“So when we looked at de picture and everybody got pointed out there wasn’t nobody left except a real dark little girl with long hair standing by Eleanor. Dat’s where Ah wuz s’posed to be, but Ah couldn’t recognize dat dark chile as me, So Ah ast, ‘where is me? Ah don’t see me.’ … But before Ah seen de picture Ah thought Ah wuz just like the rest” (Hurston 31).
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. HarperCollins, 2004.
“She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible, unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having of children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs. Richard Dalloway” (10).
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. Harcourt Inc, 2005.
Clarissa is deindividuated and powerless as “Mrs. Richard Dalloway.” The only fulfilling or interesting parts of her life, finding a husband and having children, are now gone. She has lost any sense of personal identity that comes with her first name, undertaking her husband’s full name instead.
“But often now this body she wore (she stopped to look at a Dutch picture), this body, with all its capacities, seemed nothing — nothing at all. She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having of children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs. Richard Dalloway” (Woolf 35).
Mrs. Dalloway as a character reminds me a bit of Miss Brill, from the short story “Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield (though without the self-delusion). She seems to lose herself to her thoughts, both those of the past and the present, and suggests that she finds diversity and vitality in her life by walking about and observing people.
Woolf, Virginia. Everyman’s Library. Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
“Their piety would be like their names, like their faces, like their clothes and it was idle for him to tell himself that their humble and contrite hearts, it might be, paid a far richer tribute of devotion than his had ever been, a gift tenfold more acceptable than his elaborate adoration.”
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, page 140.
“He felt his cheeks aflame and his throat throbbing with song. There was a lust of wandering in his feet that burned to set out for the ends of the earth. On! On! his heart seemed to cry. Evening would deepen above the sea, night fall upon the plains, dawn glimmer before the wanderer and show him strange fields and hills and faces” (Joyce 122).
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Dover Publications, 1994
Stephen’s urge to sing emphasizes how much more he wants from his life. He is trying to force himself to live a life of intense piety, relying on religion as a sole means of fulfilling his needs. However, it is only causing him to feel deep resentment for religion itself and those around him. Art is a motivator for him; a way to explain and understand life, and to feel he has a purpose within it. When he can begin to accept the fact that he does not need to be solely defined by God or by restrictive and oppressive behaviors, he can begin to heal and grow as a person, and truly contribute his talent to the world.
“I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use – silence, exile, and cunning.”
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Oxford University Press, 2000.
“Stephen Dedalus is my name,
Ireland is my nation,
Clongowes is my dwellingplace
And heaven my expectation
… That was he: and he read down the page again. What was after the universe? Nothing” (Joyce 12).
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Oxford University Press, 2000. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jeri Johnson