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

A. Where do you find the story of Kurtz? Comment on her character.

Main character of Joseph Conrad's famous novella Heart 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.

D. Where do you find the “Molly Bloom” soliloquy? What is the subject of its words?

We find the “Molly Bloom” soliloquy in Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922). In her soliloquy Molly is her roams through her thoughts and memories. It reveals keen psychological insight through stream of consciousness.

E. Who was the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature? What is his literary style?

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka became the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. His most of the poetry and novels explore the tension between European values and customs and those of traditional West African society.

F. Who wrote Things Fall Apart? What are the things fallen apart?

 Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) is set in eastern Nigeria under British colonial rule in the late 1800s. In the book we find an exiled tribal leader who returns to his village after seven years and finds that colonial laws and the Christian religion have weakened the identity of the tribe. The piece of identity of a native is fallen apart by colonial burden.

G. Who edited Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française? What is the meaning of the title?

Senegalese Léopold Sédar Senghor edited Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française whose English rendering is Anthology of the New Black and Malagasy Poetry in the French Language. The book brought international attention to French-language African poetry and dignitary to African culture.

H. Who wrote Xala? Who is the hero of the novel?

Ousmane Sembène in 1973 published Xala, which is the drawn of Senegal's independence from France. El Hadji Kader Beye is the hero of the novel.

I. In which year Ben Okri won the Booker Prize?

The Nigerian author Ben Okri won the Booker Prize for his novel Famished Road in 1991. Notably, the book is narrated by a “spirit-child.” who dreams a better world of ‘inspired hope’.

J.  Who wrote The Great Stone Face and what is the theme of it?

American writer, Hawthorne wrote The Great Stone Face. It cloaks a great truth- the story builds upon the skeleton of an ethical problem or a moral truth.

K. In which book do you find businessman Gregor Samsa’s inexplicable metamorphosis?

Austrian-Czech novelist Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” begins with businessman Gregor Samsa’s inexplicable metamorphosis into a gigantic insect.

L. Who wrote Anne of Green Gables and its sequels?

Anne of Green Gables (1908) and its sequels are written by L. M. Montgomery. This series of stories is set on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, focusing on the life of the vivacious heroine, Anne, the books are considered classics of children’s literature.

M. Who wrote 'Life of Pi'? Can you say the full name of Pi?

Yann Martel, a Canadian author pens this adventurous novel. The protagonist of the novel is Piscine Molitor Patel who is nicknamed as Pi.

N. What is J. K. Rowling's last book of the Harry Potter series?

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' is J. K. Rowling's last book of the Harry Potter Series which was published in 2007.

O. Which of the critics appeal particularly by Donne’s poetry?

In the early twentieth century, Donne’s poems seem made to order for the close intellectual analysis called for by the so-called “New Critics,” who were trying to change the way literature was studied in universities. The complicated, puzzle-like Donne’s poems which can actually be “solved” by the application of thought and learning fascinate them more.

P. What is the significance of The Trail of Tears?

 Robert Lindneux’s painting The Trail of Tears depicts one of the most tragic Native American experiences—the forced migration of thousands of people from the eastern United States to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma during the 1830s and early 1840s. Many died on the long, hard journey.

Q. What is the core theme of Keri Hulme’s The Bone People?

Keri Hulme’s novel, The Bone People (1983) focuses on the relationship of a woman, a boy, and the boy’s adoptive father.

R. What is nouveau roman?

In the 1950s French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet experimented with a new type of novel, nouveau roman, meaning it anti novel or new novel, in which the author is transparent and does not intrude on the narrative. It is a work of fiction that lacks the features traditionally used in novel, e.g. consistent characters, a coherent plot, and a constant authorial perspective.

S. Who wrote The Stranger? What is the basic theme of it?

Albert Camus wrote The Stranger in 1942. The main character of The Stranger kills a man on a beach for no reason and accepts his arrest and punishment with dispassion. It is mainly an absurd play that considers the tragic inability of human beings to understand and transcend their intolerable conditions in the unreasonable world.

T. In which year Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature? Give a few names of his writing.

 American writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. Her Beloved, Song of Solomon and Jazz are more discussed which primarily focus on the powerful cultural heritage of African Americans.

U. What is the theme of Amitav Ghosh's novel Sea of Poppies?

 Amitav Ghosh's novel Sea of Poppies is told against an epic historical canvas how ship Ibis is headed to Caribbean sugar plantations bringing together hired labour of north Indian women, Bengali Zamindars, black men, rural laborers and Chinese seamen.

V. Who are the main characters in Earnest Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea?

Earnest Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea consists of Santiago, the old fisherman, and Manolin, the boy who has fished with him for years.

W. What type of comedy is Harlan Ellison’s A Boy and His Dog?

American writer Harlan Ellison’s A Boy and His Dog is a black comedy of survival in the wake of a nuclear war. Here Vic, accompanied by his telepathic dog Blood, scavenges for food and sex. They encounter a group of people who live secretly beneath the earth and have succeeded in building a new society for themselves.

X. How do 'Maya' and ‘Gautama’ differ in Anita Desai's Cry,The Peacock?

Maya, the chief protagonist of Anita Desai's novel Cry, The Peacock, is much occupied in illusion, fantasy, self love and imagination while her husband Gautama stands for real and actual world.

Y. What is the full name of "MARK TWAIN”? Give a few names of his books.

American humorist SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS carries the penname of "MARK TWAIN”. A few popular sketches of him are The Jumping Frog (1867), Sketches New and Old (1873), Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Huckleberry Finn (1885), The American Claimant (1892), Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894) etc.

Z. “These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June,--
A blue and gold mistake.”..…. Who is the poet of these famous lines? What does the poet say so here?

“These are the Days the Birds Come Back” is composed by Emily Dickinson. The poem is distinctive to using a comparison to ellipses. She created a voice that is to mimic the female speech pattern and how a female feels through a mysterious voice of the poem.

Ref: Wikipedia, Microsoft Student Encarta, Literary Timelines, History of English Literature- Albert