A Note On The Value Of Physical Contact

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Humans are oriented around touch. Babies crave nurturing and nearness to their mother from the minute they exit the womb. Something as simple as a warm embrace can wipe sorrow and stress away. This need for physical contact is the reason why letters carry so much more value than an email or text message. Letters are tangible: they’re a piece of paper that can be stored in a drawer or tacked up on a wall. They require time and attention to write, so they are able to convey such an emotional closeness people who are far away. There is such a stark contrast between dialogue and text: people are often more willing to honestly write down their feelings to express them aloud. That is why Mark Dunn held true to the passions of his hyper-literate Nollopians by deciding write his debut novel entirely in letters; they mean something to people, especially those who are in love.
Mittie is a prime example of this concept seeing as she keeps a box of all the letters she had received from Amos- dating back long before the alphabet began to fall apart. Reading these letters her mother had treasured actually gave Ella a sense of comfort when she was almost entirely alone on Nollop: “I miss ewe all teeplee. I reat letters- teer, sweet letters ewe wrote to Pop- warm, engaging letters Pop wrote to eww…I reat tem to gain neeted inspiration” (Dunn 187). Letters, such as the ones written by Mittie and Amos, have a way of revealing the author’s personality, their voice to put it in English terms.

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