The Use Of Language In Natasha Trethewey's Heart Of Darkness

1166 Words5 Pages
Communication takes place through spoken and written language—words hold both literal and emotional meaning, which creates a bridge from abstract experiences to rational ideas. Language's role as the medium of meaning allows authors to appropriate linguistic patterns from other sources in order to modify or extend existing ideas in society (Foster 14). However, language accomplishes little beyond modifying preexisting ideas. Because it applies to entire societies, it captures only the crudest and most basic aspects of a culture’s collective experience of the world, rather than the nuances of an individual’s experience. This limitation often results in the reinforcement of broad social divisions, such as race, as seen in Native Guard, or harmful, widely held ideologies, as exemplified in Heart of Darkness. Making use of its social implications as the infrastructure of human experience, authors use language as a literary symbol to represent the inherent shortcomings of the use of a wide-reaching societal tool to shape individual understandings of reality. Language's nature as a broad medium for culture makes it a clumsy and inaccurate tool for communicating the nuances of an individual's experience of life.
In Native Guard, Natasha Trethewey examines the societal implications of this tendency to create divisions through her use of language as a tool of separation, when viewed in a broad context, and of connection, when viewed in its more primitive stages, revealing the

More about The Use Of Language In Natasha Trethewey's Heart Of Darkness

Open Document