These lines are spoken by the central character of the play, the Wolf. He utters these lines to contradict Lady Redchester when she uses the words “criminal classes”. In his opinion, people are not bad or good because of their origins. He says that there in no societal group of criminals. These are circumstances that force a person to become a rascal or scoundrel. Family background plays no role in it. A criminal may be a poor or an aristocrat. Similarly there is no hierachy of good people. These are circumstances that influence a person to become ethical or virtuous. Class or caste plays no role in it. A good person may be the inhabitant of a slum or a Palace.
Question No. 6
(a) What is the role of Nick Adams in “The Killers”?
(b) “I would rather have been loved, not feared” says Beatrice before dying in “Rappaccini’s Daughter”. Elaborate.
(c) Describe the quarrel between Ustad Mangu and the Gora Soldier. (The New Constitution)
(a) Role of Nick Adams
Ole Anderson, Al, Max, George, Sam and Nick Adams are the main characters of the story, “The Killers”. However, the protagonist is Nick Adams. He is a typical Hemingway hero who is learning “the code”. He is a teenage boy, responsible citizen and peace-loving individual.
Firstly, he is a little dude of about eighteen or nineteen who works at Henry’s Lunch-Room with George and Sam in Summit. His age becomes evident when Al and Max mock his masculinity by calling him a “bright boy”. Moreover, when Sam says, “Little boys always know what to do”, his teenage gets proved.
Secondly, he is a responsible citizen. After the departure of Al and Max, he goes to Hirsch’s Boarding House. There he warns Ole Anderson of the impending danger to Ole’s life from Al and Max. He also offers him his help by saying, “Don’t you want me to go and see the police”?
Thirdly, he is a peace-loving person. He recognizes the horror of evil and attempts to do something about it, but when he cannot, he decides to run away from the area of gangsters. Thus when he comes back Henry’s Lunch-Room, he says to George, “I’m going to get out of this town”.
(b) Beatrice’s Wish to be Loved
Poisonous women have long been the embodiment of fear. History and literature presents many examples of it. Beatrice is also a poisonous girt but she never wants to become an object of fear but of love. She wishes to be loved because she is alone, her soul is pristine and her mind is depressed.
Firstly, she is a lonely maiden. Her life is confined to her house and garden. He “sister-plant” cannot requite her love. Thus, to keep her emotionally sound and psychologically balanced, she wishes to love of society.
Secondly, her soul is pristine. Although her sinister father has impregnated her body with poison, her soul remains pure. Her evil power is merely a superficial disguise. Hence she says, “Giovanni, believe it, though my body be fed with poison, my spirit is God’s creature, and needs love as its daily food.”
Thirdly, her heart and mind is grief-stricken. All the three characters make her life miserable. Baglioni causes hatred in the heart of Giovanni for Beatrice. Rappaccini uses her as a guinea pig. Giovanni accuses her of his being poisonous and even calls her “terrible” In this dilemma, she only needs love, love and love.
(c) Quarrel Between Ustad Mangu
and the Gora Soldier
It was the morning of 1st April, 1935 in South Asia. The day when a new constitution was supposed to be promulgated. Ustad Mangu, the hero of the story, “The New Constitution” by Saadat Hasan Manto, got up earlier than usual. He set up his tonga and came on the road. He moved about in the city to see colour and light, but there was none.
He went to the cantonment. There he saw the Gora soldier who had abused him the year before in the drunken state. He was waiting for a conveyance. Mangu drove towards him. The Gora soldier wanted to be carried to the dancing girls’ bazaar. To recover the amount spent on the new plume of his horse, Mangu demanded five rupees for the service.
The demand of five rupees caused a violent bickering between the two. The Gora soldier hit Mangu with his stick. Mangu’s thigh was injured. He flew into exasperation. He thought that the new constitution was in force. So under the illusion of equal rights, he hit a blow under the chin of the soldier. Many blows followed. He gave the soldier a sound beating.
In desperation, the soldier began to shout for help. Soon a crowd gathered there. Police also appeared on the scene. Mangu was apprehended. He shouted, “New constitution!” “New constitution!” But he was told that there was no new constitution. At last, the common Indian was put behind the bars and it got proved that the British were still in rule.
QUESTION NO. 7
(a) Why does Eve turn down every offer of Rosen in “Take Pity”?
(b) How does the Swallow sacrifice his life for the love of the Happy Prince?
(c) Describe the effect of romantic love on the adolescent mind of the Small Boy. (Araby)
(a) Eva’s Refusal to Rosen’s Help
Hitler kills relatives, migration ruins business, disease snatches husband and daughters become burden. So Eva is in a great predicament. God takes pity and sends an angel of help named Rosen. However, Eva rejects all his offers of help because she likes self-dependence, possesses self-respect and loves her lat husband very much.
Firstly, Eva wants to lead an independent life. She thinks that nobody will marry a poor widow with two daughters. Even Rosen is ready for marriage but she refuses. She fears that the sick Rosen will soon leave her in the lurch like that of her sick husband. Thus she says, “I had enough with sick men”.
Secondly, she is a paragon of self-respect. She has a firm belief in her own integrity. Rosen’s pity, charity, love and marriage proposal all hurt her self-respect. She prefers starvation and loneliness to disgrace of her self-respect. Hence she plainly says no to each and every offer of help by Rosen.
Thirdly, she has a great love for her late husband. She still calls hem “My Alex”. She does not want to let his name down. In the end it seems that she goes to Rosen’s window to surrender. But it is just the hallucination of Rosen as he wants to see her breaking down before him. But Eva never breaks down.
(b) The Role of Swallow
The Swallow is a very lovely character in the short story “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilder. At the start of the story, he is shown to be a romantic bird who believes in physical love. However, as the tale advances, he falls in true love with the statue of a prince. Gradually his love is transformed into agape. The love for which he postpones his seasonal migratory flight towards Egypt, becomes an agent of charity and even sacrifices his life.
The Swallow is migrating to Egypt where he is awaited by his friends. However, on the request of the statue, he procrastinates his journey three times. On the first night he stops to help a seamstress and his ill son with the ruby from the statue’s sword-hilt. On the second night he delays his trip to help a starving playwright with one of the sapphire eye of the statue. On the third night he stays to succor a destitute match-girl with the other sapphire eye of the statue.
When the statue becomes blind of both eyes, the Swallow decides to live with him forever, He flies over the city and narrates the sufferings and miseries of the people to the statue. One by one he plucks the gold leaves that cover the body of the statue and distributes them among the indigent of the city. In the meantime, snow is followed by frost. The Swallow grows colder and colder. In his moribundity, he flies to the statue’s shoulder, kisses him on the lips and falls down dead at his feet.
(c) Effect of Romantic Love
According to Freud, a love which has a blocked sexual urge is called romantic love. “Araby” by James Joyce beautifully depicts the effect of romantic love on the adolescent mind of a small boy who is infatuated with the sister of a play-mate. This is the boy’s first and unrequited love which makes him an imaginative dude, parasitical follower and sentimental fool.
