All posts by scribbler93

Waking Up in Another World

“A hot liquid trickled down from the corners of his eyes. One of his nostrils seemed to be blocked and he sniffed the air, trying to adjust his breathing to the congested climate of the corner where his face was turned. His throat too seemed to have been caught, for as he inhaled the air it seemed to irritate his trachea uncomfortably. He began to swallow air in order to relieve his nose and throat. But when a breath of air pierced the cavity which was clogged the other became impenetrable. A cough shook the inner tissues of his throat and he spat furiously into the corner where he lay. He leaned his elbow and blew his nose under the carpet on which he lay. Then he fell back, his legs gathered together and shrunken under the thin folds of his blanket, his head buried into his arms. He felt very cold. And he dozed off again” (15).

Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Editions, 1935

Notes: reality of the impoverished, sharp detail, quality of life and self, exterior reality showing truth about society,  effect of describing event of seeming insignificance, gruesome detail

The Symbol of Lady Bruton

“And Lady Bruton went ponderously, majestically, up to her room, lay, one arm extended, on the sofa.  She sighed, she snored, not that she was asleep, only drowsy and heavy, drowsy and heavy, like a field of clover in the sunshine on this hot June day, with the bees going round and about and the yellow butterflies” (111).

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1925. Print.

Notes: women’s role in high class society, subordinate, inferiority, societal obligation,  laziness as a symbol for women

Unrequited Love

“She looked at Peter Walsh; her look, passing through all that time and that emotion, reached him doubtfully; settled on him tearfully; and rose and fluttered away, as a bird touches a branch and rises and flutters away. Quite simply she wiped her eyes”(43).

Notes: Peter’s love for Clarissa, wasted life, tortured emotions

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1925. Print.





Lord Peter’s Conciousness

“Ten to one he will overlook my trousers and mistake me for the undertaker. A grey suit, I fancy, neat but not gaudy, with a hat to tone, suits my other better self. Exit the amateur of first editions; new motive introduced by solo bassoon; enter Sherlock Holmes, disguised as a walking gentleman. There goes Bunter. Invaluable fellow— never offers to do his job when you’ve told him to do somethin’ else. Hope he doesn’t miss the ‘Four Sons of Aymon.’ Still, there is another copy of that— in the Vatican. It might become available, you never know—if the Church of Rome went to pot or Switzerland invaded Italy—whereas a strange corpse doesn’t turn up in a suburban bathroom more than once in a lifetime —at least, I should think not—at any rate, the number of times it’s happened, with a pince-nez, might be counted on the fingers of one hand, I imagine. Dear me! it’s a dreadful mistake to ride two hobbies at once” (4).

Sayers, Dorothy L. Whose Body? Mineola: Dover Publications, 1923. Print


A Closer Look

“The first day in the hall of the castle when she had said goodbye she had put up her veil double to her nose to kiss him: and her nose and eyes were red. But he had pretended not to see that she was going to cry. She was a nice mother but she was not so nice when she cried. And his father had given him fiveshilling pieces for pocket money. And his father had told him if he wanted anything to write home to him and, what he did, never to peach on a fellow” (Joyce 7).

“He could not get out the answer for the sum but it did not matter. White roses and red roses: those were beautiful colors to think of. And the cards for first place and second place and third place were beautiful colours too: pink and cream and lavender. Lavender and cream and pink were beautiful colours to think of. Perhaps a wild rose might be like those colours and he remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place. But you could not have a green rose. But perhaps somewhere in the world you could” (9).

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

tags: family, color, symbolism, rose, Stephen, new places

Melanctha’s power

“James Herbert did not fight things out any more with his daughter. He feared her tongue, and her school learning, and the way she had of saying things that were very nasty to a brutal black man who knew nothing. And Melanctha just then hated him very badly in her suffering” (Stein 103).

“And so Melanctha wondered on the edge of wisdom. ‘Say, Sis, why don’t you when you come here stay a little longer?’ they would all ask her, and they would hold her for an answer, and she would laugh, and sometimes she did stay longer, but always just in time she made herself escape” (101).

In both passages, Melanctha’s power over the men in her life is illustrated.  There is a discernible parallel between her father and the men who sexually pursue her. The men in her life seem to be the playthings in which she controls with her knowledge and promiscuity . The relationship she maintains with “knowledge” and her constant pursuit of it is what intrigues men and draws them to an unidentifiable difference in her. Her knowledge also forces her father to succumb to his sense of authority because he is afraid of what his daughter is capable of knowing. These passages illustrate the complex air that is beginning to form around Melanctha’s character and gives insight into how the men in the story function.

Gertrude Stein, “Melanctha,” in Three Lives (New York: The Grafton Press, 1909). Web.

May and Marcher

What it had come to was that he wore a mask painted with the soclal simper, out of the eyeholes of which there looked eyes of an expression not in the least matching the other features. This the stupid world, even after years, had never more than half discovered. It was only May Bartram who had, and she achieved, by an art indescribable, the feat of at once—or perhaps it was only alternately—meeting the eyes from in front and mingling her own vision, as from over his shoulder, with their peep through the apertures.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories & Essays, Library of America College Editions, 1999), p459-460

Notes: James, relationships, love, society, identity, alliteration