2What does this stand for What does this stand for? Think about which literary terms you could use?F IL MI PP ACT
3Let’s FLIP the text, and assess its IMPACT My first glance round me, as the man opened the door, disclosed a well-furnished breakfast-table, standing in the middle of a long room, with many windows in it. I looked from the table to the window farthest from me, and saw a lady standing at it, with her back turned towards me. The instant my eyes rested on her, I was struck by the rare beauty of her form, and by the unaffected grace of her attitude.
4Her figure was tall, yet not too tall; comely and well-developed, yet not fat; her head set on her shoulders with an easy pliant firmness; her waist, perfection in the eyes of a man, for it occupied its natural place, it filled out its natural circle, it was visibly and delightfully undeformed by stays. She had not heard my entrance into the room; and I allowed myself the luxury of admiring her for a few moments, before I moved one of the chairs near me, as the least embarrassing means of attracting her attention. She turned towards me immediately. The easy elegance of every movement of her limbs and body as soon as
5[Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White, 1860 she began to advance from the far end of the room, set me in a flutter of expectation to see her face clearly. She left the window – and I said to myself, The lady is dark. She moved forward a few steps – and I said to myself, The lady is young. She approached nearer – and I said to myself (with a sense of surprise which words fail me to express), The lady is ugly![Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White, 1860]
7Odour of Chrysanthemums D.H.LawrenceOdour of ChrysanthemumsWhen Elizabeth came down she found her mother alone on the parlour floor,leaning over the dead man, the tears dropping on him.“We must lay him out,” the wife said. She put on the kettle, then returned and kneeling at the feet, began to unfasten the knotted leather laces. The room was clammy and dim with only one candle, so that she had to bend her face almost to the floor. At last she got off the heavy boots, and put them away.
8“You must help me now,” she whispered to the old woman “You must help me now,” she whispered to the old woman. Together they stripped the man.When they arose, saw him lying in the naïve dignity of death, the women stood arrested in fear and respect. For a few moments they remained still, looking down, the old mother whimpering. Elizabeth felt countermanded. She saw him, how utterly inviolable he lay in himself. She had nothing to do with him. She could not accept it. Stooping, she laid her hand on him, in claim. He was still warm, for the mine was hot where he had died. His mother had his face between her hands, and was murmuring incoherently. The old tears fell in succession as drops from wet leaves; the mother was not weeping, merely her tears flowed. Elizabeth embraced the body of her husband, with cheek and lips. She seemed to be listening, inquiring, trying to get some connection. But she could not. She was driven away. He was impregnable.
9She rose, went in to the kitchen, where she poured warm water into a bowl, brought soap and a flannel and a soft towel.“I must wash him,” she said. Then the old mother rose stiffly, and watched Elizabeth as she carefully washed his face, carefully brushing the big blonde moustache from his mouth with the flannel. She was afraid with a bottomless fear, so she ministered to him. The old woman, jealous, said:“Let me wipe him!” – and she kneeled on the other side, slowly drying as Elizabeth washed, her big black bonnet sometimes brushing the dark head of her daughter.
10They worked thus in silence for a long time They worked thus in silence for a long time. They never forgot it was death, and the touch of the man’s dead body gave them strange emotions, different in each of the women; a great dread possessed them both, the mother felt the lie was given to her womb, she was denied; the wife felt the utter isolation of the human soul, the child within her was a weight apart from her.
