Author Archives: David Peikrishvili

Hardships in “You in America”

You believed that everybody in America had a car and a gun. Your uncles and aunts and cousins believer it too. Right after you won the American visa lottery, they told you, “In a month, you will have a big car. Soon, a big house. But don’t buy a gun like those Americans. They trooped into the shantytown house in Lagos, standing beside the nail-studded zinc walls because chairs did not go round, to say good bye in loud voices and tell you with lowered voices what they wanted you to send the”. (First Page, First couple of paragraphs)

Right from the start of the story, we get witness the narrators situation that she was placed in. She had won a lottery and was given a chance to start a life in America with her “uncle”.  Her family and relatives all thought that in America, everyone lives a happy and an easy life. You can get a car and a house, and begin living  a great life. They also asked the narrator for gifts (probably money, certain clothing brands, or even something bigger). I guess you can say that this was their ideal American Dream. Having a steady income and a bunch of accessories. Sadly that was just an illusion that was shattered by the reality after her arrival to America.

After moving to America, she realized how unfair and hard it was living there. Not even a week had past and her uncle took advantage of her and stated that “Smart women did it all the time, how did you think those women back home n Lagos with well-paying jobs made it ? ” That’s when she realized that “America was give and take” , you give up a lot and you gain a lot from it. The easy life that everyone at home thought she could have was thrown out after a week of her being in America. Nothing in life is gained by sitting around and doing nothing, especially in a country with a tremendous amount of people that are also trying to get by. Due to her race, it was even harder to find a decent job, so she can support herself and those that she left at home.

You can try and compare this text with “Quicksand”. The parts that were familiar was when Helga also defined by her race, was struggling to fit into other communities. This quote state by Dr.Anderson “Lies, injustice, and hypocrisy are a part of every ordinary community. Most people achieve a sort of protective immunity, a kind of callousness, toward them. If they didn’t, they couldn’t endure.” helps us see that no matter what place they went to, people judged them by their looks and race, and not by their personality/behavior. An ordinary person can easily judge someone else without even taking other aspects into consideration. Same goes for both Helga and the narrator from “You in America”, both of them had to somehow bypass all the things others thought of them, and try to find a place to settle down. Near the end, they both found something or someone but that was still far away from their ideal life that they were seeking.

Project #2 Acceptance in Communities

David Peikrishvili
300 Jay St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

1001 North Buhr Building
200 Hill Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

To whom it may concern,

       I hope this letter reaches one of your Editors at HathiTrust. I am writing this concerning one of the edits for Nella Larsen’s story “Quicksand”.  While I was reading the text, i thought maybe there could be some changes/edits that can be implemented in order to enhance the visitors viewing experience. Throughout the text, it would be easier for the reader to understand the main plot or theme, if they are given the proper annotations that can help them out. This story would probably be more appropriate for any ages. This story can impact someone depending on what they like to read or are interested in. The concept isn’t too hard to understand and can leave the reader questioning Helga’s decisions through the whole story. Why is it that Helga is so uncertain of herself and why can’t she find a place to settle down and start a family? These are the types of questions that an ordinary reader would ask, and that is why I suggest making some of the upcoming edits, in order to help readers understand more about Helga’s way of thinking. 

     The story revolves around Helga Crane who tries to find a place she can call home and settle down. She finds herself skipping around all over the place, trying out different communities and never find “the one”. A quote that appears in the beginning of the story stated by Dr.Anderson can be referred to throughout most of the chapters. He stated that “ Someday you’ll learn that lies, injustice, and hypocrisy are a part of every ordinary community. Most people achieve a sort of protective immunity, a kind of callousness, toward them”(Quicksand, Page 53-54). This quote isn’t wrong at all, we could definitely tell that while Helga was running all over the place, all the communities had some of these facts in common. The reader could clearly understand that Dr.Anderson’s words were no bluffs.

