Foreignness and 'The Other' Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
Those who were taking their pleasure at a higher strength, and were absorbed in play, showed very distant varieties of European type: Livonian and Spanish, Greco-Italian and miscellaneous German, English aristocratic and English plebeian. Here certainly was a striking admission of human equality. The white bejeweled fingers of an English countess were very near touching a bony, yellow, crab-like hand stretching a bared wrist to clutch a heap of coin—a hand easy to sort with the square, gaunt face, deep-set eyes, grizzled eyebrows, and ill-combed scanty hair which seemed a slight metamorphosis of the vulture. (1.4)
One way that Eliot demonstrates "otherness" is through appearances. Here, we see a person's "yellow, crab-like hands" in contrast with a "white, bejeweled" English hand. By defining what seems English, the narrator helps us identify what is absolutely "not English," or foreign.
Gwendolen's dominant regret was that after all she had only nine louis to add to the four in her purse: these Jew dealers were so unscrupulous in taking advantage of Christians unfortunate at play! (2.5)
We see a lot of instances of prejudice towards "the other" in this novel, particularly Jewish people. By the way, this is a great example of the narrator's use of free indirect discourse, which is when the narrator directly tells us what a character is thinking without saying "she was thinking this."
Fancy an assemblage where the men had all that ordinary stamp of the well-bred Englishman, watching the entrance of Herr Klesmer—his mane of hair floating backward in massive inconsistency with the chimney-pot hat, which had the look of having put on for a joke above his pronounced but well-modelled features and powerful clear-shaven mouth and chin; his tall thin figure clad in a way which, not being strictly English, was all the worse for its apparent emphasis of intention. (10.11)
Once again, we get an example of someone being different because they do not look typically English. Here we see Herr Klesmer dressed like everyone else but looking different – from his sexy hair to his facial features.