Showing posts from 2010

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

Introduction: The source of the Title:
“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.

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, spel…

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 onDream Children: A Reverie.

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 Elegyruns 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 hav…

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.

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 AttentionIn 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 h…

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, ti…

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, ear…

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

 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
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 …

"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…

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.

Attitude to War as Revealed in Wilfred Owen's 'Strange Meeting': Deep Feelings of Sorrow and Compassion

“My subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity”Wilfred Owen.
            Paradoxically enough Owen began writing poetry in the tradition of the romantics with Keats and Shelley as his models Equipped with a Romantic sensibility, Owen might have written better poetry but circumstances ordained otherwise. The war provided Owen with subject matter, which turned the romantic elegiac strain of his early poems into the deep feelings of sorrow and compassion, which characterize his later poems.
            The idea of the futility of the soldiers’ sacrifice is the theme of strange meeting. In fact, it is a poem of visionary dream. The poet soldier imagines that he has escaped from battle and gone to the other regions. As he keeps watching the corpses, one springs up with piteous recognization in fixed eyes’. The other man in its cadaverous look, who is in fact the enemy soldier, relates the horrors and frustrations accompanying war. He is sad that he has been snatched aw…

An Analysis of the Character of Dancer in Eugene O Neill's "Thirst"

In each of the modern play, psychology forms the upper hand. In the opacity of abysmal human psychological world the floating characters in the modern play broods over the revelation of life and its greater meaning. Eugene O Neill's Thirst also provides a befitting atmosphere to snatch away the agonized hearts of three persons who are pinned up in the formulated phrase of lifelessness. The zeal for life, for rescue as if, in co-relation to fleeting El Dorado or missing Godot is totally absent in the hovering atmosphere of vast Atlantic Ocean where there is scorching sunlight and the endless blue horizon.The Dancer is still aspiring to live, should live for the love of her life even if, it is denied altogether by fate or by still unknown human action. The Dancer represents the class of arts, of living with hope, betterment and full of human dreams.Thus her transformation from life to death is the greatest tragic downfall expressed in the play.

How does Literature Reflects the Spirit of the Age?

It is often said that history is the biography of a nation while literature is its autobiography. Truly speaking an author is as much a product of his society as his art is product of his own reaction to life. Literature reflects ‘zeitgeist’ or the time-spirit. Everyman, according to Goethe’s statement, is the citizen of his age as well as of his country. Literature as a whole grows and changes from generation to generation and obviously it is the rise, growth and decline of ideas, precepts and morals. Thus literature becomes a sort of sociological approach, a supplementary and commentary on history. As the pearl is the product of the oyster shell, literature is the product of the society.


1.Affixation-The three basic category terms in a word are affixes (divided into prefixes and suffixes steams and roots. Affixes are of two sorts in English; elements that are attached in front of the base are called prefixes, while elements that are attached to the end of the base are called suffixes. Thus, im- and de- are prefixes while –able and –fy are suffixes:
Im + penetr + able – impenetrable
De + class + fy – declassify
2.Archaism-There is many irregular devices employed by the writer and speaker in expressing their language. It is such a device. The ‘archaism’ means the use of obsolete words. These words were once current, but they have now been ousted.
For example, such obsolete words are – whilom, trow, albeit, yelept, natheless etc.
3.Author’s Contribution-Certain individuals, in their own right, have immensely contributed to the growth of the English word stock. The etymological meaning of poet is ‘maker’, and in a very literal sense, some of the great English poets may be said…

What is Twentieth Century Novel Or The Novel as the Modern Epic Or The stream of Consciousness Novel Or The modern Psychological Novel?

Introduction:Modern novels have taken place of the ancient epics. The magnitude of epic is not its volume or narrative enlargement; rather it is expansion of thought and perception. An epic reflects the conscience of an age, its life style and thought equilibrium. Thus, from Homer to Milton the epics become the carriage of social, moral and communal representation. Later, the same search of age – consciousness is done, at least tried, through the dramas. The dramas have their limitation in its time frame and dramaturgic setting. Even Shakespeare fails to cross these limitations. After many currents and cross currents of prose-lyrics become multi-faceted, many – sided, complex and abundantly rich in it astonishing variety. The modern novelists are reading the conscience of his characters through the medium of his own, and by the process the dimensional mirror of novel is reflecting an age conscience which we have already read in epics. Modern novel is truly the ‘comic prose epic’.(Fiel…

Wordsworth’s attitude to Nature and Man as revealed in "Tintern Abbey"

Wordsworth’s attitude to Nature and Man as revealed in Tintern Abbey, the cult and creed of Wordsworth’s poetry, was the outcome of his direct communion with nature. This education of Wordsworth’s feelings, passions, receptive powers were derived namely from natural phenomena. Nature was a necessity of his being and through it he lives and breathes.
In Tintern Abbey Wordsworth has carefully analyzed the stages of his spiritual development with nature. During the first of these stages he had no conscious acquaintance to Nature. It was to him a mere playground giving him all these feeling of physical sensation. Stop ford Brooke has rightly observed that in the first stage of his acquaintance with Nature it was not he that was in search of Nature but it was Nature who allured the boy but eluded him with its beautiful and myriad manifestation. The mountains and the hills, the deep rivers and the lonely stream charmed his eyes and he wondered about whenever Nature led. At this stage Nature …

