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Friday, 22 May 2020

Who is Godot in Beckett's Waiting for Godot?

Who is Godot in Beckett's Waiting for Godot?
What is the identity of Godot?

The meaning of Waiting for Godot has defied analysis. Critics have spilled ink and failed to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. “Even those who agreed that Godot had a 'meaning’," says Alec Reid, "were deeply divided among themselves as to what that meaning was”.  Two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, are waiting to meet a men or a divine being known as Godot, who eventually does not turn up. The identity of Godot has posed a question, yet to be answered. According to Ruby Cohn, Godot has been variously identified as God, a diminutive God, Love, Death, Silence, Hope, DeGaulle, a Balzac character, a bicycle racer, and a Paris Street for call girls.

To Alan Schneider, who anxiously asked him about the identity of Godot, Beckett replied: "If I know, I would have said so in the play." He also remarked, and it is difficult to ascertain if he was serious or flippant, that the spectacular success of Waiting for Godor was due to the misunderstanding. The critics and public alike were seeking to impose an allegorical or symbolic explanation of Godot.

And yet Godot remains an enigma. Others abide our question, and Godot, like Mathew Arnold’s Shakespeare, smiles and smiles, and out tops our knowledge. Had Godot appeared on the stage even for a moment, we could have sized him up. But he does not come. We learn from a messenger boy that he will come on the following day. But he fails to fulfil his appointment.

Furthermore the name ‘Godot’ will entail many possible meanings if it is observed within the context of French. According to Graver, there are some common French words and phrases which begin with ‘god’. Godillot in French for ‘old shapeless boot’; Godasses are ‘military boots’, Godailler is ‘to go pub‐crawling’. Goder means ‘to pucker’. In addition, ‘Godo’ is spoken Irish for God. Thus, as a ‘signifier’, ‘Godot’ potentially will result in many debatable and fractured interpretations.

Is Godot God?

Right upto the end of the play Godot remains a mysterious figure. If we regard Waiting for Godot as Christian play or a Morality play, Godot may stand for God. Martin Esslin lends unqualifying support to this view. He says that the play is concerned with the ultimate realities of the human condition, for an Absurd Drama is concerned with the fundamental problems of life and death. When man fails to answer the questions relating to ultimate reality, he has to think of God and religion.

If so, Godot is as much the God of the Old Testament as of the New. Jehovah and Godot may look alike, particularly for his white beard. The similarity may also be noticed when we consider that Godot does not love everybody. He has handsome rewards for the boy who tends the goats, while he metes out punishment to the shepherd the award appears arbitrary. That reminds us of Jehovah, who preferred Abel to Cain. The reference to the goats and sheeps is to be found in the Gospel according to St. Matthew : "And he [Christ] shall seat the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."

Godot may refer suffering also. “The casual relationship between divine cruelty and human suffering is perhaps most effectively dramatised in Beckett's portrayal of many of his characters as emblematic Biblical sufferers". Suffering is divine punishment. Christ himself is the worst sufferer in his mundane existence His death on the Cross, says Hersh Zeifman, is the paradigm of divine rejection. It is for this reason that Estragon says: "All my life I've compared myself to Christ."

With absolutely no ambiguity Beckett refers to salvation and damnation in his play. Vladimir mentions two thieves crucified on either side of Christ, one of whom was saved and the other damped. The two tramps are also thinking in terms of salvation or damnation according to the sweet will of Godot. Much depends on their repentance, which is the way to divine grace. On an inquiry from Vladimir if he has ever read the Bible, Estragon replies: "I remember the maps of the Holy Land, Coloured they were. Very pretty. The Dead Sea was pale blue. The very look of it made me thirsty. That's where we'll go, I used to say, that's where we'll go for our honeymoon."

If we accept this view, Godot may mean God. But Becket has no anthropomorphic conception of God. The very fact that God does not come means that he is disembodied. But just because he does not come, it does not mean that he is non-existent As far as Vladimir is concerned, he very much exists. The idea of salvation is all the while haunting his mind.

