Let’s Use Malcolm Gladwell’s Podcast to Introduce Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

Malcolm Gladwell examines the story of this famous painting to begin his podcast. Below is an image of Calling the Roll After An Engagement, Crimea, better known as The Roll Call. I used the image from Wikipedia; it is an 1874 oil-on-canvas painting by Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler. It became one of the most celebrated British paintings of the 19th century, but later fell out of critical favor. Elizabeth Southerden Thompson; Elizabeth Butler. I think the examination of this 19th century artist will help us appreciate Kate Chopin’s main character, Edna, as well as her ambitions to be an artist.

roll-call

The Roll Call by Elizabeth Thompson

Malcolm Gladwell explicates the fascinating art history story of Elizabeth Thompson, and he begins her story with the story of her work, The Roll Call.

How do we know if we are in a pioneer moment (Jackie Robinson) or a moral licensing moment (Sammie Davis Junior)? Jacob Weisberg brings up this great question at the end of a recorded discussion he had with Gladwell at a 92nd Y event, and it may be a good place for us to start our conversation about the first episode, The Lady Vanishes, in Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjf8b_LLZ6g)

http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/01-the-lady-vanishes

What does Gladwell mean when he says that Elizabeth Thompson’s story is repeated over and over again?

Can you explain the term moral licensing into your own words?

How does Gladwell use the example of Jackie Robinson who crossed the color line in 1957 and opened the door to African-Americans in baseball as five years later in 1962 there would be 150 African-American players?

What happens to Elizabeth Thompson’s art career with her painting, The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras? http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/4408/

How does Gladwell wrap up the podcast with Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister in Australia?

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About bsullivan35

I am an English teacher working with great students at an independent school in Ct.
This entry was posted in American Literary Studies, Design Thinking, Podcast, Reflective Assessment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Let’s Use Malcolm Gladwell’s Podcast to Introduce Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

  1. cparrow9 says:

    Collin, Braden, Max

    1. What does Gladwell mean when he says that Elizabeth Thompson’s story is repeated over and over again?
    -by saying this, Gladwell implies that the scenario in which someone, in this case, Lady Butler, is allowed to be a part of something people like her usually are not an then after is beaten down once again is a story that is found many times throughout the history of the modern world. The example he uses is the poor treatment of the first female Australian prime minister.

    2. Can you explain moral licensing in your own words?
    “Moral licensing is a term used in social psychology and marketing to describe the subconscious phenomenon whereby increased confidence and security in one’s self-image or self-concept tends to make that individual worry less about the consequences of subsequent immoral behavior and, therefore, more likely to make immoral choices and act immorally.” Gladwell uses this to help explain what happened to Lady Butler’s art career. He believes that by letting her become so close to being elected to the board of the art academy that the rest of the people used this as an excuse to treat her more poorly, which is why her career fell apart.

    3. How does Gladwell use the example of Jackie Robinson who crossed the color line in 1957 and opened the door to African-Americans in baseball as five years later in 1962 there would be 150 African-American players? -He uses this an example of what did not happen to Lady Butler When Robinson entered the major leagues, he opened the door to all African Americans, however, when Lady Butler was almost admitted as a member of the art academy, they used it as an excuse to shut the door on her.

    4. What happens to Elizabeth Thompson art career in with her painting, The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras? -This painting was hung “Skyed” in the “Black Hole”, nowhere promising like where the roll call was hung.

    5. How does Gladwell wrap up the podcast with Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister in Australia?
    -Gladwell ties these two together by relating the phenomena which happened to Lady Butler to what happened to the prime minister of Australia. He describes what happened by saying that when Australia elected a female prime minister, they used this as an excuse to discriminate against her because they believed the action of electing her shielded them from the being labeled discriminatory. Gladwell relates this to the treatment of Lady Butler.

  2. 18mbb says:

    Max B, Justin, Jake

    1. What does Gladwell mean when he says that Elizabeth Thompson’s story is repeated over and over again?
    Gladwell states that Elizabeth Thompson’s story is repeated over and over again because of societies early vision on women’s rights. Affecting their overall success to thrive in not only the art world, but general society as well. Women were seen as less, not capable of skills such as a man. This repeated throughout history until the women’s right movement in the late 20th century.

