“Next morning he was back at Lawley Extension at ten. From his car he made a dash for the sick bed. The patient was awake and looked very well. The assistant reported satisfactory pulse. The doctor put his tube to his heart, listened for a while and told the sick man’s wife, ‘Don’t look so unhappy, lady. Your husband will live to be ninety.’ When they were going back to the hospital, the assistant sitting beside him in the car asked, ‘Is he going to live, sir?'”
“‘I will bet on it. He will live to be ninety. He has turned the corner. How he has survived this attack will be a puzzle to me all my life,’ replied the doctor.”
N. K Narayan. The Doctor’s Word in Malgudi Days. Penguins Classic, 2006. 25
This passage was interesting because in the start of the story it was mentioned that the Doctor only spoke the “truth;” therefore, it made me wonder if the word of the Doctor is the truth. Whatever comes out of his mouth ends up being true even though he does not believe it himself. This makes me wonder if the Doctor has the power in allowing one to live or die. It felt weird that the Doctor was surprised himself that his friend ended up surviving when the Doctor was unsure of his own words. However, once the words that his friend would survive came out of his mouth, his friend spontaneously became better.
- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf (1925)
- Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
- Whose Body, Dorothy Sayers (1923)
- As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner (1930)
All these works represent community and social gatherings shown through different cultures and social levels.
The novel Mrs. Dalloway and Their Eyes Were Watching God explicitly portray social gatherings through the meetings of crowds of people whether it is out on the street or outside on the porch of one’s house. During those gatherings the crowd is left to ponder about a situation they are encountering or about a person. In Mrs. Dalloway, the crowds all gather to find out what the loud crash sound was. In Their Eyes Were Watching God the women all gather around the porch to gossip about Janie and the return of her presence sans partner.
Along, with those two novels, the novel As I Lay Dying features a small community of a family and the novel Whose Body features a community of people trying to solve the mystery. Through these four novels, they represent a different version of community.
“‘What she doin coming back here in dem overhalls? Can’t she find no dress to put on?–Where’s dat blue satin dress she left here in?–Where all dat money her husband took and died and left her?–What dat le forty year ole ‘oman doin’ wid her hair swingin’ down her back lak some young gal?–Where she left dat young lad of a boy she went off here wid?–Thought she was going to marry?–Where he left her?–What he done wid all her money? Betcha he off wid some gal so young she ain’t even got no hairs–why she don’t stay in her class?–‘”
Neale Hurston, Zora. Their eyes were watching God. Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2006. 2.
This passage was interesting because it was the first time Zora Neale Hurston used dialect to immerse the reader into the perspective of the character. The way the character talks is not standard English and in fact she uses a different language to show the reader the difference in class and race. The use of language reminds me of the novel “Untouchable” as well because Bhaka always had traces of his own language in combination with English to show the reader how he was different from an English person.
“He had had glimpses, during his sojourn there, of the life the Tommies lived, sleeping on strange, low canvas beds covered tightly with blankets, eating eggs, drinking tea and wine in tin mugs, going to parade and then walking down to the bazaar with cigarettes in their mouths and small silver-mounted cane in their hands. And he had soon become possessed with an overwhelming desire to live their life. He had been told they were sahibs, superior people. He had felt that to put on their clothes made one a sahib too. So he tried to copy them in everything, to copy them as well as he could in the exigencies of his peculiarly Indian circumstances. He had begged one of Tommy for the gift of a pair of trousers…”
Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. 11. Print.
As I read the novel, I kept referring back to the beginning because it reveals Bhaka’s true heart and desire to be accepted. Instead of being recognized as one of the “lower members” of the caste system, he longs to be one of the “sahibs” as he wants to dress like them, sleep like them, and eat like them. Whenever he describes his life as one who just cleans toilets and is “untouchable” it shows a hint that he feels miserable and that he desires to live differently away from the caste system that systemizes and singles people out. He doesn’t want to be treated lower class, he wants to be as equal as the superior people, the “sahibs.”
“When they get it finished they are going to put her in it and then for a long time I couldn’t say it. I saw the dark stand up and go whirling away and I said ‘Are you going to nail her up in it, Cash? Cash? Cash?’ I got shut up in the crib the new door it was too heavy for me it went shut I couldn’t breathe because the rat was breathing up all the air. I said ‘Are you going to nail it shut, Cash? Nail it? Nail it?’” (Faulkner 65)
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. New York: Modern Library, 2000. Print.