When asked by Pozzo to think', Lucky gives a harangue on Godot. When the gaudy and inane phraseology is left out, he says: "Given the existence of a personal God with a white beard outside time who from the heights of divine apathia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell."

Godot may be termed as “waiting” what really matters. Waiting is charged with expectancy. Everybody waiting for something expects that something better will turn up.

Eric Bentley does not set store by the religious interpretation of Waiting for Godot. He maintains that the name Godot is taken from a play entitled Mercader. Mercadet is a stock Exchange speculator who all the while complains that his financial trouble are largely due to Godeau, who defalcated the money and away.

But the religious interpretation has a greater appeal himself quoted from St. Augustine: “Don’t despair ! One of the thieves was saved. Donot presume. One of the thieves was damned.” It is this conviction that makes Godot a loving figure and not a bugbear.

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Treatment of India in Rudyard Kipling's Kim

Treatment of India in Rudyard Kipling's Kim
Treatment of India in Rudyard Kipling's Kim

India occupies a central position in Kipling’s writings. India has a special place in his heart as he had spent his impressionable years of childhood and formative years of his young age in India. Therefore the main character in his works is India. He had witnessed India nakedly with all her beauty, power, truth, and vices. Kipling possessed insatiable curiosity, minute power of observation and photographic memory.

Rudyard’s father Lockwood Kipling was the Principal of the School of Art in Bombay and young Rudyard learnt a lot about India from his father. Even Rudyard’s father Lockwood Kipling was not free from prejudices that we usually find in white man’s attitude. In his book `Beast and Man in India’ he makes many observations that smack of white man’s prejudices against India.

As a young journalist, Kipling unveiled Indian realities. He treated India as “Seven Years’ Hard.” Kipling’s portrayal of Indian people and politics of India are essentially prejudiced. His portrayal of the British is also the same as the views of imperialist. He believed that the British rule has a utility as it helped in maintaining law and order. He seems to hold like Churchill that India without the Britishers would not have been able to escape bandits, massacre, flood, famine and plague.

Kim can be considered Kipling’s classic on India. Nirad Chaudhari argued over Kim as ‘the finest novel in the English language with an Indian theme, but also one of the greatest novels in spite of the theme.’ The novel was written after 1889, the very year he had left India. Here we find more balanced, matured and unprejudiced image of India. Kim bears a story of a 14 year old Irish orphan reared by a Eurasian woman and Teshoo Lama, the holy man from Tibet. Kim searches for a great Red Bull on a Green field, while the Lama is looking for a river that washes away all sins. Kim got the nickname as the ‘Little Friend of all the world.’ Kim regards the Lama as his Guru. They travel together to the Himalayas. Kipling for the first time admits that pride and racial superiority must be shunned if one wants to know the soul of India.

The Lama is always high in meditative mood caring a fig about the life around him. Apparently Kim is pretty excited to see the broad smiling river of life. He finds new people and new sights everywhere. Kipling succeeds amply in describing people of various walks of life very graphically. Kim enjoys all these spectacles but the Lama never raises his eyes. He says that all these people are bound to the wheel of life.

When they come across a snake, Kim reacted like an average Westerner. He wants to pick up a stick and kill it like D.H. Lawrence in his poem 'Snake.’ But Lama forbids him telling Kim that like all other creatures on earth, the snake is also bound upon the wheel of life. He says “Let him live out his life.” He addresses the snake as brother and wishes him the earliest release from the bondage of life. Kim’s reaction is typically Western while that of the Lama Buddhist. Kim belongs to the world of action but he acknowledges the value of meditation and compassion.

Kim’s search comes to an end with his sighting the device of the Mavericks, the Great Red Bull on the background of Irish Green. He is caught by Father Bennet and his parentage is established. Kipling seems to have no sympathy with the missionaries as he calls them Church of England. His sympathy is with the Lama whom Father Victor calls ‘a street beggar’.

Just when one search ends for Kim, another search begins. His parentage is established but he wants to search for his identity. He has been constantly tearing apart between “antithetical demands of East and West”. There is a conflict between his genes and environment. Kim is sent to St. Xavier’s to be trained as a Chairman for the Survey of India. When Mahbub Ali informs him, “once a Sahib, always a sahib”, he replies, “I don’t want to be a Sahib”. He wants to remain just Kim. Kim studies at St. Xavier’s but never forgets the simple, austere of life in the Himalayas.

