The Significance of the Voice in The Voice

Significance of the Voice

Q. What is the significance of the voice in the short story The Voice by V. S. Pritchett?

The Significance of the Voice in The Voice

In V.S. Pritchett’s short story “The Voice,” the mysterious singing voice serves multiple significant roles and deeply impacts the protagonist, Mr. Morgan. The voice symbolizes loneliness, evokes the past, prompts self-discovery, represents life’s mysteries, and catalyzes change.

The voice profoundly impacts the protagonist’s emotional and psychological state. Here are several ways in which the voice is significant:

  • Loneliness and Isolation
  • Link to the Past
  • Reflection and Self-Discovery
  • Symbol of Life’s Mysteries
  • Symbol of Hope and Fear
  • Trigger for Change
Loneliness and Isolation

In V.S. Pritchett‘s short story “The Voice,” the mysterious singing voice that Mr. Morgan hears symbolizes his loneliness and isolation. Living alone in the silence of a house that once buzzed with the life he shared with his wife, Mr Morgan finds the voice fills a void.

It acts as a companion in his otherwise quiet world, bringing comfort but also emphasizing the profound solitude that defines his existence now.

The voice is a reminder of the companionship he lacks, highlighting how the silence around him is both a physical and emotional landscape.

Link to the Past

The voice also serves as a powerful link to Mr. Morgan’s past. It evokes memories of his life with his late wife, stirring emotions that have perhaps lain dormant since her death.

These vivid and poignant recollections offer him a bridge back to happier times and sharply contrast with his current state of loneliness.

This aspect of the voice underscores its role in connecting Mr. Morgan not just to what he has lost but also to the joyful experiences that shaped his earlier life.


As the story unfolds, the voice catalyzes Mr. Morgan’s reflection and self-discovery. His search for the source of the voice mirrors his deeper quest for understanding himself and his place in the world.

This journey is less about the physical act of searching and more about introspection—pondering his relationships, confronting his grief, and questioning his future.

The voice prompts Mr. Morgan to delve into his emotions and thoughts, facilitating a journey of internal exploration crucial for his personal growth and acceptance of his life’s current reality.

Symbol of Life’s Mysteries

Furthermore, the voice symbolizes the mysteries of life. Mr. Morgan’s inability to locate its source parallels his struggles with existential questions about life and death, the afterlife, and the purpose of existence.

The voice’s ethereal nature brings these issues to the forefront, challenging him to consider what lies beyond the immediate and tangible world.

This element of the story adds a layer of depth, encouraging both Mr. Morgan and the reader to contemplate the more significant, often unanswerable questions that define human experience.

Symbol of Hope and Fear

The voice in the story represents hope and fear during the war. Mr. Morgan, a former priest, seeks refuge in a church to escape deadly air raids. Unfortunately, the church is bombed, trapping him under rubble.

Reverend Lewis and others try to rescue him, and they hear Morgan singing from beneath the debris.

Morgan’s singing captivates everyone, especially Lewis, who is moved to forgive Morgan’s past mistakes. While trying to rescue Morgan, Lewis falls into a tunnel but is not seriously hurt.

Morgan explains that he sings because he is scared. This confession leads Lewis to understand Morgan better, and he joins him in singing, creating a choir under the rubble.

The voice symbolizes both hope and fear in this context. For Morgan and Lewis, singing expresses their hope of being rescued and their fear of not leaving.

Their songs provide comfort and a way to cope with their anxiety, showing the strength of the human spirit even in dire situations.

Trigger for Change

Lastly, the voice acts as a trigger for change in Mr. Morgan’s life. It disrupts his daily routine and pushes him to interact more with his surroundings and community.

His investigations lead him to reengage with neighbours and participate more actively in communal life, signalling a shift from isolation towards a reconnection with society.

This movement symbolizes Mr. Morgan’s gradual emergence from the shadow of his grief and his tentative steps towards embracing life again despite the remaining sorrow.

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