A Language Older Than Words Short Essay - Answer Key

Derrick Jensen
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1. According to Jensen, what is the purpose of silencing?

Jensen argues that silencing is a way of dominating other things or other people. By making believe that others, such as animals, have no voice, humans are able to dominate them without feeling as if any wrong is being done.

2. How does Jensen's father rationalize the fact that he beats the members of his family?

Jensen believes that his father rationalizes his actions by reasoning that those who get hit only get hit because they deserve it. Jensen's father indicates every time that he hits someone that they did something that made him react the way he did.

3. Describe a conversation of death.

A conversation of death consists of the verbal and nonverbal communication between a killer and its prey. This communication generally either begins a chase between the two, or ends their fight in the immediate death of the prey.

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