AP English 11
26 January 2012
Take Home Rhetorical Analysis: "America Needs Its Nerds"
The socially and physically inept, the outcasts, often associated with computers and books- these characteristics constitute the stereotype of the average geek. Students are afraid to reveal their identities in an environment among their peers because of the fear of being an outcast among the idolized jocks. In an excerpt from "America Needs Its Nerds" Harvard student and writer Leonid Fridman expresses his disgust for the unjust treatment of individuals who are essential to our country- the geeks. He addresses the American public with a call to action to put geeks into their deserved positions, giving them hope and motivation to express their own identities. Fridman utilizes irony when discussing how even Harvard students are being picked on, as well as the compare and contrast between America's discouraging treatment of the nerd to East Asia and China's praising of them, to represent how the fear of social rejection has forced these mistreated intellects to hide their academic capabilities.
Leonid Fridmen is disappointment with the fact that even at Harvard, one of the top Ivy League colleges, students are still picked on because of their levels of intellect. It is ironic that even at one of the top colleges in America where nerds and geeks dominate the realm of the school that "anti-intellectualism is rampant". Social standing competes with intelligence even at the most academic institution, showing America that students are "ashamed" of their intellect because of the negative stereotypes society degraded them with. Fridman also employs irony when referring to "get[ting] wasted at parties" by describing how nerds avoid damaging their brain and bodies, but are punished socially for not physically hurting themselves.
Fridman's call to action addresses the American public as...