Showing posts from June, 2012

Analysis of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady

Samuel Richardson’s second novel,Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady, was published in 7 volumes, 1747-1748, eight years after the appearance of Pamela. This was the noble and tragic story of Clarissa. It explores and reexplores the same events from the points of view of several of the characters, is considered his best work. Like Pamela, it was praised for its lofty moral tone, sentimentality, and understanding of emotions and the feminine mind. However, it is far more mature than Pamela, and shows a deeper knowledge of the human heart. It reduced all Europe to tears, and had a great effect upon continental fiction. It should be noted that Richardson was enough of an artist (or moralist) to withstand the importunate petitions of his friends that this story should be given a happy ending. Its fame spread all over the continent, and it is interesting to note that the Abbe Prevost had to make in his translation certain omissions to suit the delicacy of French taste. Clarissa, which…

Analysis of William Blake’s The Tyger and The Lamb from Song of Experience (1794) and Song of Innocence (1789)

“Blake’s poetry contained an honesty against which 
the whole world conspires because it is unpleasant.”  - T. S. Eliot
William Blake was a mystic poet and this ‘Mystic movement of his mind required Metaphor, he saw no likeness but identities, so the images and symbols are found galore (plentiful) in his poems. The image of generally viewed as singles in dimension while the symbol as more complex. Legions and Cazamian remark that Blake’s poetry deals in the subtlest (illustrated) of symbolism with the skill that can not be matched. In the Song of Innocence (1789) his symbols are largely drawn from the Bible, but in the Song of Experience (1794) he often uses symbols of his own making, and his meaning is more elusive. 

"The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" by Henry Fielding: Common Questions for Competitive Examination Part II

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749).Tom Jones byHenry Fielding
Genre: Comic epic of the picaresque tradition Action:  The adventures and misadventures of a roguish hero, Tom. The main character: Tom Jones Heroine: Sophia Other characters: Captain Waters, Mrs. Waters, Thomas Allworthy, John Blifil, Mr. Fitzpatrick, ‘Black George’ Seagrim, Lady Bellaston, Nancy Miller, Mr. Partridge etc.
 What trait of Tom’s Character do you find from the Nancy-Nightingale episode?
When Tom learns from Nightingale that his father is making an alternative arrangement for his marriage in spite of the fact that Nancy Miller, his beloved, has attempted suicide, Tom is perturbed and tries to find a solution. He comes to the conclusion that if he presents the fait accomplish of marriage, as having been already Consummated, the father will be compelled to accept the marriage. Therefore, he gives the wrong information, and everything works according to plan. The three traits of Tom revealed in this episode a…

John Donne's "Canonization" : Ten Most Common Short Questions

"For God's sake hold your tongue and let me love." John Donne (1572? - 1631) Songs and Sonnets"The Canonization" 1. What is the meaning of the word ‘canonization’? The word ‘Canonization’ means formal recognition as a saint, an act by which the pope publicly proclaims the sanctity of a deceased person, by the Christian church. 
In Donne’s poem the ‘canonization’ for the lovers implies that the lovers are holy as the christen saints and that there love is worthy to be emulated. 

Character of Tony Lumpkin in Oliver Goldsmith's "She stoops to Conquer": A Comedy of Intrigue

“Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning,
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genius a better discerning.” Tony At
The Three Pigeon

If Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer is a comedy of intrigue, it is so mainly for Tony Lumpkin, who seemingly a booby, turns out to be a ready-wit, a master of pranks. The play is set in motion with a trick that Tony plays on two town guys, Marlow and Hastings. How is it that he misdirects the two youths which had them to harassment? Tony does it for its own shake .It is his humour to make fun at the cost of others. Had Tony played no trick on Marlow and Hastings, there would have no comedy concerning ‘mistakes of a night.’ Hence the importance of Tony in the play can hardly be underrated.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 23 (Ben Jonson)

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers 
'Drink to me only with thine eyes.” 'To Celia' The Forest (1616) Ben Jonson (1572 - 1637) English playwright and poet.
A. Beginning:Every Man in His Humour was performed in 1598 by the Lord Chamberlain's Company with William Shakespeare in the cast. 
B. The Duel: Jonson killed a man in a duel and narrowly escaped execution.