Short Questions from William Wordsworth's 'The World is too Much with Us'

'The World is too Much with Us' by Wordsworth
The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not. – Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Q. “The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;”..what does the speaker mean by Getting and spending?
Ans: It is humanity's inability to "feel" nature that most concerns the speaker of "The World is too Much with Us," a poem by Wordsworth. The speaker claims th…

Timeline of English Literature - The Age of John Dryden (1660-1700)

The Age of Dryden (1660-1700)
The Age of John Dryden roughly spans the period from the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the year 1700. Truly speaking John Dryden best represents the English mindset of his time. He publishes an astonishing variety of work, including poetry, prose, drama, criticism, translation, and satire. He becomes the leading literary figure of Restoration England.Such an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright mounds the glory of English Literature

Critical appreciation: Henry Louis Vivian Derozio’s “To The Pupils of Hindu college”.

“For in both Keats and Derozio there was a passionate temperament combined with unbounded sympathy with nature and fellowmen. Both died while their powers were not yet fully developed” – Mr. Oaten.

Derozio was enabled to become a teacher of English literature in the Hindu College when he was only eighteen. A poet as well as a teacher of poetry, Derozio loved India and loved nature; and he also loved his students which is best exhibited in his present sonnet, To The Pupils of The Hindu College.

Model Question Answer for M. A. English Entrance

1. What is the theme of Ode to a skylark by Shelley?
Ans. The theme of Shelley’s lyric about the skylark is the contrast between human life, particularly the life of a poet, and the life of the skylark. And reflection on this contrast is prompted by the pure unalloyed happiness in the song of the bird.
2. How do you contrast the two lines from the Ode to The West wind – ‘O lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud’ and ‘O wind;/ If winter comes, can spring be far behind’?
Ans. As in the visible world so in poet’s soul, the wind is both destroyer and preserver. The poet wishes to be creative writer of the mass. In the last line he passes to the Universal. The world old must go, a new world must come with the spring, laden with fresh sweet promises for suffering humanity.

Biblical Influence on English Language: Development of Standard Prose Relinquishing the Crude Style of the Liturgical Treatises

The greatest of all translations is the English Bible. It is even more than that: It is the greatest English book, the first of the English classics, the source of the greatest influences upon English Character and speech………. It is in a singular degree, the voice of a people.” ---- George Sampson. It is needless to say that the influence of the Bible on English literature has been immensely great and most valuable. Ever since the publication of the first translation of the Bible by Wycliffe to the publication of the Authorized Version in 1611, its influence on English literature and language has been constant and steady. These productions exerted great influence in the development of standard prose relinquishing the crude style of the liturgical treatises. The influence of the Bible was immensely felt in other branches of literature especially in poetry.

TIMELINE OF ENGLISH LITERATURE - Old English Literature (upto 1300)

History of Old English Literature
Birth of English:
Stage 1.Tribal Germanic peoples from northwest Germany (Saxons and Angles) and Jutland (Jutes) invaded Eastern England around the fifth century AD and the language spoken by them became the origin of English.
Stage 2. Their Old English or Anglo - Saxon language survived and evolved until the Normans conquered the island in 1066.The Norman conquest of England in 1066 greatly influenced the evolution of the language. For about 300 years after this, the Normans used Anglo-Norman, which was close to Old French, as the language of the court, law and administration.
Stage 3. By the latter part of the fourteenth century,  English had replaced French as the language of law and government. However, there remained considerable Anglo-Norman borrowings integrated into the language.

Songs and Sonnets of Elizabethan Period:Sir Philip Sidney, Spenser and Shakespeare, Henry constable, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton

Sonnet, derived from the Italian word ‘Sonneto’ meaning a little sound or strain, is a poem expressing one main idea or emotion consisting of fourteen decasyllabic lines. the origin of it is Italy in the early 15th century.In the first half of the 16th century the sonnet was introduced in England by Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. However, such outburst of lyricism in Elizabethan England is shared by almost all the poets of the Elizabethan period including Sir Philip Sidney, Spenser and Shakespeare. Among the other writers there is Henry constable, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton etc. Now we will categorically analyse them.

Analysis of Thomas Hardy’s Treatment of Rural Life in "Far From the Madding Crowd"

Born and brought up in the country of Doressetshire, the heart and soul of Wessex, Hardy had a thorough and accurate knowledge of the life and the people – in every details of the landscape, meadow, wood, hill, dale and of the vocation of his farmers, shepherds, woodlanders, dairyman and the dairymaid. Being absorbed in the Wessex history, tradition and folklore, his Far From The Madding Crowdexcels in rural features, life, customs habits, manners, language etc of Weather bury, Caster bridge, Norcombe etc.