Untouchable

“The outcastes were not allowed to mount the platform surrounding the well, because if they were ever to draw water from it, the Hindus of the three upper castes would consider the water polluted” (22)

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. Penguin Classics, 1986. Page 22.

Here Anand depicts the worker as reliant. There is also an implication that the working class is filthy, although this implication is made by the Hindus and not Anand himself. Either way, it is shown that for water, a basic necessity, the working class must rely on assistance from upper class citizens

Their Eyes Were Watching God

“And the thing that got everybody was the way Janie caught on. She got to the place she could shoot a hawk out of a pine tree and not tear him up. Shoot his head off. She got to be a better shot than Tea Cake”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Harper Collins, 2006. page 131

When Janie moves to the south, we see her quality of life improve. Despite it being a poor area, Janie thrives there. In her relationship she is not forced to serve her significant other, but is allowed to surpass him. This kind of relationship would not have been possible if she hadn’t followed Tea Cake south.

 

Cane

“Becky was the white woman who had two Negro sons

she’s dead;they’ve gone away. The pines whisper to

Jesus. The Bible flaps its leaves with an aimless rustle

on her mound” (8)

Toomer, Jean. Cane. Liveright, 2011. Page 8.

of all the sections of prose that were prefaced by poetry, I found the most interesting and haunting poetry to be the one that proceeds “Becky”. I found it so interesting for how its meaning transforms throughout the reading of “Becky”. Upon first read of the poem, we have no reason to believe that Becky is anything but dead, yet upon reading the prose we find that she is alive, but assumed to be dead.  In addition, the final line of the poem seems to have no obvious meaning at first. Upon reading the prose, we come to the realization that it references a bible left on a mound of rubble that crushed Becky to death. Overall, the poem led to a mounting horror as I slowly pieced together what it truly meant, and I commend the use of form here to create this feeling of suspense.

Whose Body

“‘It’s incredible,’ said the Coroner, ‘that so-called educated people should be so ignorant of the legal procedure of their own country” (62)

Here Mr. Thipps is brought to court without a defense attorney because of his lack of knowledge. The novel is supposing here that one should be educated as to not be taken advantage of. We can see how Sayers values knowledge and cunning when the protagonist often complements and respects criminals who seem intelligent, despite them being a potential murderer.

Sayers, Dorothy, L. “Whose Body” Dover Publications, INC. Mineola, New York 2009. Page 62

As I Lay Dying

“When He aims for something to be always a-moving, He makes it long ways, like a road or a horse or a wagon, but when He aims for something to stay put, He makes it up-and-down ways, like a tree or a man”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. Vintage International, 1990, pp.36

In terms of utilizing stream of consciousness, Faulkner’s shifting 1st person narrations takes Virginia Woolf’s “atoms as they fall” technique to its maximum potential. Faulkner’s shifting of narration invites us into the mind of the many characters of this novel, and from within these minds, the reader sees the world through that character’s eyes, all at the speed of thought. We, the reader, journey through the thoughts of characters such as Anse, and not only get to know his ideals regarding things like the unchanging nature of man, but also how he speaks. All of Anse’s speech patterns are put on the page so that we hear his thoughts in our heads as if he were speaking to us himself. This allows us to share in the flow of a characters conscience as they record the atoms as they fall.

 

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“He wondered if they were arguing at home about that. That was called politics. There were two sides in it: Dante was on one side and his father and Mr Casey were on the other side but his mother and uncle Charles were on no side. Every day there was something in the papers about it”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young man, ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000), 13

This quote exemplifies James Joyce’s ability to portray young and naive characters,  through partial understandings of the world we live in. At this point in the story, Stephen is not old enough to partake in politics, so for him politics is  the same as arguing. In his eyes, his family would divide themselves into arbitrary but unchanging “sides” and argue about the things in the paper. This description made me fondly remember a point in my life where this observation was one I held myself, so I commend Joyce’s ability to accurately evoke those memories through her realistic portrayal of youth.

The Middle Years

“He sat and stared at the sea, which appeared all surface and twinkle, far shallower than the spirit of the man. It was the abyss of human illusion that was the real, tideless deep” (609).

James, Henry, 1843-1916, and Percy Lubbock. The Middle Years. New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1917. 609

This short excerpt was able to show a feeling of deep introspection despite the peaceful environment surrounding Dencombe. I felt it was able to accurately convey a state in which  one resists enjoyment of their surroundings, despite how easy it would be to relax. Dencombe’s unwillingness to change sets him as a natural unchanging part of the world, more so than the actual sea itself.