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Story Archives

Communication Story

Theodore Dreiser

By Theodore Dreiser

How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes. Here were these two, bandying little phrases, drawing purses, looking at cards, and both unconscious of how inarticulate all their real feelings were. Neither was wise enough o be sure of the workings of the mind of the other. He could not tell how his luring succeeded. She could not realize that she was drifting, until he secured her address. Now she felt that she had yielded something—he, that he had gained a victory. Already they felt that they were somehow associated. Already he took control in directing the conversation. His words were easy. Her manner was relaxed.

In the century-plus since this passage was written, how has technology changed the way we communicate? 

Theodore Dreiser was a novelist who wrote such works as Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy.