All posts by ngk10

Class in Fellow Feeling

“Bah!’ exclaimed the newcomer. As if I didn’t know what these police were.”

This comment made by the newcomer shows a far separation between classes, through the Indian Caste system. The newcomer’s familiarity with the police suggests that he has been arrested before or is used to seeing them around. This shows a serious disparity faced by the poor where the newcomer is of the lower class and is portrayed as a brute who is uneducated, has a possible criminal background and hates the upper class.

Narayan, R.K. “Father’s Help.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print. p.43


Social Class Disparities

Faulkner, Sayers, and Stein observe social class across their respective texts. A moment of social class disparity in Faulkner is the difference between the two doctors. Peabody is more educated than MCGowan, but Faulkner implies that social class trumps credentials when comparing the way the two characters interact with the Bundren family. In Sayers’ novel, Peter has money and can just do detective work almost for his own pleasure. Bunter is Peter’s servant, but he helps Peter in solving crimes along with taking care of his needs around the house. In Melanchtha, race seems to complicate social class by being an added level in that race is more distinctive than social class. For instance, a black person with a high prestige job such as a doctor would be lower than a working class white man in society.

The Promise of the Horizon in Hurston

“Janie pulled back a long time because he did not represent sun-up and pollen and blooming trees, but he spoke for far horizon.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 2000. Print. pp. 41-42.

Hurston uses the term “horizon” as a symbol for Janie’s desire for constant gain and change. When Janie meets Joe who promises her a “far horizon” she immediately becomes interested in what he can provide for her. Since Janie did not grow up with luxury, she loos to further horizons to get more and more for herself. She will stay with Joe for as far as his “horizons” can take her until she meets someone who can take her beyond Joe’s “horizons”.

Breaking Social Barriers

“For a sweeper, a menial to be seen smoking constituted an offence before the lord. Bhaka knew that it was considered a presumption on the part of the poor to smoke like rich people”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. 42. Print.

Despite being lower in the Caste system, Bhaka chooses to engage in behaviors outside of the realm of what is “acceptable” for people of his caste. Smoking the cigarette near the lord is a breaking of this barrier where Bhaka engages in behaviors that imitate that of a higher caste.

Vardaman and his Fish

“Then I begin to cry. I can feel where the fish was in the dust.”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. First Vintage International Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. p.53. Print.

Vardaman speaks in the first person whenever he talks about the fish he killed. This perspective gives the reader more of an idea about how Vardaman feels about the fish and dying. Vardaman feels remorse about dying where he begins to cry over the fish and begins to even empathize.

shifting in and out of Focus

“Gently the yellow curtain with all the birds of Paradise blew out and it seemed as if there were a flight of wings into the room, right out and then sucked back. (For the windows were open.)”

Woolf, V. (1925). Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co. p.164

The narration fades in and out of consciousness to focus on different aspects of what is gong on. A detail so minute as flowers flying in the wind is enhanced into focus to show the everyday lives of people in a time where much larger events are going on around the world.This relates to Woolf’s unit of analysis of the individual as being modern.

Father/Son Relationships in Indian Camp

“Do ladies always have such a hard time having babies?”

Throughout the vignette, Nick asks his father these types of questions, because Nick looks up to his father as a mentor and as someone who has most of the answers in life. Hemingway depicts the important bond between a father and son through these moments, where a son learns from watching his father. However, the Indian baby boy’s father takes his own life after his son is born. It is interesting to see the loss of the father/son dynamic that the vignette builds throughout.

Hemingway, Ernest. “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 19. Print.

Differences in “Whose Body”

“”I mean to say,” said Lord Peter, “that it was not Sir Reuben Levy whom the cook saw last night on the doorstep. I say that it was another man, perhaps a couple of inches shorter, who came here in Levy’s clothes and let himself in with Levy’s latchkey. Oh, he was a bold, cunning devil, Parker. He had on Levy’s boots, and every stitch of Levy’s clothing down to the skin. He had rubber gloves on his hands which he never took off, and he did everything he could to make us think that Levy slept here last night. He took his chances, and won.” (Sayers).

“Whose Body?” By Dorothy L. Sayers. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2014.

Sayers has a completely different style from James. James uses the style of the delayed specification of referents, whereas, exemplified in the paragraph above, Sayers’ novel employs logical deduction. Through the delayed specification of referents, the detail in James’ text seems difficult to the reader to the point where detail is lost in different streams of consciousness. Both texts entail a level of mystery, but each author employs a completely different literary approach. Sayers writes a detective novel, and Peter deduces the mystery by going through a set of clues and ruling out certain factors by using logic. Sayers’ style comes off as more concise than James’ style.

Changing Moments in Melanctha

“Jeff learned every day now, more and more, how much it was that he could really suffer. Sometimes it hurt so in him, when he was alone, it would force some slow tears from him, he lost his feelings of deep awe that he once always had for Melanctha’s feeling. Suffering was not so much after all, thought Jeff Campbell, if even he could feel it so it hurt him. It hurt him so bad that he knew he once had hurt Melanctha, and yet he too could have it and  not make any loud kind of a loud holler with it.”

Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three lives. Dover Publications, New York. 1994. p 110. Print.

This quote echoes the repetition throughout the text in a way that shows a structure of changing moments of feeling for Jeff. The quote proceeds by explaining the same concept throughout three different sentences. The concept being repeated pertains to the moments of “hurt” and “suffering” Jeff feels throughout the quote. For instance, in one moment, Jeff feels the extent to which he can handle suffering, and in the next moment, he feels effects of his hurting to the point of physical manifestation, otherwise tears. Then Jeff Campbell’s “suffering” turns empathetic where he feels empathetic for Melanctha’s hurting.

Race in Heart of Darkness

“All their meagre breasts, the violently dilated nostrils, the eyes stared stonily up-hill. The passed me within six inches, without a glance, complete, deathlike indifference of unhappy savages. Behind this raw matter one of the reclaimed, the product of the new forces at work, strolled despondently, carrying a rifle by its middle…white men being so much alike at a distance, that he could not tell who I might be.”

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. “Heart of Darkness”, 117. Oxford: Oxford NY, 2002.

Going off of the conversation with which we left off last class, this passage serves for and  against Achebe’s argument that Heart of Darkness is a racially charged text.  The language Conrad uses is suggestive of racism whereas the African men are described as animals instead of humans. Conrad writes that Marlow observes the Africans as being ‘savages’, dehumanized and stripped of their identities. Conrad uses the delayed specification of referents which conveys emotions that need not be explicitly written: for instance, the reader gets a sense of not belonging from the sample text. Marlow refers to the Africans with racist language, but he feels he does not fit in with the white group as well. Marlow knows that he too is white but is hesitant to identify with the other white men. This issue suddenly does not seem so much a racial concern but rather a state of the human condition, which relates to Woolf’s theory on modernism.