Cloak: transitive verb: to cove or hide / noun: something that envelops or conceals

From “The Shawl”: First, I told him that keeping his sister’s shawl was wrong, because we never keep the clothing of the dead. Now’s the time to burn it, I said. Send it off to cloak her spirit. And he agreed.

Now I came to understand that the boy requested his father to burn the shawl so that the shawl will reach to the spirit of his father’s dead sister and cover her.


Stash: transitive verb : to store in a usually secret place for future use

From “The Shawl”: I got my growth earlier that some boys, and, one night when I was thirteen and Doris and Raymond and I were sitting around wishing for something besides the oatmeal and commodity canned milk I’d stashed so he couldn’t sell them, I heard him coming down the road.

Now I understand that the boy kept the oatmeal and commodity canned milk in secret place so that his father won’t sell them and they could eat later.


Avid: adjective: desirous to the point of greed, urgently eager

From “The Shawl”: For he kept seeing his mother put the baby and grip his sister around the waist. He saw the brown shawl with its red lines flying open. He saw the shadows, the wolves, rush together, quick and avid, as the wagon with sled runners disappeared into the distance- forever, for neither he nor his father saw Aanakwad again.

Now I came to know that the boy used to see a nightmare where his mother and sister are being chased by quick and hungrily greedy wolves.


Scorch: verb: to burn a surface of so as to change its color and texture, to dry or shrivel with or as if with intense heat

From “The Shawl”: His chest was scorched with pain, and yet he pushed himself on. He’d never run so fast, so hard and furiously, but he was determined, and he refused to believe that the increasing distance between him and the wagon was real.

Now I came to understand that the boy was running very fast, so his chest was burning with pain but still he was not ready to give up the race with the wagon.

Physical and Mental Devastation

This picture depicts the scene from Beloved where Mr. Garner dies and schoolteacher takes over the sweet home. Life for the slaves became miserable from the day schoolteacher entered the sweet home. His torture and abusive behavior were intolerable due to which slaves went through physical and mental devastation.

This is a composite picture created in Photoshop combining three different pictures and one word art. I chose the picture to be colorless (black and white) because the picture represents a painful scene and I wanted to imprint the sadness in the picture. I created the word art with the help of online site This word art highlights some of the important words related to the scene such as tears, Garner, pregnant, milk. The picture at the bottom right shows three men brutally beating a man. This act represents the conduct of schoolteacher at sweet home. The next picture, which is at the bottom left, shows a scared mother embracing her child. She has fear on her face but at the same time, she is giving her affection and protection to her child from the threat. She represents Sethe, who is the only female slave in the sweet home. Sethe didn’t want her children to live the life in sweet home. The third picture at the top left shows an eye with a teardrop. The teardrop has an image of a child inside it, which means a mother is crying for her child. This teary eye represents feeling of Sethe as well as Mrs. Garner. Schoolteacher abused pregnant Sehte and took the milk of her child and when Sethe told Mrs. Garner about schoolteacher, Mrs. Garner’s eyes rolled out tears.

Image Citation:

The Day Mr. Grierson Died

The Day Mr. Grierson Died


“Your tea sir ” I placed the tea on the table, Mr. Grierson was still on his bed. Then I gave tea to Miss Emily and went out to the market. I came back from the market and went to clean Mr. Grierson’s room. Tea was still on the table as I left it and Mr. Grierson was still sleeping. “Sir sir” I called it loud, I ain’t got no response from him. Cold air passed over my head. I nervously shook him “Sir, sir ”, he was still irresponsive.

I quickly ran to Miss Emily, “Miss Emily” breathing heavily I called.

“What happened Tobe? “ She calmly asked.

“Mr. Grierson…”

“What happened to father?” She screamed.

“Mr. Grierson ain’t no responding,” I said in a panic voice.

“Go call the doctor” and she rushed to the room.

Doctor came and announced him dead. “No, my father is not dead” Miss Emily shouted holding Mr. Grierson’s arm. In few hours, the news reached everyone’s ear.  One by one people started calling home and some paid their visit as a custom, but Miss Emily answered all of them same  “My Father is not dead”.  She declined the visitors and telephone calls.

“Tobe, make sure no body disturbs my father, he needs rest. These people don’t understand, my father is sick; he is not dead. He just needs some rest.”

“Sure Miss Emily” I replied her in a shaky voice.

