7. SAMPLE ANSWERS

1. SAMPLE ANSWERS - POETRY

QUESTION NO. 1

(a) To see a world .......... palm of your hand.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Auguries of Innocence
(ii) Poet: William Blake
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/132)
(ii) Content: This poem is a stark warning about the inevitable consequences for society when there is wanton mistreatment of people and nature. There is a list of situations and auguries about what might happen if these kinds of injustice continue. The poem also expresses Blake's political views about class structures, slavery, and inequality among other things. He condemns oppression and cruelties against the innocent and vulnerable members of society. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet propagates the concept of "inward and outward infinity of space and eternity of time". Firstly, he suggests to discover macrocosm in microcosm. Scientifically, a grain of sand is not the smallest particle. It consists of billions of atoms. An atom further consists of about a hundred particles like proton, neutron and electron etc and so on. Thus a grain of sand is a whole world itself, having infinity inwards. Secondly, he proposes to see microcosm in macrocosm. To see the whole world of God in a wild flower, we do not need eyesight but sight --- a transcendental sight that allows the individual to see beyond what is visible. Thus infinity can be held in the palm of hand and eternity can be contained in an hour. In short, our imagination can expand infinitesimal things into immensity and diminish gigantic things into miniatures.  

(b) O Rose, .......... the howling storm.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Sick Rose
(ii) Poet: William Blake
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/8)
(ii) Content: This poem is about lost of virtue due to secret crimes or corruption. The speaker, addressing a rose, informs it that it is sick. An "invisible worm" has stolen into its "bed of crimson joy" in a "howling storm" and under the cover of night. The "dark secret love" of this worm is destroying the rose's life.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes the cause of the sickness of a rose. Literally, a rose is a beautiful flower. Here the rose symbolizes beauty, virginity, love, innocence and London. A canker worm has attacked this rose. This worm symbolizes lust, jealously, corruption, experience, decay and death. It also resonates with the Biblical serpent and suggests a phallus. The poet tells that this is an 'invisible worm'. The invisibility of the worm echoes that the devil lurks unseen and is master of disguise. This worm flies in the night. Traditionally, night is the time when demons, witches and wild beasts seek their prey and ghosts appear. It therefore suggests that this 'worm' is active at the time when people are most prey to their fears and fantasies. This worm attacks 'in the howling storm'. It suggests times of ungovernable, frightening turmoil and passion that are potentially destructive. In short, beauty, love and innocence is destroyed by lust, corruption and experience. 

(c) How the chimney .......... down palace walls.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: London
(ii) Poet: William Blake
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Stanza 3/4 (Lines 9-12/16)
(ii) Content: This poem is about disease, misery, child labour and prostitution - basically everything that Blake feels is wrong about London. The speaker wanders through the streets of London and sees despair in the faces of the people he meets and hears fear in their voices. The woeful cry of the chimney-sweeper stands as a chastisement to the Church, and the blood of a soldier stains the outer walls of the monarch's residence. At night, the cursing of prostitutes corrupts the newborn infant and sullies the "marriage hearse".
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet laments over the cries of chimney-sweepers, inefficiency of churches and the sighs of soldiers. A chimney-sweeper is a worker employed to clean soot from chimneys. In Blake's day, this disgusting, dirty and dangerous job was usually reserved for children. This dangerous and exploitative job makes them cry. The job of a chimney sweeper and that of a church is same. The church is responsible to clean the people from sins, crimes and evils. However, the church itself is blackened. Thus the chimney-sweeper's cry and every blackening church appall the poet. The poet is also dismayed at the life of soldiers. The soldiers are drafted into war and have no choice but to serve their country. The walls of the palace of their country are stained with their sighs and blood. In short, both chimney-sweeper and the soldiers are in "forg'd manacles"; they are physically restrained by their seniors.

QUESTION NO. 6

Symbolism in Blake's Poetry

Introduction
     The poetry as well as the whole art of William Blake is abundant with symbols. There is hardly any poem in the "Songs of Innocence and Experience" which does not possess symbols. A symbol is an object which stands for something else as Shelley's wind symbolizes inspiration, Ted Hughes's Hawk symbolizes terrible destructiveness at the heart of nature and S.T. Coleridge's Albatross represents a psychological burden that feels like a curse. Most symbols are not like code signals, like traffic lights, where red means stop and green means go, but part of a complex language in which green can mean jealously or fertility, or even both, depending on context. The major symbols in Blake's poetry are; lamb, rose, children, tiger, garden, stars, forest, looms and net.
1. Lamb
     William Blake loves lambs. They connect religion with both human and natural world. Traditionally, the lamb is a symbol of renewal, victory of life upon death, gentleness, tenderness and innocence. White colour of the lamb stands for purity. In the Christian Gospels, Jesus Christ is compared to a lamb because he goes meekly to be sacrificed on behalf of humanity. Moreover, lambs, as baby sheep, are connected to the theme of childhood that runs through the "Songs of Innocence". By contrast, "Songs of Experience" contains only one reference to a lamb. The Speaker of "The Tyger" asks, 
"Did he who made the lamb make thee"? 
2. Rose
     Sunflower, lily and rose are the common flowers that appear in Blake's poetry as symbols. Sunflower represents a man who is bound to earth, but is pinning for eternity. Lily is a symbol of love which is without any self-reference, neither defending itself nor causing any pain and destruction. Rose, as a symbol, has a rich and ancient history. In the ancient Rome, roses were grown in the funerary gardens to symbolize resurrection. According to medieval tradition, they represent chastity or virginity and thus are associated with young girls. In Christianity, the rose is a frequent symbol for the Virgin Mary, who is called a "rose without thorns". The rose garden is a symbol of paradise. However, the rose of William Blake symbolizes beauty, virginity, innocence and London. 
3. Children
     On account of their playfulness and freshness, Blake sees children as symbols of imagination and artistic creativity. He also uses them as an image of innocence. The child motif emphasizes the suggestions of simplicity and lack of sophistication. Much of the moralistic teaching of Blake's day stressed the infant and boy Jesus as a figure with whom children could identify. However, the Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth and childhood include experience of human violence and so emphasize the vulnerability of the child. Thus like the lamb, the child represents gentleness and innocence, together with vulnerability and openness to exploitation.
4. Tiger
     It is unclear what the tiger exactly symbolizes. It may symbolize the violent and terrifying forces within the individual man. The splendid but terrifying tiger makes us realize the God's purposes are not so easily understood. At the same time, the tiger is symbolic of the Creator's masterly skill which enabled Him to frame the "fearful symmetry" of the tiger. But the lion described in the poem "Night" offers an interesting contrary to the tiger. Both the beasts seem dreadful, but the lion, like the beast of the fairy tale, can be magically transformed into a good and gentle creature: the tiger cannot. The tiger also represents the energy and imagination of man. Really, the list is almost infinite. The point is, the tiger is important, and Blake's poem "The Tyger" barely limits the possibilities.
5. Garden
     The garden is a symbol providing the location of love and temptation leading to captivity. The garden is commonly recalled in the "Songs of Experience". In the garden, mankind is walled or fenced off from his neighbours; man tends his own desires, particularly by self-conscious affections and jealousies. The garden is a sickly consolation among the evils of London. There are "Soft Gardens" and "Secret Gardens". In a garden of delight, mankind is surrounded by shadows. Urizen himself planted a "garden of fruits". This is Eden, never associated with innocence, but always with temptation, the tree of mystery and forbidden knowledge. This aspect of Eden is prototype of Blake's symbol of the garden.
6. Stars
     Stars are often used to symbolize heavenly bodies, purity, distance, light in the darkness, unattainable things, good luck and eternity. In dreams, a shooting star is a sign of self-fulfillment and advancement in life. However, Blake uses the star symbol in his own specific sense. The stars are never romantic. At one level, stars and darkness are commonly assumed to endanger health. The symbol of the stars assumes another dimension when it is associated with material and spiritual repression. This is said to reflect Blake's reaction against the rational thoughts of his times.
7. Forest
     The forest, that seems to overgrow the hills of Innocence, with its impenetrable superstition, is one of Blake's most powerful symbols. The conventional beginning is seen in the "Poetical Sketches" where the "thickest shades" provide concealment from the sun in "To Summer", and in "To the Evening Star", the lion "glares through the dense forest". This poem is typical in its refined holiness of eighteenth century mannerism, which Blake soon outgrew. In "Songs of Innocence", the groves of "Night" and "The Little Black Boy" still occur in a religious context, and we are moving towards the mention in "America" where the Royalist oppressors crouch terrified in their caverns.
8. Looms and Net
     A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. In the prophetic books, the symbols of loom, with the action of weaving, the web and the net represent the soft, delusive terror of sexual dominance and these symbols run together. "The silken net" in "How Sweet I Roamed from Field to Field", suggests the trap of tenderness. The eighteenth century sought in public works to slave its conscience over prostitution, poverty and disease. For Blake, it was hypocrisy, while the old order perpetuated itself, and an oppressive social and moral code fostered the destitution and traffic in childhood that all professed to deplore.  
Conclusion
     It is established that Blake is a highly symbolic poet. His use of symbolism is unique and cinematic. It paints a lively and pulsating picture of dynamic life before us. He has depicted nature and human nature; animals and plants as simple but profound symbols of powerful forces. What is different in Blake is that he is not modeling after any symbols but his own. His handling of symbols is markedly different from that of the French symbolists. His symbols are not mechanical or inflexible. He has used archetypal symbolism in his poetry. In short, symbolism is the main trait of William Blake as a poet and this has been well crystallized in his legendary work, "The Songs of Innocence and Experience".


QUESTION NO. 9

(a) It is an ancient .......... stopp'st thou me?

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
(ii) Poet: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Part I (Lines 1-4/626)
(ii) Content: An ancient Mariner detains a Wedding Guest to narrate the story of a sailor. During a voyage, the sailor kills an albatross. This crime invites sufferings. After much suffering, he understands the oneness of God's creation and blesses the water snakes. This marks the breaking of the curse. However, the avenging spirit imposes a heavy penance on him. Finally the ship sinks and the sailor is saved in a pilot's boat. Ever since that day, the sailor rooms from land to land to relate his story. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes the Mariner's detaining a guest on his way to a wedding. The Mariner is the central figure of the poem. There is a strange sense of mystery about him. It is not proper to use "it is" when referring to a human being. However, Coleridge uses the phrase to introduce his Mariner has the effect of transforming him from a man of flesh and blood into something akin to a force of nature. The word 'ancient' conveys the two-fold sense of 'old' and 'of old time'. The Mariner stops one of the three Wedding Guests. The number 'three' is one of the numbers to which a mystical or supernatural significance has been attached. The main features of this Mariner are his grey beard and glittering eyes. The grizzled beard shows the old age of the Mariner. However, his glittering eyes are hypnotic. He holds the attention of the Wedding Guest with his eyes. The Wedding Guest asks him why he is detaining him. The protest of the Wedding Guest is truly dramatic and introduces and element of action. 

(b) And I had done .......... the breeze to blow.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
(ii) Poet: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Part II (Lines 91-94/626)
(ii) Content: An ancient Mariner detains a Wedding Guest to narrate the story of a sailor. During a voyage, the sailor kills an albatross. This crime invites sufferings. After much suffering, he understands the oneness of God's creation and blesses the water snakes. This marks the breaking of the curse. However, the avenging spirit imposes a heavy penance on him. Finally the ship sinks and the sailor is saved in a pilot's boat. Ever since that day, the sailor rooms from land to land to relate his story.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes the self-awareness of the ancient Mariner for his crime and the condemnation of his shipmates for the crime. The ancient Mariner has killed an albatross with his cross bow. Now he comprehends the evil of his act and the coming punishment. So he says that he has done a 'hellish thing'. He also realizes that his crime will also affect his shipmates. This will bring misfortune to all of them. On the other hand, his shipmates also cry out against the ancient Mariner. They all assert that he has killed the bird which had made the favourable wind to blow. For them, the bird was an agent of life and luck. It allowed them to continue their journey and survive. In short, Man is a sinful creature, but redemption awaits him if he repents his wrongdoing and performs penance. 

(c) Are those her ........ the Woman's mate?

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
(ii) Poet: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Part III (Lines 185-189/626)
(ii) Content: An ancient Mariner detains a Wedding Guest to narrate the story of a sailor. During a voyage, the sailor kills an albatross. This crime invites sufferings. After much suffering, he understands the oneness of God's creation and blesses the water snakes. This marks the breaking of the curse. However, the avenging spirit imposes a heavy penance on him. Finally the ship sinks and the sailor is saved in a pilot's boat. Ever since that day, the sailor rooms from land to land to relate his story.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes a spectre-ship and its crew. This ship has ribs like bars of a grate. In other words, the ship looks like a skeleton. The mysterious ship sails in front of the setting sun, and rather then blocking out part of the sun completely, it just looks like the sun has bars in front of it. The ship's skeletal appearance contributes to the poem's creepy vibes. The crew of this skeleton ship comprises of two figures. One is male and the other is female. Male is the personification of Death. Death here represents complete death. The other is its bride. It is the personification of "Life-in-Death". It represents a state of death that exists in life. In short, these lines are replete with supernatural elements and create an atmosphere of fear and horror. 

QUESTION NO. 15

Critical Appreciation of "Kubla Khan"

