“‘My war brought me many things; lets yours bring you as much. Life is not to be told, call it as loud as you like, it will not tell itself. No one will be much or little except in someone else’s mind, so be careful of the minds you get into, and remember Lady Macbeth, who had her mind in her had. We can’t all be as safe as that.'”
Barnes, Djuna, and T. S. Eliot. Nightwood. New York: New Directions, 1961. Print.
As we read on from Joyce to Hurston, there was a growth of social order and gender positions. If we focus solely on the passages I have chosen rather than the context they are presented in, we see a chronological similarity in the way higher class and lower class differ and where men and women fall on that spectrum. There was a superiority in being a priest or religious figure in Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and this superiority caused those like Stephen to fall under them. For instance, his mistakes were punishable whereas the mistakes of those religious figures were not. When the priest did wrong, no one was held accountable because of the way they fall on the spectrum of society. Similarly, greatness hidden in the vehicle that Mrs. Dalloway sees holds a physical entity of someone who will be remembered for as long as the Earth lives on, however she will not be remembered by all. Although, the person in the car was never revealed, the Earth will age, and those looking on will decompose into the ground, and still whoever remains in the car will remain alive beyond death because of the social order they all lie on. Then we see social order in the form of man versus woman. Anand shows the way expectations of women can change the way they act towards others, that their pride to be seen as a man shapes their behavior when they can no longer be that definition. The definition being that men were made to work and be seen as strong and women be made to cook, clean, raise a family and look pretty. A vivid description of physicality and the weapon it is against the strength women have in Hurston shows that hard work is actually what women fear the most to put them down as we see in that scene. There is an assumption that women are there to look pretty and not work and the men are made to work: a social order of gender just as there is a social order of class. We see how, although all these stories were written during different time periods, there is a consistency of superiority versus inferiority and a social order of class and gender that divides characters in all these novels.
“‘No tea, no piece of bread, and I am dying of hunger!…’ Then he frowned in the gruff manner of a man who was really good and kind at heart, but who knew he was weak and infirm and so bullied his children, to preserve his authority, lest he should be repudiated by them, refused and rejected as the difficult old rubbish he was.”
Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. (New York: Penguin Books, 1940). 31.
This moment of insight by Sohini of her father seems to be something of forgiveness for his abusive nature. She is almost describing the expectation of abuse because of his “really good and kind heart” but to “preserve his authority” it was normal.
“…Saw him hesitate; consider; which interested her, as Mr. Dalloway always interested her, for what was he thinking, she wondered, about Peter Walsh?
That Peter Walsh had been in love with Clarissa; that he would go back directly after lunch and find Clarissa; that he would tell her in so many words, that he loved her. Yes, he would say that.”
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt Inc, 1925. Print. 104
In this scene, Mr. Whitbread, Lady Bruton and Mr. Dalloway are dining together and Lady Bruton had just mentioned that Peter Walsh is back in town. Lady Bruton’s secretary, Milly Brush, is her thinking about what Mr. Dalloway must be analyzing in his mind about Peter Walsh. What could he be thinking about the man that used/still may love his wife? Actually, the passage intrigued my in many ways because of its reflection of both Milly Brush as a character and also how she perceives Mr. Dalloway. As the reader we see that Mrs. Dalloway is actually unhappy and insecure about her marriage to Richard, however, here Milly is portraying Mr. Dalloway’s full love and affection for his wife in a form of jealousy and assurance in claiming her as his own in love and in a strange way that his love has emerged only in the light of another man’s love for Clarissa. Milly Brush seems to assume a character of Mr. Dalloway that expresses love and care, however as the reader I see the opposite. Her assumption of his thoughts shows to me that her idea of Richard is that of jealousy and insecurity. If she did not think that Richard was insecure about his marriage, would she be so sure in her assumption of his thoughts being that of seeking reassurance of his love with his wife?
“But there could be no doubt that greatness was seated within; greatness was passing, hidden, down Bond Street, removed only by a hand’s-breadth from ordinary people who might now, for the first and last time, be within speaking distance of the majesty of England, of the enduring symbol of the state which will be known to curious antiquaries, sifting the ruins of time, when London is a grass-grown path and all those hurrying along the pavement this Wednesday morning are but bones with a few wedding rings mixed up in their dust and the gold stoppings of innumerable decayed teeth. The face in the motor car will then be known.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2005), 16.
Woolf uses this way of language to show a piece of social order. It is like the voice of the author and main character work together to express a pathway of thoughts that leads to this one point, which is the importance of this figure of “greatness. It is an image of variance between the commoner and those who are “great” in England.
“He shook the sound out of his ears by an angry toss of his head and hurried on, stumbling through the mouldering offal, his heart already bitten by an ache of loathing and bitterness. His father’s whistle, his mother’s mutterings, the screech of an unseen maniac were to him now so many voices offending and threatening to humble the pride of his youth. He drove their echoes even out his heart with an execrations: but as he walked down the avenue and felt the grey morning light falling about him through the dripping trees and smelt the strange wild smell of the wet leaves and bark, his soul was loosed of her miseries.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. (147)
Joyce used words here in a way that I think summarizes a large theme in Stephen’s story. His yearn to be more of this world is expressed throughout the novel, however in this moment we see the “loathing and bitterness” that he wishes to “execrate” , I believe both from his own life and mind. We see the first glimpses of the way Joyce uses language to show the chaotic version of life that lives in Stephen’s mind(in his own home) versus the adventure he seeks from the outside world and the escape he craves. (will expand on in drop box).
“It was cruel and unfair to make him kneel in the middle of the class then: and Father Arnall had told them both that they might return to their places without making any difference between them. He listened to Father Arnall’s low and gentle voice as he corrected the themes. Perhaps he was sorry now and wanted to be decent. But it was cruel and unfair. The prefect of studies was a priest but that was cruel and unfair. And his whitegrey face and the nocoloured eyes behind the steelrimmed spectacles were cruel looking because he had steadied the hand first with his firm soft fingers and that was to hit it better and louder.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 43.
This is the first time Stephen’s opinion of the church and priesthood in general began to reflect his father’s almost. He seems conflicted because of his high thoughts of priests and the church, and yet he was cruelly and wrongly punished by a priest himself. And then Father Arnall was being decent to the other students?
“‘You are of the new gang–the gang of virtue. The same people who sent him specially also recommended you. Oh, don’t say no. I’ve my own eyes to trust.’ Light dawned upon me. My dear aunt’s influential acquaintances were producing an unexpected effect upon that young man. I nearly burst into a laugh. ‘Do you read the Company’s confidential correspondence?’ I asked. He hadn’t a word to say. It was great fun.”
Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 127.
This passage made me laugh and interested me for two reasons. One, you can really see the type of person Marlow is because of his sense of humor that is called upon here. It is kind of a witty, mischievous humor at the sake of this brick-making man. It was interesting also to see the effect one person had on the opinions everyone else. The boss was praised and used as a judgment of others. Because Marlow came from the same place, he must also be as good as Mr. Kurtz. It is quite interesting.
“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.