2016 ~ All About English Literature

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Friday, 14 October 2016

24 Stunning Quote of Bob Dylan to Cheer His Winning Nobel Prize in 2016



Jubilation has still been going on in the realm of Bob Dylan’s fan. The U.S Songster, Dylan, 75, becomes the first musician in the 115-year history of the Nobel to win the prize in literature. He was honoured for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941, Dylan got his first guitar at the age of 14 and performed in rock’n’roll bands in high school. He adopted the name Dylan, after the poet Dylan Thomas, and, drawn to the music of Woody Guthrie, began to perform folk music. 

He moved to New York in 1961, and began performing in the clubs and cafes of Greenwich Village. His first album, Bob Dylan, was released in 1962, and he followed it up with a host of albums now regarded as masterpieces, including Blonde on Blonde in 1966, and Blood on the Tracks in 1975.

 “The frontiers of literature keep widening, and it’s exciting that the Nobel Prize recognises that,” Rushdie said. “I intend to spend the day playing Mr Tambourine Man, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Like a Rolling Stone, Idiot Wind, Jokerman, Tangled Up in Blue and It’s a Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”



Here are some of his most popular quotations that are normally extracted from his heart moving lyrics.

1. A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.

2. Don't criticize what you can't understand.

3. He who's not busy being born is busy dying.

4. Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.

5. I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.

6. I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.

7. All I can be is me- whoever that is.

8. I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.

9. If the point is sharp, and the arrow is swift, it can pierce through the dust no matter how thick.

10. Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that's exactly the way we want it to be.

11. No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.

12. Play it fuckin' loud!

13. Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet

14. Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.

15. When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to loose.

16. If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them.

17. You can never be wise and be in love at the same time.

18. When you cease to exist, then who will you blame?

19. Every pleasure's got an edge of pain, pay your ticket and don't complain

20. To live outside the law you must be honest.

21. All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie.

22. You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.

23. There is nothing so stable as change.

24.     If I had wings and I could fly,
          I know where I would go.
          But right now I'll just sit here so contentedly
          And watch the river flow.
 
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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Consider Hopkins' "Pied Beauty" is a Devotional or Religious Poem. or Give the Critical Appreciation of the Poem "Pied Beauty".

Consider Hopkins' "Pied Beauty" is a Devotional or Religious Poem. or Give the Critical Appreciation of the Poem "Pied Beauty".

Hopkins being a keenly sensuous poet and a Roman Catholic priest at the same time his poetry bears the unmistakable stamp of his poetic sensibility and devotional fervour. The poet and the priest in Hopkins are often in conflict and generate a lot of tensions. There are only a few poems in which the contradiction seems to be resolved and the poet and the priest are in harmony. Hopkins’s “Pied Beauty” is one of such poems.


The poem, “Pied Beauty” (1877) opens with a declaration — “Glory be to God for dappled things” — that suggests the author’s reverence for God, the Creator. This phrase stems from the motto of Hopkins’ Jesuit society of St. Ignatius Loyola, Ad majorem Dei gloriam”, which, when translated, reads, "to the greater glory of God." The concept of championing God and His word resonates deeply with the Jesuit culture: they strive constantly toward expanding the Roman Catholic Church through preaching the “greater glory of God.” In “Pied Beauty” Hopkins follows Duns Scotus who was pre-occupied with the distinctiveness of natural beauty as reflected through the creation of the Almighty.


This poem wears its meaning, at least the surface of its meaning, on its sleeve: it is a hymn of praise to the creator, a hymn of thanks for the richness and diversity of the world. Oftentimes considered one of the greatest Victorian poets, Hopkins’ poems are full of creative word combinations that seem to capture the imaginative essence of things.  Here, he uses those interesting hyphenated descriptions to celebrate the variety of Creation and its great beauty. The sounds of these images are crisp and ring nicely in the mouth.  "fresh-firecoal," "finches' wings," these sounds have a pleasant crunch to them. The second stanza turns from these corporeal variations to the more spiritual, moral characteristics of the world. In listing several paradoxical traits — “swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim” — Hopkins emphasizes the spectrum of emotions and intangible qualities present in these physical entities.  


