October 26, 2012
Langue and Parole
Sharon Daniel’s The Public Secret is a perfect example of langue and parole. Langue, as you know, is a system of language that makes speech possible. Parole is the use of that system of language, but it is not the system itself. Many people say that langue and parole are different from one another, but Daniel’s The Public Secret disproves those statements. If you examine Daniel’s project you can see that the stories told by the women prisoners are parole and the project itself is the langue. Each account presented is using the project as a means to externalize their statements. Without the project itself one would not be able to hear these statements, which shows that parole needs langue and langue needs parole. The way this project is presented is quite unique. You never see the faces of the women who tell their stories, but you can feel their struggle. Daniel’s presents the stories as just brief quotes that pop in an out of the screen and strike your curiosity to a point where you have to place your mouse over it to hear the story. Two quotes that really jumped out at me were in the “The Public Secret/Utopia” section. One quote read, “Why does that kid have 60 to life for throwing a beer can?” and the story that was within the quote was shocking. The other quote read, “…Your body, any part of it is state property” and the story that followed talked about how a girl got a sunburn and received a 115, a fine for damaging state property.