Adam Gopnik Bumping Into Mr Ravioli Analysis

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If one word could describe a person’s life, the word would be “busy.” People are constantly engrossed in one task or another, or they need to fulfill obligations out of compulsion. Either way, there never seems to be a moment when people find free time. Or so it seems. Nowadays, busyness has become an excuse for people to avoid honoring their obligations. In an editorial column for The New Yorker titled Bumping into Mr. Ravioli, writer Adam Gopnik explores how our definition of busyness has adapted to the environment we have created. The writer begins building his credibility by citing a personal anecdote in order to establish a personal connection with the reader. Gopnik constructs his case effectively by using his anecdote as a foundation,…show more content…
Before he can connect his daughter’s story to his message, he must gain the reader’s trust. Without proving that he has sophisticated knowledge regarding the topic, the reader would not heavily consider the arguments Gopnik sets forth. The author asserts, “I was concerned, though, that Charlie Ravioli might also be the sign of some ‘trauma,’ some loneliness in Olivia’s life reflected in an imaginary form” (Gopnik 2). The author provides the reader with an ample amount of information to infer that Mr. Ravioli is Olivia’s interpretation of the environment around her. The reader can also tell that the speaker’s account of events are impartial, for he is Olivia’s father. By writing about Olivia’s story as a father, rather than a writer, builds Gopnik’s ethos. But offering an opinion from the point of view of a parent may not be enough to win the trust of some readers, so the author also uses scientific facts to demonstrate knowledge regarding the subject matter. Gopnik uses his conversation with sister, who is a psychologist by profession, and asserts, “Most under-sevens (sixty-three percent to be scientific) have an invisible friend, and children create their imaginary playmates not out of trauma but out of … figures of pure fantasy, sometimes, as Olivia has done, as observations of grownup manners,” (Gopnik 3). Initially, the author thinks his daughter is experiencing trauma, but after…show more content…
Which he does. The author claims, “We are instructed to believe that we are busier because we have to work harder to be more productive, but everybody knows that busyness and productivity have a dubious, arms-length relationship” (Gopnik 5). The implied denotation of busyness over the years has been constant occupation in work. When one is at work, then they are meeting objectives and accomplishing tasks. However, the author points out that whenever people are confronted by a possible task as simple as going out to brunch with another person, the tendency is to cite busyness if they are not interested. The author wants to prove that the prevalence of the new interpretation of busy comes from the actions of society. The best way to prove his claim is by supporting his claim with an instance of that scenario. Looking back at a specific walk in a park, Gopnik recalls, “... and bump into our friend the baker and our old acquaintance from graduate school (what the hell is she doing now?) and someone we have been avoiding for three weeks. They all invite us for brunch, and we would love to, but we are too … busy,” (Gopnik 8). The author provides an instance where he found himself using busyness as an excuse himself. Not only does the reader understand Gopnik’s anecdote, the reader can connect the author’s situation to their own lives as well. The speaker would
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