At the end of the novel Kim realizes that the Lama’s path of renunciation is not for him. But Lama has clarified to him on the prejudice of colour-discrimination as he tells him “there is neither black nor white”. As Kim’s search ends, so does the search of the Lama. He gives up food and water, sits in meditation for two days and two nights. On second night, Lama informs Kim that his soul is free.

According to Angus Wilson, “Kipling has established for the reader — and established with considerable dramatic effect — the contrast between the East, with its mysticism and sensuality.”

In Kim, we discover almost a complete change in Kipling’s attitude towards India. Here he does not aim at contrasting the East and the West and label the superiority of the West but he aims at the synthesis of the worldly and the saintly. He dwells on India with tenderness, nostalgia and profound understanding. Kim would certainly be called to be a prose Odyssey of Hindustan.
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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 7

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 7
English Literature Online Quiz : Level 6
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Monday, 18 May 2020

Interpretation on Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald

Interpretation on Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald
Interpretation of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald

The Rubaiyát is a celebration of the pleasures of the moment (some call it epicureanism). Fitzgerald himself spoke of its mood as "a desperate sort of thing, unfortunately at the bottom of all thinking men's minds, but made music of". Undoubtedly it is this element-its music, along with its imagery- that has made the Rubaiyát popular with many who do not share its philosophy of skepticism. At any rate, it is another evidence of the complexity of the Victorian Age.

The poem, which apparently is a celebration of the sensuous present life, is underlined by a deep sadness that runs as an undercurrent throughout. The indulgence in the life of the senses has its natural other side- an acute awareness of the decay and death of life which rings down the curtain on the least of life.

Some compare the theme of the poem to the poem "Gather Ye Rosebuds while ye may" of Robert Herrick and Andrew Marvell's “To His Coy Mistress” (Carpe diem).

However there are other possible interpretations too. There is a diametrically opposing view of the whole poem, which eastern critics espouse. It is the mystical view. According to these interpreters, the poem is viewed as a product of Sufism- a mystical cult that flourished in Persia and India during the 11th and 12th centuries. Here the images of wine love and other delights take on metaphoric meanings. It is like the mystical interpretation of the Songs of Songs in the Bible.

Yogananda puts forth his argument in the Introduction: "In Persia, Omar Khayyam has always been recognized as a highly advanced mystic and spiritual teacher. His Rubáivát have been revered as an inspired Sufi Scripture. The first great Sufi Writer was Omar Khayyam"

Omar Kahayyam dwells on some of the perennial problems that beset the mind of man. He speaks about god about human mortality, about time and its action on life and so on. He takes an attitude towards it. We may see it as fatalism or skepticism .The recurring imagery of wine may be interpreted as something that signifies intoxication. This intoxication is of the spiritual kind, just as the sexual union expressed in the Song of Songs is a metaphor or symbolization of the ecstatic union of the soul with God.

The mystical interpretation set forth by Paramahamsa Yogananda is of this kind. If we accept his arguments, we will be able to see Omar Khayyam as the exact opposite of what he is made out to be by western critics.

Professor Horne remarks: "What then becomes (Omar's) passionate praise of wine and love?' "They are merely the thoroughly established metaphors of Sufism; the wine is the joy of the spirit, and the love is the rapturous devotion to God."

Yogananda's argument is also based on the so-called 'Carpe diem' theme which frequently comes up with references to the brevity of life. He says:" Omar Khayyam's insistence on the theme of life's brevity- one he sounds repeatedly throughout these quatrains- is itself the strongest possible argument against the claim of Westerners that he was a hedonist. What pleasure-seeker would dwell at such depressing length on the impermanence of his coveted pleasures? A poet of hedonism might, like Robert Herrick, urge his readers to enjoy this world while they can.

His cheerful reminder of life's brevity, however, would have lost its gay lilt had this become the underlying theme of his poetry. No poet of "wine, women' and song" could share Omar's fascination with death. For the hedonist, eternity is an embarrassment.

