When a story is trying to influence readers of the author’s way of thinking, there are several ways to convince the reader that the viewpoint is the right thing to do ? capturing the reader’s sympathy with detail examples and facts, and the author’s tone leaving the reader teary-eyed with compassion way long after the story is finished. Leah Hager Cohen’s “Words Left Unspoken” wants people to understand that being deaf may hinder a person, but it can also amplify life in an extraordinary way.
Cohen’s goal is to convince the readers that deafness is not an infirmity but a cultural identity; however, Cohen failed to deliver the featured and the finishing touch. It did tap on detailed descriptions of her grandfather that captured the reader’s sympathy, which also led to frustration and disappointment. In the story, “Words Lefts Unspoken,” Leah Hager Cohen wrote detailed and enjoyable observations of her deaf grandfather presented in a melancholy kind of narration, and even with moments of heart-felt instances, the story doesn’t keep the warmth as it reach the finale, leaving the reader with a feeling of discontent.
Leah Cohen starts with a joyful moment and ends it in sad and dreary mood. The author narrates, “He would lift us grandchildren up, most frequently by the elbows, and nuzzle our cheeks vigorously. This abrasive ritual greeting was our primary means of communication. ” The author’s effective use of details creates motion picture in the reader’s head, catching the reader’s interest, but the negative ending disappoints the reader. “This abrasive ritual greeting was our primary means of communication” sounds like regret that she didn’t learn any other way to communicate with her grandfather and thus creating an unexciting mood.
Another example of Leah H. Cohen’s writing style is the part when her grandfather plays with them. She wrote how “He could make nickels disappear, just vanish, from both his fists and up his sleeves; we never found them, no matter how we crawled over him, searching. All this without any words. ” Hager Cohen gave a vivid description of her observations but she did not paint a clear picture of what he might have been thinking, or feeling. Was he happy? Or annoyed? Or was he playing with them because there’s nothing else better to do?
Again, the author might have answered the questions by her melancholy statement in the end. Hager Cohen begins with detail-packed, happy moments, leaves a gap for the climax, and ends with a depressing statement. The story makes the reader realize that the author doesn’t really know the grandfather that well. She described the specifics explicitly ? How he looked like, how he eats, what shows he watches on TV, how he acts, and where he lived ? but she lacks the personal level that creates the climax of the story.
All Leah Hager Cohen has is her scanty memories of her grandfather, that she even had to include where he was born, and when he migrated ? which has no significance with the story. Towards the end, she wrote, “I measured my steps to his. It was dark except for the hazy pink cones of light cast by streetlamps, I found his rhythm, and breathed in it.
That was the longest conversation we ever had. ” This line contains a pleasing tone, for this is the only part of the story that’s intimate ? their feelings were in sync, and the environment was described; however, her last sentence has a glum voice tone that brought that feeling of discontent.
Cohen’s writing style lights the fuse but there is no explosion because she tends to put it out with a depressing statement. She failed to present the main event of the story and sort of just left her hanging?. kind of like an unfinished business. What frustrates the reader is that the story is all about her deaf grandfather, yet the reader did not learn anything from the character. Cohen’s melancholy ending did not gain the readers’ sympathy, only disappointment.
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Topic: Words Left Unspoken
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