AD's English Literature : December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Significance of the Title of "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster



“Passage to India!
 Lo, Soul; sees’t thou God’s purpose from the first?
   ………….
  Passage O soul to India,
 Eclaircise the myths Asiatic, the primitive fables.
 ………….
 Passage indeed O soul to primal thought…….”-- Walt Whitman           
Walt Whitman in his poem Passage to India wants the soul to take a journey to India for further advance. The ‘passage’ that Forster explores is also a similar journey. Like Whitman’s cry: “Passage to more than India”, Forster’s novel is more than a historical novel about India; it is a prophetic work in which Forster is concerned not only with the path to greater understanding of India but also with man’s quest for truth and understanding about the universe he lives in.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

American English and British English : Comparative Study


   "We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language."
                           --   Oscar Wilde


American English is now a craze. It is obviously due to the fact that the Americans made a spectacular progress in the sphere of science and technology, in the sphere of trade and commerce, in the sphere of literature and athletics. Moreover, political power of America has assumed a formidable proportion. Naturally, the people of the world abroad, by and large, feel and urge to learn the language of the American people. But it is to be noted that American English and British English are fundamentally the same. Only in some respect, American English is a little different from British English. The points of divergence of American English from kings English can conveniently be grouped under three heads: pronunciation, spelling  & vocabulary, and idiom and usage.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Humour and Pathos as used by Charles Lamb in his "Essays of Elia" particularly "Dream Children: A Reverie"

 “Some things are of that nature as to make One’s fancy chuckle while his heart doth ache” Wrote Bunyan. 

The nature of things mostly appeared to Charles Lamb in this way. Lamb does not frolic out of lightness of heart, but to escape from gloom that might otherwise crush. He laughed to save himself from weeping. In fact, Lamb’s personal life was of disappointments and frustrations. But instead of complaining, he looked at the tragedies of life, its miseries and worries as a humorist. Thus his essays become an admixture of humour and pathos. Examples of his keen sense of humour and pathetic touches are scattered in all of his essays. Let’s focus our discussion on Dream Children: A Reverie.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Retrospective of Humble Rustics with the Universal Notes and Sentiments:Thomas Gray’s "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"

   
Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is one of the most famous elegies written in any language. It is not on the death of any particular person, friend or relative. One evening while Gray was standing at Stoke Poges Churchyard watching the graves of the poor, unknown peasants, an idea came to his mind, he wrote his elegy on the death of the neglected fellow citizens – A note of deep melancholy, and broad humanity runs throughout Gray’s elegy. It is a retrospective of humble rustics with universal notes and sentiments.

 After building an atmosphere of befitting evening landscape the transitional poet Gray in his poem Elegy proceeds further to elaborate the rude ancestors who lie buried in the churchyard and beyond recall at present. In fact, the Elegy runs thereafter with its true sense in perfectly elegiac mood with the reflection of these poor rustics. These are the rustics resting eternally and no morning hues, sounds or any such echoing songs sung by the poet could have the power to make them awoke. The children will no more greed them while returning home after day labors. The elegiac note permeates the entire atmosphere with the reference of these rustics, simple joys, sorrows and obviously referring to the irrevocable nature of death. Since the villagers are dead and buried in their graves, no worldly activities, which use to happen during their lifetime, will happen. With their death, this chapter of the family life is closed forever.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dramatic Technique as Revealed in Vijay Tendulkar’s Play, "Silence! The Court is In Session"


                                                            
“Effectiveness of assertion is the Alpha and Omega of style”. – Preface of Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw.

The line bears ample truth in Tendulkar. He strives for this effectiveness of assertion in a variety of ways. Silence! The Court is in Session is his perfect creation. A multifaceted dramaturgic skill is employed here in this drama. Stage within a stage, importance of absentee character, the problem of identity and feminine assertion and above all the poetic language are accurately and effectively interwoven in his dramatic pattern.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Men That Keep Attention Swami Vivekananda – Life and His Writings

                                        
Swami Vivekananda   
  (January 12, 1863–July 4, 1902)
                                 
“If you want to know India, study Vivekananda; in him everything is positive and nothing negative”.
                          ---- Rabindranath Tagore
             
 Rightly says Tagore, Swami Vivekananda is the very spirit of youth and dream.  His exemplary and distinguished life impacted considerably on the entire flow and direction of our cultural formation during a crucial time of our national awakening. Born and raised in an upper class kayastha family in Calcutta, Narendranath Dutta as he was then known was a brilliant student. He completed his studies at the famous Presidency College and Scottish Church College. Read More Men That Keep Attention In a few days he became a Westernized India but by the dramatic influence of Sri Ramakrishna he became an young man who was destined to change the future of India through learning, piety and dynamism. After his guru’s death, Swami Vivekananda founded Ramakrishna Mission to cement the goal of mass awakening. We will now study his far reaching and profound message through his works.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prufrock is an Aging Romantic Entrapped by Rotting World of Pseudo- gentility--An Analysis of T. S. Eliot 's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Alfred Prufruck is the central character of T.S.Eliot’s famous poem The Love song of J.Alfred Prufrock. He is middle aged dandy, a neurotic and tragic figure. The rottenness, the corruption and decadence of contemporary modern society is exposed with a rare poignancy here. Urban in setting, very often allusive, full of images symbols and references, drawn from various sources, the poem mercilessly exposes the boredom, inaction, restlessness of modem city life. What passes within Prufrock’s consciousness forms the narrative framework of the poem. In an unorganized and seemingly unconnected series of insights, memories and reflections the natural flow of the narrator’s  thoughts here it captures the total in decisions and doubts of Prufrock’s mind. With his mental and physical weakness, alternating between realism and fantasy, faltering within dreams, revisions, and revised opinions, alike the endless rounds of coffee and cigarettes in modern life, Prufrock has become r coax, foggy, timid, hollow man, a boneless effigy of pseudo-gentility of modern world.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reality and Romance in William Shakespeare's "As You Like It"


  • The multidimensional world of As you like It.
  • The conflicting world of reality and romance in As you like It.

