All posts by JJAK

Dialogue in “Malgudi Days”

‘Oh, you poor worm!’ Swami thought. ‘You don’t know what my father has done to you.’ He was more puzzled than ever about Samuel’s character.

‘All right, go to your seat. Have you still a headache?’

‘Slightly, sir’


I think the dialogue in this short story is interesting because the way it is written is clearly not how fluently English-speaking people would speak. It seems like the dialogue was in Hindi and translated into English but not adjusted grammatically to be formatted the way an English-speaking person would speak. It may seem a bit awkward to anyone who does not know any Indian languages.

Historical Line: Personal Growth

The personal growth of the individual.


The Jolly Corner: Brydon is forced to grow up with his return to America by overcoming his fears as well as falling in love. He learned to let go of his past insecurities and come face to face with himself, something he feared doing because he was not entirely proud of who he was. He also learned to trust another person and allow her into the deepest corners of his heart where is the most susceptible to be hurt. However he allows her there anyway, which is a testament of his growth (James 1908).


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Stephen grows as an individual through his growing opinions of different yet very influential institutions in his life. His ability to form an opinion on his own based on the personal experiences he had is a sign of maturity and growth. Furthermore, his decision to leave and pursue his desire to express himself in other lands also shows his growth as he is gaining the courage to try new things in new places.


Untouchable: Bakha’s growth is related to his view of his personal situation. He wants to grow in status to be higher than an untouchable. He also wants to be given the respect he does not get in his home or community and so he worships the British and their ability to take power. The novel looks at various solutions to his problems, which include the acceptance of a new religion (something he dismisses), a voice on behalf of the Untouchables (something he is interested in) and the introduction of a flushing toilet (which he believes will solve his problems). The novel does not give a definite answer as to whether he will continue to be engrossed with the British or if he will listen to Gandhi’s words and fight for his respect. However we do get to see that a spark has been lit, and perhaps as time goes on it can be assumed that the spark turns into a full-fledged fire. Bakha must grow as an individual to truly understand Gandhi’s words in his situation however the reader can see that he has come a long way from where he was in the beginning (Anand 1935).


Their Eyes Were Watching God: Janie’s relationship with the three men gave her experiences she would not have otherwise seen. She grows by learning to become an independent individual and how to become a woman, rather than just a girl. With each new significant relationship she enters and leaves, she learns something from it, growing as a person (Hurston 1937).


Granted, many of these examples of personal growth can also be argued as a sign of lack of growth. However it is all perspective. To some, making the decision to leave one’s homeland to explore and discover is a sign of growth but to others, it may be a sign of immaturity and lack of dedication or responsibility. However it can also arguably be a sign of growth or the desire to grow. It is all about perspective. I think this is apparent and recurring in all of the above examples.

The Doctor

“Mischief unravels and the fine high hand of Heaven proffers the skein again, combed and forgiven!” (Barnes 24).

I’m going to be honest, I don’t really understand a lot of what the doctor is saying. However I think in this conversation, he is talking about how religion is almost meaningless because God will forgive you of your sins regardless. I don’t think he’s really a religious man and believe that you are born a Christian and so you will die a Christian and God is happy enough with that.

Dialogue in Hurston

“Don’t think Ah don’t feel wid you Janie, ’cause Ah do. Ah couldn’t love yuh no more if Ah had uh felt yo’ birth pains mahself. Fact uh de matter, Ah ives yuh a whole heap more’n Ah do yo’ moms, de one Ah did birth…” (15)

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

Something I found very interesting was the dialogue in the novel. It’s actually a bit difficult to read but I like the way Hurston writes it because it makes it very realistic and believable. It actually makes it a bit easier if the dialogue is read out loud but regardless of how difficult it may be, I think it’ pretty authentic and I like that.

The Garden of Eden

“And he recalled the familiar sight of all those Hindu men and women who could be seen squatting in the open, outside the city every morning. ‘So shameless,’ he thought; ‘they don’t seem to care who looks at them, sitting there like that’ ” (Anand 19).

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London, England: Penguin, 1986. Print.

