Custom essays: Literature and Film of the Deaf community

Deaf people are the part of our community. It looks like the only difference between a healthy person and a deaf person is the ability to hear sounds. Nevertheless, it is a common delusion of majority. Deaf people cannot percept the world in the way it is. They need to substitute the sounds for other color or touch. They cannot understand some things and feelings which are connected with sounds.
The problems of deaf people were interesting for many people including not only doctors and scientists, but writers and film producers. The subject of this paper is to discuss a film and a story in which deaf people were the main characters. Let us discuss the film of Russian producer Valery Todorovsky “The Country of the Deaf” and the story by Ernest Hemingway “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”. In both film and story authors make the life and feelings of deaf people the main idea and the plot.
The film is about a young woman who needs to hide because her boy friend lost at cards another’s money and ran away. She is saved and hidden by the deaf girl strip dancer. This deaf girl has a dream to save some money and leave to a fairyland where deaf people are living. She believes that all evil and cruelty are caused by those people who can hear – by “healthy people”. She strongly believes that in the country deaf there is kindness and justice. The deaf dancer cannot talk and she cannot hear. Nevertheless she can feel many things in ways that other people can never imagine to be possible. This film shows us that most of the deaf people have a rich inner world. They are more sensitive and it is rather easy to hurt their feelings. They can feel other’s mood and pain. At the moment is becoming obvious that true feelings do not need sounds. It is impossible to express with sounds the most important things in life. Also among the main ideas of the film we can find following: deaf person is able to be a good friend, to help and to consol.
Some similar ideas we can find in the short novel by Ernest Hemingway “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”. The main character is an old deaf man. This novel is the bright contrast between light and shadow, between youth and old people and between deaf people and others around them. The deaf man is the symbol of old age and its separation from youth. It is a very suitable symbol because in real life most of the deaf people are separate from other world and it is rather hard to understand them.
Nowadays we can meet a conception of “deaf cinema”. It is films about deaf people and deafness, some of which were made by deaf producers and deaf actors. In some countries (for example, Amsterdam and US) took place deaf film festivals. Among films about deafness are following: Children of a Lesser God (1986), Sound and Fury (2000), The Miracle Worker (1962), Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995).
In conclusion we can say that deaf people are different from others. It is not always easy for them to live in the world of sounds and have no opportunity to use all benefits of it. Those people who are making films and writing books about deafness are trying to help these two different worlds – the world of sounds and the world of deafness – to understand each other and to feel each other in better way.
Brown, G. (2008). Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature. Longman Press.
Hemingway, E. (1926). A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Charles Scribner’s Sons Press.
Jamie, B. (2009). Deaf Culture – Deaf Cinema. New York Press.
Marschark, M. & Spencer, P. (2003). Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education. Oxford University Press.

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