Anand, “Untouchable”: The Proletariat

“But he worked unconsciously. This forgetfulness or emptiness persisted in him over long periods. It was a sort of insensitivity created in him by the kind of work he had to do, a tough skin which must be a shield against all the most awful sensations” (18).

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1940.

Bhaka dissociates his mind from his body through his work. Perhaps this is a sort of defense mechanism  (“a shield”) against reality .

Hurston, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”: Going South

“To Janie’s strange eyes, everything in the Everglades was big and new. Big Lake Okechobee, big beans, big cane, big weeds, big everything.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937. New York: Harper Perennial, 2013.

Janie is anticipates life in the Everglades. The repetition of the word “big” in the list of descriptions show for how vast and hopeful the land is. Perhaps this description foretells the massiveness of the hurricane that hits the Everglades in ch. 18. 

Toomer, “Cane”: Format

“(The sun is hammered to a band of gold…. The Dixie Pike has grown from a goat path in Africa.


Foxie, the bitch, slicks back her ears and barks at the rising moon.)”

Toomer, Jean. Cane. New York, Liverwright, 1923. 

The structure of this paragraph is odd. The word “night” is italicized and is printed to the far right of the page, interrupting the thought that is written in parentheses.

Sayers, “Whose Body?”: Mystery and Social Issues

” I am sorry,” she said , “ I’m afraid we can’t interfere in any way. This is a very unpleasant business,
Mr. – I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name, and we have always found it better not to be mixed up with the police. Of course , if the Thippses are innocent,
and I am sure I hope they are, it is very unfortunate for them , but I must say that the circumstances seem to me most suspicious, and to Theophilus too, and I
should not like to have it said that we had assisted murderers. Wemight even be supposed to be accessories. Of course you are young, Mr.- ” (51).

Sayers, Dorothy Leigh. Whose Body?. United Kingdom, Boni and Liveright, 1923.

This response from Mrs. Appledore shows how much they take pride in her family’s “respectable” reputation and wouldn’t want anything to muddle it. Any involvement with the police would do so, even if it were to help prove someone innocent.

Woolf, “Mrs. Dalloway”: Connections

“Poor old woman,” said Rezia Warren Smith, waiting to cross.

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Benediction Classics, Oxford, 2017

The three never really “cross paths” here, but Peter sees Rezia and Septimus, and imagines they must be fighting and then Septimus mistakes Peter for his old war buddy Evans. Rezia also pities the same old woman that Peter did.

To add, both Peter and Rezia feel disconnected from the people they love…

Joyce, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”: Art and Artistry

“He was destined to learn his own wisdom apart from others or to learn the wisdom of others himself wandering among the snares of the world” (175).

Stephen decides that he is going refuse to conform to the organized forms of society or religion and forge his own path. He’s beginning to embrace his desire to become a great artist.

James, Henry. “The Middle Years.” H. James Complete Stories 1892-1898, The Library of America, 1996, page 337.

Henry James, “The Middle Years”

“This was the laceration – that practically his career was over: it was as violent as a rough hand at his throat” (James, 337).

The vivid and morbid imagery here is quite shocking. The use of the word “laceration” and the simile, “as violent as a rough hand at his throat” goes to show just how deeply Dencombe resonated the purpose of his life to his writing.

James, Henry. “The Middle Years.” H. James Complete Stories 1892-1898, The Library of America, 1996, page 337.