Essay about Small Change

1527 Words Nov 11th, 2013 7 Pages
Small Change
What determines a movement? Malcolm Gladwell defines what pushes a movement to make a difference. He analyzes the concept of “strong ties” and “weak ties” and how these relationships affect an individual’s willpower and determination to help a cause. Gregory Orr puts these ideas into context in his memoir, “Return to Hayneville”, in which he recounts his experience and involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Malcolm Gladwell’s “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”, focuses, in particular, on the civil rights movement concentrates to the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina. Gladwell’s ideas and opinions of social and political emancipations are given a real world setting, as
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Orr’s experience helped him learn about himself and primarily helps an individual discover the importance of living. Gladwell would classify Orr as someone who shared no relationship with the cause and only joined because because he wanted to find himself in the midst of chaos not necessarily because he was passionate about the civil rights movement. Gladwell describes the movement of sit ins across the south as a “fever”. Orr found himself caught up in the contagion, he endured the beatings and the injustice the same as everyone else but his motives were not set for civil rights, he realized this when he was taken and held captive, “Even as I sank into depression and brooded in the stifling heat of that jail-barn, I was learning that I wanted to live,” (Orr, 223). When he was released Orr left without alerting the COFO office because he felt ashamed. It was easy for him to walk away from the cause for him to walk away from the cause because he as he left he wasn't leaving anything or anyone behind. Gladwell’s explains that “weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism” (Gladwell, 137). In Gregory Orr’s essay, “Return to Hayneville”, published by The Virginia Quarterly Review, Orr revisited the place of his abduction by armed vigilantes in Alabama as a Civil Rights worker in 1965. Even though the events of this essay take place in 1965, for Orr it started with the death of his younger brother in a hunting accident when Orr was