Faulkner uses repetition throughout the novel through many contexts. He first used repetition to emphasize the noise of the axe in the first chapter by stating, “Chuck, chuck, chuck” (Faulkner 5). However, in the above passage the use of repetition is present in the character’s personality through her impatient tone. Instead of pausing in the sentence continues on with a tone of implied haste as the character keeps emphasizing certain words.
“The sounds of Big Ben striking the half-hour stuc out between them with extraordinary vigour, as if a young man, strong, indifferent, inconsiderate, were swinging dumb-bells this way and that.” (Woolf 48).
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt Inc., 1925. Print.
The idea of time is so important in this passage because it humanizes “time” by describing Big Ben as a “young man” and throughout the story Big Ben disrupts people during their daily routine, reminds them of their time, and helps them become aware of their time while also pacing them. Big Ben is constantly mentioned throughout the story almost making it seem to the reader as if it was one of the main characters. It keeps reminding the characters in the story that time is important and can not be wasted.
“‘Oh, Daddy, can’t you give her something to make her stop screaming?’ asked Nick” (Hemingway 16)
Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1958. Print.
That quote emphasizes that Nick is still a youth and that him being exposed to the pains and sufferings of labor scares him. The screams indicate his fear as well as he tells his father to make the woman stop screaming. Kids hate watching people suffer and that is the case with Nick; therefore, he is still a young kid who is being exposed to the harsh sufferings of the world. This story shows the reflection of a youth becoming slowly exposed to the harsh realities to life as he watches the woman in labor and the man commit suicide. The questions and statements he makes all reflect his growing up.
“Mr. Alfred Thipps was a small, nervous man, whose flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny. One might say that his only really marked feature was a large bruise over the left eyebrow, which gave him a faintly dissipated air incongruous with the rest of his appearance. Almost in the same breath with his first greeting, he made a self-conscious apology for it, murmuring something about having run against the dining-room door in the dark. He was touched almost to tears by Lord Peter’s thoughtfulness and condescension in calling.” (Sayers 4)
Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009.
This was featured within the first chapter of the novel and they described the character in much detail. As the story progresses there are chapters when Sayer writes a description of other characters in full detail. The way she describes Mr. Alfred Thipps as a “small, nervous man…his only really marked feature was a large bruise over the left eyebrow,” helps the reader imagine how the character would look if he was real. Through this story, the reader can enjoy the plot by imagining the scenario in his or her mind through the vivid descriptions of the characters. In James Joyce’s novel it was hard to picture or imagine any of the character’s because they were not described in full detail. We were given that they were either “old or young, mean or nice, boring or fun,” but we were never given details of how they looked or how they act. The quote, “almost in the same breath with his first greeting, he made a self-conscious apology for it, murmuring something about having run against the dining-room door in the dark,” describes his actions in full detail as well. Instead of just stating, “he was murmuring,” the author is very outlined. The descriptions make the novel more interesting as it does not make the reader wonder what kind of character one is and the descriptions help the reader follow the scenario without feeling lost. It becomes hard to forget who the character’s are because we are provided with thorough and specific details that it makes it easier to distinguish each and every character.
“But Melanctha Herbert never really killed herself because she was so blue, though often she thought this would be really the best way for her to do. Melanctha never killed herself, she only got a bad fever and went into the hospital where they took good care of her and cured her” (Stein 141).
Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three lives. New York: Dover Publications, 1994. 64-65. Print.
The use of the color “blue” to define one’s emotion and feelings is interesting because in the novel “blue” is known to refer to depression and it foreshadows the death that will overcome Melanctha due to the accumulation of stress and emotional turmoil within her. The color “blue” also reminds me of one of the pictures we saw in class. To be specific the Seated Harlequin picture as the person was wearing a blue and black checkered pattern clothing and the person had no emotions and we mentioned in class that on the surface it is unclear to know what the person is feeling unless we look in depth and Melanctha’s character is so hard to figure out without closely examining her. In the start she does not seem to be one filled with depression but as the novel progresses one can realize how emotionally burdened she is and the Seated Harlequin picture has the same result as I continue to look at the portrait the person sitting looks more and more emotionally burdened and depressed.
“Rebels! What would be the next definition I was to her? There had been enemies, criminals, workers – and these were rebels. Those rebellious heads looked very subdued to me on their sticks.”
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. “Heart of Darkness”, 165. Oxford: Oxford NY, 2002.
This is interesting because rebels are people who disobey the commands and act free; however, in the story they have little to no power to even act free or do as they please. They barely disrupt or even act on their own accord. Although, they are called “workers and enemies,” they present no sign of being rebellious.