Tag Archives: Visual examination

Malcolm Gladwell— Setting the stage for the unheard story of David and Goliath

My analysis of this TED talk given by Malcom Gladwell begins at 0:45 and ends around 1:05. To summarize, he explains the long told story of David and Goliath in detail. He explains the lore in great detail for the first half of the video and then goes into other extraneous facts such as how the traditions of war had often resulted in one on one combat and how a certain type of soldier in the armies only had one job of being a “slinger” to volley a barrage of rocks at the attacking enemy. He then goes into the possible weaknesses of the giant; he describes the giant as being slow to react with poor vision, possibly diagnosed with “giantism” or with acromegaly. The main argument that he presents is that giants may seem very intimidating, but they may not be as strong as they seem.

To set the stage for this commonly known story, Gladwell goes into the lesser known facts of the story. In this particular segment of the video, he explains the geography of the area to help the audience visualize the scene in which history took place. He goes into great detail about the features of the land and uses strong imagery to depict a visualization that everybody can imagine in their heads. By using hand motions, a mental map of the area is pictured by the audience since he corresponds the ancient cities/areas with places in which he directs his hand. This hand motion is perhaps the most important part of the effect of imagery; the other example of him outlining the shape of a mountain range as he is talking about the valleys, mountains and plains of Israel really gives the audience a vivid impression on what he has pictured in his own mind. Gladwell uses a neutral tone in his voice to set a clear stage before the story begins and does not move his body around too much as to distract the audience from the strong image that he is projecting into their minds. Everything he is doing in this part of his speech is a key part of storytelling, and in this case it was to set the stage for the unheard story of David and Goliath so well that his argument connects with the audience just that much more.

The Gears of War Keep Turning

The first thing my eyes are drawn to in this image in the running man in the center of the picture. From his body language, I can tell that he is in pain and afraid of what he is running from. Next, my eyes look to see what is behind him and I see fire, destruction, and tiny soldiers in the background. This African savannah, a place with primarily wildlife and peaceful settlements, is ravaged by battle.

At first glance, it is easy to understand that this is an image of war or genocide, and the conveyor belt aspect of the landscape shows that war is never ending. This picture is meant to evoke empathy from the person looking at it. The color of the background seems to represent haze, dust, and smoke which usually come from explosions. It is dull and leaves me with a feeling of sadness and pain as opposed to what a brighter color would do.

The symbol and motto in the bottom right corner show that this image belongs to a charity against war, armed conflict, and probably more specifically, genocide. Though, I haven’t heard about this specific charity before, it give the image more authority. The audience for this picture is anyone that can do anything to help the charity or to anyone who can do as little as donate. I would assume that this picture could be used as an advertisement that could be seen somewhere like a mall. All in all, this image does a sufficient job using emotion and surrealism to paint a picture that sends a very relevant message to our world today.