Essay on silence in the chosen

Music is as much expressive as normal human language.

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Since music carries much more powerful emotional charge than the real-life events, modern psychologists use it for the therapy. It can be explained by positive impact on the human nervous system. Emotions that rise during the process of listening to the music. Chaim Potok uses many different types of silence in The Chosen. The silence helps to buoy the imagery and strength of the emotions and assists in adding depth to the moment. Each silence also helps to clarify the messages that pass through the story, making them sharper and additionally refined. The League, which was previously contesting Zionism and the development of Israel without the coming of the Messiah via papers, flyers, and rallies, grew oddly silent with the …show more content….

Another type of silence in The Chosen is the silence that exists between Danny and Reuven and is no product of their own; it is the silence that Reb Saunders enforced upon them when he forbade them to speak or spend time together. Danny was not to see me, talk to me, listen to me, be found within four feet of me.

My father and I had been excommunicated from the Saunders family. The silence not only deeply hurt the boys, who were true friends, but also infuriated Reuven. He was furious at Reb Saunders for not only tearing apart their friendship, but especially for tearing it apart with that hated silence. Silence was ugly, it was black,. Show More. We will occasionally send you account related emails. Want us to write one just for you? The use of an inferno as manifested in The Great Gatsby Essay. Overcoming all odds in a tale of two cities Essay.

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Novel ''The Chosen'' by Chaim Potok

Accessed 19 October Conflict and Other Themes in The Chosen. April Your essay sample has been sent. Order now. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a complete color-coded spectrum of sound—from blue up through green, orange, red, and violet, coded by density. Pink noise is supposed to be especially soothing, causing the listener to emit alpha waves, an indicator of a deeply calm state of mind. Black noise is the lowest density of sound, closest to soundlessness Geere, 1—2.

And then somewhere on that spectrum of sound, a form of white noise, is that much-maligned invention known as Muzak. The word Muzak , which is a combination of the words music and Kodak , was invented by the founder of the Muzak Corporation, a former two-star general named George Squirer, shortly after the end of World War I. One of the first places Muzak was used was in elevators. Evidently, in the s, the early days of the elevator, people were reluctant to be locked into a windowless closet that lifted them stories above the ground on a few strands of unseen cable.

Elevator music was meant to entice them in and to calm their fears Owen, General Squirer also hit upon the idea of selling background music that Muzak claimed could create a calming ambiance and thus increase the concentration and productivity of workers. From the early days of Muzak up through the s, 60s, 70s, and into the 80s, the formula for Muzak was to level out and tranquilize any high ecstasies and low melancholies and to eliminate any lyrics in order to help keep the music entirely subliminal.

Like all white noise, it soon became part of the background of sound. The Muzak Corporation understood quite well what the competition was: a member of its marketing department once claimed, Our biggest competitor is silence 68— When I was a graduate student, in the early s, I was the head of a student organization that had invited the poet William Stafford to come to the university to do a poetry reading.

Stafford looked at me. What could I do?

Silence Quotes ( quotes)

Completely mortified, I set off frantically in search of the source of the Muzak. As it turned out, there was a locked box behind the information counter in the building—a metal box with a padlock on it—and inside the switch that controlled the audio system. Someone on the security staff must have been afraid that a random vandal might turn the Muzak off.

No one had the key at the information desk. What are the people who work in this building going to do? I had visions of the employees rising from their desks in collective panic, shouting to each other in terror, the silence a pure agony as they scrambled over their desks to leap out of the windows. Finally, the head of student activities got the keys from a janitor, unlocked the box, flipped the switch, and off—thank God—went the Muzak.

Yet, if we are willing to submit to it, Muzak has some value. Regular calming of subliminal sound might be better for concentration than something closer to absolute quiet, a quiet that is more vulnerable to being shattered by the faintest of random noises.


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In other words, listening to Muzak at the factory or the office might be more conducive to concentration than sitting on the steps of a cabin in the Monongahela Wilderness, where a sudden chainsaw, hovering chopper, or an ornery screech owl could be a distraction. The regular calming sounds of white noise and Muzak might actually bring us closer to silence than the randomness of a vulnerable peace and quiet.

Regular calming background sounds make it easier to turn away from what is going on outside ourselves and to turn towards the silence within. To what degree do the factory workers choose silence as they turn away from the Muzak and towards concentrating on a task? To what extent is this state of mind imposed upon them?


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  • The Power of Silence: A The Chosen Essay!
  • Some people find the concept of Muzak disturbing because there is an involuntary element here which seems to violate freedom of will. If one succumbs to the Muzak, one becomes the tool of its perpetrators and is suddenly transformed into a kind of marvelous performing animal. If one struggles against being seduced by Muzak, it actually becomes not white noise, but the most irritating of noises Day-Glo orange?

    Workers may choose to go along with the subliminal music they know is being used to influence them—and many have said that they actually like Muzak—yet some of us find it annoying, not just for its terrible blandness but because we know that it deliberately aims to manipulate us. Muzak creates a silence that has been chosen for us, not one we have chosen for ourselves. Unless we want to cut and run or stick our fingers into our ears and hum, we must be influenced—and yet, paradoxically, Muzak might also provide the non-listener with a wall of sound behind which peace of mind and solitude are possible.