There was nothing I could do; I just followed the orders otherwise stood and watch. I was just a servant. That whole day she stayed with the dead body of Mr. Grierson. I was worried; she was going crazy. Soon the whole town started talking about Miss Emily. The next day ministers and doctors again tried to convince her but they were unsuccessful. Finally on the third day, town decided to take some action and gathered in front of the house. People started shouting outside and authorities warned Miss Emily.

“Miss Emily please let us enter the house. It’s against the law to keep the dead body. We have to take some action against you if you do not cooperate with us.”

Tears ran through Miss Emily’s cheeks. “She came out of the trauma,” I said to myself. She opened the door and authorities took the body out for the final ritual. As the people were taking out the body from the house, Miss Emily cried out loud, “Don’t take my father, I need him.”

“Don’t take him please”

Her tears didn’t stopped for days.  I hadn’t seen Miss Emily so sad. She just sat on the couch and looked through the window. She kept herself alone. She didn’t talk with anybody. I was the only person coming in and out of the house otherwise the house looked lifeless. When I used to go out in the market, people used to ask me about the Miss Emily.

“How is Miss Emily doing Tobe?”

What happened to Miss Emily? Why is she not answering our phone? Is she alright?”

But I ain’t answer no body. I kept quiet, did my thing in the market and returned home. Miss Emily was in great depression. She had lost her support. She was like a half dead body, didn’t ate well, stayed hours on the couch and sometimes hours staring at the empty room of Mr. Grierson. Slowly Miss Emily began to fall sick.

“Miss Emily you need to see a Doctor”

“No Tobe, I am all right. I just need some rest and time for myself.”

Like I said before, there was nothing I could do. Just follow the orders.





In the story “A Rose for Emily’ by William Faulkner, Miss Emily is a mysterious character who displays unbalanced and strange behaviors to the world. Her identity is locked inside the four walls of the house where no one have accessed for more than forty years. She demanded to live her life in her own terms and conditions: She didn’t pay the tax; she refused to put the house number given by federal mailing service and she even denied to give reason for buying poison although it was required by law. At the end of the story when Miss Emily died, a shocking image of her was reveled. She was found living with dead body, which leaves lot of questions unanswered about her character. The story is narrated in second person objective where the narrator is the collective voice of the town. The narrator of this story does not have access to any of the character’s mind nor he has access inside the house of Miss Emily. So in the story lots of information are missing and questions are unanswered for the readers. This is one of the reason I choose this mysterious story “ A Rose for Emily” to retell. Retelling this original story through a different character of the story would make readers to see this story in different way. The new narration has different setting and plot for the story. Among the various characters of the story, I selected Tobe (Miss Emily’s servant) to be the narrator of my story. The autodiegetic narration of Tobe has the access inside Miss Emily’s house, so this narration includes her reaction on her father’s death and the activities inside the house.

Tobe is a silent character in the story; he never speaks and just appears in few scenes of the story. But he is a very important character who can put light on dark side of the story because he is the only person who has the access inside the house; he is the connection between the inner and the outer world of Miss Emily. Tobe witnessed everyone’s death inside that house; from the death of Mr. Grierson to the death of Miss Emily he was there. He even lived along the wired life of Miss Emily because I think he cared about Miss Emily. So, he disappeared from the house after the death of Miss Emily.