11At last it was finished. He was a man of handsome body, and his face showed no traces of drink. He was blonde, full-fleshed, with fine limbs. But he was dead.“Bless him,” whispered his mother, looking always at his face, and speaking out of sheer terror. “The dear lad – bless him!” she spoke in a faint, sibilant ecstasy of fear and mother love.Elizabeth sank down again to the floor, and put her face against his neck, and trembled and shuddered. But she had to draw away again. He was dead, and her living flesh had no place against his. A great dread and weariness held her: she was so unavailing. Her life was gone like this.“White as milk he is, clear as a twelvemonth baby, bless him, the darling!” the old mother murmured to
12herself. “Not a mark on him, clear and clean and white, as beautiful as ever a child was made,” she murmured with pride. Elizabeth kept her face hidden.“He went peaceful, Lizzie – peaceful as sleep. Isn’t he beautiful, the lamb? Ay – he must ha’ made his peace, Lizzie. ‘Appen he made it all right, Lizzie, shut in there. He’d have time. He wouldn’t look like this if he hadn’t made his peace. The lamb, the dear lamb. Eh, but he had a hearty laugh. I loved to hear it. He lad the heartiest laugh, Lizzie, as a lad – “
13D. H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers In a temper he dragger [the kitchen drawer], so that it flew out bodily, and spoons, forks, knives, a hundred metallic things, splashed with a clatter and clang upon the brick floor. The baby gave a little convulsed start.“What are you doing, clumsy, drunken fool?” the mother cried.‘Then tha should get the flamin’ thing thysen. Tha should get up, like other women have to, an’ wait on a man.”“Wait on you – wait on you?” she cried. “Yes, I see myself.”“Yis, an’ I’ll learn thee tha’s got to. Wait on me, yes, tha sh’lt wait on me –”“Never, milord. I’d wait on a dog at the door first.”“What – what?”
14He was trying to fit in the drawer. At her last speech he turned round He was trying to fit in the drawer. At her last speech he turned round. His face was crimson, his eyes bloodshot. He stared at her one silent second in threat.“P-h!” she went quickly, in contempt.He jerked at the drawer in his excitement. It fell, cut sharply on his shin, and on the reflex he flung it at her.One of the corners caught her brow as the shallow drawer crashed into the fireplace. She swayed, almost fell stunned from her chair. To her very soul she was sick; she clasped the child tightly to her bosom. A few moments elapsed; then, with an effort, she brought herself to. The baby was crying plaintively. Her left brow was bleeding rather profusely. As she glanced down at the child, her brain reeling, some drops of blood soaked into its white shawl; but the baby was at least not hurt. She balanced her head to keep equilibrium, so that the blood ran into her eye.
15Walter Morel remained as he had stood, leaning on the table with one hand, looking blank. When he was sufficiently sure of his balance, he went across to her, swayed, caught hold of the back of her rocking-chair, almost tipping her out; then, leaning forward over her, and swaying as he spoke, he said, in a voice of wondering concern:“Did it catch thee?”He swayed again, as if he would pitch on to the child. With the catastrophe he had lost all balance.“Go away,” she said, struggling to keep her presence of mind.He hiccoughed. “Let’s – let’s look at it,” he said, hiccoughing again.“Go away!” she said“Lemme – lemme look at it, lass.”She smelled him of drink, felt the unequal pull of his swaying grasp on the back of the rocking-chair.“Go away,” she said, and weakly she pushed him off.
16He stood, uncertain in balance, gazing upon her He stood, uncertain in balance, gazing upon her. Summoning all her strength she rose, the baby on one arm. By a cruel effort of will, moving as if in sleep, she went across to the scullery, where she bathed her eye for a minute in cold water; but she was too dizzy. Afraid lest she should swoon, she returned to her rocking-chair, trembling in every fibre. By instinct, she kept the baby clasped.Morel, bothered, had succeeded in pushing the drawer back into its cavity, and was on his knees, groping, with numb paws, for the scattered spoons.Her brow was still bleeding. Presently Morel got up and came craning his neck towards her.“What has it done to thee, lass?” he asked, in a very wretched, humble tone.“You can see what it’s done,” she answered.He stood, bending forward, supported on his hands, which grasped his legs just above the knee.
