As they sat or stood in the Sun

“As they sat or stood in the sun, showing their dark hands and feet, they had a curiously lackadaisical, lazy, lousy look about them. It seemed their insides were concentrated in the act of immergence, of a new birth, as it were, from the raw, bleak wintry feelings of their souls to the world of warmth. The taint of the dark, narrow, dingy little prison cells of their one roomed homes lurked in them, however, even in the outdoor air.” (Untouchable, Anand, p. 27)
Not even the sun could entirely warm the Untouchables after being forced to live in an isolated, parallel world to the higher castes. Bakha’s friends and neighbors are cold physically and mentally from this abuse. Anand gives voice to the group’s consciousness in this example of indirect discourse.

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.

New sparks


He looked like the love thoughts of women. he could be a bee to a blossom- a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. . . He was a glance from God. (Pg.148).

The glance from God was merely Janie falling in love with someone who she knew would give her freedom, respect, and let her live the life that she wanted. 

The Less the More

“Cotton bales are the fleecy way

Weary sinner’s bare feet trod,

Softly, softly to the throne of God,

’We ain’t agwine t wait until th Judgement Day!’”

– Toomer’s Cane, “Cotton Song”

This shows an obvious poetic form, which is present through the whole piece but the composition really hammers this in, allowing description to become poetic in a way that isn’t too descriptive. While there’s less description, there are still word choices that characterize in a powerful way


Green Blades Sprouting in His Consciousness

“A strange thing happened to Paul. Suddenly he knew that he was apart from the people around him. Apart from the pain which they had unconsciously caused. Suddenly he knew that people saw, not attractiveness in his dark skin, but difference. Their stares, giving him to himself, filled something long empty within him, and were like green blades sprouting in his consciousness.”
Cane, Toomer, Bona and Paul, p. 104.
This example of indirect discourse is going on inside of Paul’s mind and it is a revelation about his identity. The Crimson Garden’s patrons have made him aware that he is judged foreign and “apart” from the white world. His student friends have treated him as an exotic being, Art actually trying to imitate him with his playing jazz piano. Art also questions his own identity because of his friendship with Paul. This is also a foreshadowing of the last paragraph of this story, when Paul must bare the weight of his otherness. He again has identity foisted on him by a manipulating white society.

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.

Did you have the gun under your pillow all night?

“She sighed and leaned against him. I awakened and you weren’t here and then I heard someone coming in. I was terrified.’
Spade combed her red hair back from her face with his fingers and said: ‘I’m sorry, angel. I thought you’d sleep through it. Did you have the gun under your pillow all night?”
Dashiell Hammett, Maltese Falcon, Vintage Books, Chapter 10, p.94.
It’s probably true that Brigid O’Shaughnessy was terrified. But why with her lover and protector? She uses her body as a weapon and lies to Spade with every breath she takes including having the gun all night. At this point, Spade has searched her apartment and knows her story is false for at least the second time. He is gentle with her, probably loves her, but is not fooled for a minute. His morale code is airtight even among gangsters, felons, and women he loves. She has no morale code, trusts no one and even with Spade, keeps a gun under her pillow. 

Female Fragility

“Her face was wan, taut, and fearful over tight-clasped hands. “I haven’t lived a good life,” she cried. “I’ve been bad – worse than you could know – but I’m not all bad. Look at me, Mr. Spade. You know I’m not all bad, don’t you? You can see that, can’t you? Then can’t you trust me a little? Oh, I’m so alone and afraid, and I’ve got nobody to help me if you won’t help me. I know I’ve no right to ask you to trust me if I won’t trust you. I do trust you, but I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you now. Later I will, when I can. I’m afraid, Mr. Spade. I’m afraid of trusting you. I don’t mean that. I do trust you, but – I trusted Floyd and – I’ve nobody else, nobody else, Mr. Spade. You can help me. You’ve said you can help me”

Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. p.27 Orion, 2005

Hammet’s persistent use of repetition combined with the general  depiction of women in this novel so far emphasizes their appearance as fragile and meek creatures in need of men to function. 

the male gaze

“She was a blonde woman of a few more years than thirty. Her facial prettiness was perhaps five years past its best moment. Her body for all its sturdiness was finely modeled and exquisite. She wore black clothes from hat to shoes.”

Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon, page 25

The style focuses a lot on character descriptions, making sure the reader knows exactly what everyone in the narrative looks like. Taking it’s a detective story, this could be a way to show the way a detective may observe people, or this is just a way to show how the character Spade views women in particular as they are describe in different ways than the men in the novel.

tensions in setting

“The block of new, perfect and expensive flats in which Lord Peter dwelt upon the second floor, stood directly opposite the Green Park, in a spot for many years occupied by the skeleton of a frustrate commercial enterprise.(9)”

Before knowing who lord Peter is, aswell as before learning anything about the story, we know that he lives in a perfect and expensive flat, that was anything but perfect and expensive until just recently

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?

Dewey’s Dignity

“He could do so much for me if he just would. He could do everything for me. It’s like everything in the world for me is inside a tub full of guts, so that you wonder how there can be any room in it for anything else very important. He is a big tub of guts and I am a little tub of guts and if there is not any room for anything else important in a big tub of guts, how can it be room in a little tub of guts.”

