“Tea Cake’s house was a magnet, the unauthorized center of the “job” (Hurston 173).

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. HarperCollins e-Books, 2013.

We get introduced to this more intensive kind of labor/work with the move further south. I find it interesting that “job” is in quotations because for the first time this is true work being done. I wonder why the choice was to make it seem less than a true job.

November Cotton Flower

“Even the preacher, who caught her at mischief, told
himself that she was as innocently lovely as a
November cotton flower” (Toomer 2).

Toomer, Jean. “Cane. with a Foreword by Waldo Frank.” HathiTrust, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015000252448?urlappend=%3Bseq.

When discussing linkages in this novel this is one you cannot pass up if you notice it. In the opening part of the novel “Karintha,” the girl is compared to a “November cotton flower” which based on the context clues is a delicate and beautiful thing. Moving into part 3 which is titled “November Cotton Flowers”. This poem has a very eerie note to it and is almost ugly which contrasts what we were earlier told about the cotton flowers, but in the conclusion of the poem, the beauty of them is confirmed. Both of these stories connect in more ways than the simply repeated mention of these “November Cotton Flowers” because they are both describing these things/people that are beautiful and yet the stories are eerie and contrasting to this idea with mentions of death and smoke.

A Descriptive Wonder

At the opening of this novel readers are immediately greeted with a vast amount of descriptive details.

“Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth… He said to Effie Perine: “Yes Sweetheart?” She was a lanky sunburned girl whose tan dress of thin woolen stuff clung to her with an effect of dampness” (Hammet 3).

These are the first two examples of descriptive detail in the novel that are only continued as you read on. Whenever an author decides to be very descriptive in a piece it is intended to immerse readers into the world of the novel. The author wants readers to be able to paint a vivid picture in their minds of what is occurring. However, authors choose to do things for a different reason which can raise the question of why Hammet decided to be so descriptive? Is it because of what I mentioned above or is there another reason?

A Lack of Rights

“Where did you get the ten dollars?”

“Pa. Pa.”

“You won’t tell me. Did you come by it so shameful you dare not?”

“It’s not mine, I tell you. Can’t you understand it’s not mine?”


Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage, 1990

In Dewey Dell’s final chapter readers witness Anse questioning how Dewey Dell got this ten dollars. A few things can be pointed out here in relation to women’s inequality to men. The first is the expectation that Dewey Dell cannot in good conscience attain this money because she is a woman, she must have done something shameful in order to have earned it and is therefore ashamed to say how. The second is distrust, even though Dewey Dell is Anse’s daughter and she comes up with a reasonable explanation as to how she earned the ten dollars and how it is not hers personally she is still not believed. It could be argued that this has nothing to do with gender, but I think coupled with my first point it has a lot to do with her gender. Finally, Anse’s ability to take this ten dollars with ease from Dewey Dell because she has no right to her own money as a woman, but also because he is her father and what he says goes.

Tormented Past

“For why go back like this to the past? he thought. Why make him think of it again? Why make him suffer, when she had tortured him so infernally? Why?”( Woolf 42).

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Harcourt, 2002.

In this quote, we see a start with indirect discourse and a move into free indirect discourse where the narrator lets Peter peak through. This surfaces the question of why transition into free indirect discourse? Why not just continue the utilization of indirect discourse? Is it supposed to emphasize Peter’s overwhelming emotions about his past with Clarissa?

A Descriptive Lens

“It was after sunset; but
the window-panes of the houses that looked to the
west reflected the tawny gold of a great bank of
clouds” (Joyce 15).

Joyce James. Dubliners. Grant Richards 1914.

Focusing on the theme of observation is a rather easy task with this text. It is harder to find a moment where this male narrator isn’t making an observation than one where he is. This quotes brings up some questions for me. Why are the clouds gold? and more specifically tawny gold? It seems odd to describe clouds as anything other than dismal especially when we factor in the talk about Old Cotter dying. In this moment I am also not sure if he is still trying to remember parts of his dream or if he is simply describing his current surroundings.

“The Middle Years”

“He sat and stared at the sea, which appeared all surface and twinkle, far shallower than the spirit of man.” (James 335).

Henry James, “The Middle Years” (1893)

My immediate thought when reading this was how inwardly the speaker is looking. Seemingly trying to make a connection between anything and his emotions. While he is describing things around him, he is doing so in a way that does not outwardly scream he is placing readers in a setting.