Their Eyes

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.

From the very beginning the novel sets off by introducing its main theme, that men and women are dependent on one another.  It also introduces the idea that women can make their dreams reality while men cannot do this.  The protagonist of the novel is a woman and the novel could be classified as a feminist book.

Untouchable

“How absurd, he thought, that was, since most of the Hindu children touched him willingly at hockey and wouldn’t mind having him at school with them.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London, England: Penguin, 1986. Print.

When little kids have a better grasp on reality than adults.  The caste system is a made up human construct that doesn’t mean anything and is an outdated made up system.

As I Lay Dying

When we are going out, Whitfield comes.  He is wet and muddy to the waist, coming in.  “The Lord comfort this house,” he says.  “I was late because the bridge was gone.  I went down to the old ford and swum my horse over, the Lord protected me  His grace be upon this house.”

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (New York: Vintage International, 1985), 88.

Throughout the novel characters show their reliance on God and their unique perspective regarding souls and spiritual phenomenon.  Vardaman breaks down because he believes his mothers soul was transferred into a fish.  God is a huge part of their lives and defines their lives, without the explanation that God can make it rain and can also make it stop they would have no explanation for why life is the way it is.  The way they use spirituality to explain what is going on around them and happening in their lives is interesting to read.

Mind-read

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925. Print.

“Peter Walsh!  All three, Lady Burton,Hugh Whitbread, and Richard Dalloway, remembered the same thing how passionately Peter had been in love; been rejected; gone to India, come a cropper; made a mess of things; and Richard Dalloway had a very great liking for the dear old fellow too.”

Peter Walsh is quite the character.  He does some crazy things, such as stalking girls to make himself feel young again.  After his love falls apart he goes to India and marries a girl he meets.  He seems to act reckless due to his emotions.  His friends still love him though, even though he did not act in the most proper way and made a mess of things.  His friends are accepting since they realize that it was his passionate failed love with Clarissa that caused him to act so reckless and crazy.  They all still like him despite his actions.

Dalloway

“Health we must have; and health is proportion; so that when a man comes into your room and says he is Christ (a common delusion), and has a message, as they mostly have, and threatens, as they often do, to kill himself, you invoke proportion; order rest in bed; rest in solitude; silence and rest; rest without friends, without books, without messages; six months’ rest; until a man who went in weighing seven stone six comes out weighing twelve.”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925. Print. 99

The doctor believes so much in his treatment for mentally ill individuals that people fear him and he is left to do his work without question.  Septimus believes that the doctor will take away his soul and in some sense he might have, if he went to the asylum.  Laying in bed for six months would have changed Septimus and he did not want to change or for his emotions to be stunted.  He did not want to turn into a complacent person without any emotions.  He wanted to be fully human and to feel his emotions fully.

Portrait

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Viking, 1964. Print.96.

“O you hypocrites, o you white sepulchres, o you who present a smooth smiling face to the world while your soul within is a foul swamp of Sib, how will it fare with you in that terrible day?”

James Joyce is complaining about the hypocracy of people and the language he uses is intense to convey this.  He complains about fake people.

The Heart of Darkness

“I saw him extend his short flipper of an arm for a gesture that took in the forest, the creek, the mud, the river — seemed to beckon with a dishonouring flourish before the sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart.”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 134.

Beautiful imagery about something not so beautiful.  When I first read this sentence it stood out to me because of the use of language.

The Beast in the Jungle

“Why, the capacity to spend endless time with dull women- to spend it, I won’t say without being bored, but without minding that they are, without being driven off at a tangent by it; which comes to the same thing.  I am your dull woman, a part of the daily bread for which you pray at church.  That covers your tracks more than anything.”

“The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/bettersort00jamegoog. 208-209

I found this passage funny, how women are part of men’s daily penance and yet “save” men or cover up their tracks.