Study Guide

The Orange Houses Language and Communication

By Paul Griffin

Language and Communication

How would you communicate if you couldn't hear? Or if your voice sounded strange in your own head? What about if you didn't know the language everyone was using around you? <em>The Orange Houses </em>asks us to think about how language works, and what happens when it breaks down—just because someone can hear doesn't mean they are listening, after all. And on the flip side, just because people don't share much language doesn't mean they can't forge meaningful connections. 

Questions About Language and Communication

  1. What would be different if Mik communicated in a different way? How do her outdated hearing aids affect her ability to converse when she wants to?
  2. Mik doesn't speak very much in the beginning. Why? What changes to make her speak more often?
  3. Fatima taught herself English, French, and sign language (after learning her own native tongue). Why is she so interested in language? How does it help her connect with Mik? 

Chew on This

Mik uses her hearing aids as an excuse not to talk to people. It's not that she can't communicate, it's that she doesn't <em>want</em> to.

Fatima learns languages so she can know more about different types of people and blend into the crowd.

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