Showing posts from 2015

Psychological Principles Applied to the Teaching of English Strategies For Beginners: Questions at the Heart of Pragmatic and Strategic Policies

What Principles are to be applied in the Teaching of English is much debated and ever since educational Psychology are introduced Linguistics argue in the mechanism of them. These questions are at the heart of a pragmatic and strategic policies in the general field of Teaching of English in the early 21st century , and they urgently demand answers if these theories are not to be seen by teachers as yet another example of arid scholasticism . Teachers need to be able to make informed and engaged choices about the theories they encounter, to take a critical stance towards them, and to deploy the resulting insights in their own critical practice. Perhaps, since ‘teaching literature is always already teaching theory’, and since students ‘are always already inside theory’, ‘Theory can be taught best as theorising. Without in any sense denying the importance of ingesting the theoretical work itself or appearing to promote once more a simplistic empiricism, Psychological principles are bein…

Want A Thriving Reading Experience? Focus On William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’!: Nature as Possessing Life and Consciousness

Daffodils is one of the most beautiful lyrics of William Wordsworth. Wordsworth,  the Nature priest, looked upon Nature as possessing life and consciousness. He believed that nature could feel joy like human beings. So in Daffodils he describes how the daffodils danced with joy— “Ten thousand saw I at a glance Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”

Self-knowledge in Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice': Speaking of the Heroine, Elizabeth Bennet

"I had not seen Pride and Prejudice till I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses." Charlotte Brontë (1816 - 1855)
British novelist.Referring to Jane Austen.
Letter to S. H. Lewes

The attainment of self-knowledge on the part of the central figures is always Jane Austen’s theme, and self-knowledge results in goodness. Thus, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth gradually discovers the truth and sheds her prejudices en route a love journey both humorous and deeply serious moods. She has been proud of her discernment but she finds that she has been wrong in judging both Darcy and Wickham. By…

What Makes Shakespeare’s Use of Blank Verse in His Plays More Interesting In English Dramatic Poetry?

“The Measure is English Heroic Verse
without Rhyme, as that of Homer in
Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rhyme
being no necessary Adjunct to true
Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in
larger Works especially...”
--  English poet John Milton in the preface to his epic Paradise Lost
What is a Blank Verse?:  Blank verse is unrhymed poetry, typically in iambic pentameter, and, as such, the dominant verse form of English dramatic and narrative poetry since the mid-16th century. Blank verse was adapted by Italian Renaissance writers from classical sources; it became the standard form of such dramatists as Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, and Battista Guarini. From Italy, blank verse was brought into English literature by the poet Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, who first used it in his translation of books II and IV of the Aeneid, by the Roman poet Virgil and dramatic application first in Gorboduc. The so-called University Wits developed it further till their master; Marlowe made magic music with i…

William Blake’s Holy Thursday (Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean): Atmosphere of Innocence, Purity and Sacredness

In William Blake’s Holy Thursday an atmosphere of innocence, purity and sacredness pervades it. The children of the charity schools are innocent in nature. Their clean faces sustain the idea. Further, the radiance that comes out of them intensifies it once, again. The church, comparison of children to flowers and lambs, rising of hands towards heaven and singing of hymns, snow-white wands, and wise guardians also contributes to the maintenance of this atmosphere:

“Twas on a Holy Thursday their innocent faces clean  The children walking two and; two in red and; blue and green  Grey-headed beadles walkd before with wands as white as snow, Till into the high dome of Pauls they like Thames waters flow”

Thomas Hardy’s Novels at Faults? Five Ways You Can Be Certain

"There, in the heart of the nimbus, twittered the heart of Hardy
There on the edge of the nimbus, slowly revolved the corpses
Radiating around the twittering heart of Hardy."
John Betjeman (1906 - 1984)..British poet and broadcaster.Referring to Thomas Hardy ..John Betjeman's Collected Poems"The Heart of Thomas Hardy" Introduction: Critics have attacked Hardy for his novel's plotting andstyle arguing that all of his novels could not possibly be considered pure. In fact, Thomas Hardy’s view of life was cosmic. This means that tragic novels exist on two planes, the plane of design and the plane of plot. As a plotter Hardy, largely self-educated, was often defective. Sometimes he stumbles because the course of the Ilion suddenly becomes implausible, as when Tess kills Alec with the hand-knife, an implausibility underlined by the failure in tact which allows him describing the blood seeping through the floor to the ceiling below in the likeness of “a giganti…

Model Poetry Questions for English Graduate: Mixed Up Categories

Poetry Questions
Difficulty Level:  Graduation Time: 2hr Each Question: Word Limit: as per
1. Give short answer to any eight of the following questions. 2x8=16 a. What is the full title of Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey? b. Who is Maenad? What natural sight resembles a Maenad in Ode to the West Wind? c. What is ‘embalmed darkness’ in Ode to a Nightingale? d. What story does Geraldine tell Christabel regarding her abduction? e. Why does Tom Dacre cry? What consolation does the speaker give him? f. What does the sculpture of Neptune taming a seahorse suggest in My Last Duchess? g. What boon does Tithonus ask for? How does ‘strong Hours’ work upon him? h. What allusion does ‘ignorant armies clash by night’ make in Dover Beach?

