Translations- Close Reading
Arguably the most significant section within Translations is Act 2, scene 2, more specifically the conversation between Yolland and Maire. This section of the text demonstrates the complexity which can be brought about by language barriers; it also questions the necessity of being able to speak the same language as a person in order to communicate with them.
Two key characters both within the play as a whole and in Act 2, scene 2 are Yolland and Maire, despite not being able to linguistically understand each other Yolland and Maire manage to communicate with one another. “Maire- the grass must be wet. My feet are soaking. Yolland- Your feet must be wet. The grass is soaking” Although Maire and Yolland are separated by their languages we are led to believe that they have a mutual understanding due to the way they mirror and echo one another’s thoughts. Language is the only thing that holds the two apart.
Maire and Yolland demonstrate to the audience that people can be brought together despite their inability to hold meaningful conversation “ They are now facing each other and begin moving almost imperceptibly- towards one another” even though Yolland and Maire are suffering to understand one another linguistically, through the feelings they share with one another they demonstrate how common thought processes can overrule the requirement of language and thje two lovers are able to enjoy one another without this factoring.
Maire and Yolland convey language barriers as just a mere communication obstacle which anyone can overcome “Maire (to Owen) What does he say? Yolland- (to Owen) What is she saying?” the confusion between the two characters in this extract from Act 2, Scene 1 demonstrates a direct comparison of the understanding the pair seem to have in Act 2, Scene 2. The couple express the fact that language barriers can be overcome if you put enough emotion and determination into it. In Act 2, Scene 2 the couple mirror and echo...