“Pied Beauty” is a catalogue of God’s creation testifying to the poet’s accurate observation of natural objects which changes from time to time, things whose function appear both as separately and collectively. Hopkins begins with praise of God creating poly-coloured, poly-shaped, poly-natured things created by the Supreme Creator. God has created the “couple-colour” sky like the double colour cow. He has created the fresh water fish, trout with pink-dots on the back. The fallen chestnut is reddish brown like the hue of glowing fire. The Divine Architect also crafted landscapes isolated into separate plots: green pasture, brown uncultivated lands and grey ploughed fields. The final creation is of the “trades” or different occupation of man, with their rich diversity of appliances and equipments. The Creation of God (from Genesis), has been mentioned in this devotional poem with much sincerity.


Hopkins is staunch believer of the theory of ‘inscape’ – the individual distinction of every created natural object. His ‘instress’ – his feeling of wonder at the variegated and changeful beauties of the earth – comes out vividly in the query:

                             “Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how)?”


“Pied Beauty” is a lyrical love poem. But the love treated in the poem is not the love between man and woman, but between man and God. Here Hopkins refers to the Christian concept of God as a Lover and a Protector. God, Himself is the creator and source of pied beauty. He also refers to the concept of  “God: the Trinity” : God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The poem concludes with the poet’s imperative to praise God:

                             “Praise Him”.


Hopkins calls this poem a “curtal sonnet” in which he minimizes the traditional sonnet forms by reducing its length form 14 lines to 10 ½ lines (6 + 4 ½ ). He also follows the “spring paeonic” metre with one stressed plus three unstressed syllable. The poem is written in “sprung rhythm” which was the rhythm of common speech, and of written prose.


Throughout his life Hopkins remained religious and spiritual. He wrote to Bridges, one of his best friends: “I am a eunuch, but it is for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” Religious preoccupation gripped him so terribly that he had neither time nor energy to carry on his writing. Thus only a few poems he composed, he got the opportunity of singing the glorious hymns of God.
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Saturday, 8 October 2016

23 Exquisite Quotes from Charlotte Bronte's Novel, "Jane Eyre"

23 Exquisite Quotes from Charlotte Bronte's Novel, "Jane Eyre"

1. “Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”

2. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

3. “I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

4. “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”

5. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

6. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”

7. “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”

8. “Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”

9. “I have little left in myself -- I must have you. The world may laugh -- may call me absurd, selfish -- but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.”

10. “All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
11. “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”

12. “I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”

13. “I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”

14. "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

15. “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”

16. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

17. "My future husband was becoming to me my whole world; and more than the world: almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol."

18. "'Oh comply!' it said, 'Think of his misery, think of his danger--look at his state when left alone...Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?'...Still indomitable was the reply--'I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God, sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad--as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour, stringent are they; inviolate they shall be...with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot!'"

19. "I had found a brother: one I could be proud of,--one I could love; and two sisters whose qualities were such that, when I knew them but as mere strangers, they had inspired me with genuine affection and admiration. The two girls on whom, kneeling down on the wet ground, and looking through the low, latticed window of Moor House kitchen, I had gazed...were my near kinswomen, and the young and stately gentleman who had found me almost dying at his threshold was my blood relation. Glorious discovery to a lonely wretch! This was wealth indeed!--wealth to the heart!--a mine of pure, genial affections. This was a blessing...not like the ponderous gift of gold: rich and welcome enough in its way, but sobering from its weight."

20. "I felt desolate to a degree. I felt--yes, idiot that I am--I felt degraded. I doubted I had taken a step which sank instead of raising me in the scale of social existence. I was weakly dismayed at the ignorance, the poverty, the coarseness of all I heard and saw round me. But let me not hate and despise myself too much for these feelings: I know them to be wrong--that is a great step gained; I shall strive to overcome them...In a few months, it is possible, the happiness of seeing process, and a change for the better in my scholars, may substitute gratification for disgust."

21. "Most true is it that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.' My master's colorless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,--all energy, decision, will,--were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me: they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me,--that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him: the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me."

22. "Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."

