The Narrator’s Pity

“The clear-cut styles of European dress had impressed his naive mind” (Anand 4).
“And he had soon become possessed with an overwhelming desire to live their life. He had been told that they were Sahib’s superior people. He had felt that to put on their clothes, made one a Sahib too, so he tried to copy them in everything, to copy them as well as he could in the exigencies of his peculiarly Indian circumstances” (Anand 5).

Through the narrator’s choice of words like “naive” and “tried”, it seems that the narrator pities Bakha for his way of coping with being an untouchable. The narrator uses words like this to point to Bakha’s lack of realism to his situation. The narrator makes it clear that Bakha fantasizes false hope about being an English man because it is outside of his oppressing social hierarchy.

Manipulation and detective work

“Spade, who had held his breath through much of this speech, now emptied his lungs with a long sighing exhalation between pursed lips and said: ‘You won’t need much of anyones help. You’re good. You’re very good. Its chiefly your eyes, I think, and that throb you get in your voice when you say things like Be generous, Mr. Spade’ ” (Hammett 35)

Spade uses his “help” to his advantage by draining as much money out of Brigid he can while she appears to be at his mercy, but he is still cautious of her captivating vulnerability. While Spades morality is questionable because he seems to be using his upper hand in the situation to his advantage, he also just wants to know the truth so that he is not painted to be the murderer for protecting her because suspects that she is manipulative and is still not telling him the complete truth.

Hope she wasn’t hysterical

“Hope your girl is a sensible young woman, what? Nuisance to have women faintin’ and shriekin’ all over the place” (Sayers 6).

Mr. Thipps was telling Lord Peter how he asked his housemaid to get him a brandy to take the edge off when he discovered the body in the bathtub. Lord Peter interjected to praise Mr. Thipps for preparing for emergencies by keeping the house stocked with brandy and basically asked if the girl made the situations worse by acting “hysterically.” Why was he attentive to the maids reaction in all this chaos? Was he trying to take the pressure off Mr. Thipps by picking on her?

Guilt and Amendment

“A restless feeling of guilt would always be present with him: he would confess and repent and be absolved, confess and repent and be absolved again, fruitlessly……But the surest sign that his confession had been good and that he had sincere sorrow for his sin was, he known the amendment of his life.

—I have amended my life, have I not? He asked himself” (Joyce, 166).

Throughout Chapter 4 Stephen is constantly trying to justify himself through devoting his life to being a good Catholic, down to the weekday. His tone changes however, when he becomes angry and ashamed that his past temptations come back for him and he has to repent again. Though he says “The very frequency and violence of temptations showed him at last the truth of what he had heard about the trials of the saints” (165) he finds the cycle of penance and “sin” to be constant humiliation and pointless. He changes his tone again when he comes to the realization that his life has changed for the better and he’s saved himself from an eternity of misery. Stephen lets his guilt consume him and keep him secured to his Catholic faith.

Interest Envy

“To these things the young man with the book was still more clearly indifferent; lingering, credulous, absorbed, he was an object of envy to an observer from whose connection with literature all such artlessness had faded”

James, “The Middle Years,” p. 336.

Dencombe is a man who is ill and lost the thrill for life, and watching a young healthy man be so encapsulated by art and literature makes him envious because his illness and criticalness of his own art doesn’t allow him to be. Through the lens of the observer, it is tragic to have a love of yours dwindle because you can no longer find meaning for it, while others young and willful can be so engrossed so effortlessly.