Words Expose the Soul

Words Expose the Soul

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Words Expose the Soul


When I was a freshman at Bemidji State I lived in the dorms. My roommates name was Chad. He had a girlfriend who attend Moorhead State. Her name was Jodi. I didn't get a chance to meet Jodi until very late in the year, around February. But up until that time, I had gotten to know her very well. The thing was that since they lived so far apart they didn't call each other until late at night. Most of the time, when she called, Chad wasn't there. It was actually quite ironic, Jodi's roommate was a girl that I graduated with. This led to many conversations, many that over a half an hour. I had seen pictures of her so I knew what she looked like, but I was starting to get a picture of what she was like as a person. I did this through observation of her tone of voice in certain situation, word usage, and overall temperament. By temperament I mean was she happy, sad, or confused in general. All of this gave me a pretty good idea as to what kind of person she was.

One day in February I had the opportunity to find out exactly what she like. She came to visit Chad, and stay the night. This gave us a chance to talk face to face. It was very funny, because she was exactly like I thought she would be. I couldn't believe that I had gotten all of this information about her just by listening to the way that she talked. Some might say that a situation like this and one in where you read something are totally different, but I believe that they are very similar.

Reading a piece of writing by a person that you do not personally know is the same as having a conversation with a person over the telephone that you have never met before. In both cases you try to get to know the person better by the words that they use. The means of communication makes no difference. One of the main difference between the reading and listening, though, is that when you listen to a person you can detect inflections and tones that a person uses while talking. When you read you have to rely on the author to provide you with the voice of the characters or maybe even himself.

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And if a voice is not present, the reader is left wondering what kind of state the character is in. Some times the tactic of not expressing the voice is nice, because it leaves the reader intrigued. Therefore the reader wants to read on. But in other cases, such as text books, the lack of a voice, along with the materials that are presented, makes me want to go to sleep. This all could be changed if the publishers would find a way to get the materials across to the students and still keep them interested with the subject. Wow, I sort of went of on a rant, so I must get myself back under control. Sorry that's just a thing I have with text books. Now that I've discussed some things about voice lets move to another facet of the topic.

In the two versions piece that we read for class I found two voice. One of the voices was Amys and one was her mothers. In the first version, the Amy's voice was the only one. Her voice was one of an angry high school aged girl. She's angry with her mother for not being polite to a boy friend of hers. In the second version, the mother finally gets to add her two cents to the issue. The mothers voice is one of confusion as to why her daughter acted as she did. Both of the voices that are present can be picked out by the words and phrases that each character used. A better question than what the voices are is; why are we looking for voice in writing? I believe that lies within each of use. I, for example, like to understand where the person is coming from. I believe the only way to do that is to first figure out who the person is. This can be accomplished by learning the voice that the person used to write with. But the interpretation of the voices will, most likely, be different for each individual.

In the Untitled story that we read for class I noticed in E-mail that some of the people thought that the man who wrote the story was content with college live. Others felt that he was having marital and parental problems. While still others felt that he was very depressed about the whole situation, and wanted to get out. This lends itself to the fact that not everyone is going to have the same opinion about the voices that are being used. In some cases this might happen, but it is unlikely that it will happen very often. I strongly believe that if it does happen that everyone picks out the same voice in a piece of work that the work is not very well written. Why you might ask? Because in a story such as that there is nothing left to the imagination, no points to ponder, and no arguments to bring up. What fun is it to read something that is just there? It would read like a textbook. Therefore it would be dull and unimaginative. Who wants to read something like that? Certainly not me!!

A piece of work that I would like to read though, would have many changes in the voice of the writer himself and the characters that are portrayed in the story. As in speech communication, written voices can change. This change can occur at any time or place in a written piece. By showing these changes, the author allows for the swaying of emotions that a character or set of characters go through. This technique offers a dramatic, intriguing piece of work. The reader must be aware of these changes in voice, or else the story will seem dull and boring. I believe that this is why authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul are so good. The guys are constantly changing their characters voices. Those are the pieces that I enjoy to read. Maybe that why people enjoy watching soap operas and professional wrestling. One day a character is a good guy, and then the next he is not. All of these changes give a sense of drama, that is probably lacking for most people. We go through the same routines everyday. Shows and books with some drama helps us to get away from the monotony of our everyday lives.

To end this jumbled mass of rambling here is a quote from Garrett Hardin, "You can't do just one thing." What Hardin is saying is that for every action that we perform, there will always be a reaction in so way shape or form. But what is the reaction if you do the same thing day after day after day?
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