Zora Neale Hurston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me 1.Why does Zora Neale Hurston begin by noting that most black youth claim their grandfather was an Indian chief? What does descent from Native Americans offer Hurstons friends that descent from Africans might not? What sort of ethos does Hurston establish by rejecting the possibility of Native American ancestry? 2.Hurston describes listening to jazz in the following way: It loses no time in circumlocutions, but gets right down to business. It constricts the thorax and splits the heart with its tempo and narcotic harmonies. This orchestra grows rambunctious, rears on its hind legs and attacks the tonal veil with primitive fury, rending it, clawing it until it breaks through in to the jungle beyond. I follow these heathen–follow them exultingly. I dance wildly within myself; I yell within, I whoop; I shake my assegai above my head, I hurl it true to the mark yeeeeooww! I am in the jungle and living in the jungle way. How does the language in this passage represent Hurstons relationship to her heritage, despite its primitive nature? 3.Hurston writes, Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? Its beyond me. A great deal of Hurstons denial of the adverse psychological effects of racism is bravado. How does the tone of How It Feels to Be Colored Me convince its readers that she has personally overcome racism? Does her tonal stance seem like one that other African Americans could adopt and use to face American society, or does it seem like it would only perhaps work for Zora Neale Hurston?
4.Imagining what an inclusive American society might resemble, Hurston explains, But in the main, I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall in company with other bags, white, red and yellow. Pour out the contents, and there is discovered a jumble of small things priceless and worthless.
A first-water diamond, an empty spool, bits of broken glass, lengths of string, a key to a door long since crumbled away, a rusty knife-blade, old shoes saved for a road that never was and never will be, a nail bent under the weight of things too heavy for any nail, a dried flower or two still a little fragrant. These differently colored bags sit side by side with no particular hierarchy, but all the contents are respected for what they are. Explain what the specific items that fall out of the bags might represent for this more diverse and accepting future society. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Babylon Revisited 1.So much, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, for the effort and ingenuity of Montmartre. All the catering to vice and waste was on an utterly childish scale, and he suddenly realized the meaning of the word dissipateto dissipate into thin air; to make nothing out of something.
These are Charlies thoughts on Paris as he returns after a three years absence. Given what you know of the storys ending, how do these words, coming early in the story, foreshadow it? How do they relate to the themes of the story? 2.As Charlie begins his tense negotiations with the Peters for the return of Honoria to his custody, the narrator describes his mindset: He knew that now he would have to take a beating. It would last an hour or two hours, and it would be difficult, but if he modulated his inevitable resentment to the chastened attitude of the reformed sinner, he might win his point in the end.
Compare this passage to Charlies visit with his daughter, especially this line: Of course I [love you better than anybody]. But you wont always like me best, honey. Youll grow up and meet somebody your own age and go marry him and forget you ever had a daddy. How much of Charlies behavior around his daughter and the Peters is calculated and preplanned, and how much is spontaneous? If you believe he has thought of this return to Paris often, what can you say about his intentions toward his daughter and his reasons for wanting her back?
3.When Marion finally reveals that she thinks Charlie more responsible than not for his wifes death, Charlies response is physical and overwhelming: An electric current of agony surged through him; for a moment he was almost on his feet, an unuttered sound echoing in his throat. He hung onto himself for a moment, another moment. Interpret this passage alongside what you know of Marions accusation, and explain why Fitzgerald describes this realization as such a torturous experience.
4.When Lorraine sends Charlie a note reminding them of their heyday in the 1920s, [h]is first feeling was one of awe that he had actually, in his mature years, stolen a tricycle and pedaled Lorraine all over the toile between the small hours and dawn. In retrospect it was a nightmare. Locking out Helen didnt fit in with any other act of his life, but the tricycle incident didit was one of many. After Lorraine and Duncan spoil his plans to regain Honoria, he thinks again of the 1920s: Again the memory of those days swept over him like a nightmarethe people they had met traveling; then people who couldnt add a row of figures or speak a coherent sentence. The little man Helen had consented to dance with at the ships party, who had insulted her ten feet from the table; the women and girls carried screaming with drink or drugs out of public places The men who locked their wives out in the snow, because the snow of twenty-nine wasnt real snow. If you didnt want it to be snow, you just paid some money.
How much of Charlies complicity in Helens death is he ready to accept for himself? Use the language in these two passages to describe how you know Charlie is either distancing himself from his past actions or embracing them to make amends. 5.In the final words of the story, Charlie is alone and disappointed: He would come back some day; they couldnt make him pay forever. But he wanted his child, and nothing was much good now, beside that fact. He wasnt young any more, with a lot of nice thoughts and dreams to have by himself. He was absolutely sure Helen wouldnt have wanted him to be so alone. Paraphrase these lines, especially the last sentence and the word absolutely. What do these words reveal about Charlies character? T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
1.In the poems prologue, the editors translate Dantes Italian as If I thought that my reply would be to one who would ever return to the world, this flame would stay without further movement; but since none has ever returned from this depth, if what I hear is true, I answer you without fear of infamy.. The flame refers to a burning soul within Dantes Inferno, and Eliots reference has often been cited to establish the poem as a dramatic monologuea poem featuring a speaker addressing an auditor other than the reader, leaving the speaker open to critique for some of his more dubious comments. What relationship do you see between the prologues reference and Prufrocks monologue?
2.Throughout the poem, the speaker describes how he has wandered about the city, under windows and down avenues, looking at early morning and late evening anthropomorphic fogs, along beaches and other disappointing exteriors. The women in the poem seem confined to drawing rooms, coming and going, talking of Michelangelo (ll. 3536). Think about the various spaces that are accessible to women and men, and then describe the effects of keeping women in such a small space for the speaker and the poem. What does Prufrocks greater physical mobility accomplish for him? 3.Twice in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock the speaker leads us to the brink of an overwhelming question (ll. 10, 93), but never explicitly clarifies what that question might be. What do you think the question is? What evidence you can find in the poem to support your guess?
4.Much of the city that Prufrock sees and describes is rendered into fragments: sawdust restaurants and oyster shells (l. 7), for example, stands for an urban lifestyle without referring to the whole. How do you see this oblique pattern of referring to modernity working within the poem? What is lost in these fragmentations of reality? What is gained? 5.In some of the opening lines, Prufrock lingers on The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, / The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes, / Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, / / Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, / Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, / Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, / And seeing it was soft October night, / Curled once about the house, and fell asleep (ll. 1522). Why does Eliot describe the fog as a cat? What is the effect of repeating words like yellow and window-panes in these lines?