Topic: Consider and discuss the idea of how individuals know and learn, and have shared experiences through language. What do these suggest about the human need to communicate through narrative?
A Personal/Analytical Response using the text “The Word” by Pablo Neruda
Born to Speak Since the age of Adam and Eve, humans have had a natural instinct to communicate and this is part of what sets us apart from other species. In the poem The Word, by Pablo Neruda, the author personifies the word by stating how it’s “born in the blood” and that it “grew in the dark body”. This leaves the reader with the impression that the word is something that is born within ourselves and it grows trapped inside of us. The author goes on to describe
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As we grow older, we hear and learn different words that all contribute to our way of communication with one another and this is something that plays a significant role in forming our language. Humans began communicating through language with one another thousands of years before they learned to read or write. We have a natural urge to speak that can be more clearly seen in mute individuals because communication can occur even without the spoken word. As Neruda writes, “…language extends even to the hair, the mouth speaks without the lips moving…all of a sudden the eyes are words.” The Communication of our experiences, feelings, and thoughts can take many forms. This is evident by newborn babies crying, mute individuals using sign language and others, as a last resort, using their eyes. Essentially, the spoken word is only one way of communicating with one another. We share aspects of our life when we communicate. Neruda describes how, “…the settlements set out and arrived and new lands and water reunited to sow their word anew.” He uses an extended metaphor to explain how the stories of the lives of individuals and their cultures get passed on from generation to generation. Neruda is comparing stories to seeds. Seeds need to be spread and sowed around the earth and will only mature into tress if conditions are favorable. As is the case for seeds, experiences and languages of past cultures are known to us today because their stories were shared