the whole picture

the whole picture

The overall sense or presentation of a situation, concept, topic, etc., including all related factors and potential consequences. You're focusing on one small part of the negotiation, but you need to see the whole picture—we may need to compromise on a few items to get the best deal in the end.
See also: picture, whole
References in classic literature ?
But it was a comfort that there could be no uneasiness in a connection with anything so beatific as the radiant image of my little girl, the vision of whose angelic beauty had probably more than anything else to do with the restlessness that, before morning, made me several times rise and wander about my room to take in the whole picture and prospect; to watch, from my open window, the faint summer dawn, to look at such portions of the rest of the house as I could catch, and to listen, while, in the fading dusk, the first birds began to twitter, for the possible recurrence of a sound or two, less natural and not without, but within, that I had fancied I heard.
The whole picture was a flickering scheme of green gleams and shifting rusty black shadows, strangely trying to the eyes.
The whole picture, as reflected in the glass, represents a woman of some elegance, rather too pale, and rather too sedate and serious in her moments of silence and repose--in short, a person who fails to strike the ordinary observer at first sight, but who gains in general estimation on a second, and sometimes on a third view.
I can see the whole picture now as it appeared night after night by the light of our primitive lamp; Good tossing to and fro, his features emaciated, his eyes shining large and luminous, and jabbering nonsense by the yard; and seated on the ground by his side, her back resting against the wall of the hut, the soft-eyed, shapely Kukuana beauty, her face, weary as it was with her long vigil, animated by a look of infinite compassion--or was it something more than compassion?
At times monstrous images are created, but the setting and the whole picture are so truthlike and filled with details so delicate, so unexpectedly, but so artistically consistent, that the dreamer, were he an artist like Pushkin or Turgenev even, could never have invented them in the waking state.
There was only one drawback to the beauty of the whole picture, and that was a tall man--a very tall man--in a brown coat and bright basket buttons, and black whiskers and wavy black hair, who was seated at tea with the widow, and who it required no great penetration to discover was in a fair way of persuading her to be a widow no longer, but to confer upon him the privilege of sitting down in that bar, for and during the whole remainder of the term of his natural life.
The mystery of the future and the little clue afforded to it by the voice of the present seemed expressed in the whole picture.
Sir Francis Head, an English traveler and a Governor-General of Canada, tells us that "in both the northern and southern hemispheres of the New World, Nature has not only outlined her works on a larger scale, but has painted the whole picture with brighter and more costly colors than she used in delineating and in beautifying the Old World.
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I think the council should look at the whole picture, and see just how much lesson time is lost or wasted due to other reasons, too, before it points a finger at parents.
But when you come into a club you have got to look at the whole picture and not make any prejudgements.
But the figures do not give the whole picture, as offenders given cautions or warnings are not counted.
We now have to be patient as the thousands of files are sifted through, but the main thing is everyone will eventually be able to have the whole picture.
Agents work hard to see the whole picture on behalf of their clients, and do understand the importance of the pedigree with their stallion selections.
When you consider all the good he's done in his life and you consider the whole picture of Dr Hesketh as a person, it's an appropriate sentence.