Strangers Toni Morrison
Personal perception, a major aspect of personal experience, has often been assumed to be dependent on sensory systems. However, language plays a decisive role in an individual’s thinking. Language apparently determines how an individual speaks and what experiences a person acquires from the world. This is irrespective of cultural influence and upbringing, since language voices personal experience. Language is significant as it enables people to express themselves, thereby influencing their lives (Morrison, 2). The study argues that language defines how an individual thinks. When an individual acquires a certain language, the individual may certainly acquire some habits of thoughts that define their experience in significant ways. Language empowers persons on how the intermingle with each other.
Morrison commences in s positive light encounter of the story of the stranger, who was a fishier woman, fishing in her neighbor’s seawall. After the short conversation, she leaves the stranger with the tacit indulgent of meeting again. Even though the exact discussion between the old woman and Morrison is not highlighted, the reader is made to look forward to future discussions through display of positivity in the reader. Through the unspoken language, the author forms images of a casual and delightful friendship with the stranger. Morrison looks for the stranger when she fails to show up the next day. When Morrison realizes that the stranger did not have permission to fish and had never been seen in the neighborhood, the initial feelings she had change to those of annoyance, bewilderment, disappointment and bitterness. This is because the stranger comes into her life and makes the author make positive assumptions of herself, which she consider unforgivable. When she first saw the woman, she made a mental image of a financially struggling fellow and instantly sympathized with her. She developed a preconceived notion of the fisherwoman. The mental image that the stranger recognized, used to manipulate Morrison in the conversation they had. She recognized that Morrison expected and offered it.
A specific language imposes on an individual a picture of reality that is likely to vary from the rest, making it more difficult for the speaker to understand some basic concepts like flow of time or distinction of objects. Language imposes on the speakers an image of reality that is very different from the rest of the cultures. For instance, the Native Americans find it difficult to differentiate between objects such as stone and actions in the British English language. From this illustration, the power of language instills in speakers an intuitive comprehension of the Einstein’s concept of time. From the Native Speakers, it is apparent that language acquisition and speaking enables the speaker acquire specific behaviors of thoughts that define their experience in significant and surprising ways. In the passage by Morrison, the speaker asserts that the fifteen minutes she spent speaking to mother something made her look forward to more of her visitations and discussions. This is because her short discussion made her assume that the woman was wise, open and friendly, an attribute she desired of a close friend. The power of language to define the behavior of an individual is further depicted by her reaction and feelings when she realized that there no was woman who was known by the name, Mother Something.
The control of language on deliberation is testable in different aspects. For instance, languages that have mass nouns can be compared to languages that have count nouns to illustrate the power of languages on personal perception. Both languages have an effect on how an individual conceptualizes an object due to word variation and cultural similarity. When a certain language demands specific forms of information, an individual is forced to be attentive to specific details in the world and specific aspects of experience. Additionally, since these habits are inculcated as an early stage of development, people tend to develop some habits in mind, which go on to affect their experiences, perceptions, associations, and memories.
According to Morrison (2) language dominates in numerous areas such as in communication, business, industries, and in politics. In all these aspects of human life, language is seen to domineer in empowering the already powerful and marginalizing the disadvantaged. The rich and the powerful are able to influence the world by the choice of communication. Instead of applying one language, they employ several languages with the aim of applying the persuasive features in the word to draw the world to their direction. This is further depicted in the cultural values language imposes. For instance, language imposes the use of English in comparison to the native as formal, and can be applied in numerous peoples. This is further depicted from the communication skills acquired in education to the work place and self improvement culture where mother tongue is perceived as wayward and English is perceived as formal. People learn to communicate to express themselves in various ways. Among them is through verbal or body communication, and written discourse. These forms of expressions enable us to communicate in our academic institutions, socialize, and interact with family members.
All forms of communication shape individual thinking. Morrison saw the woman and made a mental image of her. When this stranger realized what Morrison expected from her, she used the mental image to manipulate the author. The effect makes Morrison concludes that people are often afraid of strangers, who upon meeting them overlook them and see whatever they desire to perceive. This mental image formed is what we human keep looking for and desiring to find in ourselves. Hence, we overlook features in others and protect personal thoughts and feelings (Morrison, 2).
Morrison, Tony. “Stranger”. In A Kind of Rapture by Bergman Robert. Chatto & Windus. 1998. Print