Malgudi Days: Attila

“It was well that Attila had no powers of speech. Otherwise he would have burst into a lamentation which would have shattered the pedestal under his feet”

Narayan, R. K. Malgudi Days: Attila. New York: Penguin, 2006. 101. Print.

This technique of explaining what another character thought, is very reminiscent of Mrs. Dalloway. How Woolf would have her characters mind read other characters’ minds. This is exactly the same as what Narayan does in this passage to describe how Attila, a dog felt, and thought. Using discourse to represent what Attila thought, he thought “he would have burst into lamentation which would have shattered the pedestal under his feet.”

Nightwood-Historical Timeline

“She closed her eyes, and at that moment she knew an awful happiness. Robin, like something dormant, was protected, moved out of death’s way by the successive arms of women; but as she closed her eyes, Nora said “Ah!” with the intolerable automatism of the last “Ah!” in a body struck at the moment of it’s final breath.”

Barnes, Djuna, and T. S. Eliot. Nightwood. New York: New Directions, 1961. Print. 70

This is a moment in which Nora witnesses a woman dying after falling from a statue, at first thinking it was Robin, but after seeing her up close “Nora said “Ah!”‘ out of relief that this wasn’t Robin.

This quote also leads me to linking the subject of death into Nightwood, Whose Body, Mrs. Dalloway, and As I Lay Dying. I specifically chose this order because I believe in terms of how death correlates within these stories have the most commonalties in this order. In Nightwood Robin is seeking death from those who wronged her, hence murdering them. This concedes with Whose Body because Peter Whimsey is trying to solve a murder, so in one, one murders, in the other, one solves the murder. The way Mrs. Dalloway links with Whose Body is the way the war effects death in the the characters relationship to death. Peter and Septimus both being war veterans have a unique relationship to death, having been literally surrounded by it for the length of time they were deployed, and both taking up residence in Great Britain, and both having PTSD or shell shock from their experience in the war. However the difference in how they cope ends up drastically different, Septimus taking his own life and Peter goes around solving murders, still having a close relationship to death. Mrs. Dalloway and As I Lay Dying share the likeness of having both characters who die being central to the story’s outcome. Septimus of course being a central POV character, and vital to Clarissa changing her way of thinking. If not for Addie Bundren the story wouldn’t even exist, they would never go to bury her and Darl wouldn’t have been institutionalized. You can also connect these two by connecting Darl and Septimus, I believe it says somewhere that Darl participated in the war, one might make his insanity connection to the war combined with his mother’s death. Outside of the story the two share similar methods of telling the story, albeit one written in 3rd person and the other in 1st they both feature multiple perspectives on the outcome of the story.

Untouchables

“He had begged one Tommy for the gift of a pair of trousers. The man had given him a pair of breeches which he had to spare.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London, England: Penguin, 1986. Print. 11.

Earlier in the paragraph Bakha had gone on about how he admired British clothing, despite its lack of warmth, that style was more important, even being mocked by his father for it. It shows he is embracing the change in India’s culture, unlike his father. This act of mimicking western style of clothing was done all over the world, but specifically it is with the military that Bakha is doing this with. I can attest through other individuals that this act of exchanging military gear and clothing is still done today, in fact it is often the highlight of joint training events with other nations.

As I Lay Dying

“Why, Addie,” pa says, “him and Darl went to make one more load. They thought there was more time. That you would wait for them, and that three dollars and all…….”

William Faulkner. As I Lay Dying. (New York: Vintage International, 1985). 47.

This is the first chapter where Darl is presented as an omniscient narrator, as it states in the passage “him and Darl went to make one more load,” indicating Darl isn’t present when this conversation takes place. But Faulkner still presents Darl as a 1st person narrator as indicated on page 80, where in the second to last paragraph Darl starts using “I” again indicating he is now talking about himself again.

Mrs. Dalloway Mind-read

“All the time he was thinking only of Clarissa, and was fidgeting with his knife.”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, 1925. Print. 187.

In this instance this is presented in third person. But earlier in the paragraph it indicates Sally thought, “Poor Peter, thought Sally.” The paragraph continues Sally’s thoughts even without restating that they are thoughts. This sentence states simply that the third person narrative is saying in this sentence that Peter is thinking. Also of note, as Woolf changes points of view within individual paragraphs this makes this sentence interesting as it doesn’t say Sally thought that he was thinking only of Clarissa. This thinking is what most of the novel is about, about Peter loving Clarissa still. Ultimately leading Peter to Clarissa in the end. Sally represents this as Peter’s affection towards Clarissa, while at the same time lamenting that he no longer has feeling for her.

