“But Ratan had no philosophy. She was wandering about the post office in a flood of tears. It may be that she had still a lurking hope in some corner of her heart that her Dada would return, and that is why she could not tear herself away.”
The narrator’s relation with Ratand and the Postmaster is shown here. While the Postmaster is utilizing philosophy to help him cope with his inevitable death, Ratan is left with no coping mechanisms. Ratan is alone like she has been most of her life as an orphan.
Tagore, Rabindranath. The Postmaster. Macmillan, 1918, page 169.
“They would risk the fire and the earth and the water and all just to eat a sack of bananas” (Faulkner 140).
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. Vintage International, 1990.
This quote, from Tull’s chapter privately criticizing the stubborn determination of Anse and Dewey Dell to see Addie across the flooded river and buried as per her wishes, is interesting. The book keeps commenting on the value of death: the respect that should be owed the dead, what hold they should have on the lives of the living. Anse feels indebted to the mother and seems “bent” on making his shortcomings up to her retroactively, Dewey Dell simply having an emotional attachment, Jewel feeling it somewhat distantly, even as a thing of obligation, needing some coercion, and Darl, who seemed to love Addie, feels that she has passed out of existence, that she is no longer his mother anymore, no longer “is.” Though they all experience it differently, nevertheless the family unites to bury the mother, but in Tull’s eyes, the whole pursuit, not only foolhardy because of the mortal danger of the storm, seems an extravagance anyway, neither practical nor especially worthy (like a “sack of bananas”).
“When I used to sleep with Vardaman I had a nightmare once I thought I was awake but I couldn’t see and couldn’t feel I couldn’t feel the bed under me and I couldn’t think what I was I couldn’t think of my name I couldn’t even think I am a girl I couldn’t even think I nor even think I want to wake up nor remember what was opposite to awake so I could do that I knew that something was passing but I couldn’t even think of time then all of a sudden I knew that something was it was wind blowing over me it was like the wind came and blew me back from where it was I was not blowing the room and Vardaman asleep and all of them back under me again and going on like a piece of cool silk dragging across my naked legs”
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. Vintage International, 1990, page 121-122.
I thought that this passage in the text was interesting, due to both its language and structure in which it is written. Here Dewey Dell starts to suddenly think of a nightmare she had while sleeping beside Vardaman after thinking of when Vardaman took a knife and chopped up a fish and then thinking of taking the knife and killing Darl with it. It feels as though this is a random thought or memory at first, but I feel that perhaps she is reminded of this because she is experiencing similar existential thoughts and feelings after the death of her mother. Another thing about this passage is that it is written in italics, as though it is a different kind of thought or a different part of her is interrupting her previous thoughts with this memory, or perhaps, this thought strikes her more deeply or is more important than her other thoughts. It is also written as one long sentence with no punctuation or periods, so while I read it, it felt like an intense rush of thoughts or a memory, which I thought was more like a stream of consciousness than is written for other characters in this text, such as Darl, but it still is written as though Dewey Dell is talking to somebody else.
“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.
“ It means three dollars,” I say. “Do you want us to go, or not?” Pa rubs his knees. “Well be back by tomorrow sundown.”
“Well …” pa says. He looks out over the land, awry-haired, mouthing the snuff slowly against, his gums.
“Come on,” Jewel says. He goes down the steps. Vernon spits neatly into the dust.
“By sundown, now,” pa says. “I would not keep her waiting.” “ (Faulkner 6)
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying, New York Vintage, 1990.
This text I think demonstrates a clear example of lack of vision given to the idea of death and how these characters are dealing with Addie’s soon to be death. The boys wanting to make ends meet by getting the three dollars from Tull for the delivery can’t truly know if they will make it back or not to be with Addie before their death, that is why Anse is hesitant to let them go. He knows in reality they can not know the time they have left so he gives the boys a time limit on their job, hoping it’s enough. But both are uncertain if they will make it in time for while they made a promise to Addie they simply seem to don’t know what to do in this situation, they lack the foresight to make the right choices in times of uncertainty so they do the best they can and simply try to create a sense of order with there time limit. Will Addie’s death abide by this time limit and the boys get back in time, it’s uncertain, so they simply hope.
“‘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