Analysis of Cross Damon

Richard Wright’s novel The Outsider begins with the story of a man, Cross Damon, who continually seems to get the short end of the stick in life. Throughout “Book One: Dread” Cross finds himself in various situations that go from bad to worse fairly quickly. It is obvious to the reader that these circumstances come about as a result of Cross’ own wrongdoing, he is the reason why he is always in so much trouble throughout the first part of the book. He clearly harbors a fault that continually brings him down. Cross’ dread that he will be disappointed is his biggest flaw in the first part of Wright’s The Outsider.

When Cross was a boy he watched his mother suffer the consequences of living under the shadow of his fathers infidelity. It hurt her so badly that she raised Cross in an environment that led him to believe that being let down or hurt by others was the worst thing that could happen to a person. “Though she loved him, she had tainted his budding feelings with a fierce devotion born of her fear of a life that had baffled and wounded her.” (Wright, 22) This dread or fear of disappointment is all Cross has ever known, it is the only way he knows of to protect himself from a world full of let downs.

Cross is so scared of the pain of disappointment that he often hurts those around him to protect himself. When he was younger he married Gladys and settled down with her. They seemed to have a great life up until the day their first child was born. Cross was so terrified by the possibility of becoming truly happy with Gladys that he started sleeping around with other women. Being happy with Gladys meant sharing his life with her. That kind of love is the product of giving enough of yourself to another person that would allow them to completely destroy you if they wanted but trusting them not to. Cross could not do that. He could not risk the possibility that Gladys might one day let him down. So he did the only thing he knew how to do, he ruined the relationship.

After realizing that there was no way Cross could allow himself to be happy Wright tells us that, “He was now haunted by the idea of finding some way to make her hate him. Her hatred would be a way of squaring their relationship, of curing her of her love for him, of setting her free as well as himself.” (Wright, 71) In the end he comes up with a plan that successfully leaves Gladys hating him. He then sets his sights on Dot, a young woman he meets in a liquor store. It seems like he is falling for her like he could not with Gladys, “His bond with her grew deeper with the passing days, for it was with her that, for the first time in his life, he found himself talking freely, emptying out of his soul the damned up waters of reflection and brooding thought.” (Wright, 42) Cross seems to make an innocent mistake when Dot becomes pregnant, but the way he handles the situation suggests that he is trying to get rid of her, she has gotten too close. Again he is attempting to ruin a relationship because he is afraid of being eventually let down.

Cross feels he has been given the perfect opportunity to be free when a train accident leaves everyone believing that he is dead. “All of his life he had been hankering after his personal freedom, and now freedom was knocking at his door, begging him to come out.” (Wright, 107)

Party Time: Party Settings in Romeo and Juliet and Great Gatsby Quotes

Ah, parties. Who doesn’t love a good party? You’ve got awesome food, drinks, cool people, loud music and unrestrained hijinks abound. Beyond being an opportunity to go buck wild or to be a social animal, parties also serve a purpose of potential serendipity. What we mean is that the human celebratory party is the setting for chance interactions and fateful meet-ups. For example, you can meet the love of your life at a chance encounter during a college party, then quickly proceed into the happily ever after stage of marriage, children and even a chocolate lab. If it wasn’t for that party, you might never have had Bruno the dog.

The party setting is also a literary staple. Authors use parties in their stories because it offers an opportunity to converge two unacquainted characters or two distinctive plot lines in one place, allowing the story to advance or change its course.

Consider Shakespeare’s teen drama, Romeo and Juliet. Romeo sneaks into the Capulets lavish party, hiding his true identity because of the whole Capulet vs. Montague beef. He comes across Juliet and falls instantly in love. The party scene is a catalyst their relationship and ensuing demise. In a sense, the party becomes a fulfillment of fate for the two star-crossed lovers, a tactic used by Shakespeare not only to advance the story but to brew the formula for pending tragedy.