    To make things more supporting, we can use outside sources to enhance and reinforce the readers comprehension of the story. For example the article written by Elisabeth Hudson from King’s College London provides a well in depth description of the whole reading without leaving out any important details. One of the descriptions were: “Helga struggles deeply to come to terms with her identity as a mulatto woman in Quicksand. She experiments with several different modes of living: living among black people in an urban environment and in a rural environment, and living among white people. In none of these environments is she able to be herself completely, and she always feels suffocated by the expectations of society”(Elizabeth Hudson). This statement illustrates the main idea of the story and the main reason why Helga cannot find herself and her home. For Helga, Naxos was never a real home, “she could no longer abide being connected with a place of shame, lies,hypocrisy,cruelty,servility, and snobbishness”(Quicksand, Page 48). Why does Helga not remain in one place? Why does she not accept a community, all these questions can be answered by simple annotations done to the text, just like these ones. It is important to provide the reader proper citations and examples not only from the text itself, but also from other articles or reviews about “Quicksand”. With both, defined vocabulary words and extra information, people can more or less extract the important main idea from the whole text without being left in confusion or with questions. For me, the important factor in annotations is having certain paragraphs or words explained using real world examples or just having them simplified.

There is a term that’s used to characterize Helga in a way, it’s called “Tragic Mulatto“. This term is used to describe a person, (in this case Helga) who has a negative view of the world and the things around her because of her race. Mostly being a colored individual not being able to fit into the “white community” or into any community that is divide by race. It would be a bit simpler if Helga was just one race/color. But she is mixed, so it’s hard to find a place that accepts both white and colored. Even though this is true, at the same time Helga could have tried somehow to gain some kind of authority or power from both races. I think that due to her unknown personality, she was unable to think straight and chooses a path for a better future than what she got.

     I was actually able to foreshadow some events from the beginning of the text by using the clues and the descriptions about Helga’s personality and  her “wants and needs”. Also while reading the story, I noticed that every other character had a place they could call home. They had jobs, people to hang around or talk to and they actually had a somewhat clear mindset about the future. Helga could have stayed in a couple of places and start a good life but no, she decided to live a hard life as we see in the end of the last chapter. That was definitely not the type of ending that I was looking for but that was her decision so she should never had regretted it afterwards. With all of this information put into annotations into the text, I believe that the readers will experience the text much better. Thank you for taking your time to read this letter.

           Sincerely, David Peikrishvili



Works Cited

Hudson, Elisabeth, “The Relationship Between Colour and Identity in the Literature of  Nella Larsen and Richard Wright” 2008. Visited on 5/6/2018.

Larsen Nella, Quicksand: Nella Larsen – Charles R.Larson – Anchor Books – 2001



 Of or befitting a slave or a menial position

This would be my second vocabulary word for the project, found in the book “Quicksand”. This word was stated by Helga Crane when she was describing what kind of place Naxos was. “She could no longer abide being connected with a place of shame,lies hypocrisy,cruelty,servility and snobbishness”. She wanted to forget and leave this place that she despised so much.


Adjective: callous

Feeling no emotion, feeling or showing no sympathy for others; (a callous indifference to suffering )

I encountered this word in the beginning of “Quicksand” and was one of the words I wanted to use for the project. This is was shown when Helga Crane and Dr. Anderson were having their first conversation. He mentions that “Most people achieve a sort of protective immunity, a kind of callousness, towards them”. He was stating how no matter which community it was, there would always be problems and lies.

Change of Narration in “A Rose For Emily”

Project Part 1 -> First Person (Emily’s Perspective) 

   One day, I decided to go to the arsenic and wanted to buy some rat poison. The rule in this town is that whenever someone buys poison, they have to say why they are buying it and for what they are going to use it. Due to the previous dilemmas of my father dying and me not feeling like myself, I Just stared at him without saying a word. He also was looking at me with his big round eyes, but in a few minutes he wrapped up the poison and decided to give it to me. Without any extra words, I left and started to walk down the street.I knew that people around me were all thinking that I bought this poison for myself and that I was going to kill myself. But those fools did not know a single thing. Throughout my whole life everything was chose for me, whether or not something happened depended on my father’s wishes. After my father’s death, the only thing of value that I have left is my family title. A family title that is honored throughout the town and no one dares to go against me.

