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The Great Imagination Heist Essay

“… it’s only in the past two decades that I’ve begun to notice its greatest damage to us- the death of personal imagination. ” In “The Great Imagination Heist”, Reynolds Price applies both positive and negative diction and details to express that too much television is desructive to the young and growing imagination. Price uses negative diction and details to prove that watching too much television destroys open minds and active imaginations.

The author attempts to convince the reader that watching an excessive amount of TV is something we need to learn to avoid because we need to expand and feed our imaginations, but a heavy exposure to television will kill that. Our imaginations are becoming so altered and structured due to television and movies that have the same action and plot, but different actors. Our imagination starts to become a mirror image of the producer’s imagination and ideas. The norms of the director start to become our norms, and there is no need for us to create our own images in our head.

Price compares his students from the 1950’s to now, and provides us with an example of the affects of television on the imagination. He points out that his students of the 1950’s, when told to write a short story, wrote of accounts that involved personal feelings and emotions. You could tell just how detailed and observant the students were of emotions and body language. With present day students, when told to write a short story you will probably get a plot that sounds like a recent movie you’ve seen, with actions that are predictable.

It is as if the lack of imagination has also made the individuals of our society emotionless. Price uses positive diction and details to emphasize that reading books helps create a thriving imagination. Price uses positive diction and details to show how much superior his childhood without television was. In the article Price states, “I had the big gift of a family who were steady sources of gripping and delightful stories told at every encounter,” within this quote he explains how in his childhood if there had been television he may have missed out on many family moments.

Price intends to make the audience feel regret towards the fact that they could possibly be ruining family moments by watching TV excessively. By using terms like “gift” and “delightful”, he explains how great life before TV was. Price claims that too much television will bring “the death of personal imagination. ” We, as a people, need to push the younger generation to read books and work their minds rather than stare at a screen for half of their precious life. Our imaginations must be spared; they must be preserved.

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