Malgudi Days

“When a dozen persons question openly or slyly a man’s sanity he begins to entertain serious doubts himself.” (Malgudi Days, 26)

This quote is from the very first line of Gateman’s Gift. I thought it was an interesting idea I had never considered before. If someone is constantly doubted in any aspect of their life then they will begin to feel doubtful themselves even if they were once confident. This quote emphasizes the power of suggestion and of influence by others.

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.


” ‘I must get another blanket,’ he said to himself. ‘Then father won’t ask me to put a quilt on. He always keeps abusing me. I do all his work for him. He appropriates the pay all right. He is afraid of the sepoys. They call him names. He abuses me.” (Anand, 12)

These short sentences are very similar to those we have examined in Hemingway’s work. The shortness of his thoughts makes his thoughts very direct and concise. In this short section, I would have maybe expected to read free indirect discourse but instead Anand chooses to portray his thoughts by really fast and small quotes.

As I Lay Dying

“In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied with sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were.” (Faulkner, 80)

This quote shows us that Darl is acknowledging that he’s alive but Jewel cannot conceive the idea that he may not be alive. For Jewel, not knowing is almost like a blessing for him because he’s blissfully unaware. Darl still doesn’t know what makes him alive, that question is still left undecided in this section.

Common place and mind read

“Suppose he had had that passion, and had gone to Sir William Bradshaw, a great doctor yet to her obscurely evil, without sex or lust, extremely polite to women, but capable of some indescribable outrage – forcing your soul, that was it – if tis young man had gone to him, and Sir William had impressed him, like that, with his power, might he not have said (indeed she felt it no), Life is made more intolerable; they make life intolerable, men like that?” (Woolf, 180)

In this very long sentence Clarissa is thinking about what would have happened if perhaps Septimus had thought differently and was able to have met Bradshaw and have his thoughts influenced and changed by him.  It seems as though Clarissa is trying to find a way to understand why Septimus thought the way he did and why this led to his suicide. Had Septimus been able to go to Sir William Bradshaw and speak to him and become impressed by him would he have still committed suicide? Might he not have said then that life was intolerable and something he needed an escape from? These are the thoughts Clarissa is having based on the thoughts she wonders Septimus had.


“She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged.  She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on.  She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day” (8)

This quotation is found during the scene in which Clarissa is on a shopping spree and stops for a brief moment to look at the omnibuses in Piccadilly. While Clarissa is existing and experiencing life in the busy city of London that is booming with livelihood and fast movement, she begins to feel the youth, or the lack thereof, that could keep up with a fast paced city.  The contrast between feeling very young and also feeling ‘unspeakably aged’ brings up a great time lapse.  Clarissa brings up feeling like a knife that is slicing through everything – having the first hand ability to belong somewhere and to be part of the city.  But she simultaneously feels as though she is on the outside, looking on as though she is not a part of the city and can no longer exist within it.

The fast and continuous movement of the taxi cabs gives Clarissa a perpetual sense that something is never ending – the loneliness brought about by her ending youth.  She then begins to relate time and loneliness to being far out at sea and alone.  Comparing the sea to the taxi cabs reveals that Clarissa feels lonely in a place with so many people.  All the people existing in London may all be facing the same struggle of having to survive under the sea’s harsh conditions and power.  Although every person might be together in terms of struggling with a fight, they are still alone in trying to stay afloat against their own personal fight.  As Clarissa gets older and older, it becomes increasingly difficult for her to truly know and understand anyone.

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.”

I chose this quotation from the last few pages of chapter 4 because of what had just happened before Stephen says this. Stephen saw this little girl after he decided to turn down priesthood. In doing so, Stephen is almost lost and doesn’t know what to do now that he has given up his religious devotion.  This girl came as a sign to him, to cherish all that is around him and to celebrate life.


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. . . . ”

The first few lines of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man suggest that Joyce is trying to portray the characteristics of a young child. The words “moo cow” “nicens” and “baby tuckoo” could be words that would come from a child.

The Beast in the Jungle

“disconcerted almost equally by the presence of those who knew too much and by that of those who knew nothing.”

Marcher seems to be someone who has a lot of friends, however, the first paragraph of the story suggests something about him that might say otherwise later on in the story. What Marcher says suggests that he doesn’t think he’s always noticed and gets lost in the crowd, yet he also feels that he stands apart from everyone else and isn’t quite at ease in the above quote.