Sophia Woodruff: power of the word

I found many themes to be very interesting that we discussed in Media 180. The theme that has resonated with me the most, however, is how powerful words are. I have never given it much attention before this class; I thought words were just words. Some were nice words and some were bad words, but thanks to this class I can now see how language affects the people and how the manipulation of it can bring destruction and hatred to the individual and to the world. On the other side, words can also change the life course for an individual for the better and change an individual’s whole perspective on life. In “learning to read and growing in knowledge”, written by Frederick Douglass, we get to see that learning to read, and understanding the Bible, and the oppressive culture the way it was back then made the narrator more free, wise, and rebellious. Suddenly he understood that keeping African Americans from learning how to read and keeping them from getting an education was helping the society to continue to exploit them unfairly in order to gain profit out of their hard labor and keep discriminating and oppressing them based on their skin color. Before he was able to read he, like so many other African Americans, simply accepted that oppressive society and accepted getting treated badly. They thought it was supposed to be this way. They thought God wanted it to be this way. Words changed that for Douglas. Words and language are powerful and can change everything for an individual.



4 thoughts on “Sophia Woodruff: power of the word

  1. wesleywununo says:

    I do agree that words are powerful, without words we humans would need a different way of communicating. It’s crazy to think about what a world without words would be like. Many societies have used GOD as a figure to obtain power, without words and education the people wouldn’t be able to question authority. Education is also very powerful and it helps an individual to think independently.


  2. jaiimeriinaldii says:

    Words are certainly powerful. Especially because when written down, you have the ability to read them over and over again. Words and language can change a person’s world as it expands knowledge and meaning to ones life, especially for Frederick Douglass as you mentioned. Whether someone is black, white, tan, blue, purple, or orange, every being deserves a chance to be informed. Through reading and writing knowledge is expanded leading to a population as powerful as the words themselves!


  3. betania100 says:

    Words are more than just sounds coming out of one’s mouth. I like how you used “Learning to Read and Write” as an example. It gives an idea of how powerful words are and how they can be used to lift or humiliate someone. There are some people who don’t measure the words that come out of their mouth, but this class, as well, taught me the meaning of words.


  4. Pravita R says:

    Growing up, my mom would always tell me that words have power. I always heard it as a saying and while I knew that words are powerful, I never thought about the true power words hold. This readings we’ve discussed in this class have demonstrated the impact of the written word and in this post, you’ve summarized the importance of not just words, but literacy as a whole.


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