“‘Death alone can help that dog,’ cried the ribbon-seller, looking after it with a sigh. ‘What can we do with a creature who returns to his doom with such a free heart?'”
Narayan, R.K. “The Blond Dog.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print. pp 39
I find this passage extremely interesting where the ribbon-seller wants the dog so badly to live freely just as the dog’s heart as. It reminds us that all people return to “their doom” or their death at the end and not everyone deserves to do so so early. Why do those who do so many great things and are so free suffer the most?
The texts Mrs. Dalloway, Untouchables, Their Eyes, and In Our Time are all completely different yet have a theme that runs throughout them. Throughout each one I noticed a reoccurring theme of social class and structure. Each one displays evident class differences and it affects the entire structure of the novel. Mrs. Dalloway Clarissa is consistently affected by social class; she is an upper class woman who hates where she is. She despises being wealthy and upper class because she doubts her decision to marry Richard the entire novel. In Untouchables Bakha is considered a lower class citizen, he is the one who cleans the system and keeps the place clean. He is the lowest of the low and the separation is evident. Their Eyes displays a black community. Already we see a social class separation especially when they had the flood that killed many people. The black men were forced to separate the whites and the black dead people from each other. In Our Time shows some social class differences through the way the different characters speak and where they live. It just shows so much evidence of social class differences and the theme is reoccurring throughout all the books.
Not only that but Mrs. Dalloway, Untouchables, and In Our Time there is a use of parataxis throughout the three.
“The sun was gone, but he had left his footprints in the sky. It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was he time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been toungeless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and brutes had occupied their skin. But now the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They had became the lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgement”.
Neale Hurston, Zora. Their eyes were watching God. Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2006. 2.
I think its interesting that Nora starts off her book on the note of racism which is continually prevalent throughout the novel. The black people of their town, Eatonville, feel repressed by the “whites” of their town. Life would be better if they lived without “judgement”. I think that this sets the tone of race in the book further more and the repression these people feel.
“He became the humble, oppressed under-dog that he was by birth, afraid of everything, creeping slowly up, in a curiously hesitant, cringing movement”.
Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. 42. Print.
In this moment, you see Bakha’s self doubt of his social class and work. Long years of demeaning and menial work have paid the price on him, leaving physical and emotional burdens. The emotional burden is still present, the self-doubt he always had about climbing up higher. He obviously displays hesitance from years of emotional pains.
“That’s what they mean by the love that passeth understanding: that pride, that furious desire to hide that abject nakedness which we bring here with us, carry with us into operating rooms,carry stubbornly and furiously with us into the earth again”.
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. New York: Modern Library, 2000. Print.
When reading this passage I felt an overwhelming sense of passion, judgement, and love. The book itself is not moralistic but I felt this passage revealed a sense of values and a very consciousness of them always being aware of their values. They are carried everywhere and their lives can be interpreted by the values they carry with them.
“She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having of children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs Richard Dalloway”.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, 1925. Print.
Throughout Mrs. Dalloway, there is sense of society and class. Clarissa holds herself with high morals from the start of the book and you can feel the high classiness coming off her. In this quote you see Clarissa doubting herself, wishing to be young again. Her youth is behind her and she is no longer known as a beautiful maiden; she is known as Mrs. Richard Dalloway. She may be upper class but she can never regain her youth.
“In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would never die”
Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. Print.
How interesting that through the entire section it is about birth and the terror that comes from it. And through it all, he felt that this miracle made him invincible. He would never leave this world, he would always remain free and alive.
“He drifted across the passage into his bedroom, and was changing with a rapidity one might not have expected from a man of his mannerisms. He selected a dark-green tie to match his socks and tied it accurately without hesitation or the slightest compression of his lips; substituted a pair of brown shoes for his black ones, slipped a monocle into a breast pocket, and took up a beautiful Malacca walking-stick with a heavy silver knob” (p.4)
Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009
This novel becomes increasingly more and more descriptive as you read through the chapters. As we progress, the attention to detail is so evident that it keeps me wanting to read more. The description of Lord Peter going through the options of his clothing and delicately placing a monocle into his pocket. This vivid imagery helps the reader imagine the scenario in place. Sayers truly describes everything in detail giving clear images of what she wishes you to see. Compared to the other texts we have read such Stein’s story Melanctha or Conrad’s text Heart of Darkness, the imagery is completely evident. The other texts continually use literary devices which can sometimes make the purpose of the scene unclear. Sayers text sets the scene and the purpose of the scene always feels evident.
“Melanctha Herbet always loved too hard and much too often She was always full of mystery and subtle movements and denials and vague distrusts and complicated disillusions. Then Melanctha would be sudden and impulsive and unbounded in some faith and unbounded in some faith, and then would suffer and be strong in her repression”
Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three lives. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. 50. Print
During an era where Victorian values dominated women, Melanctha was different and free. She was sexually liberated and assertive regardless of the repression she faced. Melanctha’s emotions are so vivid during these sentences we get the notion that Melanctha is complicated and different than other women. We get the thought that she is a little off the walls, yet so sexual that she can barely contain it. This is ground breaking for Stein’s writing because the subject of a black woman, let alone being a sexual being, is something that did not enter the world until this very moment. We finally get a glimpse at the feelings of a woman, who may or may not be a little crazy.
“It had become so pitch dark that we listeners could hardly see one another. For a long time already he, sitting apart, had been no more to us than a voice. There was not a word from anybody. The others might have been asleep, but I was awake. I listened, I listened on the watch for the sentence, for the word, that would give me the clue to the faint uneasiness inspired by this narrative that seemed to shape itself without human lips in the heavy night-air of the river”.
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. In Youth: A Narrative; and Other Tales. Rev. ed. Edited by Cedric Watts. Oxford University Press, 2002. p.130.
I think this shows modernity from the darkness that he seems to portray during this paragraph. It is darker and creepier which makes me feel as though it is modern.