- Aug 2020
At the thought of the failure of her little surprise and of the two and fourpence she had thrown away for nothing she nearly cried outright.
In one sense, I'm thinking how this is one example of Maria losing track of things, which is definitely not who she is. This might spark an intense emotion like the one described here. On the other hand, we know Maria is not well off, and this was a gift that she wanted to give but couldn't and may not be able to easily acquire again.
Perhaps they could be happy together….
The man really only has his intentions in mind and can't really discern whether he loves her for her or for what she does for him.
He could not brazen it out. The affair would be sure to be talked of and his employer would be certain to hear of it. Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else’s business.
The mention of reputation is very Pride and Prejudice-esque. I wondering if Joyce took inspiration from Austen for this narrative.
a little perverse madonna
This description seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, making Polly seem to be an unexpected combination of both. Additionally, there seems to be a lot of talk of the religion in the book, and here is just another case of it. In this case specifically, this perhaps describes what the boarding school boys thought of Polly.
One night he went for his wife with the cleaver and she had to sleep in a neighbour’s house
What an entrance to the story! And the nonchalance of the narrator to just describe this is somewhat shocking, as if this is just normal behavior.
At night in my bedroom and by day in the classroom her image came between me and the page I strove to read
Its very interesting how the thoughts of the sister seem to light up the world for the narrator. The thought of the sister seems to be in conflict with the surroundings.
It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds
There is a very threatening aura to this description of rain. Seems like this is just the vibe of the narrative so far, especially after we just got the narrator's perspective of how they feel walking in the streets in the evening and the constant mention of death/bleak colors.
Ya! yaka, yaka, yaka!
The Union Jack, Pluck and The Halfpenny Marvel
Cool link I found for anyone interested. Apparently these stories were really popular among kids who lived in Dublin due to their narratives of the Wild West, although attached to these stories were (not surprisingly) nationalist views.
Original purpose of the stories were to put the "Penny Dreadfuls" out of business, which were sensational stories that cost a penny. Apparently, these magazines were sold for cheaper and boasted quality content that wasn't that good in reality.
Even as he raised his large trembling hand to his nose little clouds of smoke dribbled through his fingers over the front of his coat. It may have been these constant showers of snuff which gave his ancient priestly garments their green faded look for the red handkerchief, blackened, as it always was, with the snuff-stains of a week, with which he tried to brush away the fallen grains, was quite inefficacious.
Also from wikipedia: Snuff is a smokeless tobacco made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves. It is inhaled or "snuffed" into the nasal cavity, delivering a swift hit of nicotine and a lasting flavoured scent (especially if flavouring has been blended with the tobacco).
The scene of the room and the priest is unnerving, and it's contradictory in regard to what I think of a priest. But the garments are perhaps symbolic of that. Also he seems to be living poorly since he is so cold. Seems like the narrator is the only one taking care of him?
I was not surprised when he told me that the fathers of the Church had written books as thick as the Post Office Directory and as closely printed as the law notices in the newspaper, elucidating all these intricate questions
Questions about morals are one of the hardest since discussions about them are done through lenses. In the end, you only "elucidate" these hard questions with answers when you constrain yourself to a certain view of how the world works, which doesn't work for everyone.
So the long lengthy texts are an attempt to encapsulate all the things that can happen, but due to numerous possibilities, it's potentially incomplete and probably hard to follow. Does the priest even follow of all of the mandates of his religion?
Straight from Wikipedia:
Rosicrucianism is a spiritual and cultural movement which arose in Europe in the early 17th century after the publication of several texts which purported to announce the existence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order to the world and made seeking its knowledge attractive to many.
I think the tl;dr is a cult belief system like believing in the Illuminati.
Not sure why he mentioned a Rosicrucian, though.
- Jul 2020
She would like to have kept those wisps as a keepsake, as a remembrance.
The sentimentality of the character shows through. And her unfamiliarity feeds this sentimentality, contrasted with her friends/family who seem to be so used to the ball experience.
How vile, odious, abominable, vulgar,” muttered Isabel
I find this interesting and Mansfield-esque in a way where we could consider who/what this is being directed to. Is this directed to her friends for laughing at the letter? Is this directed to her for giving into to how her friends would feel but not really how she feels? Is this directed to William for showing such unexpected emotion, even though the couple adopted a pattern to avoid confrontation?