We then have to accept the argument that a mystical poem has two levels of meaning. (So much of Persian poetry and the poetry of the East in general have this feature) - the literal and the hidden /implied.

The mystical interpretation is supported by J B Nicholas whose French translation appeared (1867) close on the heels of Fitzgerald's English version. Fitzgerald himself makes a note of this in his introduction to the second edition: "M Nicholas,... has reminded me of several things, and instructed me in others, does not consider Omar to be the material epicurean that I have literally taken him for, but a mystic, shadowing the Deity under the figure of wine, wine-bearer etc. as Hafiz is supposed to do: in short, a Sufi poet like Hafiz and the rest... And there, is some traditional presumption, and certainly the opinion of some learned men, in favour of Omar's being a Sufi- even something of a saint- those who please may so interpret his wine and cup-bearer."

It is further observed that Fitzgerald faced the difficulty of interpretation when he found that some of the verses easily lend themselves to spiritual interpretation whereas others did not except in terms of materialism of hedonism.
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Saturday, 16 May 2020

Various Themes in Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger

Various Themes in Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger
Various Themes in Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger

The White Tiger provides a darkly humorous perspective of India's class struggle in a globalized world as told through a retrospective narration from Balram Halwai, a village boy. In detailing Balram's journey first to Delhi, where he works as a chauffeur to a rich landlord, and then to Bangalore, the place to which he flees after killing his master and stealing his money, the novel examines issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. Ultimately, Balram transcends his sweet-maker caste and becomes a successful entrepreneur, establishing his own taxi service. In a nation proudly shedding a history of poverty and underdevelopment, he represents, as he himself says, "tomorrow."

 The novel is based on layers of themes. Here are a few :

Globalization

The White Tiger takes place in the modern day world where increased technology has led to world globalization, and India is no exception. In the past decade, India has had one of the fastest booming economies. Specifically Americanization in India has played its role in the plot, since it provides an outlet for Balram to alter his caste. To satisfy Pinky’s want for American culture, Ashok, Pinky, and Balram simply move to Gurgaon instead of back to America. Globalization has assisted in the creation of an American atmosphere in India. Ashok justifies this move by explaining “Today it’s the modernist suburb of Delhi. American Express, Microsoft, all the big American companies have offices there. The main road is full of shopping malls—each mall has a cinema inside! So if Pinky Madam missed America, this was the best place to bring her”. By blackmailing Ram Parsad, the other driver, Balram is promoted and drives Ashok and Pinky to their new home.

Ashok is even convinced India is surpassing the USA, “There are so many more things I could do here than in New York now...The way things are changing in India now, this place is going to be like America in ten years”. Balram is noticing the rapid growth as well. From the beginning of his story he knows that in order to rise above his caste he should become an entrepreneur. Although his taxi service is not an international business, Balram plans to keep up with the pace of globalization and change his trade when need be. “I‘m always a man who sees ‘tomorrow’ when others see today.’” Balram’s recognition of the increasing competition resulting from globalization contributes to his corruption.

Individualism

A white tiger symbolizes power and majesty in East Asian cultures, such as in China and Japan. It is also a symbol for individualism and uniqueness. Balram is seen as different from those he grew up with. He is the one who got out of the “Darkness” and found his way into the “Light”.

Freedom

In an interview with Aravind Adiga, he talked about how “The White Tiger” was a book about a man’s quest for freedom. Balram, the protagonist in the novel, worked his way out of his low social caste (often referred to as “the Darkness”) and overcame the social obstacles that limited his family in the past. Climbing up the social ladder, Balram sheds the weights and limits of his past and overcomes the social obstacles that keep him from living life to the fullest that he can. In the book, Balram talks about how he was in a rooster coop and how he broke free from his coop. The novel is somewhat of a memoir of his journey to finding his freedom in India’s modern day capitalist society. Towards the beginning of the novel, Balram cites a poem from the Muslim poet Iqbal where he talks about slaves and says “They remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in this world.” Balram sees himself embodying the poem and being the one who sees the world and takes it as he rises through the ranks of society, and in doing so finding his freedom.

