65 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2020
  2. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. Maria would enter a convent

      So Maria and Joe are clearly references to Mary and Joseph in the Bible. Like Mary, Maria is a selfless, matronly figure who remains a virgin. Yet in this case, it seems like that choice isn't necessarily a deliberate one with all the references to her being single as almost a failure on her part, or a "mistake" like her mistake in singing. In this way you can kinda read it like the oppressive nature of the Catholic Church forcing these roles onto the people, depriving them of living a fulfilled life. Also complicated since in this Maria acts as a mother to Joe, rather than the husband/wife relationship between Mary and Joseph.

    2. She was sure she would win.

      The phrasing of "win" here is super interesting because to me it doesn't seem like a situation where one can "win." Even if she convinces him to marry her daughter, her daughter's innocence is still lost, and now she's trapped in a marriage with a man almost twice her age. Does she mean that she'll do the best with this unfortunate situation she's been given, or is this truly a "win" for her? Notably the she here is slightly ambiguous, does Mrs. Mooney win, her daughter win, both, or neither?

    3. the Madam

      The switching between Mrs. Mooney and The Madam is interesting in this paragraph. Someone else pointed out before how Mrs. Mooney was defined by her relationship to the men in her life, and The Madam then is a name for her that grants her authority over herself and her boarding house, acting like a kind of imposing, powerful title. However, the story then switches between these two names for her, so what does that mean? She can't escape her past? Also, describing her children as being "the Madam's" adds a layer of interest there. What does it mean to be Mrs. Mooney's son vs. the Madam's son?

  3. Nov 2020
  4. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. to show her what was her duty

      That's an interesting way to phrase that, "what was her duty." Not "what should she do" or "what will be best for her" or "what does she want" it's telling her what her duty is, as though she doesn't have a choice at all in this. It seems at the end she sees her duty as staying where she is with the memory of her family.

    2. yellowing photograph hung on the wall above

      Once again a priest is present yet absent at the same time, this time his representation literally watching over what's going on in the household. Here she doesn't even know the name of the priest that hung in her house for years, like the impersonal nature of the church's influence and domination.

    3. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand

      This is very Dante's Beatrice for me, with this intensely spiritual connection the narrator has with a woman he's barely spoken with. It's strange because while there's this connection to the deep tradition of classical romance, but at the same time, and this is definitely informed by my modern perspective but I think the ending backs it up, this is a young pubescent boy having a crush on his neighbor because she's hot. Are these concepts incompatible, can part of that idealistic love exist in this moment, or is this school boy trying to explain away his crush using a connection to this deep literary tradition he's probably learning about in school?

    4. gazed

      The language of sight here in the opening personifies the houses on the street, and sets the empty house as being even further isolated than just physically being at the blind end. The language of sight and blindness continues in the story, with the boy's glimpses of the woman motivating his journey. I'd be interested to trace that across all the stories here

    5. there were some of Lord Lytton’s works which boys couldn’t read.

      So I was super curious what Lord Lytton had written that would be considered too much for young boys. I couldn't find anything "controversial" by some light googling, but it's clear that the old man means this in a very very creepy way, and that's he's trying to insinuate that the narrator then must be "mature" and "not like other boys" for having read it. Something fun about Lord Lytton is that there's the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest every year which looks for the worst opening line for a book every year. It's a lot of fun to check out.

    6. I pretended to pray

      So here's a question that I always wonder, are funerals for the living or for the dead? In a traditional Catholic funeral prayers at funerals would be offered for the deceased so they could pass into heaven and have their sins be forgiven, but at the same time they provide catharsis for the living. In that sense, pretending to pray is the same as actually praying in terms of providing emotional support for the living.

    7. the simoniac of his sin

      Second mention of simony here, although this one is more concretely connected to the plot since it seems the old priest got his position by buying it. Another interesting thing here though is how the narrator switches from referring to the priest as "it" to then saying "his" as though the priest is only a person and not a thing when it comes to his sins, like his "human flaws" in a way.

