October 26, 2012

Heteroglossia in Public Secrets

There are many narrators and voices heard in Public Secrets, so I think the notion of heteroglossia is pertinent to this case study. There are the voices of the women in both audio and transcript and there's Daniel's narration. I think that, in particular, the audio of the women is the most effective part of this case. The recording sound like real conversations, there's noise in the background and you can hear Daniels (presumably) voicing agreements at some of the things the women say. The text quotes taken from the audio catch a readers attention because they are interesting. This case uses the women's voice to get the reader to see them more as individuals. Even though we don't get to see them, their voices are distinct and they have stories unique to themselves. This is to get the reader to feel a connection with the women, to empathize with them. That, in turn, serves to make the reader more critical of issues like laws, incarceration, prison conditions, and police brutality because those are the issues that many of these women face daily, some of them for the rest of their lives. The heteroglossia of this piece


lmariachami said...

Heteroglossia is very much incorporated in Daniel's hyperlink text. She uses so many different voices to create the one voice that is her project. She does include the audio, which I agree makes the text seem more alive and real. But what is so interesting with her use of heteroglossia in her text is the way the text pops up on the different menu's. One then doesn't know whose voice is being used. It can seem in fact at first that it's Daniel's voice.
The heteroglossia does allow the audience to be much more aware of what is going on in prison's. If Daniel had just written up an article about women's prisons, it wouldn't have been taken as seriously. But with the use of many different voices, we can understand that this is a very serious matter. A very serious and real matter to be more accurate.

noles1128 said...


I thought the same thing when I listened to the voice recordings of the women. It was very conversational, almost too real. It definitely caught my attention and I do agree with you when you said that it was the most effective part of the case. Daniel's reason behind "Public Secrets" is for her audience to see and hear what the people behind closed doors actually think. These women are the ones who live in the secret.

Megan Conner said...

I also saw the prominent use of heterglossia in Daniel's text. The fact that there are so many different voices and opinions sheds light on the idea that there are various situations and personalities in the prison system. With these varying personalities and identities, she is able to expose the "public secrets" and make them more identifiable to the reader. She offers the secrets up as, what Miller would call "recurring situations," to emphasize the wrongness of what is happening to the women in the prison system.

anaistamayo said...

I agree, Megan. There are definitely recurrences in what the women discuss. By showing these happenings as recurring situations, she shows that incidents like these occur all the time.

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