Retelling the story “A Rose for Emily” and the original story definitely shares main plot of the storyline but the story by Tobe focuses more inside of the house activities where as the original story focuses the activities that took place outside of the house. The main context of the story is to portrait Miss Emily but when we do not have access inside the world of Miss Emily, it is very hard to narrow down the points. In the retelling of the story we are able to enter the world of Miss Emily, which helps us to see the story in different way. No body knew how Miss Emily reacted on her father’s death, how she used to live isolated those many years and how Tobe managed to live in such an abnormal situation. If this was the retelling of the entire story then we could have got the answers for these questions and other unclear statements; but I selected just a small scene from the original story to retell it. I picked up the scene where Emily’s father dies. I particularly chose this scene to narrate because I think this is the time when everything started falling for Miss Emily. She lost her only support in the world but the original story is unable to give details on her reaction and her feelings. “When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left to her; and in a way, people were glad. At last they could pity Miss Emily. Being left alone, and a pauper she become humanized.”  Tobe retells the same incident in depth where the readers can actually feel the pain of Miss Emily, ‘“No, my father is not dead” Miss Emily shouted holding Mr. Grierson’s arm.’ Only the sentence “shouted holding Mr. Grierson’s arm” describe the inner pain of Miss Emily, which was missing from the original story. Not only Miss Emily’s reaction but the retold story also adds Tobe’s reaction when he first found Mr. Grierson dead. “Tea was still on the table as I left it and Mr. Grierson was still sleeping. “Sir sir” I called it loud, I ain’t got no response from him. Cold air passed over my head. I nervously shook him “Sir, sir ”, he was still irresponsive.” This reaction from Tobe creates an interesting background before they found out about Mr. Grierson. In the original story we are then told that Emily did not had any grief on the face and she decline to give the dead body of her father as she think her father is not dead. “Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days” Reading this sentence it is very hard for us to think why she behaved like this but when we read the same incident from Tobe’s point of view, we can see how she took her father’s death. “Tobe, make sure no body disturbs my father, he needs rest. These people don’t understand, my father is sick; he is not dead. He just needs some rest.” These sentences from Emily’s mouth explain that she is in trauma of her father’s death, so being mentally restless she is not able to face the reality and avoiding it. Tobe was the only person who faced the uncomfortable time of Miss Emily very closely but the original narration just did not counted him. This skipped part comes out when Tobe describes his thoughts and reaction in his own narration, ‘“Sure Miss Emily” I replied her in a shaky voice. There was nothing I could do; I just followed the orders otherwise stood and watch. I was just a servant. That whole day she stayed with the dead body of Mr. Grierson. I was worried; she was going crazy.’ Tobe cared about Miss Emily and wanted to help her to recover from trauma but he was unable to do anything for her. He could not even bring out his emotions because he was tide with the title of a servant. So he just kept following the orders.

Just retelling the small scene from the original story somewhat changed the image of Miss Emily. “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house” Miss Emily was portrayed as a lifeless human but Tobe’s narration portrayed her as a normal woman who has the feelings like others as she cried and shouted for her father. Now I am very positive that retelling the entire story from Tobe’s point of view would definitely make the story more interesting and less mysterious.


Death of Mr. Garner was the turning point in the story “Beloved”. Schoolteacher took over the Sweet Home after Mr. Garner died. Sufferings started as the days of schoolteacher started at sweet home. His torcher and misconduct lead the whole change in the scenario of the story. Sethe had to ran from the sweet home.

“Mr. Garner was dead and his wife had a lump in her neck the size of a sweet potato and unable to speak to anyone. She leaned as close to the fire as her pregnant belly allowed and told him, Paul D, the last of the Sweet Home men. There had been six of them who belonged to the farm, Sethe the only female. Mrs. Garner, crying like a baby, had sold his brother to pay off the debts that surfaced the minute she was widowed. Then schoolteacher arrived to put things in order. But what he did broke three more Sweet Home men and punched the glittering iron out of Sethe’s eyes, leaving two open wells that did not reflect firelight.” (Page 5, online version)

New Learning Experience at BHS

Visiting Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) was completely a new learning experience for us. We visited BHS three times and each time there were something new and interesting to learn. In our first visit we got opportunity to know little more about Brooklyn’s history through the maps and photographs dated century back. We made this visit when we were reading “Only The Dead Know Brooklyn” by Thomas Wolfe. Then our recent two visits to BHS were focused on the slavery time period. These visits were based on our readings; “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and “Runaway Slaves” by John Franklin and Loren Schweninger. In these visits we looked at the journals and newspaper ads of owners whose slaves ran away from them. These two visits were different than the first visit because we worked in groups to learn the materials. We also did a presentation for other group members and BHS staff members based on our ideas and observations. All those primary resources, group works, and most importantly the co-operative staff members of BHS enhanced our overall experience at BHS.

The Anonymous Narrator

The primary narrator in the “Beloved” is unknown for the readers. The narrator is not physically present in the story, but the narrator has access to everything. So I would say the narrator of “Beloved” is anonymous and omniscient. The anonymous narrator has narrated the story in the third person. The anonymous narrator does not only narrate the story but also the story is the collective narration of flashback of the characters. So when the characters express their feelings and look back into their memory, they use the first person.

