Their Eyes Were Watching God

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tire. 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.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937. New York: Harper Perennial, 2013. p.1

Mrs. Dalloway Mind Reading

“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.”

Clarissa’s seeming understanding of Richard’s meaning with the gift would suggest that she knows him well enough to make assumptions of his thoughts. However, the following thought isn’t hers, but Richard’s, “his Clarissa”. That their differing understandings follow one after the other, gives the idea that they’re united, that they know each other enough to make these inferences. Yet, Mr. Dalloway’s true meaning behind the flowers is lost in his inability to stay “I love you” to Clarissa, and instead claims her as “his”. His dehumanizing her to a property to be owned, gives reason to suggest that he doesn’t actually love her, but rather the idea of having her, which would exiplain his silence. Mrs. Dalloway’s struggle for identity and agency as seen throughout the novel are a result of Mr. Dalloway’s unspoken possession of her person.

Jean Toomer, Cane

“Money burns the pocket, pocket hurts,
Bootleggers in silken shirts,
Ballooned, zooming Cadillacs,
Whizzing, whizzing down the street-car tracks.”

 

Toomer, Jean. “Kabnis.” Cane. New York: Liveright, 2011. 53. Print.

The quote serves as a way to think of the book as a cause and effect reaction. It shows how by the decisions that are made, everyone has been involved.  The repetition of “whizzing” also serves as a representation for the whole of the novel that can, at time, leave the minds of the readers “whizzing.”

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“His throat ached with a desire to cry aloud, the cry of a hawk or eagle on high, to cry piercingly of his deliverance to the winds. This was the call of life to his soul not the dull gross voice of the world of duties and despair, not the inhuman voice that had called him to the pale service of the altar. An instant of wild flight had delivered him and the cry of triumph which his lips withheld cleft his brain.”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. pg. 143

James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

He saw the sea of waves, long dark waves rising and falling under the moonless night.  A tiny light twinkled at the pierhead where the ship was entering: and he saw a multitude of people gathered by the waters’ edge to see the ship that was enter the harbour.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 22

The darkness he sees is representative of the darkness he sees in his mind from time to time and that he feels within himself.  He often relies on others to help him find the truth, as the ship relies on the light to help it find the harbor.

Heart of Darkness

“The horror! The horror!”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 178.

In reference to the horrors that Kurtz experienced in Africa. This one quote encompasses the entire plot and in a sense makes the reader realize the same truth about life that Kurtz has.

The Beast in the Jungle

“He would have liked to invent something, get her to make-believe with him that some passage of a romantic or critical kind had originally occurred. He was really almost reaching out in imagination-as against time-for something that would do, and saying to himself that if it didn’t come this new incident would simply and rather awkwardly close. They would separate, and now for no second or for no third chance. They would have tried and not succeeded.

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories and Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), pg. 449

This passage illustrates Marcher’s longing to connect with May, even if it’s by means of pretense. There’s a desperate quality to his musings in wanting to remain in the moment.

The Beast in the Jungle

“One discussed, of course, like a hunchback, for there was always a hunchback face. That remained, and she was watching him; but people watched best, as a general thing, in silence, so that such would be predominantly the manner of their vigil. Yet he didn’t want, at the same time, to be solemn; solemn was what he imagined he too much tended to be with other people. The thing to be, with the one person who knew was easy and natural, to the make the reference rather than be seeming to avoid it..”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories & Essays(New York: Library of America, 1999). 458

Marcher hides behind the truth of knowing. However, it is interesting that when he finally finds May who knows the truth, he is craving the discussion of it and its almost like he yearns to set it free. May’s silence of the “beast” was like the people of a village watching the face of a hunchback man without saying a word about the clear hunch on his back.