The Hot Zone

It is suggested that nine out of ten people will not survive the Ebola super virus. The book The Hot Zone by Richard Preston describes events between 1967 and 1993 involving the virus and its development period in Washington D. C. Tone is a literary compound of composition, which encompasses the attitude toward the subject audience implied in a literary work. Preston creates an eerie tone by gruesome descriptions, fear factors, and a robust vocabulary in this spine-chilling true story.

Preston creates an eerie tone by using some very grisly descriptions, such as “The only sound is a choking in his throat while he vomits blood and black matter unconscious. Then comes a sound like a bed sheet being torn in half, which is the sound of his bowels opening and venting blood from his anus. The blood is mixed with intestinal lining, he has sloughed his gut” (Preston 18). In this section of the book, it is describing the very painful death of the first main character, Charles Monet.

Using descriptive writing like as Preston is doing can make the audience imagine some very horrific and disgusting scenes in their minds, adding the element of fear into play. While Preston creates some very horrific descriptions he is also creating fear factors to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. Preston adds in things such as “Johnson was handing her a tube containing a sample when he stopped and looked at her gloved hands. He pointed to her right glove. She glanced down. Her glove.

It was drenched in blood, but now she Harmon 2 saw the hole. It was a rip across the palm of outer glove on her right hand. Nancy tore off the glove. Now her main suit glove was covered in blood. It spidered down the outer sleeve of her space suit” (Preston 66). One can catch this lethal virus if they come in contact with an infected persons’ bodily fluids (blood, urine, saliva, etc. ) such as Nancy Jaax has. Come to find out later in the book she is not infected with the sickness.

Preston creates an unnerving tone by making the readers anxious during the book when half of the time there was no real reason to fear at all. Preston also creates this tone by using a robust vocabulary. Using this robust vocabulary in certain sections, for example: “If there was any animosity it came from their side, not ours, for reasons they knew better than I (Preston 259). ” The word animosity means having a strong hostility towards someone or something. Preston could have said ‘any hostility’ or ‘any hatred’ but instead he said animosity, which gives the entire sentence an utterly different sense.

It provides a stronger and stranger feel rather than the words ‘hatred’ or ‘hostility’ would or even could have given. So in conclusion, Preston creates an eerie tone in the book The Hot Zone by using gruesome narratives, adding in fear factors, and using a strong vocabulary. He makes this eerie tone with gruesome descriptions by giving the reader images of the horrible deaths and symptoms. By using “fear factors” in the book he keeps putting suspense into the readers keeping them on the edge of their seats.

Finally he adds his strong vocabulary that gives the book a different feel that any other word(s) could have. The book The Hot Zone is very much like what is happening today in West Africa.

The Ebola virus has massacred most of this part of the country and has even spread into the United States (via airlines). It shows how history can and does repeat itself, and we should learn from it to prevent a breakout of this or any other harmful virus again. Harmon 3 Works Cited Preston, Richard. The Hot Zone. New York: Random House, 1994. Print.

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