17He peered to look at the wound He peered to look at the wound. She drew away from the thrust of his face with its great moustache, averting her own face as much as possible. As her looked at her, who was cold and impassive as stone, with mouth shut tight, he sickened with feebleness and hopelessness of spirit. He was turning drearily away, when he saw a drop of blood fall from the averted wound into the baby’s fragile, glistening hair. Fascinated, he watched the heavy dark drop hang in the glistening cloud, and pull down the gossamer. Another drop fell. It would soak through to the baby’s scalp. He watched, fascinated, feeling it soak in; then, finally, his manhood broke.“What of this child?” was all his wife said to him. But her low, intense tones brought his head lower. She softened: “Get me some wadding out of the middle drawer,” she said.He stumbled away very obediently, presently returning with a pad, which she singed before the fire, then put on her forehead, as she sat with the baby on her lap.
18D. H. Lawrence: ‘The Rainbow’ In bad weather home was a bedlam. Children dashed in and out of the rain, to the puddles under the dismal yew-trees, across the wet flagstones of the kitchen, whilst the cleaning-woman grumbled and scolded; children were swarming on the sofa, children were kicking the piano in the parlour, to make it sound like a beehive, children were rolling on the hearthrug, legs in air, pulling a book in two between them, children, fiendish, ubiquitous, were stealing upstairs to find out where our Ursula was, whispering at bedroom doors, hanging on the latch, calling mysteriously, “Ursula! Ursula!” to the girl who had locked herself in to read. And it was hopeless. The locked door excited their sense of mystery, she had to open to dispel the lure. These children hung on to her with round-eyed, excited questions.The mother flourished amid all this.“Better have them noisy than ill,”she said.
19But the growing girls, in turn, suffered bitterly But the growing girls, in turn, suffered bitterly. Ursula was just coming to the stage when Andersen and Grimm were being left behind for the “Idylls of the King”, and romantic love-stories.“Elaine the fair, Elaine the lovable,Elaine the lily maid of Astolat,High in her chamber in a tower to the eastGuarded the sacred shield of Launcelot.”How she love it! How she leaned in her bedroom window with her black, rough hair on her shoulders, and her warm face all rapt, and gazed across at the churchyard and the little church, which was a turretted castle, whence Launcelot would ride just now, would wave to her as he rode by, his scarlet cloak passing behind the dark yew-trees and between the open space: whilst she, Ah she, would remain the lonely maid high up and isolated in the tower, polishing the terrible shield, weaving it a covering with a true device, and waiting, waiting, always remote and high.
20At which point there would be a faint scuffle on the stairs, a light-pitched whispering outside the door, and a creaking of the latch: then Billy, excited, whispering:“It’s locked – it’s locked.”Then the knocking, kicking at the door with childish knees, and the urgent, childish:“Ursula – our Ursula? Ursula? Eh, our Ursula?”No reply.“Ursula! Eh – our Ursula?” the name was shouted now. Still no answer.“Mother, she won’t answer,” came the yell. “She’s dead.”“Go away – I’m not dead. What do you want?” came the angry voice of the girl.
21Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice The idea of Mr Collins, with all his solemn composure, being run away with his feelings, made Elizabeth so near laughing that she could not use the short pause he allowed in any attempt to stop him farther, and he continued:‘My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish. Secondly, that I am convinced it will add greatly to my happiness; and thirdly – which I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness. …..Thus much for my general intention in favour of matrimony; it remains to be told why my views were directed to Longbourne instead of my own neighbourhood, where I assure you that there are many amiable young women. But the fact is, that being, as I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father…..I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters.
22Extract 2: Pride and Prejudice Mr. Bingley was good looking and Gentleman-like; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mein; and the report was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year………………..The ladies declared that he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley……….for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was found to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared to his friend
23Jane Austen: ‘Sense and Sensibility’ Conversation however was not wanted, for Sir John was very chatty, and Lady Middleton had taken the wise precaution of bringing with her their eldest child, a fine little boy about six years old, by which means there was one subject always to be recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity, for they had to inquire his name and age, admire his beauty, and ask him questions which his mother answered for him, while he hung about her and held down his head, to the great surprise of her ladyship, who wondered at his being so shy before company as he could make noise enough at home. On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse. In the present case it took up ten minutes to determine whether the boy were most like his father or mother, and in what particular he resembled either, for of course everybody differed, and everybody was astonished at the opinion of others.
