Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Something Borrowed

          In Gladwell’s, “Something Borrowed” he ponders what it means to plagiarize. The entire article revolves around the fact that a piece of work written by himself and Dorothy Lewis had been used by the playwright Bryony Lavery in order to create her play “Frozen.” Lavery used hundreds of similarly worded phrases and occurrences from the lives and work of both Gladwell and Lewis to portray her story. She defends herself to Gladwell saying that she didn’t know she couldn’t use the information so closely because she thought it was news. In contrast, Lavery used information on Marian Partington, to whom she gave much credit because she was using Partington’s experiences so regularly. In further exploration of plagiarism, Gladwell speaks with his lawyer and they discuss many cases of plagiarism in the music industry. Gladwell seems to come to the conclusion that plagiarism causes more distress when it takes personal experiences and uses them without credit, though he isn’t very clear on what he actually believes.
          This piece of work was very eye-opening to me. I didn’t realize how much of an effect that plagiarism could have on a person, though it does make sense and I believe I would have a very similar reaction if someone were to take my personal experiences and use them without my permission. It’s just unfortunate that the situation occurred the way in which it did. Since, I feel like Lavery had no idea she was actually plagiarizing Gladwell and Lewis. She was so remorseful for what she had done and she had given Partington so much credit, I find it hard to believe she would purposefully plagiarize anyone else.

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