Conversation is act of spoken exchange of news or ideas between two or more parties. To make conversation possible, it is essential for all parties to willing to talk and share their thought to each other. Successful conversation involves interaction between sides that ready to hear and ready to share. In the short story ‘A Thousand Years of Good Prayers’, conversation between Mr Shi and his daughter Yilan, failed to build up due to Yilan refused to talked and share her problem with her father. Their one way conversation prolong until both of them start to admit and clarify their darkest secrets. Since then, their conversion becomes easier. Hence, it shows that, what makes it so hard to talk to each other is the reluctant of sharing information between the speakers.
On the other hand, background different between individuals becomes barrier for people to talk to each other. Barriers in aspect of age, race, religion, nationality and occupation contributed to it. In everyday life, we usually find it hard to talk to someone that is not in the same boat with us. For example, it is easier to talk to our peers rather than to talk to people who are older or younger than us. This is due to; we are not sharing the common interests between each other. Teenagers mostly talk about things that related to them for instance like music, school and friends. While for the adults, their conversations revolve around their work, family and responsibility. This show significant difference for both parties interests that result both sides difficult to communicate between them. In the short story, Mr Shi and Yilan do not share the same interest. Mr Shi, which is much older, procommunist and still firmly sticks with the Chinese culture, contradicts with Yilan who is more toward the western culture. Differences in their views in certain issues create an invisible wall that makes them hard to understand each other.
In addition, language also makes people hard to communicate. Not everyone in this world share the same language as us. Although, English is the lingua franca nowadays, but differences in accents and the way people talk still somehow makes it not similar for everyone. Language is vital in communication. It becomes medium to express ideas and information. Fail to understand language lead to misunderstanding that end up the conversation. In the story, due to lack of English proficiency, Mr Shi sometimes fail to deliver his massage especially during his conversation with the Iranian lady until he need to used alternative of facial expression and body language to clarify everything. This sometimes occurs in our life. For instance, when we are talking to foreigner that do not or on speak little English, we find it hard to talk to them. Thus, it is important to master the language to makes our conversation easier.
All in all, conversation requires willingness for both parties to share information and neglect any background differences between them in order to achieve successful conversation. Language should become medium to makes conversation easier not a barrier and hence mastering language is essential before conversation can take place.