Why, why, why!

“‘Why was all this?’ he asked himself in the soundless speech of cells receiving and transmitting emotions, ethic was his usual way of communicating with himself. ‘Why was all this fuss? Why was I so humble? I could have struck him! And to think that I was so eager to come to town this morning. Why didn’t I shout to warn the people of my approach?

Untouchable, Raj Anand, p. 41

Here we see Bakha in conflict with how he sees himself and how he is actually perceived by the higher class people. What made this stand out was his anger towards the unnecessary aggression he faced due to prejudice, but then he immediately questions himself as to why he didn’t call out who he was. Here he still cannot seem to accept that the higher class people can ever be truly wrong.

Simple and Direct Truth

“I must say that you passed the test with flying colors, sir. It never occurred to me that you’d hit on such a simple and direct way of getting to the truth.”

– Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, 197

With this we see a direct telling of what morally drives Spade, which is the truth. However, it is how Spade tries to uncover the truth that makes his “goodness” brought into question. Ultimately, Spade exemplifies how good and bad are not concrete examples, and how his gritty American lifestyle makes him the morally confused hero he is.

Dr. Thingumtight

“‘ The law, Dr. Thingumtight, respects the rights of the minority, alive or dead.’ Some ass laughs, and old Biggs sticks his chest out and gets impressive.’ Gentlemen, this is no laughing matter. My client an upright and honourable gentleman – is being tried for his life for his life, gentlemen -and it is the business of the prosecution to show his guilt-if they can—without a shadow of doubt. Now, Dr. Thingumtight, I ask you again, can you solemnly swear, without the least shadow of doubt,-probable, possible shadow of doubt— that this unhappy woman met her death neither sooner nor later than Thursday evening? A probable opinion ? Gentlemen ,we are not Jesuits, we are straightforward Englishmen. You can not ask a British-born jury to convict any man on the authority of a probable opinion.’Hum of applause.”

-Sayers, Whose Body, p.36

Lord Peters is mocking the role of doctor’s evidence when it comes to present it to a jury. We also see here the mention of “the rights of the minority” and “straightforward Englishmen” by Lord Peter in a mocking way as a critic to the judicial system.

What? Why?

If she worried about these parties he would not let her give them. Did she wish she had married Peter? But he must go.

He must be off, he said, getting up. But he stood for a moment as if he were about to say something; and she wondered what? Why? There were the roses

-Woolf, Mrs.Dalloway, 116

Here we see some tension between Mr. and Mrs. Dalloway because of the lack of verbal communication between the two. I also find it interesting how Richard goes from one thought about the party and then immediately to thinking about Peter, even though Clarissa has given him no reason to think that.


Falling but not yet fallen

“The snares of the world were its way of sin. He would fall. He had not yet fallen but he would fall silently, in an instant. Not to fall was too hard, too hard; and he felt the silent lapse of his soul, as it would be at some instant to come, falling, falling but not yet fallen, still unfilled, but about to fall.”

-James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, (pg. 175)

This passage was the split for me in the story’s tone with how his once very structured and formal speech reverted back to repeating phrases/words, dramatically long sentences, and how one thought took up a whole a paragraph. From this paragraph on the story reads in a very similar way to chapters 1 and 2 versus how it read during chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4 (older and more religious influenced Stephen).

A Life Without Extension

“No, no–I only should have had more time. I want another go.”
“Another go?”
“I want an extension.”
“An extension?” Again Doctor Hugh repeated Dencombe’s words, with which he seemed to have been struck. “Don’t you know? I want to what they call ‘live.’ ”
The young man, for good-bye, had taken his hand, which closed with a certain force. They looked at each other hard a
moment. “You will live,” said Doctor Hugh.

-James, “The Middle Years,” p. 348

I thought this was a very pivotal moment in the story, as Dencombe finally admits out loud that he is unsatisfied with his end (something he had been internally struggling with during the whole story), but yet this vulnerability allows for a beautiful friendship to grow.