Language is an identity.

Language defines what culture you come from, you’re identity, who you are able to communicate with, and also has the power to build someone up or tear them down.

The video below serves to show the power of word choice. Trump and Russell Brand were compared with how they spoke, what they spoke about, and the impact it would have on the audience. Trump was said to speak at the level of a fourth grader-short and simple sentences that left a ring because it sounded like a jingle. Russell on the other hand spoke in longer, more complex sentences and therefore people didn’t remember much of what he said.

(Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgTlQgabv2o)

Language serves as a barrier or a building block; it is spoken and shared by the people of the same culture, nation, or community. Because of language, there have been disputes between conutries, such as the issue of President Trump and Mexico. Days after he took office, President Trump argued on Twitter and on the phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto over Trump’s demand that Mexico pay to build a massive wall along the border. Peña Nieto repeated his blanket refusal to pay for a wall and then rebuffed Trump by canceling a planned visit to the White House. During the campaign, Trump described Mexicans as rapists and criminals. As president, he has launched aggressive plans to round up and deport millions of foreigners, including Mexicans, who live in the United States without legal authorization. He also has vowed to scrap or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a 1994 deal that eliminated almost all tariffs among the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Trump also has threatened to slap a 35% tax on goods, including cars, that are made in Mexico and sold in the United States. Trump’s words have caused disputes, riots, and protests throughout the nation because of his words, whether it be on social media or television.

Like Trump, the character Caliban in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, shows the amount of power that language has. Caliban was conveyed as a monster because of his deformity, a being that knew nothing except how to obey Prospero’s commands and do his biddings. However, once Prospero and his daughter Miranda taught Caliban their language, Caliban had a powerful weapon at hand. He became defiant, talked back to Prospero, and used language to his advantage to convey all his thoughts that he couldn’t properly express before without having the knowledge of their language. Caliban was essentially the empire Prospero built up, but given that Caliban knew how to speak the same language as his master, Caliban became Prospero’s equal and was able to argue and defy.  

Language and Power.jpg

(Source: https://d1e4pidl3fu268.cloudfront.net/6be7c4c6-0d59-4dc1-828b-7ae94401cc5d/LanguageandPower.jpg)

This picture is just one side of what words can do in a relationship. Language allows communication, the building or tearing down of a truce, just how Caliban used language to defy and be outspoken about his thoughts towards Prospero, and Trump used his to harm and potentially break a relationship with America’s neighboring country.  

One Comment Add yours

  1. I like this kind of parallel that you make between Trump and Caliban because it is easy to see how they both use language angrily and as a means of verbal jousting. However, this parallel could be slightly faulted seeing as your tone towards Trump is negative, and your tone towards Caliban is more lenient. Great ideas though!

    Like

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