Language and Hate in A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

Language and Hate in A Worn Path by Eudora Welty

A Research by

Asst. Prof. Dr. Ismael M. Fahmi   and      Asst. Prof. Dr. Lanja A. Dabbagh

English Department, College of Languages, Salahaddin University- Hawler

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The paper sizes the multifaceted and often questioned relation of language and violence in a short story entitled A Worn Path (1941) by Eudora Weldy (1909- 2001). The idea is that there is usually a concern with the violent dimension of tone, speech, and language, the paper tackles the question from a different methodological angle and asks in which way hatred and violence might be understood as a form of speaking and address. This method is based on the more general view that it is possible neither to get a satisfactory understanding of speech and language without considering their violent force, nor to gain an acceptable account of interpersonal violence without considering its linguistic dimension in communication.

In order to support this view, it will be argued that it is exactly the symbolic-linguistic character of hate crime that is guilty for its specific harmful force as well as for its dehumanizing effects. Beside, hate crimes are not only linguistics in character, they are also directed against the possibility of language and speech itself, as a result they aim at making us speechless, depriving us of the possibility of speaking out and being heard. This leads to an account of hate crime as a form of multi-addressed violence that does not only call for a strong notion of concern, but also needs a distinguished response by all social institutions and authorities. A Worn path was exactly that in the person of grandmother Phoenix Jackson.

Key Words: Language, Hate and violence, Multi- addressed violence.



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