RESEARCH INTO VERBAL COMMUNICATION VERSUS NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
This chapter of the present paper is aimed at
identifying some differences that appear at the level of communication, either
verbal, or nonverbal. I start my study with the research questions that are
going to be answered in the same time; I continue with the methodology, that
including the data collection, the data analyses; and from here I develop all
the information by analyzing it from all the points of view that were reached
in the theory. The last but not the least part that I identify will be the
interpretation of what I could find from the two speeches taken from the film:
The Great dictator by
Moreover, I try to answer the research question more detailed looking at the base information from the case study.
The methodology of my study is mostly based on a qualitative approach, trying to explain how and to what degree the communicative goals were or were not achieved in the texts subjected to the analysis process and why the subjects were or were not able to fully grasp the concepts, notions and techniques necessary for successfully communication. Nevertheless, quantitative techniques are almost always present in research, as authors in the field note, see for example:
‘..Sociolinguistic research projects are neither
exclusively quantitative nor exclusively qualitative. They are most often
both.’, so naturally they are also present in the current investigation.
More particularly, I made use of the methodology of speech analysis for the present research, as I analyzed the subjects’ from all the points of view.
1.1 Data collection
The data is gathered from the film The Great Dictator
The film begins during World War I and is being shot
for 539 days. Chaplin, as an unnamed Jewish private in the army of the
fictional nation of Tomainia, voluntarily attempts to rescue an officer named
Schultz , only he loses his memory when the plane, the two had taken off,
crashes into a tree.
The amnesiac soldier returns to his barbershop in the
Jewish ghetto, still unaware of the political situation, and is shocked when
storm troopers paint 'Jew' on the windows of his shop. In the ensuing
scuffle with the storm troopers, he finds a friend, and ultimately a love
Meanwhile, Schultz, who has come up in the ranks in the intervening 20 years, recognizes the barber and, though surprised to find him a Jew, orders the storm troopers to leave him and Hannah alone. Hynkel, in addition, has relaxed his stance on Tomainian Jewry in an attempt to woo a Jewish financier into giving him a loan. Egged on by Garbitsch, Hynkel has become obsessed with the idea of world domination. In a moment of madness he dances with a large, inflatable globe. On Garbitsch's advice, Hynkel has planned to invade the neighbouring country of Osterlich and needs the loan to finance the invasion. Eventually, the financier refuses, and Hynkel reinstates his persecution of the Jews, this time to an even greater extent.
Hynkel is initially opposed by
The barber, who has assumed Hynkel's identity, is taken to the Tomainian capital to make a victory speech. Garbitsch, in introducing Hynkel to the throngs, describes free speech and other supposedly traitorous and outdated ideas. In contrast, the barber then makes a rousing speech, reversing Hynkel's anti-Semitic policies and declaring that Tomainia will now be a free nation and a democracy.
The film stars Chaplin as Hynkel and the barber,
Paulette Goddard as Hannah, Jack Oakie as Napaloni, Reginald Gardiner as
Schultz, Henry Daniell as Garbitsch and Billy Gilbert as Field Marshal Herring,
an incompetent adviser to Hynkel.
The names of the aides of Adenoid Hynkel are parodies
of those of
The film was written and directed by
The making of the film coincided with rising tensions
throughout the world. Speculation grew that this and other anti-fascist films
such as The Mortal Storm and Four Sons would remain unreleased given the
1.2 Data analysis
What I looked for, in this film, was to present the communicative differences that appeared in The Great Dictator especially during the 2 speeches interpreted by the same character: Charlie Chaplin but under the name of the barber and that of Adenoid Hynkel analysed, from all the points of view stylistic, paradigmatic, kinesics, verbal. I also searched for misunderstandings and the errors of communication that influenced the situation of communication.
The film contains several of
The film ends with the barber, having been mistaken
for the dictator, delivering an address in front of a large audience and over
the radio to the nation, following the Tomainian take-over of Osterlich. The
address is widely interpreted as an out-of-character personal played by
Some of the signs in the shop windows of the
ghettoized Jewish population in the film are written in Esperanto, a language
What is very interesting in both discourses is the way
Hynkel make use of tall voice, gestures, pause for water, pause for crying, a real Catavencu. He knows very well how to impress the audience. In his speech he even goes for some feminine gestures or maternal positions like swinging his arms as if he had a baby. Judging after his big eyes during the speech he seems to be very upset when he speaks about the Jewish people. As much as he wants to give the impression of intelligence he proves exactly the opposite, for example in his relationship with Benzino Napoli, he always wants to be the first, or to be more interesting than him. He does not accept another position than that of winner, even though that supposed a sacrifice: ‘But to remain great we must sacrifice’. Hynkel doesn't have a constant rhythm in his speech. He chooses for harsh responses that come in very quickly mood.