Firstly, love makes the boy highly imaginative. He is always obsessed in the sweet thoughts of his sweet-heart. He always keeps her with him in his imagination. At day in the class-room and at night in the bed-room, he envisages her beautiful “brown figure” between him and the page of book he strives to read.
Secondly, love converts him into a parasitical follower. He wants to hang around his beloved all the time. Every morning, he lies on the floor of his front room and anxiously waits for his beloved to come our of her house for school. As soon as she comes at her doorstep, he quickly takes his books and follows her to that point where their ways diverge.
Thirdly, love makes him a sentimental fool. He promises his darling to procure a souvenir for her from “Araby”. Being late, his aunt advised him to postpone his trip. His uncle gives him a little money. However, love compels him to visit “Araby”. With a little money in the almost closed bazaar, he confronts with epiphany and returns home empty handed.
QUESTION NO. 8
(a) How does E.A. Poe build an atmosphere of horror in “Tell-Tale Heart”?
(b) “The Necklace” is a satire on the vanity of women. Discuss.
(c) How does the story “The Duchess and the Jeweler” reflect the moral decadence of the English aristocracy?
(a) Horror in “The Tell-Tale Heart”
A very strong feeling of fear, shock or disgust is called horror. In “The Tell – Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe, horror plays a tremendously vital role in the execution of the tale. The reason of the murder, the procedure of killing, the dismembering of the corpse and the relentless heart-beat of the dead man are the major elements of horror in the story.
Firstly, the motive of the murder creates horror. The narrator wants to eliminate a harmless and offenceless old man simply because of his physical deformity. One of the eyes of the old man is abnormal. The narrator labels it a “vulture eye”. The eye chills him to the backbone. The revulsion exceeds to such an extent that he decides to kill the old man, perhaps his master.
Secondly, the process of killing generates horror. For seven nights, the narrator goes to kill the old man. The eye being closed, he takes no action. However, on the eighth night, the old man wakes at a certain noise. After gloating over his victim’s fear an hour, the protagonist lets out a ray of light at the “evil eye”. The sight infuriates him. He pounces upon the old man and smothers him under bed.
Thirdly, the corpse of the old man fills us with shuddering horror. We feel near nausea when the merciless killer hacks the corpse into pieces to conceal it under the wooden planks of the floor. The horror gets intensified manifold when the conscience of the killer begins to hear the relentless throbbing of the dead man’s heart getting louder and louder each moment.
(b) Satire on Vanity of Women
A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision or wit is called satire. “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant is an excellent satire on the vanity of women. Through the characters of Matilda and Forestier, the writer has satirized three aspects of women’s vanity; discontent with life, excessive pride in physical beauty and egoism to hide truth.
Firstly, women’s dissatisfaction with life has been satirized. Vanity is, in fact, the quality of being vain and valueless. Matilda is not satisfied with her poor husband, humble house and other modest belongings. The absence of expensive stuff in her life makes fer feel worthless and futile. The writer condemns this vain and pessimistic attitude of life.
Secondly, women’s excessive pride in their physical beauty has be criticized. Matilda is very proud of her physical beauty. To become a beauty queen at a ball, she procures a costly frock and barrows a diamond necklace which are symbols of her vanity. The writer manifests that vanity has a fall. The necklace is lost and Matilda has to pay a heavy price for it.
Thirdly, women’s egoism to hide the truth has been ridiculed. It is the egoism of Forestier that she does not tell Matilda that the necklace is fake. Similarly, Matilda does not tell Forestier that the necklace has been lost. Thus both women have fear of being original and this attitude is intimately connected to vanity or vainglory.
(c) Moral Decadence of the English Aristocracy
The act or process of falling into an inferior condition is called decadence. The story “The Duchess and the Jeweller” written in 1938 by Virginia Woolf clearly reflects the decadence of moral values of the English aristocracy after the Victorian Era. Gambling, stealing, cheating, greediness and insolence were the prevailing vices among the elite class. There are two main characters in the story — Oliver Bacon and a Duchess. These characters fully reflect the moral decadence of the English aristocracy.
Oliver Bacon is a representative of naoveau aristocracy. His character amply reveals the moral decadence of the contemporary upper class. He is a very greedy man. Even though he has become the richest jeweler in England, yet he is not satisfied. Moreover, he is a philanderer. He has deceived Mademoiselle who used to stick roses in his button hole. Now he buys fake pearls from the Duchess in exchange of passing a weekend with her daughter Diana, his new beloved.
On the other hand, the Duchess represents inherited aristocracy. Her character also highlights the lax ethics of the nobility of that time. She is a thief. In order to get money for gambling, she steal the pearls of her husband. She has no respect for her husband. She calls him villain, sharper and bad’un. She is so bankrupt morally that she stakes the honour of her daughter for money. She offers her daughter Diana for amour to Oliver Bacon in her own house.
QUESTION NO. 9
(a) The Wife in “The Shadow in the Rose Garden” cannot help digging her past. Discuss.
(b) Describe the love between the French Soldier and the Panther.
(c) How is Lisby different from her elder sister?
(a) The Wife — A Nostalgic Character
Some memories fade away with the passage of time. However, the reminiscence of first love refuses to wither away. The Wife in “The Shadow in the Rose Garden” by D.H. Lawrence still retrospects her first love passionately. Her issuelessness, choosing a familiar place for outing and ejaculation of pent-up emotions prove that she cannot help digging her past.
Firstly, the Wife is childless. She married Frank three years ago. Since then she has been living with him in Bridlington under the same roof. However, she has not given birth to a baby. It means she has not compromised with her present. She has not developed conjugality with her husband. In other words, she still loves her past.
Secondly, when the husband arranges for an outing, the Wife deliberately selects a sea-side village to revive her yore. Here there is her sweet memorial place, a rose garden. She visits this garden alone. This lush, enchanted garden, filled with red, pink and white roses reminds her of the time spent there with Archie, her erstwhile lover.
Thirdly, her discharging of repressed emotions shows her love for past. In the garden, she encounters Archie. Watching him alive but mad perturbs her greatly. Her mind is so full of the memories of past that it refuses to hide the present shock. Thus after coming back the garden, she blurts out a confession of her affair with Archie to her husband.
(b) Love Between the French Soldier
and the Panther
An emotion of strong affection and personal attachment is called love. “A Passion in the Desert” by Honore De Balzac is a wonderful love fantasy. It describes a strange type of love between a human and a beast. The male lover is an escaped French soldier while the female lover is a panther. Their encounter in a den of desert gradually develops into a love affair between the two.
On the morning of second day of his escape, the soldier dares to caress the panther. Love begets love. The panther wags her tail voluptuously. Soon they become friends. The soldier calls her with loving names. However, being apprehensive of her ferocity, he once tries to flee but falls in a quicksand. The panther comes to his rescue. She seizes him by the collar and pulls him up.