1. One of the Best Poems of Coleridge
     "Kubla Khan" is one of those three poems which have kept the name of Coleridge in the forefront of the greatest English poets -- the other two being "The Ancient Mariner" and "Christabel", and all of the three having been written in 1797 and 1798 dealing with "persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic.". All these three poems were composed when intimate friendship existed between Coleridge and Wordsworth. "Kubla Khan" is considered one of the most famous examples of Romanticism in English poetry. A copy of the manuscript is a permanent exhibit at the British Museum in London. 
2. The Origin of the Poem
    One night in 1797, Coleridge was not feeling all that great. To dull the pain, he took a dose of laudanum. Soon he fell asleep and had a strange dream about Kubla Khan, because before falling asleep, he had been reading a story from "Purchas' Pilgrims" in which Kubla Khan commanded the building of a new palace. Coleridge dreamt that he was writing a poem in his sleep, and when he woke up after two hours, he sat down to record the poem. He meant to write two to three hundred lines, but he was interrupted by a tailor from Porlock, who had come to see him on business. When he came back to the poem, he had forgotten the rest. The 54 lines he did manage to scribble out turned into one of the most famous and enduring poems in English literary history. 
3. Title of the Poem
     The main title of the poem is just plain "Kubla Khan". It is a pretty great name. Kubla Khan was the fifth Khangan of the Mongol Empire, reigning from 1260 to 1294. He founded the Yuan Dynasty in China in 1271. He was the fourth son of Tolui and a grandson of Genghis Khan. Thus the title sets a tone for the poem. It transports us to another place and time before we even get started. However, there is another piece. The full title is: "Kubla Khan: Or A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment". "A Vision is a Dream" signifies that the poem is an edifice of a charmed sleep. This is "A Fragment" because Coleridge intended to write two to three hundred lines but could only write 54 due to the interruption of a person. 
4. Themes of the Poem
     The major themes of the poem are; creative power of imagination, man and the natural world, and time. The power of imagination is the ultimate creative power. In the last part of the poem, the imagination of Coleridge constructs "pleasure-dome in air". The interaction between man and nature is also a major theme for Coleridge. It is painted all over "Kubla Khan", as we go from the dome to the river, and then from the garden to the sea. Sometimes he has focused on human characters, sometimes on natural forces. Finally, different understandings of time is a major theme of the poem. Is Coleridge recalling the Kubla Khan of the past, or someone who transcends our linear notion of time? 
5. Poetic Structure of the Poem
     "Kubla Khan" is a fifty-four line lyric. It has two parts and four stanzas. It is written in iambic tetrameter and pentameter. Iambic just means that the poem is made up of lots of two-syllable units, in which the stress is placed on the second syllable. It has an alternating rhyme scheme in each stanza. Stanza one has a rhyme scheme of ABAABCCDEDE, stanza two has a rhyme scheme of ABAABCCDDFFGGHIIHJ, stanza three has a rhyme scheme of ABABCC, and stanza four has a rhyme scheme of ABCCBDEDEFGFFFGHHG. In short, the poem has a disorganized structure and different in structure from other poems composed by Coleridge. 
6. Symbolism in the Poem
     The pleasure-dome, the river Alph, mighty fountain, mazy motion, tumult, ancestral voices and mingled measure are the major symbols in the poem. The pleasure-dome symbolizes immortality and majesty. The river Alph is a symbol of life and force. The ceaseless turmoil of the earth, the fountain forced out with half intermittent burst, the fragments rebounding like hail and the dancing rocks represent agony and power. The mazy motion suggests uncertain and blind progress of the human soul and the complexities of human life. The tumult is associated with war. The ancestral voices stand for that dark compulsion that binds the race to its habitual conflicts. The mingled measure suggests the blend of fundamental opposites, creation and destruction. 
7. The Supernatural in the Poem
     Supernatural elements are peppered throughout the poem. The sacred river, the caverns measureless to man, the sunless sea, the deep romantic chasm, the woman wailing for her demon lover, the half-intermittent burst of water from the mighty fountain, the ancestral voices prophesying war, the shadow of the dome floating midway on the waves and the Abyssinian maid -- they all create a world of magic, wonder and enchantment. The frenzy in which the poet is in the last part of the poem also contributes to its supernatural vein.  
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of paradise. 
8. Imagery in the Poem
     The whole poem is a succession of visual, auditory, thermal, kinesthetic and gustatory images. Visual imagery include; the pleasure dome, the sacred river, the measureless caverns, the deep romantic chasm, the woman wailing for her demon lover, the Abyssinian maid, and the poet himself. The prophecies of war, the song of Abyssinian maid and the warning of the people listening the story of the poet are auditory images. Sun and ice are thermal images. Kinesthetic images include; fragments tossing like hail, chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail, the floating shadow of dome on the waves, and the magic circles drawn by people around the poet. Feeding on honey-dew and drinking the milk of paradise are examples of gustatory images.
9. The Romantic Elements in the Poem
     Imagination, supernaturalism, sensuousness, exploration of nature and magical spell are the major romantic elements in "Kubla Khan". The entire poem is based on a vision Coleridge had during an opium trance. The woman wailing for her demon lover and the ancestral voices prophesying war; are obviously supernatural occurrences. The bright gardens, the incense bearing trees, the sunny spots of greenery, the half intermittent burst of the mighty fountain and the rocks vaulting like rebounding hail - are highly sensuous images and explore nature. The poet's eyes and his floating hair are connected with magic. In short, like a true romantic poem, it is a product of pure fancy, a work of sheer imagination and is, therefore, a wholly romantic composition.
10. Sounds in the Poem
     The poem is a perfect piece of music. It has all kinds of sounds, movements and tones. When the river is crashing through the caves, we imagine the pounding of kettledrums. The word "rebounding" in "Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail" has a hollow, open sound. Then, when we travel through the gardens, we hear the soft sounds of the woodwinds. The scary, flashing-eyed figure that appears at the end reminds us of the horns, sharp and brassy and starling. The words "Beware! Beware!" are blurted out, quick and loud, like the sound of a trumpet blaring out a warning. Thus the poem is a journey of sounds. It tries to use the effects of language as if they were different parts of an orchestra. 


QUESTION NO. 17

(a) It seem'd no force .......... who know it not.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Hyperion
(ii) Poet: John Keats
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Book I (Lines 22-25/357)
(ii) Content: The Titans are a pantheon of gods. They include Saturn, Ops, Thea, Enceladus, Oceanus, Clymene and Hyperion. They are dethroned by the new Olympian gods and mourn at their lost empire.  Saturn is prostrate with grief. Hyperion, the sun god, is the only Titan who is still powerful. He continues his struggle but must eventually accept defeat. He is replaced by Apollo, whose emergence into godhead is perished by Mnemosyne.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes Saturn's despondency after his defeat. The Titans were defeated by the Olympians in a war. Saturn, the chief of the Titans, had taken shelter in a remote and shady place in a valley, where he now sat, quiet as a stone. Perfect silence prevailed around him. He was feeling absolutely listless, and his right hand lay nerveless on the ground, looking like the hand of a dead body. There was no longer the divine rod of authority in his hand. He sat there in a state of deep despondency, with his eyes closed. It seemed that no force would be able to wake Saturn from his trance. But there did come somebody to wake him up. The visitor was goddess Thea, the wife of the sun-god, Hyperion. She too was a member of the defeated party, and she too was grief-stricken. She woke up Saturn from his listlessness and wanted to know how he was feeling. She told him that he could continue sleeping and that she would sit at his feet and weep. 

(b) Then with a slow .......... into the deep night.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Hyperion
(ii) Poet: John Keats
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Book I (Lines 354-357/357)
(ii) Content: The Titans are a pantheon of gods. They include Saturn, Ops, Thea, Enceladus, Oceanus, Clymene and Hyperion. They are dethroned by the new Olympian gods and mourn at their lost empire.  Saturn is prostrate with grief. Hyperion, the sun god, is the only Titan who is still powerful. He continues his struggle but must eventually accept defeat. He is replaced by Apollo, whose emergence into godhead is perished by Mnemosyne.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes the start of journey of Hyperion from the sun to the earth. Hyperion was the only Titan who still had not been defeated by Olympians. He lived in a splendid and radiant palace and commanded the blazing sun. However, he had begun to feel mentally disturbed by certain ill-omens which seemed to indicate that even he could not feel secure and that his authority might also be threatened. Although Hyperion had formed a strong resolution to fight against Saturn, yet his mind was not at ease. In this state of mind, he heard a voice whispering into his ears. It was the voice of his aged father, Uranus. Urged by the words of his father, Hyperion got up and, leaving the planet of the sun in the charge of his father, plunged noiselessly into the deep night in order to go down to the earth to fight against Saturn and meet his fellow-Titans. In short, these lines introduce Hyperion and end the first book of the poem, Hyperion. 

(c) Season of mists .......... the thatch-eaves run;

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Ode to Autumn
(ii) Poet: John Keats
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/33)
(ii) Content: Autumn joins with the maturing sun to load the vines with grapes, to ripen apples and other fruit, "swell the gourd", fill up the hazel shell, and set budding more and more flowers. Autumn may be seen sitting on a threshing floor, sound asleep in a grain field filled with poppies, carrying a load of grain across a brook, or watching the juice oozing from a cider press. The sounds of autumn are the wailing of gnats, the bleating of lambs, the singing of hedge crickets, the whistling of robins, and the twittering of swallows.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet describes the advent of autumn and ripening of fruits. Firstly, he says that autumn is a season of "mists". "Mists" often accompany chilly weather because the moisture in the air condenses into a vapor when it is cold. The notion of "mists" also indicates an early part of the day. Secondly, he says that autumn is a season of "mellow fruitfulness". The word "mellow", meaning low-key or subdued, is a good fit for autumn. And it is also the season when many fruits and other crops are harvested, making autumn fruit-full. Thirdly, the poet has personified autumn as a woman whose union with the male sun sets the ripening process in motion. The words "bosom" and "maturing" suggest that the autumn and the sun is an old couple. "Conspiring" means that this couple plans together how to make fruits grow on the vines that curl around roof of thatched cottages. Here, Thatched cottages suggest a pastoral setting, characterized by shepherds, sheep, maidens and agriculture. 

QUESTION NO. 23

Negative Capability of Keats
COMING SOON!

QUESTION NO. 25

(a) Now, to pry ......... the darkness echoing.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Personal Helicon
(ii) Poet: Seamus Heaney
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: End of the Poem (Lines 17-20/20)
(ii) Content: The poet describes his childhood memories and then connects them with the present. When he was a child, people "could not keep (him) from wells", which shows that he was fascinated by them. Wells were a way for him to express his childlike desire to smell, savour, and touch nature. To satisfy his curiosity, he needed to "[drag] out long roots from the soft mulch" so that he could see his own reflection. However, having grown up, he can't spend hours looking at wells anymore, because it is "beneath all adult dignity". So he writes this poem as a way to relieve his childhood again. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet compares his childhood fascination of starring into wells with his adult Muse of poetry. No longer does the poet stare into wells. Now he looks upon exploring the wonders of the world. "Pry[ing] into the roots, to finger slime" is unfitting the man he has become. He considers looking into himself directly narcissistic. Having grown into an adult other matters have taken precedence. His childhood activities are now "beneath all adult dignity" and he must find alternatives. Summed up in the last, and arguably his best line we find salvation. "I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing". The echo in the darkness much like the echo in the wells, we find the act of poetry has taken the place of gazing into wells. And we find him once again being able to live. In short, Heaney believes that the poet lives in his own world unconcerned with the world around him. 

(b) Some day I will ........... pointed skin cap.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Tollund Man
(ii) Poet: Seamus Heaney
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/44)
(ii) Content: Heaney yearns to go to Aarhus in Denmark to see the wizened remains of the bog-body of the Tollund man. He is amazed to see the well-preserved physical features of this man. He regards the Tollund man as a deity so he wants to worship him, against all religious constraints. He shares a sympathetic relationship with this mummified corpse. He considers the Tollund man a surrogate Christ. He wishes to call upon his to raise the dead Irish. He wants to derive a sort of power from the body, from the country, from being alone.
EXPLANATION
    In these lines the poet expresses his desire for a pilgrimage and describes the head, eyes, and skin of the Tollund Man. The poet wishes to go to Aarhus. Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus Municipality. It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, where the naturally mummified corpse of the Tollund Man was found in 1950. He wants to go there to see the Tollund Man. The Tollund Man is probably the most well-preserved body from pre-historic times in the world. According to the poet, the "peat-brown head" of the Tollund Man is almost shockingly well preserved. His eyes are closed. The thin fold of the skin that cover his eyes are like "mild pods". The body itself has shrunk, thus the skin has sharpened or tapered tips. In short, the poet has beautifully described the physical features of the body body of the Tollund Man with fanatical obsession. These lines also show the poet's interest in archaeology. 

(c) I could risk ........ to make germinate ..

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Tollund Man
(ii) Poet: Seamus Heaney
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Middle of the Poem (Lines 21-24/44)
(ii) Content: Heaney yearns to go to Aarhus in Denmark to see the wizened remains of the bog-body of the Tollund man. He is amazed to see the well-preserved physical features of this man. He regards the Tollund man as a deity so he wants to worship him, against all religious constraints. He shares a sympathetic relationship with this mummified corpse. He considers the Tollund man a surrogate Christ. He wishes to call upon his to raise the dead Irish. He wants to derive a sort of power from the body, from the country, from being alone.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet wishes to worship and pray the Tollund Man. He says that he can risk blasphemy. Blasphemy is the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things. However, the poet does not care for the probability or threat of damage or any other negative occurrence that may be caused by external or internal vulnerabilities. This act of poet is an act of pagan rather than Catholic. Moreover, he wants to declare "the cauldron bog" of the Tollund Man as a deity, who is holy, divine and sacred. He also calls that ground "our holy ground" where this naturally mummified corpse was found. Here the poet also suggests a deep kinship between his Irish home and Denmark. Finally he wants to pray to the Tollund Man to raise the dead Irish. In other words, the poet has made the Tollund Man a surrogate of God. In short, these lines alert us the pagan aspects of the poem.


QUESTION NO. 30

Symbolism in Heaney's Poetry
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 33

(a) But if he stood ........... shaking off the dread.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Mr  Bleaney
(ii) Poet: Philip Larkin
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: End of the Poem (Lines 21-24/28)
(ii) Content: The poet is lodging in a room that once belonged to a man called Mr Bleaney. As he observes the bare furnishings, he draws intimate conclusions about the former lodger. The predecessor was a poor fellow without any belongings, and without any house of his own. He was an eccentric kind of old man, and had no literary or artistic tastes. He used to prefer sauce to gravy; spend his summer holiday with his relatives in Frinton, and Christmas with his sister in Stoke. Although he may not intend to, the poet himself is very much like or perhaps turning into Mr Bleaney. 
EXPLANATION
     These lines present a deep-rooted fear for the lodger, the fear of being trapped in the same cyclic anomie as the previous tenant. The word "But" is a clear change of mood and gear, moving towards further questions and uncertainties. The word marks the limits of the poet's assured knowledge, and from this point we move into the realms of the speculative and reflective. "Frigid wind" along with the reference to the "fusty bed" conjures up the sense of sexually unfulfilling quality of Mr Bleaney's life, bereft of sensuality and characterized by infertility and frigidity. "Clouds" here reflect Mr Bleaney's own vulnerability to the pressures of the world. The phrase "grinned and shivered" carries associations of the macabre here, with the skeletal Mr Bleaney grinning in the face of his environment, his life, and the limits of his own bodily life. The word "dread" which concludes the stanza, reinforces this sense of menace. In short, these lines emphasize the cold dreariness of the poem and give it a chilling edge. 

(b) That how we live ........... I don't know.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Mr Bleaney
(ii) Poet: Philip Larkin
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: End of the Poem (Lines 25-28/28)
(ii) Content: The poet is lodging in a room that once belonged to a man called Mr Bleaney. As he observes the bare furnishings, he draws intimate conclusions about the former lodger. The predecessor was a poor fellow without any belongings, and without any house of his own. He was an eccentric kind of old man, and had no literary or artistic tastes. He used to prefer sauce to gravy; spend his summer holiday with his relatives in Frinton, and Christmas with his sister in Stoke. Although he may not intend to, the poet himself is very much like or perhaps turning into Mr Bleaney. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet is measuring his own worth in the mode of comparison with Mr. Bleaney. The statement "The how we live measures our own nature" is a judgment of Mr. Bleaney, and his life. It is also an ironic reference to the Humanist dictate of "Man as the measure", and the phrase carries associations from Hamlet and particularly of Hamlet's soliloquies and Polonius' advice to his son. Having lived a whole life, Mr Bleaney achieves no more than "one hired box". The term "hired box" refers to coffin. Finally, the poet refuses to declare his own views, although the fact that he has raised the question about the value of Mr Bleaney's life is, in itself, perhaps sufficient indication of an overall stance. Whatever he concludes about the value and purpose of Mr Bleaney's life, a previous tenant, must also inevitably apply to himself. In these final lines it is difficult to decide whose voice the poet is echoing. Is it the Landlay's? Is it his own inner doubting voice? Phrases like "warranted no better" remain ambiguous, and may properly belong to the poet himself, imagining the terms of a final tribunal in the afterlife. 

(c) A hunger in himself .......... dead lie round.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: Church Going
(ii) Poet: Philip Larkin
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: End of the Poem (Lines 60-63/63)
(ii) Content: The poet goes into a church and sees the matting on the floor, the seats, a number of Bibles, flowers, and a small small organ etc. He mounts the lectern, and goes through a few verses in a Bible. Then he goes back to the entrance, signs the book, drops an Irish sixpence into the charity-box, and comes out. It seems to him that it was not worthwhile for him to come to the church. He asks himself what will happen to churches when there are no more believers in the world. Finally, he admits that he is pleased by the church because it is a serious place for serious questions. 
EXPLANATION
     In these lines the poet praises the church's power to make human life meaningful. There are many people who are not always happy with just killing time and listening to the top singles on iTunes; they look for a deeper, more serious purpose to life. This desire for deeper meaning in the universe, make people "gravitate" towards the holy ground of a church. When the poet imagines "gravitating [...] to this ground", he is talking about the attraction of both the physical place where the church may once have stood, and the attraction of belief in general. The poet believes that the ground of a church is a "proper place to grow wise in" because it is surrounded by dead folks. Here, the poet is referring to the fact that the grounds surrounding churches are traditionally used as graveyards, meaning that a lot of dead bodies hang out nearby. He is saying that, even if there is not literally a God out there, there is still something to be said about this fact: for thousands of years, people have gone to their graves in the presence of a church -- in other words, believing in God and heaven. 

QUESTION NO. 39

Animal Imagery in Ted Hughes' Poetry
COMING SOON!