25Jane Austen –’Mansfield Park’ At Mansfield, no sounds of contention, no raised voice, no abrupt bursts, no tread of violence was ever heard; all proceeded in a regular course of cheerful orderliness; every body had their due importance; every body’s feelings were consulted. If tenderness could be ever supposed wanting, good sense and good breeding supplied its place; and as to the little irritations, sometimes introduced by aunt Norris, they were short, they were trifling, they were as a drop of water in an ocean, compares with the ceaseless tumult of her present abode. Here, everybody was noisy, every voice was loud (excepting, perhaps, her mother’s, which resembled the soft monotony of Lady Bertrams’s, only worn into fretfulness.) –Whatever was wanted, was holloo’d for, and the servants halloo’d out their excuses from the kitchen. The doors were in a constant banging, the stairs were never at rest, nothing was done without a clatter, nobody sat still, and nobody could commend attention when they spoke.
26Charles Dickens Wax-Work ‘I never saw any wax-work, ma’am,’ said Nell. ‘Is it funnier than Punch?’‘Funnier!’ said Mrs Jarley in a shrill voice. ‘It is not funny at all.’‘Oh! said Nell, with all possible humility.‘It isn’t funny at all,’ repeated Mrs Jarley. ‘It’s calm and-what’s that word again-critical?-no-classical, that’s it-it is calm and classical. No low beatings and knockings about, no jokings and squeakings like your precious Punches, but always the same, with a constantly unchanging air of coldness and gentility; and so like life, that if wax-work only spoke and walked about, you’d hardly know the difference. I won’t go so far as to say, that, as it is, I’ve seen a wax-work quite like life, but I’ve certainly seen some life that was exactly like wax-work.’[Old Curiosity Shop]
28Bleak HouseThe old gentleman is rusty to look at, but is reputed to have made good thrift out of aristocratic marriage settlements and aristocratic wills, and to be very rich. He is surrounded by a mysterious halo of family consequences; of which he is known to be the silent depository. There are noble Mausoleums rooted for centuries in retired glades of parks, among the growing timber and the fern, which perhaps hold fewer noble secrets than walk abroad among men, shut up in the breast of Mr Tulkinghorn. He is of what is called the old school- a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young- and wears knee breeches tied with ribbons, and gaiters or stockings. One peculiarity of his black clothes, and of his black stockings, be they silk or worsted, is, that they never shine. Mute, close, irresponsive to any glancing light, his dress is like himself. He never converses, when not professionally consulted. He is found sometimes, speechless but quite at home, at corners of dinner-tables in great country houses, and near doors of drawing-rooms, concerning which the fashionable intelligence is eloquent; where everybody knows him, and where half the Peerage stops to say, ‘How do you do, Mr Tulkinghorn?’ he receives these salutations with gravity, and buries them along with the rest of his knowledge.
29Great ExpectationsOurs was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Phillip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgina wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.‘Hold your noise!’ cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. ‘Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!’
30Edwin Drood‘Dear me ,’said Mr Grewgious, peeping in, ‘ it’s like looking down the throat of Old Time.’Old Time heaved a mouldy sigh from tomb and arch and vault; and gloomy shadows began to deepen in corners; and damps began to rise from green patches of stone; and jewels, cast upon the pavement of the nave from the stained glass by the declining sun, began to perish. Within the grill- gate of the chancel, up the steps surmounted loomingly by the fast-darkening organ, white robes could be dimly seen, and one feeble voice, rising and falling in a cracked monotonous mutter, could at intervals be faintly heard. In the free outer air, the river, the green pastures, and the brown arable lands, the teeming hills and dales, were reddened by the sunset: while the distant little windows in windmills and farm homesteads, shone, patches of bright beaten gold. In the Cathedral, all became grey, murky and sepulchral, and the cracked monotonous mutter went on like a dying voice, until the organ and the choir burst forth, and drowned it in a sea of music.
