Comprehension Problems between Carol and John

Comprehension Problems between Carol and John


            Communication is an important part of every human relationship. Being able to understand what each other says play a great role on any relationship whether a simple connection between two people or a deep link between a group of persons in the society. In this matter, a conversation which existed between John and Carol in the movie ‘Oleanna’ shall be examined to be able to discus several comprehension problems that occurred during the said incident.

Analysis of Conversation

            John and Carol were both from different races, different profession, different age levels and different genders. These are among the main reasons for many misunderstandings between the two due to the fact that they both have different background in using the English in speech and have different status in life in many ways. It has been shown in the script of the movie that both people have quite some of the difficulties that mainly occurred in understanding each other’s point within the delivery of the conversation.

            As for example, in the line of Carol she said: “No, no-I don’t understand. Do you see? I don’t understand….” Indeed, in many parts of the conversation between the two, Carol had a lot of times when she asked, “What do you mean by that” and “I don’t understand”. Instances wherein John intends to use deep English languages, which are naturally not familiar to Carol since she is not a native English speaker. Aside from this, the hug given by John to Carol when they were speaking in his office created some deep issues. Being a girl from a different social upbringing, Carol gave a wrong reaction to John’s gesture as a professor which in turn gives problem to John’s reputation as a professor.

            Another reason, aside from deep vocabulary, why both people cannot grasp the meaning of each other’s statements during the conversation is the fact that they both insist for their views regarding a certain issue and at times, they forget what is there to be much concerned about. This is also the main reason why they were both not able to comprehend to what the other person really intended to say or do at that. As a result, their close relationship as teacher- student have been mostly misunderstood from each other’s view point, which also in turn brought up different bigger problems.

            The way both delivered their ideas were much likely influenced by their emotions, this is the reason why when John increased the volume of his voice, Carol thought that he was imposing authority over her. In this regard, their status in life as professor and student affected the way they view the conversation as well. The fact that Carol is a student viewing studying as a mere ‘something’ to finish, while John considers learning as his way of life, his profession, they both face the issue differently.


            To be able to comprehend to the message being conveyed by a person, it is very important to consider what the other person’s capability to understand is when it comes to the language being used. This is mainly in an aim to be able to send clear messages, thus avoiding misconceptions or misunderstanding. In addition, it is very important to apply the skill of listening whenever a conversation is being delivered, thus making the communication a ‘two-way lane and not a much focused talk only on one’s opinion.

            It must also be remembered that comprehension always goes with listening and listening always goes along with understanding. Knowing and applying this principle would surely result to better and clearer conversation.


Michael H. Agar. (1996). Language Shock: Understanding The Culture Of Conversation.

Harper Paperbacks.

Art Foster. (2006). Purposeful Expression: Understanding and Using Your Language Effectively.

Harper Paperbacks.

Karen E. Johnson. (1995). Understanding Communication in Second Language Classrooms

(Cambridge Language Education). Cambridge University Press.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *