Toni Morrison's Tale of the Blind Woman and the Bird

Toni Morrison advised a tale of an old blind woman who was once challenged by a group of young humans who believed her to be a fraud. The young people bagged on the one weakness which she had that she may want to control; her blindness. So they went to her and told her that they held a bird in their hand asked her whether or not it was dead or alive. The woman, unable to determine the reply to their question, told them that she did not know whether or not the bird was dead or alive, however all that she knew was that it was in their hands.

The Bird as a Language

Mr. Morrison likened the bird to a language, whose living or death depended on its handlers. The old woman was likened to a great writer. She would do all that was in her power to nurture and grow the language. However, the preservation of the language and its continuation was a thing that was beyond her control. Whether it lived or died depended entirely on those who were left to use or disuse it as they deemed fit. These were the young men who would mock her and make fun of her, using the language as the basis of their mockery.

The Living Language

That language is a living thing is not quite in question. Languages live through those who speak them and those who write them and those who understand them. They grow continually as the world develops by the day and might die if they are not nurtured. The only way to nurture a language is by writing and reading in that language as much as possible, as a failure to do this would see the said language fall into obscurity. That was the point that Ms. Morrison sought to make through her speech.

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