All posts by sm027

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.


In Their Eyes Were Watching God, men and women have very different roles. The role of women is defined by men. Women are left with stereotypical positions in society and marriage is important because women are defined by their relationship to men. Intelligence and authority are considered masculine qualities. If a woman were to display these characteristics, she would be considered too manly. Women are also treated as the lesser gender in As I Lay Dying. They are expected only to reproduce and care for the child. Cora believes that “A woman’s place is wither her husband and children…” Also important to note, female sexuality is not to be discussed. Again in Heart of Darkness, women are ignored. Marlow seems to believe that women exist separately from men. The men have a dark world and they must protect the women from it. Marlow works to protect The Intended’s idealism and her opinion of Kurtz. Finally, in Melanctha, we see a woman’s rebellion against the expected. She does not desire to be a mother or housewife. She wants to be an individual, which is not what is expected of women in these works. These authors address the problem of gender roles. In these works women are treated as the lesser gender and expected to perform defined roles. If they do not conform they are often shamed or considered too masculine.

Posh, Posh

“Posh, posh, sweeper coming!”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin 1935.

Bakha’s repeated phrase, his warning call, gives him a strange power to part a crowd of people with, like Moses parting the red sea. Being “untouchable” gives him undesirable powers like parting a sea of people due to disgust. Despite this, Bakha still seems to show an inspiring love of life.

Jewel’s Love

“‘Eat’, he says. “Get the goddamn stuff out of sight while you got a chance, you pussel-gutted bastard. You sweet son of a bitch,” he says”

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

Knowing that Jewel’s most prized possession is his horse that he worked so hard for, his way of speaking to his horse seems strange. How he deals with the emotions of love and caring is much different than his brothers and most people in general. His differences from his brothers establish him as a loner.

One Sentence Impact

“Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself”

Woolf, Virginia.  Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1925.

This one sentence does not appear to be very important. However, it is important to note that Clarissa is going by herself instead of sending someone else, like a servant, to complete the task. I also noted that she is “Mrs. Dalloway” here. Her proper name.

A Manly Man’s Son

“But her screams are not important. I don’t hear them because they are not important” (16).

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York: Scribner, 1996.

Nick’s father sees no importance in the screaming, he is a masculine character who does not let pain or feelings distract him from the task at hand. He is able to turn his emotions off and continue working. His son however, seems to be the only one who expresses concern for the woman giving birth and the pain she is going through.


“You certainly never can learn no way Melanctha ever with all I certainly been telling to you, ever since I know you good, that it ain’t never no way like you do always is the right way you be acting ever and talking, the way I certainly always have seen you do so Melanctha always. I certainly am right Melanctha about them ways you have to do it, and I knows it; but you certainly never can noways learn to act right Melanctha, I certainly do know that, I certainly do my best Melanctha to help you with it only you certainly never do act right Melanctha, not to nobody ever, I can see it. You never act right by me Melanctha no more than by everybody” (227 online version).

This is part of Rose’s monologue to Melanctha. This passage is one that I believe to be representative of the general style of the book. It has the almost annoying repetition that is constant throughout the book and the sentences are choppy with the over use of commas. Although the word choice is quite simple, the sentence structure is more complicated and the commas create somewhat of a chanting feeling. This passage displays the style of the rest of the book in relation to structure and diction.



Is Marlow Racist?

“Mind, none of us would feel exactly like this. What saves us is efficiency—the devotion to efficiency. But these chaps were not much account, really. They were no colonists; their administration was merely a squeeze, and nothing more, I suspect. They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force—nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind—as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it’s the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea.” (chapter 1, paragraph 13)


Originally I believed that Marlow did not consider the colonists to be negative in any way. However, he quickly contradicts his notion that the colonists are simply bringing civilization to the other races. Now it appears that Marlow believes the colonists are only concerned with the potential profit and conquering the different race of people.