Bill and Dennis ate enormously. And Isabel filled glasses, and changed plates, and found matches, smiling blissfully. At one moment, she said, “I do wish, Bill, you’d paint it.” “Paint what?” said Bill loudly, stuffing his mouth with bread.
Adding on to the previous annotations about one-sidedness or who is the real guest/intruder, here is some imagery painting Isabel's friends taking food as if it was theirs to begin with. From the narrator's point of view, these are glutenous individuals, but from Isabel's point of view, she is entertaining guests. It seems as if William and Isabel are definitely not on the same page.
“Oh well, give me one,” said she.
This is the second time she has refused service, but when Hennie partakes, she quickly changes her mind and does so as well. Is this just a case of FOMO, wherein her initial refusal may stem from trying to act like a grown up?
And now they were going to open the door without knocking even... Constantia’s eyes were enormous at the idea; Josephine felt weak in the knees
Even when the father is dead, his effect on them persists. Perhaps this is due to his recent death, and the feeling of one's presence tends to linger on people. Or this could hint to some sort of trauma, which may align with the mentioning of a stick in the last paragraph.
She heard his stick thumping
Is this referencing abuse?
The end was quite peaceful, I trust
Not the first thing I'd say to someone whose father had died., I feel as if you would say condolences or something.
I love how she keeps pushing past her mental barriers to transform her understanding. Being uncomfortable yet making the choice to move forward is something that few people are able to do.
They were like bright birds that had alighted in the Sheridans’ garden for this one afternoon, on their way to—where? Ah, what happiness it is to be with people who all are happy, to press hands, press cheeks, smile into eyes.
Perfect picture of how ignorance is bliss.
He whispered, “It’s coming!” Then he said, “Kiss me!” I kissed his forehead. On a sudden he lifted his head. The sunlight touched his face. A beautiful expression, an angelic expression, came over it. He cried out three times, “Peace! peace! peace!” His head sank back again on my shoulder, and the long trouble of his life was at an end.
Ezra has been the saving grace for many of the main characters and for the doctor, mending either life or relationships or innocence. This is a really fitting description yet horribly sad ending for Ezra.
“Take it back, Godfrey, to your father’s bank. It’s safe there–it’s not safe here.”
Contemplating what names mean in this novel, it is clear to me that Godfrey Ablewhite's name is perhaps one of the most iconic and astounding examples of irony.
Translated from polite commonplace into plain English, the meaning of this is, as I take it, that Mrs. Merridew stands in mortal fear of the opinion of the world. She has unfortunately appealed to the very last man in existence who has any reason to regard that opinion with respect. I won’t disappoint Miss Verinder; and I won’t delay a reconciliation between two young people who love each other, and who have been parted too long already. Translated from plain English into polite commonplace, this means that Mr. Jennings presents his compliments to Mrs. Merridew, and regrets that he cannot feel justified in interfering any farther in the matter.
This is a hilarious but true thought reflection. The translation from polite commonplace to plain english, to me, is indicative of a surjective function, or many inputs to one output.
However, the translation from plain english to polite commonplace is a much more difficult transformation, as it is a one input to many output relation. And in order to guide someone to the correct set of outputs, one needs a heuristic or a set of training data, which would be the experience of living in Victorian society.
The analogy breaks down when we predict other people's plain English thoughts, as their polite commonplace can have multiple interpretations.
He had put the case (without mentioning names) to an eminent physician; and the eminent physician had smiled, had shaken his head, and had said–nothing. On these grounds, Mr. Bruff entered his protest, and left it there.
So to say nothing is enough proof that there is no merit to this experiment? Isn't Ezra's thoughts inspired by textbooks/an intention to mimic the scientific process?
I feel like such ignorance towards science is relevant today *cough*,*cough* people who refuse to wear face masks *cough*,*cough*
My own happiness has been trampled under foot; my own love has been torn from me. Shall I live to see a happiness of others, which is of my making–a love renewed, which is of my bringing back? Oh merciful Death, let me see it before your arms enfold me, before your voice whispers to me, “Rest at last!”
Although this is a very sweet sentiment made by Ezra, it hints to a sadder truth that Ezra just wants to do good but suffers under the judgement of people due to his addiction. Drugs have been just as much (perhaps more) of a curse to Ezra as the Diamond has been for the characters in this story.
