Untouchable

“It was a pleasant sensation in spite f the disconcerting suddenness with which it had engulfed him. He felt suspended, as it were, in a region of buoyant tenseness. As he emerged from the world of that rare, translucent lustre into which he had been lifted, he stumbled over a stone and muttered a curse”(Anand 26).

Anand, M. R., Guha, R., & Forster, E. M. (2014). Untouchable. London: Penguin Books.

 

This book has a unique narrative style that offers both personal details that behave as indirect discourse, change the readers relationship to the past and present, and offers insight into the motives and feelings of each character.

 

 

 

Style of the opening sentences in each chapter

“The years took all the fight out of Janie’s face. For a while she thought it was gone from her soul. No matter what Jody did, she said nothing. She had learned how to talk some and leave some. She was a rut in the road.”

(Hurston 77)

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer. Janie had had no chance to know things, so she had to ask. Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated? Did marriage compel love like the sun the day?”

(Hurston 21)

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York :Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006.

 

At the start of each chapter Hurston poses a overarching statement or slice of wisdom. Often it is about the passage of time, the experience of marriage, or otherwise a beautiful introduction to the chapter. This is my favorite stylistic choice by Hurston because it draws the reader into the chapter and promises a compelling narrative.

 

Prose / Poetic style in Cane

“O singers, resinous and soft your songs

Above the sacred whisper of the pines,

Give virgin lips no cornfield concubiines,

Bring dreams of Christ to dusky cane-lipped throngs” (Toomer 18)

Michlin, M. (1997). Jean Toomer: Cane. Paris: Didier Eruditon-CNED.

The last stanza of the poem “Georgia Dusk”. Throughout the novel are a combination of poems, prose, and stream of conscious narration. This makes for unique prospectives and connections to the material. In addition to the world building, there is also lyrical poems that reinforce the themes of the novel.

Payoff of suspense: style in Whose Body

“The silence was like a shock. The blue eyes did not waver; they burned down steadily upon the heavy white lids below them. Then these slowly lifted; the grey eyes met the blue- coldly, steadily– and held them. When lovers embrace, there seems no sound in the world but their own breathing. So the two men breathed face to face.” (Sayers 156)

Sayers, D. L., & Carmichael, I. (2008). Whose Body? Chivers Audio Books.

Much has been done in the preceding chapters to set up for this emotional pay off. The encounter is both intimate and comical, and establishes room for the final chapter.

 

Lord Peter

“Lord Peter finished aScarlatti sonata, and sat looking thoughtfully at his own hands. The fingers were long and muscular, with wide, flat joints and square tips. When he was playing, his rather hard grey eyes softened, and his long indeterminate mouth hardened in compensation. At no other time had he any pretensions to good looks, and at all times he was spoilt by a long, narrow chin, and a long, receding forehead, accentuated by the brushed-back sleekness of his colored hair. Labour papers, softening down the chin, caricatured him as a typical aristocrat.” (Sayers 27)

Sayers, D. L., & Carmichael, I. (2008). Whose Body? Chivers Audio Books.

Lord Peters description, rather long winded and exhaustive, does much here to characterize him as an almost cliche detective.

Role of money

“It’s a hard country on man; it’s hard. Eight miles of the sweat of his body washed up outen the Lord’s earth, where the Lord Himself told him to put it. Nowhere in this sinful world can a honest, hardworking man profit.”

“It’s because there is a reward for us above, where they can’t take their autos and such. Every man will be equal and it will be taken from them that have and give to them that have not by the Lord.” (Faulkner 111) 

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. Vintage International, 1990.

 

jealousy, love, and life after fifty

“A terrible confession it was (he put his hat on again), but now, at the age of fifty-three, one scarcely needed people anymore. Life itself, every moment of it, every drop of it, here, this instant, now, in the sun, in Regent’s Park, was enough. Too much, indeed. A whole lifetime was too short to bring out, now that one had acquired the power, the full flavour; to extract every ounce of pleasure, every shade of meaning; which both were so much more solid than they used to be, so much less personal” (Woolf 59).

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Benediction Classics, Oxford, 2017, pp.59

Here, in the park with Peter, Clarrisa admits to herself that she is in love with Peter, but that with age they have both come to realize that life is forever different after fifty, and that love is different, too. She confesses that after all those years of him being in love with her and not reciprocating, it is now she who is falling for Peter.

Emerging as an Artist; Stephen in Dublin

“All the leisure which was his school life left him was passed in the company of subversive writers whose gibe and violence of speech set up a ferment in his brain before they passed out of it into his writings.

The essay was for him the chief labour of his week and every Tuesday, as he marched from home to the school, he read his fate in the incidents of the way, pitting himself against some figure ahead of him and quickening his pace to outstrip it before a certain goal was reached or planting his steps scrupulously in the spaces of the patchwork of the foot path and telling himself that he would be first and not first in the weekly essay (Joyce 83).”

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

Stephen’s competitive spirit and insecurity compared to his peers drives him to pour gobs of effort into the weekly essays. He goes on to have an encounter with Heron and his goons where they bully him over his opinion on who the greatest poet of prose is. Tennyson, who according to heron is simply a poet for common uneducated people, is the poet Stephen lists. This harkens back to the “Pull out his eyes, Apologize” rhyming tendency that Stephen has always had an affinity for.

 

School Bullies: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“–0, I say, here’s a fellow who says he doesn’t kiss his mother before he goes to bed.

They all laughed again. Stephen tried to laugh with the He felt his whole body hot and confused in a moment. What was the right answer to the question? He had given two and sill Wells laughed. But Wells must know the right answer for he was in third of grammar” (Joyce 11).

-Stephen struggles to understand the peer dynamics between younger and slightly older boys, insisting there must be a correct answer to the question Wells poses, even though it is a joke meant to poke fun.

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

 

An Extension: The Middle Years

“No, no–I only should have had more time. I want another go.”
“Another go?”
“I want an extension.”
“An extension?” Again Doctor Hugh repeated Dencombe’s words, with which he seemed to have been struck. “Don’t you know?–I want to what they call ‘live.’”

(James, Henry.) ‘The Middle Years’. Terminations, Scribner’s Magazine, 1893, pp. 348.

An ailing writer trapped in a perfectionist mindset, unable to accept the body of work he will soon leave behind. An “extension” is a extra amount of time granted to a writer to complete a piece of work to satisfaction, but in this context Dencombe also asks from his doctor for an extension on life itself, saying he “want(s) to what they call ‘live.;”