I need to find the definition of the greek, Shakespearean and Modern Tragic Hero and i found one essay that describes them. I'm truly very sorry. Everyday, the English language is being altered. New words are added and taken away in an attempt to keep it 'fresh' and 'new' and more accessible to accommodate those who speak a foreign tongue. We take our knowledge of this constantly changing dialect for granted, because it's highly doubtful that no more than a handful of us have ever considered the extinction of our language. Ken Wiwa is one in that handful.
His essay, Get Beyond Babel takes an interesting look at different languages and their unlikely survival in the coming years. He uses facts and interesting information to illustrate his point, as well as exaggerations and personal experiences to immerse the reader in his thoughts and his logic behind this intriguing composition. Though his feelings of animosity towards the English language's power to overtake and convert lesser dialects, switches to a feeling of defeated contempt at its' exceptional versatility to keep alive, this essay keeps the readers' attention and also gives something to think about and enlightenment. In Get Beyond Babel, Wiwa describes some unsettling news about the English language. The tone of the essay begins quite hostile, and he thrusts the reader into something that sounds like an irrational comment about something Wiwa has no idea about. But then Wiwa explains his way of thinking with a personal experience that helps the reader understand his argument.
He tells us the story of Ogoni, a people, in Southern Nigeria, that began with six garbled dialects, which have all now dissipated and left an entire generation without the knowledge of their past. "I am Ogoni. We number an estimated 500, 000, and speak six mutually unintelligible dialects... [... ]. The Ogoni languages and culture are threatened...
[... ] A whole generation of Ogoni is growing up... speaking English, forgetting our languages, exiled from our villages and our traditions." (Viewpoints 12, pg. 296) He goes on to say that there is still a difference in the languages today because of the subtle alterations that were made when the isolated villages of Nama were created, in a myth of the Ogoni creation. Wiwa takes the reader by the hand and shows them why he feels so angry towards the language that consumed his past, his culture and his roots, instead of just telling them and offering no support. Ken Wiwa also uses exaggeration to draw in and retain the reader's interest in his piece.
He begins his essay with the shocking idea: "Earlier this week I received compelling evidence that I am doomed to extinction." (pg. 295) This really grabs the attention of the reader, forcing them to continue on to get an understanding of why he feels this way. The second sentence uses the word 'annihilation' and 'Armageddon' to describe the future demise of some other languages, and yet again, captures the reader's attention. This is a gross exaggeration, since the languages are merely being absorbed into English, diversifying it and making it stronger. Wiwa also goes on to say "the human race is dying" (pg. 295).
This is obviously an embellishment because the human race is not dying, certainly not because of the disappearance of minor languages. His use of such strong words does its job well as the reader continues to engage in the piece. The use of striking words does not contribute to the essay as much as the use of interesting information. Wiwa uses a lot of facts and collective knowledge to illustrate his point. He uses such scientific-oriented evidence as "According to facts from the Worldwatch Institute, half of the world's 6, 800 languages face annihilation; that's because they are spoken by fewer that 2, 500 people." (pg. 295) He also uses such captivating 'quips' of knowledge, like the fact that the Ogoni language calls an airplane "faa-bu-yon" because it has no word for it, or computer either.
He also shares his knowledge and research by talking about Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, the late domination of the French language, and the shameless use of other dialects as the composition of the English language, and his knowledge of dead languages (Greek and Latin), etc. In conclusion, Ken Wiwa's argumentative essay on the disappearance of languages uses many techniques to clearly support his thesis. His essay leaves us with a serious afterthought - "After all, it took English 400 years to achieve its current status. Who is to say that in another 500 years English will not go the same way as Greek, Latin, or French?" (Pg. 298).