Cane Commonplace

“The chill air is a shock to Paul. A strange thing happens. He sees the Gardens purple, as if he were way off. And a spot is in the purple. The spot comes furiously towards him. Face of the black man. It leers. It smiles sweetly like a child’s.”

The “Garden” could be a metaphor for the Garden of Eden, continuing the evocation of God-language/imagery throughout the text. Paul is seeing the Garden “as if he were way off” turning this scene into an epiphany-like experience, or as if he were viewing it from above, like God would.

Toomer, Jean. “Bona and Paul.” Cane. New York: Liveright, 2011. 106. Print.

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.


Heart of Darkness

“…perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold.”

This moment stood out to me because it seems like Marlow is acknowledging a fundamental truth about about his own identity, and life in general. It represents an epiphany of sorts.

Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (2002).