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 94

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
a.Lake poets: William Wordsworth, S.T. Coleridge, Robert Southey are called the Lake poets because they lived in the Lake District.

b.Two prose works of Coleridge: The Watchman (a periodical), Biographia Literaria. c.Two sonnets by John Keats:a) On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, b) Bright Star, c) Would I Were Stedfast as Thou Art. d.The expression of a certain idea by saying or showing just the opposite: irony e.The use of indirect or polite language to express a concept generally considered unpleasant: satire

Understanding The Background Of Teaching Other Than Class Room: How to get the most from the Distance Learning?

"Discussion in class, which means letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know."
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)
Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet, and critic.
In distance learning the study Selected Topic Text divisions replace the lecturer. This is one of the advantages of distance learning; the student can read and work through specially designed study materials at the student’s own pace, and at time and place that suits the student best. Think of it as reading the lecturer instead of listening to a lecturer. In the same way that a lecturer might give the student some reading to do, the study Selected Topic Text divisions tell the student when to read the student’s set books or other materials.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 93

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
A. ‘Amor Vincit Omnia’ in Chaucer’s The Prologue means Love conquers all: “It was almoost a spanne brood, I trowe;
For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe.
Ful fetis was hir cloke, as I was war;
Of smal coral aboute hir arm she bar
A paire of bedes, gauded al with greene,
And theron heeng a brooch of gold ful sheene,
On which ther was first writen a crowned A,
And after, Amor vincit omnia.” B. The renaissance started in Italy and later came into England via France. (European history from 1440- 1540)

How to Know and Understand our Students in Digital India Initiative while Teaching English?

Digital India is an initiative by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity.” –Wikipedia
A critical limitation of teacher’s ability to use technology in Digital India Initiative is too little understanding of technology of teachers while teaching English.  In a sense, this is another example of the productivity costs of a lack of ubiquitous computing literacy.  We should spend a lot on technology in Educational Institutes.  If teachers learned more about computing, they could use it more effectively.

A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 92

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers
UGC NET ENGLISH QUESTION BANK A.Match the items in the List – I with items in List – II according to the code given below: List – I (years)
List – II (incidents)
i1066 1. Henry’s son Edward defeated the rebel factions and restored his father to power.
ii 1215 2. William Duke of Normandy invaded in 1066 and defeated Harold in the famous battle of Hastings. Iii 1264 3. The Magna Carta agreement signed. Iv. 1267
4. The outbreak of the second Barons war.

Attending Spenser’s Sonnet 57 and Sonnet 67 (Amoretti) Can Be Interesting If We Remember Popular Theme of Indifference and Chastity

"So let us love, dear Love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught."
Edmund Spenser 1552? - 1599 English poet. Amoretti
The tradition of writing a sequence of many sonnets, based also on the Petrarchan model, was initiated in English by Sir Philip Sidney in Astrophel and Stella 1580, a prolonged argument by the speaker, Astrophel, aimed at overcoming his mistress's indifference and chastity. Other important sequence of the period, Amoretti 1595 by English writer Edmund Spenser, employs similar arguments, though it ends with the possibility that the lovers will unite and eventually marry. Spenser’s Sonnet 57 and Sonnet 67 is an argument by the speaker aimed at overcoming his mistress's indifference and chastity. But both the sonnets are differently modeled. While Sonnet No. 57 uses war metaphor, Sonnet No. 67 uses the hunting one.

Critical Estimate of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Sonnet, ‘Thou art indeed Just, Lord, if I contend’

‘Thou art indeed Just, Lord’ is one of the most widely known sonnets of Gerard Manley Hopkins. It shows, on the one hand, the deep faith of the poet, and holds, on the other, some of his pleadings and complaints. It is also rich in autobiographical elements. It further shows the technical skill of Hopkins.

Plot Structure of Thomas Hardy’s Epic Novel, ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’: How does it differ from a Dramatic Novel?