The narrator has narrated the story with lots of detail information. In other words, the story gives the readers detail picture of everything that is taking place in the story whether it is the conversation between the characters, feelings of the character or the description of a scenario. “Kneeling in the keeping room where she usually went to talk-think it was clear why Baby Suggs was so starved for color. There wasn’t any except for two orange squares in a quilt that made the absence shout. The walls of the room were slate-colored, the floor earth-brown, the wooden dresser the color of itself, curtains white, and the dominating feature, the quilt over an iron cot, was made up of scraps of blue serge, black, brown and gray wool-the full range of the dark and the muted that thrift and modesty allowed.”(Page 38) In the above paragraph from the story, the description of a room is written using very detail information such as the colors, the position, features and so on. Narrating the story in such a detail way makes the readers as if they are the part of the story and the readers are actually witnessing the scenario.

Know more about Brooklyn, BHS

Visiting Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) was a wonderful opportunity for me to know more about Brooklyn. BHS has rich collections from Brooklyn’s history including various maps and photographs. Looking at those maps and photographs, I could picture Brooklyn of century ago. The Atlas of New Utrecht, 1874 gave me some idea about the urbanization of Brooklyn. I could see some estates under the name of person and some estates under the name of development companies. As I understood, these development companies bought the farmer’s land and made it commercial by plotting the land and constructing buildings and apartments houses. After the map, I looked at a photograph of Coney Island Beach, which was taken in July 1958. Comparing today’s Coney Island with the photograph, I found a huge difference. I could see crowd of people enjoying at the beach, but there were no boardwalk and houses were just under construction. This means the Coney Island area was being prepared for commercialization.


Haughty: adjective: having or showing the insulting attitude of people who think that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people

From the story ” A Rose for Emily”, ” ‘I want some poison’. she said to the druggist. She was over thirty then, still a slight woman, though thinner than usual, with cold, haughty black eyes in a face the flesh of which was strained across the temples and about the eyesockets as you imagine a lighthouse-keeper’s face ought to look.”

Now I understand that when Emily asked for the poison, she had a very dominating look in her eyes so that she won’t be questioned about buying the poison.


Temerity: (noun): the quality of being confident and unafraid of danger or punishment especially in a way that seems rude or foolish

From the story “A Rose for Emily”; “A few of the ladies had the temerity to call, but were not received, and the only sign of life about the palace was the Negro man-a young man then–going in and out with a market basket.”

Now the sentence is clear to me that after Emily’s father death she also departed from her love due to which she kept herself in isolation. So only few ladies attempted to call her inorder to show sympathy, or give the company, but Emily didn’t responded them.

“The Yellow Wallpaper ” -a view as a horror story

I won’t say “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman fits in the category of typical horror stories, which fascinates or shocks the readers by introducing them to supernatural powers, bloodshed, or scary scenes. But this story shares some properties with the horror collections. There are incidents in the story where author has created weird and scary situations in a fascinating manner.

The story is about the author herself who suffers from physiological disorder and her struggle during the phase with her own imaginary scary activities. When the author starts narrating the story, it feels like as if she is going to narrate a horror story. In the second paragraph of the story she start saying “A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house,” The author leads the story with the description of the house which she and her husband have rented for summer.  Describing the house as old and haunted she is conveying message to the readers that the house carries some unusual environment. Again to support her statement that there is something wrong with the house she adds “Else, why should it be let so cheaply? And why have stood so long untenanted?” In this way Gilman creates a horror story type scenario and presents a dark scary image in front of the readers. As the story moves on, the author gets disturb by the wallpaper in a room and she starts seeing unusual activities “There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stares at you upside down.” Here using the words like broken neck and bulbous eyes, author is presenting a disturbed image to the readers like in horror stories. Like the unusual activities intensifies in the horror stories, Gilman’s fear intensifies and she starts seeing a character, a woman creeping on the wall and haunting her “It creeps all over the house. I find it hovering in the dining-room, skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the stairs.” No one except Gilman witness the woman and the activities. Only she is being haunted by the woman figure. Till the end of the story the imaginary woman character keeps haunting the author for the freedom. And finally she gets rid of the fear by peeling off the wall paper. Looking at these points I would definitely say that “The Yellow Wall Paper” has the taste of a horror story.


visage:noun: the face, countenance, or appearance of a person

From “Young Goodman Brown”:They turned; and flashing forth, as it were, in a sheet of flame, the fiend-worshippers were seen; the smile of welcome gleamed darkly on every visage. (Paragraph 62)

I came to understand that there was a light smile on every face.



Triumph: noun: the joy or exultation of victory or success, a notable success

From “The Story of An Hour”: “She arose at length and opened the door to her sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.” (Paragraph 18)

This means there was an intense joy of victory in her eyes.