FinalDraftGladwell - A. Patel 1 Akshay Patel Expository...

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A. Patel 1 Akshay Patel Expository Writing 1 Jason Gulya February 03, 2011 Final Draft The Environment’s Motives Individuals tend to reach for a dispositional reason to the many questions surrounding modes of behavior. But, to what extent people are individual’s responsible for their motives and who is responsible beyond the individual? Gladwell attempts to answer these questions in his argument in his essay “Power of Context”. In the Power of Context, a man named Bernie Goetz had been robbed and mugged many times. “Goetz lived a life full on many atrocities and had many occurrences of criminal behavior against him.”(241). Gladwell also states that Goetz had in possession a gun before he entered trains as a means of protection. Goetz’s past experiences of being victim of robbery, along with the horrible environment of the train, heavily influenced his actions against the four black youths. Every one of Goetz’s incidents was a direct result of his environment. He was mugged and robbed in Manhattan at a time when crime was at its highest rate. Goetz wouldn’t have been armed with a weapon if this were Disney World. He was armed, not because of prior experiences, but as a result of the trains’ being described as being dirty and containing graffiti. While every person is completely different from another because they are brought up differently, actions an individual undergoes are society’s responsibility. Gladwell’s Epidemic Theory of Crime accurately verifies Goetz’s actions. The theory is based on the idea that “crime is contagious” and “the impetus to engage in a certain kind of behavior is not coming from a certain kind of person but from a feature of the environment”(238). Goetz succumbed to the violence and criminal acts around him making him a criminal himself. In this conflict, Goetz pulled out his gun and started shooting only after James Ramseur “gestured toward a suspicious-looking bulge in his pocket”, which Goetz
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A. Patel 2 assumed to be a weapon (234). Goetz was put in an environment where it was either kill or be killed. Goetz didn’t commit a murder, the environment he was in fired these bullets. Why would Goetz even put himself in this situation? He didn’t have to be on a train full of graffiti with those four young black men under the influence of drugs. This was his lifestyle; the environment chose the way a day in his life would go. The setting was New York City with an extremely large population with high crime rates. The situation Goetz went through would’ve never taken place
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2011 for the course ENGISH 101 taught by Professor Jasongulya during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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FinalDraftGladwell - A. Patel 1 Akshay Patel Expository...

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