AD's English Literature : April 2014

Theme and Critical Analysis of Khushwant Singh’s "Karma"




"For man's Karma travels with him, like his shadow. Indeed it is his shadow, for it has been said, 'Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it is dark.'"
Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)


Khushwant Singh, the renowned Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, made a scintillating impact on Indian English writing by his pungent social views and artistic presentations. His Karma which is a story from his book The collected Stories (published in 1989) has also a bold statement- introspection of our colonized society. The story devised its plot into several sub layers- Imitation of foreign culture, unhappy married life, contrast of culture and life-style, aristocracy and patriotism. Read More Short Stories



Karma, a religious term, literarily means deed or the work done.  In Hindu theological idea it means destiny. It is the doctrine that once present action continues to have affects in another incarnation. Read More Short Stories A good acts pays us handsomely while bad deeds make us suffer, it is similar to the Greek idea of ‘nemeses’. Justice is given to us in consideration of our Karma. Now we have to examine whether the story ‘Karma’ his entitled according to the theme or how karma affects the lives of the characters in the story.

Critical Analysis of R K Narayan's "Leela's Friend": Socio-economic Discrimination: Comparative Study with Rabindranath Tagore’s " Kabuliwala"



Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan’s Leela’s Friend included in Malgudi Days is a simple tale of Indian middle-class family. It covers wide range of themes like betrayal of trust, true friendship, poverty and exploitation, cruelty of masters etc. However, discriminatory  practices  in Indian middle class society got largely challenged in R. K. Narayan’s Leela’s Friend. Leela issues an executive voice of innocence forbidding discrimination on her servant mate.                                      

The story Leela’s Friend is a simple anecdote of a sweet –naughty relationship between the servant and the master’s little girl. Read More Indian English It reminds us of Rabindranath Tagore’s famous short story, Kabuliwala, the story of Rahmat , a middle-aged fruit seller from Afghanistan, comes to Calcutta to hawk his merchandise who befriends a small Bengali girl called Mini . Here the story focuses on Sidda, a boy simple and honest but illiterate. He had some dark history. But now he is reformed but becomes a sad victim of master's cruelty despite of being a faithful playmate of his daughter, Leela. However, Leela’s Friend is different from Kabuliwala, but the intention and message are very close thematically.

Critical Analysis of Robert Louis Stevenson's Poem "The Vagabond"


(Note: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish novelist, essayist, and poet, contributed several classic works to children's literature. His popularity is based primarily on the exciting subject matter of his adventure novels and fantasy stories. In fact, Stevenson wrote skillfully in a variety of genres. A Child's Garden of Verses (1885), containing some of Stevenson's best-known poems, is regarded by many as one of the finest collections of poetry for children. His other verse collections include Underwoods (1887) and Ballads (1890).  Read More Poetry)

Robert Louis Stevenson's  poem The Vagabond ( Collected from Songs of Travel) celebrates the glorious freedom and independence of a tramp's life. All the four stanzas of  The Vagabond repeatedly emphasize the unrestrained joys of an independent life in the outdoors free from all its hassles. Read More Victorian Period  
Stevenson starts the poem by asking to be given the life that he loves. Then he describes the life on the road, sleeping outside and swimming in the river. Stevenson, as a poet, appeals and desires to have the kind of lifestyle that he loves, to let the lave: to wash; bathe, to flow along or against as if washing. Read More Victorian Period He desires only the jolly heaven above and the dry bread where he can dip it in the waters of the river to eat whenever hungry. For there is a life for a man like him and there is the life forever:

“Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river -
There's the life for a man like me,
There's the life for ever.”

Critical Analysis of William Blake's O Rose Thou art Sick or The Sick Rose

Blake's readers  are more open to the influence of big ideas. Blake’s poetry can store  with bits of philosophy on life, which will act as safeguards long after Blake are forgotten.  O Rose thou art sick or The Sick Rose has many valuable ideas to contemplate. In fact, in 1794 Blake published a companion to the Songs of Innocence called the Songs of Experience, which contains The Sick Rose. The Songs of Experience were never published without their counterpart, and the entire volume was called the Songs of Innocence and Experience: Showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul. The title couldn't be more descriptive. In general, the Songs of Innocence tend to be, well, more innocent, benign, and childish, whereas the Songs of Experience explore darker, more sinister themes associated with the Industrial Revolution, religion, and education. 

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