“An Astrologer’s Day”

“There was a pause as cars hooted on the road, jukta-drivers swore at their horses and the babble of the crowd agitated the semi-darkness of the park. The other sat down, sucking his cheroot, puffing out, sat there ruthlessly. The astrologer felt very uncomfortable.”

R.K. Narayan. Malgudi Days (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), 12.

The astrologer’s moment of realization is expressed through a zooming out and then in of perspective. The “pause” is what the astrologer alone feels, as his external environment carries on and “agitates” his feelings of discomfort. To the astrologer, the “other” sits “ruthlessly” because he alone feels “very uncomfortable.”


“To love makes one solitary, she thought. She could tell nobody, not even Septimus now, and looking back, she saw him sitting in his shabby overcoat alone, on the seat, hunched up, staring. And it was all cowardly for a man to say he would kill himself, but Septimus had fought; he was brave; he was not Septimus now. She put on her lace collar. She put on her new hat and he never noticed; and he was happy without her. Nothing could make her happy without him! Nothing! He was selfish. So mean are. For he was not ill. Dr. Holmes said there was nothing the matter with him. She spread her hand before her. Look! Her wedding ring had slipped- she had grown so thin. It was she who suffered- but she had nobody to tell.”


Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925. Print. P23


Shifting perspectives is one of the core ideas in Mrs. Dalloway. Woolf uses free indirect discourse to allow the emotions and thoughts of her characters seep through the seemingly omniscient narration. She creates and interesting intersection between two conflicting states of mind. Two people in an intimate relationship are in entirely different places toward one another. Lucrezia seems unable to empathize with or even sympathize Septimus’ condition, only able to recount on the effect it has on herself.





“Kabnis is about to shake his fists heavenward. He looks up, and the night’s beauty strikes him dumb. He falls to his knees. Sharp stones cut through his thin pajamas. The shock sends a shiver over him. He quivers. Tears mist his eyes. He writhes.”

Toomer, Jean. “Kabnis.” Cane. New York: Liverright, 2011. 83. Print.

This scene seems very slowed down, taking the reader through the experience exactly how Kabnis most likely experienced it. By using broken up sentence fragments, like “tears mist his eyes”, Toomer brings the reader closer to the experience. We can feel the “night beauty strike us dumb”. Toomer’s suggested purpose of putting the reader’s through this African American teacher’s life, attempting to get as close to Kabnis’ true feelings as possible, is achieved through this short, fragmented style of writing.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Stephen Deadalus
Class of Elements
Clongowes Wood College
County Kildare
The World
The Universe …

What was after the Universe? Nothing. But was there anything round the universe to show where it stopped before the nothing place began? It could not be a wall but there could be a thin thin line all round everything. It was very big to think about everything and everywhere. Only God could do that…When would he be like the fellows in Poetry and Rhetoric? … That was very far away. First came vacation and then the next term and then vacation again and then again another term and then again the vacation. It was like a train going in and out of tunnels and that was like the noise of the boys eating in the refectory when you opened and closed the flaps of the ears. Term, vacation; tunnel, out; noise, stop. How far away it was!”

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pg. 8-9

Limitations of Stephen’s consciousness, self-awareness, awareness of the vastness of both place and time.