Expos5 - Amin 1 Parth Amin Expository Writing 101 The Vital...

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Amin Parth Amin October 19, 2008 Expository Writing 101 The Vital Role of Imagination A few decades ago, the crime level in New York City rapidly rose. To help decline the level of crime in New York City, city officials put the Broken Windows theory into effect. The Broken Windows theory describes how individuals react to the environment. For example, if there is already graffiti on a building the tendency that more graffiti will be added to the building is greater. Although this is accurate for certain crimes, other crimes are pure psychological. In the article “The Power of Context” Malcolm Gladwell writes about how the Power of Context and the Broken Windows theory were effective ways in decreasing crime. Gladwell’s theories suggest that the environment significantly influences how human beings behave. Although this holds true for some individuals, other individuals have additional factors that must be incorporated in order for the crime to occur. In the article “The Mind’s Eye”, Oliver Sacks introduces the idea that various blind people respond to being sightless in diverse ways. Imagination plays a vital role in how people respond to life. This theory relates to Gladwell’s theories through a man named Bernie Goetz. Bernie Goetz committed the crime of shooting four teenagers in the subways of New York City. Goetz’s actions, along with Sacks’ idea, can be used to explain why human beings actively control how they conduct themselves and how they live through life. Goetz’s crime can be explained by looking at his past leading up to the shooting and by looking at his imagination. Goetz’s crime can also prove that not everyone is subject to the Broken Windows theory. Goetz’s actions are not a result of his environment. The Broken Windows theory cannot be used to explain every crime that is committed. Goetz shot the African American teenagers for 1
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Amin other reasons than just because he was getting mugged. Goetz’s history shows that he has had previous encounters with muggers. These encounters formed him into a racist human being. “Once at a community meeting, he said, to the shock of others in the room, “The only way we’re going to clean up this street is to get rid of the spics and niggers.” In 1981, Goetz was mugged by three young black youths as he entered the Canal Street station one afternoon…With the help of an off duty sanitation worker, Goetz managed to subdue one of his three attackers. But the experience left his embittered.” (Gladwell, 241) As the quote explains, Goetz has had preceding history with being mugged. His previous
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Expos5 - Amin 1 Parth Amin Expository Writing 101 The Vital...

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