  • The Court versus Arden in As you like It.

  “Though the ultimate world of Shakespeare’s comedy is romantic, poetic and imaginative, it is by no means unsubstantial and fantastic” – H. B. Charlton.

            In fact, the union of fantasy and realism is a peculiar characteristic of the comic world of Shakespeare. Though the world of his comedies is highly romantic and visionary, it is not cut off from the world of reality. Though the background and atmosphere are romantic, they are all built on the solid rock of realism. Shakespeare’s As You like It is a perfect blend of this singularity – a fusion of reality and romance, of courtly life and pastoral life of Arden, of actuality and imagination. As You like It is a juxtaposition of such variegated elements of life. The many-sided world in As You like It abounds in love making, gaiety, singing, wit, humour, pranks, harmless jesting, serenity, earnestness, and even pathos. It is the picture gallery of lovers, wise men, fools, pessimists, optimists, simpleton, escapists, materialists, conspirators, singers and many such.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Model Question Answer Set For English Teacher ( Post Graduate ) Recruitment Examination IN West Bengal, India

Here is 30 short questions on Literary Topics & Grammar
                                                        

  1.  Fool, said my Muse to me, look in the heart and write – What kind of advice is given by the Muse to the poet?
Do you find any anticipation of romantic theory?

Ans. Poet Sidney wants to articulate his earnest love in the poetry of his own. But he can’t compose poetry worthy of its own and lacks the faculty of poetic articulation. Hence he steals others poetry to articulate his own verse. The poetic Muse here comes to guide his rescue and instructs him to introspect. Words spoken in the core of the heart must form the real poetry, she instructs.
            The line anticipates the romantic theory of poetry as if spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions forms poetry. Read More Poetry

  1. Briefly comment on the dramatic feature of Spenser’s sonnet No. 75?
Ans. Not only Sonnet No. 75 but Amoretti as a whole is unique by the virtue of its dramatic structure. The Sonnet No. 75 is a blend of lyric and dramatic. Here is the abrupt beginning, the conversational tone and the vigorous exchange which transform the Sonnet No. 75 into a miniature drama. But nowhere the lyrical grace is missing. Read More Poetry

  1. What is the significance of the title of The Good Morrow by Donne?
Ans. John Donne’s The Good Morrow is a poem that stands at the threshold of a new love universe. It is like a wakening from a nightmare. Earlier the canker of fear and jealousy, the fickle foundation of sensual delights were the nightmarish experiences. But now the lovers are nearly awaken soul and a sense of serenity comes to the lovers in their true union of minds. Thus the title words rightly bids good morning to the love’s new universe. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning: Analysis as a Dramatic Monologue


As you probably know that Robert Browning’s genius was essentially dramatic. His favourite form is dramatic monologue which though not invented by Browning was immensely popularized after him. Being a psychologist having his main idea to study the incidents that go to compose the development of the soul. Browning found this form to be extremely suitable to his purpose. His purpose is to throw light into the consciousness and so he frees himself from all the shackles that impede analysis. Thus to him dramatic monologue is a comprehensive soliloquy in which a certain critical moment in one’s person is taken and by permitting the individual to speak his character, the whole course of his existence are revealed in a brilliant search light. Now we will discuss his poem ‘My Last Duchess’ as a dramatic monologue and see how far it interprets the flow of speaker's conscience.



In ‘My Last Duchess’ the monologue is spoken in the presence of the ambassador of a foreign count whose daughter is being sought in marriage by the widowed Duke. The Duke is perhaps Alfonso-II, fifth Duke of Fenna. He married Lucrezia De Medici in 1558 when she was only fifteen. She died in 1561 perhaps by poisoning. Here the Duke is exhibiting the portrait of his former wife to the envoy. The basis of his character is the complacent egotism of the aristocrat who regards his wife as his properly. He cannot brook her graciousness and innocent gaiety and finally kills her.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

5 Reasons Why People Love Rabindranath Tagore: First Asian Noble Laureate for Literature


A Prolific Writer: Rabindranath Tagore is a prolific writer, and he tries his hand successfully at almost all the major forms of literature. Born in an educated Bengali family he receives his education primarily at home and close to natural setting. He paces Bengali literature to its highest scale by his versatile genius.

Wider Range of Form and Mood: As Edward Thomas points out, even Victor Hugo couldn’t have claimed a wider range of form and mood than is evinced by Tagore who writes plays of every kind – tragic, symbolic, comic, and farcical, writing them in blank verse, in rhymed couplets, in prose, and who writes short stories too. Besides Tagore writes countless essays, sermons, criticism, articles on politics and education, even on psychology and economics. It must be kept in mind that all his works are written originally in  Bengali and are subsequently translated into English some by Tagore himself and the rest by other scholars.

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