C. Humour:Invented a kind of topical comedy involving eccentric characters, each of whom represented a temperament, or humor, of humanity. According to him there are four humours which he explains in the introduction to his play, Every Man in His Humour : The humour of blood makes a man excessively optimistic or sanguine even without the slightest chance of hope or success; Phlegm makes one excessively calm and docile; Choler makes one highly ill-tempered; Black bile makes one excessively melancholy and morbid.

Theme of Race-relationship and Colonial Encounter in E. M. Forster's "A Passage to India"

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster published in 1924   Divisions: Part I—Mosque Part II—Caves Part III—Temple
Every novel deals with relationships-emotional, intellectual and spiritual-and Forster’sA Passage to India is no exception. Yet, it is unique, and its uniqueness lies in the fact that the novel is concerned less with individual relationship than with race-relationship, and that it subsumes the entire gamut of human interests, ranging from the political and the ethnic to the emotional, the intellectual and the spiritual. Sometimes it is also assumed as a clash between two fundamentally different cultures, those of East and West. Although Forster himself declared that ‘the book is not really about politics’ (three countries), leading many critics to opine that the book is about man trying to understand the universe, that is, a book on ontology and cosmogony, one must also bear in mind Forester’s later declaration that ‘the political side was an aspect I wanted to express’. Being him…

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749) by Henry Fielding: Short Questions for Competitive Examination

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749).Tom Jones byHenry Fielding
Genre: Comic epic of the picaresque tradition Action:  The adventures and misadventures of a roguish hero, Tom. The main character: Tom Jones Heroine: Sophia Other characters: Captain Waters, Mrs. Waters, Thomas Allworthy, John Blifil, Mr. Fitzpatrick, ‘Black George’ Seagrim, Lady Bellaston, Nancy Miller, Mr. Partridge etc.
Give the identity of Thomas Allworthy.
Thomas Allworthy is owner of one of the largest estates is Somersetshire. He is an agreeable, pleasant and benevolent man, ‘who might be deemed, as Fielding observes, the favourite of Nature and Fortune’. He is the elder brother of Bridget and the maternal uncle of the hero, Tom Jones. The only cause of his unhappiness is that his wife and three children have predeceased him.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 22

 A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers  (World English Literature)
A. Three Father Figures: Poetry: Chaucer; Comedy: Aristophanes; Printing: Caxton
B. French writer and philosopher, Voltaire’s Real name is François Marie Arouet (1694-1778).
C. In 1980 Salman Rushdie published the novel Midnight’s Children which employed magic realism. The book is noted for its insights into issues of personal and national identity in India and Pakistan as postcolonial nations. 
D. A Suitable Boy (1993) by Vikram Seth traces the history of a family in a fictional town in post independence India.

William Wordsworth: Nature’s Prophet and Priest

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) is regarded as the greatest and one of the most accomplished and influential of England's romantic nature poets in English literature. In fact, he is nature’s prophet and priest. No other English poet has given his heart and soul so deeply to the study and enjoyment of the beauties of nature. He not only sees and describes the beauty of the meadows, the woodlands, the hills, the streams, the sky and the seas, the cataracts etc. accurately but penetrates in-depth of all these things and finds a deep meaning in them. Concerning Wordsworth’s attitude to nature, the following seven points may be noted.

Eugene O’Neill: One of Greatest Dramatists of America: Contribution and Achievement.

