The Value Of Values In Borson's Talk

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In Borson’s “Talk”, the young men are the best off, followed by the old women. This is because the old women have learned the value of talk, in a way. The old women know everything. Everything they learned, they gained through experience. The old women know and understand value, but they too are still learning. However, they know enough not to teach the young women. There is a distinction between telling and teaching value. The old women can tell them about value, about the value of oranges, of their bodies, of themselves, of everything, but they cannot teach them value. This is not for selfish reasons or because it dilutes their experience. They do not tell the young women value because this lack of knowledge provides them a barrier of protection. …show more content…
The old women became “thrifty with words” (9). In the past, they dealt with the young men who were enticed by the idea of them. The young men wanted to “own” them when they were younger. They learned the value of talk because they feared this idea of becoming a possession. They had to learn “everything/ on their own” (12-13), but it is because of this they learned the value of talk. The lineation emphasizes “on their own,” it is isolated, just as the old women were when they were younger. This isolation helped them piece everything together, and experience let them understand. Old women learned to “[haggle] for oranges” (10), they know how much they need to give in order to get something in return. The visual image of this line is clear: an old woman demanding to get what she deserves because she knows it worth. The old women “know the value of oranges” (11) and will not settle for less. They will use their words to get what they deserve. But old women would not haggle for oranges if they did not know its worth. What makes the orange worthy is the experience from learning its value. Yet this process cannot be taught through words, it must be learned though one’s own experience in order to grasp the understanding of value. However, although the old women know the value of oranges, they too are still …show more content…
The old women cannot teach the young women because they yearn for the past, to be ignorant. They know the value of things, they will haggle for its worth, but they will still try to reach for something that is no longer there. They will continue to “[take] bites out of the air” (11), similar in a way to the old men who are stuck “pawing… through the fog” (6). However, the old women consume that emptiness, they are aware they are no longer innocent nor ignorant. They miss having a barrier of protection, but unlike the young women who wear confusion on their faces, they now know how to conceal what they do not

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