31Then, the sea fell, and the dying voice made another feeble effort, and then the sea rose high, and beat its life out, and lashed the roof, and surged among the arches, and pierced the heights of the great tower; and then the sea was dry, and all was still.
32Emily Bronte – “Wuthering Heights” Extract 1 “…but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees – my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath – a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff – he’s always, always in my mind – not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself – but as my own being….”
33Extract 2This time, I remembered I was lying in the oak closet, and I heard distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard also the fir-bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to the right cause: but it annoyed me so much, that I resolved to silence it, if possible; and, I thought, I rose and endeavoured to unhasp the casement. The hook was soldered into the staple: a circumstance observed by me whilst awake, but forgotten. “I must stop it, nonetheless!” I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me. …..Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist onto the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro until the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes; still it wailed, “Let me in!” and maintained its tenacious grip, almost maddening me with fear.
34Extract 3My walk home was lengthened by a diversion in the direction of the kirk.When beneath its walls I perceived decay had made progress, even in seven months: many a window showed black gaps devoid of glass; and slates jutted off, here and there, beyond the right line of the roof, to be gradually worked off in coming autumn storms.I sought, and soon discovered, the three headstones on the slope next to the moor: the middle one grey, and half buried in heath; Edgar Linton’s only harmonized by the turf, and moss creeping up its foot; Heathcliff’s still bare.I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
35Charlotte Bronte – “Jane Eyre” Extract 1 I was a discord in Gateshead Hall; I was like nobody there; I had nothing in harmony with Mrs Reed or her children, or her chosen vassalage. If they did not love me, in fact, as little did I love them. They were not bound to regard with affection a thing that could not sympathise with one amongst them; a heterogenious thing, opposed to them in temperament, in capacity, in propensities; a useless thing, incapable of serving their interest, or adding to their pleasure; a noxious thing, cherishing the germs of indignation at their treatment, of contempt of their judgement. I know that had I been a sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping child-though equally dependent and friendless- Mrs Reed would have endured my presence more complacently; her children would have entertained for me more of the cordiality of fellow-feeling; the servants would have been less prone to make me the scapegoat of the nursery.
36Extract 2“Do you think I am an automaton? – a machine without feelings? And can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty, and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal – as we are!”
37Extract 3What a still, hot, perfect day! What a golden desert this spreading moor! Everywhere sunshine. I wished I could live in it and on it. I saw a lizard run over the crag; I saw a bee busy among the sweet bilberries. I would fain at that moment have become a bee or a lizard, that I might have found fitting nutrient, permanent shelter here. But I was a human being, and had a human being’s wants: I must not linger where there was nothing to supply them. I rose; I looked back at the bed I had left. Hopeless of the future I wished but this – that my Maker had that night thought good to require my soul of me while I slept; and that this weary frame, absolved by death from further conflict with fate, had now but to decay quietly, and mingle in peace with the soil of this wilderness. Life, however, was yet in my possession, with all its requirements, and pains, and responsibilities. The burden must be carried; the want provided for; the suffering endured; the responsibility fulfilled. I set out.
38F Scott Fitzgerald:Tender is the Night Extract 1 (chapter 1) At the hotel the girl made the reservation in idiomatic but rather flat French, like something remembered. When they were installed on the ground floor she walked into the glare of the French windows and onto the stone veranda that ran the length of the hotel. When she walked she carried herself like a ballet dancer, not slumped down on her hips but held up in the small of her back. Out there the hot light clipped close her shadow and she retreated – it was too bright to see. Fifty yards away the Mediterranean yielded up its pigments, moment by moment, to the brutal sunshine; below the balustrade a faded Buick cooked on the hotel drive.Indeed, of all the region, only the beach stirred with activity. Three British nannies sat knitting the slow pattern of Victorian England, the pattern of the forties, the sixties, the eighties, into sweaters and socks, to the tune of gossip as formalized as incantation; closer to the sea a dozen persons kept house under striped umbrellas, while their dozen children pursued unintimidated fish through the shallows or lay naked and glistening with cocoanut oil out in the sun.