Regarding the barber,
1.2.1 Analytical framework
The analytical framework of my research is based on
1.2.2 Verbal communication
Taking in consideration that this talkie movie is the
first one from that long series of movies,
What influenced people, beyond the ordinary comic, it is not what made Hitler to have so many brained washed people, but the way he talked to them , especially to weak people that needed a leader.
The first discourse, made by Hynkel, is a very simple one. It has short sentences, which respect the following topic: S+VP+NP. This political speech is thought to have an important impact over people. In our case it brings power to Hynkel, so as to influence the whole existence of the human kind. The perfect way of convincing people is to be a good orator. With all this, Hynkel's rhetoric ability generates dangers for citizen’s ethics because he hates Jewish people and he wants them vanished from the face of the world.
Practically the fundament of this speech stands under
the pretext of power. Powers that cannot be better highlighted if were not the
'sacrifice'. During his expressed thoughts he prises Tomainia and democracy, he
blames liberty: ’
From a Pragmatic point of view the form of the verbs in the present, limit the choice of the verb from the next sentence: ‘to remain  we must sacrifice’. Another thing that deserve to be drawn attention to, is the type of relationship between sentences, which in our case is an adversative one due to the appearance of conjunction :’but’: ‘Tomainia was down but today has risen’/ ‘But to remain great we must sacrifice’. Another element of pragmatics is seen in the last part of the speech where the parallelism is produce under the repetition of the word ‘greatest’: ’the greatest army/ the greatest navy’.
The second speech, when the Jewish barber is making the victory speech in Hynkel's place, is much more complex and long. It has elaborated sentences, and does not respect a certain topic, having different positions of subjects, or verbs. In deed this speech is influencing many people because it is pretty simple, as words, and direct, maybe too direct.
Starting the analysis with the pragmatic elements I must recognise first of all the cohesive devices: the present form of the verbs: present simple: ‘let’ or present perfect simple, generally used in the singular form: ‘has’. The present tense generates a high affinity, of the statements because the producer is certain and committed to the proposition itself.
Taking in consideration the 12 uses of the additive conjunction ’and ‘sentences present a relationship that fill in each utterance, complete it. But there are also many adversatives conjunction that produce a contradiction: ’but ‘appears for 7 times. It is a very complex unity of utterances.
As in the first speech the parallelism can be also mentioned because practically Chaplin starts a new sentence with the repetition of the last word from the anterior sentence , for example: ‘[..] let us fight for a new world, /a world that will give youth a future’; or he also repeats the last word from the anterior sentence but as if he gives a definition of that word: ‘Soldiers don't give yourself to brutes, / men who despise you, enslave you, /regiment your lives, tell you what to think and feel, /who drill you, treat you like cattle and use you as cannon fodder’ or ‘Don't give yourselves to these men, /machine men with machine minds and machine hearts.’ There are also cases when the repetition of certain words like: ’power’, ’fight’, ‘world’ induce the thematic of the speech: freedom, brave.
This speech proves again to be a cohesive one due to the referring expressions, like the pronouns that are used: the barber uses all the persons: the first on singular and plural: ’I’, ‘us’, ‘we’; the second: ‘you’; and the third person on plural pronouns: ‘they’. The most frequently used pronouns are: ‘you’ that appears from 17 times and the first person ‘we’/’us’ that appears from 21 times. Usually the relationship of interpretation is an anaphoric one because each time the barber has to mention the element in the previous sentence:’ [..] brutes have risen. /But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!’
The last cohesive device that was used is the repetition: ‘machine men’, ‘machine minds’, ’machine hearts’;’ power to create’,’ power to make’; ’let us fight to free’,’ let us fight for a world’, ’let us unite’. The purpose of these repetitions is to emphasize each thought of the barber. This speech can be named a cohesive text because as it is seen previous the language has formal links that permit interpretation and in the same time the analysis of it.
