Author: Axella Negyacahya Hartono
What is truly the greatest power in the world? Some of us humans believe from the beginning of creation, the Creator made us from His image and that we are given the charge of this planet. Some believe that just apparently humans developed into an intelligent species and eventually made ourselves dominate Earth. So perhaps, if we are the ‘alpha’ on this planet, where do we held the greatest power in the world?
We live in a globalized society, an era which everyone and everything is connected. Information such as our dear celebrity’s favorite color to their exact date of birth are not too much to search for. Is not the power it thrusts, the ability to know things easily is quite a big deal? You see where this is going?
Talking about this, we heed to the base and simplest, to think how this huge world works. That bears some questions like, in what way are we connected? Well, thought-provoking questions like that have complex answers. See it this way, I am now writing things that I thought from my own way of thinking and work my best to transfer it to words for you to read and maybe thought of too. Yes! That is language!
Now that we noticed all of this is about language, how we communicate, how are all these rouses us? Aristotle on plot and emotions, said that we watch tragedies because we desire to. It’s that curiosity to know what others got to say or act and about life. Which led to this emotional burst called catharsis. Just like when a movie moved or inspired you. You see, even when it seemed you do not do much interaction, we are social people and are constantly learning and evolving as individuals from each other.
The younger generation, like myself a Gen-Z, that statement could meant language as a precursor in exploration of the world. Language and literature, they brought us new ideas. From Sophocles to Shakespeare’s complex mind, to Roald Dahl who wrote children’s literature. They broaden our knowledge. They made us see what they see. They affect our way of thinking and eventually how we act.
A play by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer for example, among many other great plays. Death of England. This is a good example for the world we live in today. As recently we hear frequent injustice and problems with equality.
- So what is it about this play?
A little synopsis, two characters, best friends, Michael and Delroy. Deals with racism. Two perspectives—Michael as a white man and Delroy as a black man as best friends and made them tackle their difficulties and differences in skin color in the place where they live with such negativity.
- A turning point
Michael was written as a person who lacks of gut and full of issues. That he also went through tough times, when his father passed and how he tackles his mind and surroundings.
Then a crucial and harsh line from his mother, told him to find some courage. That’s it, that is where we see a change of state. You see how utterances affect minds?
This is the play where we see through the perspective of Delroy. How he, authentically, as an individual tackles. In itself is a knowledge just to see what it has to take for others and how they respond. An experience we don’t get to experience deliberately as an interlocutor.
Utterances affect minds. From watching a play to just having a chill conversation with your friends. This influence of course comes in various forms. It leads us to think and analyze deeper things about a topic. Perhaps questioning them. Questions the normal.
This pondering process is what made us understand and grow. Take tests to see whether or not we could do something, maybe invent something. Asking what made this or that acts that way. An American philosopher, Judith Butler purpose a theory about gender. She said gender is not what one is, but one does. According to Judith Butler, one is not merely a man or a woman. It’s how iterative performance of how the society acts and became the normal.
What is normal and what is not normal to the society, sometimes constraints. See it this way, a girl named Amelie loves period drama. She has got a keen interest on Jane Austen and the Regency Era, which is a period in England when the writer lived at that time. After watching a Jane Austen adaptation, Emma., Amelie wants to dress like she is in that era.
A scene from Emma. (2020). Source: Willow and Thatch
What do you think she will do? Amelie has two choices, to dress like one or not dress like one. She thinks again. She thought, wouldn’t it be odd if I go out with a fancy period dress? And she decided not to. That is a simple example how a person diverge from the society’s idea of normal and got constrained, a sort of punishment.
This is how external impact shape our minds, especially the younger generation that are aware of globalization. How technology will advanced and everything will be more and more connected, which is how people invest. Indeed we have to be careful not to lose our own identity and authenticity.
Because of globalization we can know things just from our fingertips. This is why we need a tool to access globalization. Language such as English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish are the three most used language in the world. Although, globalization made one language to be dominant as a communication tool to make things less complex for everyone. It is the international language, English.
No doubt it is mandatory nowadays for people, especially the younger generation to be fluent of. Many countries have made English as one of their prime subject and became an important criteria to be expected from a student. Since the language will certainly help them to explore the world of globalization and do crazy things.
So later in time if you are in a bad day and think little of yourself, remember, you held the greatest power in the world. Language.
Written by Axella Negyacahya Hartono
Information about Death of England and Judith Butler’s Gender Theory was referenced from an EdX course, Writing Successfully for the Stage by Abigail Docherty, University of Cambridge.
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition