THE SUPERANNUATED MAN by CHARLES LAMB---The Feeling of Lamb Before and After His Retirement


"It is now six and thirty years since I took my seat at the desk in Mincing-lane. For the first day or two I felt stunned, overwhelmed. I could only apprehend my felicity; I was too confused to taste it sincerely. I wandered about, thinking I was happy, and knowing that I was not."--- The Superannuated Man

Charles Lamb in “The Superannuated Man” has given an account of his feeling before and after his retirement. Lamb served as a clerk for long thirty-six years and then retired. Lamb’s life as a clerk was tedious and boring. He, however, had a respite from work on a Sunday every week.

Charles Lamb
But according to him Sundays were quite unsuitable for true relaxation and enjoyment. Sundays being the days of worship and religious meditation, offered little scope for enjoyment. Read More Romantic Period The atmosphere was shrouded in gloom and somberness. Hence it was not congenial to proper recreation. Besides, Sunday being a day of complete abstention from all works there was no noise and bustle in any street. Besides Sundays, there were also holidays. Read More Essay But these also proved useless. Planning and preparation for enjoyment of these holidays took up so much time that only a very short period was left out for actual pleasure. The drudgery of the office was soul killing and it told on his health. Read More Essay In the latter part of his professional life constant anxiety and painful nights troubled him greatly. He was oppressed with a fear that his mental powers were declining and he was afraid that he made some serious mistakes in handling the figures in the account books kept by him. Read More Romantic Period His perpetual worries would be read by everyday on his countenance and indeed his health was fast breaking down. When lying on bed at night he was mentally working out the very figures dealt with by him during the day. He was always apprehensive of some incorrect entry in the accounts. Thus he was depressed by the lifeless work at the clerk’s desk.


Read More Essay Then Lamb retired from service. The sudden change from slavery to complete freedom threw his mind completely out of balance. He felt very uneasy. He did not know how to adjust himself to this new situation. Read More Romantic Period He compares his condition to that of a prisoner of Bastille, who has suddenly obtained his freedom after forty years of prison life. He felt that he had suddenly passed from kingdom of time to the Kingdom of Eternity. The fact that all time was left to him and he could enjoy it at his own sweet will produce the impression that he was dwelling in the world of Eternity. He had so much time at his disposal now that he did not understand what to do with it. Read More Essay But when the first shock of bewilderment subsided, he took a sober view of his new blessings and advantage. He regulated his life, so as to make a rational use of his time. He set apart specific portions of his time for specific enjoyment.




He could work aimlessly at his sweet will. He could go to a church; he could visit a sick friend. He had, as though, infinite time at his disposal. He led the life of a Retired Leisure.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    Its anup here....
    I just want to thank you sir....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anup for your worthy words.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hello sir,, your notes usually help me a lot in my study. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks everybody for commenting here.... keep updated by following @ FB or G+

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

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