Tony Morrison

In: English and Literature

Submitted By deyitavielma
Words 616
Pages 3
American novelist, Toni Morrison in her acceptance speech “Nobel Lecture,” places a great deal of importance to the power of language, as well as reminding future generations that having such power takes a lot of responsibility. Morrison’s purpose is to urge us to recognize the lasting impact of the past and warns us against the misuse of language. With a passionate tone, she appeals to the feelings and experiences in her audience. Through her brilliant syntax along with her wonderful use of metaphors, her message is one of optimism and the guarantee that one day the power of language will eventually unite us.
By opening with an anecdote of the blind, but wise old woman Morrison introduces us to the life of the bird. The bird’s life can be thought of as living or dead---the same can be said for language. There are the writers who can ‘kill’ the language; it comes to the extent where they begin to drain it, weakening the power from it. In this case, it initially seems that the youth mock the blind woman and want to destroy things the elderly cherish (for example, language) because it’s the believed nature of the youth: “For her dead language is not only one no longer spoken or written, it is an unyielding language content to admire its own paralysis.” In other words, the language with the sole reason that what its saying merely sounds beautiful, it is satisfied and living in bliss. This language that admires itself has come to the point where it doesn’t welcome the flourishing of new ideas, but rather it is programmed only to accept and “sanction ignorance.” Unfortunately, it’s times like these that when presented at a given time, spoken and written words become less influential than one's actions.
Furthermore, Morrison in the midst of her lecture indicates that there are various types of languages—whether they are oppressive or intend to enforce obedience. By…...

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