Nightwood and Historical Timeline

“She was nervous about the future; it made her indelicate. She was one of the most unimportantly wicked women of her time –because she could not let her time alone, and yet could never be a part of it. She wanted to be the reason for everything and so was the cause of nothing. She had the fluency of tongue and action meted out by divine providence to those who cannot think for themselves. She was the master of the over-sweet phrase, the over-tight embrace.”

A common thread that I have noticed throughout several books we have read is that of a character not being able to really articulate their feelings or being able to act upon hat they desire. In the “Beast and the Jungle”, the quote I had chosen was “disconcerted almost equally by the presence of those who knew too much and by that of those who knew nothing”, a line that shows us Marcher at times might feel like he has many friends, and, at other times, has none and is rather lonely. In “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, I had chosen the scene in which Stephen had just seen a  little girl after he decided to turn down priesthood. This little girl comes as a sign to Stephen, to cherish all that is around him and to celebrate life. Before having seen this girl, Stephen was lost by the choice he made. He needed a sign to find meaning in life again. Then in Mrs.Dalloway, the scene I chose was the scene in which Mrs.Dalloway stops in London to observe that Taxi cabs. We enter her stream of consciousness and learn how she feels about life and death. She bounces between her past and the future and never really knows how to articulate exactly how she feels about either. A quote that I found more complex to understand was in As I Lay Dying. I chose a quote from Darl where he acknowledges that he’s alive but Jewel cannot conceive the idea that he may not be alive. In this quotation, Darl still does not know what makes him alive and it is a question left undecided. In the above quote I chose from Nightwood, we see the indecisiveness that we have seen in several other characters this semester. She has an incredibly hard time deciding what she wants and how to act upon it. Many characters we have studied show a difficulty with clearly portraying how they feel and fighting for what they want.

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