write a critical appreciation of the poem, when you are old?
write a critical appreciation of the poem, when you are old?
“When You are Old” is a beautiful love lyric. The lyric was composed in October 1891, amid W.B.Yeat’s unverifiable association with Maud Gonne who was an Anglo-Irish progressive, women activist and on-screen character.
The speaker of the lyric addresses his beloved saying that when she is matured she should read a specific book which will help her to remember her childhood. She will recall all the people who had cherished her elegance and her excellence with either true or false love before, and furthermore that exclusive who had adored her spirit unequivocally as she developed old and the manner in which she looked changed. As she is helped to remember him, she will lament her botched chance of intimate romance.
In the initial two lines, the speaker pictures his beloved as “old, and grey and full of sleep”, “nodding by the fire”, taking down and reading “this” book, which most likely refers to the book that was to end up Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and Lyrics. The picture evoked is of a drowsy elderly person by the fire. The physical appearance of the lady is summarised by “grey”– her hair, eyes and skin have turned out to be lustreless and dull. The expression “full of sleep” proposes exhaustion, peace and her vicinity to death.
As she will read this book, she will remember the “soft look” and “the deep shadows” that her eyes had once had. Here the lyric gives us a glimpse of the lady’s childhood, proceeding to specify her “glade grace” which had stirred “true and false ” sentiments of adoration in her lovers. The words “sleep”, “slowly”, “soft”, “shadows” recommends a feeling of daze and stupor. The “shadows deep” brings out a feeling of the obscure and the mysterious, maybe inferring the quiet held by a man who has not encountered the harsh aspects of life or the attacks of time.
As she recollects this, she will also recall the man who had adored her for her “pilgrim soul” and the “sorrows of her changing face” as her childhood withered into old age. The “pilgrim soul” refers to the venturing soul, looking for devotion, travelling through life towards the last sign of death and salvation. The line also proposes the worship the speaker feels for the beloved. This man adored her truly and genuinely. The “one man” here refers to Yeats himself since the poem depends on Maud Gonne’s dismissal of him, and is autobiographical.
The lyric comes back to the time period of her old age and portrays her “bending down beside the glowing bars” and mumbling to herself a little tragically how “Love fled/And paced upon the mountains overhead/And hid his face in amid a crowd of stars”. The “glowing bars” allude to the mesh railings of Gonne’s hearth. The last lines appear to recommend Yeats’ sentimental grievousness, irritated and confused, yet accomplishing the extent of the universe in his emotions.
This poem makes a subtle difference between Maud Gonne, who having rejected genuine love has dwindled into pulled back home life while the speaker’s affection has turned out to be supreme because of his confidence in the poise of the Heavens. The complexity is built up through the disjunction between the “glowing bars” and “the crowd of stars”. Rather than throwing unpleasant claims at her for not restoring his affection, he makes a subtle announcement of his commitment.
The themes of the poem are love, misfortune and regret and albeit dependent on the artist’s very own life. The assessment reflected in this lyric is normal to most, if not every, rejected sweetheart.
W.B.Yeats was a vital twentieth-century Irish writer. He was a ground-breaking influence behind the Irish Literary Revival and also established the Abbey Theater along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn. He filled in as its boss for quite a while and also promoted J.M. Synge, Sean O’ Casey and others. In 1923, he won the Noble Prize for Literature, which he viewed as “part of Europe’s welcome to the Free State”.
Yeats had proposed to Maud Gonne, a lovely, rich and brainy women activist, in 1891 and several times after that however had been rejected. He had also proposed to her daughter yet had been dismissed once more. Heat last wedded Georgie Hyde-Lees and had two kids with her – Anne and Michael.
The poem is written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme ABBA CDDC EFFE which gives a steady rhythm to the poem. There is a use of alliteration in “glad grace” and “Love” is personified in the last stanza.
The repeated use of the word “and” in the first stanza gives a slow pace to poem, contributing to the stagnant atmosphere of the scene and the slow movements of the old woman, as she turns the pages of the book.
The literary devices in this poem are not very complex, as the poem flows smoothly by virtue of its simple rhyme scheme creating a sad reflective atmosphere which tones down the warning conveyed through the poem.
Q.No.1. How is the journey from youth to old age described in the poem?
