Lack of communication: An analysis of “The Sound of Silence” “Sounds of Silence is an album by Simon and Garfunkel, released on January 17, 1966” [ (wikipedia) ]. This is a beautiful song composed with wonderful choices of words. Behind this beautiful song with melodious rhythm, there is a big message in the lyrics. In this poem, Simon presents the speaker who speaks about communication. The idea of lack of communication builds up throughout this poem. This poem conveys a message that there is a lack of real communication in the people.
The poet multiple uses of words in this poem have a significant meaning and strongly support the thesis above. The multiple uses of “I” imply that he wants the reader to be the particular person he is referring to in the poem. “I’ve come to talk with you again. ” and “Left its seeds while I was sleeping” in the beginning of the poem relates silence with the speaker (lines 2-4). The darkness meaning silence in this poem is speaker’s old friend. He knows the silence very well. Similarly, the multiple use of ‘and’ provides reasoning and supports for the writer’s argument.
For example, in the lines “And the vision that was planted in my brain…………. the sound of silence”, the speaker argues that the environment he has created is still inside his brain and thus is not exposed yet (5-7). The speaker also uses the word ‘people’ many times. “People” in this poem refers to all the common people without being concerned to any individuals (17-19). In this context, people refer to those mass who are communicating with each other without any emotional feelings. The poem describes people’s way of communicating in several lines.
Through the lines below, Simon wants the speaker to know how people are sharing information with no value. The following section is most important because they convey the speaker’s main message: “People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs that voices never share And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence” (17-21). In this stanza, “People” being used three times indicates that the speaker is talking about common people of a nation where they are ruled by some dictators or harsh leader where public opinions have no any value and the freedom is snatched from the people.
People are talking but they do not know what they are talking about. Their speech does not have any meaning and they are uttering words just because they are told to do so. They hear the words without interpreting them and are ready to accept whatever the leader commands without realizing the results. They know this fact, and can distinguish between right and wrong but they confine their emotions within themselves never sharing those ideas to others. They fear that silence which is their old friend will be broken. Throughout the essay, Simon wants the speaker to know how people are really lacking communication and how it going to affect them.
The speaker blames people for not having real communication. By characterizing common people as “Fools”, the speaker argues that the people are going dumb without having a good communication media (22). Lack of communication make people stupid because they are unaware what is going on in the world. Using the word fool, speaker stresses how important communication is. People really turn numb without communication. It is only through communication, knowledge is shared and people are aware of many things happening in the world.
The narrator continues “Silence like a cancer grows” (23). The use of this phrase suggests us that no communication is as dreadful as cancer. When someone is silent for a long time, it becomes a habit and the victim may not even notice that. Like there is no any treatment for cancer, it is very hard to convince the people who are living without any communication for a long time. Thus, the speaker’s suggestions do not work in this case too. He tries to convince the people and bring an awareness in them as he says “Hear my words………. reach you” (24-25).
But nobody accepts the speaker’s suggestions and these suggestions come back to him like he says in his poem “And echoed In the wells of silence” (20-21). In the lines, “And the people bowed………neon god they made” (29-30), the poet presents Neon God as a technology. People depend on technologies thinking they are more important because they make their work easier. People today spend much time in text messages, cell phones and chatting, and these are all what the narrator points as talking without speaking and hearing without listening. People have forgotten the real communication. The real ommunication is when there are feelings, when people share ideas face to face. But people are busy in enjoying the technology without thinking about its harmful consequences. Through this poem, the speaker creates the environment where there is silence everywhere. He dramatizes a community of people where people do not communicate actually. Lack of communication creates an illusion in people. People always worship technologies but never put an effort for real communication. This poem can be a good media to show the importance of real communication and bring awareness among the general people.