where do voices come from?

by Andrea Elizabeth

(cont from here) Having just finished the 3rd quarter of Chapter 2 of Amy Lawrence’s Echo and Narcissus, I am pausing to note the fascinating explanations of the characters’ language styles from the play adaptation, Rain, of Maugham’s story by John Colton and Clemence Randolph. She describes how Davidson’s religious and authoritative univoice hopelessly contrasts with Sadie’s freestyle and comic multivoice. I just wish the why had been more deeply explored. Lawrence quickly mentions Sadie’s middle class literary education contributing one language, and the sailors contributing another. Then she explains that her distance from and dancing between languages indicates rebellion. She doesn’t mention family background at all. I suppose she believes that society makes a person. She does say that the impasse betweenDavidson and Thompson is from the former’s insistence with conformity to his language, and that he leaves hers largely unexplored and unvalidated, which fits with his firm belief in his hegemonic univoice. Apparently Sergent O’Hara’s mediation was invented in the play adaptation.

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