Ans. The poet describes the period of youth as prised with physical charms, attractive eyes, pleasant feeling of love etc, while as it describes the old age in terms of grey hairs, drowsiness, sorrow, and desolation.
Q.No.2. What does the phrase full of sleep mean?
Ans. The phrase ‘ full of sleep’ has a symbolic meaning which means old age. It indicates the natural drowsiness that comes in human beings as one grows old and approaches death.
Q.No.3. How is the poet’s love different from those who also loved his beloved?
Ans. The poet’s love stands different from those of the other lovers. Others loved his beloved for her soft looks, charming eyes, and physical beauty. The poet loved his beloved for her pilgrim soul and inner beauty. His love was spiritual, while as others was sensual.
Q.No.4. What is Maud Gonne reminded of in the poem?
Ans. Maud Gonne is reminded of her youthful days when she was charming and energetic. She is also reminded of her only true love who would love her for her pilgrim soul. Others love was short-lived while as the poet’s love was persistent.
Q.No.5. ‘But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you’ Explain.
Ans. The line describes that there was only one lover who loved Maud Gonne truly. He loved her for her inner beauty which did remain intact for the whole life. His love continued even when she becomes old and ugly while as those whose love was false distanced themselves when her physical charms lived its days.
Q.no.6 Write a paragraph on emotions portrayed in the poem?
Ans. The writer possesses the best feelings of affection for his believed specifically Maud Gonne. But she never reacts his adoration. The poem ‘When You Are Old’ is an outflow of his serious emotions. It hits our heart with feeling.
The writer reminds his darling her energetic days when she was extremely lovely. She had alluring eyes and attractive hair. Many cherished her at that phase of life. But now she has been displayed as an old woman with grey hair and wrinkles all over. The writer turned into an extremely passionate and communicates her to recollect those occasions when she had an alluring body and was adored by numerous individuals. Some adored her with genuine notion while others cherished her physical body just. But there was one man namely the poet who had otherworldly sort of affection for her. This man cherishes her not in her energetic days but rather at each phase of her life. He adores her even when the distresses of old age mists her face and left their mark there.
The love poem paints the image of vanishing youth, dying excellence, and momentary nature of false love. The feelings depicted in the lyric contacts a portion of our most profound and most serious sentiments. This poem is loaded with feeling and energy. Yeats utilizes the word love in all lines in the second stanza and in the third stanza, a second line he capitalizes this word giving it so much power. That exhibit by, in light of the fact that it fled over the mountains and covers up in a horde of stars. That adoration goes up and high like if it is expanding, inaccessible and unapproachable.
It can also be seen as notwithstanding when he will be dead, his affection will be alive. Here, we see that he needs Gonne to know the size of his adoration for her. The creator exemplifies the affection in the lines “and paced upon the mountains overhead”, “and hid his face in the crowd of stars”. “Paced” appears to me like moving between various places without being steady and picking the correct thing or the perfect individual. We can also observe alliteration in the words “hid”, “his”. He sets up again the critical need that Maud picks him now.
I also observe as though nature assumes an essential job in his approach to express how unadulterated his adoration was for her. The creator will, in general, utilize these components of nature in a considerable lot of his verse like in the ballad ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ (1898).
I decipher the words “glowing bars” as the jail of adoration and figments or the excited obstructions to give and get love in light of the fact that the ideal opportunity for it will be left. This is found in the main line of the third stanza; “And bending down beside the glowing bars”. He’s begging her affection, twisting down and adjacent to each hindrance, which are her adoration and the other men, to let her know he is perseverant and has an unrestricted love for Maud Gonne.
Different pieces of information we found to achieve this end are that in the event that we set up together a few words that rhyme like “sleep” and “deep”, on the first stanza, we can see the picture of a dead individual. In the event that we do the same with words “grace”, “face”, on the second stanza, we envision and feel the magnificence; the same occurs when we set up together the words “true”and “you” on the second stanza as well, we can feel that it is the thing that he truly cherishes; the genuine you, the true self, Gonne’s spirit. Also, at long last, in the event that we set up together the words “fled” and “overhead”, on the third stanza, we have the symbolism, the sentiment of something that has left. This all demonstrates Yeats is giving her the subliminal command inside the unmistakable and direct message to cherish him now, that he is the special case who truly adores her and to not give time a chance to stroll against their satisfaction.
