Tag Archives: time

Gender differences

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.

Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.” (1)

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York, NY: HarperCollins, n.d. Print.

Notes: gender differences, reality of men versus the reality of women, dreams, truth, time, action versus watching.

I find it extremely interesting that Hurston begins her novel by discussing the “wishes of men”, when this novel is about Janie, her hardships, and her resilience. However, I think it is extremely interesting to begin this novel with a contrast between the realities of men and women, especially in regard to truth — “The dream is the truth”.


Happiness is this, he thought.

“Indeed his own life was a miracle; let him make no mistake about it; here he was in the prime of his life, walking to his house in Westminster to tell Clarissa that he loved her. Happiness is this, he thought.” Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Francisco: Harcourt Inc., 1981. Print. (117)

“For he would say it in so many words, when he came into the room. Because it is a thousand pities never to say what one feels” (116).

“But he could not bring himself to say he loved her; not in so many words” (118).

I found this passage (pp 115-119) to be moving and yet frustrating. Richard Dalloway has been struck with the realization that he loves his wife, that his life and love are a miracle. “Happiness is this, he thought” is repeated several times in the passage. Yet time has passed and time keeps passing (Big Ben) and this epihany gets lost in time, lost in life, and he never expresses it. It seems to be meaning and purpose, yet so elusive and taken for granted.