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Paper Topic:

Movie Assignment

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10 July 2006

Listening in When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally is an interesting move to watch with a view to the listening skills and habits of its two main characters : Harry and Sally Essentially , the entire movie is conversation . There is little action and no action that is interesting enough to detract from the conversation

Harry and Sally have their first conversation as they begin their drive together from Chicago to

New York . In the first conversation Sally begins by trying to discuss how they will share the driving during their fourteen hour trip . Harry doesn 't pay attention to what she is saying instead , he finds some grapes and begins to eat them . Punctuating her conversation with the sound of him spitting grape seeds out the window is not , good , active listening . It 's clear he has no interest in hearing about her driving schedule because he never responds , but instead quickly changes the subject by asking Sally to tell him the story of her life

Obviously , Harry is not interested in her life story either . He asks questions , but not questions soliciting clarification or elaboration of what Sally says . Harry questions Sally in an aggressive , sarcastic insolent way , almost as if he were interrogating her . Whenever she makes a statement , Harry challenges it as if there is something wrong with what Sally is saying . A good listener will keep an open mind and won 't interrupt . Harry does neither during the trip . He is a bad listener They hate each other

Harry and Sally 's next conversation is five years later . Sally and Harry are on a plane together . Initially their conversation seems normal . They talk normally , listen to each other , maintain eye contact and respond with comments and questions that encourage additional exchange of thoughts and discussion . Once the switches to sex however , Harry stops listening and begins to lecture . His comments disgust Sally who stops listening and brings the conversation to a halt . They are indifferent towards each other

Five more years later , Sally has just broken up with her boyfriend and Harry is about to get a divorce . Over coffee , Sally tells Harry what as happened to bring about the end of their relationship . Harry is a very good listener here . He 's not out to win a debate like he was on their way to New York , nor is he lecturing Sally like he did on the airplane Harry lets her talk . He maintains eye contact and when he responds it is in a positive way that shows he has been listening and he encourages Sally to continue talking . They become friends

Shortly after this , Harry and Sally accident meet Harry 's ex-wife Helen , in a store . This naturally upsets Harry and he becomes very angry . During the conversation that follows , Harry stops being a good listener . He isn 't interested in conversing , he isn 't...

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