The River of Consciousness - "Mishearing" Summary & Analysis

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Summary

Sacks writes that "as my deafness increases, I am more and more prone to mishearing what people say. However, mishearing is quite unpredictable; it may happen twenty times, or not at all, in the course of a day" (123). Sacks records each mishearing in a little book along with what was actually said, people's reactions to his mishearing, and the hypotheses he considers as he tries to make sense of what he heard. Sacks rejects the Freudian idea that the mishearing are indicative of "deeply repressed feelings and conflicts" and attributes them instead to "a similar acoustic gestalt" (124). At the same time, mishearing is influenced by one's perception of the world. For example, "one's surroundings, one's wishes and expectations, conscious and unconscious" as well as how one's semantic memory decode the phonology and syntax of speech can all have an impact on how, what, and...

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This section contains 436 words
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