After this incident, the love between the two grows strong. The soldier says to the panther, “We’re bound together for life and death.” From that time the desert seems inhabited to him. On the other hand, the panther becomes jealous in love. Once when the soldier shows interest in an eagle, she shows her jealously by growling and hopping about.
Love takes a trial. The soldier again tries to desert the panther. She clutches his leg in her jaws to keep him back. He misunderstands that the panther is going to devour him. So he stabs her with his digger. In her moribundity, she looks at the wild soldier without any anger or enmity. She dies there and then but wins in the trial of love.
(c) Difference Between Lisby and Her Sisters
Lisby Avery is the heroine of the short story “The Little Willow” by Frances Towers. She has two elder sisters, Charlotte and Brenda. When we have a comparative study of the characters of the three sisters, we find that Lisby is quite different from her siblings. Her beaut, love and morality do not correspond with that of her sisters.
Firstly, Lisby is not physically attractive and glamorous but has a tremendous inner beauty. On the other hand, hers sisters lack spiritual beauty but outwardly they are ‘charmers’. They wear dresses of bright eye-catching colours. Charlotte has a face like La Belle Ferroniere and Brenda has the flower-like delicacy of Piero della Francesca.
Secondly, Lisby believes in true love. She only loves Simon Byrne and remains constant in her love. As for her sisters, they are playful and flirting girls. They pretend to be in love with all the eligible army officers who visit the Court House. Their love is selfish and business like. In short, they are “the types of the seductive woman in any age”.
Thirdly, Lisby is a moral girl. Even the war has not perturbed her morality. She still likes “the picture” that belongs to her forefathers. This shows her love and respect for her ancestors. However, her sisters are heartless, insensitive and immoral. The deaths of their erstwhile lovers have no effect on them. Thus they remind us one of Keats’ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.”
QUESTION NO. 10
(a) Discuss the play “The Bear” as a farce.
(b) What is the conflict between Uncle James and his nephew, Philip?
(c) Why has Primrose decided to marry an ugly man?
(a) “The Bear” As a Farce
Farce is a kind of low comedy that raises roars of laughter rather than smile. “The Bear” by Anton Chekhov is an outstanding archetype of this genre. The exaggerative characters, ludicrous situations and improbable plot are the major farcical elements in the play that produce belly laughs, slapstick humour and rumbustious entertainment.
Firstly, the play has exaggerative characters. They are alazons. They inflate themselves to be more than they actually are. Smirnov exposes himself a misogynist. However, the way he exploits flattery to win Popova’s love makes us giggle. Popova claims that she is inconsolably bereaved but her powdered face and passionate embrace with Smirnov give us a hearty cachinnation.
Secondly, the play is pregnant with ludicrous situations. Popova’s refusal to pay back Smirnov the loan, Popova’s accepting Smirnov’s challenge to fight a duel with pistol and Smirnov’s teaching Popova how to fire a pistol are the most ludicrous and ridiculous situations in the play. These situations breed a great hee-haw and guffaw.
Thirdly, the plot of the play is improbable. It is full of suspense but the suspense, curiously enough, is titillating, rather than grim. The twist at the end of the plot is quite humorous. In masquerades the expected tragedy into comedy. Thus the end, obviously makes the readers or the spectators laugh a great deal. Ha! Ha! Ha! …………!
(b) Conflict Between Philip and Uncle James
The opposition between two things is called conflict. In “The Boy Comes Home” by A.A. Milne, the element of conflict is very prominent. Almost all the five characters are in conflict but the agon between Philip and Uncle James is the soul of the play. The majot factors which establish conflict between the two are: punctuality, manners and Philip’s career.
The first conflict starts at breakfast on the issue of punctuality. Philip has just repatriated from a nerve-shattering war. So he is in a mood of holiday. He wakes up late in the morning. He demands his breakfast at 10 o’clock. Uncle James does not approve his unpunctuality. He has made a strict rule in his house to have breakfast at 8 o’clock sharp.
The second conflict takes place in a dream on the matter of decorums. While waiting for Philip in the morning room, Uncle James naps in front of the fire. He dreams that Philip has a cigar in his hand. He lights it and starts puffing in front of his uncle without any permission. Uncle James does not like it at all.
The third conflict is seen in the dream on the concern of Philip’s employment. Philip wants to be an architect while his uncle tries to push him into his jam business. A showdown starts between the two. James exploits the power of money and Philip uses the power of revolver. Philip wins. However, when James wakes up, Philip is ready to join the jam business.
(c) Primrose’s Decision to Marry an Ugly Man
The ugly husband is a secret to successful marriage. The Beauty and the Beast make the most positive and supportive couple. Primrose, the heroine of the play “Smoke-Screens” by Herold Brighouse, has realized it. She is a beautiful young girl of twenty. She has decided to marry an ugly man, John, because he is a very loving, solvent and secure man.
Firstly, she has decided to marry the ugly man because he is a very amorous and loving person at heart. He makes her feel all funny inside. He hits her where she matters. His love has made her blind to his physical ugliness. And love between a man and a woman is an insanity that is only cured by marriage.
Secondly, she has proposed to marry the unattractive man because he is well-established financially. He is an international player of a very earning game, the rugby football. Moreover, he is one of the most successful advertising agents in London. Thus she will have no financial problems after marriage. She will roll in money.
Thirdly, she wants to marry the hideous man because he is very secure. Since he is ugly, he is not a lady-killer. She will have not worries regarding his running after other women or other women running after him. In other words, he will remain a monogamous husband. He will not desert her the way her charming father has deserted her mother.
(a) In the light of Liaquat Ali Khan’s speech, explain the circumstances which led to the creation of Pakistan.
(b) What is the significance of the conclusion that “the whole fabric of civilization was modeled and moulded”?
(c) “Whistling of Birds” shows its writer’s love for nature. Elaborate.
(a) Circumstances for the Creation of Pakistan
Irreconcilable differences eventually lead to inevitable separation. In his speech “Pakistan and the Modern World”
delivered at Kansas University America in 1950, Quaid-e-Millat, Liaquat Ali Khan brought to light the circumstances which led to the creation of Pakistan. These circumstances were, in fact, the deep-rooted differences between the Muslims and the Hindus. The Muslims and the Hindus were poles apart demographically, religiously, socially and economically. Thus Hindu-Muslim unity and amity were impossible in the sub-continent.
Demographically, the Muslims were a minority as compared with the Hindus. Religiously, the Muslims were monotheists while the Hindus were polytheists. Socially, the Muslims believed in the equality of all men whereas the Hindus adhered to a caste system. Economically, the Muslims advocated private ownership and the Hindus attached weight to the concentration of wealth. Thus the Muslims and the Hindus were different in everything and must need different territories. Their co-existence was incongruous. Moreover, the sub-continent was vast enough for two large countries.
The demand of the Muslims for divorce was very genuine and reasonable as it was in the interest of both the Muslims and the Hindus. It was also in the interest of the world peace. The bogus peace enforced by the British would have ended after the departure of the British from the sub-continent. In short, a separate homeland was inevitable for the Muslims to live peacefully and according to their own political, religious, social and economical life style.
