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Importance of Speech


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Importance of Speech
Popol Vuh, written anonymously by Mayans and later translated by Father Ximenez, is a myth on the creation of humans through a process of trial and error. By examining the role of speaking and its relationship to humans in Popul Vuh, we can see that the ability to speak and reason defines humanity.
Speech is first introduced as just existing when the world had just begun. Any form of life had not existed except for the sea. Then the myth illustrates the power of speech when the Gods create the earth from just their words after talking and pondering together. The ability to speak has great power and is something that the Mayans felt important in their culture. The story then goes on as the Gods create animals as the first living beings. . However, these living beings were incapable of human thought and the gods expressed their dissatisfaction by saying to the animals, “You shall be replaced because you were not successful.” This begins many experiments by the Gods for the perfect human being.
After being disappointed in the creations of animals, mud people, and wood people, the Gods finally create human that are capable of human thought. These humans were created by maize and water which are the necessary nutrition to sustain life for the Mayans. However these humans become another “mistake” for the Gods when they are asked to speak. The relationship between speech and reasoning is distinguished when they rename the Gods as “grandmother” and “grandfather.” The ability to give name to things show that the human has wisdom and power that makes them equal to the Gods. As a result of this fear, the Gods state “What now can be done to them so that their vision reaches only nearby, so that only a little of the face of the earth can be seen by them? For it is not good what they say.”
In conclusion, speech and reasoning defines humanity. Myths, hymns and poems all exist because of the ability to speak. Without speaking, it is logical to say that humans would not have existed today. Our ideas and thoughts are shared across globally through speech and it is a powerful part of being human.

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