23. “It’s a long way off, sir”
“From what, Jane?”
“From England and from Thornfield: and –“
“Well?”
“From you, sir.”

~~~~~*~~~~~


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Friday, 7 October 2016

What's the Secret of Happiness?: Motivational Story


What is happiness? People have agonized over this question for centuries. Here is a wonderful story extracted from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist that surely helps you to discover the ultimate meaning of Happiness.

A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.


Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.


The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.


“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something”, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”.


The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.


“Well”, asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”


The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.


“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world”, said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house”.


Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.


“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.


“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you”, said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”.

Dear Readers, now this is your turn to assess and analyze the essence of Happiness as we everyone wishes to be happy. Though it gets its definition differently from different perspective. What about yours?

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mysticism and Transcendentalism in Walt Whitman's Poem, "Song of Myself"


Mysticism is not really a coherent philosophy of life, but more a temper of mind. A mystic vision is intuitive; a mystic feels the presence of divine reality behind and within the ordinary world of sense and perception. He feels that God and the supreme soul animating all things are identical. He believes that all things in the visible world are but forms and manifestations of the one Divine life.

The self-proclaimed “American Bard” Walt Whitman is undoubtedly a mystic and transcendental poet. He shocked his contemporaries by his embrace of the sensual; “Song of Myself” has been regarded as a prolonged expression of an experience that is essentially mystical. The beautiful sampling of Whitman’s poetry from “Song of Myself” offers a glimpse into the spiritual side of his most radical themes–love for country, love for others and love for self. Whitman seeks to tear down the belief the spiritual resides only in the religious and embraces the idea that nothing is more divine than humankind, nothing greater than individual soul. There is a great deal of sexual elements in Whitman’s poetry; sexual connotations are inseparable from the mystical experience.

In “Song of Myself” Whitman’s overjoyed revelation of union of his body with his soul has been depicted in his mystic expression. Held in the trance-like grip of the soul from beard to feet, the poet has a feeling of fraternity and oneness with God and his fellowmen:

“And I know the hand of God is the promise of my own
 And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own
And that all – of the creation of love.”

As a mystic Whitman believed that there is no difference between Creator and the Creation. His “self” is a universal self. He sees people of both sexes, all ages, many different walks of life; even animals are included. The poet along with the divine spirit not only loves them all; he is also a part of them.
      
In “Song of Myself”, mystical experience is symbolically conveyed through a piece of sensuous experience. Being a mystic poet of his own kind, Whitman gives equal importance to body and soul; he becomes the spokesman of the “forbidden voices” of ‘sexes and lusts indecent.’ He loves his body and is sensitive to another’s touch. Both the lady and the prostitute enjoy equal position in his poetry, for the inner reality, the soul has been created by the same God. Whitman declares: “If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.” Thus he takes equal delight both in good and bad, noble or ignoble.

Whitman does not reject the material world. He seeks the spiritual through the material. He does not subscribe to the belief that objects illusive. There is no tendency on the part of the soul to leave this world for God. Whitman does not belittle the achievements of science and materialism.

 “Hurrah for positive science!
Long live exact demonstration.”
Whitman praises not merely life, but absolute worth of every particular and individual person. Thus, his comic consciousness is the result of the expansion of the ego. The word “I” assumes an enlarged universal connotation bringing the smallest and the greatest things of the universe within its compass.

James E. Miller considers Whitman’s Song of Myself as “inverted mystical experience”. While the traditional mystic attempts to annihilate himself and mortify his senses in preparation for his union with the divine; Whitman magnifies the self and glorifies the senses in his progress towards the union with the absolute. Although Whitman is influenced by Emerson and oriental mysticism, yet there is a difference between Whitman’s mysticism and the mysticism of Orient. Oriental mystic believes that communication between soul and God is possible only through the mortification or conquest of the senses and the physical appetites. On the other hand Whitman believes that spiritual experiences are possible without sacrificing the physical appetites.

Whitman seldom lost touch with the physical reality even in the mist of his mystical experience. Physical phenomena for him were symbols of spiritual reality. He believed that “the unseen is proved by seen”; thus he makes use of highly sensuous and concrete imagery to convey his perception of divine reality. He finds a purpose behind any natural objects- grass, sea, birds, flowers animals etc.

Whitman is a mystic as much as he is a poet of democracy and science, but a “mystic without a creed.” Song of Myself portrays Whitman's poetic birth and the mystical journey; the poet feels the exhilaration of being no longer bound by the ties of space and time: he is "afoot with" his "vision." He feels able, indeed, to range back and forth over all time, and to soar like a meteor out into space. His entity is unique: he can assume the "gigantic beauty of a stallion" and can turn himself  into a departing air or annihilate himself into a dirt.

The poet does not deny but dismisses his "contradictions," asserting, "I am large, I contain multitudes." In the beginning the poet vows to "permit to speak at every hazard, / Nature without check with original energy." Leaving "Creeds and schools in abeyance" , he goes "to the bank by the wood” and becomes “ undisguised and naked" similarly, at the end, he describes himself as "not a bit tamed," as "untranslatable," as one who sounds his "barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." His journey over and done, he prepares for departure, bequeathing himself "to the dirt to grow from the grass" he loves, and tells the reader: "If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles." At the end, the poet admonishes his readers to "keep encouraged" and continue their search for him, promising: "I stop somewhere waiting for you." 
   ~~~~~*~~~~~
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Download Chinua Achebe's Stunning Novel "Things Fall Apart"