There is no place like home
All must have a home of their own
(b) Significance of the Conclusion
Conclusion is, in fact, a logical end of something. As far as the conclusion of the essay “The Eclipse” by Virginia Woolf is concerned, it is very significant. The phrase “the whole fabric of civilization was modelled and moulded” shows the importance of the sun in the system of universe, strengthens our belief in Allah Almighty and discloses the worth of those things which are found after their loss.
Firstly, the conclusion signifies the importance of the sun for the world. After the eclipse, the light is restored in the sun. This light transforms the entire structure of human civilization into its original shape and splendor. Once again, the world becomes bright, colourful and popolous. The farmhouses, the villages and railway lines become the centre of activity. Thus the sun is the flesh and blood of this world.
Secondly, the conclusion strengthens our trust in Allah Almighty. An eclipse is a natural phenomenon. It warns that man’s place on this earth is very precarious. All the advancements in knowledge and science cannot overcome this helplessness of man. However, the return of light in the sun gives us a message of hope and substantiates our faith in Allah Almighty Who is controlling all the processes of the universe.
Thirdly, the conclusion implies that losing something makes us realize the importance of that thing. The sun is lost for twenty-four seconds during this eclipse. However, when it is revived we realize that nothing is more important to us than the sun.
The thing that is found after its loss is called heaven.
(Wasif Ali Wasif)
(c) Writer’s Love for Nature
D.H. Lawrence is a platonic lover of nature so he loves nature from both sides of the coin. His essay “Whistling of Birds”
shows his absorbing love for nature. His faithful description of objects of nature, beautiful presentation of phenomena of nature and acknowledgement of nature’s merciless potential, are evidence of his love for nature.
Firstly, his faithful description of objects of nature shows his strong affinity with nature. The presence of lambs, turtles and doves etc, in this essay, symbolizes his love for animals whereas daphne, crocus and celandine denote his love for plants. Both animals and plants are the living objects of nature and the writer is a lover of them.
Secondly, his beautiful presentation of the spectacular phenomena of nature demonstrates his love for nature. He describes frost, wind, sunset and twilight as a lover describes the features of his beloved. He has presented these divine acts to portray two other great natural phenomena; winter and spring. However, the writer’s love for nature is the greatest natural phenomena.
Thirdly, the writer’s love for nature has recognized nature’s merciless potential. That is why he has given the dismal details of lacerated cadavers of lapwings, starlings, thrushes, red-wings and numerous other creatures. In short, the writer is an avid lover of nature’s duality.
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face
(a) Describe Gloria Emerson’s experience of parachute jumping.
(b) Give an account of the disaster occurred on August 9, 1945 at Nagasaki, as given by Ichimaru.
(c) Why does Yeats include a comparison of his grandmother with his grandfather?
(a) Experience of Parachute Jumping
The act of exiting an aircraft and returning to earth with the aid of a parachute is called parachute jumping. In her essay “Take the Plunge”, Gloria Emerson has beautifully described her personal experience of parachute jumping. She has given a candid detail of all the major stages of parachute jumping; diving, descending and landing.
After completing her training, she wore her jump suit, boats and parachute. Then she boarded “Cessna 180″ along with a companion. Reaching an altitude of twenty three hundred feet, her companion made a smooth jump. Then it was her turn. She became nervous. However, on being harshly ordered by her instructor, she dived in harassment.
The parachute was deployed immediately. In a moment, her fear was gone. She saw the endless sky and the beautiful earth in wonderful colours and textures. Even the wind felt kind, and the trees looked soft. The parachute became the most lovable and docile toy. She was so tingled with excitement that she wanted to stay in the air forever.
However, the landing was inevitable. She safely landed on her feet in a sandpit with a bump. At last, the most beautiful and thrilling experience of her life came to an end. She was praised by many people for her courage and determination. From this experience she also came to know
“Only skydivers know why the birds sing.”
(b) Disaster Occurred at Nagasaki
The study of the essay “Nagasaki, August 9, 1945″ by Michaito Ichimaru gives us a detailed narration of the destruction caused by the atom bomb in Nagasaki, the city of Japan, on August 9, 1945. The atom bomb was dropped by Allied forces. The picture of the ruin comes alive before our eyes through the impressive narration of the writer.
The writer narrates that it was a sunny day. All of a sudden, at 11 am a b-29 appeared and dropped an atom bomb. The black rain started to fall. The blue sky turned to black. The air dose of radiation was more than 700 raids. The people who were coming back from hypo-center were in miserable condition. “Their clothes were in rags and shreds of skin hung from their bodies”.
Thousands of people were seriously injured. The noise of their cries was unbearable. They looked like ghosts. They too died after a few day. The dead bodies were large in number that it was a big problem to dispose them off. So they were piled up and burnt with the help of woods. Everywhere there was death and destruction.
To sum up, it was an awful, horrible and terrible tragedy which befell the people of Nagasaki on that day.
(c) Comparison Between Grandmother
The essay “My Grandfather” by W.B. Yeats basically presents the memories of writer’s childhood, especially related to maternal. However, greater part of the essay reveals a character analysis of Yeats’ grandfather and grandmother.
The writer says that his grandfather, William Pollex Fen, was a man of his own nature. Though he was never harsh or unkind to him, yet it was a practice to fear and praise him. Physically he was very strong besides having a hard temper. He could even handle the burglars himself instead of going to the law. Being the only son of his parents, he had very few friends. This shows his nature of remaining alone, though he has acquaintance with some famous people. All his children were afraid of their proud father.
As far as Yeats’ grandmother is concerned, she was totally different sort of character. She was kind-hearted, considerate and helpful by nature. Though she once punished him because he was playing with a servant, yet he always loved to be in her company. Moreover, she had a fantastic aesthetic nature and admirer of art. Her room was beautifully decorated with different paintings. She always took keen interest in looking after her garden. In short, she had a personality of her own and everybody loved and admired her.
These were the writer’s views about his grandfather and grandmother. Yeats has included a comparison of their characters to magnify the salient features of each characters. This comparison also shows the difference between man and woman, particularly old ones.
(a) Why does Leacock regard the tailor as “immortal”?
(b) Point out the examples of irony and humour in Huxley’s essay “The Beauty Industry”.
(c) “Doctoring is not even the art of keeping people in health”. How far do you agree with Shaw?
(a) My Tailor – An Immortal Character
When the writer came to know of his tailor’s sudden death he was shocked. He thought that he should enjoy life for ever. He was like something fixed and permanent surrounded by the tailoring shop. He had been dealing near him for the last thirty years. However, during this long association, he did not analyze any change in his character and nature. Hence he considered him an immortal figure.
He had always found him at indistinguishable place and in the same posture. He always stood contained by the back part of his shop with a measure tape around his neck. He always welcome the writer with a smiling face. He spread the suit material on his lift knee to show it to the writer. He measured only his chest and flattered him saying that it be a little fuller than before. Then he would ask the writer if he needed anything in shirting and hosiery. In the appendage he talked about weather. The date of delivery be always a weak from Tuesday. The building and the payment be always done by correspondence.
