The Bothersome Beauty of Pigeons

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"The Bothersome Beauty of Pigeons"

In the essay, "The Bothersome Beauty of Pigeons," Bruce Ballenger initially compares the street vendors in one of Florence's piazzas to the urban pigeons we are so familiar with. He elogently describes the vendors as marvelous spectacles who add culture and life to urban areas. While they are considered a neusance to a lot of people, they also hold a certain beauty. They are much like the pigeons, and there seems to be a war against both the illegal street vendors and the city pigeon. It is a war where there are no hearts involved. The police almost turn a blind eye toward the illegal act of vending without a liscense, much like the average person tolerates the pigeon. I think that Ballenger's main idea for his essay is exploring the paradoxical feelings that we can get from things that are bothersome yet beautiful, specifically the pigeon. Ballenger might have originally asked himself, Why, if pigeons are such a neusance, are people still so facinated and enchanted by the creatures?

There are two extremes for people's views on pigeons: there are the people who adore and admire the pigeon, and there are the people who hate and despise the pest. Ballenger's essay focuses on the people who are in between these two extremes. The average person is ambivalent to the question of love or hate towards the pigeon, and they can see both sides. We get a curious sensation from the creatures, a love hate relationship. This sensation is not soley limited to pigeons. I would argue that bumblebees and dandilions, along with street vendors and pigeons are all in the mysterious category where they bring these pardoxical feelings. We have contradicting emotions towards things that annoy us and at the same time can hold a beautiful image, or they can be enchanting to the enviornment. Bellenger focuses on the pigeon, but his essay I believe holds a deeper meaning. A broader question can be brought up and explored, why do we...
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