Immoral corruption

Balram is from a low caste in India where he grew up with barely anything. As a child, Balram was seen as an intelligent and honest fellow in a crowd of thugs. He was a pure soul and was untainted. However, growing up, he was exposed into a lot of corruption and immoral behavior, such as the time with the doctors just let his father die. His childhood ultimately set Balram up for a lifetime of immoral and corrupt behavior as he moved up his social ladder and into the higher castes. To work his way up, Balram ends up cheating, stealing, and even murdering in order to have his way. Balram becomes very selfish, evident by his many immoral actions, due to the entrepreneur/ businessman side of him. This can be seen as both an immoral and moral, depending on how you look at it. If one looks at it in a more business lens, business is all about doing everything one can to beat out whoever one are competing against. Finding ways to ensure the competition does not succeed, finding ways to get ahead of everyone else, and coming out on top are all a big part of the business world. It can be seen as being moral because of competitive nature of our globalized capitalist economic system. In a capitalist economy, any way one can get ahead is fair game. However, if one is looking at this from a non-business standpoint, the actions Balram does are very immoral. He cheats people to put himself in a position to gain for himself. Balram does everything in his power for personal gain, even killing his boss.

Social class/caste

The book shows a modern day, capitalist Indian society with free market and free business. It also shows how it can create economic division. In India there are not social classes, there are social castes. The novel portrays India’s society as very negative towards the lower social caste. Balram refers to it as the “Darkness”. When Balram was asked which caste he was from, he knew that it could ultimately cause a biased stance in his employer and determine the future of his employment. There is definitely a big difference seen in Balram’s lower caste from back home and his current higher caste in their life-styles, habits, and standards of living. This novel is showing how our economic system today creates socioeconomic gaps that create a big division in society. It limits opportunity, social mobility, health, and other rights and pleasures that should be given to all. There is a big difference in the amount of money spread around in society today and this book is alluding to that fact.

Marriage in India

To save their reputation and the marriage, the family has to take out a loan from the Stork. Balram is forced to drop out of school and work in a teashop to help raise money to pay back the debt – triggering the events of the rest of the story. His cousin’s wedding is not the only marriage that disrupts Balram’s life. When Pinky Madam leaves for New York, Mr. Ashok sinks into depression. In addition to drinking and womanizing, he finally accepts his family’s dirty business, ferrying bribes for The Stork. Balram joins in his boss’ decline – eventually murdering Mr. Ashok to pocket the bribe himself.

The Indian Family

In an interview with The Guardian, Adiga emphasizes the importance of family in Indian society. “If you’re rude to your mother in India, it’s a crime as bad as stealing would be here,” he explains. For Balram to abandon his family, then, is perhaps his greatest crime. “This is a shameful and dislocating thing for an Indian to do,” Adiga remarks of his protagonist. Balram also understands the severity of his actions. Fear for his family is the largest obstacle he must overcome to carry out Mr. Ashok’s murder. In the days before, he has visions – imagining abuffalo in the street blaming him for the deaths of his family. Even after he becomes a businessman in Bangalore, he goes to the temple to pray for their spirits.

China’s Relationship to India

At the beginning of the novel, Balram mentions to the Premier that China is the only nation he admires besides Afghanistan and Abyssinia. Why? Because he read in a book called Exciting Tales of the Exotic East that these are the only 3 countries never to be ruled by outsiders. He dubs China the “freedom-loving nation,” a place that has never been subject to a master-slave relationship with the West. But although he hears on All India Radio that “you Chinese are far ahead of us in every respect,” Balram observes that China does not have entrepreneurs – hence the Premier’s visit to Bangalore. China, then, becomes a foil to India, which he describes as a nation with “no drinking water, electricity, sewage, public transportation …” but chock full of entrepreneurs. For this reason, Balram tells the Premier his story, believing that China and India are destined to become the next great superpowers. “In 20 years’ time, it will just be us brown and yellow men at the top of the pyramid, and we’ll rule the whole world.”