The writer had never seen any shift in the behavior of his tailor. His posture, his speech and his movements remained unchanged for such a long time. So, the writer expected that his tailor would always be nearby standing and greeting his customers. For the writer, he is a static figure, a type of personality that is not bound to change. That is why he calls him “an immortal figure”.
(b) Irony and Humor in
“The Beauty Industry”
Overall research indicates that 90% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance. In his essay “The Beauty Industry” Aldous Huxley describes the women of modern world who indulge themselves in the habit of using excess of cosmetics by using a literacy device, comic irony. In order to make his point of view forceful and impressive, he has mixed humour with irony.
By humour we mean presenting something in the most ridiculous manner, whereas irony is used to say something and suggest something else. The writer has employed these two literary terms quite artistically to criticize the modern women, who use cosmetics just to look attractive.
The writer humorously attaches the privilege of being attractive and beautiful to the feminine side and gives the figure of 130 million pounds which is used on this activity, almost twice the revenue of India. He humorously says that it is all because of the race to look attractive. However, he, very ironically says that today’s women try to be more attractive and less virtuous than their grandmothers. His ironical but a bit humorous remarks that the campaign for more physical beauty seems to be both a tremendous success and lamentable failure, are full of meaning and purpose.
In short, in an ironical and humorous manner, the writer has tried to condemn the negative approach of women towards life.
(c) Doctoring is not the art of
keeping people in health
“Doctoring is not even the art of keeping the people in health” is a thought-provoking remark of G.W. Shaw in his essay “Are Doctors Men of Science?”. This remark is quite justified and I too agree with him. Through this remark he is trying to tell us that the duty of a doctor is only to cure illness and not to keep people healthy. A doctor is always consulted when a person is only suffering from some kind of ailment. In that case the doctor only diagnoses the ailment and prescribes the suitable medicine for its remedy. This means he is not trying to keep his patient healthy but only curing the particular disease.
To keep oneself healthy demands more than just medicine i.e., proper diet, proper exercise and proper fitness. If a person has all these things, then he remains healthy. Hence, keeping oneself healthy and curing a disease, are poles apart. These are two different fields. Doctors only deal with one field and ignore the other. Hence, Shaw’s remark “Doctoring is not even the art of keeping people in health” is quite right and justified.
(a) How does Max Beerbohm differentiate between Hosts and Guests?
(b) What are the real problems faced by a bachelor?
(c) “It is very easy to see fanaticism in other people, but difficult to spot in oneself”. Is it really so?
(a) Difference Between Hosts and Guests
Offering or accepting hospitality is a quality found in every human being. On the basis of it, Max Beerbohm in his essay “Hosts and Guests” has divided the whole mankind into two distinct classes; hosts and guests like Gelett Burgess has divided it into Bromides and Sulphites. Although this classification is only on the theoratical level, he has clearly drawn the general, temperamental and circumstantial differences between these two classes.
Firstly, the writer tells the general difference between these two classes. A person gets the label of a host if he invites someone to dine with him at a restaurant, orders the meal and bears the expenses. On the other hand a person gets the label of a guest if he accepts the invitation with delight, praises the food while eating, does not pay the bill and feels a pleasant sensation of not paying for it.
Secondly, the writer gives the temperamental dissimilarity between these two groups. Every human being is either a host or a guest by instinct. He is a born-host or a born-guest. His instinct dominates his personality. A person is a host if he possesses an active or positive instinct to offer hospitality. On the other hand a person is a guest if he has a passive or negative instinct to accept the hopitality.
Thirdly, there are circumstantial differences between hosts and guests. Circumstances react on the character. Conventionally, the rich give and the poor receive. Riches often nurture the instincts of a host and poverty usually fosters the instincts of a guest. The rich and the poor is an undisputed division, however, the rich as hosts and the poor as guests is a poor one. Some poor persons also love to entertain others.
(b) Problems Faced By a Bachelor
The essay “Bachelor’s Dilemma” by Herbert Gold highlights the problems faced by a bachelor in this world, especially in American society. The writer says a bachelor is a person who does not know where he stands in this civilized society. He has no belief, no notions, and no aims in life. His life is much disorganized. He always finds himself on the verge of some dilemma. He always feels himself alone in this world. Probably, he finds himself misfit in this environement but having no alternative where to go. He is often found in parties wandering alone.
When a bachelor looks into a mirror, he has an altogether different idea about himself. The mirror gives him the reflection of a healthy young man with a lot of time, chance, and money; who can eat, drink, and roam at will. He feels himself free without a wife or children to look after. But same mirror sometimes gives him some displeasing aspects as well. He feels himself alone and unwanted by society.
There are two major types of bachelors. There is one who is handsome, charming and always in search of new girls and even getting them. The other is a bit mediocre, always considering himself a hero in dreams. He has intimacy with pretty girls only in imagination, but a failure in real life. He always tosses in bed but sometimes fortunate enough to get a meeker like him as a partner. But the problem with both of them is that they are not satisfied with themselves. They always need true love but seldom get and always get what they do not want.
In short, these are some common problems faced by an American bachelor as expressed in this essay.
(c) Finding Fanaticism in Other People
Fanaticism means excessive intolerance of opposing views. It is an unnecessay and unreasonable enthusiasm for one’s doctrine or stand-point. In his essay “Tolerance”, E.M. Forster says, “It is very easy to see fanaticism in other people, but difficult to spot in oneself”. If we deeply look into the matter, we find out that it is really so. It is because people lack tolerance. They are egoists, self-confirming and findfaulters.
Firstly, it is easy to see fanaticism in others and difficult to spot in oneself because people lack tolerance. Tolerance is a dull virtue so it is almost missing in all spheres of life — in the queue, in the street, in the railway station, in the office, at the factory, at the telephone and above all among classes, races and nations. Absense of tolerance and compromise makes people narrow-minded and fanatic.
Secondly, people are egocentric. They consider tolerance a weakness or surrender. These people are responsible for the colour questions and racial prejudices. They produce hatred among people and disturb the peace of society. They do not understand that putting up with people does not mean yielding to them. It only means to be broad-minded, libral, calm and patient.
Thirdly, people are self-confirmig and findfaulters. They consider their thinking, beliefs and creeds correct, truthful and the highest of all. They do not respect the ideas of others. For example, the Englishmen ususlly accuse the Nazis of being intolerant to the Jews. But are they not equally guilty of being prejudicial to the Black? Thus the writer rightly says, “It is very easy to see fanaticism in other people, but difficult to spot in oneself”.
(a) “If bad manners are infectious, so also are good manners”. Elaborate.
(b) How does Bertrand Russel prove that all “fanatical creeds” are harmful to mankind?
(c) How do various vitamins keep human body fit?
