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Communication Is More Than Just Words

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Communication is more than just words

Oral Communications 100

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

When one sense is diminished, another is magnified, but can it ever truly be compensated? In some instances, yes however, when addressing the ability to communicate, there are two senses, that when absent hinders the communication process: sight and touch. Communication is more than just words. In an effort to explore this idea further, we will look at the movie "Witness".

The movie, starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, takes place in New England. After losing her husband, Rachel Lapp (McGillis) and her son, Samuel, travel via railway to Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate the birth of Samuel's cousin. When Samuel goes to the restroom during a delay in Philadelphia, he witnesses the murder of a Narcotics Officer. During the investigation, Detective John Book (Ford), discovers that the murderers are two fellow officers in conspiracy with the Chief of Police. In an effort to protect Samuel Lapp, John finds himself living in the Amish community with Rachel, Samuel, and Eli Lapp, Rachel's father-in-law.

When two worlds such as an Amish community and a 20th century metropolis collide, they give textbook examples of different aspects of communication.

During the first half of the movie, when Rachel and Samuel enter into this unknown society, their reactions are mirrored by society's reactions to them.

When Rachel and Samuels board the train, we see Eli Lapp, and friend of the family, Daniel; express their discontent

of Rachel's decision to venture out into a world filled with "evil". While Eli's expressions are of concern and care, we notice, as Daniel gives Samuel a small wooden toy, his countenance pouring with an alterative motive as he smiles flirtatiously at Rachel.

Next, lets discuss Rachel's insinuations towards the foreign society. When we see Rachel on Eli's farm, she seems to be a very devoted Amish woman. This implication remains unchanged, as we see her at the train station in Philadelphia. She is very introverted, as she sits alone on a bench, sewing. She is stiff and apathetic to the world revolving around her and in making no attempt to commune with it, only speaks German to Samuel while in public, succeeding in isolating themselves. She demonstrates great lethargy towards any issue that exists outside her "realm". She demonstrates this several times when, while someone talks to her, she stares out the window, making no eye contact and sending a loud and clear message that she does not want to hear what he or she are saying.

When John comes in to question Samuel, Rachel holds on to Samuel while burying her face. She is opposed to being a party to this and not only verbalizes these feelings, but

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