Author Archives: Jahanzeb Siddiqy


a usually poor town or section of a town consisting mostly of shanties.

I came across this word while reading “You In America.” The speaker says: ”  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 them.” Knowing the meaning of this word lets the reader know that the speaker was from a low income family and grew up in poverty.

Project 2 Business Letter

May 9, 2018

Jahanzeb Siddiqy

Eng 2001-D536

Hathi Trust Project:

Dear editor, my name is Jahanzeb Siddiqy and I attend the New York City College of Technology. I have read the digital edition of Quicksand was made available online thanks to your organization. I am writing to propose that a digital annotated version of Quicksand also be made available to the audience. I have found that having access to external information sources while reading a work provides the audience with additional insight and helps the reader view the work from a more realistic perspective.

An example of this would be in Quicksand, which is set mostly in America during the early 1900s, a period in which racism and segregation was prevalent in society. Throughout the book, many references to racism and laws which suppress African Americans are made, however, if the reader does not have access to how exactly this influenced African Americans during that time, it makes it difficult to understand the Protagonists point-of-view.

For example, in the first chapter of Quicksand, the protagonist finds the speech of a white preacher greatly repulsive. This was due to him saying, “And he had dared any northerner to come south and after looking upon this great institution to say that the southerner mistreated the negro. And he had said that if all Negroes would only take a leaf out of the book of Naxos and conduct themselves in the manner of the Naxos products there would be no race problem, because Naxos negroes knew what was expected of them.” In his speech, he also urges Negros not to be Avaricious and to have contentment with what they are given. Although the reader gets a general idea of the preachers sense of superiority in the text, it still remains unclear as to what causes this sense of superiority and why Helga seems to find this as a personal insult. However, if one looks to the Jim Crow laws, which can be found in my annotations here, it is clear that this was during a time in which laws were being passed which suppressed African Americans and other people of color, and under the guise of ‘seperate but equal’ facilities, ended up depriving people of color from proper facilities. A result of these laws were that it was made difficult for people of color to ever come out of their cycle of poverty and some whites would continue to view themselves as superior to colored people.

If one takes into account this external information, it is evident that such a speech delivered by a white man at a school for colored people would lead the colored people to feel offended. As can be seen, having access to a digital annotated version made it easier for the reader to connect with characters within the story.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my proposal. I look forward to to hearing from you soon.

-Jahanzeb Siddiqy.

Project 2 Glossary Term

Contentment: A state of happiness and satisfaction. (Oxford Dictionary)

The preacher at Naxos in chapter 1 also spoke of contentment. He wanted the students at Naxos to be grateful and satisfied with their current state of affairs. This in turn would allow the whites to continue segregating and oppressing them with no opposition.

Project 2 Glossary Term

Avaricious: greedy of gain excessively acquisitive especially in seeking to hoard riches (Merriam-Webster)

In the first chapter, the preacher urged the students at Naxos not to become avaricious. He was basically telling them not to try to advance their social status in society. This in turn would keep them subservient to the whites. This relates to my annotation on the Jim Crow laws since the goal of the Jim Crow laws was to suppress the colored population

Project # 2 Annotations

The Jim Crow laws were in effect during the time the story in Nella Larson’s “Quicksand” takes place and you can see the effect of the Jim Crow laws in various parts of the story.

The Jim Crow laws refers to a set of laws that were in effect until around the mid 1960’s which claimed to provide separate yet equal accommodations for whites and colored people. For example one such law stated :

“All railroads carrying passengers in the state (other than street railroads) shall provide equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races, by providing two or more passenger cars for each passenger train, or by dividing the cars by a partition, so as to secure separate accommodations.”
—Tennessee, 1891“(Taken from

Similar laws were passed regarding educational institutions and even the social interactions between whites and colored people.

Although these laws claimed to provide separate yet equal accommodations, this was rarely ever the case. White institutions were often much better off and developed while those made for colored people were poorly funded and in poor condition.

“Jim Crow Laws were statutes and ordinances established between 1874 and 1975 to separate the white and black races in the American South. In theory, it was to create “separate but equal” treatment, but in practice Jim Crow Laws condemned black citizens to inferior treatment and facilities.”(Taken from

This would help us understand the story better by providing us a better perspective on what the world Nella Larsen grew up in was like. For example, in the first chapter, when the preacher was delivering a speech to Naxos, he said “This was, he told them, the finest school for negroes anywhere in the country, north or south; it was better even than a great many schools for white children.” If someone unaware of the Jim Crow laws were reading this, they would have been confused when the preacher referred to “Negro schools” and “White schools.”