(a) Manners are Infectious
Infectious means liable to be transmitted to people. In his essay “On Saying Please” Alpha of the Plough has very aptlycommented on good and bad manners as infectious. If the bad manners of one person influence others and make them rude and ill-tempered; the good manners of one person also affect others and make them polite and kind. The writer has propagated his view point with two examples.
The first example is of bad manners. A fellow did not say “please” to a lift-operator and was thrown of the lift by him. May be that fellow has had a quarrel with his wife on breakfast table. The wife might have been annoyed by the cook who might have been irritated on the behaviour of the house-maid. Thus due to one person’s discourtesy, a chain action started and so many people were infected with it.
The second example is of good manners. A bus conductor on London routes was very nice and helpful to his passengers. He treated the blind, the old and the young ones carefully and lovingly. He even gave the writer a ticket when the writer boarded his bus without any money in his pockets. His civility radiated comfort, joy and peace. As a result his passengers could not help being nice and polite.
In short, the writer has rightly said that manners are infectious; whether they are bad or good. Like infections they travel from person to person leaving their bitter or sweet taste in the environment. They quickly spread from one person to another like a contagious disease. As we live in a society so the ways and manners of people are bound to affect others.
(b) Harmfulness of Fanatical Creeds
Bertrand Russell in his essay “Science and Values” says that all fanatical creeds are harmful to mankind. The desire for a fanatical creed is one of the greatest evils in human history. The examples of fanatical creeds are: “All Catholics will go to Hell” as said by the Protestants and “All Protestants will go to Hell” as asserted by the Catholics; “All Muslims are infidels” as said by the Christians and “All Christians are infidels” as alleged by the Muslims; “All Jews belong to the worst race on earth” as claimed by the German Nazis while “All Jews are the salt of the earth as professed by the Jews.
Such fanatical creeds have caused nothing but bloodshed and massacre. This has happened in its worst shape in the late Roman Empire whose climax turned into a permanent downfall in 476 AD. Next the same ugly situation arose in the Renaissance of the 16th century. The fanatical creeds of Plotinus took their origin in Plato’s utopia of eternal world. The worshipers of Mithra founded their fanatical creeds in a solar paradise. The early Christians even started persecuting each other for minor deviations of their fanatical creeds. The supporters of Trotsky founded their fanatical creeds in the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 for the forcible enforcement of communism. All these totally different fanatical creeds of Christians Catholicism and Russian Communism have been claiming heavenly salvation at the cost of earthly salvation.
However, science on the other hand aims at the spread of earthly salvation on the condition of all kinds of tolerance for each other.
(c) Importance of Vitamins for Human Body
A vitamin is an organic compound required by an organism as a vital nutrient in limited amounts. There are thirteen vitamins that a human body needs for health and fitness. These include four fat-soluble vitamins; A,D,E and K, and nine water soluble vitamins; 8 B vitamins and vitamin C. In his essay “The Vitamins”, Dr. Kenneth Walker has beautifully described the role of various vitamins for human body.
Each vitamin has specific jobs. Vitamins A plays a really big part in body growth, immune system and eye-sight. Vitamin D is necessay for strong bones and E is indispensable for fertility. Vitamin K is the clot-master. B vitamins help human body to synthesize proteins and energy. Vitamin C helps to heal cuts and wounds. Thus vitamins play a significant role in keeping the human body healthy and fit.
Deficiency and excess of vitamins also affect human health. The dearth of vitamin A may lead to a curious condition of the eye called xerophthalmia. The lack of vitamin D can cause rickets. One of major causes of human infertility is the lack of vitamin E. Beri-beri and pellagra are caused by the scarcity of B vitamins. Similary high dose of some vitamins may make human body sick.
In short, for the fitness of human body an adequate quantity of vitamin is inevitable. If the vitamins are missing from human diet, then the supply of mere carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals fail to keep us in proper state of health. The writer also proscribes us to take vitamins in the form of tablets. We must get them from fresh vegetables, fruits, cereals and meat to keep our body robust.
QUESTION NO. 16
(a) What is personification? Explain personification in “Leisure”.
(b) What in your opinion is the most fanciful image in “Tartary”?
(c) What are the new year resolutions of Elizabeth Sewell?
(a) Personification in “Leisure”
Personification is a literary device. It is an ontological metaphor in which an inanimate object or abstraction is represented as a living person. In his poem “Leisure”, William Davies has personified Beauty. He has given it the qualities of a young girl who has dancing feet, sensory eyes and smiling lips.
Firstly, Madam Beauty has feet. These are the terminal structures of her body which have bones, muscles and joints. With these anatomical structures, she is leaping, jumping, skipping, hopping and jiving. Unfortunately, modern man has no time to enjoy the ballet of this ballerina.
Secondly, Beauty is blessed with eyes. These are the optical organs of her figure which have attraction and perception. With these sensual organs, she not only detects light but also smile from her milieu. Ironically, modern man has grown blind to his surroundings.
Thirdly, Beauty possesses lips. These are the expressive organs of her physique which gain smile from the eyes. Although the smile takes no time to reach the lips yet modern man is so busy in his worldly pursuits that he cannot wait for the arrival of smile on the beautiful face of Beauty.
(b) The Most Fanciful Image
In Literature, a word or expression that refers to an object or quality which appeals to one or more of the senses and the feelings is called image. In his poem, “Tartary”, Walter De La Mare has employed at least twenty concrete images. In fact, the whole poem is a succession of visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile and kinetic images. So it is difficult to say which of the images is more fanciful than the others.
However, if we are forced to select the most fanciful i.e., unreal and wonderful image, then it is the kinetic image made in the last four lines of the third stanza of the poem. Here the poet says:
“And ere should wane the morning-star,
I’d don my robe and scimitar,
And zebras seven should draw my car
Through Tartary’s dark glades.”
This is the most fanciful image because it is totally different from reality and is very wonderful. The other images — the bed of ivory, the throne of gold, peacocks in the court, tigers in the forests, fish in the pools, colourful lamps, musical instruments and objects of Nature — are delightful images but they represent real scenes. However,the image of gorgeously attired potentate of Tartary, riding a chariot driven by seven zebras is pure fancy.
(c) Resolutions of the Poetess
Ever since the Babylonian Age, people have been making new year resolutions to improve their life style. In her poem, “New Year Resolutions”, Elizabeth Sewell has mapped out three revolutionary resolutions before the dawn of the new year. She resolves to remain most of the time silent, think about what she is and face the realities with contention.
Firstly, she resolves that she will not talk, murmur or whisper much in her future. Instead of drinking wine, she will “drain long draughts of quiet” as a medical tonic to purify her soul. She thinks that quietude will cure her spiritual and moral diseases like lie, backbiting and slander etc.
Secondly, she pledges that she will engage herself in introspection two times everyday. She will try to discover the reality about her inner personality. She will remind herself of her responsibilities and liabilities. She thinks that self-identity will be a school of profundity, morality and wisdom for her.
