You’Re a Contract Painkiller

In You Are a Contract Painkiller (1997, p. 111), author Maureen Littlejohn makes extensive use of personification to describe the functioning of Aspirin in our body, its various properties to fight pain, and its evolution over the years. Littlejohn describes how Aspirin claimed celebrity status as one of the world’s most popular, inexpensive painkillers by relieving headaches, sprains, blows, burns, swelling and fever. Furthermore, she added that Aspirin could also be used to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
The author supports the main idea by describing how the aspirin when taken with a modest stream of water or ginger ale, passed to the stomach through the esophagus and undergoes a series of chain reactions to disable the enzyme that converts the acid in cell membranes into prostaglandins (responsible for the pain). In a similar fashion it also helps bring fever down. Moreover, the author gives a brief history about the evolution of the modern day Aspirin from almost a thousand years ago when Hippocrates first discovered the property of willow leaves to help relieve pain.
The author concludes the essay by highlighting the useful properties of Aspirin and the various ailments it provides relief from. “You have achieved renown by destroying headaches but you are equally effective in countering sprains, burns, or blows. ” (You Are a Contract Painkiller, 1997, p. 112). According to me, this sentence sets the tone for the entire essay. It describes the purpose of using Aspirin and the different ailments that it provides relief from. It basically highlights why and about what the essay is written.

It furthermore, sets the stage to write details about the composition and mechanism of Aspirin and also the various ways by which it has meliorated our lives by relieving pain. It puts the entire essay in perspective. “In the 1800s, two Italian chemists confirmed that willow bark contains one of your main ingredients, the antipyretic (fever-reducing) salicin. A Swiss pharmacist then found that meadowsweet, a shrub in the spirea family, has ever more of the magic substance than willow bark.
In 1893, Felix Hoffmann at the Bayer AG Chemical Works in Germany purified and stabilized you, and that’s when your first claimed celebrity status as one of the world’s most popular, inexpensive pain relievers. ” (You Are a Contract Painkiller, 1997, p. 111). The reason I chose this quote is because, it provides a lot of credibility to the essay, by describing how the Aspirin has evolved and also, it gives a perfect example why Aspirin has become so popular all over the world. By describing its formation and development, it gives an overview about what makes Aspirin what it is today.
The main idea of this essay revolves around the painkiller called Aspirin. The purpose of this essay is to describe the remarkable properties of Aspirin, to help relieve from different types of pain, and how Aspirin has formed and the mechanism by which it provides instant relief from the pain. This essay is written for a general audience, to educate them about the useful benefits of aspirin followed by providing detailed information about how an aspirin works to provide relief.
This would help people to better understand the pros and cons of aspirin and erase any misconceptions. I really like the way how Littlejohn has written the essay. By using personification method, she has depicted the various aspects of Aspirin in an interesting way rather than just quoting some scientific facts about it. By this, it has really help understand the overall functioning and mechanism of an aspirin in an uncomplicated way.

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