    8. gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism

      So I was curious what gnomon meant, and looking up it means the dial part of a sundial. I knew simony meant the buying and selling of church offices, but I wondered what the connection between these two things and paralysis are. The narrator sorta explains the connection in the next sentence, but not really gnomon, which sticks out from the others because it doesn't really have a negative connotation.

    1. too old for the spring

      Spring is usually associated with birth, life, and youth, so it makes sense that Mr. Neave being old would make him unfit for Spring. But on the other hand, I've never heard someone complain about being too old for Spring. I've heard my grandmother complain about winter or summer, but spring is a pretty nice and easy season for the elderly.

    2. Mademoiselle Twinkletoes

      This right here really made me feel uncomfortable about this section with Leila and the old man. I mean obviously they're in the middle of a dance floor I'm sure he won't do anything outrageous but the squeezing her close and talking about how beauty and men wanting to kiss you is fleeting, capped off with this patronizing name really makes it sound like he's trying to make a move on her rather than giving her advice, and I can't tell if that's my modern day skepticism or Leila's inexperience that she can't see this man for what he is.

    3. I can’t see a single invisible hair-pin.

      Isn't...isn't that the point of an invisible hair-pin? That you don't see it? Or is it one of those things you pretend not to see out of politeness and habit? Like a denial of reality that everyone agrees upon, and for once the fake reality is real?

    4. real partner

      Interesting use of real here. What exactly does it mean to be a "real" partner in this context? That the inanimate cab can be her first real partner for the ball? The narrator talks about how it feels like she's resting her hand on the sleeve of a young man's suit, but is that all it takes to be a "real" partenr?

  5. Oct 2020
    1. in the new way

      I wonder if new way here is referring to the change William described at the beginning, or a change in her following reading his letter and her friends' responses. It's clear she knows her friends aren't the best influence on her after her response to their laughter, and that she really does love her husband, but she gives up writing the letter after framing it as a total choice between them and her husband, implying she chooses them. I guess that makes me think it means new way in the former sense, but it still could be a medium position between the two.

    2. an old towel with a knot in it

      I wonder if William's dislike for the new toys is that they're foreign, that they're like too extravagant for the kids, or simply just "back in my day" nostalgia. It seems like a mix, but this passage about his toy makes it seem like he's implying that sort of like modern boomer sentiment we see where older generations think kids have it too easy/are spoiled now.

    3. Oh, you may as well bring me a chocolate, too.

      I will not have this hot chocolate slander. But really, she's upset she got kicked out of the casino and effectively has to spend the day at the kid's table. She's above sweet things, typically associated with children and being young, something we see by Hennie diving head first into his glass. At the same time though she's totally loving this, doing the whole "I guess I'll have one too but not because I wanted one or anything." It's interesting in comparison with how in The Garden Party the food from the party given as a gift was a reflection of class, and here while still clearly food of the upper class, it's also associated with age.

    4. take fifty francs, darling, take a hundred

      While the daughter makes a comment about being broke earlier, it's very clear this family has no financial troubles with how liberally her mother gives her money here. Based on the daughter's comments its clear her mother isn't a professional intent on making money, yet she appears at the very least to have been a few times before. Like the party before, it's clear this is a pricey past time, but even then at least the party had party stuff. The enjoyment for people of this class in a casino is literally just throwing away their money.

    5. I am conten

      I wonder if Laura's amazement at the body and finding beauty in it is meant to show the beauty of death and how it allows an escape from the rigidly socioeconomically divided world of the living, or that's another sign of how disconnected from the lives of these people she and her family are, that she sees the loss of life as some romantic portrait laid out before her and not the reality of the loss his family feels and the economic struggles they'll come to face having lost the head of the household. Maybe it's both? Who knows...

