Their Eyes were watching God – Commonplace

“The familiar people and things had failed her so she hung over the gate and looked up the road towards way off. She knew now that marriage did not make love. Janie’s first dream was dead, so she became a woman.”

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006, page 25.

Thus far, Jamie reminisces over her life, and how different it is from the one she imagined, coming face to face with her expected role as a woman and a wife. Realizing that even with a relatively wealthy husband, she was not happy even though her grandmother had said this was her way to a better life. She recognizes the expectations towards her because of her gender and because of her status as a married woman.

Commonplace-Book Entry: “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf, The Effects of Decisions in the Past

“Now of course, thought Clarissa, he’s enchanting! perfectly enchanting! Now I remember how impossible it was ever to make up my mind–and why did I make up my mind–not to marry him? she wondered, that awful summer?”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Harcourt, Inc, 1925, page 40.

Looking at Peter Walsh now, Clarissa starts to think of decisions that she has made in the past and tries to remember how she came upon those decisions. She does this because as she is reflecting on her life now, she realizes that she has become unhappy with it and by looking on these decisions in the past and thinking of different paths that she could have chosen, such as wondering why she hadn’t chosen to marry Peter Walsh instead of Richard Dalloway, she thinks that by taking those different paths, her life could have been different than how it is now and perhaps she would have been more happy during this point in her life.