This speech is an humanitarian one, for all the people in the world, that is why the given information about the human mind and power is relevant to each radio listener of the speech because it is not only producing new information but also strengthens the existing assumptions related to the human rights.
Concerning misunderstanding I can say that the only time when there existed a much cleared one was when Hynkel suggested tightening their belts, and his councillor took it as a true thing. But this case can only be studied in the film.
The relationship between those two speeches is a very completed one, because each speech creates a new personality, a new identity which is opposed to the other one. Judging after the length of the speeches I can say that the first one is a typical speech of a tyran while the second is told from the heart, as if the barber wanted to say those things long time ago and that was his chance.
1.2.3 Non-Verbal communication
The basic role of nonverbal communication in these speeches is to determine the real message that is transmitted through words, fact accomplished by: facial expression and eye contact, body language or posture, gesture and interpersonal distance.
Doing my research I discovered that nonverbal communication in my case study is essential in trying to analyse all its important aspects. So I begin this section by observing the visual parts of the speeches in the movie.
First of all I must mention that differences appear not
only at the verbal level but also at the body- voice level. As
Figure 1 The crammed fist Figure 2 The fanatic eyes (https://www.picsearch.com/pictures/movies) (https://www.picsearch.com/pictures/movies)
In order to apply the theory that I wrote in chapter two, I have to look for certain elements that make those speeches available for the functions of nonverbal communication. So I discovered that the main function of expressing emotion, is very well produced at the level of the second speech where the barber succeeds to impress the whole nations of the world with his simplest but touching words. Another function that was presented is that of self-presentation of one's personality. Both, the barber and Hynkel, talk with words and gestures about themselves: 'I'm sorry but I don't want to be an emperor', 'I like to help everyone' adding his image (see figure 3),' we must tighten our belts' See figure 4. Each speaker address the audience in his own way accomplishing the interaction between the speaker and the listener: 'Don't give yourselves to these men, / [..]You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! /You have the love of humanity in you. /Soldiers, don't give yourselves to brutes,'-the barber; 'But to remain great we must sacrifice, / We must tighten our belts,'-Hynkel
Figure 3 I'm sorry but I don't want to be a emperor' (The Great dictator)
Figure 4 'we must tighten our belts'(The Great dictator)
If in the first part of the chapter the analyse I made on the second speech is more complex, while in the nonverbal communication part is exactly vice-versa. The first speech that made by Hynkel, is more elaborative due to the small details like: gestures, jumping, eye movements, voice, and tone, practically all which represent elements of nonverbal communication. From the beginning Hynkel is presented like a tyran who 'ruled with the iron fist'. When he starts the speech he does a small jump of the body, having his hands at the back, and continues with specific gestures of the hand bringing them in the front and rising his right hand above his head, than bringing them again in the front of his legs and repeating the gesture, but this time with the crammed fist. With the left hand on his left hip, and with the feelings he has for his country, he gets very anxious.
During these continuous movements he speaks about Tomainia, he even feels the need to drink a glass of water having his throat dry after so many expressed emotions. But after he drinks mouth water, he throws the rest of it in his pants because only the thought of Tomainia gets him very excited. He returns at the microphone having an authoritative position, holding his hands crossed, and from that moment of applauses he stops the crowd with only one hand above his head, more exactly the right one. While he affirms his strong opinion regarding democracy, liberty, or freedom as are being fragrant or odious his hands maintain the same position. See figure5 .Only the thought of Tomainia makes him raise his right hand above his head
Figure 5 Positions of the hand (The Great Dictator)
When he mentions the sacrifice, he adopts a new position with both his hands up in the air, above his head. His last gesture takes place when he speaks about the tightening of their belts and he does the imaginary thing. See figure 4 upper.
As I said before short lines offer many unspoken messages that characterise the persona’s identity more easily than he would present himself. Still in this part of the speech, it is very obvious the eye movement that completes the communication Each time he addresses the nation he has a short look, but very direct that goes from left to right and from right to left.
There are times when he gets angry and his eyes are big, his brows raise and his fury grows. Another element that characterise Hynkel is the voice, the intonation, the rhythm, and the pauses. His voice is high, the intonation is ascendant and descendent, very seldom he is playing with this element passing from one state to another, the rhythm is not at all constant but in contrary very unstable. Concerning the pauses he makes a pause for water, for applauses, and after each important emotion related to Tomainia or liberty.