Download Chinua Achebe's Stunning Novel "Things Fall Apart"

Nobel Laureate, Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart is regarded the alpha of Anglo-African literature. It is the book that brought the story from the ‘Dark Continent’ through the voice of an educated African through which he showed the conflict between African values and the advent of Christianity in Nigeria.

First published in 1958 – the year after Ghana became the first African nation to gain independence, as Britain, France and Belgium started to recognise the end of colonialism in Africa and began their unseemly withdrawal – Chinua Achebe's debut novel concerns itself with the events surrounding the start of this disastrous chapter in African history.

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is a beautiful novel - as an extended metaphor for African despoliation, life and politics it works wonderfully. Beautiful is, perhaps, a strange word to describe this essentially melancholic novel but whilst Things Fall Apart is a sorrowful affair it is never a despondent one. The scenes from the life of Nigeria's Ibo society are painted with an assured, uplifting clarity and they resonate brightly - and long. Okonkwo is an excellent, wonderfully human, central character: strong; headstrong; wilful; proud. A traditionalist, he is acutely aware of the pitfalls of forgetting the past but he is blind to the absurdities, cruelties and sheer backwardness of certain of his tribe's customs and of his own, sometimes outrageous, actions.


Okonkwo is an ambitious man within the Umuofia clan of the Igbo tribe. Determined to be a lord, he observes its rules, even the harshest of them, though that observance will eventually drive away his own son.

Achebe guides us through the intricacies of Igbo culture, its profound sense of justice, its sometimes murderous rules, and its noble and harmful machismo.

By the time the British colonial administrator arrives towards the end of the book to dismiss the natives as savages, we know how profoundly mistaken that word is. Everything that Okonkwo holds dear becomes threatened after an accidental shooting. Okonkwo must flee with his family from his beloved village for seven years, losing the life that he worked so hard to gain.

He gets through his seven years of exile only to go back home and discover that everything has changed. White missionaries have come to convert Africa to their ways.

It portrays the collision of African and European cultures in people’s lives. Okonkwo, a great man in Igbo traditional society, cannot adapt to the profound changes brought about by British colonial rule.

Yet, as in classic tragedy, Okonkwo’s downfall results from his own character as well as from external forces.

Achebe’s is an essentially melancholic novel and an extended metaphor for African despoliation, life and politics. Things Fall Apart is a sorrowful affair but not a despondent one.

The scenes from the life of Nigeria’s Igbo society are painted with an assured, uplifting clarity and they resonate brightly - and long. Okonkwo is an excellent, wonderfully human, central character: strong; headstrong; willful; proud.

A traditionalist, he is acutely aware of the pitfalls of forgetting the past but he is blind to the absurdities, cruelties and sheer backwardness of certain of his tribe’s customs and of his own, sometimes outrageous, actions.

Achebe shows how African cultures vary among themselves and how they change over time.

