Their Eyes Were Watching God

“Finally out of Nanny’s talk and her own conjectures she made a sort of comfort for herself. Yes, she would love Logan after they were married. She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so. Husbands and wives always loved each other, and that was what marriage meant. It was just so. Janie felt glad of the thought, for then it wouldn’t seem so destructive and mouldy. She wouldn’t be lonely anymore.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937. New York: Harper Perennial, 2013. p. 21

This passage exemplifies Janie’s innocence and naivety. She blindly believes Nanny’s rigid views about marriage and love. In order to alleviate her fears, Janie is able to convince herself that love and marriage are synonymous.

Heart of Darkness

“Then he tried to imagine himself dead, and Carlier sitting in his chair watching him; and his attempt met with such unexpected success, that in a very few moments he became not at all sure of who was dead and who was alive. This extraordinary achievement of fancy startled him, however, and by a clever and timely effort of mind he saved himself just in time from becoming Carlier.”

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002). 24.

Kayerts’ sense of confusion over who is dead and who isn’t anticipates his own death by suicide on the next page. Does Kayerts paradoxically save himself from “becoming” Carlier (now dead) by killing himself (dead)? By doing so, does he wash his hands of his complicity in the imperialistic process?