2. SAMPLE ANSWERS - DRAMA

QUESTION NO. 1

(a) Yes, but have you .......... we went away?
REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Hedda Gabler
(ii) Dramatist: Henrik Ibsen
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act I
(ii) Content: Hedda marries George but finds life with him to be dull. George spends most of his time in libraries doing research in history for a book. A friend of Hedda comes to visit her and tells her of Lovborg, an old friend of both women. Lovborg has also written a book on history. In the past, he has lived a life of degeneration. Now he has quit drinking and has devoted himself to serious work. Lovborg loses his manuscript at a party. When George returns home with Lovborg's manuscript, Hedda burns it. Lovborg comes to Hedda and confesses how he has failed in his life. Hedda talks him into committing suicide which he does. George begins to reconstruct Lovborg's manuscript with the help of Thea. In the end, Hedda commits suicide with her pistol.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines Tesman wants to tell his aunt Juju that Hedda, his wife has become pregnant. Tesman here talks of Hedda as if she were the gun-dog who had been off her food for a whole but is now doing remarkably well and filling out nicely. The gun-dog image is one Ibsen uses in his notes, "His solicitude for her is the same as one gives to a thoroughbred horse or a valuable gun-dong." One can almost feel Hedda squirming as Tesman says this, but he is of course reminding her, in the nicest possible way, of the factual situation. She belongs to him as a piece of property, and, as the owner, he has the right to be proud of her. Fortunately, for him, Tesman is not aware of the wider implication of his remark about Hedda's "filling out". It is difficult enough to imagine Hedda and Tesman lying in bed together, let alone making love. It probably happened the night they spend at Gossensass and met all those 'amusing people'. There is just a hint of this possibility when Hedda and Tesman comment on their honeymoon photographs to Loevborg. In short, the thought of Hedda being pregnant and carrying Tesman's child is just Tesman's speculation.

(b) Quite irreproachably, I .......... may happen to him.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Hedda Gabler
(ii) Dramatist: Henrik Ibsen
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act 1
(ii) Content: Hedda marries George but finds life with him to be dull. George spends most of his time in libraries doing research in history for a book. A friend of Hedda comes to visit her and tells her of Lovborg, an old friend of both women. Lovborg has also written a book on history. In the past, he has lived a life of degeneration. Now he has quit drinking and has devoted himself to serious work. Lovborg loses his manuscript at a party. When George returns home with Lovborg's manuscript, Hedda burns it. Lovborg comes to Hedda and confesses how he has failed in his life. Hedda talks him into committing suicide which he does. George begins to reconstruct Lovborg's manuscript with the help of Thea. In the end, Hedda commits suicide with her pistol.
EXPLANATION
     These lines show Mrs. Elvsted love and concern for Eilert Lovborg. After Lovborg comes to tutor the stepchildren of Mrs. Elvsted, she falls in love with him. However, after two years, Lovborg leaves Elvsted's house and goes to the "terrible town, with so many temptations on all sides". Mrs. Elvsted follows him. She shows up at the Tesman's house in distress. She tells Tesman and Hedda that, for the last two years, Lovborg's conduct has be "quite irreproachable"; he has been free of drunkenness. He has been perfect and faultless in every respect. She is perturbed that Lovborg will get into trouble now that he is back in the city with a pile of money to boot. She is worried about his running around with a "dangerous crowd". She fears a relapse of his drinking habit. In short, Mrs. Elvsted wants to save her beloved from bad company, bad habits or any sort of trouble that might ruin his life.

(c) [Nervously crossing .......... how to explain it.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Hedda Gabler
(ii) Dramatist: Henrik Ibsen
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act 2
(ii) Content: Hedda marries George but finds life with him to be dull. George spends most of his time in libraries doing research in history for a book. A friend of Hedda comes to visit her and tells her of Lovborg, an old friend of both women. Lovborg has also written a book on history. In the past, he has lived a life of degeneration. Now he has quit drinking and has devoted himself to serious work. Lovborg loses his manuscript at a party. When George returns home with Lovborg's manuscript, Hedda burns it. Lovborg comes to Hedda and confesses how he has failed in his life. Hedda talks him into committing suicide which he does. George begins to reconstruct Lovborg's manuscript with the help of Thea. In the end, Hedda commits suicide with her pistol.
EXPLANATION
 In these lines Hedda says to Brack that her behaviour suddenly assumes the form of uncontrollable impulses. Hedda has insulted her old, devoted aunt Juju by feigning to believe that the bonnet left on a chair of the drawing room belonged to some careless servant, when she knew that it was her aunt's. The aunt is deeply wounded by Hedda's remark, which was exactly the effect sought by Hedda, yet without justification or apparent realization. Brack expresses surprise at Hedda's behaviour. "Now, my dear Mrs. Hedda", says Brack, "how could you do such a thing? To that excellent old lady, too!" Crossing the room nervously, Hedda replies that her "impulses" are beyond her control. She cannot resist her impulses because she is desperate for a release of her anger. She sits in an easy-chair by the stove and says that she cannot explain to him her pent-up emotions. In short, Hedda is a frustrated woman who does not feel comfortable in any of the suitable roles for women. Rather than defy social convention, she attempts to conform which results in uncontrollable impulses.

QUESTION NO. 6

Character Sketch of Hedda
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 9

(a) I beg you .......... [weeps with joy].

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: The Cherry Orchard
(ii) Dramatist: Anton Chekhov
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act 1
(ii) Content: Madam Ranvesky returns from Paris, along with her daughter Anya to her family estate in Russia. Varya, Ranevsky's adopted daughter, reveals that the family's estate, a cherry orchard, is to be sold at auction in order to pay their debts. Lopakhin, a businessman, proposes solutions to save the estate. Auction day arrives, however, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the sale of the estate to Lopakhin. The family leaves to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down.
EXPLANATION
   In these lines Fiers expresses his intense joy at the arrival of Madame Ranevsky to her family estate, the Cherry Orchard. "Beg you pardon" is used for saying "sorry" when someone has committed a mistake or done something wrong. In fact, Fiers  was murmuring "Oh, you burglar ..... Back from Paris ..... the master went to Paris once ..... In a carriage ......". Varya listens Fiers' murmuring and he thinks she has disliked his murmuration. Thus he apologizes for his babbling. He explains that he is in a mood of happiness. The reason of his happiness is the return of his mistress' home coming. His mistress, Madame Ranvesky, after spending five years in Paris, is at last arriving home. Fiers is 87 years old and was born a serf on Madame Ranevsky's estate. He is relieved that he has lived to see the return of his mistress. He does not care if he dies now. His joy is so intense that he begins to weep for joy. In short, these lines show Fiers' attachment, faithfulness and loyalty with his mistress, Madame Ranevsky.

(b) But suppose I'm dreaming! ......... I cried so much.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: The Cherry Orchard
(ii) Dramatist: Anton Chekhov
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act 1
(ii) Content: Madam Ranvesky returns from Paris, along with her daughter Anya to her family estate in Russia. Varya, Ranevsky's adopted daughter, reveals that the family's estate, a cherry orchard, is to be sold at auction in order to pay their debts. Lopakhin, a businessman, proposes solutions to save the estate. Auction day arrives, however, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the sale of the estate to Lopakhin. The family leaves to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines Madame Ranevsky expresses her deep love for her homeland, Russia. After the deaths of her husband and young son, Ranevsky had fled to France. After spending five years in Paris, she returns her motherland. She is so excited that she could no believe she has really arrived her ancestral home. She says, "Is it really I who am sitting here?" She thinks it might be a dream. Either it be a dream or reality, one thing is sure; she loves her country very much because she was born in it. In these lines there are two manifestations of her love for her native land. Firstly, when she was returning from Paris in a train, "she couldn't look out of the railway carriage". It was because she was feeling embarrassment and guilty of her country. She was hesitant to face the reality. Secondly, she wept bitterly in the train for her country. He lowdown on tears is an obvious sign of her love for her country. In short, these lines show her sense of patriotism, her nostalgic nature, and her relief to be home again.

(c) Oh, my childhood .......... nothing has changed.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: The Cherry Orchard
(ii) Dramatist: Anton Chekhov
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act 1
(ii) Content: Madam Ranvesky returns from Paris, along with her daughter Anya to her family estate in Russia. Varya, Ranevsky's adopted daughter, reveals that the family's estate, a cherry orchard, is to be sold at auction in order to pay their debts. Lopakhin, a businessman, proposes solutions to save the estate. Auction day arrives, however, the family essentially does nothing and the play ends with the sale of the estate to Lopakhin. The family leaves to the sound of the cherry orchard being cut down.
EXPLANATION
 In these lines Madame Ranevsky reminisces about her innocent childhood and the joys she experienced in the cherry orchard. Ranevsky has just returned to her estate after five years in self-imposed exile in France, and she and her family and friends are all congregated together in the "nursery". While looking out the window, Ranevsky remembers that this is the room where she used to sleep in her childhood. This is the room from where she used to look out her beloved cherry orchard every morning. Her childhood was a period of bliss and felicity. In that period she did not have any materialistic worries and various responsibilities. Thus happiness used to wake with her every morning. She thinks that the nursery, the cherry orchard and her looking out the cherry orchard from the window are just the same as those were in her childhood. She assumes that nothing has changed. However, "nothing has changed" is a very ironical statement. Because everything has changed; serfs have been freed, the trees don't yield fruit, the state is about to be sold. In short, Ranevsky is an escapist. In order to avoid the stark realities of life, she wants to flee into her innocent and cheery past.

QUESTION NO. 15

Symbolism in "The Cherry Orchard"

Introduction
     "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov is a play that has been performed in a variety of ways and is classified as a play that uses symbols. In drama, a symbol can be anything used within the play itself to draw an association with something else. For instance, a dramatist could use a rose within the story to represent love between two characters. He could use the house where the characters live to represent the state of their emotional lives. There is a large degree of artistic license when it comes to symbolism in drama, but generally it is used to convey an underlying meaning or association. The major symbols used in the play "The Cherry Orchard" are" the cherry orchard, the nursery, the bookcase, dropped purse, breaking string, Varya's keys, and Fier's death etc.
1. The Cherry Orchard
     The central symbol of "The Cherry Orchard" as the title suggests, is the cherry orchard. It symbolizes different things to different people. To Ranevsky the orchard is a symbol of the pride of her family and reminds her of her youth, her childhood, her innocence and her mother. Trofimov's is reminded of slavery of cruelty and of suffering associated with serfdom and hence he views it from the political and moral angle. Lopakhin's approach towards the cherry orchard is largely utilitarian but at a crucial juncture he reveals that it is a symbol of serfdom, of suppression, oppression and humiliation for him and the fact that he has purchased it ensures that it will be destroyed so that the generation that spring form him may live in comfort, prosperity and dignity.
2. The Nursery
     The nursery room in the Ranevsky estate may be for an outstanding person without any implicit significance, but for Lopakhin and Ranvesky it is a symbol for their childhood, background and past. It reminds Lopakhin of his origins. It makes him aware that he is "just a peasant"; no matter how rich he has become or how elegant he might be dressed, his social background still remains visible for other people. After all, one "can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", and his origins will be for good a part of his identity. For Ranvesky the nursery room symbolizes her "innocent childhood". Being in this room, in which "she used to sleep when she was little" seems to bring back to feel a part of that secure, carefree life and makes her feel "little again".
3. The Bookcase
     Generally, a bookcase symbolizes the various levels of mind where ideas, concepts, and memories are kept. However, in this play, Gayev's 'relationship' to the bookcase does not associate a particular personal memory with it. He considers it an object which has its own personality. The way he sees it is reminiscent of a hero, as it has for already hundred years "devoted itself to the highest ideals of goodness and justice" and has never deceived anyone. Being true to its "principles", it was a source, from which "several generations of their family" have drawn courage and hope "in a better future". In the course of time a lot of things have changed: some people are dead, Gayev and Ranvesky got adolescent, and the state is going to be sold. However, the bookcase not being subject to any rules or changes thus becomes for Gayev a symbol of consistency and security.
4. Dropped Purse
     The dropped purse is a symbol of Madam Ranevsky's spendthrift ways, drop in social status and irresponsible behaviour. In Act 2, while Ranevsky is outside with her brother Gayev and the wealthy merchant Lopakhin, she drops her purse. Gold coins scatter about. Yasha, a young servant, picks up the coins. The frivolous Madam Ranevsky remarks about how she has spent too much money on lunch in town. Her dropped purse clearly symbolizes her drop in social status through her loss of money and also posits her servant Yasha who picks up the money as a thief, or at least parasite, who takes advantage of her for his own financial gain. The scene also serves to bring home the idea of how Ranevsky cannot hold her money, is utterly scattered-brained and irresponsible.
5. Breaking String
     The sound of breaking string is an auditory symbol of forgetting, and a reminder of the family's dependence on slavery. It first is heard in the play after Gayev gives a soliloquy on the eternity of nature. Fiers tells us it was heard before, around the time the serfs were freed - a seminal event in Russian history. It is last heard just as Fiers, the old manservant who functions as the play's human connection to the past, passes away, and is juxtaposed against the sound of an axe striking a cherry tree. With its simple image of breaking line, the sound serves to unify the play's social allegory with its examination of memory, providing more graphic counterpart to the Cherry's Orchard's hovering, off-stage presence.
6. Varya's Keys
     Literary, a key is a device used to open or close a lock such as in a door. Thus keys are symbols of control, opening and closing. Varya is Madame Ranevsky's adopted daughter who manages the household of the estate, the Cherry Orchard. She always keeps a bunch of keys on her belt. Varya's keys symbolize the control and order typifying her management of the estate, qualities lacking Ranevsky and Gayev. When Lopakhin announces that he has bought the estate, Varya takes her keys off her belt, throws them on the floor, into the middle of the room and goes out. Her act of throwing down the keys symbolizes that she is no longer the mistress here. The play ends with the sound of keys being turned in the locks of the Cheery Orchard.
7. Fiers' Death
     Death is an inevitable part of life. There's a good amount of death in the play. It is mentioned over and over. The memory of a dead son and husband haunt Ranevsky. The clown threatens to kill himself. Departing family describes the house as "at the end of its life". And though Chekhov is not explicit about it, we are pretty sure we witness the death of the loyal old servant Fiers; he is locked inside the house as it is boarded up and, in the freezing cold, he has no chance of surviving. Fiers' death at the end of the play symbolizes the passing of the old class system, the passing of the aristocracy's reign on the cherry orchard, and the passing of a phase in Russian history. In short, his death symbolizes the death of the old Russia.
8. Other Symbols
     There are many other symbols in the play. The line of telegraph poles symbolizes the modern world that Ranevsky and Gayev reject. Gayev's imaginary billiards game symbolizes his desire to escape. Ranevsky's flights throughout the play symbolize her inability to come to terms with reality. The setting sun, tombstone, long abandoned little chapel and the sad sound of the guitar symbolize the decadence of aristocracy, change of Russian class system. The conversion of the furnished room of 1st act into an empty room, having no curtain in the window and no painting on the wall in the last act, and cutting down of cherry orchard in the final act are also symbols of decline of aristocracy.
Conclusion
     The symbols in the play are too numerous to count, but many of them hinge on the idea of the changing social order or the specific circumstances of a given character. These symbols are strictly adhered to the conventions of realism. These are mere incidental appendages to an to an essentially realistic body. Moreover, there is a union of naturalism and symbolism. No matter, what types of symbols are used, Chekhov, through these symbols, clearly conveys the willful neglect and subsequent ruinous decay that within a few short years would soon bring revolution to the bourgeois of Russia. In short, the whole play is symbolic of an olden age that was on its way out.