    6. successful party

      What does it mean for a party to be successful in this context? Obviously the party went well, it was enjoyable, but this section implies something more. The way this paragraph is framed it sounds like she means the party was successful at pushing the thought of the man dying out of her head, and that she's still so high off of the party she can't be brought down by any harsh realities of the world. So in that sense, are parties, or at least is this party, meant to be a sort of vaccine against awaking to the harsh reality we live in?

    7. one must see everything

      Are they really "seeing" everything tho? I mean Laura earlier was clearly blind to the realities of class distinctions. Even when presented with physical proof in the form of the sorry state of these cottages, the message they seem to take away is "they live in these gross, rough cottages" and not "why do they have to live here while we can live in luxury?"

    8. Tell her to wear that sweet hat she had on last Sunday

      I know it's not really a part of the party, but interesting how the mother said she wanted to be completely hands off for the party but then tells Kitty what to wear. Laura's use of the phrase "you're to wear" makes it sound not like a suggestion but a mandate.

    9. Laura’s upbringing made her wonder for a moment whether it was quite respectful of a workman to talk to her of bangs slap in the eye

      The class division here is super striking, but interesting. Obviously financially Laura and her family are on an entirely different level than these men with the fancy turbans and silk pajamas, but what's interesting here is how its the lower class man that knows more about how to set up the fancy party than Laura who has presumably attended infinitely more of these than the man. For her it's a fun past time, but for him, this is his livelihood.

    1. The pages of my poor friend’s Journal are waiting for you at my house–sealed up, with your name on the wrapper

      It's interesting to read Ezra's narrative with the idea in mind that it really was his personal diary and he did not really intend for it to be read. It definitely felt that way with a lot of the like super person and super emotional passages, but still, every other section was written with the intention that someone else reads it, so it's interesting to see how his style changed with that in mind.

    2. If Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite chose to keep the Diamond, he might do so with perfect impunity

      Lol nevermind my previous annotation, we found out what happened, I jumped the gun haha. But I think the question of should a mystery story tell you every detail or keep you in the dark about certain things is still a good one!

    3. And you drink the mixture

      Obviously there's still more book left, but will we never find out where Franklin put the diamond so that Godfrey could later take it? Godfrey obviously did leave the house with the diamond, but it's somewhat upsetting we don't know the full story of that night and probably won't since the only witness is now dead. I guess that poses an interesting question: does a good mystery explain every little detail, or does it give you enough to feel confident in your answer but still have some lingering questions?

    4. life had two sides to it

      It's interesting that Godfrey is the character now associated with duplicity when Franklin was the first character said to have multiple sides. Betteredge's discription of Franklin as having an English side, Italian side, German side etc. proved to be not really true when we got to follow Franklin's own narration, or at least not as true as Betteredge implied in his introduction. Meanwhile Godfrey was the goody two shoes boy for most of the book until we started to see some flaws with his engagement to Rachel.

    5. appealed so irresistibly to Rachel’s curiosity

      Curiosity is an interesting word choice here. It's clear now that Rachel's hysteria was less about losing the diamond and more about seeing the man she loved take it and then lie to her face about it, but curiosity seems to imply she didn't really care that the diamond was stolen at all, like she's doing this not out of a need to be reunited with her property but instead for the same reason we are.

    6. Mr. Jennings, do you happen to be acquainted with Robinson Crusoe?

      Hahahaha this is Betteredge's missionary moment. Earlier I thought Robinson Crusoe was a good metaphor for the difference between personal religion and organized religion, with Clack and her tracts representing the hypocrisy of that, but now Betteredge is attempting his own little conversion to steer Ezra down the right path. At least it seems less like Betteredge thinks he's better than Ezra and more that he is worried about what Ezra wants to do.

    7. Speaking as a servant, I am deeply indebted to you. Speaking as a man, I consider you to be a person whose head is full of maggots, and I take up my testimony against your experiment as a delusion and a snare

      Hahahahahahahha. Loyalty to the Verinder family really is Betteredge's primary motivation at all times, even when he completely disagrees with what he's being asked to do. It also makes me wonder that like, Ezra based this experiment off of his personal experience with opium as well as a medical book right? Why is everyone taking it as some kind of superstitious magic? Like Betteredge himself here says something along the lines of he can't approve of this as he's a good Christian.

