13 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2020
  2. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. HIs gratuitous use of ellipses in this story I think perfectly captures the natural hesitancy people have when speaking about death and the dead. It also adds to his rhythmic effect, making the narrative flow.

    2. But no. When we rose and went up to the head of the bed I saw that he was not smiling.

      Joyce does some very interesting things with sentence structure here and in general. In this case, the alternation of staccato and longer sentences creates a rhythmic feeling to the reading process. His use of fragmented sentences, as well, also seems ripe for analysis. I wonder, in this story, if there is a relationship between the appearance of sentence fragments and the narrators emotional distress.

    1. And now that little ancient fellow was climbing down endless flights that led to a glittering, gay dining-room. What legs he had! They were like a spider’s—thin, withered.

      I find this passage so outrageously morbid - the poor old father skittering down "endless flights" of stairs all on his own! It strikes me that Mansfield enjoys dwelling over domestic, subtle, tragedies - with this story and Marriage a la mode as the examplars.

    2. Quite a good floor, isn’t it?” drawled a faint voice close to her ear. “I think it’s most beautifully slippery,” said Leila. “Pardon!” The faint voice sounded surprised. Leila said it again. And there was a tiny pause before the voice echoed, “Oh, quite!” and she was swung round again.

      This dialogue really incredibly captures the little nuances of awkward conversation- Mansfield does an excellent job capturing the slight lapse in communication here in her use of "tiny pause" and "echoed", which reflects her general mastery in dialogue

  3. Oct 2020
    1. “God forbid, my darling, that I should be a drag on your happiness.”

      This being the only line of William's letter that Mansfield gives us has a lot of significance, I feel. Opening with "God forbid" makes it feel as though we are eavesdropping, catching a conversation or line of thought midway through, much in the way the artists are intruding onto the relationship of Isabel and William. It is also a strange line because it doesn't contain much within it that actually sounds like an expression of love. The letter overall is received as though it is a cheesy, effusive romantic declaration, but this line instead sounds like an apology or reprimand for their behavior towards each other.

    2. I love waiting! Really—really I do! I’m always waiting—in all kinds of places...

      This line seems to me to exemplify a frequent component of Mansfield's writing; lines which are almost bursting with the suggestion of meaning, but simultaneously are (at least in my experience) tremendously difficult to parse and understand. In this line, the em dashes and ellipses make the dialogue extremely vivid and interesting, but what the girl means by "I'm always waiting- in all kinds of places..." is much less clear/

    1. He died in my arms

      Is it just me, or is the latter half of the novel substantially more somber that the former? The deaths of Lady Verinder, Ezra Jennings, and Godfrey Ablewhite are each pretty substantia blows, and feel as though they bring the novel into a much more serious tone.

    2. Looking back down the hill, the view presented the grandest spectacle of Nature and Man, in combination, that I have ever seen.

      Where does the imagery of this ritual/festival come from? Was it completely invented by Collins? Generally, his willingness to use the culture and faith of India as a plot convenience, and his enthusiasm for inventing religious symbols seems ludicrously disrespectful.

    3. There, raised high on a throne–seated on his typical antelope, with his four arms stretching towards the four corners of the earth–there, soared above us, dark and awful in the mystic light of heaven, the god of the Moon.

      Is this a confirmation of the existence of real magic in this world? It seems most likely that the form of "the god of the Moon" described here is a statue, however the omission of that critical word seems to leave some room for interpretation. Also, the lack of explanation about the potentially magic deeds performed by the Indians earlier in the text strikes me as a deliberate open thread.

    4. opium was given to you by Mr. Candy–without your own knowledge–as a practical refutation of the opinions which you had expressed to him at the birthday dinner.”

      I found this absolutely shocking, and to be a rather strange twist for Mr. Candy's character. I also think it might be notable that he is not referred to as Dr. Candy, which may have the effect of reducing his authority.

    5. A rich old lady–highly respected at the Mothers’ Small-Clothes-Conversion-Society, and a great friend of Miss Clack’s (to whom she left nothing but a mourning ring)–had bequeathed to the admirable and meritorious Godfrey a legacy of five thousand pounds. After receiving this handsome addition to his own modest pecuniary resources, he had been heard to say that he felt the necessity of getting a little respite from his charitable labours, and that his doctor prescribed

      I am amused by Godfrey's increasing disrepute. It seems as though each narrative since Betteredge's has cast him in a worse and worse light, and in Franklin's he is shown pretty nakedly as a selfish money grubber, who uses some trivial charities exclusively for his own gain.

  4. Sep 2020
    1. immovable

      "Immovable" seems to me to be a word with significant meaning in this text, or at least of significant meaning to Betteredge. Its applied only to three characters - Mr Murthwaite, Sergeant Cuff, and Miss Rachel - but multiple times to each, and has the effect of dramatically setting them apart. Each of those characters is notable in the position of authority they hold over betteredge, and in their inscrutability to him.

    2. Whether this be true or not, I cannot prevail upon myself to become his accuser–and I think with good reason. If I made the matter public, I have no evidence but moral evidence to bring forward. I have not only no proof that he killed the two men at the door; I cannot even declare that he killed the third man inside–for I cannot say that my own eyes saw the deed committed

      I think this is a very effective way to introduce the idea of proof which (presumably) will loom throughout the rest of the novel. The narrator's bemoaning of the difficulty of genuinely proving guilt, and the sheer amount of concrete evidence required - information which is increasingly scarce in the ambiguous fog of the later chapters - is highly effective foreshadowing.