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The piece “The Electronic Revolution Part 1” by William Burroughs began very interestingly and caused me to think a lot about whether the written or spoken word came first. This piece of writing really strengthened the side which argues that the written word came first. Burroughs’ attempt to prove his claim that the written word came first by using both religious and scientific method was particularly interesting to me because usually these two methods are at odds with each other. One of the great divides in today’s society lies between religion and science, which is why many heated debates of our time consist of a side supported by religious background and a side supported scientifically. Burroughs bridges the gap between the two in this article by supporting the claim that written word came before spoken word using evidence from both sides of the spectrum. Support of Burroughs claim through religion can be seen in the beginning of the text where he uses a quote from the bible in order to establish the argument he is making in this work of fiction. He also uses an example relating to Adam and Eve later on in the text. Burroughs, almost immediately after religious support, then calls upon scientific evidence to back up his argument as he claims that the ability to speak is actually brought upon the human being by a virus meaning that human beings might not have even been intended to speak; the ability to speak could come to animals as well if they contracted the virus, leaving the ability to write words as the separation between man and animal. The strategy of incorporating both ends of the spectrum of debate into Burroughs’ argument seems to me a brilliant move on his part and makes for a convincing argument that gets the readers thinking about which came first: written word or spoken word.

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