Thirdly, she decides to grabble with the realities of life. No doubt, reality has “bony arms”. But she is not an escapist like Walter De La Mare and Maya Angelou. She is a realist and believes in the fact, “Truth is Beauty”. She hopes that reality will give her self-satisfaction, blessed relief and spiritual exultation.
QUESTION NO. 17
(a) Write a character-sketch of the woman as depicted in “Woman Work”.
(b) Discuss the poem “Patriot into Traitor” as a dramatic monologue.
(c) Do you agree with Elizabeth Bishop that the art of losing is not hard to master?
(a) Character of Woman
In Literature, a mental image of a person is called character and a character who represents a class or group is called type. In her poem, “Woman Work”, Maya Angelou has delineated a type of a traditional house woman who represents the hardworking women of proletariat. She is a poor and responsible woman who loves nature very much.
Firstly, she is a poor lady. She has no spare money to get the clothes mended by a tailor. She cannot afford a maid to do her domestic chores. She cannot keep a gardener to look after her garden. She lives in a ramshackle hut. She is unable to get the expensive pleasures of life. In fact, these are the obvious signs of her poverty.
Secondly, she is a responsible matron. Her sense of responsibility has made her a dutiful, hardworking and patient being. She does at least twelve works from dawn to dusk but has no complains. She looks after the children. She buys, cooks and serves the food. She not only manages her house but also maintains her garden. In short, she is a busy machine.
Thirdly, she is a lover of nature. Instead of enjoying the company of her children, she wants to enjoy the company of nature. She wishes to enjoy sunshine, rain, dewdrops, storms and snow-flakes. Addressing the objects and phenomena of nature she says, “You’re all that I can call my own”
. She has idealized nature because idealization is necessary for survival.
(b) A Dramatic Monologue
Dramatic monologue refers to a type of poetry and Robert Browning is master in it. It is a “mono-drama in verse”. Like many other dramatic monologues of Browning “Patriot into Traitor” is also a fine example of this genre because it has a single speaker, a silent audience and dramatic situation.
Firstly, the poem has a solitary speaker who is patently not the poet. He is an erstwhile worshipful leader who is receiving unearned punishment. In this critical situation, he is freely giving vent to his feelings to reveal the inner working of his mind. He is, in fact, “a soul in action”.
Secondly, the poem has a silent audience. There is no dialogue between the speaker and the audience. This audience consists of people who adore or abhor someone unexpectedly. This implied presence of an auditor distinguishes this dramatic monologue from a soliloquy in which the speaker is alone.
Thirdly, the poem presents a tragic dramatic situation. It invokes in us feelings of pity, fear and relief called catharsis. The leader’s downfall excites feelings of pity in us. We fear because we recognize similar possibilities in us. However, the leader’s belief, “‘Tis God shall repay: I am safer so” gives us relief.
(c) The Art of Losing
“One Art” is a beautiful villanelle in which Elizabeth Bishop claims, “The art is losing isn’t hard to master”. However, we do not agree with her because material things are never lost, real losses are eternal and the poetess herself fails to master this so-called art.
Firstly, material things are never lost but misplaced. Door keys, watches and houses etc are not lost because they retain their existence. They have chances of retrieval. We may run into them any time. If they mislaid permanently, we can get their substitutes. Thus tangible things are never lost.
Secondly, the real losses are the losses of those things that lose their existence. The death of our dear ones is an example of these losses. Time can assuage the pain of loss but can never return us a lost mother, father or friend. Hence it is impossible to master the art of losing.
Thirdly, the poetess herself fails to master this art. The rhythm of the poem is choked up. There are many glottal pauses, signifying that the poetess is trying to hold back the tears and having trouble controlling her view point. So how can we agree with her flippancy!
(a) Why does Wordsworth call the solitary reaper’s song ‘a melancholy strain’?
(b) Why does Shakespeare call old age ‘a second childishness’?
(c) How appropriate is the title of the poem “A Poison Tree”?
(a) A Melancholy Strain
‘A melancholy strain’ means a sad song. In his poem, “The Solitary Reaper”, Wordsworth calls the song of the solitary reaper ‘a melancholy strain’ even though he does not understand the language of the song. It is because the reaper is alone, her voice is superior to that of a nightingale and the poet himself is prone to melancholy.
Firstly, the reaper is alone — an idea emphasized five times in the poem. It means there is no one in the society with whom she can share her pent-up emotions. This has made her life melancholic. Thus she shares her emotions with Nature in loneliness and the poet rightly calls her song ‘a melancholy strain’.
Secondly, it is a traditional idea that nightingales are connected to the idea of melancholy. Many poets use nightingales as a symbol of melancholy in their poems. Because Wordsworth has compared the voice of the solitary reaper with that of the nightingale so the song of the solitary reaper is also ‘a melancholy strain’.
Thirdly, the poet himself is prone to melancholy. To prove this, we jump to his poem “Daffodils”
. At the end of this poem, he mentions that he sometimes finds himself in a ‘pensive mood’. Thus he naturally calls the song of the solitary reaper ‘a melancholy strain’.
(b) Old Age – A Second Childishness
Life is a cycle and old age is a stage where the cycle is returned to its beginning i.e., childishness. The Holy Quran states, “He whom we bring unto old age, we reserve him creation”. In “All the World’s a Stage”, Shakespeare calls old age ‘a second childishness’ because old people become weak, dependent and forgetful like that of children.
Firstly, oldsters become weak and feeble like that of infants. Both lack physical and mental energies. They cannot walk at ease. They cannot talk clearly and audibly. Their immune system is very poor. They cannot think about their lives wisely. Thus Shakespeare rightly calls old age ‘a second childishness’.
Secondly, old people are helpless like that of children. It is a common experience of life that aged people are dependent on others in the same way as kids are dependent on others. Both cannot earn their bred and butter, and a caretaker is necessary for them. This similarity again proves that man is ‘once a man and twice a child’.
Thirdly, decrepit people become victims of amnesia. They become forgetful like that of children. Both lack retention. They are unable to concentrate on anything. They often forget persons, places and things. The memory of a grandparent corresponds the memory of a grand child. Thus senile dementia is a return to infancy.
(c) Title of the Poem
A good title of a poem corresponds the content of the poem. The title “A Poison Tree” is not very appropriate because biblical tree was not like this tree and the poet’s foe approaches this tree without the poet’s knowing which is unbelievable. Only if the foe symbolizes the poet’s mental disturbance then the title is quite appropriate.
Firstly, the poison tree of William Blake stands for the tree in Paradise. But this analogy is not suitable. Adam and Eve did not die after eating the apple from this tree but the poet’s enemy dies. Moreover, God does not rejoice in killing His enemies like that of the poet.
Secondly, the poison tree is a physical manifestation of poet’s anger, growing in his mind for his enemy. But how does the enemy get into the poet’s mind without the poet’s knowing? How does poisonous thoughts kill the enemy? Only its shows the inappropriateness of the title.
However, if the foe represents the poet’s mental disharmony and the poison tree his wrath, then the title matches the content of the poem. In the end the poet is happy because his wrath has killed the demons in his mind, and his mind is at peace now. In short, diamond has cut diamond.