    2. Can you explain the term moral licensing into your own words?
    Moral licensing in my own words is making yourself sound like a better person without taking action to do so. It is all mentally done making yourself feel better.

    3. How does Gladwell use the example of Jackie Robinson who crossed the color line in 1957 and opened the door to African-Americans in baseball as five years later in 1962 there would be 150 African-American players?
    Gladwell uses the example of Jackie Robinson who crossed the color line in 1957 and opened the door to African-Americans in baseball as five years later in 1962 there would be 150 African-American players to compare to the advancement of women in society as voters, workers, and people. Comparing the two rightfully so from the hardships of trying to break down the door of tradition.

    4. What happens to Elizabeth Thompson art career in with her painting, The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras?
    After The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras, Elizabeth Thompson art career diminishes. Letting her focus on starting a family of her own.

    5. How does Gladwell wrap up the podcast with Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister in Australia?
    Gladwell wraps up the podcast with Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister in Australia explaining the troubles facing her throughout her presidency. The Prime Minister explained in her closing speech that since she was a woman, people were quick to judge and not listen as closely due to her sex. Relating this back to the treatment of Lady Butler

  3. 18emh says:

    Erin, Sasha, Jack
    1.You know that you are in a pioneer or moral licensing moment by paying attention to the emotions and attitudes of individuals. If someone is truly genuine and passionate about what they are doing or saying it is a pioneer moment, but if they are masking their true feelings and views they are portraying a moral licensing moment.

    2. Gladwell is expressing that Elizabeth Thompson’s story is repeated over and over again because of the status or respect that women have in the world. Their successes are constantly being dismissed, alike Elizabeth Thompson’s.

    3. A subconscious phenomenon in which you increase your self confidence in yourself image by doing something that is contradictory to your actual beliefs. The podcast includes the example of people voting for Obama and thinking that because they did so they are not racist and worry less about being perceived as racist because they did this act.

    4. Gladwell used the example of Jackie Robinson who crossed the color line in 1957 and opened the door to African- Americans in baseball to show that Jackie did something courageous and outstanding. He made a huge difference in the world and in the black community to bring black and white people together. Unlike Jackie, when some people commit acts that create significant changes for people they often begin to be compliant and settle with what they have done.

    5. Elizabeth Thompson’s art in the 28th Regiment at the Quatre Bras was placed in the back room, which is often where the bad paintings were put, but her painting was quite extraordinary and drew attention.

    6. Gladwell uses Julia Gillard to wrap up his podcast by portraying her as a woman figure who was the first woman prime minister in Australia. He states that if Hillary Clinton won this past election in 2017 he thinks that there would be a huge impact on the roles in government, meaning women would have much larger rolls in government.  

  4. tonyxueblog says:

    Tony, Cecile, Junyang
    1. What does Gladwell mean when he says that Elizabeth Thompson’s story is repeated over and over again?
    The story is repeated again and again because this situation did not happen in the early society and the people live at that time either thought it is ridiculous or it is a revolutionary idea. We think the story, which was repeated till women’s rights movement, is a huge influence to the culture base about women’s rights.
    2. Can you explain the term moral licensing into your own words?
    Moral licensing happens when someone does wrong things and he feels bad. He would use some popular idea or believe as an excuse to make himself feel better, also shows people he is not wrong.
    3. How does Gladwell use the example of Jackie Robinson who crossed the color line in 1957 and opened the door to African-Americans in baseball as five years later in 1962 there would be 150 African-American players?
    The examples he used, which was about black people’s rights, show that the evolution of society morality can be really fast once the idea is accepted by people; same thing to women’s rights, Gladwell believes that women can stand up and change their status in the society as well as long as they realize the problem and break the barrier.
    4. What happens to Elizabeth Thompson art career in with her painting, The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras?
    The painting was put away as a meaningless, mediocre painting. Thompson soon stopped painting career.
    5. How does Gladwell wrap up the podcast with Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister in Australia?
    He says that the prime minister in Australia, which is a woman, is not well accepted by people due to her gender. She also mentions that if there are more women leaders in all over the world, the women’s rights will be soon well developed.

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