I hope that all is well, but I would like to confront you about an underlying issue within the deaf community. After watching the documentary “Sound And Fury,” something became very apparent that needs to be addressed. Deafness is an impairment since it limits ability to fit in and succeed in a society. It is imperative intervene in the situation with Heather. An intervention becomes obligatory when someone’s life is in danger, deafness is not a culture, it is an impairment that many people suffer from.
Quality of and right to life are indispensable and inalienable rights that become jeopardized when someone is forced to be deaf. This is why you need to become involved in the situation, and ensure that Heather is given every opportunity possible by getting the cochlear implants. The ability to reach or surpass one’s potential is not always something that is prevalent in all people for they may have hindrances which may limit them from living up to their maximum capability.
Though many strive to reach their goals, many have handicaps or barriers that impede them from maintaining their inner focus on their dreams by forcing them to focus on trying to fit into society. Deafness is one of these limiting handicaps: not only does it stop the person from easy direct communication, it impedes them from being able to succeed to their maximum potential. This is oddly revealed through an example from a play, Translations, set in the mid 1800s in Ireland in which Britain was attempting to rename and replace all of the placenames of the country.
One of the more educated townsfolk, Hugh, deems that the language barrier is large enough to constrict the Irish from opportunity when he has an immense difficulty conversing and communicating with the townsfolk. It is notable when he says, “it can happen that a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of fact”(Friel 52). In simpler terms, this quote means that a civilization can be trapped by their own language and lack of communicability; ultimately leading to the downfall of the nation, by falling behind other countries.
The connotation of “imprisoned” sets the attitude as detrimental, showing how it is impeding them from development. The tone is constraining to show what kind of effect the language (communication) barrier can have on someone or something. This can be applied to your situation with your granddaughter: for example, if she is not able to overcome the obstacle of lack of communication, she too will find herself dragging behind and not able to succeed as the other people around her would be.
This, surprisingly enough, is shown through a novel about a Nigerian tribe, Igbo, in the late 1800s that is portrayed through the perspective of the Igbo. One of the legends of the tribe, a story bout a man named Tortoise, describes how cultural or moral differences can cause problems in a society when Tortoise says, “I am a changed man. I have learned that a man who makes trouble for others makes trouble for himself”(Achebe 97). He says “changed” to demonstrate how he is someone who overcame something in his life to gain reliability as a credible source.
This is important because he then proceeds to say something that not everyone will agree with: “a man who makes trouble for others makes trouble for himself”. The connotation of the word “trouble” in this context can actually be related to the cultural/linguistic barrier that presents itself in Translations and the situation with the deaf community. When he says “a man who makes trouble for others”, it can mean that he, “the man”, has set up some sort of obstacle that impedes him from being able to communicate correctly with whom he is trying to interact with.
In the Igbo culture, there are many practices that are considered immoral to many, which are what prevent him from cross-cultural interaction and actually present him with problems. This is almost a direct correlation to the problem that you have with your granddaughter and the deaf community due to the fact that this man knows that if one were to put an imposition among his or herself that it will in-fact cause many or very severe problems for the person.
From the standpoint of the Igbo people, they have a culture that many people worldwide would disagree with, which would lead to issues including communication, interaction, and prejudice against them. From the standpoint of the deaf, the “trouble” is the inability to communicate and people who make problems for the hearing people, and are actually hurting themselves in the process. Without communicability, they damage their own path to success, therefore limiting their ability to succeed.
Now, some may think that they don’t have a right to judge someone else’s culture because they don’t understand it; but in reality, there are morals which people should allow to be broken just because they don’t “understand”. James Rachels is a man who has written extensive work on this idea, Cultural Relativism, and after talking about practices that many say are not to be judged, he says, “The failure to condemn these practices does not seem ‘enlightened;’ on the contrary, slavery and anti-Semitism seem wrong wherever they occur.