    8. It was quite unintelligible to his mind, except that it looked like a piece of trickery, akin to the trickery of mesmerism, clairvoyance, and the like

      It's interesting to compare Ezra's test with clairvoyance here considering the people who use that sort of magic are the Indians. Ezra himself mentioned earlier that one of his parents was born in the colonies, and Franklin describes his appearance as being striking and causing him to stand out. I wonder if this is a case of a sort of "respectable" othered person, or if its only the case that Ezra is a good guy in the book because he's half English.

    9. Is it possible (I ask myself, in reading this delightful letter) that I, of all men in the world, am chosen to be the means of bringing these two young people together again

      Awww this passage is really sweet. It's weird how quickly Ezra changed from being this strange looking character that stood out to Franklin as being sketchy, to this sweet character who wants to help reunite the lovers. Before I asked if he was doing this out of duty to Mr. Candy or a friendship with Franklin, but now it's clearly not the former, and is both out of friendship to Franklin and his own want to play cupid in a sense. How cute.

    10. Or is there really something in him which answers to the yearning that I have for a little human sympathy–the yearning, which has survived the solitude and persecution of many years; which seems to grow keener and keener, as the time comes nearer and nearer when I shall endure and feel no more

      Awww, poor Ezra. I wonder if Ezra is doing all this as a favor to Mr. Candy, or because he genuinely wants to help Franklin as the first person besides Mr. Candy to be nice to him in a long time. It seems like it started as the former but is definitely at least partially the latter if he's having these thoughts.

    11. glittering with a golden brightness, hid the horror of its false brown face under a passing smile

      Can't help but notice the comparison between quicksand and a false brown face. We talked about everything quicksand can represent, but this really hits home on the mysteriousness, dangerousness, and otherness of it.

    12. But she died a dreadful death, poor soul–and I feel a kind of call on me, Mr. Franklin, to humour that fancy of hers

      Aww Betteredge. Even though he's got detective fever he wants to do right by Rosanna's last request. I really like how this chapter lets us see an outside perspective of Betteredge, and how he really is the good guy I thought he was.

    13. I asked him if any slander had been spoken of me in Rachel’s hearing.

      Something intersting Franklin seems to be doing more than the other narrators so far is paraphrasing, so it calls into question the veracity of what he's saying. Obviously the question of the reliability of the narrator is always present even when they're directly quoting passages, but I wonder if he'll keep this up. I have a suspicion Franklin knows more than he's letting us know.

    14. It informed me that my father was dead

      There's a lot of dead parents popping up seemingly out of nowhere in this story. Lady Verinder suddenly revealed a deathly illness that killed her a couple chapters later, and now Mr. Blake Sr. is dead without any prior notice of health concerns. Is this the curse of the moonstone, or something more nefarious?

    15. This absolute self-dependence is a great virtue in a man. In a woman it has a serious drawback of morally separating her from the mass of her sex, and so exposing her to misconstruction by the general opinion

      Once again not the best view of women, but at least this is different from the other critiques of Rachel's femininity that we've seen.

    16. Quite indefensible, I admit–an act of tyranny, and nothing less. Like other tyrants, I carried my point

      Bruff is pretty ruthless. It's interesting to see how while he's not the devil incarnate like Clack described him, he's certainly a no nonsense do what it takes business man at his core

    17. Her family–her beggarly family–turned their backs on her for marrying an honest man, who had made his own place and won his own fortune. I had no ancestors. I wasn’t descended from a set of cut-throat scoundrels who lived by robbery and murder

      Here's an interesting line about class divisions which is not really brought up as much as I feel like it should be given how our narrators have both been on much lower economic and societal levels than the "main" players of the story. The only one who really seems in some way angered at the system is Mr Ablewhite here who's mad that he's seen as lesser for being new money as opposed to old money.