Mrs. Dalloway

“For it was the middle of June. The War was over, except for some one like Mrs. Foxcraft at the Embassy last night eating her heart out because that nice boy was killed and now the old Manor House must go to a cousin; or Lady Bexborough who opened a bazaar, they said, with the telegram in her hand, John, her favourite, killed; but it was over; thank Heaven-over.”

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

This was interesting to me, more or less because of its relevance today, and how post traumatic stress is very recognized by todays society, but back in WWI it most certainly was not widely recognized.  Within the context of the story, I think this passage sets the tone for the rest of the book, not just for Septimus, but for Mrs. Dalloway as well.  How the passage states that even though the war is over for most, the ones who lost loved ones it hasn’t, just like Mrs. Dalloway, her inner turmoil keeps going because of her desire to be with Peter.

Cane

“Kabnis, a promise of soil-soaked beauty; uprooted, thinning out. Suspended a few feet above the soil whose touch would resurrect him.

Toomer, Jean. “Kabnis.” Cane. New York: Liveright, 2011. 132. Print.

This is one of the connections I found from the story of Kabnis, it can be tied to the poem Harvest Song which is all about this sense of working in the soil, which is what Harvest Song is all about.  But at the end of Harvest Song, the last stanza mentions “I fear to call.”  I believe he must be referring to someone, just like how Kabnis, when talking about this soil, is actually talking about how he feels towards Lewis.

A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man 2

“His destiny was to be elusive of social or religious orders. The wisdom of the priest’s appeal did not touch him to the quick. He was destined to learn his own wisdom apart from others or to learn the wisdom of others himself wondering the snares of the world.

The snares of the world were its ways of sin.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 136

I believe this is the moment where Stephen realizes he wants to be an artist.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“And he remembered the day when he and Eileen had stood looking into the hotel grounds watching the waiters running up a trail of bunting on the flagstaff and the fox terrier running to and fro on the sunny lawn, and how, all of a sudden, she had broken out into a peel of laughter and had run down the sloping curve of the path.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 58

Joyce uses delayed specification to reference in introducing this Eileen character going into great detail how he felt about her only to mention how the main character wanted to hold her but didn’t, and then never mentions her again.  Then when he is back at school his rival teases him about a girl then Joyce doesn’t even bother to give “her” a name and continues to mention “her” in various other scenes.

The Heart of Darkness

“The old doctor felt my pulse, evidently thinking of something else the while. “Good, good for there,” he mumbled, and then with a certain eagerness asked me whether I would let him measure my head. Rather surprised, I said Yes, when he produced a thing like calipers and got the dimensions back and front and every way, talking notes carefully. He was an unshaven little man in a threadbare coat like a gaberdine, with his feet in slippers, and I thought him a harmless fool. “I always ask leave, in the interests of science, to measure the crania of those going out there,” he said. “And when they come back too?” I asked. “Oh, I never see them, ” he remarked; “and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know.” He smiled, as if at some quiet joke. “So you are going out there. Famous. Interesting too.” He gave me a searching glance and made another note. “Ever any madness in your family?” he asked, in a matter-of-fact tone. I felt very annoyed. “Is that question in the interests of science too?” “It would be,” he said, without taking notice of my irritation, “interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals, on the spot, but…”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 112

This passage speaks volumes for the rest of the story, it reveals a foreshadowing of events to come.  You can even say it foreshadows the very ending itself, with the passage, “”Oh, I never see them, ” he remarked; “and, moreover, the changes take place inside, you know.” makes me think of when Marlow goes crazy in the very end, the changes that happened on the inside, the line with “interesting for science to watch the mental changes of individuals” foreshadows how we get to watch as readers how Marlow changes on the spot.   Also in the notes section it mentions cranial studies and how the size of ones head measures their “capacity for civilization,” I believe this is meant to imply that because of the shape of the natives heads, they don’t have the “capacity for civilization.”

The Beast in the Jungle

“It had not taken them many minutes, after all , to put down on the table, like the cards of a pack, those that constituted their respective hands; only what came out was that the pack was unfortunately not perfect-that the past, invoked, invited, encouraged, could give them, naturally, no more than it had.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 448.

This passage screams modern as it has an uncanny resemblance to the idiom of showing one’s hand, and has been used in everything from novels to movies, and is still being used today.  The hand that’s shown is saying to each other exactly what they remember of each other.