As we can find, Yeats unbelievably utilizes numerous components impeccable and harmoniously associated and concentrated into a short poem, for example, alliteration, immaculate metric, spondees, images and personification of affection to give her the correct message influencing to reach her change of mind and reciprocal love to him.
Q.No.7. What images does the poet use in the poem?
Ans. The poet uses following images in the poem: grey hair, full of sleep, nodding by the fire, deep shadows of eyes, sorrow of changing face, glowing bars etc.
Q.No.8. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
Ans. The poem is written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme ABBA CDDC EFFE which gives a steady rhythm to the poem.
“When You Are Old” by William Butler Yeats additional questions
1. What does the poem infer about the power of poetry and the written word?
The poem infers that poetry lasts and remains as a constant reminder of what was. The speaker suggests that poetry has the ability to contain a man’s life in its lines and, in turn, to ensure that the life never dies.
2. The term “glad grace” is an example of what literary device?
The repetition of the ‘g’ sound suggests that it is an example of alliteration.
3. In what ways is the soul, to the speaker, a “pilgrim”?
The soul of the spoken to is on a pilgrimage through life. It is in a state of constant movement and experience, with its ultimate destination, through death, being heaven.
4. By having love flee to join the “crowd of stars” overhead, what is the speaker suggesting is its role in life?
Love is described as having a role of protector and guidance through life for the pilgrim soul.
write a critical appreciation of the poem, when you are old?
orisons – prayers
shires – counties
pallor – paleness
pall – a cover for a coffin
1. What does the simile, “who die as cattle” suggest about the death of the young soldiers?
The comparison of the soldiers to dying cattle suggest the number of casualties, as well as a tinge of anger, at how their lives are being disposed of without much thought in the name of war.
2. What literary device is used to create images rather than simply offer descriptions of the weapons of war in the first octet of the poem?
The first stanza is filled with uses of onomatopoeia: stuttering, puttering, patter, shrill, and wailing.
3. Why do you think the speaker employs religious terminology in the first stanza of the poem? What does it say about his view of organized religion and war?
The use of religious terminology and imagery remain consistent with the undertone of irony and sarcasm found throughout the poem. In the first stanza, the use refers to the lack of hope and grace on the battlefield.
4. How does Owen link the two stanzas of his poem? Why does it break?
The two stanzas of the poem are linked by the idea of a calling. The first stanza concludes with the calling of bugles to war, while the second stanza begins with the calling of candles from war. The poem breaks to show the transition from the action of the first stanza to the inaction (through death) of the second.
5. What do the soldiers receive in lieu of a funeral?
Rather than proper burials, the soldiers receive the thoughts of those they left behind.
6. What is the term for the repetition of the ‘r’ sound in “rifles’ rapid rattle”?
The above phrase exemplifies alliteration. The repetition of the ‘a’ sound in rapid and rattle is also an example of assonance.
Introduction to the Poem: The poem “Dover Beach” was published in 1867. The poet has expressed pessimism in this poem. The world is full of misery. Even the Greek poet Sophocles sang it. But in olden times men had faith and love for each other, but that they have now lost and instead fight with each other. The poet is reminded of it by ebb and flow of the sea at the Dover beach.
One night, the speaker of “a Beach” sits with a woman inside a house, looking out over the English Channel near the town of Dover. On the coast of France, they see the lights just twenty miles away, and the ocean is calm and peaceful.
When the light over in France suddenly extinguishes, the speaker focuses on the English side, which remains tranquil. He trades visual imagery for aural imagery, describing the “grating roar” of the pebbles being pulled out by the waves. He finishes the first stanza by calling the music of the world an “eternal note of sadness.”
The next stanza flashes back to ancient Greece, where Sophocles heard this same sound on the Aegean Sea and was inspired by it to write his plays about human misery.
Stanza three presents the primary metaphor of the poem, with “The Sea of Faith / Was once too, at the full, and round earth’s shore.” The phrase indicates that faith fads from society just as the tide is from the shore. Through melancholy diction, the speaker laments this decrease of belief.