QUESTION NO. 17

(a) I like to think .......... sailed out the oceans.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Galileo Galilei
(ii) Dramatist: Bertolt Brecht
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence:
(ii) Content:With the help of a Dutch invention, the telescope, Galileo finds evidence to support the Copernican system. He teaches his theory to eleven-year-old Andrea. The church condemns his teachings, fearing that he will begin to question the order of the social system. For eight years, he stops his research, but when an argument about sunspot piques his interest, he starts his work again. When Barberini, a mathematician, becomes pope, he hopes that the church will change its position, but Barberini, is pressured to censure the scientist. Galileo recants his theories under the threat of torture, and starts writing in secret. He manages to keep a copy of his work hidden in a globe, which the now 39-year-old Andrea smuggles out of Italy.
EXPLANATION

(b) Why does he make .......... it is all about.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Galileo Galilei
(ii) Dramatist: Bertolt Brecht
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence:
(ii) Content: With the help of a Dutch invention, the telescope, Galileo finds evidence to support the Copernican system. He teaches his theory to eleven-year-old Andrea. The church condemns his teachings, fearing that he will begin to question the order of the social system. For eight years, he stops his research, but when an argument about sunspot piques his interest, he starts his work again. When Barberini, a mathematician, becomes pope, he hopes that the church will change its position, but Barberini, is pressured to censure the scientist. Galileo recants his theories under the threat of torture, and starts writing in secret. He manages to keep a copy of his work hidden in a globe, which the now 39-year-old Andrea smuggles out of Italy.
EXPLANATION

(c) An apple from the ........... the poor glutton.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Galileo Galilei
(ii) Dramatist: Bertolt Brecht
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence:
(ii) Content: With the help of a Dutch invention, the telescope, Galileo finds evidence to support the Copernican system. He teaches his theory to eleven-year-old Andrea. The church condemns his teachings, fearing that he will begin to question the order of the social system. For eight years, he stops his research, but when an argument about sunspot piques his interest, he starts his work again. When Barberini, a mathematician, becomes pope, he hopes that the church will change its position, but Barberini, is pressured to censure the scientist. Galileo recants his theories under the threat of torture, and starts writing in secret. He manages to keep a copy of his work hidden in a globe, which the now 39-year-old Andrea smuggles out of Italy.
EXPLANATION



QUESTION NO. 20

Brecht As a Dramatist
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 25

(a) Why he doesn't make .......... reasoning for you.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Waiting for Godot
(ii) Dramatist: Samuel Beckett
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act I
(ii) Content: Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, meet near a tree. They wait there for a man named Godot. Two other men enter; Pozzo is on his way to the market to sell his slave, Lucky. He pauses for a while to converse with Vladimir and Estragon. After Pozzo and Lucky leave, a boy, a messenger form Godot, enters and tells Vladimir that Godot will not come tonight. Vladimir and Estragon decide to leave. The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the tree to wait for Godot. Lucky and Pozzo enter again, but this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is dumb. They leave and Vladimir and Estragon continue to wait. The boy enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not come. Estragon and Vladimir decide to leave.
EXPLANATION
     This is arguably the most explicit statement of classic existentialist reasoning in the play. There is no such thing as slavery or confinement, Pozzo argues here, since every action one performs is a matter of choice. Lucky is Pozzo's dutiful assistant who, unlike a slave, internalizes his own oppression. By means of a rope tied around his neck, Lucky obediently pulls Pozzo along a road to nowhere. He responds to Pozzo's every condescending, monosyllabic command and unfailingly holds his bags even when they are at a standstill. They encounter the bystanders Estragon and Vladimir who are waiting in vain for a man named Godot. They wish to know why Lucky does not put down Pozzo's bags to make himself more comfortable. Pozzo unequivocally explains that Lucky has not put the bags down because he has not chosen to do so. It is not because he is not allowed to do so. He has the right to put down the bags to make himself comfortable.  However, it is his own choice that he does not want to do so.

(b) Perhaps I haven't got .......... not exactly it either.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Waiting for Godot
(ii) Dramatist: Samuel Beckett
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act I
(ii) Content: Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, meet near a tree. They wait there for a man named Godot. Two other men enter; Pozzo is on his way to the market to sell his slave, Lucky. He pauses for a while to converse with Vladimir and Estragon. After Pozzo and Lucky leave, a boy, a messenger form Godot, enters and tells Vladimir that Godot will not come tonight. Vladimir and Estragon decide to leave. The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the tree to wait for Godot. Lucky and Pozzo enter again, but this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is dumb. They leave and Vladimir and Estragon continue to wait. The boy enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not come. Estragon and Vladimir decide to leave.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines Pozzo it telling Estragon and Vladimir the reason of his assistant's docility and servility. Lucky is Pozzo's dutiful assistant who, unlike a slave, internalizes his own oppression. By means of a rope tied around his neck, Lucky obediently pulls Pozzo along a road to nowhere. He responds to Pozzo's every condescending, monosyllabic command and unfailingly holds his bags even whey they are at standstill. They encounter the bystanders Estragon and Vladimir who are waiting in vain for a man named Godot. They wish to know why Lucky does not put down Pozzo's bags down to make himself more comfortable. Pozzo unequivocally explains that Lucky has not put the bags down because he has not chosen to do so. However, Pozzo has not got it quite right. He assumes that by doing so Lucky wants to impress him. He wishes to soften his master's feelings for him so that he will keep hem and not sell in the market. In fact, Lucky does not want to part with Pozzo. Pozzo's statement "No, that's not exactly it either" suggests that there might be other reasons of Lucky's excessive obedience for him.

(c) Remark that I .......... each one his due.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: Waiting for Godot
(ii) Dramatist: Samuel Beckett
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Act I
(ii) Content: Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, meet near a tree. They wait there for a man named Godot. Two other men enter; Pozzo is on his way to the market to sell his slave, Lucky. He pauses for a while to converse with Vladimir and Estragon. After Pozzo and Lucky leave, a boy, a messenger form Godot, enters and tells Vladimir that Godot will not come tonight. Vladimir and Estragon decide to leave. The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the tree to wait for Godot. Lucky and Pozzo enter again, but this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is dumb. They leave and Vladimir and Estragon continue to wait. The boy enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not come. Estragon and Vladimir decide to leave.
EXPLANATION
     In these lines Pozzo wants to elaborate that chance rather than reason is the main influence on our lives. Human life is based on chance, which determines existence. Pozzo and Lucky are a perfect example of this. It is chance that has made Pozzo a master and Lucky, a servant. If chance had willed otherwise, then Pozzo would have been a servant and Lucky, his master. Thus chance could easily reverse the roles. The words "just as well" refer to the chance remarks made by the two thieves in the Bible. Out of all the evildoers, out of all the millions and millions of criminals that have been, executed in the course of history, only two had the chance of salvation. One happened to make a hostile remark; he was damned. The other happened to contradict that hostile remark; and he was saved. A different fate for the thieves proves the role of chance in our existence. In short, human life is totally based on chance, opportunity and luck; there is nothing anymore can do to insure it savior.

QUESTION NO. 28

"Waiting for Godot" As an Absurd Play
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 33

(a) You must tell me .......... battery opening fire.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: The Sea
(ii) Dramatist: Edward Bond
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Scene II
(ii) Content: A tempestuous storm shakes a small East Anglian seaside village, and Willy is trying to save his friend, Colin. When he sees Evens and Hatch, he does his level best to call them of for help but they refuse. Mrs. Rafi is rehearsing the play she is to perform for raising coast guard fund. At this moment Willy comes to visit her. He tells her in detail what has happened at the sea. Colin's corpse is found eventually. Mrs. Rafi refuses to trade with Hatch, the draper. He, out of desperation, wounds her and runs away from to town believing that aliens from another planet have arrived to invade the city. Mrs. Rafi advises her niece, Colin's fiancee, to go away from the town with Willy. Willy accepts this and goes away with her from the town in search of change.
EXPLANATION
     These lines are spoken by a main character, Mr. Rafi. She is in the shop of Hatch, the draper. Willy Carson enters the shop and Mrs. Rafi greets him. She condoles the death of Colin: "This is a terrible tragedy. Colin was engaged to my niece". Mrs. Rafi offers him to reside at her house till he is in the town. She wishes to know the details from Willy how has Colin drowned into the sea. She says to Willy that she was going to complain the chief-of-staff about the battery opening fire. Fire discipline is a system of communication in the military, primarily for directing artillery. By definition, fire discipline is the language of fire control. Battery is a fortified structure on which artillery is mounted. In naval context, battery is used to describe groups of guns on warships. Thus battery fire is the firing of a battery of weapons. Mrs. Rafi thinks that "battery opening fire" was the main reason which turned the boat of Colin turtle. That is why she was going to complain to the "chief-of-staff". In short, Mr. Rafi wants to do everything in the investigation of the accident of Colin's drowning. This also highlights her punitive and authoritarian role in the society she lives in.

(b) Such a night. ........... tormented by the vision of ---

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: The Sea
(ii) Dramatist: Edward Bond
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Scene II
(ii) Content: A tempestuous storm shakes a small East Anglian seaside village, and Willy is trying to save his friend, Colin. When he sees Evens and Hatch, he does his level best to call them of for help but they refuse. Mrs. Rafi is rehearsing the play she is to perform for raising coast guard fund. At this moment Willy comes to visit her. He tells her in detail what has happened at the sea. Colin's corpse is found eventually. Mrs. Rafi refuses to trade with Hatch, the draper. He, out of desperation, wounds her and runs away from to town believing that aliens from another planet have arrived to invade the city. Mrs. Rafi advises her niece, Colin's fiancee, to go away from the town with Willy. Willy accepts this and goes away with her from the town in search of change.
EXPLANATION
     These lines are spoken by Mr. Rafi's friend, Mrs. Jessica Tilehouse. In these lines Mr. Tilehouse is showing her concern for a young man, Willy Carson. Mrs. Tilehouse and Mrs. Rafi are in the shop of Hatch, the draper. Willy enters the shop and Mrs. Rafi greets him. She condoles the death of Colin: "This is a terrible tragedy. Colin was engaged to my niece." She offers him to reside at her house till he is in the town. She wishes to know the details from Willy how has Colin drowned into the sea. Willy says, "It was a small boat. The storm swept us off course. The guns didn't sink us. We'd already turned over." Mrs. Tilehouse says that yesterday's night was blustery and disastrous. She is pleased at her ignorance about Willy's outing the last night. She says that if she knew that Willy was out in the stormy weather yesterday, she would have had no rest and sleep. She would have been experiencing intense metal pain all the time by the vision of Willy's drowning and dying. She says to Willy, "Oh dear. This terrible sea, this terrible life." In short, these lines show Mrs. Tilehouse's infatuation, compassion and sympathy for Willy.

(c) Listen, where is .......... it's up to us.

REFERENCE
(i) Drama: The Sea
(ii) Dramatist: Edward Bond
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Scene II
(ii) Content: A tempestuous storm shakes a small East Anglian seaside village, and Willy is trying to save his friend, Colin. When he sees Evens and Hatch, he does his level best to call them of for help but they refuse. Mrs. Rafi is rehearsing the play she is to perform for raising coast guard fund. At this moment Willy comes to visit her. He tells her in detail what has happened at the sea. Colin's corpse is found eventually. Mrs. Rafi refuses to trade with Hatch, the draper. He, out of desperation, wounds her and runs away from to town believing that aliens from another planet have arrived to invade the city. Mrs. Rafi advises her niece, Colin's fiancee, to go away from the town with Willy. Willy accepts this and goes away with her from the town in search of change.
EXPLANATION
     These lines are spoken by Hatch, the draper. These lines are a direct satire on the political and judicial system of the East Anglian seaside village. When Mrs. Rafi, Mrs. Tilehouse and Willy Carson leave the shop of Hatch, Carter and Thompson appear. They discuss the drowning of Colin. Hatch seems full of certain hallucinations because he considers it was some sort of devil that drowned the ship and not the storm: "They come from space. Beyond our world. Their world's threatened by disaster." He believes that the aliens have come to take control of this town because they know that there is no leadership, no authority and no discipline in this town. This town is the weakest spot for aliens to dominate. This belief reveals the reason why Hatch did not help Colin: "All these ships in distress are really secret landings from space. We won't go out to help them, we'll go and drive them off. Run them down." In short, Hatch's belief in aliens suggests two things; religion on the decline and the dissatisfaction of people with the worldly political and judicial system. Thus these lines trumpet the theme of change and reform.

QUESTION NO. 40 

Main Features of Modern Drama
COMING SOON!


3. SAMPLE ANSWERS - NOVEL 

QUESTION NO. 1

Major Themes in "Heart of Darkness"

1. Racism
     Conrad does not exactly want to buy the world a Coke, but he does seem to have some unconventional ideas about race -- at least, unconventional for the late nineteenth century. He seems to be suggesting that there really is not so much difference between black and white -- except that this vision of racial harmony becomes more complicated when you consider that he seems to be suggesting that black people are just less evolved versions of white people; the black natives are primitive and therefore innocent while the white colonizers are sophisticated and therefore corrupt. As with most issues in "Heart of Darkness", the differences between black and white are so confusing as to be almost meaningless. And, in fact, maybe, that is just Conrad's point. 
2. Primitivism
     As the crew make their way up the river, they are travelling into the "heart of darkness". The contradiction, however, is that Marlow also feels as if he were travelling back in time. When Conrad wrote this story, scientists were learning that Africa is the seat of human civilization, and this knowledge is reflected in the fact that the enormous trees on the route down the river are almost prehistoric. The paradox of the novel, however, is that by travelling backwards in time, the crew do not move closer to the innocence and purity of the "noble savage" but farther away from it. Conrad seems to claim that the Christian belief that prehistory was untouched by obscurity or evil is a fallacy. Instead, there is "the horror". In contrast, its seems, is the more advanced civilization of the colonizers and visitors.
3. Pervasiveness of Darkness
     Perhaps the strongest theme in the novel is that of darkness. Indeed, darkness seems to pervade the whole work. Marlow's tale begins and ends in literal darkness; the setting of the novel is often dark, such as when the steamboat is socked in by fog or when Marlow retrieves Kurtz; dark-skinned individuals inhabit the entire region, and, of course, there is a certain philosophical darkness that permeates the work. But within the tale darkness operates in several ways. Moreover, darkness creates fear and conceals certain savage acts. It is too enveloping. The character who most fully embraces the darkness is, of course, Kurtz. This theme suggests that the light of civilization will someday return to darkness.  
4. Uncertainty
     Nothing in the novel is described in concrete terms. Shores are hazy. Land looks like a spine sticking out from a man's back but is not described in topographical terms. Marlow is obsessed with Kurtz before he even meets him, without a clear idea why. A sense of danger pervades the entire trip, and it is mostly dictated by uncertainty. The natives do not seem inherently threatening. On one occasion, they let fly a series of arrows, but these even look ineffectual to Marlow. They are threatening because they might be poisoned. Similarly, Marlow has no clear idea of what the natives might do to him if Kurtz gave them free rein. Kurtz himself is an uncertain figure, ruled as he is by two separate impulses, the noble and the destructive. Above all, the idea of "darkness" expresses the theme of uncertainty. 
5. Imperial Authority
     Whatever the conditions in Africa may be, all of the characters agree that they are different from those of Europe. There is a feeling of anything-goes vigilantism that shifts the balance of power from the stewards in a "civilized" state to whoever is most threatening. Kurtz is physically quite a weak man, but he maintains enormous sway over the native population through his understanding of their language and his cultural and communication skill. He exploits their appreciation of him as an Other. Marlow's men use a much more simple means of gaining authority, namely, firearms. This is the tragedy of imperialism in that the arrival of the white man heralds a new order, but in the creation of that order, they retain the tools and the authority. Black men in this book first appear as members of a chain gang, and they gain little power after that scene. 
6. Religion
     Although there is controversy over whether Conrad is critiquing colonialism or not, it is clear that he is critiquing religion. The two groups in the novel, the pilgrims and the natives, are linked by having religious beliefs, and the pilgrims seem at least as bloodthirsty as the natives. The rite in the woods that Marlow describes seems alien but certainly no more dangerous than the ambush. One of the seemingly admirable characteristics of Kurtz, as presented by Conrad, is that he seems just as compelled by African religion as by Christianity but seems beholden to neither. Marlow genuinely admires his ability to independently critique religions. He may not agree with Kurtz's evaluation, but he respects Kurtz's ability to have his own opinions in the face of the various religious traditions he encounters. 
7. Illness
    Illness is a major factor in this novel. It appears in physical and mental forms. Marlow is hired to replace a man who committed suicide, and another instance of suicide is announced by a somber Swedish man. The first thing that Marlow does upon being hired is to to to the doctor, who checks both his mental and physical health and provides a very gloomy prognosis. The specter of ill health, or of one's body not standing up to the conditions, is a constant specter in the novel. The mental health issue is particular to "Heart of Darkness", while the issue of wider health continues in the tradition of Victorian novels, in which men often travel to Africa only to come down with exotic diseases. In the end, it seems that Marlow is more mentally than physically taxed, while Kurtz is clearly both. 
8. Fear
     The white pilgrims go into the interior in constant fear of their surroundings. Their trepidation is so strong that they develop a paranoia of the wilderness -- its eerie silences and sudden blinding fogs, its impenetrable darkness and shadowy savages. Being so far removed from any vestige of civilization as they know it only adds to their sense of helplessness. Their fear makes them do foolish things on impulse. Fear also contributes to their eventual madness. It pervades the entire novel and seems to seep into the environment itself so that everything is not only terror-inducing, but morally disturbing as well. 
9. The Hollowness of Civilization
   The novel depicts European society as hollow at the core: Marlow describes the white men he meets in Africa, from the General Manager to Kurtz, as empty, and refers to the unnamed European city as the "sepulchral city". Throughout the novel, Marlow argues that what Europeans call "civilization" is superficial, a mask created by fear of the law and public shame that hides a dark heart, just as a beautiful white sepulcher hides the decaying dead inside. In the African jungle -- "utter solitude without a policeman" -- the civilized man is plunged into a world without superficial restrictions, and the mad desire for power comes to dominate him. So when Kurz suddenly finds himself in the solitude of the jungle and hears the whisperings of his dark impulses, he is unable to combat them and becomes a monster. 
10. The Absurdity of Evil
     The novel is an exploration of hypocrisy, ambiguity, and moral confusion. It explodes the idea of the proverbial choice between the lesser of two evils. As the idealistic Marlow is forced to align himself with either the hypocritical and malicious colonial bureaucracy or the openly malevolent, rule-defying Kurtz, it becomes increasingly clear that to try to judge either alternative is an act of folly. The number of situations Marlow witnesses act as reflections of the larger issue: at one station, for instance, he sees a man trying to carry water in a bucket with a large hole in it. At the Outer Station, he watches native labourers blast away at a hillside with no particular goal in mind. The absurd involves both insignificant silliness and life-or-death issues, often simultaneously.

