Student Essay Summaries
Research Based on the Emperor of All Maladies
English 120—Michelle Barbeau
Nesam Alrammahi on Breast Cancer: This paper is based
on the chapters in The Emperor of All Maladies that center on
the advertising tactics for childhood leukemia that were
developed by Mary Lasker and Sidney Farber. The student
explains how these same strategies are used today with the
pink ribbon campaign and Susan G. Komen efforts. She
covers the history and meaning behind the ribbon and reveals
how some corporations have exploited the cause to achieve
personal interests. She discusses “pinkwashing” and the
counter campaign called “Think Before You Pink.”
Chris Hoover on Cigarette Advertising: This paper expands
upon the chapters in The Emperor of All Maladies about the
rhetoric of cigarette advertising and discovery of the
relationship between smoking and lung cancer in the 1960s.
This student analyzes the imagery and slogans tobacco
companies use in popular culture today, particularly the
images linking masculinity and smoking in advertising. In
addition, he uncovers how soldiers were exploited during
World War I by presenting cigarettes as a remedy for the stress
of war. He suggests that regulations similar to America’s are
needed in developing countries where the cigarette-smoking
populations are growing.
Denene Duby on Military Recruitment: This student presents
her research about the rhetoric of U.S. military recruitment.
She compares these tactics to the marketing of childhood
leukemia that Mukherjee outlines in his book, particularly the
use of the iconic face of Jimmy. She outlines the common
faces and motifs seen throughout military recruitment ads and
even includes interviews with military personnel who comment
on their own reactions to these recruitment strategies.