In the final stanza, the speaker directly addresses his beloved who sits next to him, asking that they always be true to one another and to the world that is laid out before them. He warns, however, that the world’s beauty is only an illusion, since it is, in fact, a battlefield full of people fighting in absolute darkness.
Summary in Points
In the last stanza, he asks us to love each other as this world is really a joyless place.
“Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold is a lyric poem set in the vicinity of a Dover, along the southeast bank of England, where Arnold and his new spouse spent their honeymoon in 1851. It is accepted that the poet composed the first draft of “Dover Beach” while here, experiencing the English Channel toward the coast of France, around twenty-six miles away. Arnold and his wife are frequently viewed as the models for the speaker and audience in the poem, albeit any young man and woman could represent the two figures in the story, caught in a moment of their initial lives.
“Dover Beach” is most often classified as a dramatic monologue, a poetic form that Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and especially Robert Browning, found extremely attractive. The monologue, or poem spoken by a single voice, is made dramatic by the presence of a silent audience of one or more listeners, whose responses may be indicated by the speaker, or persona. In this way, the poet may be empowered to express views using another person’s voice, as William Shakespeare is known for doing.
This strategy may have been particularly attractive to Arnold, for the views of his speaker are diametrically opposed to his own education and upbringing. Matthew was six years old when he was moved into the Rugby School after his clergyman father Thomas Arnold became its headmaster or principal. As headmaster, Thomas Arnold gained a reputation for educational reform, based on his commitment to the high seriousness of making students aware of the moral as well as the social issues that would make them responsible citizens.
“Dover Beach” has often been read as a kind of seismological record of the shock waves in traditional religion brought about by the New Science in the mid-nineteenth century. The geology of Charles Lyell and others was forcing Europeans and Americans to rethink how life began on the planet. Lyell’s discoveries of fossils dating back more than one million years were making it increasingly difficult to accept the traditional notion in the book of Genesis that the world is the work of a creator a mere six or seven thousand years ago. By 1851, when “Dover Beach” was probably written, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, and other scientists had already theorized the essentials of evolution, but it would take Darwin another eight years to publish his findings. Even then, Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) only at the urging of his friends, who warned him that others would publish first if he did not set aside his concerns for the devastating moral and spiritual consequences of challenging the traditional story of how life began. It is probably no coincidence that Arnold himself postponed the publication of “Dover Beach” until 1867.
The poem begins with a naturalistic scene, clearly within the Romantic tradition established by William Wordsworth. Like Wordsworth, Arnold understands the elegance and power of simple language: “The sea is calm tonight./ The tide is full, the moon lies fair/ Upon the straits.” As often noted, the first stanza contains fourteen lines and the second and third stanzas have six and eight lines, respectively, suggesting the sonnet form, but without its more complicated meter and rhyme systems. From its initial visual images, the first stanza and the subsequent two stanzas move toward the dominance of auditory images. The shift is justified by the obviously limited opportunity to see, even with moonlight, but also by the strong impact of the waves breaking on the beach. By the first stanza’s end, the persona, or speaker, has established the poem’s central metaphor of the waves’ “tremulous cadence slow” to represent an “eternal note of sadness.” Additionally, a mere five lines into the poem, the voice has introduced a listener in the scene—telling the reader to “Come to the window”—setting up a tension: Who is the listener? What will be the effect of the melancholy poetic statement on that listener?
This “eternal note” draws the persona further from the directly visualized opening scene with its simple but strong language. The allusion to the ancient Greek tragic dramatist Sophocles offers a context for the speaker’s growing “sadness.” (Arnold was among one of the last generations for whom a classical education entailed learning ancient Greek and Latin to read the classics in their original languages.) The allusion also draws the poem into the more didactic strategy of a statement—asserting rather than implying meaning—and the deployment of something like allegory—a “Sea of Faith” once at its “flow” but now at its “ebb.” This third stanza also reveals evidence of the poet’s effort at elevating the language, producing the difficult opening lines in which that sea once “round earth’s shore/ Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled,” a choice of words guaranteed to confuse the modern reader. This “girdle” is appropriate to the classical context of Sophocles, but not to the modern world, where it denotes an article of intimate apparel. However, attempts of academics to clarify that meaning have distracted attention from the figurative logic of a sea as a “girdle,” or belt, as well as from the unfortunate combination of sounds in “girdle furled.” Another issue left unaddressed is the dominance of pessimism in the persona’s inability to attend to the logic of this “Sea of Faith”: Whatever ebbs will inevitably flow in the future.
