October 26, 2012

ignore it, and it shall not affect you

In class we looked at  "heterglossia" as a plurality of voices. Merriam Webster defines it as "a diversity of voices, styles of discourse or points of view in a literary work". "Public Secrets" by Sharon Daniel relates to heteroglossia because it is, in itself a plurality of voices and a diversity of voices. Sharon uses different points of view from prisoners as she visits and talks with them to make her point across. She wants to make known the things that are going on behind the closed doors of prison,  the women's prisons. I do not know if I am in agreement the people do not know what is going on behind the doors of prison. I know that we may not know specific details, but I have always known that women are mistreated in prisons. I do not see that as a secret. Perhaps, I guess she is saying that we dismiss it and don't want to know, there for we ignore it? So she wanted to make it known by interviewing and speaking with people who have been there?

I suppose there are things that people just do not with to know because if they ignore it, it doesn't have to effect them or get into their head or effect their emotions. I always think about extra terrestrials when I think of this idea. People do not want to know about aliens because it would challenge religion which is what a lot of people base their existence on. It would cause chaos. This, to me, is a public secret. In daniel's piece, Each person's story is a different voice and she puts them together to form a project to learn more about the hidden secrets and whats goes on inside prisons. A male is not going to see the situation the same as a female. Also, the workers in the prison are not going to see things in the same light as the prisoner. There are opposing idea within the piece that form the heteroglossia.

8 comments:

Karlyn Mckell said...

I agree with Daniel on her notion that, "ignore it, it will not affect you". While many have heard rumors about horrors in prison, most of us have never heard first hand accounts. Also, most of us don't know if these "horrors" are true, and we also think of women prisoner's in the prison system as crazy women who shot their husbands or killed their kids, etc. I think Daniel's gave a very unique and much needed voice to the women prisoners, by detailing their horrible conditions through interviews and also by showing the absurdity of some of their "crimes". Not everyone in prison is a murderer who "deserves" punishment. Also, new reality shows such as "prison diaries" "death row" and "I almost got away with it" generally frame the prisoners to be these crazy manical people that need to be locked up from society. But these are just the extreme cases that cable television can exploit for ratings, not necessarily the normal female prisoner.

I think it is really easy for people to ignore the prison system. For me, I don't ever plan on going to prison and I don't know anyone in prison, so I rarely think about the conditions of prisoners. This webtext opened my eyes to an injustice I ignored.

Jenny said...

The plurality and diversity of the voices is very evident in the interviews and through Daniel's writing. It is interesting to see if there are different views on the way that they are treated in prison from those working in the prison. Should those that work in the prison and know what's going on behind closed doors be able to voice how they feel as well? I agree, that sometimes people believe that if you ignore something and pretend it's not there then it doesn't really exist and I think that is what's going on with the whole prison situation. Even when we hear voices and the "truth" we sometimes still try to ignore it.

Kathrynn Ward said...

Also, like out of sight, out of mind. People in other countries don't even have running water, let alone a hot shower or a meal to put on the table. Those are horrible conditions, and we all know about them. But how many times in your day do you take the time to think about them and be thankful for what we have here in america? I do a lot, but I feel others don't. They try and ignore it so that they don't have to feel about it. I hate it. I wish more people would open their minds to public secrets. We can't ignore all the horrible things that are going on in the world, then nothing will change, and it will only get worse.

KatieA said...

The way you combed through the purpose of Daniel's text and the point of it is similar to how I did also. I was wondering what exactly her point was and I think I came to a conclusion pretty similar to yours. I realized that I think the point she is trying to make is that although we do not know the exact details of what goes on in a women's prison, we are intelligent enough to guess that it is not good yet we ignore the situation even though it occurs right in our back yard. It is like ignoring something right in front of you because you just don't want to deal with it or don't know how to. I also really like the example you brought up about aliens. I think that this kind of thing happens all the time with society ignoring important things because we do not know how to better handle or address the situation.

Bridgette Balderson said...

"I do not know if I am in agreement the people do not know what is going on behind the doors of prison. I know that we may not know specific details, but I have always known that women are mistreated in prisons. I do not see that as a secret." I agree 100%. None of these women's stories were really anything shocking to me. If anything, I expected the stories to be like this. The treatment of prisoners male or female has never been fair. One woman said, "it's not a correctional facility, there are no corrections, it's a penal colony." The guards are not 100% invested in helping these people reintegrate into society, many of them are there just for the paycheck. I also liked your tie-in with thinking about how acknowledging things like aliens would completely shake up everything. That would be a public secret for the good of humanity, I suppose. There's a quote from Men in Black after Will Smith's character learns that aliens live among people. Agent K tells him, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow." I think we like to ignore unpleasant things like acknowledging there are people just like us in prison. We don't care because it's not happening to us. But I bet if you were alone in prison you would give anything for someone like Sharon Daniels to come along and talk to you, to hear your opinion.

Adam Schwartz said...

The stories presented are horrible and inhumane especially the one that talks about how any part of your body is now state property. The different views on prison itself is the heteroglossia in this project. I bet if she had a section that interviewed the warden or people who work in men prisons, we would be hearing completely different secrets. If she interviewed the warden we would probably hear about how all of these stories are false and the mistreatment of the prisoners is not even a problem. The statement "ignore it and it shall not affect you" is clearly the reason behind this piece. I only knew about the mistreatment of prisoners from movies like Shawshank and Escape from Alcatraz, but the vivid and brief stories definitely open a Pandora's box of secrets that the prison system never wanted to let out.

Karlyn Mckell said...

I agree with Adam. We all have seen movies that detail prison life, but very rarely do we hear first hand accounts such as these. While I could have "expected" that they would be bad, I generally tried not to think about it. And that is where the power in this project it. If we all sit down and think about it, we would probably assume being in a prison would be pretty terrible and we would get abused, physically mentally and emotionally. But we don't all sit down and think about it. Ever. But now that we have all read this piece, we are all thinking about the horrors of a "new" injustice we have stumbled upon. Just because we could have assumed prisons were terrible doesn't mean this project isn't powerful in what it does-- it makes us hear and think about just what is going on in these prisons, with the hope that it will inspire us to make a change.

John Smith said...

The term "public secrets" does not refer to the fact that nobody knows about it, but to the fact that it has been socially constructed in a way to promote a purposeful neglect of thought from the outside. People know about prisons, people know what goes on in them, secrecy is not the issue.

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