All posts by RJ317

Hurston and Use of Language

“Freedom found me wid a baby daughter in mah arms, so Ah said Ah’d take a broom and a cook-pot and throw up a highway through the wilderness for her. She would expound what Ah felt.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.

The above passage is unique in that it depicts the way in which Hurston uses African American Vernacular English in the dialogue between the characters while also using vocabulary that would remove the possibility of creating any caricatures of the characters. She also manages to do this in the way she gives the character dialogue more depth than the narration. Though the narrator reveals much of the internal world of the characters, the character dialogue gives more insight into each of the character’s inner feelings and philosophical pondering than the narrator is able to convey.

Without the Words

“Are you going to tell pa are you going to kill him? without the words I said it and he said “Why?” without the words. And that’s why I can talk to him with knowing with hating because he knows”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. New York: Modern Library, 2000. Print.

This passage is very unique because of the way Faulkner uses quotation to report speech but then follows this with “without the words”. This appears to be a theme throughout, that each narrator is aware of what another is thinking without having much reported speech.

Focalization in Mrs. Dalloway

“The strange thing, on looking back, was the purity, the integrity, of her feeling for Sally. It was not like one’s feeling for a man. It was completely disinterested and besides it had a quality which could only exist between women, between women just grown up. ”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 1925. Print. p.34

Race and Melanctha

“I certainly never do say any more you ain’t always right, Melanctha,” Jeff answered and he was very read now with cheerful laughing, “I certainly never do say that any more, Melanctha, if I know it, but still, really, Melanctha, honest, I think perhaps I wasn’t real bad to you any more than you just needed from me.”

Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives. N.p.: Heritage Illustrated, 2014. Electronic.

This passage is unique in that it shows  consistency in the repetition pattern of the narrator and the character dialogue. Repetition is common throughout “Melanctha” and the simple phrases combined with the repetition give the story a feel of innocence and unsophistication.  When Stein uses this same style of repetition not only in the narration but also in the dialogue, the characters are then given these same characteristics of being child-like and unrefined. It brings about  questions regarding the role of race in Melanctha and whether Stein’s writing is equally as racist as Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”?

Heart of Darkness and Perception of Women

“There was a low jingle, a glint of yellow metal, a sway of fringed draperies, and she stopped as if her heart had failed her. The young fellow by my side growled. The pilgrims murmered at my back. She looked at us all as if her life had depended upon the unswerving steadiness of her glance. Suddenly she opned her bared arms and threw them up rigid above her head, as though in an uncontrollable desire to touch the sky, ad at the same time the swift shadows darted out on the earth, swept around on the river, gathering the steamer into a shadowy embrace.”

Conrad, Joseph, A. Michael. Matin, and George Stade. Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2008. 106. Print.

This passage shows the way in which Conrad represents a woman in the way an animal would be represented.

In the Author’s Shoes?

“Not one but a modern, no one perhaps a Russian, would have felt the interest of the stiuation which Checkhov has made into the short story which he calls ‘Gusev”.

Woolf, Virginia. “Modern Fiction.” In The Common Reader, 149. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, 1925.

In this sentence, Woolf describes the way in which Checkhov’s writing is so specific to the Russian experience, that only a Russian would fully understand it. It brings up the question of whether the reader should place himself in the writers shoes in order to fully understand the purpose of the author’s work?

James and Freedom

“A novel is in its broadest definition a personal impression of life; that, to begin with, constitutes its value, which is greater or less according to the intensity of the impression. But there will be no intensity at all, and therefore no value, unless there is freedom to feel and say. The tracing of a line to be followed, of a tone to be taken, of a form to be filled out, is a limitation of that freedom and a suppression of the very thing that we are most curious about. The form, it seems to me, is to be appreciated after the fact; then the author’s choice has been made, his standard has been indicated; then we can follow lines and directions and compare tones. Then, in a word, we can enjoy one of the most charming of pleasures, we can estimate quality, we can apply the test of execution.”

Henry James, “The Art of Fiction”. <public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/artfiction.html> Longman’s Magazine 4, September 1884

This passage from “The Art of Fiction” describes the freedom needed in order to allow the novelist to produce his or her best work. A question that arose while reading this passage was how a novelist could truly experience this freedom James refers to while knowing that his or her work would eventually undergo “the test of execution”. The freedom discussed in this passage appears to be a limited freedom, because the novelist will always in some way be dependent upon the reader’s criticism.