Things Fall Apart translated into 50 languages, taught in high schools all over the world, was the first ‘African’ book that was written with the real voices of Africans, hence giving a correct representation of the real Africa.

Achebe said of his first novel that Things Fall Apart was ‘an act of atonement with my past, the ritual return and homage of a prodigal son.’

He wished to teach his (African) readers that ‘their past …with all its imperfections … was not one long night of savagery from which the Europeans acting on God’s behalf delivered them’.

The first part of a trilogy, Things Fall Apart was one of the first African novels to gain worldwide recognition: half a century on, it remains one of the great novels about the colonial era. This book sings with the terrible silence of dead civilizations in which once there was valor.

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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Consider How Far the Title of Jane Austen's Novel, "Pride and Prejudice" is Justified?

Consider How Far the Title of Jane Austen's Novel, "Pride and Prejudice"is Justified

Jane Austen, with her powerful artistic touch pens down in Pride & Prejudice her concern for the then society drunk with reputation and appearance. First written in 1797 under the title First Impressions, it was later revised and published as Pride and Prejudice in 1813. The theme of judgment runs throughout the novel as prejudging people is a favourite pastime illustrated by the opening sentence “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen borrowed the title from Fanny Burney’s novel Cecilia, “The whole unfortunate business was the result of Pride and Prejudice.”

The two pivotal characters are both guilty of pride and prejudice and must learn the errors of their ways before they can live “happily ever after”. Elizabeth Bennet, Austen’s heroine, believes herself to be a very shrewd judge of character, but her pride allows herself to fall victim of her own set of prejudices. On the other hand, Darcy is proud of his refinement and superiority of social standing. This leads him to a general prejudice for all those below his social status. The novel is about the pride of Darcy and the prejudice of Elizabeth caused by their mutual misunderstanding.

Earlier in the novel, Mary describes Pride as “…a common failing. Human nature is particularly prone to it”. Mr. Darcy stands as the most obviously proud character. Wickham tells Elizabeth that he has a ‘filial pride’ and we tend to agree with Mrs. Bennett’s complaint that “He walked here and he walked there, fancying himself so very great”.

His haughty manners at the ball gave people a very bad impression of his personality, especially Elizabeth, whom he considered as “tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt (him)”. Lady Catherine, Miss Bingley and even Elizabeth Bennett constitute the other proud characters. While Lady Catherine’s patronizing behaviour and Miss Bingley’s rudeness are due to their social class, Elizabeth can be deemed proud on the account that she has high respect for herself and this is best displayed when Elizabeth refers to Darcy: “And I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” Being rejected by him at the ball, her prejudice mounts up and from the start; she willfully misinterprets all his utterances and actions.

Darcy’s pride stemming from the superiority of intellect, his noble ancestry and his enormous riches prejudices him strongly against Elizabeth’s family and her low connections. Although “he had never been bewitched by any woman as he was by her”, Darcy feels beneath his dignity to admit to his love for her. Even when he can repress his feelings no longer and does propose to Elizabeth, “he was not more eloquent on the subject of the tenderness than on pride”. He is considerably humbled when he is rejected without ceremony, and Elizabeth’s words “had you behaved in a more gentleman like manner” and her criticism of his self-conceit affects him deeply.

Elizabeth’s refusal initiates a process of introspection and self analysis in Darcy. Consequently, he emerges as a man who has gone through a considerable transition. This is revealed by his long explanatory speech to Elizabeth towards the end of the novel. The greatest proof of this transition is in his remaining firm in his choice of Elizabeth even after Lydia-Wickham elopement which draws from Elizabeth the acknowledgement- “indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable.”

Elizabeth's judgments about other characters' dispositions are accurate but only half of the time.  While she is correct about Mr. Collins and how absurdly self-serving and sycophantic he is and about Lady Catherine de Bourgh and how proud and snobbish she is, her first impressions of Wickham and Darcy steer her incorrectly.  When Charlotte tries to show Elizabeth the agreeable side of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth cries out in a disdainful manner: “To find a man agreeable whom one is determined to hate! Do not wish me such an evil”. It is only when she reads Darcy’s letter that her eyes are opened to the true characters of both Darcy and Wickham
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In fact Darcy’s letter introduces in Elizabeth the same self-criticism that Darcy too undergoes. Thus Elizabeth realizes her folly in trusting her first impressions and states, "how despicably have I acted. I, who have prided myself on my discernment! - I, who have valued myself on my abilities."