Introduction:Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) is one of greatest dramatists of America, the creator of serious American drama. The bulk of his output is fairly large, sufficiently large to place him securely in the forefront of 20th century dramatist. There are many more which would stand high in any long last of plays of our time: Anna Christie, The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, All God’s Chillum Got Wings, and A Touch of thepoet. He is the first name to be mentioned in any discussion of American theater today, and he is the only one of outplay wrights who has a wide international fame.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 21

 A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers 
(World English Literature)
A. Where do you find the story of Kurtz? Comment on her character.
Main character of Joseph Conrad's famous novellaHeart of Darkness (1902) is Kurtz, who is an English ivory trader living in Africa. Throughout the story, Kurtz's descent into cruelty and violence as a result of greed is shown to be, on an individual scale, what the imperialism of nations can be on a large scale.
B. Where do you find the story of Dorothea Brooke?

Dorothea Brooke is the heroine of George Eliot’s (was actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans) novel Middlemarch.
C. Where do you find the story of Schlegels and the Wilcoxes? How they differ from each other?
E. M.  Forster’s Howards End tells the story of two families:  the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes, whose perspectives on life are diametrically opposed. The Schlegels believe in the mind and are idealistic about the world around them, whereas the Wilcoxes are practical business people.…

Analysis of William Wordsworth's Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

“Heaven lies about us in our infancy” William Wordsworth(1770 - 1850) Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
The poet William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) believes that every human being is a sojourner in the mortal world, whereas his real home being heaven. In fact, the poet starts with the major premise that men descend form God. To Wordsworth, God was everywhere manifest in the harmony of nature, and he felt deeply the kinship between nature and the soul of humankind. Man has his soul which knows no decay and destruction. But as one is born, one begins to be confined within the flesh. The soul, bound in his body, can not liberate in his infancy. He trails the clouds of glory, the glory of heaven from which he emanates: "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of g…

Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer: Mr. Hardcastle and Mrs. Hardcastle - Comic Pair Contributing Fun and Laughter

“Nullum quod tetigit non ornavit” (He touched nothing that he did not adorn). (A memorial to Oliver Goldsmith in Westminster Abbey)  The inscription, written by Dr. Johnson 
Oliver Goldsmith'sShe Stoops to Conquer is a witty comedy and it has as usual, five youths- Marlow, Hastings, Kate, Constance and Tony Lumpkin- at the centre of it. But this is not to say that the two old figures are pushed to the back ground. Mr. Hardcastle and his wife Mrs. Hardcastle are no insignificant. Rather, they make a comic pair contributing largely to the fun and laughter of the play. While the two characters are haply related to each other, they have points of divergence, and may go to the extent of pointing out that Mr. Hardcastle is a foil to his wife.

Sir Thomas Wyatt’s “They Flee from Me”:Typical Elizabethan Love - lyric

Imbibed with the spirit of the renaissanceSir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surreyinitiate the cult of writings sonnets and love – lyrics in England. They, particularly Wyatt, express their sense of ecstasy or agony caused by their requited or unrequited love in their songs and sonnets. In the light of this Renaissance background, let us examine Wyatt’s poem “They Flee from Me” (1557) which is the perplexed observations of a man whose romantic popularity has passed, perhaps because he was too kind and attentive to the woman who previously loved him. It also unfolds the poet’s mild satire and cynicism, directed against the practice of loveless lovemaking on the part of some women belonging to high society in the 15th century England.

Matthew Arnold’s 'Dover Beach': Specimen of Modernity, Meditation and Elegiac Tone

Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach(1867) is a finest specimen of modernity,  meditation and elegiac tone. Arnold’s Dover Beach presents the ephemeral human feeling of sadness through the image of the sea. Though a dramatic monologue, Dover Beach presents Arnold’s philosophy of life. In his essay The Study of PoetryArnold uses the two words ‘poetry’ and ‘criticism’. He boldly affirms that poetry should be a criticism of life. By the words ‘criticism of life’ Arnold means “the affairs of life”. And by the word ‘poetry’ he means ‘poetic beauty.’ So the expression ‘criticism of life’ means poetic beauty and poetic truth. In other words, every good poem, according to Arnold, must be a reflection of life diffusing the poetic beauty and poetic truth. In no way, poetry should be divorced form life. Arnold’s Dover Beach stands out as a glaring manifestation of this criticism of life in the form of poetry.