39As Rosemary came onto the beach a boy of twelve ran past her and splashed into the sea with exultant cries. Feeling the impactive scrutiny of strange faces, she took off her bathrobe and followed. She floated face down for a few yards and finding it shallow staggered to her feet and plodded forward, dragging slim legs like weights against the resistance of the water. When it was about breast high, she glanced back toward shore: a bald man in a monocle and a pair of tights, his tufted chest thrown out, his brash navel sucked in, was regarding her attentively. As Rosemary returned the gaze the man dislodged the monocle, which went into hiding amid the facetious whiskers of his chest, and poured himself a glass of something from a bottle in his hand.
40Rosemary laid her face on the water and swam a choppy little four-beat crawl out to the raft. The water reached up for her, pulled her down tenderly out of the heat, seeped in her hair and ran into the corners of her body. She turned round and round in it, embracing it, wallowing in it. Reaching the raft she was out of breath, but a tanned woman with very white teeth looked down at her, and Rosemary, suddenly conscious of the raw whiteness of her own body, turned on her back and drifted toward shore. The hairy man holding the bottle spoke to her as she came out.“I say – they have sharks out behind the raft.” He was of indeterminate nationality, but spoke English with a slow Oxford drawl. “Yesterday they devoured two British sailors from the flotte at Golfe-Juan.”“Heavens!” exclaimed Rosemary.“They come in for the refuse from the flotte.”Glazing his eyes to indicate that he had only spoken in order to warn her, he minced off two steps and poured himself another drink.
41Extract 2 (chapter 3)It was almost two when they went into the dining-room. Back and forth over the deserted tables a heavy pattern of beams and shadows swayed with the motion of the pines outside. Two waiters, piling plates and talking loud Italian, fell silent when they came in and brought them a tired version of the table d’hôte luncheon.“I fell in love on the beach,” said Rosemary.“Who with?”“First with a whole lot of people who looked nice. Then with one man.”“Did you talk to him?” “Just a little. Very handsome. With reddish hair.” She was eating, ravenously. “He’s married though – it’s usually that way.”
42…After lunch they were both overwhelmed by the sudden flatness that comes over American travellers in quiet foreign places. No stimuli worked upon them, no voices called them from without, no fragments of their own thoughts came suddenly from the minds of others, and missing the clamour of Empire they felt that life was not continuing here.“Let’s stay only three days Mother,” Rosemary said when they were back in their rooms. Outside a light wind blew the heat around, straining it through the trees and sending little hot gusts through the shutters.
43The Great Gatsby (chapter 2) Catherine leaned close to me and whispered in my ear: “Neither of them can stand the person they’re married to.” “Can’t they?”“Can’t stand them.” She looked at Myrtle and then at Tom. “What I say is, why go on living with them if they can’t stand them? If I was them I’d get a divorce and get married to each other right away.”“Doesn’t she like Wilson either?” The answer to this was unexpected. It came from Myrtle, who had overheard the question, and it was violent and obscene.“You seem” cried Catherine triumphantly. She lowered her voice again. “It’s really his wife that’s keeping them apart. She’s a Catholic and they don’t believe in divorce.” Daisy was not a Catholic, and I was a little shocked at the elaborateness of the lie.“When they do get married,” continued Catherine, “they’re going West to live for a while until it blows over.”“It’d be more discreet to go to Europe.”“Oh, do you like Europe?” she exclaimed surprisingly. “I just got back from Monte Carlo.”