Works Cited:

Hansan, J.E. “Jim Crow Laws and Racial Segregation.” Social Welfare History Project, 1 Mar. 2018,                            segregation/.
“Jim Crow Law.”
“Jim Crow Laws – Separate Is Not Equal.” National Museum of American History,                                 

A Rose for Emily From Emily’s Point of View.

Part 1:

When my father died, all he left me was his house. What was once an elegant estate in one of the best neighborhoods of Jefferson had now become a decaying building standing in a neighborhood taken over by cotton wagons and gasoline pumps. As a Grierson, I was part of nobility and expected to live a life of luxury. Instead, I ended up feeling betrayed by my father into living a life of poverty with no one to look after me but myself and my negro. A while after my father had died, some of the townspeople began demanding that I pay taxes. This was a preposterous demand as I was remitted of paying any taxes due to the fact that my father had loaned a great amount of money to the town and they are still unable to pay it back. At first they wrote me a few letters requesting me to pay the taxes, however i ignored their nonsensical claims and simply mailed them back. One day, they had the nerve to come into my home and ask me to pay taxes. I was enraged and told them to speak to Colonel Sartoris. I never heard from them again.

A year or so after the death of my father, the town had decided to pave the sidewalks. They had signed a contract with the company who had arrived to begin their work in the summer. The man who came from the company was named Homer Barron. He was a northerner. Tall, dark, and with a demanding voice. He became acquainted with everyone in town in a fairly short amount of time. He was able to make everyone laugh and was the only person who had managed to grow close to me after the death of my father. We began going on drives in his yellow-wheeled buggy on Sunday afternoon.

The townspeople thought i was not aware of what they were saying about me and Homer Barron, but I was completely aware. I just did not take heed to what they were saying as they were of lower status than me, as I was a Grierson. After some time had passed, some of my kin from Alabama had come over and demanded I get married to Homer Barron, as what I was doing with him was a bad example to the townspeople. I did not attend on marrying him as he was a northerner and a Grierson would not marry a northerner. However, I still decided to go along with it so as not to raise any suspicions on what I was about to do. I pretended to be planning for the wedding. I had been to the jeweler’s and ordered a man’s toilet set in silver , with the letters H.B. on each piece. I also bought a complete outfit of men’s clothing, including a nightshirt.

One day I decided the only way to get out of the marriage would be to kill Homer. I found my way to the druggist and asked him to give me the best poison he had. After much persuasion, he finally had the arsenic delivered to my home. That day, I had put some arsenic into his food. He went to sleep that night and never woke up again. Since that day I had never left the house for fear of someone discovering the body. I did not care to move it or bury it and it remained in the bed in the same position for years to come. At one point his body had decayed into the bed and it was impossible to move. I decided to keep him there and did not let anyone visit my home. When the neighbors began complaining of the smell I took no notice. After my death, I knew that they would soon discover the source of the smell.

Part 2:

“A Rose for Emily,” is originally written in the first person point-of-view from the perspective of either the residents of the town as a whole or a specific resident of the town. The thoughts of the people of the town are clear as well as some of their emotions. It is very clear to see the conflict from everyones perspective except for Emily. This is the reason i chose to write it in Emily’s point of view.

The story is set in a southern town which seems to follow traditional values. Many of the things that Emily and her family does seems to go against these values, and due to this, many of the townspeople dislike her. They not only dislike her due to this but it seems as if they are jealous of her former high standing in society. Telling the story from Emily’s point-of view will give the audience a different perspective into the story. Instead of having a biased version of Emily being portrayed to the audience, they will have direct access to the thoughts and emotions of Emily Grierson.


In “The Story of An Hour,” by Kate Chopin, the author uses this word in the following sentence.

“He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.”

According to the merriam-webster dictionary, it means:

“to exclude, hinder, or prevent by prior occupation or measures”

This would mean that he quickly prevented any other friends from deliver the message of the death of her husband.


Defenition from Websters Dictionary:

a light loose garment worn especially for protection of clothing while working
I came across this term while reading the Grimm Brothers version of Cinderella. It was used in the first page on the 5th Paragraph.
“They took her beautiful clothes away from her, dressed her in an old gray smock, and gave her wooden shoes.”
The defenition of this word helps understand the story better as it shows that her stepsisters attempted to degrade her as a smock was something used to wear while working and viewed as an inferior piece of clothing.