QUESTION NO. 7

Character Sketch of Marlow
COMING SOON!
QUESTION NO. 11

James Joyce's Style and Techinque
COMING SOON!
QUESTION NO. 15

Character Sketch of Stephen Dedalus

QUESTION NO. 18

Virginia Woolf As a Novelist

1. Introduction
     Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was extremely dissatisfied with the current form of the novel as presented by the great Edwardians, Bennet, Wells or Galsworthy. So in 1908, Woolf determined to "re-form" the novel by creating a holistic form embracing aspects of life that were "fugitive" from the Victorian novel. A thoroughly talented writer, Woolf was a groundbreaker in this field. She is best known for her novels, Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). No element of story, the world of outer reality not ignored, emergence of an art form, poetisation of the English novel, stream of consciousness technique, the distinctive nature of reality, artistic sincerity and integrity, and feminisation of English novel are the chief characteristics of Woolf's art as a novelist. 
2. No Element of Story
     Woolf firmly believed that if the novelist could base his work upon his own feeling and not upon convention, there would be no plot, not comedy, no tragedy, no love-interest or catastrophe in the accepted style. Hence in most of her novels there is hardly any element of story. Mrs. Woolf's formula for the novel was not humanity in action but in a state of infinite perception. The novel in her hands is not just an entertainment, or propaganda, or the vehicle of some fixed ideas or theories, or a social document, but a voyage of exploration to find out how life is lived, and how it can be rendered as it is actually lived without distortion. Hence she concentrates her attention on the rendering of inner reality and gives subtle and penetrating inlets into the consciousness of her characters. 
3. The World of Outer Reality not Ignored
     Although Woolf's main purpose is to depict the inner life of human beings, she has not ignored the world of outer reality, the warm and palpable life of nature. In fact, in her novels we find that the metaphysical interest is embodied in purely human and personal terms, that the bounding line of art remains unbroken, that the concrete images which are the very stuff of art are never sacrificed to abstraction, but are indeed more in evidence than in the work of Bennett and Wells. The essential subject matter of her novels is no doubt the consciousness of one or more characters, but the outer life of tree and stream, of bird and fish, of meadow and seashore crowds in upon her and lends her image after image, a great sparkling and many-coloured world of sight, scent, sound and touch.
4. Emergence of an Art Form
     In Woolf's novels we find a rare artistic integrity and a well-developed sense of form. To communicate her experience she had to invent conventions as rigid or more rigid than the old ones that she discarded. And this she does in her best novels of the middle and the final period -- Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The waves and Between the Acts. In each case a small group of people is selected, and through their closely interrelated experience the reader receives his total impression. Moreover, certain images, phrases, and symbols bind the whole together. So there are certain resemblances between them in structure or style. Apart from these general resemblances each of these novels is a fresh attempt to solve the problems raised by the departure from traditional conventions. So it is observed that each of her novels grows out of the preceding one and we see the germ of her later work in her predecessors.
5. Poetisation of the English Novel
     Woolf represents the poetisation and musicalisation of English novel. Among the English novelists she is foremost in lyrical technique. She sets out on a quest for mediating form through which she could convey simultaneously picture of life and manners and a corresponding image of minds. She aims at conveying inner life and this could be best done in lyrical manner. Hence it is found that in order to enrich her language, she uses vivid metaphors and symbols which are peculiar to poetry. Her language is the language of poetry, her prose style has the assonances, the refrains, the rhythms and the accents of poetry itself. The equilibrium between the lyrical and narrative art shows how Woolf brilliantly achieves the telescoping of the poet's lyrical self and the novelist's omniscient point of view.
6. Stream of Consciousness Technique
     To the novelists of the new school, human consciousness is a chaotic welter of sensations and impressions; it is fleeting, trivial and evanescent. According to Woolf, the great task of the novelist should be 'to convey this varying, unknown and uncircumscribed spirit'. His main business is to reveal the sensations and impressions to bring us close to the quick of the mind. He should be more concerned with inner reality rather than outer. This is called 'the stream of consciousness technique'. Woolf has successfully revealed the very spring of action, the hidden motives which impel characters to act in a particular way. She takes us directly into the minds of her characters and shows the flow of ideas, sensations and impressions there.
7. The Distinctive Nature of Reality
     The reality that Woolf deals with has a distinctness about it. Jean Guiguet's comments on this are worth noting. "Her reality is not a factor to be specified in some question of the universe: it is the Sussex towns, the London streets, the waves breaking on the shore, the woman sitting opposite her in the train, memories flashing into the mind from nowhere, a beloved being's return into nothingness; it is all that is not ourselves and yet is so closely mingled with ourselves that the two enigmas -- reality and self -- make only one. But the important thing is the nature or quality of this enigma. It does not merely puzzle the mind; it torments the whole being, even while defining it. To exist, for Virginia Woolf, meant experiencing that dizziness on the ridge between two abysses of the unknown, the self and the non-self."
8. Artistic Sincerity and Integrity
     Woolf has her own original vision of life and she has ever remained truthful to her vision. This truthfulness and artistic integrity is due to her perfect detachment from all personal prejudices and preconceived notions. Literary traditions and conventions, or social and political problems of the day -- nothing could deter her from writing according to her vision, according to the ideal which exists in her mind with uncommon artistic sincerity and integrity. In the words the Bernard Blackstone, "She observes new facts, and old facts in a new way; but she also combines them, through the contemplative act, into new and strange patterns. The outer is not only related to; it is absorbed into the inner life. Mr. Woolf believed in the power of the mind and she she makes her reader think."
9. Feminisation of English Novel
     Woolf was a woman and naturally in her novels she gives us the woman's point of view. That is why we find her relying more on intuition than on reason. We also find in her a woman's dislike for the world of societies churches, banks and schools, and the political, social and economic movements of the day have hardly any attraction for her. As a sheltered female of her age she had hardly any scope to have any knowledge of the sordid and brutal aspects of life. Thus we find that her picture of life does not include vice, sordidness or the abject brutality of our age. So it may be inferred that Mrs. Woolf thus represents the feminisation of the English novel.
10. Conclusion
     Woolf's novels, through their nonlinear approaches to narrative, exerted a major influence on the genre. While Woolf's fragmented style is distinctly modernist, her indeterminacy anticipates a postmodern awareness of the evanescence of boundaries and categories. Her characters are definitely convincing in their own way, but they are drawn from a very limited range. Being a woman of her times she avoids the theme of passionate love. Her work has a rare artistic integrity. She is the poet of the novel. Above all, Woolf's greatest achievement is that in her novels the stream of consciousness technique finds a balance. She is one of the most forceful and original theorists of the 'the stream of consciousness' novel. 
QUESTION NO. 23

Character Sketch of Mrs. Ramsay

1. Introduction
     Mrs. Ramsay is a superwoman. She is the central figure and the most important character in "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf. She is about as close as Virginia Woolf ever got to Angelia Jolie. Her primary goal is to preserve her youngest son's sense of hope. She acts as a unifying force in the novel. She is a beautiful, charitable, hospitable, sympathetic, match-maker and humorous matron. She is a symbol of female principle. She is the lovely star at the centre of the Ramsay family, and at the heart of the novel. She dominates the novel not only during her life time but even after her death with no less importance. Her unexpected death leaves the Ramsay family without its anchor. 
2. A Unifying Force
     Mrs. Ramsay is the centre around which action and movement are built. She is definitely radiating through the entire novel and impregnating all the other characters. From the very beginning of the novel she is structurally and psychologically a cohesive force and thus becomes the source of unity in it. It is none but Mrs. Ramsay who is seen to be holding together almost all the characters and incidents of the novel. In the novel a large variety of people with their own ideas and eccentricities are found. And very remarkably Mrs. Ramsay with her great tact, sympathy and understanding holds them together. This unifying and cohesive force of Mrs. Ramsay is superbly revealed in the course of the dinner party towards the end of the first part of the novel. In this scene she very nicely performs the duty of connecting different individuals to each other. 
3. Her Personal Charms and Attractiveness
     Mrs. Ramsay was, no doubt, advanced in age and the mother of the eight children, still she possessed great physical charm and attractiveness. There are frequent references and appreciation of her beauty in the novel and one of the great secrets of her personal appeal unmistakably lies in her physical charm. Her charm elicits high admiration not only from the male members of the circle of her friends but also from women who are equally fascinated by her. Mrs. Woolf tells us how Mr. Bankes feels about her charm while telephoning to her. "He saw her at the end of the line, Greek blue eyed, straight ..... The graces assembling seemed to have joined hands in meadows of asphodel to compose that face." And her husband says, "Indeed, she had the whole of the other sex under her protection."
4. Her Charming and Graceful Manners
     Sheer physical charm alone cannot account for so much of appeal and attractiveness. Beauty without grace and dignity cannot have so much influence on others. She has abundant feminine graces. She is polite and cultured in her manners, and kind and considerate in her temperament. She is absolutely free from all egotism and is never in a mood to assert herself. She is a wonderful hostess who loves to create memorable experiences for the guests at the summer home on the Isle of Skye. Hence her graceful manners and kind disposition combined with her extraordinary physical charm cast a healthy spell on all who came in contact with her. 
5. Symbol of the Female Principle
     Mrs. Ramsay may also be taken as a symbol of the female principle in life. Probably that is why she has never been called by her first name in the novel as Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs. Dalloway. This symbolism seems to be evident when we have a peep into her mind in the dinner scene. Woolf tells us "Again she felt, as a fact without hostility, the sterility of men, for if she did not do it nobody would do it ...." She wants men and women to be united and become fruitful like herself. At the intellectual level she offers her protection and inspiration to both science and art -- to Lily the painter, to Bankes the botanist, to Carmichael the poet, to Tansley the scholar and above all to her husband the philosopher. For all this, critics like James hold the view that Mrs. Ramsay has been treated as a symbol and has not been individualized by the novelist.
6. Her Kind and Sympathetic Nature
     The most outstanding trait of Mrs. Ramsay's character is her compassion for the poor and the unfortunate, the great concern and consideration for the children and infinite sympathy for the unhappy and neglected souls. In the very first few chapters we find her busy in knitting stocking for the sick son of the Lighthouse-keeper. We find her going to the town to help the poor and the needy. As regards the grown-ups, she has all sympathy for Charles in spite of all his egotism and idiosyncrasies. She is a source of inspiration to Lily. She is kind and sympathetic to Carmichael, the poet whose life has been shattered by a shrewish wife. She tries her best to smoothen the widowed life of Mr. Bankes, the botanist. Above all, she is a constant source of inspiration to Mr. Ramsay, her husband. She knows that he is absolutely dependent on her for sympathy and understanding.
7. As a Match-maker
     Even Mrs. Ramsay's mania for matchmaking leans to virtue's side. This reveals another aspect of her essentially feminine character. Out of her great sympathy for all she is keenly interested in establishing peace and harmony among people. She feels for the lonely life of a widower, she is concerned about the future of an old maid. That is why she wants Lily to marry Mr. Bankes. She is not going to mind even if Lily marries Charles. Her joy knows no bounds when she comes to know that Paul and Minta are engaged. It is a matter of pride for her for bringing them together. Of course she cannot be blamed if their marriage is a failure. In fact, essentially feminine as she is, she wants men and women to unite and become fruitful like herself.
8. Sense of Humour
     Virginia Woolf uses the shortfalls and eccentricities of her characters to create a spirited, wry kind of humour that makes the novel so enjoyable to read.  Mrs. Ramsay possesses a good sense of humour too. Her sense of humour is suggested by her fantasy about Joseph and Mary. When she covers 'that horrid skull' to the satisfaction of both cam and James, it also nicely reveals her sense of humour besides her sympathetic understanding. We find her laughing in good humour when she thinks about Minta marrying a man with a gold watch and a wash-leather bag. Mrs. Ramsay's sense of humour perfectly conveys Woolf's use of stream of consciousness to capture the emotions that lurk withing the human heart.
9. Dominates Even After Death
     We feel the imposing physical presence of Mrs. Ramsay only in the first part of the To the Lighthouse. After that she is no more in the land of the living. Even then she pervades the whole book. Her influence on other important characters -- especially on Lily Briscoe -- is really very great. It is only to fulfill one of Mrs. Ramsay's cherished wishes that Mr. Ramsay undertakes the journey to the Lighthouse. And it is the vision of this departed soul that inspires Lily Briscoe to take up her brush again to complete her great picture. James Hafley is quite correct when he remarks that Mrs. Ramsay dead is more powerful than Mr. Ramsay living.
10. Conclusion
     Mrs. Ramsay might have some little flaws in her character such as her susceptibility to flattery. It might be that she wanted to be appreciated while helping others or doing some good deed. But with her extreme civility and goodness, with her irresistible charms and dominating personality, she is a unique character. Hence E.M. Forster's views that "she could seldom so portray a character that it was remembered afterwards on its own account, as Emma is remembered...." seems untenable to us. We may conclude by quoting the apt remarks of Joan Bennett: "Mrs. Ramsay, Mrs. Dalloway, Eleanor Pargiter, each of the main personalities in Between the Acts, and many others from her books, inhabit the mind of the reader and enlarge the capacity for sympathy. It is sympathy rather than judgement that she invokes, her personages are apprehended rather than comprehended."
QUESTION NO. 27

"Things Fall Apart" as a Tragedy
COMING SOON!
QUESTION NO. 30

Female Characters in "Things Fall Apart"
COMING SOON!
QUESTION NO. 34

Symbolism in "Twilight in Delhi"
COMING SOON!
QUESTION NO. 40

Salient Features of Modern Novel
COMING SOON!