Nevertheless, if we took Cultural Relativism seriously, we would have to admit that these social practices are also immune from criticism”(Rachels 3). Though somewhat complex, the central idea of this quote is that if something is not morally correct, intervention is necessary. It is most likely agreeable to say that slavery and Anti-Semitism are morally incorrect because they take away people’s rights. Rights such as life and equality are all stolen from a higher power.
Not allowing someone to hear can take away these rights as well: if a smoke alarm sounds and the deaf person does not hear it, their right to life is snatched right from under him or her. Without the ability to hear, the right to equality is taken away because they have more difficulty communicating therefore making it more difficult to succeed. By disallowing for a cochlear implant, the child and everyone around her in the community suffers. Deafness is not a form of community, it is an impairment which nobody should be forced to have, especially when there is a solution present.
What connects humans from all places is the fact that they communicate: whether it be with ease or difficulty depends on their difference in language, culture, and/or sociability. There comes a point when these obstacles become impenetrable and create a shroud which a person cannot escape. This is when intervention goes from helpful to imperative. From the perspective of the average society, deafness is a disability in which prevents communication by not sharing the same language and therefore reducing sociability. That is, a language barrier can be a major factor when being limited socially.
For example. in the play, Translations, the Lieutenant of the British takeover who was not fluent in the native language of Ireland, Gaelic, constantly tries to immerse himself within the culture, but is unable due to his lack of language knowledge and communication skills: both of which a result of not knowing the language. He then proceeds to say, “Even if I did speak Irish, I’d always be considered an outsider here, wouldn’t I? I may learn the password, but the language of the tribe will always elude me, won’t it? The private core will always be … rmetic, won’t it? ”(Friel 48). When he says this, his first intention is to demonstrate how it feels to be an outsider, how he is separated from the rest of the people, and what that feels like. He uses the word “hermetic” to describe how the cultural separation can and will affect a person if they are not considered one of the originals. Their “hermetic” nature is only natural and it too will likely create a very similar situation to Heather without cochlear implants, and she could possibly develop a hermetic nature.
Just as Yolland feels alone and neglected, the majority of the people in the United States will treat Heather the same way because she is deaf. With an intervention, this dilemma can be resolved. Though the communication barrier can be quite serious, the cultural wall can also act as an impediment in which will have similar effects. In the novel, Things Fall Apart, a woman of the tribe, Uchendu, is telling a story and says, “The world has no end, and what is good among one people is an abomination with others”(Achebe 141).
By going to the extent of saying that the cultural and moral difference between two places is an “abomination”, shows that the sentiment he feels towards the prejudice is so great that the variation in morals is disgusting and hateful. This forces the people to be stuck outside of the rest of the world, which in itself is morally incorrect. If this theory were applied to Heather’s situation, Heather would find herself not able to fit into either culture and thus making for a circumstance that is detrimental to her and other’s mental health, as Uchendu mentioned in the earlier quote.
Since there are two obstacles that hinder the ability to succeed, cultural and linguistic, it is possible to see why this is such a large issue among the public. It is unfortunate that the world acts like this, but this will not change for it is in their nature to behave like this; it is shown through racism and religious prejudices. What is necessary and proper to do in this situation is get the cochlear implants for they will destroy these two blockades and make for a successful, prosperous life if done early enough, before the barriers can be set up and reinforced by society.
The time that you have spent reading this letter may seem like a useless, possibly even a waste of time, but in reality the entire world quotidianly has issues that follow the same pattern as the dilemma with Heather and the deaf community. Though some may think that equality is the most important part of cross-cultural interaction, morality will always exceed the limited power that equality possesses. Many understand that deafness is a handicap and should be fixed, yet some delusively say that there is a deaf community that the offspring should be a part of.
By trying to force their children into equality, they are limiting their success, but morality counters the parents by giving the child a choice of cochlear implants. This trend can be noted from almost any situation one can think of: culture, religion, or language for example. Hopefully, you can understand the importance and urgency of your situation, and that it is not only beneficial, but also necessary that you intervene and ensure that Heather receives the correct, moral treatment.