Malcolm Gladwell (2)

Malcolm Gladwell (2) - Patel 1 Sunny Patel November 3 2010...

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Patel 1 Sunny Patel November 3, 2010 Expository Writing 101 Past vs. Present Humans are the most complex beings which inhabit the world. People posses the capability of learning rapidly through prior experience. During present situations people refer to their past memories to help decide the proper course of action. Therefore, today’s societal knowledge of the past is necessary to function in the present. This is evident in the essays by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Power of Context”, Steven Johnson, “The Myth of the Ant Queen”, and Susan Faludi, “The Naked Citadel”. Gladwell, Johnson and Faludi support each other’s conclusions of how the past is necessary to function in the present. By believing the physical environment influences decisions of an individual or group from past to present. Furthermore, Johnson and Faludi’s discussion of the interactions between classes shows how the past has influenced the present. Lastly Gladwell, Johnson and Faludi believe that information from the past in necessary to understand the present. Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Power of Context”, believes that the relationship between the past and present is directly influenced by the physical environment. In his essay, Gladwell describes the crime that infested New York City in the 1980’s and how the violence and filthiness of the environment can drastically influence criminal behavior. We can go back to Gladwell’s discussion on Bernie Goetz to prove this. Goetz committed murder as a result of his environment. Gladwell states, “Worrying about graffiti at a time when the entire system was close to collapse seems as
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Patel 2 pointless as scrubbing the decks of the Titanic as it headed toward the icebergs. But Gunn insisted, the graffiti was symbolic of the collapse of the system.” (Gladwell 238) Gladwell goes on to show how Bernie Goetz’s environment played an enormous part in the murder. When Goetz committed the homicides, his environment vastly impacted him. The graffiti, urine and the cramped train all came into factor when he committed the shooting, proving the past influenced the shooting. The environment of New York City and Citadel’s environment have the same effect. Faludi describes the Citadel as, “The campus has a dreamy, flattened quality, with its primary colors, checkboard courtyards,
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Malcolm Gladwell (2) - Patel 1 Sunny Patel November 3 2010...

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