Not able to articulate so does it through indirect communication. From this point it is evident that communication is both direct and indirect. In this sense the novels “In Country” by Bobbie Ann Mason, and “Oral History” by Lee Smith” are used in this case to examine the communication as portrayed in the story. In the first case, “In Country” by Bobbie Ann Mason is a novel that presents a young girl Sam who stays with Emmett his uncle. The reason behind this is that his father Dwayne died in Vietnam War and thus this makes the Vietnam War to be so significant to her life. She stays with her uncle Emmett who is supposed as to suffer from post war traumatic disorder that makes him to be claim that the house is sagging. In the same line of thought, Sam has her mother Irene who has a new baby since remarriage after the death of Sam’s father (Mason 23). . Having a great interest in the Vietnam War, they watch M.A.S.H on television. This is one way of communication through television that is far more advanced as compared to the oral communication assumed to have existed in the past in the American society.
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It is on Korean War but it brings the memories of Vietnam War in Sam’s mind since she had lost her father through it. In this process, Sam is so much involved in seeking to know more about Vietnam War and subsequently she makes friends with Veteran friends of her uncle Emmett. She is attracted to one often of the Veterans who claims to know her father and she ends up spending a night with him. She also has a boyfriend known as Lonnie but she is not sure of what she wants in life. They eventually break with Lonnie (Mason 45). In the long run, unable o discover about Vietnam War she packs and goes to cawood pond a place that is thought to be so dangerous. This followed her failure to find what she wanted about the Vietnam War in her father’s diary and letters.
From this point, one can note a way of communication through writing that had existed during this time. While in the Cawood Ponds she overheard somebody approaching her of which she thought out to be a rapist. She sought for a weapon to fight incase it was an enemy (Amason 62). However, when the person appears she finds out that it was her uncle Emmett who was seeking for her. He wept and told his experience on Vietnam and then they go back home where Sam suffers from what she thought to be a Post-Vietnam stress Syndrome and unable to take any action Emmett finds a way out in that they go to the Washington, DC to see the Vietnam Veterans war Memorial whereby Sam finds her father’s name and one like hers too.
On the other hand, the story is of a family of Cantrell that inhabited the mountains and hills along with the environment of Hoot Owl Holler. This family is known as to have oral communication through tales as the only way of communication. Jenifer is a descendant of this family and following her college course she arrives to record her family oral history with a tape recorder. In this scene, the old stories unveil. They are told from several narrators. Since Jennifer had little information about her real mother’s side of the family having had heard curses and house being tormented her teacher convinced her to pay her family visit and know whether the stories were true. When she travels to this mountain family, she finds out that every member has his or her own tale to tell about the family life. They have stories on how they have lived on this small mountain town explaining how they have lived and dealt with their problems.
According to Granny Younger version of the story, it was in 1902 when the witch woman took Almarine Cantrell under her spell. In the 1980s is when young Jennifer, a descendant of Almarine is seeing her dead mothers’ kin for the first time. In this case, Jennifer is forced by situation to align narrators to tell the story. She becomes so elated with the people she finds and both alive and dead she gets the stories (Smith 34). From Granny younger, she gets the story that ancestor Almarine followed a pretty singing redbird to devil-child Emmy. Almarine takes the child home but she wears him out making it finally to drive Emmy who was about to bear a witch child.
It is evident in the story that Almarine wife, Pricey June and their son were killed out of dew fever. This makes him to be crazy with grief and he goes down tearing the suggestion and comes back bloody. In this case, the one who was left alive was the Almarine’s beautiful daughter Dory. This was evident from the different voices of the story. In 1923, he sets out from well-designed Richmond to find himself like Pilgrims of yore. When he finds Dory, he loses the smart –neckline disconnection. At this time, Richard and Dory they are lovers. He is to take him back to Richmond but fate mixed up with fleshy inn owner, interfere and Richard is gone. He stays until his return in 1934 to do photography of the faces of Depression hate and misery (Smith 65).
On his return, he is not able to tell of his twin daughters of which one was the mother to Jennifer. Other mountains people in this case told of those that had died, about murder and suicide just as Dory did on the railroad tracks. In all these cases the stories are porch tales and finally her Uncle Al’s kind of deception, expulses Jennifer who was viewed as an outsider (Smith 74). In the long run, the story of Oral History is all about a mysterious lady Dory, who was lovely and in attempt narrators tell her story. Nonetheless, she remains to be a mystery.
From an analytical point of view, communication in the two stories is quite different. In Oral History by Lee Smith, the written form of communication is displayed as a way of vanquishing the Appalachian oral tradition that the Cantrell family is finally not willing to tell and trade it by letting it to be tape recorded or put in ink. This becomes evident when the Cantrell’s finally refuse to share the family stories with the visiting city relative Jenny. She is viewed as a verbally naïve college student who tries to record impressions in unnatural freshman English (Smith 18). The mountain folks believe that story telling is a richer tradition that should be protected from those that try to dilute it through recording like Jenifer.
From this point it is important to note that the mountain folks were not willing to give up their oral tradition of story telling and in this sense, they were not wiling to trade it with the written kind of communication. As compared to in county by Bobbie Ann mason, the Cantrell family is so much rich in oral tradition of story telling as they do it in a porch and not through a television. Bobbie in her case puts her story in a setting whereby oral tradition has been replaced by the tradition of written language and the advanced technology. This is for the reason that in the story, there are letters and diaries of Sam’s father that she is told to read by her mother Irene. This means that written form of communication was used in this setting. Again, there is a case whereby Lonnie makes a phone call and Sam does not tell him that she was attending the dance; this means that technology has advanced and the use of phones is allowed. Accordingly, there is a video show that the watching of M.A.S.H, a movie of Korean War. Additionally, when Mamau and Emmett are in Maryland when the car broke down they watch television in the Holiday inn. This means that in the Bobbie’s culture, the history can be expressed electronically through televisions. Another time when Emmett is not at home, Sam calls her friend dawn through phone.
Contrastingly, the two stories bring about two different types of communication in the sense that one reflects an oral tradition of story telling as the only way of communication in the Cantrell family who refuse to give it up to the written language or the kind of recording by Jennifer as it would erode the rich oral tradition. On the other hand, the communication seem to be advanced in the sense that there is the use of televisions, written form of communication through letters and the communication through the use of phones. The record on impressions is allowed in Mason’s novel and rejected in Smith’s culture that holds onto the Appalachian kind of story telling.
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