In other words, the party gives free rein to Shakespeare to add any elements he sees fit-logical restrictions and continuities do not readily apply. As in real life, the party allows authors to mingle their intentions for the story.

Another key example of party-filled book is, of course, The Great Gatsby. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel about the 1920s, extravagant get-togethers are symbols of excess, status and class. Most of the scenes are party-like settings, giving the novel and its occasionally deplorable characters an air of leisure and aristocracy. This feeling is essential to not only the novel’s thematic focuses, but it is also fundamental in building the novel’s social critic of wealthy people and the upper middle class. Take, for example, the title character Jay Gatsby in this select Great Gatsby quotes:

“There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and he champagne and the stars… On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.”

The exemplar of wealth and extravagance, indeed. Neighbor Nick Carraway, our narrator. Again, parties bring together individuals who might not have ever met. Yet, his parties largely define him, though he barely knows the people who show up. He throws them in the chance that Daisy, the one who got away, might show up-very a la Romeo and Juliet, even though its an attempt at planned serendipity.

Whether it’s planned or happenstance, parties are classic elements authors use when they need to bring people together, tear them apart or just make things seem fun. Except in The Raven

That guy needed a party badly.

Was the Princess of Cleves Weak?

The chastity, the innocence and the faithfulness of Mrs. of Cleves in the novel The Princess of Cleves fascinate many readers because they feel that she is a real role model for married couples of all times as she proves that feelings may be suppressed in order to keep the marital bed pure from adultery. Nonetheless, others are to the opinion that she was simply a coward for revealing her feelings to her husband. Was Mrs. de Cleves really weak?

In the relationship involving Mrs. of Cleves and the Duc of Nemours; though the two loved each other, this love was not concretize. Although some of the characteristics of “courtly love” are found in their relationship; what they shared was “precious love”;” for example, the lady made the man suffer by not concretizing the love and the man had an ennobling force. We cannot classify their relationship as “courtly love” considering that love was not its supreme value, and that love, which appears to be “courtly” is mixed with rationality. This is why we rather call it “precious love” which describes better what existed between them.

Mrs. of Cleves rationalization is that her mother taught her to love her husband and to remain faithful to him. Her conviction that being in love with another man was unfaithful convinced her to stop herself from getting to a path that was against the values instilled in her or against her education. Honesty, sincerity and respect came to play a great role in her decision making in reference to pursuing a love affair with the Duc. It is evident that The Tender Geographies of the Map of Loveland written by Mademoiselle de Scudery had to be used by Mrs. de Cleves to help her keep away from love. She moved from being on the unsafe side of the road of the map where she was “Tender” and started having esteem, inclination and gratitude for the Duc to being on the safe side, by displaying qualities such as sincerity and faithfulness to her husband, until she got to “Oubli” where love totally faded.

It is then accurate to express that the status of good and faithful wife was more important to the Princess of Cleves than her feeling for the Duc of Nemours. This is why many times she fakes being ill so she could avoid the salons, and by extension the Duc. Despite the death of her husband, Mrs. of Cleves, submerged with the feelings of guilt, and dedicated to stay faithful to her husband beyond death; chose to get to the road of “Oubli” by deciding to move to a retreat. Being away at the retreat helped both her and the Duc to stop nourishing the love. Thus, we notice here a different dimension of rationalization through her actions, which has the purpose of helping her to escape from, or totally forget this love.

Considering the facts; was Mrs. of Cleves a coward or was she weak for telling her husband about her feelings for another man? Although some may misjudge her attitude; the personage of Mrs. of Cleves should be appreciated for having high moral standards and for respecting principles that are in line with biblical values instructing that the marital bed should be free from adultery. It is necessary to admit though that the princess ‘virtue’ exceeded the normal considering that no human law or religious principles suggest that a woman should continue remaining faithful to her husband beyond his death. Nevertheless, the Princess of Cleves is far from being a coward because only a very courageous woman will admit to her husband that she has feelings for another man and only a strong woman is capable of controlling her emotion and not let love direct her path.