Account of An Argument: Language and War Essay example

1003 Words Mar 19th, 2014 5 Pages
Account of an Argument: Language and War “War is what happens when language fails” (Atwood). The failure of language can be perceived in many ways. Most people might think that it means that the two parties weren’t able to come to a peaceful compromise. However, according to Humanist M. J. Hardman, language fails way before the two parties even have a chance to meet. In the article “Language and War”, Hardman identifies the problem of people obliviously using violent language and metaphors in everyday rhetoric and how the use of such metaphors makes violence seem appropriate. She supports her assertion by pointing out specific metaphors in the English language that convey a sense of violence. The author’s purpose is to encourage …show more content…
Poetry is an art form, and those who read it, understand it, and gain from it an understanding of the difference between becoming numb to the idea of violence and expressing someone’s thoughts and emotions through violent metaphors. Kinkade’s use of violent metaphors is not meant to generate a tolerance of violence. In fact, it is quite opposite—the violent metaphors are used to generate a disgusted and/or sympathetic response. In the poem “Miscarriage”, Kinkade tells a story of the struggle leading up to her sister’s miscarriage as well as the miscarriage itself. She uses multiple types of rhetorical strategies in the poem including violent metaphors, “the weight silenced/ and suffocated us like a deadly gas” (Kinkade ln 8-9). The fact that she feels “suffocated” makes the reader feel sympathetic towards the author because she is being exposed to such violent emotional trauma. To an educated reader, the metaphor is harmless, and only amplifies the amount of sympathy felt for the author. Not only are these metaphors violent but they are also quite graphic, “Without tears, I watched, as an ice cream/ bucket sloshed purple-red clots fished/ from the toilet” (Kinkade ln 12-14). Just like the previous metaphor, this metaphor has a purpose to generate a specific response. The fact that it

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