Jaques in Shakespeare’s "As you like It" : Inconsistent and Choric

“I can suck melancholy out of a song,
as a weasel sucks eggs.”

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) English poet and playwright. As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 5
The chapter of Jaques is of abiding interest among the critics for his worldly wisdom, antiromantic stance, privileged criticism, melancholia and complex individualism. In fact, the introduction of Jaques is As You Like It adds nothing in the development of plot. Yet it carries a deep rooted design of motley-minded gentelmanliness, ripe observation, cynical pasturing and learned found. Now take a few sketchy details of the character to learn its diversity , Inconsistent and  Choric in As You like It.

Analysis of Nissim Ezekiel’s "Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher"

Nissim Ezekiel’s poems are as a rule lucid and are splendidly evocative and satisfyingly sensuous. His poetry reveals more careful craftsmanship, a more conscious intellectuality. His sensuous sketches as well as his serious efforts on behalf of the experience have won Ezekiel numerous appeals for both his young adult and adult writing. Read More PoetryIn quality and integrity they are conversational directness and ease without losing himself in discursiveness.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 20

A Set of 26 Objective Questions and Answers
A. In which year The Faerie Queene was published? What metrical innovation the author used here?
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser was published in 1590 Books I-III, Books IV-VI in 1596. Here Spenser invented a unique nine-line stanza, now known as the Spenserian stanza, for use in the poem.
B. What is the core subject of Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained?
 Milton’s masterpiece Paradise Lost dramatizes the Biblical account of humanity’s banishment from Paradise and in Paradise Regained Jesus triumphantly resists Satan and regains the Paradise lost by Adam and Eve.

Comedy ; Comic Pleasure; Nature of the Comic Pleasure

Etymologically the word comedy as Aristotle suggested in the Poetics might have originated either from komas meaning, ‘revel or merrymaking “, or from komae meaning the “hamlets “where the plays were staged. Aristotle jocularly hinted that the comedians strolled from hamlet to hamlet, lack of appreciation keeping them out of the city .such facetiousness apart; the Oxford English Dictionary defines comedy as a stage play of a light and amusing character with a happy conclusion to its plot. It is associated with humorous behavior, wordplay, pleasurable feeling, release of tension, and laughter. Comic entertainment frequently exposes incongruous, ridiculous, or grotesque aspects of human nature. It generally follows a fixed pattern of theatrical surprises that leads to a sense of exhilaration in the spectator. Many definition stress the sadistic on egoistic element in human beings primarily utilizing stinging ridicule and exaggeration to criticize or condemn humankind's foibles and f…

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 19

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers a. Legouis says “Wordsworth saw Nature and Man with new eyes”. William Wordsworth exalts familiar reality through the strength of a reflective sensibility. One can distinguish in Wordsworth’s poetry a marked transition from the realm of pathos to that of ethos.  Wordsworth’s Philosophy of Nature is nothing more than a case of pathetic fallacy because he cannot shake off his egocentricity even when he tends to be philosophic.
b. The 19th century Romantic Movement has been variously interpreted as ‘the convalescence of the feeling of beauty’, ‘renaissance of wonder’, ‘split religion’ and ‘erotic nostalgia’.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 18

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answersa. Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ is perhaps his most sustained attempt to unite the actual and symbolic under one continuous narrative roof.
 b. “Jane Austen’s view of life is the view of the eighteenth century civilization of which she was the last exquisite blossom. One might call it the moral realistic view. Jane Austen was profoundly moral.” (David Cecil).
c.  Pride andPrejudice: “Here is a limited world; but she interprets it with the penetrating insight of the creative artist”.
d. Stock says of ‘The Second Coming’ that in this poem Yeats sets his own age in the perspective of eternity and condenses a whole philosophy of history into it so that it has the force of Prophecy’.
e. Swift is a misanthrope in his ‘Gulliver’S Travels’. Swifts’ Gulliver’s Travel is a ‘mock utopia’. Gulliver’s Travels as an entertaining political story, but it became very popular as a tale for young people. It also expresses despair or that its import is nih…

William Hazlitt , Critic and Essayist: Romantic than Analytical; Sketches and Essays, "Nicknames"

A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man.
Sketches and Essays, "Nicknames"
One of the triumvirate of eminent romantic essayists – Lamb, De Quincy and Hazlitt – Hazlitt is the least mannered or rather eccentric. While in Lamb’s and De Quincy emotion and imagination relegated the fast and the analytical to the insignificant, Hazlitt’s is a futile blend of emotion and thought, passion and logic imagination and analysis, the real and the romantic. However, he is famous for the lucidity and brilliance, in both style and content, of his many essays. Fully endowed with the ability of soaring in an imaginative flight, as in his essays On the Picturesque and Ideal and On a Sundial, his dominating bias was however for a union of romantic temperament and classical vigour. The resulting essays, including Common Sense on Fashion, On the want of Money and On Nicknames have the fine-wrought grace of the golden mean. His prose displays the same discrimination between…

Humanism: The Truth of Human Condition Reading the Literary Text

Any level of discourse to a moral essay on Humanism must represent the truth of the human condition. There is hardly any doubt that Humanists’ social and political thought must gone through the crosscurrents of major European intellectual thought, especially socialism, religiosity and Humanism. Here we will try to peep through their intelligentsia.
Humanism broadly defined as an attitude that emphasizes the dignity and worth of the individual was, in fact, the ‘Renaissance’ of classical literature and thought. The word “Humanism” is here used in a very wide sense, and this gives rise to considerable difficulty in drawing the line of exclusion. As a literary and cultural movement that spread through Western Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries has an interesting historical background.

Wit, Witty and Foolish Wit: Classified Examples of Wits in English Literature

'Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.' Twelfth Night -- William Shakespeare
The old English ‘witan’ and the Old High German ‘wizzan’ which means ‘to know’ is the origin of 'wit'.  The meaning of 'wit' farther evaluated and asserts meaning to ‘quickness of mind’ and then to the power of joining ideas in an unusual and humorous way or a  speech or writing that shows an apt, clever, and often humorous association of words. It is further associated withmental acumen, intelligence, or reasoning power. Thus it is consisting of observations meant to disparage or attack, expressed in clever comparisons or contrasts and making heavy use of word-play. Satire, puns and epigrams are examples of wit.

"Ivanhoe" by SIR WALTER SCOTT: The Twelfth Century Fascinating Struggle Between the Normans and the Saxons

The twelfth century fascinating struggle between the Normans and the Saxons is depicted in Scott’s Ivanhoe (Published 1819). It is one of the best of Scott’s Waverley novels. "This historical novels," says Carlyle, "has taught all men this truth, which looks like a truism, and yet was as good as unknown to writers of history and others till so taught: that the by-gone ages of the world were actually filled by living men, not protocols, state papers, controversies, and abstractions of men.” Here is history made alive and simply, Scott had changed people's very awareness of history.

SCOTT, SIR WALTER (1771-1832): Few Important Notes on Historical Novel

SCOTT, SIR WALTER (1771-1832)
Best Known As:Poet, Historical Novelist, and Biographer
An Accident: An early childhood fever affects a permanent lameness.
Aspects of Writing:  Rapidity of literary productions. 
Major Writings: 1.Edition of ballads- The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border- in 1802-1803. 2.His first romantic narrative poems- The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), The Lady of the Lake (1810), The Bridal of Triermain (1813), and The Lord of the Isles (1815). 3.Turn to the Historical Novel: Waverley (1814) ,Guy Mannering (1815), Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), Rob Roy (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), Ivanhoe (1819), Kenilworth (1821), Quentin Durward (1823), and The Fair Maid of Perth (1828). Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1827)