Time and Distance Overcome by Eula Biss Essay

1118 WordsSep 10, 20155 Pages
“Time and Distance Overcome” is a story about telephone poles and it is written by Eula Biss in 2008. The style of the text is objective but subjective towards the end. The story is divided into three sections. At first she explains how the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and how it was supposed to connect people from far away. At the time some people were against the invention and started sawing the telephone poles down. People were against it because the wires in the sky together with skyscrapers ruined the look of the city. “(…) And then there was a fierce sense of aesthetics, an obsession with purity, a dislike for the way the poles and wires marred a landscape that those other new inventions, skyscrapers and barbed wire, were just beginning to complicate.” Also, people feared that distance was collapsing since with the telephone you could not see or measure it. In the second section she writes about lynching happening on the telephone poles. In 1898 and onwards lynching’s happened from telephone poles, all towards black men. People were not only lynched, but also burnt, cut with knives, and shot. The third and final section is where her personal note comes to mind. She reveals how emotional she is towards the telephone poles since her granddad broke his back when a telephone pole fell down on him. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, demonstrated the telephone for the first time in 1876. People were not ready for the telephone, and therefore he did not have success at first. His idea was to connect the country through telephones just like gas pipes and water pipes did. “(…) The telephone, Thomas Edison said, annihilated time and space, and brought the human family in closer touch.” The fact that the telephone would connect people becomes rather double standard since the telephone poles separated

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