Bumping In to Mr. Ravioli

by Ricarda Fouch, June 2014

300 words

1 page


21st century is objectively called the age of information. I would call the generation born at the end of 20th century and taking their 1st steps of the independence life in the 21st century the busy generation or the generation of Mr. Ravioli. The way of life of a person who belongs to this generation is shown in the essay by Adam Gopnik “Bumping into Mr. Ravioli”. Mr. Ravioli is an imaginary friend of Olivia, Gopnik's daughter who instead of being her “friend” turns out to be too busy to play with her. This is pretty odd because although there is nothing strange about creating imaginary friends by child. What is unusual about it is that he does not have time to play. Through Mr. Ravioli Gopnik shows what is wrong in our model of lives.

Development of the international corporations, fast pace of industrialization, constant growth of information technology are all the features of our century. Undoubtedly, this fast pace development needs people who are ready to do more work each day in order to satisfy the needs of the century. Adam Gopnik points out that people occupied by work are always struggling to have less responsibilities and more time in order to do more work. The author compares the life people had in the nineteenth century to that of our century and comes to conclusion that people have always complained of either boredom or busyness. Communication took much more time in the nineteenth century compared to now, when we have all the devices made for the purpose of doing it faster. However, Gopnik argues that each gadget requires another gadget and as a result we end up suspending communication instead of shortening it. Even though the world of machines made for life seems to be aimed at making it easier and to save the time of a consumer the outcome turns out to be oppositely different. Instead of freeing up the time for ourselves while the technical mechanism is working, we get more and more engaged to work.

The amount of information the mind of an ordinary person consumes every day is in direct ratio with the number of the tasks that this person is bound to complete daily. It seems at times that the mind can burst because of this volcano of incoming knowledge. In other words, the more information we get the busier we become. Ravioli too is busy, he is bouncing between his work responsibilities and business meetings leaving no time to play with Gopnik's daughter.

This style of a big city life with its chaos and bustle has long been a norm for an up-to-date society. However we cannot but agree with the fact that as long as everyone is desperately trying to live the busy life of Mr. Ravioli they all will complain about it. There is no surprise that busyness causes stress, discomfort, dissatisfaction and opens the way to psychological and health problems. The essay shows through Ravioli's life …

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