pen across the paper, otherwise, everyone would become a good writer.

3. The personal anecdote in the second paragraph is used for pathos. The paragraph explains that she first became a journalist as a means to get money and bought an expensive cat instead of necessary goods like good or clothing. The personal anecdote is effect for the audience because the audience is most likely other women and they can connect to Woolf’s experiences of being poor and suffering from the phantoms that haunts everyone.

4. In paragraph 3, Woolf means that the Angel of the House was always on her mind as she wrote, haunting her. Society was influencing gender roles; women should be “pure” and “selfless.” The Angel of the House was influencing Woolf as she wrote so she tried to kill the Angel. “I turned upon her and caught her by the throat. She would have plucked the heart out of my writing” (526). The angel was shaping her writing so Woolf had to fight back. 5. By using short sentences to describe the Angel of the House, Woolf could quickly get to the point of describing the characteristics of the Angel instead of dragging it out into long sentences. The short sentences stand out against the long ones, making short words pop out on the page. The sentences make the tone sound disdain.

6. I believe the violence of her descriptions to be appropriate because it shows how desperately Woolf wanted to get the Angel out. The Angel was a phantom that haunted her mind. Woolf had to defend against the whispering of controlling and hypnotizing words. “I acted in self-defence” (526). The Angel would always come back because it is not real and Woolf would have to crush it every time because the Angel was part of being a woman writer, caused by the prejudices against women. 7. The fourth paragraph sifts form the Angel to the rest of Woolf’s story. She questions what it means to be a woman and no one truly knows what that means. “I assure you, I do not know. I do not believe that you know” (527).

8. In the fifth paragraph, Woolf uses the pronoun he because men are allowed to think and write without being condemned by society. “Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own” (526). Women are thought of inferior to men both physically and mentally and usually, men are the famous writers. Woolf even says, “My profession is literature; and in that profession there are fewer experiences for women than in any other” (525). In the past, women could not think for themselves because it is regarded as unattractive.

9. The girls sits with a pen in her hand for hours, never touching the ink pot. The image is similar to a fisher man, waiting for its prey to hook on the line. Instead, the girl sits and wait for her imagination “that lies submerged in the depth of our unconscious being” (528). The effect is that readers can feel what it is like to sit, waiting for the imagination to come, very similar to a fishing man, waiting for the fish. But when the imagination does come, it will be an explosion.

10. The end of paragraph 5 is full of euphuism because Woolf is criticizing men’s control over women. The last sentence states, “I doubt they realize or can control the extreme severity with which they condemn such freedom in women” (526). The men have control over women whether “unfitting” or not.Women writers re held back by the other sex (528). The imagination could no longer work and the trance is over. 11. Woolf embellishes this metaphor by saying that women can pay rent in order to have her own room. Although the room is owned by a man, the woman can design the room or share it with others (529). This metaphor implies that women can have the chance to decide for themselves and find their own answers. The metaphor is a small step to start getting women to think for themselves instead of depending everything on men.

12. In the third paragraph, Woolf sounds disdainful when describing the Angel as “pure and “charming,” all the qualities a woman was supposed to possess. Then, the tone shifts to anger and desperation as she tries kill the phantom, but she cannot because it is hard to kill something that is not real. “Though I flatter myself that I killed her in the end, the struggle was severe” (527). Woolf uses the word severe to describe her experience in trying to get rid of the phantom, showing her desperation to defend herself against the whisper. Then in the fifth paragraph, the tone is dreamy as Woolf describes the exploding impact of released imagination. Towards the end of the paragraph, the tone shifts towards sorrow as “Her imagination could no longer work” (528). The trance was over and women writers are held back with the criticism and prejudices of other men.

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