Monday, February 11, 2008
Power of Listening
Certainly the passage speaks of the author becoming an ambassador for his people, as well as becoming a voice for the voiceless. However, I would like to focus my attention on lines 273-275 where the author begins to speak of life not being a spectacle. I think Cesaire is trying to get us to realize the importance of listening. He says, "A man screaming is not a dancing bear." Through this quote we can begin to see the message that Cesaire is trying to convey. He wants us to realize that a voice for the voiceless will not change anything if others do not begin to listen. A man does not speak for the sake of entertainment, he speaks to be heard. Words falling on deaf ears are not at all powerful, and do not provoke thought or change. This points us back to the theme of the colonizer and the colonized. Most of those who were colonized were left voiceless. In order to try to gain a voice in their colonization a leader might rise up and become a representative for those who are struggling to be heard. Nevertheless, I do not think that a sound voice can change anything if it is unheard. Therefore, how does one gain a voice? One seems to be left waiting for someone to come along that is willing to listen. Though there is no arguing with Cesaire that voice has power, perhaps listening is all the more powerful. Change will not come about without a provoking voice, but in order for change to occur on must be willing to listen.