Nightwood

“There’s something evil in me that loves evil and degradation–purity’s black backside! That loves honesty with a horrid love; or why have I always gone seeking it at the liar’s door?” Pg 144

This is an admission of the guilt that Nora feels. She feels bad for taking her wealth over the equality of Robin. She knows her Robin’s wealth won’t appreciate.

Their eyes were watching God

“Us colored folks is too envious of one ‘nother. Dat’s how come us don’t git o further than us do. Us talks about de white man keepin’ us down! Shucks! He don’t have tuh. Us keeps our own selves down.” Chapter 5

Coker is making an observation, noting that white people are not solely to blame for the degradation of black people. He believes that blacks play a role but hindering one another through means of gossip and envy. Black people do not want to see one another do better, this jealousy is the bane of progression. This is stood out to me because Hurston has been quoted saying she is not “tragically black”. She did not see blackness, nor the conditions it created to be a death sentence, or social imprisonment. She felt black had the opportunity to create resources and proliferate them. This passage seems to be the representation of an actual conversation she has had or a rhetoric she has heard in conversation when discussing her beliefs.

Question: Does her writing suggest and inclination towards her own beliefs? Does he novel add to this conversation about the self destructive manners of blacks?

As I Lay Dying

“That’s what they mean by the love that passeth understanding: that pride, that furious desire to hide that abject nakedness”

This is from the scripture Ephesians 3:19. This is used to humanize a relationship between the family, and show how they rationalize many things with religion, affording them the right to never deal with the implicit issue. My mother is a preacher and I can relate deeply.

Mrs. Dalloway

“Septimus Warren Smith, aged about thirty, pale-faced, beak-nosed, wearing brown shoes and a shabby overcoat, with hazel eyes which had that look of apprehension in them which makes complete strangers apprehensive too. The world has raised its whip; where will it descend?” Chapter 1

This quote is quite interesting, simply because most characters are seen through a lens created by the main character. Septimus is completely broken and on the verge of suicide, finding no peace anywhere, but the story if focused around Mrs. Dalloway and her issues of regret. It seems her sorrow should be the lesser.

 

Cane

“It takes a well-spent lifetime, and perhaps more, to crystalize in us that for which we exist”

This quote resonated with me deeply. While living the Black experience, it is sometimes hard to find, or keep a sense of direction. To find what truly defines one’s blackness and self, they must rely on the experience. I, myself, am attempting to find my purpose, but I won’t know until I am either done, or near the end of the journey.

Noting a spirtiual tranformation

The music passed in an instant, as the first bars of sudden music always did, over the fantastic fabrics of his mind, dissolving them painlessly and noiselessly as a sudden wave dissolves the sand-built turrets of children. Smiling at the trivial air he raised his eyes to the priest’s face and, seeing in it a mirthless reflection of the sunken day, detached his hand slowly which had acquiesced faintly in the companionship.

 

There were a number of transformations that Stephen suffered through, as do most people as they grow up. This, for me, marked almost an awakening of his spiritual side, as if he slid himself into something new and bigger than him. He relinquished his volition, and seemingly found peace in it.

A Portrait of the Artist

“It pained him that he did not know well what politics meant and that he did not know where the universe ended. He felt small and weak.” Pg 16

This quote shows the world at work within the head of Stephen. He has a strong sense of curiosity and seems agitated by his lack of knowledge, or ability to express his thoughts effectively.  This is a feat that I am familiar with. It is interesting because of the way in which his father teaches him.

Heart of Darkness

Second paragraph pg 109 “I got my appointment… being had not been touched after he fell” – Heart of Darkness

This paragraph depicts the death of a company Captain named Fresleven. He felt he was wronged in a transaction involving the Chief of the village. The way in which the passage is described is jarring. The captain went to defend a sense of self, beat an old man and was murdered by the mans son. That quest for self respect, in hindsight, seemed futile. It also marks the killing of a leader by the bloodline of a leader

The Beast in the Jungle

Something or other lay in wait for him, amid the twists and turns of the months and the years, like a crouching beast in the jungle. It signified little whether the crouching beast were destined to slay him or be slain. The definite point was the inevitable spring of the creature, and the definite lesson from that was that a man of feeling didn’t cause himself to be accompanied by a lady on a tiger-hunt.

Title: The Beast in the Jungle Author: Henry James Release Date: February 6, 2005 [eBook #1093] [This file last updated November 30, 2010]

 

This is a representation of the thoughts of Marcher, who seems to be saying the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. Life may bring him happiness or despair (slay or be slain). He does not want to marry Mae and uses this as an excuse as to why he can not. Mostly because he does not want to add to the strife she will already experience. This is something that is common in romantic endeavors and the hunt happens to us all.