The final stanza recalls the earlier reference to the listener—“Ah, love, let us be true/ To one another!”—to focus on the melancholy consequences of the weakening of faith. To the persona, and presumably the poet, the world truly is “a land of dreams,” pipe dreams with nothing to believe in, not just God and an afterlife but “joy,” “love,” and so on. This is Romantic love at its most radical. Without love between a man and a woman, the world is as confusing—and as lethal—as a night battle, fraught with friendly fire. In a sense, Arnold is announcing the big question for the modern world, intent on forcing love to bear the enormous weight of providing human lives with meaning: If love is all humans have, what do they do when they cannot find love, or keep it? It is a question that resonates through the novels, too, of Ernest Hemingway, such as in his A Farewell to Arms (1929), or in the contexts of wedding receptions, where some have to suppress the depressing thought, will this be one of every two marriages that end in divorce?
1. Theme :
Matthew Arnold’s ‘Dover Beach’ captures beautifully the poet’s deep dissatisfaction with his age and its loss of faith. He puts for the idea that the root cause of the miseries of men in the modern world is lack of faith. This is an idea prevalent in both the prose and verse of Arnold.
2. Expression :
The idea is expressed in the form of a beautiful metaphor. Humanity is presented as a sea-shore, faith as the sea. In the past ages, the heart of man was full of faith like a beach covered with sea-water at the time of the flow of the tide. Today the human heart is dry, like a beach at ebb-tide. Only the dry and soulless religious formulas, ceremonies and practices remain in it like pebbles on sea beach.
3. Naturalness :
This metaphor is sustained throughout the later part of the poem, except in the last three lines, where modern life is presented as a dark plain where a mad battle is on. The metaphor of the sea emerges naturally out of the poem in gradual degrees. Nothing is forced.
The poem has all the suggestiveness associated with great poetry.
4. Pictorial Power:
Apart from the idea that this poem puts forth, it is remarkable for the beautiful and effective picture of Dover Beach presented in it. With a few touches, the poet succeeds in presenting a picture of great beauty vivid and clear. The sound of the waves beating against the shore is also beautifully captured.
5. A Note of Sadness:
The poem has sad music about it sad like the slow, mournful beat of the waves described in it. It has that note of sadness and dissatisfaction that is so common in Arnold’s writings. All things considered, it is one of the most beautiful poems in the language – simple and suggestive weighed with a heavy sweetness, yet restrained in expression as well as the sentiment.
D.S. Tatke makes the following comment on this poem- then heightens the meaning in the next eight lines by using the images to express the last journey which everyone must make, so does Arnold in this poem build a beautiful picture of the calm sea and the moon-blanched shore and makes us aware of the fact that though from the distance the picture is so calm and peaceful yet those who live near enough always hear the grating roar of pebbles and the eternal note of sadness and then deepens the meaning by giving it a philosophic content.
6. Transition to Philosophic Meditation:
The transition to philosophic meditation comes in the second stanza. The third uses the image of the first stanza to express the present predicament – the loss of faith and the consequent gloom which is the most prominent note of Arnold’s poems. The fourth stanza is an appeal to a beloved woman to be true to each other for that alone can sustain them in this land of dreams whose reality is very different from its appearance.
7. Need for a Positive Faith:
The poem successfully expresses the fascination and the need Arnold felt for a positive faith and the reluctance with which he must accept the painful, unavoidable reality.
Note the perfect picture of the age with all its complexity in the last three lines of the poem –
“And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”
His poems are marked by a restraint and, a conscious control. Neither excessively musical nor deliberately rugged the expression diction, imagery, rhythm – is marked by a perfect clearness, competence, and precision. He is far too meditative a poet to be lyrical. His best poetry is reflective, always burdened by thoughts of the predicament of his generation. In a letter written in 1869, Arnold claimed that his poems ‘represent the main movement of the mind of the last quarter of a century’.
