Nightwood

“Robin was outside the ‘human type’—a wild thing caught in a woman’s skin, monstrously alone, monstrously vain”

 

A common theme in this book is lonesomeness and separation.  A person being outside of the human type isn’t something natural to say.  Being caught in the skin of something that they’re socially supposed to be isn’t seemingly natural.  It even says that’s she’s monstrously alone.  This sentence alone, and I’ve noticed other people commonplaced this same one, is extremely telling in that it opens us up to the complete separation from the norm being experienced here.    Someone else wrote about how closely this “outside the human type” is related to that of the Untouchables.  But you can find that person on the outs in pretty much everything we’ve read in this class, from Darl in his family to Nick in the woods alone after coming home from war.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

“She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman” (30).

Growing up, I was constantly confronted with the idea that I should enjoy my youth, because as soon as I got out of it, things were going to get more shitty.  Here, it seems as though she’s lost her last bit of youth.  Her first, most important dream of finding love was impossible, so she buckled down, grew up and accepted being an adult as best she could.

 

Peabody

“I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement” (Faulkner 14)

 

This is one of the first moments we can get inside of Peabody’s mind in this section and access a moment in his past rather than what he’s physically feeling and seeing.  It’s just interesting that you have a doctor who isn’t healthy, and views death in a non-physical way.  Life is mental.  He’s very unsympathetic and thinks of it more as a phase for the people who lost someone.

Flowers

“But how lovely, she said, taking his flowers. She understood; she understood without his speaking; his Clarissa. She put them in vases on the mantelpiece.”

After recieving the flowers, Clare says something, but the following sentence shifts to belong to someone else’s.  Richard though, “his Clarissa”.  So in this sentence, he’s thinking about her understanding.  He even pushes it further, knowing she understands without speech.  It leaves out Clarissa’s own thought at this moment and makes a strange twist to possibly make them seem more unified in this moment.  Their thoughts could be the same.  He may actually know that she understands and Woolf is showing the reader that they don’t need speech to understand eachother.

Portrait

“The voices that he knew so well, the common words, the quiet of the classroom when the voices paused and the silence was filled by the sound of softly browsing cattle as the other boys munched their lunches tranquilly, lulled his aching soul.”

This simple paragraph caught my attention because of how strangely it’s worded.  I can separate it into sections, and still have difficulty understanding what lulled his aching soul at the end of the paragraph (the voices, the list entire of things, the silence, the sounds that filled the silence?).  Joyce is so unnecessarily wordy at moments in the story where I feel like nothing much is being built, except maybe setting.  It’s meant to set up a peaceful environment for Stephen, but it creates such a difficult environment for the reader to understand.

The Beast in the Jungle

“He came back the next day, but she was then unable to see him, and as it was literally the first time this had occurred in the long stretch of their acquaintance he turned away, defeated and sore, almost angry—or feeling at least that such a break in their custom was really the beginning of the end—and wandered alone with his thoughts, especially with the one he was least able to keep down.  She was dying and he would lose her; she was dying and his life would end.”

This, especially the second sentence, it’s really heartbreaking.  Everything is on the table here, his emotions, the scenario and the thoughts going through his head.

James, Henry. The Beast in the Jungle. London: Martin Secker, 1915. Print.