A TO Z Literary Principles from History of English Literature: Note 84

A Set of 26 Objective Questions & Answers


a. An epic has been generally described as a long narrative poem, on a grand scale about the deeds of warriors and heroes, kings and gods. It is a polygonal heroic story incorporating myth, legend, folktale and history. Epics are mostly of national significance, since that they embody the history and aspirations of nations in a lofty or grandeur manner. An epic is a culture mirror with a fixed ideological stance, often reflecting the best noblest principles of nation’s ethos.

b. T.S. Eliot in The Wasteland and Thomas Mauve in The Magic Mountain have both told the death knell of heroism, divinity, love and all nobler virtues in the post war modern world which portrayed, rightly enough, as a fragmented, hellish insubstantial circle of spiritual vacuity and ideals . Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

 c. Old and Middle English alliterative poems are commonly written in form of four-stress lines. Of these poems, William Langland’s The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman, better known as Piers Plowman, is the most significant.

d.The Pearl is an elegy for the death of a small girl. However the girl is the Christian symbol of innocence, heaven and love. Optimistically, thus, the work ends with an impressive vision of heaven, from which the dreamer awakes. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

e."Hamlet" is one of the best revenge plays in English Literature. However, T. S. Eliot considered Hamlet to be an artistic failure. Of all the plays it is the longest and is precisely one on which Shakespeare spent most pains, yet left on it superfluous and inconsistent scenes.

f.About the year 450 A.D members of various tribes—Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians - from around the mouth of the Rhine river invaded Roman Britain.

g. The Britons had been speaking the “Celtic” language (related to modern Welsh, Breton, and Irish and Scots Gaelic) before being conquered by Rome.

h. The Anglo-Saxons were pagan: they worshipped a collection of gods that included the war god Tiu; Woden, the clever one-eyed leader of the gods; thunder-hammering Thor; and Freya, the seductive love-goddess. Four of the modern days of our week are named after these gods: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

i. “Faithful Observation, personal detachment, and a fine sense of ironic comedy are among Jane Austen’s Chief Characteristics as a writer.”

j. Wordsworth’s verdict about Blake (on his death) was that "There was no doubt that this poor man was mad, but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott".

k. The predominant almost exclusive theme of W.Blake's short poems is based on the feeling of a child's unpassioned soul; the tone is simple while the emotions possess a pure ardour.

l. Odes of Keats reflect his growing concern with the relation between art and life, beauty and reality.” Keats had no religion save the religion of beauty, no God save Pan; the Earth was his great consoler, and so passionately did he love her, with a love far more concrete and personal than that of Wordsworth or even Shelley”. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

m. Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound is an allegory of Man’s Emancipation in an Age of Hope and Deliverance.

n. “To many readers Shelley’s genius is primarily lyrical: which commonly implies emotional. This is very doubtful – intense and uremitting intellectual activity seems to have been the main characteristic of his mind”. Graham Hough Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

o. George Eliot is generally credited with changing the nature of the English Novel.

 The Ending of George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss was a manipulated ending to a narrative directed by cause-and-effect.

p. George Eliot is the first English novelist who has shown tremendous psychological insight.

Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ has been best describe as ‘A heroic story’ filled with light from Sea and Sky, and sympathy with men and their mysterious fellow-creatures’.

q. Synaesthesia in Keats is a natural concomitant of other qualities of his poetry. Free from all moral degree, Keats’ poetry has the most compiling enchantment for lovers of pure beauty. Keats’s odes depict a skillful fusion of a seeking of beauty which endures and an impassioned meditation of death. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

r. The author of Ars Poetica is :Horace (65-8 bc), Roman lyric poet and satirist, whose works are masterpieces of Latin literature of the Golden Age.