4. SAMPLE ANSWERS - LIT. CRITICISM


QUESTION NO. 1

Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 6

Aristotle's Concept of Imitation
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QUESTION NO. 12

Raymond William's Concept of Tragedy
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QUESTION NO. 16

Relationship Between Criticism and Commonsense
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QUESTION NO. 23

T.S. Eliot's Theory of Criticism
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QUESTION NO. 29

Sydney's Defense of Poetry
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QUESTION NO. 30

Sydney As a Critic
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 33

(a) One day I wrote her name .......... and later life renew.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Sonnet LXXV
(ii) Poet: Edmund Spenser (c. 1554-1599)
(iii) Date of Composition: 1592-1594
(iv) Collection: Amoretti and Epithalamion
(v) Poetic Genre: Spenserian Sonnet
(vi) Setting: A Beach
(vii) The Speaker: A lover and poet
(viii) Content: Ocean, love, immortality and the great power of the almighty Poetry.
2. Lines 1-2
One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away;
     These lines set the scene: the speaker and his beloved Elizabeth Boyle are chilling at the beach. The speaker decides to get all romantic and write her name in the sand. However, the waves wash her name away. The writing on the sand refers to the lover's insistence on making a worldly impact on his beloved. The waves are metaphorically used to represent the futile attempt by man to fight back against the infinite vortex of time. In short, these lines showcase the speaker's pessimism of confronting time.
3. Lines 3-4
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide and made my pains his prey.
     The speaker is pretty intrepid. He writes his beloved's name in the sand again. The tide comes in and washes her name away again. The reattempt of the speaker represents the continual meditative quality of humanity to contemplate the thought of not dying, yet it also seems to defy the logic because he knows that her name will be erased shortly after the waves hit. The speaker refers to his writing as "his pains" which are the "prey" of the cruel waves. He basically imagines that the waves are like a mean old predator, just waiting to pounce on his poor defenseless writing.
4. Lines 5-6
Vain man (said she) that dost in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalise;
     These lines show that the sonnet is a dialogue. The beloved says to the speaker that he is narcissistic and his attempt to preserve her name in the sand is silly and futile. She is telling him that his gesture will never work, that he is being proud in thinking that his writing is more powerful than the forces of nature. He is trying in vain to make her name immortal, when in fact it is mortal. In short, that beloved thinks that the speaker is making his bid for immortality out of vanity and self-satisfaction.
5. Lines 7-8
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise.
      These lines are the continuation of the beloved's speech. She says that she, too, will decay and disappear, just as her name has disappeared from the beach. She, too, will be "wiped out". In Spenser's day, the word "eke" meant "also". It is one of those words that have been wiped out by the waves of time. So to summarize, the beloved thinks that the speaker is being a little silly by continually writing her name in the sand, and she recognized that, like her name, she won't live forever. However, she does not grasp the concept of life after death.
6. Lines 9-10
Not so (quod I); let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame;
     At this point in the sonnet, we get a classic volta, in which the poem changes its tune. So far, the poem has been all about mortality -- how nothing and no one can live forever. But now, the poem begins to say that actually, yes, some things do live forever. The dialogue shifts from the beloved to the speaker himself. He tells his beloved that the things that are less important than her will die and become dust. However, she will live forever by fame. In other words, the speaker thinks that death is for suckers and his beloved is most definitely not a sucker.
7. Lines 11-12
Mere verse your virtues rare shall eternise,
And in the heavens write your glorious name:
    In these lines the speaker describes how his beloved will forever. He says that his verse i.e. poetry will "eternise" all of his beloved's virtues, and that it will write her name in the heavens, not in the sand. The writing in the sand is just a child's play. However, poetry does all the heavy lifting in making someone eternal. His poetry will be so awesome that it will make her immortal. In short, the speaker wants to immortalize the glorious name and spiritual loveliness of his beloved through his poetry.
8. Lines 13-14
Where, when as Death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.
     In this couplet the speaker either reveals himself to be the most loving boyfriend ever, or the most clueless one. He says to his beloved that death will kill everyone in the whole wide world. However, their love will go on forever because of his poetry. In other words, even though their physical love will die with their bodies, the essence of their love will exit forever in the enigmatic cosmos by renewing itself into the hearts of new lovers through the words of his poetry. In short, words eternalze a person and he or she can live on beyond the boundaries that apply to most humans.
9. Literary Devices
(i) Rhyme Scheme: ABAB/BCBC/CDCD/EE.
(ii) Meter Check: Iambic pentameter
(iii) Alliteration: "Waves and washed", "pain and prey", devise, die, and dust", verse and vertues", "where and whenas", and "love, live, and later life".
(iv) Symbols: Name (beloved), tide (time), sand (memories)
(v) Metaphor: Tide (predator)
(vi) Imagery: strand, name, waves, tide
(vii) Tone: Calm, resolute, and optimistic
(viii) Themes: Immortality, love, Literature and writing
10. Conclusion
     Through his use of poetic techniques, Spenser succeeds at his experiment with literature. The surface narrative of the sonnet is about a lover expressing his love for a woman, however, the poem is actually about the contradiction between mortality and immortality - permanence and temporariness. The poem encapsulates the power of language in the sense that master poets have the ability to manipulate the English language in such a way that enables them to make grand assertions about life's most important questions in such short and beautiful lines. Even with the limitations of the human conditions, Spenser proves that poetry has the capacity to make one immortal. In short, it is one of the most famous sonnets Spenser ever wrote. 

(b) Shall I compare thee .......... gives life to thee.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Sonnet XVIII
(ii) Poet: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
(iii) Date of Composition: 1609
(iv) Collection: Untitled; a group of 154 sonnets
(v) Poetic Genre: Shakespearean Sonnet
(vi) The Speaker: A lover and poet
(vii) Addressee: A handsome young man (the Earl of Southampton)
(viii) Content: The beauty of the young man who will be remembered forever because of this poem.
2. Lines 1-2
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
     The first line competitive with "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" is in the long list of Shakespeare's quotable quotations. The speaker asks whether he ought to compare whomever he is speaking to with a summer's day. The important issue this line brings up is the question of "thee" because the gender of the addressee is not explicit. Then he says that his addressee is more "lovely" and more "temperate" than a summer's day. "Lovely" is easy enough but "temperate" carries dual meaning, referring to both temperament and temperature. 
3. Lines 3-4
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
     In these lines the speaker says that the transition from Spring to Summer is violent and quick. The phrase "darling buds of May" refers to the opening buds that point towards the warm summer season ahead. It probably refers not to the month of May directly, but to the May tree, the Common Hawthorn, that flowers in England at that time of year. The strong winds of summer threaten the buds of this tree. Moreover, Summer has the "lease" on the weather, just as our family might have a lease on its car, like a person, summer enter into, and must abide by agreements. 
4. Lines 5-6
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
     These lines describe that the beauty of the sun is unsteady. Sometimes the sun is too hot, and other times, we can't even see it at all. "The eye of heaven" is a kenning; a compressed metaphor to describe the beautiful sun. However, when the sun sets or goes behind the clouds, its beauty is hidden. The word "complexion" refers to the human face and so makes it human-like. Thus "his gold complexion" proves that the addressee of the poem is in fact a male. In short, nature's beauty and man's beauty both are transient and inconsistent. 
5. Lines 7-8
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
     These lines declare that everything beautiful must eventually fade away and lose its charm, either by chance or by the natural flow of time. The word "untrimm'd" can be taken two ways. First, in the sense of loss of decoration, and second, in the sense of untrimmed sails of a ship. In the first interpretation, things that are beautiful naturally lose their fanciness over time. In the second, it means that nature is a ship with sails not adjusted to wind changes in order to correct course. This, in combination with the words "nature's changing course", creates an oxymoron; the unchanging change of nature. 
6. Lines 9-10
But thy eternal summer shall not fate
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
     These lines change the tone and direction of the poem dramatically. Moving on from bashing summer and limitations inherent in nature, the speaker pronounces that his addressee is not subject to all these rules he has laid out. The speaker argues that, unlike the real summer, his beloved's summer (beautiful, happy years) will never go away, nor will the beloved lose his beauty. It's worth picking on the word "ow'st". The apostrophe might be contracting "ownest" or "owest" and both work nicely. Either the beloved won't lose the beauty he owes, or won't have to return the beauty he borrowed from nature. 
7. Lines 11-12
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
     Death, the speaker claims, won't get a chance to claim the beloved in the valley of the shadow of Death. It is because his beloved is very beautiful and the beauty of huge magnitude cannot be destroyed by death. As a metaphor, lines to time" refers to a poem. Here the speaker is making two claims: first, that his poem is "eternal", and second, that it nourishes "thee", as it is where he is able to "grow". This willingness to write a poem within the poem itself is pretty cool stuff. One fancy way of describing this kind of artistic tactic is called "breaking the fourth wall". 
8. Lines 13-14
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
     In this couplet the speaker predicts that this poem will continue to be read, and his beloved will continue to be analyzed and re-analyzed for all time. In other words, as long as men live and can read, this poem will continue to live, and so keep "thee" alive. Thus the beloved's "eternal summer" will not fade precisely because it is embodied in the sonnet. Moreover, the speaker has broken through the fourth wall, and revealed himself as not just a lover, but also a writer of poetry. In short, this couplet hammers home that the speaker is more interested in himself and his abilities as a poet than the qualities of his addressee. 
9. Literary Devices
(i) Rhyme Scheme: ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG
(ii) Meter Check: Iambic pentameter
(iii) Alliteration: "Shall and summer", "do and darling", "hot and heaven", "fair from fair", "chance, changing and course", "long, lives and life". 
(iv) Symbols: Summer (youth), beauty (passage to time), Sun (cycle of life)
(v) Metaphor: Summer (the beloved's life), the eye of heaven (the Sun), lines to time (poetry)
(vi) Personification: Summer, the Sun, Death
(vii) Tone: Self-assured because the speaker has no doubts
(viii) Themes: Beauty, love, poetry
10. Conclusion
     In short, this sonnet should not be regarded as an ultimate English love poem due to the fact that Shakespeare has clearly aimed to draw a lot of attention to himself as the poet and that his description of his beloved's beauty does not include much detail. In fact, the sonnet provides insight into Shakespeare as an artist, and the poem derives its artistic unity from its exploration of the universal human themes of time, death, change, love, lust, and beauty. Thus the sonnet can be read as the great lyric and dramatic poem. 
QUESTION NO. 35 

(a) There be none of Beauty's .......... swell of summer's ocean.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: There be None of Beauty's Daughters / Stanzas for Music
(ii) Poet: Lord Byron (1788-1824)
(iii) Poetic Genre: Lyrical poem
(iv) Rhyme Scheme: ABABCCDD/ABABCCDD
(v) Meter Check: Iambic tetrameters and iambic trimeters.
(vi) Theme: Magic of Beauty and power of music
(vii) Tone: Expressive adoring beauty.
(viii) Personification: Beauty, ocean, moon, wind
2. Lines 1-2
There be none of Beauty's daughters
With a magic like thee;
     In these lines Beauty has been personified. Beauty is a female and has many children. All her children are also female i.e. daughters. These daughters are all beautiful women. There is no match of these beautiful women in this world. This Beauty can also be a reference to Helen of Troy in Greek mythology who was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But Helen of Troy had only one daughter, Hermoine.  Moreover, Beauty is like magic: Beauty has the power of influencing others by using mysterious forces. Beauty's magic is superior to all other magic arts because Beauty's charms and spells are the most powerful. 
3. Lines 3-4
And like music on the waters
Is thy sweet voice to me:
     These lines describe the personified Beauty as a soprano. She has a very musical, melodious and symphonic voice. Her voice has been compared with the musical sound of the waves of waters. "Waters" here means ocean. It is a powerful imagery. "Beauty like waters" is a perfect simile because water is a standard female symbol in literature. The speaker is mesmerized with the "sweet voice" of Beauty. Beauty here can also be a reference to Minerva, a virgin goddess of music. However, the personified Beauty is not virgin. She has many daughters. 
4. Lines 5-6
When, as if its sound were causing
The charmed ocean's pausing,
     These lines describe the power of the sound of personified Beauty. The sound of Beauty is so robust, prevailing and dominant that it causes the waves of the charmed ocean to pause. The word "charmed" suggests that the waves of ocean are under the magical spell of Beauty. However, this spell is not everlasting because "pause" is a temporary stop in action. Thus Beauty is a mermaid who controls the ocean by the powerful sound of her voice. In short, "when" Beauty sings, it causes to pause all other music in the world. 
5. Lines 7-8
The waves lie still and gleaming,
And the lull'd winds seem dreaming:
     These lines are merely overwritten extensions of an already trite theme - the power of the sound of personified Beauty. The waves of ocean and winds of air are hypnotized by the magical sound of Beauty. The waves of ocean become motionless and gleaming. The winds go to sleep and seem dreaming. "Winds" have been personified here because sleeping and dreaming are human attributes. In short, the sounds of waves and winds cease to sing and become the obedient audience of the powerful and magical voice of Beauty. 
6. Lines 9-10
And the midnight moon is weaving
Her bright chain o'er the deep,
     These lines describe that the moon is also under the spell of the magical voice of Beauty. The word "midnight" highlights the atmosphere of calm, peace and quiet. Moon has been personified as a woman who is weaving. In many myths, the moon is depicted as a gigantic spider which weaves the thread of each man's destiny. Moreover, there is a myth of an old woman weaving at moon. This old woman spends her time weaving a never-ending garment. However, here the moon is weaving "her bright chain". It is, in fact, a crater chain - a roughly circular depression on the surface of ocean. The moon is weaving this depression from bottom to top. 
7. Lines 11-12
Whose breast is gently heaving
As an infant's asleep:
      These lines portray sexual and angelic imagery. The ocean has been personified as a female. Her "breast" is an example of sexual imagery. The words "gently heaving" enhance the impact of sexual imagery. Under the influence of the magical voice of Beauty, the ocean raises her breast in an amiable and tender motion or as an infant's asleep. "As an infant's asleep" is a simile and an other imagery. Infants don't sleep as deeply as adults. Thus the charm of the voice of Beauty on the ocean is temporary. In short, the comparison of ocean's heaving to an infant's sleep suggests that ocean is innocent and guilt free because it is a part of nature and beauty. 
8. Lines 13-14
So the spirit bows before thee
To listen and adore thee;
     These lines recapitulate the power of the voice of Beauty. The spirit of ocean, wind, moon and the speaker all bow in submission before Beauty.  "Bows before" is an example of alliteration. When Beauty sings, the waves of ocean pause, the winds go to sleep and seem dreaming, the moon starts weaving. These natural objects and phenomena do so just to listen and adore the melodious voice of Beauty. "And adore" is an other example of alliteration. The speaker's spirit is also showing adoration for the magical voice of Beauty. 
9. Lines 15-16
With a full but soft emotion,
Like the swell of summer's ocean. 
     These lines describe how do others applause the voice of Beauty. The spirit of ocean, wind, moon and the speaker adore the voice of Beauty "with a full but soft emotion". "Full" means that they are praising the Beauty's voice as much as possible and "soft emotion" suggests they are admiring the Beauty's voice with love, affection and devotion. The poem comes to its climax at "swell". Swell is a gradual increase in amount, intensity, or volume. Swell is also a sexual imagery. It is a point at which the sibilance of "summer's ocean" offers a gentle release. 
10. Conclusion
     The poem is couched in feminine references and is most conveniently discussed as a love lyric to a woman. However, there is no physical dimension to the love articulated in the poem. It is famous for its gentle rhythm and the softness of its imagery -- the quiet tone of the poem creates a tranquil sense of peace, whilst the rhythm lulls the reader with its ebb and flow, as if the poem itself has breath of its own. It is written to be set to music, and its musical qualities have bearing upon its theme and structure. In short, the poem is a clever way of intermingling two of the greatest pleasures in life: love and music. With its gleaming waters, dreaming winds, weaving moon, and heaving breast, it is a truly magical poem. 