I crumpled up the letter in my pocket, and forgot it the moment after, in the all-absorbing interest of my coming interview with Rachel.
Here is another document to keep track of. What would Mr. Candy want to say to Franklin?
At those words, solely designed to warn her against attempting to gain my private ear, she had turned away and left the place: cautioned of her danger, as I then believed; self-doomed to destruction, as I know now.
This "plausible" explanation for his disrespect has caused me to question his character. Even as he pleads innocence to us, this chapter seems to paint different picture than his words. Are we to always trust the narrator?
turned to the slip of paper next. Here is the literal copy of it, word for word:
The very fact that we get to read her memorandum verbatim is a violation of trust.
“And we are now in the year ’forty-eight. Very good. If the unknown person who has pledged the Moonstone can redeem it in a year, the jewel will be in that person’s possession again at the end of June, ’forty-nine.
The importance of dates is more apparent in this text.
But his swarthy complexion, his long lithe figure, and his grave and graceful politeness of manner were enough to betray his Oriental origin to any intelligent eyes that looked at him.
Is this piece of text meant to imply that Bruff views the man's origin as barbaric/uncivilized?
The use of "Indian Diamond" has only been used from these two narratives. It seems to focus on something other than the stone itself, i.e. that it came from India and Indians are trying to take it, instead of the mystique that surrounds the stone titled the Moonstone.
“Your reputation, dearest Rachel, is something too pure and too sacred to be trifled with.”
The importance of reputation seems to play an important part in this story. It is from reputation that Betterredge has such high esteem for the family. And it is reputation that caused the family to refuse the sergeant's help and better judgement. Saving face seems to be more important than the truth.
He looked in amazement at two respectable strangers,
The narrator then explains who these strangers are. An example of deixis/coreference resolution? The style, however, is different. While Betterredge uses it, Miss Clack uses unidentified strangers.
The date–thanks to my dear parents, no dictionary that ever was written can be more particular than I am about dates–was Friday, June 30th
Like Betterredge, she also has a habit of keeping dates.
Mr. Godfrey had called; evidently as sweet as ever on his cousin, in spite of the reception he had met with, when he tried his luck on the occasion of the birthday. To Penelope’s great regret, he had been most graciously received, and had added Miss Rachel’s name to one of his Ladies’ Charities on the spot.
Super suspicious. Is Mr. Godfrey also in on the diamond disappearance? Also who is the Miss Clack character and why is she not trustworthy? Another one of the author's many uses of putting off the object until later.
I am (thank God!) constitutionally superior to reason. This enabled me to hold firm to my lady’s view, which was my view also.
Any challenge to preconceived notions has just been flatly rejected by the family. This is super frustrating to me, but it goes to show how baked in their beliefs are, despite the strongest of reasoning.
A Diamond worth twenty thousand pounds has been lost–and I am left to infer that the mystery of its disappearance is no mystery to Rachel, and that some incomprehensible obligation of silence has been laid on her, by some person or persons utterly unknown to me, with some object in view at which I cannot even guess.
The true thoughts of the Mother finally come out, letting us know that she is fully aware of her daughter's lies and cover ups (whether coerced or not). Unfortunately, everyone that tries to help them are somehow made as enemies. This seems wholly unfair, especially when the price to pay is the face of the family.
In those words Sergeant Cuff reminded us that, even in the Detective Police, a man may have a reputation to lose.
Is it by reputation, or honor/commitment that keeps the detective here? Maintaining face seems to be at the forefront of Betterredge's mind, but that might not be the motive at all.
“Why should Miss Rachel put an obstacle in your way?” I inquired. “Isn’t it her interest to help you?”
Although nothing has been discovered/proven yet, Betterredge's own preconceptions blind him from jumping to a pretty clear and plausible conclusion.
My conduct is not very consistent, Betteredge–is it? I see no way out of this business, which isn’t dreadful to think of, unless the Diamond is traced to Rosanna. And yet I can’t, and won’t, help Sergeant Cuff to find the girl out.
It's interesting how Franklin, who invited Cuff to investigate, is now against him. I suppose this is due to (1) him not being able to say what he wants and (2) the tactics of Cuff are too devious/go against the best interests of Franklin.
