What are the potential dangers, threats, or comforts afforded by language?

Must include an Introduction, 2-3 (or more) Body Paragraphs, and a Conclusion. Must have at least one quote per paragraph and one quote for each text.

In your last Analytic Essay, you explored the limitations of written documentation as it relates to the complexity of our lived experiences. In this essay, you will now look at the reverse – the possibilities of language (written, spoken, etc.). to build relationships and community, to articulate one’s position in the world, to tell stories. While Saidiya Hartman and Valeria Luiselli write about different historical contexts, they both are intensely interested in language and its ability to affect change. For instance, Hartman’s essay employs a unique style of “close narration” that allows her to use spoken (and unspoken) archival evidence to construct “a counter-narrative” about Black women told without “judgment and classification” (xiii, xiv). Luiselli’s role as translator and interpreter creates a unique relationship in which she must judge and classify language, at one point acknowledging that translation “can be confusing and bewildering, and I find myself not knowing where translation ends and interpretation starts” (62). Equally concerned with the issue of contextualizing language, Anne Fadiman’s “All My Pronouns” examines “linguistic flexibility,” offering a close look at how language changes over time, the emotional, political, and social desires for those changes, and what impact those changes have in the world (54). Citing and analyzing each of these texts, your assignment is to compose an analytic essay in response to the following question:

How does language (in its various uses) bring about social change?

Keep in mind that these questions are not meant to structure your paper – do not answer these sequentially. These questions are meant to help generate ideas that could be incorporated into your writing. Remember that you only need to address the prompt in bold; these questions are optional:
Consider the uses of language that happen in each text – what gets discussed and what doesn’t? Why? What are the potential dangers, threats, or comforts afforded by language?
Who benefits from silence and why? What are the values/drawbacks of using language?
Who sets the rules for language norms? Why does language change? Why does it matter that language can change?
What impact can language have on the world? What counts as “social change” and why? Can language make change happen for better or for worse? Can it be both?
What kinds of language do the authors look at in their essays? Is it a language that’s written or spoken aloud, or both? What about body language? What contexts or settings do these languages appear? Why might these similarities and/or differences be important
How do these authors use language themselves in their essays? How might their own linguistic style offer insight into how language can make an impact?
How are you using language — your own, the authors’ — in this essay? What kind of power is that?