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upon the idea calling it forth; and one grows more tender by dwelling upon its idea. The same law of growth applies to groups of emotions as contained in the paragraph or other unities of the speech, and to the composition as a whole. The emotions connected with these several groups, and with the whole, gradually mature, or are more and more realized by the speaker, till they reach this highest point, and then subside. Climax expresses this growth. The counterpart of this growth is the ascending importance of the ideas. Climax in delivery follows the rhetorical climax of the composition.
Faults. The faults of climax readily suggest themselves, as climaxing too soon, too late, or not at all. Every speaker should guard against the dead level of one emotional drift. The emotions and their growth must be realized.
The sentence usually, but not invariably, begins on a lower, proceeds to a higher, and then returns to a lower pitch. Some sentences give exceptional opportunity for climax. illustrate, begin the following sentence on a very low pitch, and gradually rise till the word “devil” reaches a very high pitch, and gradually descend from this word.
“O, you and I have heard our fathers say
SEC. X. Imitative Modulation. - According to the onomata-poetic organ of language, imitation of the appearances and sound of objects lies at the beginning of all speech. With the theory we have nothing to do here. It is obvious, however, that we now reproduce the idea, and make it more varied by imitating the sound. For instance, the roar of the ocean, the boom of cannon, the hiss of the snake, the rushing wind, if only slightly imitated, aid in recalling the idea. So, also, vocally, the hugeness and
littleness of objects, the rapidity or slowness of a movement, may be represented.
A conservative use of this element adds force to the delivery; but overdone, it "out-Herods Herod.”
SEC. XI. Gesture. Although gesture is subordinate to voice as a mode of expression, it still has a value; and even conservatives may well attend to its development and use. As indicating its universality and naturalness, Sir Charles Bell says, “Man does not depend upon articulate language alone; there is the language of expression, a mode of communication understood equally by all mankind all over the globe, not conventional or confined to nations, but used by infants before speech, and by untutored savages.” 1
Moreover, the effectiveness of gestures is enhanced by the fact that they are directly and instantaneously expressive, as compared with speech, which is analytic and successive, spoken by letters, syllables, words, phrases, sentences. A motion toward the door shows the indignation, and gives the order to go more forcibly than any number of words that could be spoken.
Gesture, in this treatise, includes all significant movements of the body, including facial expression.
Why is the body expressive in the way in which we find it? The psychologists have not yet agreed upon an answer to this question; and although it is mainly a speculative one, it is worth the while to look at some of the more reputable theories.
Darwin, after an extensive study, treats the subject in his volume on the “Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals," and deduces three principles.
I. Serviceable Associated Habit. Certain actions are originated because of their serviceableness; for instance, in accordance with his evolutionary hypothesis, in extreme rage the upper lip is drawn up exposing the canine teeth.
1 Anatomy and Physiology of Expression.
This originated when it was serviceable to the animal while biting its antagonist. The spasmodic movement of the fingers in anger is a relic of the beast clutching and clawing at its prey.
Whenever the same state of mind is induced, however feebly, there is a tendency, through the force of habit and association, for the same movements to be performed, whether or not of service in each particular case.”
2. Antithetic action. Certain acts, as has been shown, are serviceable.
“Now, when a directly opposite state of mind is induced, there is a strong and involuntary tendency to the performance of movements of a directly opposite nature, though these are of no use; and such movements are, in some cases, highly expressive.” The angry dog enlarges his size to appear formidable; the whipped, humbled dog reduces his size, and skulks.
3. Action resulting from the constitution of the nervous system, independent of the will, and to a certain extent independent of habit, as trembling, loss of color, etc. When the brain is excited strongly, nerve force is generated in excess, and is transmitted in certain definite directions; for instance, reddening of the face in rage, and perspiration in grief and pain.
Sir Charles Bell holds that the expression of the body exhibits the design of the Creator. He has shown how intimately the vital organs, the heart and lungs especially, are united to each other and to the muscles of the neck, face, and chest, by a system of nerves. He has also shown how they are affected by the emotions of the mind, and says, “Thus the frame of the body, constituted for the support of the vital functions, becomes the instrument of expression; and an extensive class of passions, by influencing the heart, by affecting that sensibility which governs the muscles of respiration, calls them into operation, so that they become
an undeviating mark of certain states or conditions of the mind. They are the organs of expression.”
The following principles given by Wundt are more suggestive, and more available in expressional practice.
1. Principles of analagous associated feelings. Feelings of a similar emotional tone are easily connected; and when connected, the expression of one is transferred to the other. One expression, for instance, follows the tasting of sweet, and another of sour, and another of bitter substances. Now, all experiences, however ideal in their nature, possess a tone analagous to that of sweet taste, etc.; and hence they naturally express themselves by the same external sign.
2. Principles of the relation of movements to sense ideas. When we speak of persons or objects that are present, we point to them; when absent, in their direction; then we unconsciously imitate their shape, and measure their size by movements of the hand.
The Nature of Gesture. Gestures are mainly expressive of emotion, and hence contribute primarily to force. They are physical movements or reactions against both real and imaginary objects. Gestures that seem to be the most subjective can generally be traced ultimately to emotional reactions against things that have affected the senses. Some of the gestures that come under Mr. Darwin's third principle are exceptions. If a person points to an imaginary spire, it is because he is moved by a feeling of its loftiness or of its distance.
Gestures of anger are reactions that arise with reference to some imaginary object of the anger. Gestures of aversion, of endearment, of resignation, of pride, of arrogance, and so on, arise in the same way.
Subjective Gestures. — Most gestures are expressive of subjective conditions, and are made without special intention toward the audience. They represent moods, dispositions, and passing emotions. They grow out of the
feelings, and are less purposeful than other gestures. Gestures, representative of personal states (joy, fear, sadness), and also many dramatic gestures, may be placed under this head.
Picture-making Gestures. — In a secondary way, gestures grow out of a desire to make the ideas or objects of the mind plain to the auditor. They are illustrative, just as the pictures and maps of the book or daily newspaper are illustrative. Gestures of this objective type, and pictures, have a common motive. Under picture-making gesture two distinct classes are formed.
1. Gestures of location. The function of this gesture is to point out the place of the imaginary object in space and in time. Objects in space are represented as far or near, high or low. Objects in time are referred to the present, past, or future. They point out the direction of absent persons or things.
2. Descriptive gestures. Akin to the locative is another illustrative use of gesture, giving rise to what are called Plastic or Descriptive gestures. In this use, some salient feature or features of the object are represented. Its length, height, weight, or some other feature, is suggested.
This class includes also gestures reproducing the physical acts of another, and gestures representing motions both as to direction and rate.
Laws of Gesture. - The following general principles in one form or another are usually attributed to the socalled Delsarte system.
The attitude or bearing indicates the total self. The erect attitude, with easily lifted chest, free, easy carriage, wellpoised bearing, is expressive of strength, culture, grace, preparation, and favorably affects vitality and control. The bent form, and shambling or awkward movement, suggest feebleness, lack of control, lack of preparedness. The attitude and bearing are of primary importance in all gesture.