“I think I had better not tell you, Mr. Betteredge,” he said. “You might lose your head, you know, for the second time.”
Another instance of Betterredge's beliefs getting in the way of what seems to be painstakingly clear. How many times during this story has Betterredge diverged from what we as readers have come to believe? Would be an interesting thing to tally up his unreliableness.
“I am afraid my nerves are a little shaken,” she said. “There is something in that police-officer from London which I recoil from–I don’t know why. I have a presentiment that he is bringing trouble and misery with him into the house. Very foolish, and very unlike me–but so it is.”
There has been an obvious challenge to the powers that be in the house, and I think she is not adjusting to it well. Meanwhile, other characters seek the truth and not necessarily the process by which it is done. What else could be the reason why there is such a wall between the Lady and the detective?
Mr. Franklin, still sticking to the helpless view of our difficulty, whispered to me: “That man will be of no earthly use to us. Superintendent Seegrave is an ass.” Released in his turn, Mr. Godfrey whispered to me–“Evidently a most competent person. Betteredge, I have the greatest faith in him!” Many men, many opinions, as one of the ancients said, before my time.
Why do their opinions differ? Personal ties? Foreign education? Guilt being found, or rather, not found out?
I expressed my opinion upon this, that they were a set of murdering thieves. Mr. Murthwaite expressed his opinion that they were a wonderful people.
Another juxtaposition showing difference in attitudes based on national custom and belief. Again, foreignness is deemed as more open minded while nativeness is deemed as more traditional (or closed minded)
What do you think, for instance, of his discussing the lengths to which a married woman might let her admiration go for a man who was not her husband, and putting it in his clear-headed witty French way to the maiden aunt of the Vicar of Frizinghall? What do you think, when he shifted to the German side, of his telling the lord of the manor, while that great authority on cattle was quoting his experience in the breeding of bulls, that experience, properly understood counted for nothing, and that the proper way to breed bulls was to look deep into your own mind, evolve out of it the idea of a perfect bull, and produce him?
This passage illustrates how Franklin not only thinks differently due to his exposure to other countries, but through Betterredge's worlds, it also seems to paint these perspectives as unwelcome. In a sense, Betterredge thinks it would be better if Franklin would just do as the English do.
You dabbled in nasty mud, and made pies, when you were a child; and you dabble in nasty science, and dissect spiders, and spoil flowers, when you grow up. In the one case and in the other, the secret of it is, that you have got nothing to think of in your poor empty head, and nothing to do with your poor idle hands. And so it ends in your spoiling canvas with paints, and making a smell in the house; or in keeping tadpoles in a glass box full of dirty water, and turning everybody’s stomach in the house; or in chipping off bits of stone here, there, and everywhere, and dropping grit into all the victuals in the house; or in staining your fingers in the pursuit of photography, and doing justice without mercy on everybody’s face in the house.
I interpreted this passage as a consequence of privilege, obviously not for those who have it but for those who have to clean up the mess. Furthermore, the tendencies illustrated in childhood get carried over and even advanced in later years, especially when this type of behavior is normalized and unchallenged.
“It looks as if it had hundreds of suffocating people under it–all struggling to get to the surface, and all sinking lower and lower in the dreadful deeps! Throw a stone in, Mr. Betteredge! Throw a stone in, and let’s see the sand suck it down!”
I love how the author uses context of the scene to bring up metaphors for Rosanna's own life. We have the lappet from before and now the sand.
It is my conviction, or my delusion, no matter which, that crime brings its own fatality with it. I am not only persuaded of Herncastle’s guilt; I am even fanciful enough to believe that he will live to regret it
Interesting how he gives no credit to "fanciful" stories/ideas, but believes in his own version of Karma. Also I'd like to note the narrator's stylistic pattern in using juxtaposition. In this case, he uses it to dramatize possibility.
I have written to very poor purpose of my lady, if you require to be told that my little Penelope was taken care of, under my good mistress’s own eye, and was sent to school and taught, and made a sharp girl, and promoted, when old enough, to be Miss Rachel’s own maid
To be expected, but still a shot in the arm to reference an all too familiar glass ceiling. I think also Betteredge has such an interesting way of speaking. Its like deadpan humorous and purposefully isolating, although his relationship with the Lady seems to be one of the only contradictions to the isolationism.
- current events
- science vs. belief
- coreference resolution