Untouchable Commonplace

“The old man seemed to awake instinctively, for a moment, just about that time every morning and then to relapse into his noisy sleep under the greasy, dense, thick, discoloured, patched quilt” (pg. 13).

This scene mirrors the socioeconomic class of Bakhya’s father as a latrine cleaner. The noisy sleep is uncomfortable along with greasy, dense, thick, and discoloured paints a picture of dis-ease.

The Postmaster

“the grief-stricken face of a village girl seemed to represent for him the great unspoken pervading grief of Mother Earth herself” pg. 168.

His relation to the Earth is expounded upon here with his intense love and relation for the girl also being explicated.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

“You know, honey, us colored folks is branches without roots and that makes things come round in queer ways. You in particular” (pg. 16).

Grandma actually speaks an understandable dialect for once and is saying how “colored folks” don’t have the birth lineage that others do. They don’t have the satisfaction of knowing their ancestors, especially moms and dads and just-past relatives and so are encouraged to grow on their own.

For Wednesday 11/15:

The narration of this passage represents a time when the narration teaches us more about the story. For the most part, throughout the book, the dialogue and narration work together in order to teach us more in a unified fashion.

Cane by Jean Toomer

“She walks faster. Then runs. A turn into a side street brings her abruptly to Nat Bowle’s place. The house is squat and dark. It is always dark. Barlo is within” (pg. 35).

Esther is in love with Barlo and thinks but good of him but this section demonstrates the darkness and negativity that surrounds him. Though she loves him, he is filled with dark energy and potentially dangerous.

The Maltese Falcon

He wiped his lips with his napkin, dropped it crumpled on the table, and spoke casually: “You are a liar.” (pg. 88)

 

Sam Spade is very good at knowing when someone is telling the truth. Here his verisimilitude being a good detective is compelling as he determines something important while wiping his lips with a napkin and then crumpling it on the table. Doing something marked and difficult while contrasting that with something mundane that we don’t think twice about.

As I Lay Dying #2

“Against the dark doorway he seems to materialise out of the darkness, lean as a race horse in his underclothes in the beginning of the glare. He leaps to the ground with on his face an expression of furious unbelief” (pg. 218).

Obvious parallels between Jewel’s horse and the quality of Darl being “lean as a race horse.” Perhaps saying something about sibling rivalry, even though Jewel’s horse is not a race horse. Later on, a few paragraphs later he says, “the horses,” drawing more parallels between the actual horses and Darl’s quality of being “lean as a race horse.”

(Sorry this is late had a crazy busy weekend (worked 27 hours)).

“As I Lay Dying”

“She lies back and turns her head without so much as glancing at pa. She looks at Vardaman; her eyes, the life in them, rushing suddenly upon them; the two flames glare up for a steady instant. Then they go out as though someone had leaned down and blown upon them.” pg. 48

The metaphor and figurative literacy of this section are very intense and poignant. The eyes being blown out by someone gives us a visual that is as strong as an ox, to use a tired cliche. This part is slightly confusing content-wise so I will stick to a breakdown of the metaphorical nature of the quote. In closing, Faulkner uses a fresh new visual to describe someone losing interest or closing their eyes.

“A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”

A telling quote from the book is, “The mere sight of that medley of wet nakedness chilled him to the bone. Their bodies, corpsewhite or suffused with a pallid golden light or rawly tanned by the suns, gleamed with thr wet of the sea.” (pg. 141)

The repetition of the word “wet” here symbolizes Daedalus’s discomfort. In these two sentences and the following few sentences within the paragraph, “wet” is used three times, “pallid” is used once, “plunges” is used once, “matted” is used once, “drenched” is used once, and “heavy with cold seawater” is used once. It is clear James Joyce is trying to make a statement about the discomfort of the situation and this is significant because we are meant to feel as if something bad is happening.

 

 

 

 

“A Haunted House” the one and only Virginia Woolf

“He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs.”

Omission of West? Must be purposeful. Perhaps the Downs represents the West. Also interesting language, “Saw the stars turned,” perhaps reminding us of a star’s movement amidst the flat black sky at night.

“The Middle Years” by the one and only Henry James

The line that I thought conveyed an important aspect of the piece is, “Couldn’t he be trusted to invent a remedy for a poor artist to whose art he had paid a tribute?”

 

This line is important because it gets at the idea that something is owed to a person, in this case the main character, and when this debt is owed, it is paid back through an ideation of karma. This is touching on the eternal law of karma which is based on something concrete and real which is why it is something of note and notice in this piece.