RESEARCH 3 - 1. Chinua Achebe: Language and the destiny of...

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1. Chinua Achebe: Language and the destiny of man P.506 Artists are not permitted to take credit for creativity acts. He wants to discuss the importance of language in human society. Language is a primary agent of social cohesion, Achebe argues, its corruption and abuse carry the potential for devastating consequences. “Unquestionably, language was crucial to the creation of society. There is no way to which human society could exist without speech” (Achebe 507). “Speech too, like society itself, seems so natural that we rarely give much thought to it or contemplate man’s circumstance before it invention. But we know that language is not inherent in man- the capacity for language, yes; but not language. “Nobody is, of course, going to be so naïve as to claim for language the power to dispose of all, or even most, violence. After all, man is not less violent than other animals but more – apparently the only animal which consistently visits violence on its own kind. Yet in spite of this (or perhaps because of it) one does have a feeling that without language we should have long been extinct. Mugo Gatheru, in his autobiographical book gives even stronger testimony from his people: “among the Kikuyu those who speak well have always been honored, and the very word chief means good talker.” (Achebe 508).
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This document was uploaded on 11/02/2011 for the course ENGLISH EN 102 at Montgomery.

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RESEARCH 3 - 1. Chinua Achebe: Language and the destiny of...

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