   Before I never had a choice to choose on who to love or who to care for, but for some reason Homer Barron’ really stuck to me and now I feel like I need to keep him forever. This poison that is in my hands will make sure to keep him next to me until my death. This time, no one will choose for me or make decisions without my acknowledgement. This is something that I purely settled on myself. That same night I decided to invite Homer over, and while he was occupied I put some droplets for the poison in his glass. In a few minutes he started to feel unwell. At that time he was talking about how we can leave this old town and move to somewhere quite. We would have a happy family and a house. My eyes met his and I started feeling this emotion of regret. Maybe I should not have done this, maybe I should also drink this poison, to join him in the afterlife. Right as I thought that, Homer fell to the ground and ceased breathing. I brought him upstairs and put him on the bed. This was the best time to do this because, the word spread that he was leaving town. So nothing would be suspicious at all.I stopped letting people into my home, unless it was the servant who brought the food for me. Each morning and night I laid next to his body and treated him like a living person. Years went by and time came for me to also lie down next to him. Whenever the town find out that I have died, they will probably break through all the doors and  find Homer stuck to the bed after all these years. Whatever they will think about me won’t matter anymore, I was finally able to do something for myself without and third party helping me or forcing me. I guess you can say that our love was eternal.

Project Part 2-> Reasoning for changing perspective

Throughout the story of “A Rose for Emily” the narrator that is telling the story is not the protagonist but someone from the town or one of Emily’s servants. Due to this, the narrator cannot be too trustworthy because they are telling the story from their perspective and from what the think happens/happened. This is exactly why i chose to write a part of the story as a homodiegetic narrator. In other the narrator that takes part in the story itself. One of the biggest changes with using the narrator as the protagonist is that the ending and the start of the story can vary. In the original story Emily dies and then we get to imagine and see through the eyes of the town like we did throughout  the whole story what they found in her house. But with the part that i rewrote, the story cuts off after Emily’s death. I could have added like an imaginative ending, of how she tells us about what happened after her death, but that would seem highly absurd. Changing the perspective from the town to Emily, we are able to see and experience the story in more detail and a bit differently.

As stated before, most of the information we learn about Emily and her family are from the town folk or maybe even the servants that took care of Emily after her father’s death. Everything we hear are just speculations and opinions from others. For example when Emily buys the rat poison, the narrator says this “So the next day we all said,She will kill herself”. This opinion was plausible but incorrect. When I rewrote the story through Emily’s point of view, I made sure to import this part and show that no one actually knew anything about her plans and her feelings. They didn’t even have a clue that she will use the poison on Homer Barron. When looking through the Emily’s eyes, we get to actually feel this sense of lost hope and desperation. After her father’s death, she could not accept it for couple of weeks. Losing someone that you knew your whole life can have a huge toll on your body, mentally and physically. Even though she also felt some relief of losing the person who was controlling her life, she still felt some emotions of depression. When we are told the story, we are barely shown this side of her, everyone thinks that things will get better, she will get married and move on. Sadly something was different about her and no one was able to figure out what.

With the protagonist being the narrator, we can see most of the thoughts and ideas that come to her head. So we are not just sitting there wondering what would happen. We are actually also involved in the poisoning plot and know why she is buying the poison. This quote from the original story; “ the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years”, left us with a huge gap. On the other hand it does drag us deeper into the mysterious plot without knowing all the details, but nothing is better than experiencing the story “first-hand” .

Going back to the different endings that I mentioned; there are tons of ways to end the story differently and uniquely. In this case because I chose to write the narration as the protagonist Emily, it changed the way I can end the story. Instead of seeing the full aftermath, we get cut-off after her death. We don’t really learn too much on what happens afterwards. By losing this ending, we gain mostly all of the thoughts of Emily. We can see clearly the plans that she has in stored, and the motives behind her actions. We don’t have to be guessing like the towns people on what will she do next. Then again while we gain all of that, we lose the suspense. So it all depends on how the reader would prefer for the story to be written or portrayed. Whether they want to all the facts to be kept hidden from them or be involved in the story and see everything through the eyes of the main protagonist.

The stories might vary with their endings and whether or not there is suspense, but in the end everyone gets the general idea on what the story is about and witness the acts that Emily commits. Once again it all depends on the reader, I prefer to actually be involved in the story fully, and be part of Emily’s train of thought. Also, while we imagine the story from the towns perspective, we get all the information from what they think and their opinions(somewhat bias). If the story would have been told as I portrayed it, then our experiences would have been a bit different.


