Tag Archives: description

Not so helpful?

“As he felt the bulge of the letter in his pocket, he felt like an executioner”

“As he entered the school gate an idea occurred to him, a sort of solution. He wouldn’t deliver the letter to the headmaster immediately, but at the end of the day—to that extent he would disobey his father and exercise his independence”

Narayan, R.K. “Father’s Help.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

I loved this because I can slightly relate to Swami’s struggle. After wishing his school to dust via earthquake and lying about a headache, he is forced to go to school and it is worse due to the letter from his father. Narayan provides vivid details of Swami’s inner struggle and thoughts with his lack of desire to go to school and his imaginative stories.

Reactions from sensations

“A couple of brisk rubs and he felt the blood in his cheeks rising to the high bones under the shadow of his eyes and into the ears which shone red-tipped and transparent at the sides of his head. He felt as he used to do when, on winter Sundays in his childhood, he used to strip himself naked, except for a loincloth, to stand in the sun, and rub mustard oil on his body. Recollecting this he looked up at the sun. He caught the full force of its glare, and was dazed. He stood lost for a moment, confused in the shimmering rays, feeling as though there were nothing but the sun, the sun, the sun, everywhere, in him, on him, before him and behind him.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. Print. pp 33-34.As

As seen in other works, such as Woolf, we get a moment here where Bakha has a sensation that leads him to memories and greater sensation that is rich in description.

Anand: Purpose in Loaded Descriptions

“He had seen her before…the fresh young form whose full breasts with their dark beads of nipples stood out so conspicuously under her muslin shirt, whose innocent look of wonder seemed to stir the only soft chord in his person, hardened by the congenital weakness of his mind, brazened by the authority he exercised over the faithful and devout. And he was inclined to be kind to her.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. Print. 29.

I’m torn between being appreciative of the sensuality of the writing, and disgusted by the priest‘s objectification of this young woman. Alas, it’s still strikes me as highly impressive, that I’m able to gather so much about this man within a single chunk of text, and not get lost in it’s heavy, if not poetic, sentence construction.

Detail in Whose Body

“Mr. Parker was a bachelor, and occupied a Georgian but inconvenient flat at No. 12A Great Ormond Street, for which he paid a pound a week. His exertions in the cause of civilization were rewarded, not by the gift of diamond rings from empresses or munificent cheques from grateful Prime Ministers, but by a modest, though sufficient, salary, drawn from the pockets of the British taxpayer. He awoke, after a long day of arduous and inconclusive labour, to the smell of burnt porridge. Through his bedroom window, hygienically open top and bottom, a raw fog was rolling slowly in, and the sight of a pair of winter pants, flung hastily over a chair the previous night, fretted him with a sense of the sordid absurdity of the human form…” (44)

Unlike the contents of other modernist writings we have read, where much is omitted for the reader to figure out, or make their own assumptions of, Sayers’s book “Whose Body?” if very much detail oriented. In contrast, “The Jolly Corner” had descriptions that were meant to make the reader think more. The most descriptive moments in James’s story was in the silence, when nothing was said or told. Sayers uses a plethora of words to make the reader think more. As a mystery novel, the reader is prompted to read more into the words than into the silence. Her detailed descriptions do well to make the reader think.

Characters brought to life in dialogue

“I give you full credit for the discovery, I crawl, I grovel, my name is Watson, and you need not say what you were just going to say, because I admit it all.”

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 2009.  pp 30.

Here we get some insight on the character of Lord Peter Whimsey. The novel does an extraordinary job creating a personality for a character through dialogue that really makes them come to life. In moments such as this one we can see Lord Peter Whimsey admitting his slight oversight of some evidence, but instead of humbly admitting his failure to have noticed it himself, he repeatedly mentions it. What’s more is he creates such a volume to his report of missing the evidence that it begins to come across as insincere as well as humorous for the reader. This ultimately gives shape to Lord Whimsey’s character and allows us to see how someone of his status in society truly feels about these cases, almost as if it were a game or one of his beloved detective novels, as well as showing how prideful he is in thinking that he is normally always right.