Lightness and Darkness

Perhaps Balram’s favorite motif is the duality of “Light” and “Dark.” From the very beginning, he attempts to navigate from his hometown in “The Darkness” to become a member of urban society. Light, then, becomes a multifaceted symbol of time (the future), wealth (lots of it), location (Bangalore), and obligation (none) – while Darkness represents the past, poverty, rural India – and most importantly – loyalty to family and master. These themes battle each other throughout the novel. Even after he has established himself in Bangalore, he continues to seek ways to differentiate himself from the “Darkness.” When 1 of his White Tiger drivers runs over a boy, he visits the family and offers their surviving son a job. He realizes this decision may make him appear weak, but he argues he has no choice. “I can’t live the way the Wild Boar and the Buffalo and the River lived, and probably still live, back in Laxmangarh. I am in the Light Now.”
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English Literature Online Quiz : Level 6

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 6
English Literature Online Quiz : Level 6
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English Literature Online Quiz : Level 5

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 5
English Literature Online Quiz : Level 5
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Friday, 15 May 2020

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 4

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 4
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Agyeya's Hiroshima : Critical Analysis

Agyeya's Hiroshima : Critical Analysis

Agyeya's Hiroshima : Critical Analysis

Hiroshima is a modern poem by S. H. Vatsyayan 'Agyeya'. It deals with the humanistic and socialistic leanings of the poet towards the measurable plight of the innocent people of Hiroshima, a city of Japan where the atom bomb was dropped by America. It also shows the brutality of human being, the unwanted carnage caused by the hotty and self-centered politicians, the horrible and incredible human brutality and butchery against humanity. In technique and style the poem has modern tone and temper full of hard and solid images which remind us of T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Hopkins and Auden and other war poets.

In order to understand the poem, one should go to the background of the history related to the bombardment of America on the two important cities of Japan-Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. These two cities have become today memorable because of the naked dance of death of human being towards human being or the indiscriminate use of arms and ammunition. We know that during the Second World War America wants to get a very early conquest and its dominance over the Japan it dropped atom bombs without knowing anything about its consequence on the two great cities of Japan. As a result many people consigned to ashes, their dwellings demolished, their dreams and aspirations shattered to nothingness and the whole activity of the city reduced to the dust. This traumatic experience has been haunting not only the people of these two cities but also the whole world. Based on this theme the poem is very interesting in matter and manner, feeling and form.

The very opening of the poem is figurative and connotative. It shows irony and contrast which are the two important tools of modern poetry. The poet says:
"On this day, the sun
Appeared-no, not slowly over the horizon
But right in the city square."

Here in this stanza the poet takes the image of the bright sun; but the sun here is not the natural sun rising in the cast daily for giving life to the whole world and driving the darkness away from the world. The sun here refers to the man-made sun caused by the pouring down of atom bombs. Just like the sun, the atom bombs also emit bright rays: but the rays are not the fruitful rays of the sun giving health and energy to both men and plants. Here the rays engendered by the bombs thrashed and butchered the whole humanity within a second. The phrase 'right in the city square shows the dropping of the bomb in the middle of the town generally the centre for people's entertainment and their strolling, In the natural process the sun generally appears in the east and it slowly and slowly comes over the horizon. But here the case is just the opposite. The sun here never comes slowly but very speedily and that too in the very middle of the city. Thus here the comparison is very appropriate and interesting.

The poet says that there was a great blast caused by the dazzle not from the middle sky but from the earth which is turned raggedly open. After the bombardment the situation was very apocalyptic rendering the people homeless and making their life even worse than animal. People and their objects as well as their dwelling places where dazed and lost and pitched in every direction. This measurable and pathetic plight of the general people have been shown by the skilled poet with some beautiful words and diction, images and symbols :
"Human shadows, dazed and lost, pitched
in every direction : this blaze
Not risen from the east
Smashed in the city's heart-
An immense wheel of Death's swart suncar spinning down and apart
in every direction."