In comparison with the first discourse the second is not so complex because although it is very long, it lacks the movements. The barber has a long look, blinks rarely, does not make many hand movements, only one , at the end of the speech when he shouts : 'Let us unite'.
Although he starts with a constant tone he ends with a very agitated one. The moment of change in the attitude takes place when the barber addresses to the soldiers, when he encourages them to fight for freedom. In that moment he uses a different intonation, with ups and downs, moves his hands, his body as if he trembles, and nod his head. I can say that this is the grand climax of his speech when he touches his hair and remains astonished looking at the whole nation in front of him. See figure6. When he talks about the power of humanity he is proud of what people can do. As opposed to Hynkel the barber makes just two pauses: one at the beginning when he gathers his thoughts and the second when his speech is addressed directly to the soldiers that fight for their country.
Starting his speech with compassion and humiliation he ends it as a real leader with applauses and greetings. The proof of his desire that of being a simple and modest man, is the tuft of his hair. His face could not express more than he is a barber. Even his tie is not so arranged and perfect as it is that of Hynkel. See figure 6. and figure 7
Figure6 The barber (The Great dictator) Figure 7 Hynkel (The Great dictator)
1.2.4 Relationship between verbal communication and nonverbal communication
In this section I am speaking about the common points of the elements discussed in the previous two sub chapters, from the point of view of the listener. Moreover the whole part will identify also the relationship between the actants (Hynkel, the barber and the nation) at the cinematic level.
Fist of all I must say that in the collected data we
find two different characters, interpreted by the same person.
From the theoretical part of the paper, in the nonverbal communication area there existed a relationship between those two types of communication, because the role of nonverbal communication is to determine the message that was initially transmitted to words.
The best relationship can be indicated in the second speech because Hynkel uses not only words but an important system of gestures , eye movements, practically each sentence he produces is followed by a set of non-verbal elements. What is also important is that the message that is transmitted can be deduced partially if we do not know the exactly words. However there are parts in the second speech that do not need any non-verbal element.
To understand better this relationship I reached the conclusion that only the context and the circumstances can influence to a certain level the common knowledge of communication, being it from any type.
What those speeches have as a common base is the love for Tomainia. Each speaker presents his opinions in different ways but the only real subject was the country. So the barber and the tyran got excited when they encouraged soldiers. The climax of each one is touched through the movements of the hands. Both respect the same rules of emotions.
I am tempted to say that there is a relationship of symbiosis, between verbal and nonverbal communication, but the barber proves exactly the opposite because he has one escape during his whole speech, and that at the end of it. He managed very well the verbal language and succeeded to influence people only with the words and not the gestures. As conclusion a relationship exists only at the contextual level depending on different factors.
1.3 Findings and interpretation
In this section I will review the observations I was able to make based on the theory and on the relationship and differences between those two types of communication in the case study, I will then move on to the interpretation of these results, so as to finally be able to furnish the answers to the research questions posed in conclusion.
In theory communication takes place at any level, but with the difference that it can be influenced by many factors as context, miscommunication, silence, gestures paralanguage, and kinesics.
In practice communication can change everything from a person to country. It is enough, a mind, a microphone and courage to change all around you. What is more interesting is that it is not necessary to follow a certain pattern to be listen, if the person talks from the heart it is enough, think at the barber who did not use many paralanguage or kinesics elements .
To a certain degree of complexity, verbal language is as communicative as paralanguage, or kinesics but it depends more on some external factors that can be specific for each individual. Look for example at the barber who did not used many gestures but he communicated very well with the nation.
The purpose of this case study is to offer a clear image on how is communication influencing our actions and what are the main differences that appear in those two types of communication at the level of interpretation, from speeches.
In order to pinpoint the elements that led me to this analyses I used three research questions that coincide with the case study I presented, so as to apply the theory in practice.
The fact that I offered separate interpretations for the findings classified under each speech, and analyzed it as so gives a short look on the differences in communication. But as seen before communication can be made in certain situation by choosing what type of it are we going to use, as the barber made in his speech.
After investigating all the content of the speeches, the audio-visual, and the textual one I can affirm that there are cases when there is no difference between what it is said and what it is transmitted, for example I can guess what Hynkel said, but in the exactly words.
Also as a result of this study, I realized that there is an increased need for communication; fact that can impose only a good understanding of what it is communicated.
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