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by Marianne Moore

Silence Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint." (11-12)

When people are really shocked or amazed by something, sometimes they post it onto their Facebook profiles or Twitter pages with the phrase: "There are no words." That's basically the idea here. When we are really moved by something, the only thing we can say is that we can't say anything about it. The father's distinction between "silence" and "restraint" is worth examining. If we just stay silent, no one would know that we feel anything at all. What people need to see is that our silence isn't just straightforward silence, but rather a meaningful silence. It's a strange contradiction: you have to speak up to let people know you're not speaking.

Quote #5

Nor was he insincere in saying, "Make my house your inn."
Inns are not residences. (13-14)

The speaker's father is a pretty sneaky guy. "Make my house your inn" sounds really welcoming – but it's actually a welcome with a warning thrown in. By pointing out that her father actually means, "Don't get too comfortable, this isn't your home" the speaker shows us how phrases can be interpreted in multiple ways and that we should be reading for more subtle meanings, in addition to the obvious ones.

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