It seems that in all three of these works there is a sense of paranoia. In HANDS a man is fearful of what might happen if he continues to do as he has done in the past, touch people. A terrible fear of what a small touch could lead to. In the story EVELINE a young woman is confused about what to do with her life. Whether to go with a man she thinks she loves or stay with her father. In the poem SUMMER SOLSTICE - NEW YORK CITY This man is made crazy and paranoid because of something. That something has driven this man to the point of casting his body over the edge of a building.
Straight from the text of Hands - a story about a man and his paranoia of his own hands - An example of Wing Biddlebaums fear. WING BIDDLEBAUM forever frightened and beset by a ghostly band of doubts. Adolf Myers or Wing as the town people called him was a dreamer, he wanted others to dream with him and experience what he did. "Adolf Myers walked into the evening or had sat talking until dusk upon the school steps lost in a dream." "In a way the voice and hands, the stroking of shoulders and the touching of hair were a part of the school Master's effort to carry a dream into the young minds." This is a man that was run out of a town for something that was not a bad thing. Nor was this something intended the wrong way. Mr. Myers did touch only to pass on something great - a dream. Mr. Myers was run from a town. "They intended to hang the school master." "As he ran away in the darkness they repented their weakness and ran after him." Mr. Myers was so paranoid about touching someone he would do anything to keep his hands from doing so. "When he talked to George Willard, Wing Biddlebaum closed his fist and beat with them upon a table or on the walls of his house." Once Wing did let that one thing that he tried so hard not to do happen. He touched someone, when he realized it I feel that the paranoia set in. "For once he forgot his hands. Slowly they stole their way upon George Willard's shoulders." "With a conclusive move of his body Wing sprang to his feet and thrust his hands deep in his pockets." "Tears came to his eyes." "I must be getting home, I can talk no more." Wing was scarred of something . . . He was paranoid of touching someone. The poem SUMMER SOLSTICE - NEW YORK CITY deals with a man threatening society to take his own life. This whole play is dealing with paranoia. "He could not stand it" "The officer was putting on a bulletproof vest, a black shell around his own life." "They all came a little closer where they squatted near his death." All of these are examples of either anticipation of death or fear of what will happen depending on what you do next. The officers are afraid of moving too fast. For if so the man may jump. "The tallest cop approached him directly, softly, softly, talking to him, talking…talking." The crowd was paranoid that what they might do would have an adverse effect on the situation. "The crowd gathered in the street, silent." Every person was worried that the man would jump. All people took preparation. "The dark hairy net with its implacable grid was unfolded near the curb and spread out and stretched as the sheet is prepared to receive birth." While the man stands at the edge of the building, about to take his life. A cop worried about startling him makes his move. A cop "came up out of a hold in the top of the neighboring building, like the gold hole they say is in the top of a head, he began to lurk toward the man who wanted to die."
Even though the man wanted to die, it seemed that he wants to live that much more. The man was scared of stepping down "everything stopped as his body jerked and he stepped down from the parapet and went toward them and they closed on him." The police were happy to see the man had passed on his desire to take his life, they had done their job and they had done it well. "They took him by the arms, and held him up by the chimney and the tall cop lit a cigarette in his own mouth, and gave it to the man." In the story EVELINE a young girl is paranoid about making the right decision. Her mother asked her to promise something before she died that would twist her thoughts till the night her boyfriend left her.
Her mother made her promise to take as much care of the family as she could. EVELINE wanted to do so many things that her life at home restricted. "She was about to explore another life with frank." "He took her to see The Bohemian Girl." "She would go away with him by the night-boat to be his wife and to live with him in Buenos Ayres." Her father refused to let her see him. "I know these sailor chaps." "One day he had quarreled with Frank and after that had to meet her lover secretly." One would feel like the reader could tell that Eveline wanted to go. She would experience things that she had only dreamed about. She worried so much. Every time it seemed she had a valid reason to go she would contradict it with a reason to stay. Her mother seemed to be the biggest factor. Often she made reference to her and times they spent together. "Another day their when mother was alive, they had all gone for a picnic to the Hill of Howth." However so many times when she did find reason to stay she would think of how mean her father had been to her. Often withholding money from her. Then sending her to the store at the last minute to get food and milk. But at that very same time she thought that her father was reason to stay. "Her father was becoming old lately, she noticed; he would miss her." "Not long before she had been laid up for a day, he had read her a ghost story and made toast for her at the fire." Last of all things her heart poured out to God to help solve her confession, her paranoia of the situation and her inability to make a decision. "She prayed to God to direct her, to show her what her duty was."
Hands - Sherwood Anderson
Summer Solstice - New York City - Sharon Olds
Eveline - James Joyce
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