    18. She affectionately reminds Mr. Franklin Blake that she is a Christian, and that it is, therefore, quite impossible for him to offend her

      Is that what it means to be a Christian? Because girl, you've been offended by stuff nonstop lol

    19. The truth is, that women try marriage as a Refuge, far more numerously than they are willing to admit; and, what is more, they find that marriage has justified their confidence in it

      Does anyone have a positive view on marriage in this novel? I mean this screams nice guy energy.

    20. As for me, my sense of propriety was completely bewildered. I was so painfully uncertain whether it was my first duty to close my eyes, or to stop my ears, that I did neither

      That's not a real excuse Clack...

  6. Sep 2020
    1. Bring a chair, Godfrey. I like people to be opposite to me when I talk to them

      Interesting physical representation of the imbalance between them. Rachael says she likes to see people she talks with on her level, but the next line talks about how it doesn't suit Godfrey and it's to his disadvantage.

    2. Sorrow and sympathy! Oh, what Pagan emotions to expect from a Christian Englishwoman anchored firmly on her faith

      What does it say about Clack's view of Christianity is sorrow and sympathy are pagan...

    3. But, oh, don’t let us judge! My Christian friends, don’t let us judge!

      You have been judging since you started speaking!

    4. On this occasion, however, she not only disappointed–she really shocked me. There was an absence of all lady-like restraint in her language and manner most painful to see

      Interesting to see Clack having a pretty similar view of femininity to Betteredge even though she is a woman herself.

    5. I could write pages of affectionate warning on this one theme, but (alas!) I am not permitted to improve–I am condemned to narrate

      You know, for someone who's condemned to narrate she's sure trying to shove in as much improvement as she can. This line, and everything about her order her parents instilled in her, seem to imply she thinks she's giving a completely objective account when she's clearly inserting her own biases and Christian viewpoint.

    6. When I had dropped another tract through the area railings, I felt relieved, in some small degree, of a heavy responsibility towards others

      Love how she did basically nothing, and then is like "I felt like I had done my duty towards others" Like all she did was stuff a track in the mailbox and walk away like she had converted her. We've seen some surely hypocritical Christian behavior from both Betteredge and Clack, and I wonder if this is meant as an inditement of those who think of themselves as good Christians, or if this is just meant to show that Betteredge and Clack aren't saints.

    7. I find my insignificant existence suddenly remembered by Mr. Franklin Blake

      There's this weird juxtaposition between pride and humility in this section. Zoe mentions it in an annotation later but I think this is such a polarizing way for Miss Clack to introduce herself by basically showing she's on the lower end of society but thinks so highly of herself. I also think the connection to religion here is interesting with humility being one of the Christian beatitudes. I get the feeling whereas Betteredge was "Christian" but really treated Robinson Crusoe as his bible, Miss Clack is going to be more of a hardcore Christian, or at least sees herself as more of one. I wonder how that'll inform her opinions on the pagan curse of the moonstone.

    8. But the law insists on your smoking your cigar, sir, when you have once chosen it.

      So this is clearly a joke based on Franklin's response, but isn't it also like basically Betteredge's view on women/his marriage? He didn't explicitly say he stayed with her because the law forbid him from leaving, but he didn't really paint a loving picture of his marriage either. Like is this just the victorian equivalent of the "I hate my wife" joke, because it seems to at least be true for Betteredge.

    9. I beg to inform your ladyship,” I said, “that I never, to my knowledge, helped this abominable detective business, in any way, from first to last; and I summon Sergeant Cuff to contradict me, if he dares!”

      Betteredge....you spent the last few chapters following him around and playing detective yourself. I guess his devotion to the family is so strong he's willing to contradict himself this hard, despite claiming to be a good Christian right before this.

    10. I have to tell you, as Miss Verinder’s mother, that she is absolutely incapable of doing what you suppose her to have done

      I wonder here if she means incapable as in she wouldn't be smart enough to put together a plan like this, or incapable as in she could never decieve her mother like this. As we've seen before she doesn't always know her daughter perfectly, and neither does Betteredge for that matter. What could Rachel be hiding, and why?