Embellish –  (verb) – to decorate (something) by adding special details and features : to make (something) more appealing or attractive.

I came across this word while reading Quicksand by Nella Larsen (on page 37 at the bottom). This was the context, ” And then he had spoken of contentment, embellishing his words with scriptural quotations and pointing out them what it was their duty to be satisfied in the estate to which they had been called, hewer of wood and drawers of quarter”.  In this case, the statement was given some extra details to make it seem more viable or more informative.

Source –

Helga’s Relationships

Throughout the first couple of chapters that I have read I could already see conflicts brewing due to Helga’s race. She is the daughter of a white Danish woman and a African American jazz musician. We don’t really see Helga’s father because he left her and his wife when Helga was born (might be wrong). Due to this she is a mix of both races. She has a hard time expressing her true feelings. Helga has a hard time fitting in society, she does not “feel at home” whether it’s with the black people or the white people. Even at the school that she teaches she cannot really fit in, just because she is a mixed race. In my opinion being a mixed race does not mean that you cannot fit anywhere, it should be the other way around, where you can see and live  the life of both races. Anyway, the biggest dilemma in the story would be whether or not Helga can find a place called home, without there being anyone to judge her because of her mixed race.  In Naxos she had no time to relax or rest from any thoughts ” ever since her arrival, she had striven to keep these ends of the days from the intrusion of irritating thoughts and worries”.  No matter what she does or goes, there will always be a shadow casting down upon her, reminding her that she cannot fit in any group. Although she will face these troubles, I think she will overcome and find a place that she can call home.

—- Do you think Helga will wonder aimlessly without being welcomed anywhere throughout the whole story, or will she be able to cross her racial boundary ?



Compulsion (Noun) ->>>> the state of being forced to do something.

I found this word from “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka

This was nothing but a formality, instigated to reassure the masses, for the initiates knew well enough that during his fast the artist would never in any circumstances, not even under forcible compulsion, swallow the smallest morsel of food;

This word was used to describe that the artist would not (even if forced to do so) take a small piece of food into his mouth. I was able to understand the meaning of this quote even before looking up the word, by using the key phrases around the word like (forcible) , but still this is one of the few times I encountered this word.

Source ->>>>


Dispensation – “an exemption from a law or from an impediment, vow, or oath may be granted a dispensation from the rule”

While re-reading “A Rose for Emily” I came across the same passage we looked at in class and wanted to look up what “Dispensation” actually meant. After discovering the meaning, it became even more clear to me how Colonel Sartoris wanted to make sure that Emily would not have to worry about paying the taxes. As we discussed it was due to the fact that Emily really had no real income, the only thing that was worth something was her family title.




The narrator in “A Rose for Emily”

“The narrator in “A Rose for Emily” is different than others we have encountered. What term would you use to identify the narrator? is it a reliable narrator? Use evidence from the story to show why you say reliable or not.”

So in the story “A rose for Emily” I was mislead by who was actually telling/narrating the story. We don’t really get who is the narrator unless we look deeply in what kind of words are used through the passage. Depending on whose eyes we are looking through, the point of view can actually be a bit different. So before we get into that, lets take a look at “The Story of An Hour”, it is told in third person. It can also been seen as Third Person omniscient, but the narrator only knows how Mrs. Mallard is feeling and no one else, due to the fact that all other characters are “flat characters”. Now going back to “A rose for Emily”, it would seem that the story is definitely not told from Emily’s perspective. It is mostly told from other people’s point of view, and how the saw the situation unfold.  For Example

“When we saw her again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows–sort of tragic and serene.”

“We were a little disappointed that there was not a public blowing-off, but we believed that he had gone on to prepare for Miss Emily’s coming, or to give her a chance to get rid of the cousins.”

“Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.”

All of these quotes mentions the words “we” as in the people who either worked with her or saw her very frequently. We see the story through their eyes and through their thoughts. So due to that I kinda feel like the narrator is not that reliable. In the end of the story even after Emily’s death, we were told how “they” knew about there being “a room above the stairs which no one had seen in forty years” and that they saw a strand of gray hair. So after reading these quotes I am more inclined on saying that people who knew her quiet well and have been close to her were telling the story. The most reliable narrator would be First Person, or someone who is telling the story about themselves.