“As a cloud crosses the sun, silence falls on London; and falls on the mind. Effort ceases. Time flaps on the mast. There we stop; there we stand. Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame. Where there is nothing, Peter Walsh said to himself; feeling hollowed out, utterly empty within. Clarissa refused me, he thought. He stood there thinking, Clarissa refused me.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2005), 49.
There’s excellent imagery in this excerpt that emphasizes Peter Walsh’s thoughts. The cloud crossing the sun is a huge metaphor for the way that he is feeling because Clarissa refused him. He feels “hollowed out” and “empty”.
“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.Print
“And all the while the Gardens were purple like a bed of roses would be at dusk. I came back to tell you, brother, that white faces are petals of roses. That dark faces are petals of dusk. That I am going out and gather petals. That I am going out and know her whom I brought here with me to these Gardens which are purple like a bed of roses would be at dusk.”
Toomer, Jean. “Bona and Paul.” Cane. New York: Liveright, 2011. 107. Print.
In this excerpt, the Gardens stand out to me as a religious aspect. I also really like the repetition and emphasis on “the Gardens were purple like a bed of roses would be at dusk.”
“Kabnis, a promise of soil-soaked beauty; uprooted, thinning out. Suspended a few feet above the soil whose touch would resurrect him.
Toomer, Jean. “Kabnis.” Cane. New York: Liveright, 2011. 132. Print.
This is one of the connections I found from the story of Kabnis, it can be tied to the poem Harvest Song which is all about this sense of working in the soil, which is what Harvest Song is all about. But at the end of Harvest Song, the last stanza mentions “I fear to call.” I believe he must be referring to someone, just like how Kabnis, when talking about this soil, is actually talking about how he feels towards Lewis.
“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
“A glow of desire kindled again his soul and fired and fulfilled all his body. Conscious of his desire she was waking from odorous sleep, the temptress of his villanelle. Her eyes, dark and with a look of languor, were opening to his eyes. Her nakedness yielded to him, radiant, warm, odorous, and lavishlimbed, enfolded him like a shining cloud, enfolded him like water with a liquid life: and like a cloud of vapour or like waters circumfluent in space the liquid letters of speech, symbols of the element of mystery, flowed forth over his brain.” (187-188)
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).
The imagery and comparisons are dominating this quotation. Stephen seems to be describing a feeling of love and lust by saying the words desire, temptress, warm, and radiant all together. This feeling of “mystery” lingers with him as he thinks about this experience.
“How foolish his aim had been! He had tried to build a breakwater of order and elegance against the sordid tide of life without him and to dam up, by rules of conduct and active interests and new filial relations, the powerful recurrence of the tide within him. Useless.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 82.
Compared to the free indirect discourse in Chapter One, Stephen’s Chapter Two voice is more difficult to pick out of the third-person narration. Stephen’s voice is “growing up” with him, and as evident of the amount of figurative language Joyce uses here, Stephen’s identify as a writer is also developing.
“I saw him extend his short flipper of an arm for a gesture that took in the forest, the creek, the mud, the river — seemed to beckon with a dishonouring flourish before the sunlit face of the land a treacherous appeal to the lurking death, to the hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart.”
Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, in Heart of Darkness and Other Tales (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2002), 134.
Beautiful imagery about something not so beautiful. When I first read this sentence it stood out to me because of the use of language.