 To sum up, the title, Pride and Prejudice very aptly pins down to the theme of the novel. The two protagonists have been tangling with pride and prejudice throughout the novel. They also struggled to put down their pride and get rid of their prejudice. However, to say that Darcy is proud and Elizabeth is prejudiced is to tell but half of the story. The fact is that both Darcy and Elizabeth are proud and prejudiced. The novel makes clear the fact the Darcy’s pride leads to prejudice and Elizabeth’s prejudice stems from a pride in her own perceptions.
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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Critical Appreciation of Ramanujan's poem "A River" or What light does a river throw on the poetical characteristics of Ramanujan? or Comment on Ramanujan's use of Irony in the poem "A River"


A.K. Ramanujan’s ‘A River’ is of his finest poem taken from his magnum opus, The Striders (1965). Here the poet has compared and contrasted the attitudes of the old poets and those of the new poets to human suffering. He has come to the conclusion that both the groups of the poets are indifferent to human sorrow and suffering. Their poetry does not reflect the miseries of the human beings. He has proved this point in the present poem.



The poem is all about a river, Vaigai which flows through the heart of Madurai city, the centre of Tamil culture. The word Madurai means a “sweet city”. It is a Tamil word. As a matter of fact, this city is the seat of Tamil culture and learning. It is also a holy city full of temples including the famous Meenakshi Temple. The poets have written many poems on the temples and the river. In the poem A River the poet presents two strikingly contrasting pictures of the river: a vivid picture of the river in the summer season and the river in its full flow when the floods arrive with devastating fury.





In the summer, the river is almost empty. Only a very thin stream of water flows. So the sand ribs on the bed of the river are visible. The stones that lie on the bed of the river also exposed to view. On the Sandy bed could be seen the hair and straw clogging the Watergates. The iron bars under the bridge are in need of repair. The wet stones are all like the sleeping crocodiles. The dry stones look like the shaven buffaloes. It is a wonder for the poet because not too often such scenes are described by the poets. All those symbolize the utter wretchedness and degeneration of human condition in Hindu culture



During the rainy season when the floods hit, the poets of past and present observe it very anxiously. They remember the rising of the river inch by inch from time to time. They remember how the stone steps of the bathing place are submerged one by one. Three village houses were swept away. The news came of a pregnant lady and a couple of cows being washed away. Even the new poets do not bother to write about all these things. They look at it still in the old way as seen by the old poets. In the past, the poets were the appreciators of the cities, temples, rivers, streams and are indifferent to the miseries of human beings and animals. The river dries to a trickle in every summer the “poets sang only of the floods.” Flood is the symbol of destruction to person and property. The poets of today still quoted the old poets sans the relevancy of life:




“The new poets still quoted

the old poets, but no one spoke

in verse of the pregnant woman –
drowned, with perhaps twins in her,
kicking at the blank walls even before birth.”




