Cultural Shifts

“But Bakha was a child of modern India. The clear cut styles of European dress had impressed his naive mind.” (Anand, 2)

I found this passage interesting because it highlights how the British colonization of India effected the young generation’s style and culture. In the text, the British blanket and clothes Bakha uses prove to be faulty against the cold. However he continues to use them for the sake of style.

Gender Roles

“‘What she doin’ coming back here in dem overhalls? Can’t she find no dress to put on?…”

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston (pg.33)

This quote stuck out to me because they  judge her for wearing overalls, and immediately say that she should put on a dress, a traditionally feminine article of clothing. She was just burying the dead, and is immediately judged upon her return from this depressing task.

Tampering with Evidence

“…he laid the body down, picked up the mysterious pince-nez, looked at it, put it on his nose and looked through it, made the same noise again, readjusted the pince-nez upon the nose of the corpse…” (Sayers 22)

Sayers, Dorothy L., Whose Body?

I found this passage interesting because of the carelessness of the investigator. He tampers with potential evidence, and literally tries on the glasses of the dead man. Plus, he is exposing himself to any potential germs from the corpse. It shows how differently the investigative process and evidence was handled before the modern era.


Difficult Relationship

It’s because he stays out there, right under the window, hammering and sawing on that goddamn box. Where she’s got to see him. Where every breath she draws is full of his knocking and sawing where she can see him saying See. See what a good one I am making for you.” (Faulkner, 9)

This quote examines the difficult relationship between mother and son. This quote also infers that the son is trying to prove himself, in some weird way, to his mother showing her that he is making her a good coffin.

(woolf woolf revolution)

“How delightful to see you!” said Clarissa. She said it to every one. How delightful to see you! She was at her worst— effusive, insincere. It was a great mistake to have come. He should have stayed at home and read his book, thought Peter Walsh; should have gone to a music hall; he should have stayed at home, for he knew no one.

Oh dear, it was going to be a failure; a complete failure, Clarissa felt it in her bones as dear old Lord Lexham stood there apologising for his wife who had caught cold at the Bucking-ham Palace garden party. She could see Peter out of the tail of her eye, criticising her, there, in that corner. Why, after all, did She do these things? Why seek pinnacles and stand drenched in fire? Might it consume her anyhow! Burn her to cinders!”

Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway (pg.163)

In this passage, Woolf writes in two different characters’ perspective. In order to help the reader be less confused about these shifts, Woolf bounces from Clarissa’s greeting to Peter’s point of view, then shifts the perspective back to Clarissa. I envision this shift in perspective almost like those arcade machines where there is a platform where a player can dance. (i.e. the popular arcade game Dance Dance Revolution) Woolf does a type of literary dance where she puts one foot on Clarissa, then to Peter’s perspective, then back to Clarissa.

Continuous Thinking

“And everywhere, though it was still so early, there was a beating, a stirring of galloping ponies, tapping of cricket bats; Lords, Ascot, Ranelagh and all the rest of it; wrapped in the soft mesh of the grey-blue morning air, which, as the day wore on, would unwind them, and set down on their lawns and pitches the bouncing ponies, whose forefeet just struck the ground and up they sprung, the whirling young men, and laughing girls in their transparent muslins who, even now, after dancing all night, were taking their absurd woolly dogs for a run; and even now, at this hour, discreet old dowagers were shooting out in their motor cars on errands of mystery; and the shopkeepers were fidgeting in their windows with their paste and diamonds, their lovely old sea-green brooches in eighteenth-century settings to tempt Americans (but one must economise, not buy things rashly for Elizabeth), and she, too, loving it as she did with an absurd and faithful passion, being part of it, since her people were courtiers once in the time of the Georges, she, too, was going that very night to kindle and illuminate; to give her party. But how strange, on entering the Park, the silence; the mist; the hum; the slow-swimming happy ducks; the pouched birds waddling; and who should be coming along with his back against the Government buildings, most appropriately, carrying a despatch box stamped with the Royal Arms, who but Hugh Whitbread; her old friend Hugh—the admirable Hugh!”

Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway (pgs. 6-7)

I found this passage interesting because of how it was written. Woolf seems to be writing in these continuous, never-ending sentences because she wants us to really get inside of the narrators mind. The thoughts of this character seem to flow into one another at a rapid and continuous pace. It feels overwhelming to read, but it gives us a sense of the character’s headspace and personality.

Lust of Wandering

“He started up nervously from the stoneblock for he could no longer quench the flame in his blood. He felt his cheeks aflame and his throat throbbing with song. There was a lust of wandering in his feet that burned to set out for the ends of the earth. On! On! his heart seemed to cry.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (143)

The beginning of this chapter was focused around Stephen’s religious routines and new found devotion.  However, that section was devoid of Stephen’s trademark creative flair and dramatics. This passage is where I noticed a dramatic change in tone, and the language becomes more passionate and dramatic. Stephen’s language had very little passion in the beginning section, but after this passage, the chapter becomes filled with passion and descriptive imagery. Stephen seems to break free from his stale religious routine and embraces his love of life and creativity.

Creative Mind

“His evenings were his own; and he pored over a ragged translation of The Count of Monte Cristo. The figure of the dark avenger stood forth in his mind for whatever he had heard or divined in childhood of the strange and terrible. At night he built up on the parlour table an image of the wonderful island cave out of transfers and paper flowers and coloured tissue paper and strips of the silver and golden paper in which chocolate is wrapped. When he had broken up this scenery, weary of its tinsel, there would come to his mind the bright picture of Marseilles, of sunny trellises and of Mercedes.”
-James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, (pg. 68)

This passage was interesting to me, because this brought to mind the discussion from our previous class about how Stephen displays signs of having a highly creative mind. This passage displays his ability to use common objects (usually considered trash) to create something, in this case a scene from a book he likes.

Ebbing Time

“The tears filled his mild eyes; something precious had passed away. This was the pang that had been sharpest during the last few years- the sense of ebbing time, of shrinking opportunity; and now he felt not so much that his last chance was going as that it was gone indeed. He had done all that he should ever do, and yet he had not done what he wanted”

James, Henry. “The Middle Years” (337)

This passage shows how the main character, Decombe, is going through an end-of-life crisis. He is realizing that his time living is finite, and that time is running out for him, he’s approaching death.