Analysis Of Colin Beavan's No Impact Man

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In a literal sense, No Impact Man, is Colin Beavan’s journey of creating a strategy to live simply and in doing so helping the planet. Rather the essence of the novel is how during his journey, Beavan discovers the true faults of our society; the evils of materialism and consumption. Beavan’s reflection of materialism begins early in the novel. He describes how the wealthy are able to “distract ourselves with expensive toys and adventures” (8). In this passage, Beavan begins to build a base for his future fixation with the idea of materialism in society. This base began as an informative passage on how sea levels rising will cause the extinction of the polar bears, which concluded with man’s materialism being the culprit and tool of…show more content…
Beavan cannot bring himself to buy a slice of pizza simply because it is served on a paper plate. Soon, Beavan finds himself envying a man sitting in his BMW. Here the essence of materialism and consumption are captured indirectly. Sometimes consumption and materialism is not practiced to improve lives, but rather to sit in a luxury BMW “while pretty girls crossing the street turn to look” (61). Consumption is a necessary evil, the paper plate for instance is essential, practical, and convenient. The BMW on the other hand is a symbol of materialism and consumption for luxury. The man does not necessarily need the BMW, he can make do with a different, more economical car. Rather, the man drives the BMW for its status and image. This is the true evil of consumption and materialism. Beavan indirectly highlights the difference between consumption for ease and convenience, to the evil of self-righteous…show more content…
In other words, Colin Beavan is a metaphorical tendon of society. Beavan disposes his TV, which allows him to create a closer connection to his family and friends. As stated in the novel, this might be considered regressive and denying progress, but in fact he is advancing society. Our society today consists of people and their electronic devices. Yes, these devices are products of great minds allowing for the simplicity and ease of communication between one another, but ultimately they split us apart. Beavan’s choice to allocate more time to other people, rather than the TV, allows him to find more time and pleasure with his daughter, Isabella, and his wife, Michelle. This effort to reduce time spent in front of the television, in my opinion, has the most positive effect because of its ability to connect people. Beavan wrote about the many nights where his apartment became an open dinner house for his friends and family, how he was able to spend more time with others that he loved rather than blankly staring at a screen. This portion of the experiment gives hope for a society being able to repent its bad habits of unnatural and impersonal interactions. The way I would define positive in this instance would be caring and

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