SOUND OF SILENCE
Silence is a very profound and very mysterious subject. The very element of silence and the loss of silence, otherwise known as noise, or the effect of silence on things are outside of the known realities. Man can write a lifetime about silence and still only uncover the slightest truth about silence.
Perhaps the most mysterious pathway of silence is that of the effects of nature. Nature is the state of the world before and during the absence of man with all of his machines and buildings which shatter the natural silence of the world. The struggle between man and nature can be followed back to man’s fear of silence.
Man was created in silence and he hasn’t been able or willing to return to the quiet stillness of his beginning. It seems as if he is frightened of the peace and stillness created by silence. Man can’t live in a silent place, he needs noise to exist. Even at his best attempt to live in harmony with silence in nature he is still threatened by it.
There are several ways in which silence might affect the world of nature. Firstly, the all things are at their beginnings silent. The way this is perceived is though the images of silence. Images of the silence are like signs pointing the way to their source, as in a tree planted in the forest.
The expectant stillness is part of nature’s increasing presence in things. It can be said that, things are on the outer end of silence waiting for silence to find the tranquillity of the moment. At times it seems as if, nature is fighting against silence.
Natures struggle is not quite as desperate as man’s fight with silence. Nature must only disturb silence in order to accomplish certain things, like the change of seasons from the stillness of winter to the onset of spring. Only slightly more dramatic is the commencement of autumn from summer’s seemingly endless tenure. The hibernation and period of dormancy preceding winter is in part the work of silence.
“The Sound of Silence” A Formalist Criticism I have chosen to analyze the 1664 hit by Paul Simon, “The Sound of Silence.” This song is filled with symbolism and can be interpreted in many different ways. I believe that it is a commentary on the way that people fail to communicate and understand each other, not only between cultures, and not only words, but emotions as well.
The song begins with the words “Hello darkness, my old friend/I’ve come to talk with you again.” I feel that this is an indicator that the author is in a dark place, talking to, basically, nobody. I think that use of the word ‘again’ is indication that going to a dark place and talking about his concerns is something that the singer does frequently, when he needs to get something off his chest.
The song continues, “Because a vision softly creeping/Left its seeds while I was sleeping/And the vision that was planted in my brain/Still remains/Within the sound of silence.” I believe that in this, the singer is saying that this is a realization that came to him in a dream.
I think that even though the realization came to him in a dream, it is very valid, and has caused the singer so much mental and emotional distress that he has come to talk it out in the darkness.
The next stanza describes the dream that the singer had: “In restless dreams I walked alone/Narrow streets of cobblestone/’Neath the halo of a street lamp/I turn my collar to the cold and damp/When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light/That split the night/And touched the sound of silence.” I think that in this stanza, the singer is setting the mood for the coming realization.
He is walking down a street, when suddenly there is a bright flash of light. I feel that it is significant that the singer says that the light ‘touched the sound of silence.’ I think that throughout the song,