(b) Bright star! Would I .......... else swoon to death.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Bright Star! Would I were Stedfast as Thou Art / Keats's Last Sonnet
(ii) Poet: John Keats (1795 - 1821)
(iii) Date of Composition: 1819 and revised in 1820
(iv) Collection: Joseph Severn's Copy of "The Poetical Works of William Shakespeare"
(v) Poetic Genre: Shakespearean Sonnet
(vi) Setting: The time is night. North Star hints that the speaker is somewhere far from home, may be at sea.
(vii) Speaker: John Keats
(viii) Addressee: Bright Star and Fanny Brawne
2. Lines 1-2
Bright star! Would I were stedfast as thou art --
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
     In these lines the speaker wishes to be steadfast as the "Bright Star", but does not wish to be alone like this star. The word "stedfast" suggests that he is talking to the North Star, also known as Polaris, which is the only star that remains motionless in the sky. However, the speaker immediately realizes that steadfastness cannot be achieved by a human in this world of change and flux. So he asserts a negative "Not". He points out the star's splendour and isolation in the night. In fact, the speaker does not want to lead a life of  "splendour" in loneliness and isolation. 
3. Lines 3-4
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
     These line emphasize the star's loneliness and motionlessness. The star keeps an eye on stuff. It spends its time watching with "eternal lids". "Eternal lids" is a transferred epithet. So, the idea is that, not only does the star watch things and keep its eyelids open, but it does so eternally. "Patient" and "sleepless" are both adjectives modifying "Eremite"; a religious hermit who has retired into a solitary life. The star's sleeplessness is a part of the characterization of the star's non-humanness, which makes it an impossible goal for a human being to aspire to. In short, the comparison of the star with an Eremite is a good simile. 
4. Lines 5-6
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
    The star observes that the waters of the earth are engaged in a "priestlike task" of ablution. There is movement, aliveness and spiritually on the earth. The meaning of "ablution" here is of ritual cleansing. Thus it matches up pretty well with the idea of "priestlike" quality of the waters' task. "Earth's human shores" means that human activity has stretched all over the globe; the shores of a continent of land are the edges of human life. In short, the speaker knows that he is subsequent to change and needs something to return to his pure state. 
5. Lines 7-8
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors --
     These lines describe snow as being a mask that hides the ugliness of the mountains and moors. The star is gazing on the "masque of snow". "Masque" here is just an old-fashioned, slightly way of spelling "mask". However, this mask is not a real mask, but instead a metaphorical mask. Literally speaking, the star is gazing on a layer of "new" and "soft" snow falling upon "the mountains and the moors". "Moor" is a barren, lonely, uninhabited place. And so are mountains, usually . Thus beauty (the snow) is found in diverse places on earth. In short, we get a chilly feeling from these lines. 
6. Lines 9-10
No -- yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
     These lines show the real intent of the poem. The "No" at the beginning is like an exclamation, the speaker's final comment on everything that has come before. "Still" is an old-fashioned way of saying "always". So the idea is that the speaker will be "always steadfast, always unchangeable". He would love to be as "stedfast" as the star, but he is not jazzed about sitting up in the high heavens taking in all those dreary sights. Instead, he would like to be just as "stedfast" in resting his head on his girlfriend's "ripening breast". "Ripening" here means that the speaker's girlfriend is still fairly young and so is still in the process of "filling out". 
7. Lines 11-12
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
     These lines describe the speaker's desire, in which his lover be alive for eternity. While resting his head on his girlfriend's breast, the speaker wants to feel her breathing. "For ever" emphasizes the main aspect of the star's existence the speaker likes to have: its permanence. "Soft" intensifies the sensuality introduced with "pillow'd". The speaker spins out his description of what he likes to do even further. Even though he is resting his face on his girlfriend's breast like a pillow, he does not want to fall asleep there and miss out on all the action. Instead, he wants to remain awake forever. "Sweet unrest" is an oxymoron and a typical Keatsian paradox. 
8. Lines 13-14
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever --- or else swoon to death.
     In these lines the speaker says that if he cannot hear his lover breathe, he will welcome his own death with no regrets. Repetition of "still" suggests that the speaker wants to do the same thing forever and ever for the rest of all eternity. "Breath" is flux, and "tender" makes it positive. "Ever" emphasizes the eternity of love, passion and sensuality. In a swift reversal, the speaker accepts the possibility of dying from pleasure. "Swoon" has sexual overtones and "death" carries a great deal of weight in the final effect and meaning of the poem. In short, these lines portray the speaker's feelings towards life where death brings no fear and life means nothing without his lover. 
9. Literary Devices
(i) Rhyme Scheme: ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG
(ii) Meter Check: Iambic pentameter
(iii) Alliteration: "the mountains and the moors", "still steadfast, still unchangeable", "soft fall and swell", still, still to hear her tender-taken breath", "so live ever ---or else".
(iv) Symbols: Bright Star (eternity, isolation), Eremite (isolation), pillow (comfort), ripening breast (growth, warmth) 
(v) Personification: The Star (it is watching and gazing) and waters (they are engaged in the task of ablution)
(vi) Tone: Sad and depressed
(vii) Imagery: Bright Star, moving waters, earth's human shores, mask of snow upon the mountains and the moors, love's ripening breast.
(viii) Themes: Love, death, time, loneliness, change and transformation, man and the natural world, art and experience.
10. Conclusion
     The sonnet shows the speaker's infatuation to be with his lover for eternity. He aspires to the fixed and ethereal beauty of the Star, yet is aware of its limitations: though bright, steadfast and splendid, it is at the same time solitary and non-human. The human heart can never be tranquil like the star, for human emotions know the conflict of joy and pain. The speaker tends to dip into mystic and unexplained phenomena in the universe to describe his feelings. This is probably due to the fact that his earthly human self is on the verge towards death and his spiritual side is fully alive. In short, Keats, like Shakespeare, has combined a brilliant poetic mind with deep insight into human emotions and experiences. Thus the poem is a powerful meditation on love, death, time, and nature. 

QUESTION NO. 38

(a) Loveliest of trees, .......... cherry hung with snow.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Loveliest of Tress, the Cherry Now
(ii) Poet: Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936)
(iii) Date of Composition: 1896
(iv) Collection: The Shropshire Lad
(v) Poetic Genre: Lyric poem
(vi) Speaker: A young guy on the cusp of adulthood
(vii) Setting: Rural environs of Shropshire, England in spring
(viii) Content: Nature is very beautiful but human life is too short to enjoy it completely.
2. Lines 1-2
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
     In these lines the speaker says that the most beautiful and attractive tree is the "cherry tree". The word "now" suggests that there is no time like the present. The present is the only time actually available for the speaker, and this understanding is likewise for us the first step on the road to taking full advantage of the time we have. Thus the cherry tree represents good fortune, which will soon disappear. Then the speaker imagines the blooms hanging along the branches of the tree, almost as if they are ornaments on a Christmas tree. The words "loveliest" and "bloom" are associated with spring which is a short-lived season. In short, good fortune is beautiful and plentiful when we have it. 
3. Lines 3-4
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide,
     These lines describe the location and appearance of the cherry tree. The word "ride" can refer both to a ride on horseback that the speaker is taking, or it can just be a noun describing the path he is on. Either way, the cherry tree is "standing" along the ride. The cherry is "wearing white" is a case of personification. "Eastertide" is a word used in the Christian calendar to describe the time that includes Easter Sunday and the seven weeks right after it. It is also a reference to Jesus Christ. In Christianity, Jesus was crucified by the Romans around 33 C.E. and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. Thus it also reiterates the idea of rebirth. 
4. Lines 5-6
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
     After a stanza describing the tree itself, the speaker shifts to a more reflective mood here. He says that he has threescore years and ten, and twenty will never come again. A "score" is just an old-fashioned way of saying 20. This means that "threescore" is just three times 20 i.e. 60. Now, if we add "ten" to "threescore". we get 70. So, the speaker imagines that he will reach the ripe old age of 70; the length of man's life according to Psalm 90:10. At present the speaker is 20 years old, and knows that past years can never return. In short, the speaker has used the larger unit of time i.e. score to show that time ticks and life moves fast like in a ride. 
5. Lines 7-8
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
     In these lines the speaker uses the same roundabout method to calculate how many years he has left of life. Assuming that the speaker will live to be 70, if he takes away the 20 years he has already lived, that means he has only got 50 years left. "Seventy spring" is like saying seventy years; spring comes once a year. The "years" phrased as "springs" is a fine example of synechdoche because the whole year has been referred by the part of it. The speaker has intentionally used the word "springs" instead of "years" to show his love for nature. Moreover, the word "springs" prepares the way for the stanza that follows and leads us into winter. 
6. Lines 9-10
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
     The speaker claims that fifty years is not enough time to enjoy the beauty of "things". He uses the word "things" instead of "trees" to open the poem to the blooming not just of the cherry tree, but of the whole world. Fifty years is just enough "room" to squeeze in all the sightseeing he wants to do. However, the speaker is not talking about sightseeing. Sure, he says "look at things in bloom", but this is a metaphor for making the most of things. Fifty years is a long time, and if the speaker has fifty years left, he really shouldn't be worried about seizing the day. In short, the speaker wants to say that the number of things he would like to do in life cannot possibly be accomplished in just fifty years.
7. Lines 11-12
About the woodland I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
     Since the speaker is committed to making the most of things, he will go about the woodlands and look at the "cherry hung with snow". This whole idea of making the most of things can be expressed in two-word Latin phrase carpe diem, which means "seize the day". The "cherry hung with snow" is a metaphor for how the trees look when they are covered with white blossoms. But why use the idea of snow when, here we are, smack dab in the middle of spring? It is as though, even in the midst of blossoming spring's rebirth and renewal -- and this re-dedication to enjoying all life has to offer -- the speaker can't shake the inevitability of death. 
8. Literary Devices
(i) Rhyme Scheme: AABB/CCDD/EEFF
(ii) Meter Check: Iambic tetrameter
(iii) Alliteration: "Bloom and bough", "woodland, wearing and white", "ten and twenty", seventy, springs, and score".
(iv) Symbols: The cherry tree (youth and beauty), blooms (life and rebirth), Eastertide (death and resurrection), snow (coldness and death)
(v) Metaphors: Springs (years), look at things in bloom (making the most of things), snow (white blossoms)
(vi) Personification: The cherry tree (wearing white for Eastertide)
(vii) Tone: Lighthearted, regretful and revitalized
(viii) Themes: Beauty of nature, nostalgia, and brevity of life
9. Conclusion
     The poem is deceptively simple. Plain diction, short lines, short stanzas, and the expression in the first person add to the lyric quality of the poem. The poem utilizes tone devices, literary devices, and poetic structure in order to formulate an awe inspiring outlook at the concept of carpe diem that causes the reader to question his or her own attitude towards the sanctity of life and time. It forces the reader to realize the fleeting nature of life, and that the true path to happiness resides in the ideal of spontaneous life, not to live in a state of constant regret and remorse. In short, the poem conveys an intimate attitude that advocates "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may"
(b) At school I loved one ..........  and the heart to lighten.

1. Introduction
(i) Title: Fosterling
(ii) Poet: Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013)
(iii) Collection: Seeing Things (1991)


2. Lines 1-2
At school I loved one picture's heavy greenness - 
Horizons rigged with windmills' arms and sails.

3. Lines 3-4
The millhouses' still outlines. Their in-placeness
Still more in place when mirrored in canals.

4. Lines 5-6
I can't remember not ever having known
The immanent hydraulics of a land

5. Lines 7-8
Of glar and glit and floods at dailigone.
My silting hope. My lowlands of the mind

6. Lines 9-10
Heaviness of being. And poetry
Sluggish in the doldrums of what happens.

7. Lines 11-12
Me waiting until I was nearly fifty
To credit marvels. Like the tree-clock of tin cans

8. Lines 13-14
The thinkers made. So long for air to brighten,
Time to be dazzled and the heart of lighten.

9. Literary Devices

10. Conclusion




5. SAMPLE ANSWERS- LINGUISTICS


QUESTION NO. 1

Language and its Characteristics
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 7

Causes of Language Change
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 10

Branches of Linguistics and Their Scope
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 14

Psychololinguistics
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 19

Consonants
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 20

Vowels
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 25

I.C. Analysis and its Major Flaws
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 31

Structuralism
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 37

Semantic Field Theory
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 40

Stylistics and its Significance
COMING SOON!


5. SAMPLE ANSWERS - ESSAY

QUESTION NO. 1

Art for Art's Sake
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 6

Classicism and Romanticism
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 10

Spenser As "The Poets' Poet"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 13

Wordsworth As a Poet of Nature
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 21

Shakespearean Tragedy
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 23

O'Neil's Tragic Vision
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 27

Victorian Novel
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 32

Jane Austen's Limited Range
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 37

Aristotle's Poetics
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 39

Short Story As a Literary Genre
COMING SOON!


5. SAMPLE ANSWERS - SHORT STORIES


QUESTION NO. 1

The Essential Elements of a Short Story

Introduction
     A short story is a piece of prose fiction intended to be read in a single sitting and designed to produce a single effect. It emerged from earlier oral story telling traditions in the 17th century. Edger Allan Poe is commonly known as the father of modern short story. Other famous short story writers include; Anton Chekhov, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, O.Henry, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant and William Faulkner etc. A short story has a limited setting, and usually focuses on on plot, one conflict, one event, one main character, and one central theme. It is significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel. Unlike drama, it has no limitation of stage and evolution of characters.
1. Single Effect
    A short story is intended to be read in a single sitting to produce a single effect. "Single sitting" means not much longer than an hour. The single effect which might be called the single emotional effect, impression or feeling, is the most important part of the definition of the modern short story - and it comes directly from the great short story writer, Edgar Allan Poe. Some of his own short stories serve as good examples of the single effect he was talking about. These stories include "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat". An excellent example of a short story with a memorable single effect is Shirley Jackson's famous story "The Lottery".
2. Setting
     Setting means the time and place that form the background for the story. Locale, time of year, time of day, elapsed time, atmosphere, climate, geography, eras of historical importance, environment, population, and ancestral influences are the specific elements that setting encompasses. There are two types of setting; backdrop setting and integral setting. Backdrop setting emerges when it is not important for a story, and it could happen in any setting such as A.A. Milne's story "Winnie-the-Pooh" could take place in any type of setting. Integral setting is when the place and time influence theme, character, and action of a story. Beatrix Potter's short story, "The Tail of Peter Rabbit", is an example of integral setting in which the behaviour of Peter becomes an integral part of the setting.
3. Plot
     Plot is a planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and end. There are five main elements in a plot. The first is the exposition. It is the beginning of the story where characters and setting are established, and the conflict is introduced. The second element is the rising action which occurs when a series of events build up to the conflict. It is during this part of a story that excitement, tension or crisis is encountered. The third element is the climax. It is the turning point of the story and is meant to be the moment of highest interest and emotion. The fourth element is the falling action. Events and complication begin to resolve and the result of the actions of the main characters is put forward. The last element is the resolution. It is the end of a story and ends with either a happy or a tragic ending. The short story usually has one plot.
4. Conflict
     Conflict is essential to plot. In involves a struggle between two opposing forces. A conflict may be internal or external. A struggle with a force outside one's self is called external conflict whereas internal conflict is a struggle within one's self. There are four kinds of conflict. The first is "Man Vs. Man" in which the main character combats with his physical strength against other person. The second one is "Man Vs. Circumstances". In this conflict the leading character strives against fate, or the circumstances of life. The third one is "Man Vs. Society". The hero toils against ideas, practices, or customs of other people. The last one is "Man Vs. Himself". In this conflict the protagonist struggles with himself/herself' with his/her own soul, ideas of right or wrong etc. In a short story, there is usually one central conflict, or one dominant conflict with many minor ones.
5. Character
     There are two meanings for the word character; the person in a work of fiction and the characteristics of a person. Short stories use few characters. One character is clearly central to the story with all major events having some importance to this character. This person is called the protagonist while the character who opposes the actions of the protagonist is the antagonist. Characters are found in three forms; individual, developing and static. An individual character is round, many sided and complex in personality. In short stories, protagonists are typically individuals. A developing character is a character who grows throughout the story while a static character is a stereotypical character who is two-dimensional or flat.
6. Point of View
     Point of view is the angle from which the story is told. There are five basic points of view;
(i) Innocent Eye - The story is told through the eyes of a child.
(ii) Streams of Consciousness: The story is told so that the reader feels as if he is inside the head of one character and knows all his thoughts and actions.
(iii) First Person - The story is told by the protagonist or one of the characters who interacts closely with the protagonist or other character.
(iv) Omniscient Objective - the story is told in such a way that it appears as though a camera is following the characters, going anywhere, and recording only what s seen and heart.
(v) Omniscient Limited - The story is told in such a manner that the reader can see the thoughts and feeling of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to him.
7. Theme
     The theme in a piece of fiction is its controlling idea or its central insight. It is the author's underlying meaning or main idea that he is trying to convey. The theme may be the author's thoughts about a topic or view of human nature. The theme of a short story is simply its meaning. It is the main idea explored in the story by the writer. For example, in "Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, the theme is about a woman who has lost her freedom and identity to her husband and marriage. In Jack London's "To Build a Fire", the theme is about a protagonist who freezes to death because he panics and is unable to problem solve. In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants", the theme is about an unplanned pregnancy, and the decision to abort the pregnancy.
8. Short Story and Novel
     Short stories are shorter than novels. Technically a short story is anywhere between 1,000 to 20,000 words. Short stories are structured differently. These have a single plot line. However, novels have time to explore the full three-act structure.. These usually have sub-plots. A scene in short stories operates with a centripetal force of concentration. But a scene in novels spins off a good deal of its energy looking not only backward and forward in the text but also sideways, outside the text, and towards the material world. Short stories, like poetry, seek to focus time, the novels, being more like history, seek to explore it. Short stories focus one main character. However, novels have room to explore the lives of several major characters.
9. Short Story and Drama
     Drama is written for the stage and the dramatist is bound by the conditions of the stage. The short story writer has not such limitations. His complete immunity from the conditions of the stage, gives to the short story a freedom of movement, a breadth and flexibility. Another difference between the two is to be found in their methods of characterization. In the drama the character of the individual unfolds itself before us, as the action develops and scene follows. No such evolution of characters is possible in the short story. In the dram the dialogue plays an important part in characterization. The story is developed through dialogue. The short-story writer does not suffer any such limitation. He may or may not introduce dialogue. Finally, the drama is objective or impersonal; the short story can be both objective and subjective.

