What impressed me most about Toni Morrison’s lecture was her emphasis on words capable of oppressing people. Humans have always deployed language for the abusive purposes and insults. At the same time, humans are the ones who do language that fairly measure their lives, according to Morrison.
By alluding to a bird in one’s hands, Morrison argues that everything is in our hands, meaning that we can either leave the bird alive or kill it. This allusion refers to the racial issue and the role of language in it. That way, Morrison provides a complex metaphor comparing a bird with a language to show her admiration for Hero language swallowed by the dominant language of the whites and their culture.
The thing that seemed challenging was Morrison’s attribution of a language to on eof the nation’s symbols. This is hard to understand in times of globalization when English serves as lingua franca and dominates over many national languages across the world. To back her stance, in her Nobel lecture Morrison claims that the development of the language much determines the development of a nation. Furthermore, she claims that with a disappearance of a language a nation disappears as well. This means that in order to survive, a language should be as independent as a nation. Thus, every nation in the world should keep its language independent, and only then absorb the riches of other languages to enhance its development. Such a purist approach contradicts the overwhelming expansion of English and its interference with other national languages.
My opinion on this powerful lecture is that the factor of language is not less important than the land across the national borders or the army that defends nation’s interests. Furthermore, I feel that with a power of a language a nation can preserve and promote its culture across the world. Consequently, for the weak countries to survive, linguistic and cultural safety is of ultimate strategic importance.