All posts by Dalo


“This was a quieter outing. He strode on at an even pace, breathing deeply, with the clay helmet on, out of which peeped his gray hair, his arms locked behind, his fingers clutching the fateful letter, his face tilted towards the sky” (Narayan 32).

Notes- I think the character being so overpowered by fear is meant to be sort of funny to the reader.

Narayan, R.K. “Gateman’s Gift.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. 26-33. Print.

Wanting an Experience

Characters in four of the novels we have read are all looking to feel or have something new. They all want to be a part of an experience that is away from what they have already done.

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (1899): ” I wouldn’t have believed it of myself; but then-you see- I felt somehow I must get there by hook or by crook” (Conrad 109).

Notes: Here, the main character, Marlow, discusses how he much he wants to travel to Congo (Conrad 108). The author shows how important this experience would be for Marlow in the way he describes it.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2008. Print.

“Melanctha” by Gertrude Stein (1909): “Melanctha always had a strong sense for real experience” (Stein 73).

Notes: In this book, once again, the main character, Melanctha does not allow much to stop her from getting the “experience” she thinks she wants to have (Stein 73).

Stein, Gertrude. “Melanctha.” Three Lives and Q.E.D. Ed. Marianne DeKoven. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2006. 53-147. Print.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce (1916): “He burned to appease the fierce longings of his heart before which everything else was idle and alien” (Joyce 83).

Notes: Readers are able to see the importance of going through something different because  the author writes how Stephen “…burned…” for an experience (Joyce 83).

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925): ” He pursued; she changed. There was color in her cheeks; mockery in her eyes; he was an adventurer, reckless he thought, swift, daring, indeed…” (Woolf 53).

Notes: In Woolf’s book, Peter Walsh suddenly decides to follow a woman (Woolf 53). It is a new experience because he describes it as “…daring…” (Woolf 53).

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Orlando: Harcourt Inc, 1925. Print.

Literary-historical trajectory-  Through this pattern, I can see the idea of experience going on even as time continues. I think this shows how different characters in different books, all seem to want something more.


“But there was a smouldering rage in his soul. His feelings would rise like spurts of smoke from a half-smothered fire, in fitful, unbalanced jerks when the recollection of some abuse or rebuke he suffered kindled a spark in the ashes of remorse inside him” (Anand 51).

Notes:  something temporary and limited.

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1935. Print.

An Explanation

“Whitfield begins. His voice is bigger than him. It’s like they are not the same. It’s like he is one, and his voice is one, swimming on two horses side by side across the ford and coming into the house, the mud-splashed one and the one that never got wet, triumphant and sad” ( Faulkner 91).

Notes: a combination but also a separation.

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage International, 1990. Print.


“It wasn’t any good. He couldn’t tell her, he couldn’t make her see it. It was silly to have said it. He had only hurt her. He went over and took hold of her arm. She was crying with her head in her hands” (Hemingway 76).

Notes: Ignorance and sadness are shown at the same time.

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. “Soldier’s Home.” New York: Scribner, 2003. Print. 69-77.


“The secretary, a sandy-haired young man with a long chin and no eyebrows, silently did as he was requested. Lord Peter looked from the bald head of Mr. Milligan to the redhead of the secretary, hardened his heart and tried again” (Sayers 42).

Sayers, Dorothy. Whose Body? New York: Dover, 2009. Print.

Notes: Focused on what is physical.

The Change in Feelings

“…He hardly knew where he was walking. Pride and hope and desire like crushed herbs in his heart sent up vapours of maddening incense before the eyes of his mind. He strode down the hill amid the tumult of suddenrisen vapours of wounded pride and fallen hope and baffled desire… ” (Joyce 72).

“…No life or youth stirred in him as it had stirred in them. He had known neither pleasure of companionship with others nor the vigour of rude male health or filial piety. Nothing stirred within his soul but a cold and cruel and loveless lust… ” (Joyce 80).

Notes- irony and learning.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.  Print.


“Melanctha Herbert wanted very much to know and yet she feared the knowledge. As she grew older she often stayed a good deal longer, and sometimes it was almost a balanced struggle, but she always made herself escape” (Stein 63).

“Melanctha had learned how she might stay a little longer; she had learned that she must decide when she really wanted to stay longer, and she had learned how when she wanted to, she could escape” (Stein 68).

The author, Gertrude Stein, uses a lot of repetition in both these passages. She repeats the words “longer”, “escape” and “wanted” (Stein 63).  These words are repeated  to show the reader that what is happening to  Melanctha is very important. Also, the second passage seems to answer the first passage. In the first passage, Stein calls what is going on for Melanctha a “balanced struggle” something that is taking her in two different directions (Stein 63). By the second passage, “Melanctha …learned that she must decide…” and seems to choose the way she wants to go (Stein 68). 

Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives and Q.E.D.  “Melanctha.” New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006. 53-147. Print.


“He had a screw loose for her but she liked him in spite of it and was practically, against the rest of the world, his kind wise keeper, unremunerated but fairly amused and, in the absence of other near ties, not disreputably occupied” (James 12).

Notes- responsibility and goals.

James, Henry. The Beast in the Jungle.  London: Martin Secker, 1915. Project Gutenberg     eBook. 2005. 12.