– Faulker, As I Lay Dying, pg 58

It seems as though Dewey doesn’t feel very respected or has enough room  in her life to do important things such as taking care of the family once her mother passes. She just wants help, and feels as though there’s an imbalance as ‘he’ is a big tub, and she is the small tub.

a lump

“Maybe it will reveal her blindness to her, laying there are the mercy and the ministration of four men and a tom-boy girl. ‘There’s not a woman in this section could ever bake with Addie Bundren,’ I say. ‘First thing we know she’ll be up and baking again, and then we won’t have any sale for ours at all.’ Under the quilt she makes no more of a hump than a rail would, and the only way you can tell she is breathing is by the sound of the mattress shucks. Even the hair at her cheek does not move, even with that fanning her with the fan… ‘She’s just watching Cash yonder,’ the girl says. we can hear the saw in the board. It sounds like snoring.”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. Vintage Books, 1900. p. 12

Cora’s observation of present Addie juxtaposed with her musings about past Addie contribute to the dehumanization and objectification of Addie as a whole. This, combined with Addie being constantly subjected to watching her own son create her coffin as if it were a chore, emphasizes Addie’s loss of humanity in the eyes of those around her, and with this the dignity of being seen as a human being. 

Anse only cares about himself

“How many times I told him it’s doing such things as that that makes folks talk about him, I don’t know” ( Faulkner 105).

Faulkner, W., & Faulkner, W. (1990). As I lay dying: The corrected text: Three novels: A summer of Faulkner. Vintage.

Anse answers his own rhetorical question, making himself the most important part of the sentence which highlights his narcissistic and selfish nature. In regards to dignity, he only seems concerned about societies opinion of his children rather than them genuinely respecting his deceased wife.


“And Elizabeth waited in Victoria Street for an omnibus. It was so nice to be out of doors. She thought perhaps she need not go home just yet. It was so nice to be out in the air. So she would get on to an omnibus. And already, even as she stood there, in her very well cut clothes, it was beginning. … People were beginning to compare her to poplar trees, early dawn, hyacinths, fawns, running water, and garden lilies, and it made her life a burden to her, for she so much preferred being left alone to do what she liked in the country, but they would compare her to lilies, and she had to go to parties, and London was so dreary compared with being alone in the country with her father and the dogs.” (131)

Here, we can see another instance of Elizabeth and her surroundings being written similarly to the randomness of a stream of conscious. She begins with thinking about the omnibus, the air, and the omnibus again, and then the passage zooms out, involving the surrounding people into the stream of thoughts, but instead of an internal consciousness, it’s a collection of external thoughts. Visual opinions start to pop up of what Elizabeth looks like to other people, and bringing it back in to her internal thought of it being a burden, back to the thoughts, then to how London is for her. This randomness feels similar to a stream of conscious in a way where a thought changes with what a person sees or interacts with just like how the peoples’ behaviors changed depending on what they saw or interacted with.

Ms. Kilman vs Mrs. Dalloway

“Clarissa was really shocked. This a Christian — this woman! This woman had taken her daughter from her! She in touch with invisible presences! Heavy, ugly, commonplace, without kindness or grace, she know the meaning of life!”

“You are taking Elizabeth to the stores?” Mrs. Dalloway said.

Woolf, Virginia, Mrs.Dalloway, 122. 

The scene between Ms. Kilman and Mrs. Dalloway is an example of the problem of connection between two people in the novel. Woolf focalizes on both Mrs. Dalloway and Ms. Kilman in this scene and the reader is able to read the thoughts of both women, which are very different than how they act in front of each other. In the quote above, Clarissa is disgusted by Ms. Kilman’s presence, claiming she stole her daughter from her. And yet, to Ms. Kilman, Mrs. Dalloway asks a simple question. This also applies to Ms. Kilman. Ms. Kilman “glares” and “glowers” at Mrs. Dalloway on the landing but, in reality, she inwardly describes Clarissa as “small” and “delicate” with “her air of freshness and fashion”. Mrs. Dalloway hates Ms. Kilman but acts fair, whilst Ms. Kilman admires Mrs. Dalloway and looks at her in anger.

Multiple streams of conscious

“And Lucy stopped at the drawing – room door , holding the cushion , and said , very shyly , turning a little pink , Couldn’t she help to mend that dress ?

But , said Mrs. Dalloway , she had enough on her hands already , quite enough of her own to do with . out that .”

Stream of consciousness, at least as it is utilized in Mrs. Dalloway, doesn’t include isolated ramblings. The thoughts of Mrs. Dalloway and Lucy are both exhibited in a stream of consciousness method.

Old Uncle William

“And her old Uncle William used to say a lady is known by her shoes and her gloves. He had turned on his bed one morning in the middle of the War. He had said, “I have had enough.” Gloves and shoes; she had a passion for gloves; but her own daughter, her Elizabeth, cared not a straw for either of them.”

– Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, 8 (from a Feedbooks scan)

This shows the way Clarissa thinks while with herself, thinking back to her old Uncle while looking at gloves in a store. There’s also a link to her daughter, who gets introduced through this memory, which shows how the people she thinks about may be important.

memories, not movie scenes

“Though she had borne about with her for years like an arrow sticking in her heart the grief, the anguish; and then the horror of the moment when some one told her at a concert that he had married a woman met on the boat going to India! Never should she forget all that! Cold, heartless, a prude, he called her. Never could she understand how he cared”

p. 10, Woolf, Virginia. Mrs Dalloway. Penguin Classics, 2020.

I love the fact that Woolf uses feelings, emotions and paraphrased fractions of speech to describe memories instead of the typical use of sensory descriptors. It really gives better insight into the characters themselves and humanizing them, while keeping the narrative more personal.