s. The Parliament of Fowls is a charming satire, on model of animal story, of parliament and of representation of people; The House of Fame, although incomplete, is a more trenchant satire upon gossips, reputations, and rewards for “merit”; The Legend of Good Women is a collection of short biographies in verse of famous heroines of antiquity, quite in the medieval tradition which saw in the lives of great men and women models for conduct or a terrible example to shun. The work was like a mirror of life held up for all in positions of responsibility to see; Troilus and Criseyde, a long narrative poem in the manner of medieval romance, on a story from the medieval Troy legend. Some scholars refer to it as the first psychological novel in English literature because of its insight into human motives and its masterly characterizations; the suave and worldly go-between Pandarus and the enigmatic Cressida are remarkable portraits for the medieval period when the analysis of a human soul for more than didactic purposes was virtually unknown. Troilus and Criseyde is historically interesting, also because it happens to be the finest of all the treatments of the Troy legend in Middle English literature. It is regarded as the finest work of Chaucer’s Italian period. His major works made up from a collection of stories may have been compiled over a long period.

t. 1984 by George Orwell: Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party from Oceania (a fictional state representing both England and America), lives in all visible ways as a good party member, in complete conformance with the wishes of Big Brother—the leader of the Inner Party (Ingsoc). He keeps his loathing for the workings of the Party—for the vile food and drink, the terrible housing, the conversion of children into spies, the orchestrated histrionics of the Two Minutes' Hate—deep inside, hidden, for he knows that such feelings are an offense punishable by death, or worse. But, as the year 1984 begins, he has decided, against his better judgment, to keep a diary in which his true feelings are laid bare. He sits back in an alcove in his dingy apartment, just out of view of the telescreen (two-way television screens that are in all buildings and homes, which broadcast propaganda and transmit back the activities of anyone passing in front of the screen) and writes of his hatred for Big Brother. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

u. In Guerrillas (1975) and A Bend in the River (1979) Naipaul dealt in fictional form with events in the West Indies and Zaire, respectively. Guerrillas concerns a would-be West Indian revolutionary; A Bend in the River probes the search for identity in a newly independent African nation. Though cast as novels, The Enigma of Arrival (1987) and A Way in the World (1994) are to a great extent autobiographical, dealing with Naipaul’s recurrent themes of exile and the idea of home. In these works Naipaul is haunted by a landscape that reflects the past yet is marked more and more by profound social change. Read More A to Z (Objective Questions)    

v. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms, motion picture based on the 1929 novel by American author Ernest Hemingway, earned Academy Awards for cinematography and sound recording. Released in 1932, the film examines how World War I (1914-1918) impacted the lives of American ambulance driver Lieutenant Frederic Henry (played by Gary Cooper), British nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes), and a variety of other characters. Barkley nurses Henry back to health after he is injured in the war, and the two fall in love. Once Henry recovers, he must return to the war, but he soon escapes to be with Barkley. She gets pregnant and nearly dies in childbirth.

w. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh: Evelyn Waugh (1903-66), English author of satirical novels. Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh was born in London and educated at the University of Oxford. Between 1928 and 1938 he published five novels notable for their wit and pure satire on such aspects of upper-class British life as colonialism, public schools, and the manners and morals of high society. These novels are Decline and Fall (1928), Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934), and Scoop (1938). Put Out More Flags (1942) is a novel about the British effort during World War II.

x. John Dryden in his heroic tragedy All for Love takes the story of Shakespeare’s

Antony and Cleopatra.

y. Arrange the following works in the order in which they appear. Identify the correct code :

I. No Longer at Ease

II. Things Fall apart

III. A Man of the People

IV. Arrow of God

The correct combination according to the code is :

Code :

(A) III, IV, II, I

(B) IV, III, I, II

(C) II, I, IV, III

(D) I, II, III, IV

(   Things Fall apart 1958, No longer at ease 1960, Arrow of God 1964, A Man of the People 1966.  Things Fall apart, No longer at ease and Arrow of God were also considered as 'African Trilogy'.)

z. Samuel Pepys kept his diary from 1660 to 1669.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert     
        2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature