Blog Post 9/19 Prompt 3

The relationship between Brad and Jan begins when they share a party line and grow to hate each other’s voices. Their voices carry along with them the personalities, behaviors, and all other characteristics that can be conveyed auditorily auditorily. They are surprisingly candid with the stranger on the other side of the line, but that honesty, though bitter, is broken once Brad takes an interest to the rest of Jan and changes his voice. A central plot point to Pillow Talk is Brad’s impersonation of a fictional cowboy from Texas named Rex. As his real voice of a bachelor songwriter is recognized and hated by Jan, Brad feels the need to impersonate another personality in order to win her over. This works incredibly well on Jan, with lines such as “you make me feel like I’m sitting next to a pot bellied stove on a frosty morning” further entrenching Jan in her own belief of Brad as a mysterious, charming, polite gentleman-cowboy from Texas. But this isn’t because Brad is doing a particularly good job of impersonation, as we can see from the carriage ride where the cabbie immediately sees through his ruse and his constantly changing “southern” accent. It can be speculated from this that Jan is tricking herself into believing what she wants to believe by continuing to see Brad as Rex, furthering her misperceptions the longer she stays with Brad, culminating to the point that she wants to marry him within a few weeks time even though she was “perfectly happy” living alone for however many years before she met Rex. So in Jan’s case misperception is not primarily due to Brad, but rather her own desires that she wants to fulfill.

Another point I’d like to propose is that the writers of the movie are trying to say that “Your Voice is You”. While I don’t necessarily agree with this statement, there seems to be a fair amount of evidence in the movie suggesting that it’s one of the messages they’re trying to say. Brad’s real voice, overheard by Jan, is who he really is: a singing bachelor who woos multiple women at a time. Jan, whose voice stays the same (as does her personality), hates who that voice is, which is Brad. Brad changes his voice in order to disguise who he really is, trying to become a different “you”, which works in wooing over Jan. But once Jan hears Brad’s real voice, the real Brad, everything comes back together. Rex’s voice is still Brad’s voice since only Brad would try to disguise his voice in order to win over someone who hated his voice. No matter who Brad presents himself as, his voice will always reflect who he is, since the meaning of what he says always underlies the sounds he actually makes.

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