    Silence may help concentration and provide freedom of mind for those who seek it, but it can be an agony of mind and spirit for those upon whom it is imposed for extended periods of time. Just as noise can intrude upon consciousness, be used to manipulate, or even become an instrument of torture, silence can be used as a weapon—to isolate, to punish, and to break the will. To be in solitary confinement is to be imprisoned in a silence. It is a form of sensory deprivation in which we remove someone from human contact, and in the most extreme cases, allow as little stimulation as possible for the eye and ear.

    We punish bad behavior by removing sources of stimulation inside the cell: the sound of a live human voice, the TV, the CD player, the radio, magazines, books. We might even plunge our subjects into complete darkness, so they have no sense of the passing of day or night and lose any accurate notion of the progress of time. It takes great inner resources to survive the most extreme type of solitary confinement; often prisoners develop a routine of exercise and creative activity to stay healthy and sane.

    Those who adopt some physical and mental discipline and apply their minds to something manage to survive, but many succumb to madness. A little silence may be a good thing, but too much is at first uncomfortable, then painful, and finally unbearable. In supermax prisons—maximum security prisons—the uncooperative and the highly dangerous are subjected to varying degrees of solitary confinement. According to Dr. Craig Haney, a psychologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, who has studied the effects of solitary confinement extensively,.

    Supermax prisons house prisoners in virtual isolation and subject them to almost complete idleness for extremely long periods of time. Some supermax units conduct visits through video conferencing equipment rather than in person; there is no immediate face to face interaction let alone physical contact.

    Haney, Prisoners may be confined and isolated for years as much to control and manage them as for punishment. What happens to a human being who is subjected to so long a silence? The symptoms of this kind of isolation are quite well known. Again, as Dr. Haney has observed,. There is not a single published study of solitary or supermax-like confinement in which nonvoluntary confinement lasting for longer than 10 days, where participants were unable to terminate their isolation at will, that failed to result in negative psychological effects.

    The damaging effects ranged in severity and included such clinically significant symptoms as hypertension, uncontrollable anger, hallucinations, emotional breakdowns, chronic depression, and suicidal thoughts and behavior Haney goes on to observe what happens to long-term supermax prisoners who in response to their confinement become unable to control their own behavior and are uncomfortable with even very small amounts of freedom. They experience:. In extreme cases, prisoners may literally stop behaving.

    Supermax prisoners are literally at risk of losing their grasp on who they are Some prisoners become incapable of social interaction and retreat into themselves and create their own reality. Others experience uncontrollable and sudden outbursts of rage. Others channel their anger into frustrating and thwarting their captors in any way possible, and dream of revenge In long-term solitary confinement, we, as a society, have collectively turned away, creating both a silence and an extreme loneliness for another human being to inhabit. Those who survive do so because they have a measure of internal discipline with which to focus the mind and turn the imagination to a task, whether it is the composing of sermons, a novel, or a manifesto, or planning a revolution or some bitter plot of revenge.

    If a long silence is imposed on us by others, it seems we must either turn towards it—embrace it—or be destroyed. But when silence is a choice we have made, when we can control its nature and duration, as in an isolation tank, it can be exhilarating. Once the hatch is closed, one sits in complete darkness, with most of the body warmly immersed and a breathing mask over the face. There is a feeling of safety, the mind can become free of its daily litany of troubles, and we are able to wander in the depths of the psyche and meditate in a vast calm.

    John C. Lilly had the nerve to ask if there was, in fact, anything on the other side of silence:. We have been seeking answers to the question of what happens to the brain and its contained mind in the relative absence of physical stimulation. Freed of normal efferent and afferent activities, does the activity of the brain soon become that of coma or sleep, or is there some inherent mechanism which keeps it going. According to Lilly, the isolation tank was one of the most monotonous environments he had ever experienced.

    Some subjects could stand the isolation tank for only an hour or two. Unable to focus, they became bored or agitated.

    How "Scorsese" is Silence? - Video Essay

    Others managed to remain calmly in the tank for many hours in a state of deep meditation and even began to experience waking dreams and hallucinations. Immediately after their experiences in the isolation tank, Lilly had his experimental subjects write down their perceptions in a log.

    From studying these log entries, Lilly discerned that their sessions broke down into seven stages, depending on how long they were able to remain in the tank. At first the subjects were preoccupied with perceptions of their surroundings or with their everyday problems. Then after the first hour or so, they began to relax stages 1—3. But during the second hour, subjects began to feel the urge to move or to feel some sensation, what Lilly calls stimulus-action hunger , and were driven to make a swimming motion or to touch their own bodies in order to feel something.

    At this point stage 4 , if the subjects could not get past this tension, they often became frustrated and left the tank. At stage 6, subjects began to experience a more dreamlike state, which included daydreams and emotionally charged fantasies that some subjects suppressed and others relaxed and enjoyed.