QUESTION NO. 5

Symbolic Significance of Lahore in "The Property of Woman"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 12

Critical Appreciation of "Everything That Rises Must Converge"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 17

"Once Upon a Time" As a Modern Fairy Tale
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 19

Relationship Between Father and Son in "The Judgment"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 23

Themes of Identity in "My Son the Fanatic"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 31

Critical Appreciation of "The Woman Who had Imagination"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 35

Major Themes in "The Man Who Lived in a Shell"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 37

The Use of Diary and Reporting Technique in "The Night Watchman's Occurrence Book"
COMING SOON!


QUESTION NO. 40

"A Clean Well Lighted Place" As a Classic Short Story
COMING SOON!


5. SAMPLE ANSWERS 
LITERATURE IN ENGLISH AROUND THE WORLD

QUESTION NO. 1

Lorca's Art of Characterization in "The House of Bernarda Alba"

QUESTION NO. 7

Significance of the Title of the Play "Translations"

QUESTION NO. 12

Character Sketch of Waiyaki in "The River Between"

QUESTION NO. 17

Major Thematic Concerns in "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"


1. Dignity
     The efforts of the prisoners, and most of all those of Shukhov, to retain elements of human dignity is among the most important themes in the novel. Despite the barbaric living conditions in the Stalinist labor camp in which they are imprisoned, those living there manage to treat each other with respect and even kindness. The stark contrast between the inhumane circumstances in which they find themselves living on 200 grams of bread and sleeping on bare mattresses with holes, highlights the ability of human beings to overcome terrible obstacles in the struggle for dignity and recognition. While the camp officials insist upon calling prisoners by number, which is why Shukhov is referred to as No. 854, the prisoners themselves do not simply repeat this bureaucratic and dehumanizing convention, but rather seek to build alliances and to appreciate individual differences. 
2. Power
     Gang 104 spends most of their day working at an incomplete power station. None of the members of Gang 104 have much power, especially when compared to the guards, with their whips and dogs, the wardens, etc. Futility, or the uselessness of action, is a running theme for the prisoners. Things are not and never will be fair in the prison camp, and those with even the smallest amount of power often abuse it. But even those with some power have limits, as we see with Tsezar. He is wealthy enough to get packages and to bribe his way into a good work position, but he does not have the power to avoid getting busted by the guards. The main power, the oppressive government, that controls everyone in the camps is distant, removed, and at times invisible. 
3. Time
     Shukhov would kill for Hermione Granger's Time Turner. He could get all his little errands done and not have to run around in a panic all the time. Of course, then his day would be even longer, practically never-ending. Days are already never-ending in the camp. All the days seem to run together into endless prison sentences and non-stop work, with no personal time at all. For Shukhov, there is practically no time to relax; survival is highly time-consuming. In the bizarro world of the camps, time is zek's most precious commodity, aside from food. There's never enough time, it's easily stolen, and all zeks are greedy for precious minutes of personal time. Time is perhaps the worst thing that people in the camp lose. 
4. Rules and Order
     Rules and order are often not really connected in the prison camp, which is odd. There is an excess of rules that no one really follows, like the restrictions on clothes or firewood. And there are rules that really can't be followed, like the rule that does not allow zeks to walk alone. To make matters worse, some of the rules get in the way of survival, so zeks are in a sense punished for trying to survive half the time. Regardless of how dumb or illogical they are, rules dominate a zek's life. What makes these rules horrible is that zeks are punished arbitrarily, or randomly, for breaking them. Life in the camp is extremely unpredictable and illogical, which makes life extremely frustrating for a zek. The rules are there to punish people, not to create any sort of order in the camp. 
5. Perseverance
     Like most things in the camp, perseverance is downscaled to surviving the cold, the hard labour, and the lack of food. Triumphing over adversity basically amounts to still breathing and moving. Perseverance is largely a mental thing in the prison camp. Having the will to survive, maintaining a sense of self and a sense of pride, refusing to let go of the past entirely, and refusing to give up hope are all key elements to successfully persevering. Like Rocky, the zeks are all about "going the distance". There is no way to truly "win" in the camps, so surviving for the long haul is the only victory the zeks can really have.
6. Competition
     Life in the prison camps is all about survival of the fittest at its most brutal. It is the law of the jungle and for the people in the camps, competition for resources is ruthless. Prisoners have to compete for everything -- food, warmth, decent work assignments, rewards, etc. They even compete for cigarette butts. In order to survive and to maintain a competitive edge against others, a zek has to be constantly alert. Shukhov is especially aware of this need. If he could have a motivational poster by his bunk, it would probably feature Mad-Eye Moody yelling "Constant Vigilance!" Since the stakes of competition in the camp are literally life and death, no relationship is sacred and prisoners often screw over their "friends" in an effort to keep themselves alive.
7. Memory and the Past
     The past really seems to fly out the window in the alien world of the prison camp. Everyone is a prisoner, and a prison sentence is a sort of great social equalizer, impacting rich and poor, young and old. But what people were in the outside world definitely effects the type of prisoners they become, as well as their chances for survival. The ex-captain Buynovsky is used to giving orders and can't adjust to taking them in the camp; the ex-carpenter Shukhov carves out a niche for himself as a skilled labourer. In fact, the past might dictate a person's future in the camps more than it ordinarily would in the outside world. For a prisoner, the present is sort of frozen in the camps, and the future is put indefinitely on hold. The camp disconnects people from their past to a large extent.
8. Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
     There is a huge genre of prison films and stories. These films reveal that prisoners in jail harbor hopes for the future -- namely, getting the heck out of jail. Nearly all of these films involve an exciting escape, or an attempted escape at the very least. But no one bothers to escape during "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich". At it seems that most past escape attempts ended in prisoners getting shot. The hope of getting out of the gulag is described as pretty much hopeless. So hope, like everything in the camp, is downsized. Prisoners here have hope for something like an extra portion of food. The hope for freedom is practically a pipe-dream. In the camp, the future is measured more in minutes than in years, and the long-term future seems doomed for most prisoners.
9. Family
     Family is turned on its head in the prison camp. All the zeks are separated from their families in the real world, some for decades. In fact, there is so much time and space between families that they almost cease to operate as such. Shukhov's relationship with his wife and his children seems almost meaningless in the camps; he's largely disconnected from them. Shukhov can scarcely understand their experiences since he has been away, and they probably can't understand his life either. Other zeks have completely lost their families, like Tyurin, or have been abandoned by their families, like Fetyukov. In the camp, new families form and the work gangs start operating as a type of family, albeit a cutthroat mafia family.
10. The Importance of Faith
     Although Shukhov does not think or talk about religion for the bulk of the novel, his final conversation with Alyoshka, a devout Baptist, reveals that faith can be a means of survival in the oppressive camp system. Shukhov's interest in Alyoshka's discussion of God, faith, and prayers marks Shukhov's expansion beyond his usual thoughts of work, warmth, food, and sleep. Alyoshka's urging of Shukhov to pursue things of the spirit rather than things of the flesh renders Shukhov speechless, as if he is deeply reflecting on this philosophy. More important, he actually follows this advice in giving Alyoshka one of his biscuits, voluntarily sacrificing a worldly good. Shukhov's sense of inner peace in the novel's last paragraph, which resembles Alyoshka's sense of inner peace throughout the novel, demonstrates the religious faith offers strength in the face of adversity. 

QUESTION NO. 22

Critical Appreciation of "The Last Visit"
COMING SOON!
QUESTION NO. 23

Critical Appreciation of "The Street of Nightingale"

QUESTION NO. 28

Critical Appreciation of "But Where is the Sky"?

QUESTION NO. 33

Critical Appreciation of "Humble Administrators Garden"

QUESTION NO. 35

Critical Appreciation of "A Far Cry from Africa"

1. Introduction
     "A Far Cry from Africa" is from Derek Walcott's first major collection of poems, "In a Green Night (1962)". A reflexive poem, "A Far Cry from Africa" is an honest effort to understand the poet's vocation, his relationship with the world at large, and with his country of birth, Saint Lucia. In this poem Walcott asks several questions, mostly to himself, in a bid to understand himself, his country, and the politics and colonial subjugation that has divided his life, profession, and loyalties. Although this poem may appear to be a dramatization of Walcott's own particular racial angst, it can equally be read as a more generalized investigation of the Caribbean psyche's divided cultural and ethnic allegiances. 
2. Historical Background of the Poem
     The poem is written at the backdrop of Mau Mau Uprising; an extended bloody battle during the 1950s between European settlers and the native Kikuyu tribe in what is now the republic of Kenya. In the early twentieth century, the first white settlers arrived in the region, forcing the Kikuyu people off of their tribal lands. European took control of farmland and the government relegating the Kikuyu to a subservient position. The ongoings in Kenya magnified an internal strife within the poet concerning his own mixed heritage. Walcott has both African and European roots; his grandmothers were both black, and both grandfathers were white. As Walcott is divided in two, so too is the poem. The first two stanzas refer to the Kenyan conflict, while the second two address the war withing the poet. 
3. Title of the Poem
     The title of the poem is very ambiguous in nature. In involves an idiom: "a far cry" which means an impossible thing. But the poet seems to use the words in other senses also; the title suggests in one sense that the poet is writing about an African subject from a distance. Writing from the island of St. Lucia, he feels he is at a vast distance - both literally and metaphorically from Africa. Another possible explanation of the title might be the contrast between the beautiful setting of the African veldt and the bloody violence that occurred there. And a third level of meaning to title is the idea of Walcott hearing the poem as a far cry coming all the way across thousands of miles of ocean. He hears the cry coming to him on the wind. 
4. Structure of the Poem
     The poem contains four stanzas of mostly iambic tetrameter. Actually, the poem starts off in iambic pentameter, the prevalent form of poetry written in English, but soon veers off course metrically - a change that reflects the changing scene and perspective in the poem - with lines of varying length and number of stresses. A point of consistency is Walcott's use of masculine endings and masculine rhymes. However, rhyme is as irregular as meter. The scattered rhyme is ABABBC..... . Only those lines are rhymed in which Walcott sees a particular contrast or similarity. Caesura has been used half way through the second stanza. In short, the structure of the poem emphasizes the main emotional dilemma in the poem. 
5. Themes of the Poem
     Split identity, anxiety, isolation, cruelty, violence, religion and love are the major themes of the poem. Walcott belongs to both African and European roots and he identifies himself as a mongrel; both grandmothers were African and both grandfathers were European. Walcott's hybrid heritage prevents him from identifying directly with one culture and creates a sense of anxiety and isolation. The wind "ruffling the tawny pelt of Africa" refers to the cruelty of Mau Mau insurrection against the violence of British colonialism. The words "corpses, paradise, dead, Jews and cursed" create an atmosphere of religion in the poem. Walcott's feeling of affection for Africa and fondness for English tongue propagate the theme of love.
6. Culture Clash in the Poem
     There are many clashes in the poem. The first image signaling conflict is the hint of a storm brewing in the opening lines where Kikuyu flies feed upon the land and maggots upon dead Mau Mau. And within this, a sub conflict also exists between those Kikuyu believing that the rights of the individual do not necessarily violate those of the group and those convinced that individual rights do violate group rights. In lines six through ten, there is also the clash between the culture of those outside the uprising and those killed by it, outsiders with the luxury of judging the conflict, and insiders for whom no explanation is sufficient. These conflicts yield up the main confrontation of the poem, that between Mau Mau and the British, and the conflict withing the poet about which side to take. 
7. Animal Imagery in the Poem
     The whole poem is a succession of visual, auditory and kinesthetic images. However, the most important imagery is the visual imagery of animals. Lion, flies, worm, ibises and beasts are the major animal images. Africa is compared to a lion with a "tawny pelt". Flies are used as an image of Kikuyu who are feeding on blood, which is present in large enough amounts to create streams. Worm is an image of British colonizers and it adds a sickening detail in this setting of decaying human flesh. The worm's admonishment to "Waste no compassion on these separate dead!" is puzzling in that it implies that the victims somehow got what they deserved. The images of ibises and other beasts tell this land was ruled by these animals before African or European civilization existed. In short, the poet has used ample animal imagery to criticize the savage aspects of both cultures. 
8. Religious Imagery in the Poem
     Walcott uses religious imagery throughout the poem in his exploration of African life. Through the juxtaposition of "corpses" and "paradise", Walcott is exploring the link between life and death, ugliness and beauty. By linking the two words, Walcott is exploring the paradoxical link between death in a "corpse" and life in "paradise" after death. There is further use of religious imagery in the first two lines of the second stanza as "necessity wipes its hands". This illusion to Pontinus  washing his hands of Jesus's blood before his crucifixion, demonstrates an acknowledgment of consequences but not of responsibility. Thus the personification of "brutish necessity" has been used to distance the narrator of responsibility for the actions described in the first stanza. 
9. Literary Devices
(i) Cacophony: Kikuyu quick
(ii) Alliteration: "Batten upon the bloodstreams", "colonel of carrion cries".
(iii) Rhyme Scheme: Scattered rhyme ABABBC...., forced rhyme "again .... Spain"
(iv) Rhyming Couplet: "dead ....dead"
(v) Anaphora: "How can I ..... How can I"
(vi) Metaphor: Africa is compared to a lion and worm is a metaphor for British colonizer.
(vii) Illusions: Jews (Holocaust), napkin of a dirty cause (British mannerisms), Spain (Spanish Civil war 1930)
(viii) Play on Words: Colonel (colonial), Brutish (British or Brutus)
10. Conclusion
     The poem elaborates the poet's ambivalence and his Philoctetaean situation in choosing between what is right and what is wrong, and his strive to resolve the paradox of his biological, cultural and racial hybrid inheritance. However, this struggle appears to be irreconcilable. The poem seems to fall into the trap of creating what certain post-colonial critics have referred to as "Manichean" divisions, and certainly mixed racial ancestry is hardly being seen as a source of strength. In short, the poem reveals the poet's psychological conflict, divided loyalties and his angst for not being identified with a particular tradition. 
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?


QUESTION NO. 37

Critical Appreciation of "Mango Seedling"

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