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Louis A. Wright

Ms. Yeaton

Pre-AP English 10 H

8 February 2018

Columnist Analysis and Response Entry: Frank Bruni (Article #1)


Bruni, Frank. “Larry Nassar Is a Familiar Monster.” The New York Times, 27 Jan. 2018,



Part 1: Article Analysis


Frank Bruni gives a detailed explanation and strong insight into how it is inaccurate to say that

there is no other monster like Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University

doctor who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after over 150 women and girls accused of

him sexually abusing them over the course of the last two decades. He believes Larry Nassar is a

monster, just not the first to be seen by society, and he won’t be the last either. He explains how

this has happened before, like when it happened with Penn State assistant football coach Jerry

Sandusky, where he managed to “work his way through boy after boy across year after year.”

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Bruni utilizes a crystal clear tone as he describes that it is very obvious that Nassar is not the first

of his kind, while also including sarcasm towards the fact that people think he is the first to have

sexually harassed and assaulted kids and women.


Bruni provides the history of Larry Nassar’s acts of sexual harassment/assault towards young

women, but it would assist the reader to know about the inappropriate acts of former assistant

football coach of Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, along with any of the hundreds of incidents where

priests of the Roman Catholic Church have been accused of sexual harassment and assault,

claiming that it is “apart of their confession.” As Bruni faces this subject due to the fact that it is

breaking news that has hurt and surprised many, he explains past incidents to the reader that

make the topic easier to comprehend and understand.


Bruni utilizes ethos (as in ethics and morals) and pathos (as in emotions) when he explains how

socially incorrect it is for people like Nassar and Sandusky to receive positions that involve

having to assist and help young boys and girls throughout the hardest moments of their life, just

so they can try to manipulate them for their wicked sexual needs and for their own gratification.

He also utilizes it when he explains how children look up to people that were in Sandusky’s and

Nassar’s line of work, and how it is incredibly wrong that monsters like them can be the ones

that children love the most and need to look up to.

Strategies and Devices:

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Bruni utilizes parallel structure and syntax when he shows the similarity between Nassar and

Sandusky, and Nassar and Roman Catholic priests as he intends to prove that Nassar is not the

first monster of his kind, and that he is rather just another to be caught.


The article follows a “call and response” structure as Bruni would start an argument that

describes why Nassar is not the first of his kind, and then rewind to a previous case or situation

where a trusted role model for children would take advantage of them.

Diction/Word Choice:

This article could be understood by middle schoolers that are familiar with the subject as it

contains words like “aduaciously, guise, banal, prevalent, etc.” yet the theme/message that is

delivered is very understandable and straightforward. The words are used to describe the

emotions and severity of the events and incidents that took place.

Part 2: Personal Response:

Bruni’s main claim is that Larry Nassar is not a new kind of monster, he is just another replica of

monsters that have been exposed to society as evil and ugly and disgusting, and that more

monsters will continue to appear. He opens his column by stating that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina,

the woman that sentenced Nassar, is incorrect for describing Nassar as a monster we rarely see as

his hellish acts are seen from time-to-time. He closes by stating that Nassar isn’t the first to do

what he has done, and he won’t be the last either. The author announces the thesis within the first

two sentences of the article. Bruni aimed this article at people who believe that Nassar is

“unique,” in the sense that no one has ever done what he has done, which he believes is false.

The article itself is very factual, yet it also contains some observation on Bruni’s behalf as he
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explains how it is simple to see that Nassar is not “unique” and that other people have been

incarcerated and criticized for their actions involving harassing children. Some questions that I

personally have are how often do the people in these type of job positions (doctor, coach, priest,

etc.) take advantage of their patients or people they assist and what percentage of their victims

will actually admit to being sexually harassed/assaulted? Personally, I agree with the author’s

claim as similar cases have taken place before over the years, which makes Nassar not the first to

do something like this, but rather another monster that decided to partake and take advantage of

their social position. The article has reinforced my personal opinion on how even the people we

need to trust the most and require the most help from can simply hurt others with no thought of

how they are hurting someone who looks up to them, due to their social position and the amount

of responsibility for others that comes with it.