‘Dover Beach’ is one of Arnold’s most famous poems. It is one of his most characteristic poems too. It has a sad tone and it expresses Arnold’s sorrow at the loss of faith in the modern
When we analyse the epithets used in the poem, we find that Arnold does not use colour epithets anywhere in this poem. Even in the first stanza where he describes the landscape, no colour epithet is used. But this deficiency does not in any way mar the literary merit of the poem. Arnold describes the landscape in a way that the reader is easily able to visualize the landscape and its varied colour. “On the French coast, the light / Gleams, and is gone.” We can very easily visualize the colour here. Where he speaks of the “moon-blanch’d sand” he makes us see the sandy place shining white in the moon-lit night without using colour epithet.
Another way in which he makes up the deficiency of colour epithets is by making us hear the sound of the waves striking the shore and then returning. He says:
“Listen ! you hear the granting roar
Of pebbles which the waves such back, and fling
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.”
He again says: “But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating to the beath
Of the night-wind down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
1. What do you appreciate in this poem?
Answer: We appreciate the clarity of expression gravity, dignity of thought, proportion, and harmony.
2. When was the poem published?
Answer: The poem was published in 1867.
3. What does the poet express in the poem?
Answer: The poet has expressed pessimism in the poem.
4. What classic reference does the poem display?
Answer: Even the Greek poet Sophocles (classic) sang it.
5. What great lectures did the people of old age have?
Answer: They had faith and love for each other.
6. What is the poet reminded of in the poem Dover Beach?
Answer: The poet recalls the old age of faith and leaves by the ebb and flow of the sea which the modern man does not have.
7. What kind of faith does Arnold refer to?
Answer: Arnold has Religious faith.
8. Is Arnold a poet of Nature?
Answer: No, he is not a worshipper of nature like Wordsworth.
9. What does ‘Nature’ mean to Arnold?
Answer: To Arnold nature is quite indifferent to man. It is man’s love for each other that helps
1. By now you must have understood the poem and the poet’s intention of his creative impulse
2. Written in 1867.
3. A classical poem with a pessimistic or tragic appeal.
4. Compares the olden times modern times etc.
1. Who is the speaker of this poem? Who is he talking to? What is their relationship?
The speaker of the poem is a young man. He is speaking to his love. The poem suggests that they are having a difficult relationship (“And we are here as on a darkling plain swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight”).
2. What is the relationship between the setting in stanza one and the description in stanza two of what Sophocles heard beside another sea?
In the first stanza, the sea is described as playing an “eternal note of sadness.” Similarly, the Aegean Sea brings misery to Sophocles’ mind. The relationship is that the sea is not a symbol of hope and independence, but rather of misery and of constraint.
3. What is the relationship of the first and second stanzas to the “Sea of Faith” described in stanza three?
The Sea of Faith, like the beaches and seas described in the first two stanzas, once was alive and present around the world. The difference is that the Sea of Faith represents hope and faith, while the new water represents misery.
4. The final stanza offers love as the solution for the problems that the speaker and his lover see in the world around them. Explain the meaning of love and its importance in this poem. Do you agree with Arnold’s idea? What does this poem suggest about love and the modern world?
Love, like the waters, is ever present, but also ever changing (ebbing and flowing). The speaker suggests that love is the solution since it is natural and unsought for. Love, too, is present. He urges his love to focus on the present calm, the present love, in hopes that it will lead to a bright future.
5. The poem’s concluding image calls to mind the chaotic night-battle at Epipolae when Athenian warriors, unable to see, killed friend and enemy alike. What, to the speaker, do the waters warn of?
The waters warn of humanity’s sad destiny by reminding him of the past.
1. Write a critical appreciation of the poem Dover Beach.
2. Who was Sophocles? How could he have heard in ancient Greece the same note of sadness in the sea as Arnold observed in Victorian England?
3. How are the ignorant armies, according to Arnold, clashing by night?
4. Where is the battle being fought?
5. Arnold employs no epithet of colour in Dover Beach. How does he make up for his deficiency?
6. What are the main characteristics of the Victorian Age to Which Matthew Arnold belonged?
7. What does the concluding stanza portray in the poem Dover Beach?
8. What kind of mental frame did Matthew Arnold have? Why ?.
9. Can you identify some chief pessimistic poets of the Victorian Age?
10. Write down the summary of the poem Dover Beach.
11. What were the circumstances that forced Arnold to criticize the modern man?
Note: For answers refer to the above notes.