This passage reminds me of the Garden of Eden. The Hindu men and women are like Adam and Eve before they ate the apple and Bakha is them after. After being exposed to the tree of life and sin, which in this case could be symbolized by the Englishmen, he finds something so normal to his culture to be shameful. The English represent the tree of life because they are, in many ways, more modern than India, but they also represent sin because they are taking away the land and rights of people solely because they believe they have the right to due to their skin color. Also because they have stolen from these people and killed many innocents in the process of expanding there own empire, kind of like Satan one could argue.

Daily Life

“…that Sir William was master of his own actions, which the patient was not. There some weakly broke down; sobbed, submitted; others, inspired by Heaven knows what intemperate madness, called Sir William to his face a damnable humbug; questioned, even more impiously, life itself. Why live? they demanded. Sir William replied that life was good. Certianly Lady Bradshaw in ostrich feathers hung over the mantelpiece, and as for his income it was quite twelve thousand a year. But to us, they protested, life has given no such bounty. He acquiesced. They lacked a sense of proportion. And perhaps after all, there is no God? He shrugged his shoulders. In short, this living or not living is an affair of our own? But they were mistaken” (Woolfe 101).


I think this is a daily issue people deal with. Those that struggle greatly in life tend to question it and it’s necessity while those that have it a bit easier tend to find bliss in life. It’s not that they haven’t seen pain; everyone goes through pain. However some people just go through a deeper pain than others and so they don’t find life as blissful.


Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1981. Print.

Masculinity in Hemingway

“He pulled back the blanket from the Indian’s head. His hand came away wet. He mounted on the edge of the lower bunk with the lamp in one hand and looked in. The Indian lay with his face towards the wall. His throat had been cut from ear to ear. The blood had flowed down into a pool where the body sagged the bunk. His head rested on his left arm. The open razor lay, edge up, in the blankets” (Hemingway 18).

Hemingway, Ernest. “Indian Camp.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1925. Print.

This scene portrays the role of masculinity in the novel. The act of suicide by the Indian is a feminine act and that fact that an Indian man did it and a white man, a doctor, found him makes him not as masculine as the white man. Instead of facing his problems, he turned away from them, literally because he was facing the wall, and he killed himself rather than staying through the delivery and raising the child.

Mr. Thipps

“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 wight he rest of his appearance” (4).


This was the first thing that stood out to me as I read because it made me wonder why Thipps had a bruise int her first place…is he guilty? Why is he so nervous?

Changing Points of View

“Jeff Campbell then began again on the old papers. He sat there on the steps just above where Melanctha was sitting, and he went on with his reading, and his head went moving up and down, and sometimes he was reading, and sometimes he was thinking about all the things he wanted to be doing, and then he would rub the back of his dark hand over his mouth, and in between he would be frowning with his thinking, and sometimes he would be rubbing his head hard to help his thinking. And Melanctha just sat still and watched the lamp burning, and sometimes she turned it down a little, when the wind caught it and it would begin to get to smoking” (Stein 119).

The beginning of the passage starts off by telling the reader only the physical aspects of Jeff and what he is doing. The narrator tells you where he sits in relation to Melanctha, what he is doing, and the movements of his body. Then the narrator begins to tell you what he is thinking about and although it may not go into great detail, you find out more about what Jeff is thinking about that Melanctha. All you ever find out about her is that she watched the lamp burning and sometimes she would turn it down. This is a symbol of the characters as a whole because as the story goes on, you tend to find out more about Jeff than Melanctha, even though the story is about her. You read the whole novel on Melanctha thinking you understand her character and her actions but by the end you realize that you know very little about her, what she thinks, or the psychology behind her actions. In fact, you hardly know anything besides what she herself says. The author stresses this subtly through the narration of the novel because even then, you know very little about Melanctha but more about the other characters.


Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three Lives. New York: Grafton, 1909. Ebook.

The Experience of Death

“I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary” (Conrad 178).

Conrad, Joseph, and Cedric Watts. “The Heart of Darkness: Part III.” Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Rev. ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

This passage stands as an example of why this story is a modern piece. There is perhaps no better way to explain the reality of death. Conrad explains death as it is in this passage and ultimately, that is nothing very spectacular. This is also an example of delayed specification of referents because he takes so long to tell you that death is not virtuous or exciting. He actually never says those words but that’s what he’s getting at, he just takes so long to explain death.