The above lines satirize and debunk the traditional romantic view of the river Vaigai in Madurai, by the ancient poets. The image of “pregnant woman” implies a fine example of two generations, the present and the future. This is a poignant imagery full of pathos. R. Parthasarathy verily remarks “The relative attitudes of the old and new Tamil poets, both of whom are exposed for their callousness to suffering, when it is so obvious as a result of the flood.” The coloured diapers of the twins symbolize the black people and the white people. The use of wit, irony and humour, and dramatic imagery is distinctive of his style. Also we may label “A River” as a tragic-comic poem.

~~~~~*~~~~~
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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Father's Gift: Motivational Story

Father's Gift: Motivational Story

Everybody talks about Mother’s love.... Yes, she is an Angel of God. But that can’t be the real reason why we underestimate or undervalue Father’s selfless contribution and sacrifice. Here is a wonderful story....   

One Day An 11 Year Old Girl Asked Her Daddy, ”What Are You Going To Get Me For My 15th Birthday ?”

The Father Replied, “There Is Much Time Left.”

When The Girl Was 14 She Fainted And Was Rushed To The Hospital. The Doctor Came Out And Told Her Dad She Had A Bad Heart & She Is Probably Gonna Die…

When She Was Lying In The Hospital Bed, She Said “Daddy… Have They Told You I Am Going To Die ?” The Father Replied; “No You Will Live” As He Left Weeping.

She Said “How Can You Be Sure.” He Turned Around From The Door And Said”I Know.”

She Turns 15 When She Is Recovering And Comes Home To Find A Letter On Her Bed. It Says : ”My Dearest Daughter, If You Are Reading This It Means All Went Well As I Told You. One Day You Asked Me What I Was Giving You For Your 15th Birthday,

I Didn’t Know Then But Now My Present To You Is MY HEART.”


Her Father had Donated His Heart … !

‘BLESSED INDEED IS THE MAN WHO HEARS MANY GENTLE VOICES CALL HIM FATHER’

He makes Many silent Sacrifice for us ~ Love u Daddy;)
~~~~~*~~~~~

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Know All Nobel Prize Winners in English Literature


Founded in 1895 by the Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the Nobel Prize is an annual award acknowledging outstanding contributions to physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and peace. The Nobel Laureates are announced at the beginning of October each year. A couple of months later, on 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death, they receive their prizes from the Swedish King – a Nobel diploma, a medal, and 10 million Swedish crowns per prize. All Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, except for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway.


Here is a list of some eminent literary personas that were awarded and adorned this Nobel Prize for their ornamental contribution in English Literature.

Rudyard Kipling



Name
Rudyard Kipling
Year
1907
Nationality
U.K.
Indian Born
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration that characterize the creations of this world-famous author"
Genre
novel, short story, poetry
Notable Works
The Jungle Book, Kim


Rabindranath Tagore

Name
Rabindranath Tagore
Year
1913
Nationality
Indian
Languages
Bengali & English
Why rewarded?
"because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West"
Genre
poetry, novel, drama, short story, music
Notable Works
Gitanjali, Nirjharer Swapanbhanga, Gora, Naibedya etc.


W. B. Yeats

Name
William Butler Yeats
Year
1923
Nationality
Ireland
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation"
Genre
Poetry
Notable Works
A Vision, The Celtic Twilight, The Tower, The Wild Swan’s at Coole,


G. B. Shaw

Name
George Bernard Shaw
Year           
1925
Nationality
Ireland
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty"
Genre
Drama, literary criticism
Notable Works
Arms and the Man, Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Candida


Sinclair Lewis

Name
Sinclair Lewis
Year
1930
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters"
Genre
novel, short story, drama
Notable Works
Babbitt, It Can’t Happen Here, Free Air, The Job: An American Novel, Arrowsmith, Mantrap


John Galsworthy

Name
John Galsworthy
Year
1932
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his distinguished art of narration, which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga"
Genre
Novel
Notable Works
The White Monkey, The Apple Tree, Silver Box, Passers By, Loyalties, Justice etc.


Eugene O'Neill

Name
Eugene O’Neill
Year
1936
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy"
Genre
Drama
Notable Works
Beyond the Horizon, Dynamo, Ah! Wilderness etc.


P. S. Buck

Name
Pearl S. Buck
Year
1938
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"
Genre
Novel, biography
Notable Works
The Good Earth, Pavilion of Women, Peony, The Big Wave, Sons, Dragon Seed etc.

T. S. Eliot

Name
T.S. Eliot
Year
1948
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”
Genre
Poetry
Notable Works
The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

William Faulkner

Name
William Faulkner
Year
1949
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel
Genre
Short story, novel
Notable Works
Abasalom, Abasalom!, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying etc.

Bertrand Russell

Name
Bertrand Russell
Year
1950
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"
Genre
Philosophy, essay
Notable Works
Why I am not a Christian, The Problems of Philosophy, A History of Western Philosophy etc.

Winston Churchill

Name
Sir Winston Churchill
Year
1953
Nationality
United Kingdom
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”
Genre
history, essay, memoirs
Notable Works
My Early Life, The River War, The World Crisis, Savrola etc.