QUESTION NO. 19
(a) Why does Emily Dickinson use the image of journey in “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”?
(b) “Lights Out” by Edward Thomas dwells on the power of sleep. Elaborate.
(c) What does the empty barrel signify in “After Apple Picking”?
(a) The Image of Journey
“Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is a highly symbolic poem in which Emily Dickinson has employed many images. The dominant one is the image of journey. It is, in fact, a metaphor for life-after-birth and life-after-death. Earthly life is a journey because journey and life both have turns, obstacles and destinations.
Firstly, a common journey is traveled on the routes called highways which have many turns. Correspondingly, life is traveled on the route called “time”. It has also several turns except a U-turn. The poetess has mentioned three major turns in life; childhood, youth and old age.
Secondly, on the route of a common journey, there are many obstacles; bad roads, frosts, bumpers and blockages etc. Similarly, on the course of life, ups and downs are common. Surprises and losses give violent jolts. Sorrows and worries cause injuries. Thus the route of life is full of impediments.
Thirdly, a common journey comes to an end when the destination is approached. Life also come to a halt when death blocks the route and pushes the traveler into the grave – the final destination. In short, the sojourn of life on earth ends and the odyssey of life-after-death starts from here.
(b) Power of Sleep
Sleep is a state of rest for body, mind and spirit. It has so much potential in it that no passion or sentiment can challenge it. In his poem, “Lights Out”, Edward Thomas exquisitely expounds the power of sleep. Sleep is so powerful that its invasion is inescapable. its dominance of a panacea and its end is a new beginning.
Firstly, sleep is so potent that its invasion is irresistible. Even the noblest task, the favourite book or the dearest face cannot keep us awake for a long time. Sleep is cumulative; if we resist it one day, it attacks the next day. We are helpless in the hands of sleep. At last we have to surrender before the alluring force of sleep.
Secondly, sleep is so powerful that its hold or dominance is a panacea. It magically heals all despairs and miseries, and puts an end to all troubles and problems. William Shakespeare rightly says about sleep: “the balm of hurt minds”. In fact, a sound sleep is the best natural cure in the doctors’ books.
Thirdly, the end of sleep is a new beginning. Life is a journey and sleep is a “power-filling station”. When our power to continue the journey ends, we, the travelers, go to sleep. Sleep restores the energy in us. Thus when we wake up, we recommence the journey on “many a road track” that become visible by “the dawn’s first crack”.
(c) Signigicance of Empty Barrel
“After Apple Picking” is a highly symbolic poem by Robert Frost.The most suggestive symbol is empty barrel. Literally, an empty barrel means “an unfilled container” but symbolically it signifies the unfulfilled human desires, the greediness of the people and the hope for bright future.
Firstly, the empty barrel stands for the unfulfilled human desires. The poet has desired for a bumper harvest of apples but in the end his barrel remains empty. There are a few more apples on the boughs to be picked by him. But if he manages to pick the remaining few, his barrel will still not be filled!
Secondly, the empty barrel symbolizes the greediness of the people. The poet has emptied many barrels of apples in the cellar but is not satisfied because his barrel is still empty. He yearns to get more and more. Though, in his sleep, he gets many big apples but his sleep remains uneasy due to greediness.
Thirdly, the empty barrel signifies the hope or expectation that we attach for the bright future. The poet has emptied many barrels of common and usual apples in the cellar. But now he wants to fill his empty barrel with newer, fresher, more ripened and more juicy apples.
QUESTION NO. 20
(a) What are Keats’s fears as you find in “When I Have Fears”?
(b) Why does Yeats wish to be young again in “Politics”?
(c) Why does D.H. Lawrence think of his education as “accursed”?
(a) Keats’s Fears
“When I Have Fears” is a beautiful sonnet in which John Keats gives expression of his desolate fears. The impending demise of Keats creates limitations which become his fears. He fears that he will not be able to achieve fame, enjoy beauty and savour love because he will sooner die of tuberculosis.
The first quatrain describes his fear of not getting fame as a poet. He worries that his premature death will leave his poetry in parenthesis. Though he has a “teeming brain”, full of ideas, images and thoughts yet he will not become a Shakespeare. His death is hovering over him.
The second quatrain highlights his fear of not getting enough time to enjoy the physical beauty of Nature. He says that heaven is boasting of its beauty with its starry nights and shadowy clouds. Unfortunately, his anticipated death will deprive him of relishing these beautiful scenes.
The third quatrain expresses his fear of not getting a chance to develop a love-affair. His erstwhile beloved, Fanny Brawn, has already deserted him. Now he fears that he will never become an inamorato of anybody. Thus he says in the last couplet, “On the shore of the wide world I stand alone”.
(b) Wish to be Young Again
Yeats composed “Politics” in May 24, 1938 when he was 73 years old. In this poem, when he sees a beautiful young girls standing before him, he wishes to be young again. He wishes so because youth is the best period for romance, escapism is always pleasant and he found a new vigour after undergoing the Steinach Operation.
Firstly, youth is the prime period for romance. The girl standing before the poet is quite young to be his daughter. She needs the excitement of youth which the aged poet lacks. The development of love affair between the aged and the young is almost impossible. Thus to romance with the young girl, the poet wishes to be young again.
Secondly, the poet is an escapist. In order to avoid the stark realities of life like politics, traveling, war and war’s alarms, he wants to flee into his past. His past was full of amour when he used to love Maud Gonne, his childhood beloved. Hence to get pleasure, he wants to escape into his past i.e., his youth.
Thirdly, after undergoing the Steinach Operation in 1934, when he was aged 69, he found a new machismo in himself. It is evident from both his poetry and his intimate relations with young women. Thus he wants to hold the girl standing before him in his arms. He wants to embrace her. In other words, he wants to be his young lover.
(c) Accursed Education
The process by which society transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another is called education. Education is considered a blessing. However, in his poem, “Snake”, D.H. Lawrence thinks of it a curse. It is because it crushes his feelings of affection and sense of beauty for the snake, and it induces him to kill it.
Firstly, he thinks of his education as accursed because it demolishes his feelings of affection for the snake. The natural man in the poet is delighted and honoured to have this reptile at his water-trough.However, the educated man in the poet warns him that snake is a mortal foe of man. Hence the natural feelings of affection are defeated by the rational feelings of hatred.
Secondly, he calls his education accursed because it does not allow him to appreciate the beauty of the snake. No doubt, the unique shape, colouration and locomotion of snake makes it the most enjoy the beauty, fairness and grace of the snake but beautiful animal in the world. The instincts of the poet wants tothe ophidiophobia generated by his education ceases him to do so.
Thirdly, he condemns his education because it misleads him. It compels him to assassinate the snake. He hits it with a log. However, the snake does not come back to bite him. It proves the innocence and harmlessness of the snake. Thus the attempt to kill the snake was not an act of bravery but of Vandalism committed by an educated man.