Eula Eiss's 'Time And Distance Overcome'

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Essay on “Time and Distance Overcome”
In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone that helped people communicate over longer distance. However, with this invention also followed multiple problems. Problems which Eula Biss’ essay “Time and distance overcome” from 2008, recounts. In the essay she focusses on the different aspects of the telephone and especially the telephone pole, and why the history of the telephone pole might not be as stainless as one might think

The essay is divided into three different parts. The first and second part are primarily and the last part is a conclusion were she shortly reflects upon her own opinion on telephone poles. The first part is about the invention of the telephone and the reaction towards
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“In 1898, in Lake Comorant, Mississippi, a black man was hanged from a telephone pole.” page 3

In this part, she also uses a bit of irony, for example when she talks about that the poles of course weren’t to blame for being used for that purpose
“The poles, of course, were not to blame. It was only a coincidence that they became convenient as gallows, because they were tall and straight, with a crossbar, and because they stood in public places. And it was only a coincidence that the telephone pole so closely resembled a crucifix” page 3

The quote above also shows Biss’ use of symbolism, which she uses great deal through the text.
“…, the bodies of men lynched from telephone poles are silhouetted against the sky. Sometimes two men to a pole…. They hung like flags in still air” page 4
And when the phone is mentioned in the second part, it is not described as positively as in the first part, where the president called them “one of the greatest events since creation”.
“Early telephones calls were full of noise. “Such a jangle of meaningless noises had never been heard by human ears”” page
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It’s about the author Eula Biss’ view on telephone poles, she tries to bring it all. She says she used to believe the poles were glorious. She also mentions her dad saying that her grandfather could raise a pole by himself, as if he was taking a pride in his father and his line of work, even though the grandfather had his back broken by a telephone pole. However, after knowing it’s violent history, she doesn’t view them in the same way. Really what she is saying is that she sees the telephone pole as a symbol of the lynchings’ and

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