Coming into Language
“There is more pleasure to building castles in the air than on the ground.” This quote by Edward Gibbon illustrates the intensity of writing and what gratification it can hold. When one writes, they are not confined to one certain formula. A person is able to express their thoughts and feelings in any way they choose. Language is a border for many people in that some cannot comprehend a certain language, understand how to use it, or recognize what is being said to them. On the other side of the border, they are not viewed as equals or as important compared to those who are not competing with this barrier. In his essay “Coming into Language,” Jimmy Santiago Baca uses his personal experiences to demonstrate how much
…show more content…
He realized that there was a mental border between himself and language and by learning how to read and write, he crossed that border and overcame the barrier. He was not confined to just thinking the things he believed in. He could actually portray his ideas and thoughts and display them to anyone as a form of written language. Baca was finally able to express himself in ways that he could have never even thought of before he learned to read and write. He was able to escape his horrible reality of being imprisoned for a crime he was not guilty of, and go outside the bars of the prison walls. He writes that “Through language I became the grass, speaking its language and feeling its green feelings…” (Baca 57). He could overcome the physical border of prison that was a barrier between him and freedom—that was snatched away from him—by using his imagination in the form of writing and fanaticizing about the beautiful outdoors and what it had once felt like to be free. Baca would not have been able to experience this type of figurative freedom behind cell doors, had it not been for his great skill and devotion to writing. He had a real passion for writing, a deep connection with it. It was a way he could tell his side of the story, instead of what the people on the outside saw. He was able to illustrate the power he had acquired through language and put it to use in a way that aided him in venting his feelings and beliefs.
Through Baca’s whole account of his journey