Earnest Hemingway

Name
Earnest Hemingway
Year
1954
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style"
Genre
Novel, short story, screen play
Notable Works
The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, To Have and Have Not etc.

John Steinbeck

Name
John Steinbeck
Year
1962
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”
Genre
Novel, short story, screen play
Notable Works
Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, Cannery Row etc.

Samuel Beckett

Name
Samuel Becket
Year
1969
Nationality
Languages
English & French
Why rewarded?
"for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation"
Genre
Novel, drama, poetry
Notable Works
Waiting for Godot, Molloy, The Unnamable, Watt etc.

Patrick White

Name
Patrick White
Year
1973
Nationality
Australia(Born in the United Kingdom)
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for an epic and psychological narrative art, which has introduced a new continent into literature”
Genre
Novel, short story, drama
Notable Works
Voss, The Tree of Man, The Eye of the Storm, The Vivisector etc.

Saul Bellow

Name
Saul Bellow
Year
1976
Nationality
United States
(Born in
Canada)
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work”
Genre
Short story, novel
Notable Works
Humboldt’s Gift, Herzog, The Adventure of Augie March, Seize the Day etc.

William Golding

Name
William Golding
Year
1983
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for his novels, which with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today”
Genre
Novel, poetry, drama
Notable Works
Lord of the Flies, Free Fall, The Inheritors, The Pyramid, The Spire etc.

Wole Soyinka

Name
Wole Soyinka
Year
1986
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence"
Genre
Drama, novel, poetry
Notable Works
The Interpreters, The Man Died: Prison Notes, Ake: The Years of Childhood etc.

Joseph Brodsky

Name
Joseph Brodsky
Year
1987
Nationality
Languages
English & Russian
Why rewarded?
"for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity"
Genre
Poetry
Notable Works
Less than One, To Urania, Watermark, So Forth etc.

Nadine Gordimer

Name
Nadine Gordimer
Year
1991
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity"
Genre
Novel, short story, essay
Notable Works
Burger’s Daughter, Le coservateur, The Pickup, No Time Like the Present, The Lying Days etc.

Derek Walcott

Name
Derek Walcott
Year
1992
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment
Genre
Poetry, drama
Notable Works
Omeros, White Egrets, Tiepolo’s Hound etc.

Toni Morrison

Name
Toni Morrison
Year
1993
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality
Genre
Novel
Notable Works
Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Jazz, God Helps the Child, Tar baby, A Mercy, Sula, Songs of Solomon etc.

Seamus Heaney

Name
Seamus Heaney
Year
1995
Nationality
Ireland (Born in the United Kingdom)
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”
Genre
Poetry
Notable Works
Death of Naturalist, Human Chain, North, Seeing Things etc.

V. S. Naipaul

Name
V. S. Naipaul
Year
2001
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories”
Genre
Novel, essay
Notable Works
The Mimic Man, A House for Mr. Biswas, The Enigma of Arrival, A Bend in the River, An Area of Darkness, Miguel Street, Among the Believers etc.

J. M. Coetzee

Name
J. M. Coetzee
Year
2003
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”
Genre
Novel, essay, translation
Notable Works
Disgrace, Foe, Waiting for the Barbarians, Slow Man, Age of Iron, The Childhood of Jesus, etc.

Harold Pinter

Name
Harold Pinter
Year
2005
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms”
Genre
Drama
Notable Works
The Room, The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Dumb Waiter, The Dwarf etc.

Doris Lessing

Name
Doris Lessing
Year
2007
Nationality
 United Kingdom (Born in Iran)
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny
Genre
novel, drama, poetry, short story, memoirs
Notable Works
The Golden Notebook, The Grass is Singing, The Fifth Child, Shikasta, The Good Terrorist

Alice Munro

Name
Alice Munro
Year
2013
Nationality
Languages
English
Why rewarded?
"master of the contemporary short story”
Genre
Short story
Notable Works
Dear Life, Lives of Girls and Women, Who Do You Think You Are?, Dance of the Happy Shades, Too Much Happiness etc.

~~~~~*~~~~~

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