The Removed Narrator

“He hung upon the lightest word from this unusual man with the rapt attention of a devotee, even jotting down notes in secret. I felt the great man too knew what was going on, and although he didn’t let on, he was not in the least bit displeased.” (540)

Tagore, Rabindranath, et al. “Hungry Stone.” The Essential Tagore: Rabindranath Tagore, Belknap, Cambridge, MA, 2011, 540

The narrator of the beginning part of the story is a listener of the story of the Hungry Stone. He is skeptical of the “great man”, as he suspects that this man is pretending not to notice his story is being noted because it is, as the narrator believes, his main motive in telling the story to an audience. The narrator stands outside of the story, both in being a listener and a non-believer.

Division = Desire For Similarities

“She was borned in the slavery time when folks, dat is black folks, didn’t sit down anytime dey felt lak it. So sittin’ on porches lak de white madam looked lak uh mighty fine thing tuh her. Dat’s what she wanted for me-don’t keer whut it cost.” (114)

Hurston, Zora Neale, et al. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2013, 114.

Slavery forced a division between black and white people. Black people were on their feet all day working, while white people were able to sit and watch. This division of whites and blacks in turn fueled the desires of some black people (represented in the text by Nanny) to obtain the luxury to relax that the white people were entitled to. Essentially, division strengthened a desire for likeness.

Me Before You: Spade’s Morality in “The Maltese Falcon”

” “Wait till I’m through and then you can talk. Fourth, no matter what I wanted to do now it would be absolutely impossible for me to let you go without having myself dragged to the gallows with the others. Next, I’ve got no reason in God’s world to think I can trust you and if I did this and got away with it you’d have something on me that you could use whenever you happened to want to. That’s five of them. The sixth would be that, since I’ve also got something on you, I couldn’t be sure you wouldn’t decide to shoot a hole in me some day. Seventh, I don’t like the idea of thinking that there might be one chance in a hundred that you played me for a sucker. And eigth–but that’s enough…But look at the number of them. Now on the other side we’ve got what? All we’ve got is the fact that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.” ” (214)

Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. First Vintage Crime/Black Lizard ed., Vintage Books, a Division of Random House, Inc., 1992, 214.

Spade reveals that his morals are plagued with selfishness when he reveals his reasons for turning Brigid in. Spade casts aside the potential love that the two potentially have for each other, making it clear that he is not taking love into consideration when he reasons turning Brigid in. Instead, he identifies his reasons as being primarily concerned with his own safety. It is evident that Spade does not believe it is acceptable to protect the people that you love even if that did something you do not agree with; instead, it is right to look out for yourself and your reputation.

The Fords: Cultural Discrimination At Its Finest

” Christine Ford, she was then, and I remember so well the dreadful trouble there was about her marrying a Jew…He was very handsome, then, you know, dear, in a foreign-looking way, but he hadn’t any means, and the Fords didn’t like his religion.”  (Sayers 56)

Dorothy L. Sayers, Whose Body?, Harper & Brothers, 1923, 56.

Sayers’s description of the start of Christine and Rueben Levy’s relationship goes beyond the murder mystery and points to the larger social contradiction of inter-ethnic conflict. The Duchess clearly indicates that the Fords did not like Rueben because of his ethnicity, economic status, and religion. However, Christine’s decision creates a social contradiction as it does not follow societal expectations of marrying someone from one’s own culture. Thus, Sayers creates a picture of the conflict between two cultures within a murder mystery.

I’ll See It When I Believe It

“He just looked at her, and I felt the bounteous love of the Lord again and His mercy. I saw that with Jewel she had just been pretending, but that it was between her and Darl that the understanding and the true love was.” (Faulkner 24)

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, Vintage, 1990, 24.

Cora believes Addie has a more true relationship with Darl than with Jewel. Her belief seems to limit her vision of Darl looking at Addie in bed to mean what she wants it to mean (that their relationship is better than Addie and Jewel’s relationship). Could Faulkner be insinuating that most interpret what we see as what we want to see?

Distant Music: Function of Art in Culture

“There was grace and mystery in her attitude as if she were a symbol of something. He asked himself what is a woman standing on the stairs in a shadow, listening to distant music, a symbol of. If he were a painter he would paint her in that attitude. Her blue felt hat would show off the bronze of her hair against the darkness and the dark panels of her skirt would show off the light ones. Distant Music he would call the picture if he were a painter.” (Joyce, 165)

Joyce, James, and Jeri Johnson. “The Dead.” Dubliners, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2000, p. 165.

Gabriel views his wife like art; he is so captivated and intrigued by the sight of her that by picturing her as artwork, he is attempting to understand what is going on in her head. This reveals that the function of art in culture is communicate without words; to describe what is going on based on symbols; to describe something in the real world so intricate that language is not strong enough. Art captures the beauty of a moment and freezes it forever so that the story of an unspoken moment can be passed down through generations.

“The Middle Years” Commonplace

“The art had come, but it had come after everything else. At such a rate a first existence was too short–long enough only to collect material; so that to fructify, to use the material, one must have a second age, an extension.”

James, Henry. “The Middle Years.” Henry James: Complete Stories 1892-1898, ed. John Hollander and David Bromwich, The Library of America, 1996, p. 338.

Unclear what “everything else” is referring to. What has happened to delay Dencombe’s artistic success? Why does he not observe this to be a success, as it is clear that even after being setback he was still able to create art in the first place? Why does only one successful artwork not make him a successful artist?