“An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done ‘heard’ ’bout you just what they hope done happened.”
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006 page 37.
Here Phoebe speaks about the effects of what envy can do to one speaking in a social context. Hurston’s novel is based heavily on what others said, instead of the whole truth. This puts the subject of altered truth into perspective for the reader to analyze.
“As far as I can see, my best chance of clearing myself of the trouble you’re trying to make for me is bringing in the murders-all tied up.”
Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. 1930. Vintage, 1989. pg 151- 152
In this quote, Spade is battling with his inner moral codes and trying to find a reasonable outcome that favors him. Spade, a man whose career ties in with the law tremendously, has found a way to the polar opposite of his career. Instead of abiding by the right thing to do, Spade now resorts to a mindset where it is every man for himself.
“He came up to see and I hollering catch her Darl catch her and he didn’t come back because she was too heavy he had to go on catching at her and I hollering catch her dark catch her darl because in the water she could go faster than a man and Darl had to grabble for her so I knew he could catch her because he is the best grabbler…”
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying, New York Vintage, 1990.
I chose this passage mostly because of the construction within it. As Faulkner writes this passage from the perspective of Vardaman, he makes sure it is written from a child’s penmanship. The passage is a huge run-on sentence that contains grammatical errors but at the same time perfectly encapsulates what is going on in Vardaman’s head in the scenario he’s placed in.
“‘Lord, Lord!’ he said to himself out loud, stretching and opening his
eyes. ‘The death of the soul.’ The words attached themselves to some scene,
to some room, to some past he had been dreaming of. It became clearer; the
scene, the room, the past he had been dreaming of.”
Here we see Peter still deals with his past trauma and “death of the soul” as he calls it. Like his counterpart, Clarissa, they both have a habit of diving into the past about their feelings.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Harcourt, Inc, 2005, page 61-62
“Stephen closed his eyes and held out in the air his trembling hand
with the palm upwards. He felt the prefect of studies touch it for a moment at the fingers to straighten it and then the swish of the sleeve of the soutane as the pandybat was lifted to strike. A hot burning stinging tingling blow like the loud crack of a broken stick made his trembling hand crumple together like a leaf in the fire: and at the sound and the pain scalding tears were driven into his eyes.”
James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000), 42.
This passage evokes a false sense of security that Stephen encounters with the prefect. Stephen let his trusted his environment by letting his guard down and holding out his palm blindly. Only to greeted by intense pain and loss of innocence.
“It had taken too much of his life to produce too little of his art. The art had come, but it had come after everything else.” (338).
James, Henry. “The Middle Years.” Henry James: Complete Stories 1892-1898, The Library of America, 1996, Page 335-55.
Here Dencombe reflects on his past and the time it took to produce such a small quantity of art. While Dencombe finally realizes his work’s significance and value, he is met with the inevitable fact that his time is slowly dwindling away.