‘”An envious heart makes a treacherous ear. They done ‘heard’ ’bout you just what they hope done happened.’ ‘If God don’t think no mo’ ’bout ’em than Ah do, they’s a lost ball in high grass'” (Hurston 5).
Janie and Pheoby are talking about how the women like to gossip a lot about things and situations they do not understand. Pheoby makes a good point by saying that the reason that they gossip and talk about what they think they “heard” is because they are jealous and want the awful things they hear to be true. I think it is important that the author made a point to show in Janie’s speech her lack of education because it makes her maturity in handling the ridicule that much more astounding and impressive. She does not really let what the women say get to her because she knows who she is and is confident that she knows the truth and that is the only thing that matters.
“She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day” (Woolf Loc. 936)*Kindle Edition.
Woolf, Virginia, and Bonnie Kime Scott. Mrs. Dalloway. A Harvest Book, Harcourt, Inc., 2005.
Even though Mrs. Dalloway is a well-off, sophisticated woman in society, she feels alone and exposed to the ridicule of her peers. On top of that, her husband seems to be the type of man that would rather have her be pretty and mute than educated and opinionated.
“It pained him that he did not know well what politics meant and that he did not know where the universe ended. He felt small and weak. When would he be like the fellows in poetry and rhetoric? They had big voices and big boots and they studied trigonometry” (Joyce 14).
Joyce, James. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Penguin Classics, 2003, pg. 14.
I think this passage is very telling of the mind of a child. The reader can relate to Stephen because everyone has had similar thoughts to his growing up. He feels small and out of place, but does not understand that knowledge can be powerful, but it can also be burdensome. All kids want to do is grow up, and all adults wish they could go back to a time that was simple and they were ignorant to the complications that came with things such as politics and trigonometry.
“Equally innocent and infinite are the pleasures of observation and the resources engendered by the habit of analyzing life,” (James 340).
James, Henry. “Henry James Completed Stories 1892-1898.” Scribner’s Magazine, May 1893, p. 340.
As Dencombe is looking over the cliff from his bench at the people bellow, he contemplates how one can be content by simply observing the world around them, and how the peace and quiet makes it easier to analyze the little things in life.