November 14, 2014
Imagination is the gateway to desire and perception of reality. Adam Gopnik graduate of New York Institute of Fine Arts and author of a Best Seller is the author of “Bumping into Mr. Ravioli”. In “Bumping into Mr. Ravioli” Gopnik discusses the importance of imagination and the role it plays in understanding reality. He also gives a better understanding of how the surroundings of a child shape their imagination and perception of those around them, and how it helps them gain understanding of how the world functions. Gopnik shows us how a child can at an early age identify with a group of people, just as Olivia the maker of Charlie Ravioli, who uses him to exemplify the life of the average New Yorker. Furthermore “The World and Other Places” by Jeanette Winterson features a character who attempts to form a future based on the imagination he had as a child. He constantly uses his past imagination to form his career and find himself. Both authors touch on the subject of imagination; imagination, as conveyed in these two essays, shows how it not only influences one’s perception of what goes on around them, it also shows how a child identifies with things that influence them and help them form their perception of the world around them. reality is dependent on causal knowledge therefore constantly changing our perception. There is a direct correlation between the perception of the world and the logic behind it; the more in depth and expansive the logic, the more the world warps causing a need to set order. It is this order that is based on past experiences and created through imagination. It is safe to say that Gopnik confirms Winterson’s essay in some ways but for the most part he contradicts and complicates it, the reason for this is that the individuals in the texts encounter different outcomes when their imagination and reality meet. Imagination is influenced by a child’s surroundings and or desires. We see that the imagination embodies it’s self through ones experiences. In “Bumping into Mr. Ravioli Gopnik presents us with the main character Olivia when he says, “ My daughter who just turned three, has an imaginary friend whose name is Charlie Ravioli. Olivia is growing up in Manhattan, and so Charlie Ravioli as a lot of local traits… but the most peculiarly local thing about Olivia’s imaginary playmate is he is always too busy to play with her.”(Gopnik 153). Here Gopnik presents us with not only Olivia but also her imaginary friend Charlie Ravioli. Charlie Ravioli is described as the average New Yorker never having time for anything or anyone, constanlty having to rush to all the activities that he has planned. Charlie Ravioli as what was mentioned in the text is a complete personification of the lifestyle of New York City. Olivia’s parents become concerned because they feel that the purpose of a playmate is to play, not for them to never have time for the child. What the parents fail to realize is that Olivia bases her imaginary encounters on what she has seen around her. Since New Yorkers are always too busy for everyone, her imagination takes that and incorporates it into Charlie Ravioli’s personality because he is also a New Yorker. In Winterson’s essay, we see the opposite; the narrator tries to form a future based on his past experience. Winterson introduces the narrator in her essay by saying, “ when I was a boy I made model aero planes…there were six of us at night in the living room, six people and six carpet tiles…but on aero plane night we took one each and sat cross legged… we were going to fly away…” (Winterson 283). Here we see the narrator playing pretend with his family. They use their imagination to pretend they are on an airplane and they travel around the world, all while staying in their living room. When the narrator grows up he becomes a pilot we can assume this is because it’ what he imagined he would be since he was...
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