Olliver Goldsmith was born on November 29, 1728, in Pallas, Forney Parish, Longford, Ireland. His was a clergyman’s son. He went to local college and then to Trinity College, Dublin in 1744. He arrived in London in 1756 after leaving the University and unsuccessfully attempting his hand on many activities. He worked as a college usher, a chemist’s store assistant, a medical practitioner, and a literary hack. His life became kinder after 1759. He became a prominent member of the circle of Johnson and became known as the author of poems, plays, and novels., an a
The very objective of this study is to place Oliver Goldsmith in the proper perspective as a writer in the eighteenth century- the age of enlightenment and reason. He was a great genius and tried his hand at fiction, prose, drama, and poetry. His contribution to English comedy is not negligible. He reacted sharply to the Sentimental comedy which was under the spell of French playwriters of the period. The objective is to highlight how dexterously he revived the spirit of Shakespearean comedy and recreated the atmosphere of Farquhar’s Beaus Strategem on the English stage. He brought the genre of comedy on the right track because it had deviated from the norms of depicting genuine humanity and humour, and had degraded itself into maudlin and lachrymose sentimentality.
Introduction to the Life of Oliver Goldsmith
Oliver Goldsmith had very humble origins. He spent his childhood in the little village Lissoy in the rural surroundings of Longford, Ireland. His father was a poor Protestant curate. He went to the village school. He also studied at Trinity College, Dublin. He became the postmaster of the arts of dissipation and practical joking. After his father’s death, his mother lived in abject penury. Goldsmith’s relatives helped him thrice to emigrate to find work for a living. He was sent to Edinburgh to study medicine. He spent two years there, ostensibly engaged in study, but his heart was in tramping about the countryside and the streets with his flute to support him. He traveled to various countries on the continent of Europe depending for food and lodging on humble cottagers. He had nothing to pay except to play upon his flute. For some time, he worked as a bookseller’s hack. He took to teaching and acting but he didn’t succeed in either of them.
He was in such straits that he ran errands and slept with professional beggars. He failed in the examination for the surgeon’s mate at a hospital and reverted to hack-writing. He was not an expert of any specific discipline but he did try his hands-on natural history, English history, and Roman history for writing. During this period, he developed a graceful picturesque style of writing. Surely a great writer was in the making. His work Letters of a Citizen of the World appeared anonymously in The Public Ledger in 1762. These letters were professed to be from the hand of Chinese philosophers visiting England. The contents consisted of a critique of contemporary genteel English manners.
Goldsmith made acquaintance with Dr. Samuel Johnson and was admitted to his literary circle which included Blake, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Garrick, etc. The publication of The Traveller established his reputation as a man of letters. It was a reflective poem which narrated his early experience. He came out with a short novel The Vicar of Wakefield: regarded as a classic of the period. He wrote a lengthy poem The Deserted Village (1770). It was haphazardly planned but it was full of exquisite passages. Credit goes to him for having written such comedies as- The Good Natur’d Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1774). In spite of his recurring income obtained from various booksellers for hack compilations, his debts amounted to 2000 pounds. He died of nervous fever in 1774 and was buried at the Temple. Dr. Samuel Johnson’s epitaph on Goldsmith reads- “He touched nothing that he did not adorn”- was the most correct and concise estimate of Goldsmith’s genius. Grace was a salient feature of his style. Goldsmith was duly admired as a poet by his contemporaries. Unfortunately, The Traveller is hardly read today but his poem The Deserted Village is more widely known. Both of these poems are products of his genuinely poetical and imaginative genius. These poems anticipate the Lyrical Ballads (1798)
The Vicar of Wakefield, a novel by Goldsmith was a landmark in the history of the England novel. Its characterization is very skillful. There was nearly always an undercurrent of decent humour. His play The Good Natur’d Man was like a gust of fresh air in a sickroom. Critics regarded it as a dramatic failure on the ground that the people were not ready to abandon lachrymosity for laughter. His play, She Stoops to Conquer was a grand success. It had all the elements which constituted the perfect farce and sentimental comedy. This was the kind of comedy that Goldsmith desired on the stage.