Critics (i.e. Prof. L Abercrombie) have divided the novels of Thomas Hardy into two forms: the dramatic and the epic. In a dramatic novel there are a number important characters and the action arises out of the conflict of these actions.EpicNovel is the story of a single person. There is no sub-plot as in dramatic novel. The main interest centres round- the career of the hero or heroines. However, the entire action of the epic revolves round the life and fortune of the single heroic individual. It is the story of his rise and fall, of the vicissitudes that he faces in the course of his or her life. Conflict there is, but it does not arise out of the characters. It is rather an impersonal conflict between the dominant individual the one hand, Fate or environment, on the other. Thus the EpicNovels in Hardy always create the impression of vast colossal forces ranged automated individual and pounding him to atoms. Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jute the Obscure are the two important EpicNo…

Harlem Renaissance: Burst of Creativity among African American Writers and Artists in the 1920s

If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, 0 let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honour us though dead! 0 kinsmen1 We must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!  ”- Claude McKay’s militant sonnet If We Must Die (1919)
Harlem Renaissance, the burst of creativity among African American writers and artists in the 1920s and early 1930s that was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Variously known as the New Negro movement, the New Negro Renaissance, and the Negro Renaissance, the movement emerged toward the end of World War I in 1918, blossomed in t…

Analysis of Mulk Raj Anand’s Story, "The Lost Child": Accepted Part of Our Multicultural Neighborhood in the World

Simply, Mulk Raj Anand’s story,The Lost Child narrates how a little boy was lost in the crowd of a village fair. It tells us how on his way to the fair he was attracted by various things such as toys, sweetmeat, balloons and birds, butterflies and flowers. But what attracted him most was the roundabout. It made him forget his parents and everything else in the world. Thus he lagged far behind his parents and got lost in the crowd of the fair. Here, Anand deals with the child psychology in a sensitive way without shying away from its reality. We too have grown up as an accepted part of our multicultural neighborhood in the world.Anand’s at his strongest when writing about the Child’s classic confrontational relationship with his world without parents. Young adult readers will be able to identify with the lost child’s struggle to live within his family’s ambit while trying to discover his own world outside.

Brief Analysis of R.K Narayan’s ‘Engine Trouble’: Greater Simplicity of Plot and Language, even as it Develops a Greater Complexity of Meaning to Exhibit the Domain of India

Malgudi Days fits neatly into R.K Narayan's literary evolution. According to the author himself, each of his stories displays a greater simplicity of plot and language, even as they develop a greater complexity of meaning to exhibit the domain of India. By the time Narayan wrote Malgudi Days the crowded action of his early fantasies was replaced by introspections of Indiannessstripped to its essence and resonant with meaning.

Critical Analysis of Charles Lamb's "The Convalescent": Introspecting Sickness

“The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.” Charles Lamb (1775 - 1834) British essayist. The Athenaeum, "Table Talk by the late Elia"
The Convalescent was first published in the London Magazine for July, 1825. It was later collected in the Last Essays of Elia which made its appearance in 1833. Charles Lamb is the most delightful and sweetest essayist of English literature. He himself is the subject of his essays and maintains a perpetual friendship with his readers. Lamb's literary essays were often perceptive and original. He had a particular gift for analyzing character and his sensitivity and perceptiveness made him a valuable essayist.

Critical Appreciation on the Theme and Style of Joseph Addison’s essay, “A vision of Justice”: Visionary Judgment of the Goddess of Justice

“In the mean time the world was in an alarm, and all the inhabitants of it gathered together upon a spacious plain; so that I seemed to have all the species before my eyes. A voice was heard from the clouds, declaring the intention of this visit, which was to restore and appropriate to everyone living what was his due. The fear and hope, joy and sorrow, which appeared in that great assembly after this solemn declaration, are not to be expressed.” A Vision of Justiceby Joseph Addison
A Vision of Justiceby Joseph Addison is thematically complex, with much material to argue about. The most disputable theme or concept may be the implication of inevitability disclosed at the end of the essay: the reality of judgment.A Vision of Justice, however, is a delightful essay which has neatness, lucidity and precision of expression. Its style is highly polished and cultivated. There is spontaneity and ease in it. It is written in a familiar and elegant manner. Here we observe delightful plasticity of…

Analysis of Anton Chekhov’s 'A Marriage Proposal': Great Economic Security Takes Precedence over Romance and Love; What Keeps Together and Binding?— Defining the Institution of Marriage

"I must live a well regulated life.  I have a weak heart, continual pappitations, and I am very sensitive and always getting excited...But the worst of all is sleep! I hardly lie down and begin to doze before....I jump up like a madman, walk about a little, and lie down again.... And so it is all night long!" -Ivan Vassilievich Lomov in Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal
Anton Chekhov’s one act playA Marriage Proposal is not thoroughly anti romantic like that of G. B. Shaw’s Arms and the Man. In Shaw’s case it was practicality and good judgment preceding over romance and love, here in Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal economic security takes precedence over romance and love. Even though Russia is the primary setting, it can be anywhere in the world, and the home can be the case of any household history. Read More DramaIvan Vassilievich Lomov is no superhuman Bluntschli, and Natalia is no sweet sixteen of Riana. But they are representative of every man, every couple in the world …

Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’: Views Government as a Fundamental Hindrance to the Creative Enterprise of the People

“I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—”That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing gove…

Theme of Incarnation in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Tulsidasa's Ramcharitmanas: Comparative Study the Philosophy of Incarnation in the Orient and the Occident

Introduction: John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Tulsidasa's Ramcharitmanas enjoys a magical cast of characters including one mournful king-man, an inarticulate but athletic scarecrow devil, a chattering spiritual, two apprentice enchanters, many headstrong leaders, and a host of others. The Wizard Satan is, of course, one of the major characters, as is the determined Rama hater, who proves by the end of the story to be both his match and his mate. Read More CriticismMyth the fire demon and the Ravana of the far, furlong round out the central foursome, and it is through their intervention that Satan and Rama originally come—and eventually remain—together by the voice of incarnation.

Criitical Summary of Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry: Philosophical Assumptions about Poets and Poetry

“Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.” Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822) English poet. A Defence of Poetry
The unfinished critical work A Defence of Poetry (written 1821; published 1840) by P. B. Shelley is minutely skillful. The justly celebrated A Defence of Poetry by P. B. Shelley was originally written, as its title suggests, in a polemic vein, as an answer to Peacock's The Four Ages of Poetry. In this essay, written a year before his death, as earlier said, Shelley addresses  The Four Ages of Poetry,  a witty magazine piece by his friend, Thomas Love Peacock. Read More Romantic Period Peacock’s work teases and jokes through its definitions and conclusions, specifically that the poetry has become valueless and redundant in an age of science and technology, and that intelligent people should give up their literary pursuits and put their intelligence to good use. Shelley takes this treatise and extends it, turning his essay into more…

In What Way does the Mother Tongue Interfere in the Learning of a Foreign Language?

Mother Tongue interferes in the teaching of foreign language in a number of ways. When a child learns his mother tongue there is no other language getting in the way but when he learns a foreign language (F.L) the habits of his mother tongue conflicts with those of the foreign tongue. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)This conflict arises in all areas viz sounds, structures and vocabulary.
The distances of languagesis to be looked for—( 1 ) in pronunciation, or the ways of speaking the same words by different peoples; (2) in the vocabulary, or the use of the same words to express the same ideas in different languages ; (3) in grammatical structure, or the ways in which words are put together to make sentences. Read More Teaching English (TEFL)So that in two languages we shall find that letters and words are pronounced rather differently, but that the words used are mostly the other, and that there is so much difference in the grammar—that is, in their ways of showing genders, numbers, a…

Jonathan Swift’s "Gulliver’s Travels" is a timeless creation: Is This Really a Children’s Book?

“I found how the World had been misled by prostitute Writers, to ascribe the greatest Exploits in War to Cowards, the wisest Counsel to Fools, Sincerity to Flatterers, Roman Virtue to Betrayers of their Country, Piety to Atheists, Chastity to Sodomites, Truth to Informers.” Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels Part III
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is a timeless creation. George Orwell considered it to be one of the finest five works of world literature. Gulliver’s Travels resembles Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. But it is not merely an adventurous travel tale. It is more than that. The creator had some basic viewpoints about life. He makes it dear that he will advocate his unbiased view of life in the guise of some exciting story. The obvious source of attraction of the book is its rich humour. Read More NovelIt is written in a technique of a science fiction. But the most striking feature of the tale is the satire inherent in the different situations of life. He worked very hard…

Rabindranath Tagore’s Perceptive and Insightful Essay ‘Modern Poetry’: Thematic Analysis

“Everything comes to us that belong to us if we create the capacity to receive it.” - Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore’s perceptive and insightful essay ‘Modern Poetry’ was written long before eitherthe emergence of what we call to the post modernist trends, or even the application of the term ‘modern’ trends initialed in the 20th century English literature by writers like T.S. Eliot. We call T.S. Eliot a modernist today. But Tagore would naturally have been unfamiliar with the term. In any case, among the modernist poets, only Eliot is Tagore’s concern in his essay is to define the term ‘modern’ and indicate its limit, he first deals with the question of relativity which is always implied by the term. The term is in fact semantically mobile and in general sense, modern poetry is something that progresses in company with and at the speed of the years: the last year’s modern is not this year’s. Tagore realizes the problem where he says that the poetry of the great Romantics of th…