Z​adie Smith- “Speaking in Tongues”

 Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith In the article Speaking in Tongues talks about different voices. How by changing your voice, you somehow loose something.

Zadie Smith identifies herself as a mulatto. She starts off by saying she acquired a new voice in college. She was under the impression that well educated people needed to speak a certain way. At first she liked the idea of having two voices, but soon realized that she forgot her old voice completely. She talks about Eliza in the Pygmalion, how she looses her old voice, and in the looses everything she was.

The author goes on to talk about Obama’s writing “Dreams from My Father”, where he was able to mimic several voices.

“This new president doesn’t just speak for his people. He can speak them.”

She argues that Obama is a truly many-voiced man. It is a gift, she says. The article also talks about how Obama occupied the place where his parents dreams had been.

Further on the author talks about a “Dream City”.

“It is a place of many voices, where the unified singular self is an illusion.”

She states that Obama and she herself were born in the dream city.

Ctizens of Dream City prefer to use the collective pronoun “we” as opposed to “I.”

Again, Obama was brought into the picture. The author states that Obama, throughout his campaign uses the term “We” and he suggested that most people come from dream city.

People against obama used his multi-voiced character against him, stating that he was a double-dealer, tailoring his speech to fit the audience.

the author brings Shakespeare into the picture talking about his multiplicity.

The author concludes by listing out her hopes for the future of both people and the president.


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