    11. I seemed to be in fifty different minds about it, all at the same time

      There's a lot of multiplicity in this novel. Franklin is described as having his multiple nationalities come out as facets of his personality, and here Betteredge is having conflicting feelings about Rosanna definite guilt in the theft. It would be interesting to track how the language is used, and what sorts of contradictory things are coexisting

    12. But it is a maxim of mine that men (being superior creatures) are bound to improve women–if they can

      Once again Betteredge frames femininity through male action. it is the responsibility of the man to improve his woman. It's an interesting sort of twist though where although he places the moral superiority and power in the hands of the men, the men are working to improve the character of the women apparently for the sake of the women themselves. He doesn't say it's so that they may make better wives or are better suited for men, he just leaves it at improving.

    13. The Indians had gone clean out of my head (as they have, no doubt, gone clean out of yours)

      Interesting meta comment because at least personally no, they haven't. While the current theory is that Rachel has stolen her own diamond, it's clear the Indians are still somehow involved. I wonder if this is meant to throw the audience off by making us think we have the answer already, or to show how Betteredge isn't as good of a detective as he thinks he is

    14. There is not the least fear of a refusal from any of the three

      I understand Godfrey and Franklin cooperating easily, but Rachel has been difficult and distraught this entire process. I'm not saying her emotional distress isn't valid given her loss, but it seems kinda odd of her mother to assume she'd be fine with it given how cold she's been towards the officers and Franklin.

    15. In all my experience along the dirtiest ways of this dirty little world, I have never met with such a thing as a trifle yet.

      Interesting thought process from the expert here. I wonder how many things Betteredge has either excluded from his narration or otherwise glossed over that are bigger than they seem.

    16. At the age when we are all of us most apt to take our colouring, in the form of a reflection from the colouring of other people, he had been sent abroad, and had been passed on from one nation to another, before there was time for any one colouring more than another to settle itself on him firmly. As a consequence of this, he had come back with so many different sides to his character, all more or less jarring with each other, that he seemed to pass his life in a state of perpetual contradiction with himself.

      Interesting what this says about intercutural exchange, especially considering the plot revolves around an Indian artifact that exchanged many hands, all bloody, before ending up here.

    17. it’s the varnish from foreign parts

      The varnish from foreign parts, not his supposedly good nature. Obviously first impressions aren't everything, but even the word varnish implies it's covering up something that shouldn't be seen, an idea foreshadowed a couple sentences later

    18. in my wiping my eyes

      Interesting this is where he makes mention of him crying, not a paragraph earlier where his wife died. It sounds like he really views this connection to his lady deeper than his wife, a fact basically explicitly told by the repeated image of the new coat.

    19. (unless some necessity should arise for making it public) is for the information of the family only

      Interesting potential foreshadowing here. Earlier the narrator spoke about how this was meant to be addressed to his family to explain his side of a dispute between him and his cousin, something that I totally get wanting to keep in the family. So what does it mean that we're reading it? Is it implying we're on a level of intimacy of the family, that the narrator isn't being truthful about his discretion, or that something bad happened that necessitates it being public that we'll find out about?

    20. conforming, or appearing to conform

      I'd be interested to track the use of language used to convey deception like appear, disguise, lie, trick, etc. Even though the narrator promised to tell the impartial truth, I wonder how the language involving truth evolves

    21. The deity breathed the breath of his divinity on the Diamond in the forehead of the god

      The deep connection between the stone and the Indian god of the moon creates a sense of otherness and the supernatural for the readers, this whole "legend of the diamond" also reminds me a bit of Judeo-Christian traditions. Vishnu breathed life into the Diamond like God breathing life into Adam, the three Brahmin like the three Magi. I'd be interested to see as the story continues if these sorts of inter-religious elements reappear, and what they have to say.