44“Really.” “Just last year. I went over there with another girl.” “Stay long?”“No, we just went to Monte Carlo and back. We went by way of Marseilles. We had over twelve hundred dollars when we started, but we got gypped out of it all in two days in the private rooms. We had an awful time getting back, I can tell you. God, how I hated that town!”The late afternoon sky bloomed in the window for a moment like the blue honey of the Mediterranean – then the shrill voice of Mrs McKee called me back into the room.“I almost made a mistake, too,” she declared vigorously. “I almost married a little kike who’d been after me for years. I knew he was below me. Everybody kept saying to me: “Lucille, that man’s ‘way below you!” But if I hadn’t met Chester, he’d of got me for sure.”“Yes, but listen,” said Myrtle Wilson, nodding her head up and down, “at least you didn’t marry him.”“I know I didn’t”.“Well, I married him,” said Myrtle ambiguously. “And that’s the difference between your case and mine.” “Why did you, Myrtle?” demanded Catherine. “Nobody forced you to.” Myrtle considered.
45“I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,” she said finally “I married him because I thought he was a gentleman,” she said finally. ”I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn’t fit to lick my shoe.”“You were crazy about him for a while,” said Catherine.“Crazy about him!” cried Myrtle increduously. “Who said I was crazy about him? I never was any more crazy about him than I was about that man there.”She pointed at me, and everyone looked at me accusingly. I tried to show by my expression that I expected no affection.“The only crazy I was was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed somebody’s best suit to get married in, and never even told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out: “Oh, is that your suit?” I said. “This is the first I ever heard about it.” But I gave it to him and then I lay down and cried to beat the band all afternoon.”“She really ought to get away from him,” resumed Catherine to me. “They’ve been living over that garage for eleven years. And Tom’s the first sweetie she ever had.”The bottle of whiskey – a second one – was now in constant demand by all present, excepting Catherine, who “felt just as good on nothing at all”.
46The Rich BoyBegin with an individual, and before you know it you find that you have created a type; begin with a type and you find that you have created – nothing. That is because we are all queer fish, queerer behind out faces and voices than we want anyone to know or than we know ourselves. When I hear a man proclaiming himself an “average, honest, open fellow”, I feel pretty sure that he has some definite and perhaps terrible abnormality which he has agreed to conceal – and his protestation of being average and honest and open is his way of reminding himself of his misprison.There are no types, no plurals. There is a rich boy, and this is his and not his brothers’ story.
47Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge Thus Casterbridge was in most respects but the pole, focus, or nerve-knot of the surrounding country life; differing from the many manufacturing towns which are as foreign bodies set down, like boulders on a plain, in a green world with which they have nothing in common. Casterbridge lived by agriculture at one remove further from the fountain-head than the adjoining villages – no more. The townsfolk understood every fluctuation in the rustic’s condition, for it affected their receipts as much as the labourer’s; they entered into the troubles and joys which moved the aristocratic families ten miles round – for the same reason. And even at the dinner-parties of the professional families the subjects of discussion were corn, cattle-disease, sowing and reaping, fencing and planting; while politics were viewed by them less from their own standpoint of burgesses with rights and privileges than form the standpoint of their country neighbours…Casterbridge was the complement of the rural life around; not its urban opposite. Bees and butterflies in the cornfields at the top of the town, who desired to get to the meads at the bottom, took no circuitous course, but flew straight down High Street without any apparent consciousness that they were traversing strange latitudes. And in autumn airy spheres of thistledown floated into the same street, lodged upon the shop fronts, blew into drains; and innumerable tawny and yellow leaves skimmed along the pavement, and stole through people’s door-ways into their passages, with a hesitating scratch on the floor, like the skirts of timid visitors.
