Fighting “That” Instinct
When I was first assigned to read What the Dog Saw I thought to myself, “Wow this book could be a little dull. This is my first college assignment and I have to read nineteen essays that are written by this Malcolm Gladwell guy of whom I have never heard of. I thought college work was actually going to be interesting, apparently not!” After getting the book and just reading through the different topics Gladwell had written about I began to realize that my assumption was correct. This book was going to be boring. However, I decided to get a feel for the book by reading the introduction. I found that Gladwell was chastising humans in saying that our instinct “is to assume that most things are not interesting” and change to something better (Gladwell xix). Was this guy reading my mind or something? Just a while ago the exact thought of passing over this book crossed my mind. I decided to give the guy a chance so I was determined to read on. As I read I realized that Gladwell had this unique “talent” of making anything sound interesting. Normally I would discard an essay about ketchup, birth control, or hair dye because all of these are everyday things that seem a little boring to me. Gladwell, however, finds a way to draw in the reader and make these topics interesting. I believe the keys to his unique “talent” are finding the perfect situations to draw comparisons, he “becomes” the person of whom he is writing about, and he gives everyone the benefit of the doubt (a chance to be interesting). With these three elements anyone can tackle the problem of something appearing to be boring or dull.
The most remarkable thing Gladwell is able to do in his essays is compare two events or situations in a way that allows the reader to draw connections and see how a boring topic relates to a not so boring topic. He does this in all nineteen of his essays, but I found it easiest to connect with “Most Likely to Succeed.” In this essay Gladwell talks...
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