Here in this stanza some words and phrases are highly suggestive. The phrase "human shadows" is highly suggestive. It shows various layers of meaning. At first it suggests how human beings of the city were turned to shadows that are, turned to death. Secondly, it stands for the dark shadow of the whole human being who boasts of the great civilization and culture. It also suggests the self centered egomaniac politicians who seldom feel the qualm of conscience in dropping out the bombs on the innocent people. This phrase also presents a contrast to the natural sun. Generally when the sun is over our head in the sky there is a shadow of our body created by the light of the sun. But here the human shadows are dazed and lost. In other words there were no men so there were no shadows. The phrase "Death's swart suncar' is also very connotative. It connotes how the atomic blast is just like the wheels of the sun causing violent death all over.

The next stanza of the poem is even more ironic and thought provoking. The poet says that during the dance of the death in the middle of the Hiroshima city, the sun rises and sets in a very short time. As a result all the visions, dreams and aspirations of human being were smashed to pieces.
"Instant of a Sun's rise and set.
Vision annihilating flare one compressed noon."

The implied meaning is that the terrible blast of the bomb flashed out very suddenly and also subsided in a moment. So both the rising and the setting of the sun were done within a very short period of time. We know that the sun generally rises in the morning and sets in the evening but here in this city of Hiroshima, this whole process of the sun from morning to evening were confined to few seconds at noon of the day. This is why the poet uses the phrase 'one compressed noon'. This phrase also shows the cruel and inhuman activity of human being to change the rule of nature. This reminds us of William Wordsworth, a great poet of Romantic School of poetry, who once says,
"To her fare works did nature link
the human soul that through me ran
but much it grieved my heart to think
what man has made of man."

This brutal activity of human being without any rhyme or reason also very similar to the description made by G. B. Shaw in Arms the Man and Hemingway in 'A Farewell to Arms'.

The extended metaphor of the sun has been again very beautifully used in the next stanza in which the poet says that it was not human shadows that lengthened, paled and died. The only shadows that stay are the shadows of the burning rocks and stones of these vacant streets :
"And then ?
It was not human shadows that lengthened, paled and died;
It was men suddenly become as mist then gone.
The shadows stay :
Burned on rocks, stones of these vacant streets."

This poetic and metaphoric description present a very realistic picture of that situation caused by the atom bombs. The poet is of the opinion that all men of the city were died as suddenly as the mist. In the natural process of the day, the heat of the sun dries the mist on the blades of the grass but here this man-made fears and horrible bomb end of the life of man within a very few minutes. The only thing that stays in this city is the shadows. Again, here the term, 'shadow’ has got a number of meanings. At first it suggests the dark aspects of that satiric behaviour of man. It also denotes the stain and scar made by the merciless mankind towards the innocent mankind. This dark shadows have haunted the civilization and is still haunting and will be haunted in the next generation. So the only thing that stays today is the shadows. On the second scale of meaning the shadows here also denotes the shadow caused by the flame of the burning rock and stones of the vacant streets as there were no people in the city.

The last stanza again extents the image of sun, light and shadow with contrast and irony. The poet says,
"A Sun conjured by men converted men to air, to nothing;
White shadows singed on the black rock give back man's
witness to himself."

These last lines of the poem convey the poet’s message to such men who were tempted by the power and authority, fame and popularity. It also shows how it was a great folly of human being to destroy the other human being. Here the phrase 'A Sun' doesn't denote the God-made sun made for the welfare of the whole flora and fauna. Here 'A Sun with indefinite article 'A' and not the definite article the shows the indefinite fate of human being bound to be shattered in the days to come if man keeps on making such type of Sun's for the annihilation of human being. So, it is the message of the poet that such type of sun or bomb conjured by men will do nothing but to convert men to air or to nothingness. The phrase "White shadows' is very ironic in this context. It suggests the so-called modern materialistic development of modern science for which men are always brasting and braging on their achievements. But truly speaking this white shadows or the modern generation is burning slightly on the black rock made by men. So the witness of this great havoc and tragedy done on the innocent people directly go to the modern man who is quite insensitive and cold to nature and to his own human brethren.
 ~~~~~*~~~~~
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English Literature Online Quiz : Level 3

English Literature Online Quiz : Level 3
English Literature Online Quiz : Level 3
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