48Extract 2The auctioneer selling old horses in the field outside could be heard saying, ‘Now this is the last lot – now who’ll take the last lot for a song? Shall I say forty shillings? ’Tis a very promising brood-mare, a trifle over five years old, and nothing the matter with the hoss at all, except that she’s a little holler in the back and had her left eye knocked out by the kick of another, her own sister, coming along the road.’‘For my part I don’t see why men who have got wives and don’t mant ‘em shouldn’t get rid of ‘em as these gipsy fellows do their old horses,’ said the man in the tent. ‘Why shouldn’t they put ‘em up and sell ‘em by auction to men who are in need of such articles? Hey? Why, begad, I’d sell mine this minute if anybody would buy her!’There’s them that would do that,’ some of the guests replied, looking at the woman, who was by no means ill-favoured.‘True,’ said a smoking gentleman, whose coat had the fine polish about the collar, elbows, seams, and shoulder blades that long-continued friction with grimy surfaces will produce, and which is usually more desired on furniture than on clothes. From his appearance he had possibly been in former time groom or coachman to some neighbouring county family. ‘I’ve had my breedings in as good circles, I may say, as any man,’ he added, ‘and I know true cultivation, or nobody do; and I can declare she’s got it – in the bone, mind ye, I say – as much as any female in the fair – though it may want a little bringing out.’ Then crossing his legs, he resumed his pipe with a nicely-adjusted gaze at a point in the air.
49The fuddled young husband stared for a few seconds at this unexpected praise of his wife, half in doubt of the wisdom of his own attitude towards the possessor of such qualities. But he speedily lapsed into his former conviction, and said harshly –‘Well, then, now is your chance; I am open to an offer for this gem o’ creation.’She turned to her husband and murmured, ‘Michael, you have talked this nonsense in public places before. A joke is a joke, but you may make it once too often, mind!’‘I know I’ve said it before; I meant it. All I want is a buyer.’At the moment a swallow, one among the last of the season, which had by chance found its way through an opening into the upper part of the tent, flew to and fro in quick curves above their heads, causing all eyes to follow it absently. In watching the bird till it made its escape the assembled company neglected to respond to the workman’s offer, and the subject dropped.
50Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness ’I was thinking of very old times, when the Romans first came here, nineteen hundred years ago – the other day… Light came out this river since – you say Knights? Yes; but it is like a running blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in the flicker – may it last as long as the earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday. Imagine the feelings of a commander of fine – what d’ye call ‘em? – trireme in the Mediterranean, ordered suddenly to the north; run overland across the Gauls in a hurry; put in charge of one of these craft the legionaries – a wonderful lot of handy men they must have been too – used to build, apparently by the hundred, in a month or two, if we may believe what we read. Imagine him here – the very end of the world, a sea the colour of lead, a sky the colour of smoke, a kind of ship about as rigid as a concertina – and going up this river with stores, or orders, or what you like. Sandbanks, marshes, forests, savages – precious little to eat fit for a civilised man, nothing but Thames water to drink. No Falernian wine here, no going ashore. Here and there a military camp lost in the wilderness, like a needle in a bundle of hay – cold, fog, tempests, disease, exile and death – death skulking in the air, in the water, in the bush. They must be dying like flies here. Oh yes – he did it. Did it very well too, no doubt, and without thinking much about it either, except afterwards to brag of what he had gone through in time, perhaps. They were men enough to face the darkness. And perhaps he was cheered by keeping his eye on a chance promotion to the fleet at Ravenna by and by, if he had good friends in Rome and survived the awful climate. Or thing of a decent young citizen in a toga – perhaps too much dice, you know – coming out here in the train of some prefect, or tax-gatherer, or trader, even, to mend his fortunes. Land in a swamp, march through the woods, and in some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him – all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There’s no initiation either in such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is also detestable. And it has a fascination, too, that goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination – you know. Imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate.’
51He paused.‘Mind,’ he began again, lifting an arm from the elbow, the palm of the hand outwards, so that, with his legs folded before him, he had the pause of a Buddha preaching in European clothes and without a lotus-flower – ‘Mind, none of us would feel exactly like this. What saves us is efficiency – the devotion to efficiency. But these chaps were not much account, really. They were no colonists; their administration was merely a squeeze, and nothing more, I suspect. They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force – nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from a weakness of others. They grabbed what they could get for the sake of what was to be got. It was robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a grand scale, and men going blind at it – as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly fatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea – something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer sacrifice to.