Goldsmith and his Age: His Career and Character
It was the fag end of the reign of George II. Thanks to Dr. Samuel Johnson, the pursuit of literature was becoming an independent profession. A man of letters was getting free from the patronage of the aristocracy. Whitehead was the Poet Laureate of England. Griffiths- a bookseller of Paternoster Row- engaged Goldsmith as a hack upon his Monthly Review. For boars, lodging and a little sum of pocket money, he wrote stray articles and reviews. When his landlord was carried off to prison for debt, Goldsmith, being very compassionate by nature, could not endure the distress of the man’s wife. He pawned his new clothes and handed her the money. Hearing this, Griffiths- thought of Goldsmith as a villain and threatened him with extreme measures. Goldsmith began to write articles for the Bee, The Busybody, and The Lady’s Magazine and made a literary reputation for himself: His book An Inquiry into the State of Polite Learning in Europe appeared in Europe. In course of time Bishop Percy,
Garrick, Smollett, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Dr. Samuel Johnson became his acquaintances. He has given a guinea article in the Public Ledger. His Chinese Essays were first published in it. He would have prospered if his extravagance had not kept him nearly always in debt. He was fond of hosting suppers and had developed a taste for fine clothes. He liked colored events. He was sponged upon for guineas and half-guineas by some rascals who knew that he was a man of kind disposition. A guinea could never remain for a single day in his pocket. He was in the employment of Newsbery (a bookseller). He worked very hard throughout the day and spent his evening in the company of Dr. Samuel Johnson at Sir Joshua’s, or at the Literary Club. When he left Newbery, he landed in trouble. James Boswell record in his Life of Dr. Johnson: “I received one morning” said Dr. Johnson “a message from poor Goldsmith that he was in great distress and as it was not in his power to come to me- begging that I could come to him as soon as possible. I sent him a guinea and promised to come to him directly. I accordingly went as soon as I was dressed and found that his landlady had him arrested for his rent at which he was in a great passion. I perceived that he had already changed my guinea and had got a bottle of Madeira and a glass before him. I put the cork into the bottle, desired he would be calm, and began to talk to him of the means by which he might be extricated. He then told me that he had a novel ready for the press, which he produced to me. I looked into it, and saw its merits; told the landlady I would soon return, and having gone to a bookseller, sold it for £60. I brought Goldsmith the money, and he discharged his rent, not without rating his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill.” This novel was The Vicar of Wakefield and its publisher was the younger Newbery.
The novel proved to be the turning point in Goldsmith’s literary career. He presented the credentials of his creative genius in the form of this novel. Oliver Goldsmith was a man of infinite good humour: “Where he had aroused the scorn of the Club by foolish attempts at wise discourse, his simplicity would in a moment transform contempt into friendship.” Though he was guilty of vanity, recklessness, and obstinacy, he was entirely free from the “sins of the spirit.” He was essentially as lovable a person as his own Vicar of Wakefield. In his physical appearance, he was a shrewd-looking, low-statured man with five feet five inches, with a big round head, a pale scarred face with a bulging forehead and large pouting lips. His friend Dr. Samuel Johnson was a giant figure over six feet. Let me imagine when the two writers met in Fleet Street London, Goldsmith in his gaudy-coloured velvet and gold lace must have looked a curious personality. He was known as “Nall” or “Nolly” or “Goldy” or Poor Little Goldsmith” Beauclerk writes about him: “We were entertained as usual by Goldsmith’s absurdities.” Masson remarks, “He is a positive idiot except when he has a pen in his hand.” His friend Garrick commented upon Goldsmith’s grave: “Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll, Who wrote like an angel but talked like poor Poll.”
Socio-political Ethos of Goldsmith’s Time
As has been referred to earlier, literary patronage of the artist by aristocrats was coming to an end. Writers began to depend now more on their own resources and on the reading public, and no less on the booksellers as we have seen in the case of Goldsmith. He was aware of all the hard grind and drudgery of literary activities. The social content, therefore dominated literary themes. Goldsmith was highly conscious of his audience and reading public. In the last decades of the seventeenth century and the first decades of the eighteenth century, the writers did thrive under certain patronage. Someone supported the writers directly and even appointed them to some civil or ecclesiastical office. The writer did not make a living professionally by writing books. Goldsmith was one of those eminent writers who challenged and revolted against such patronage. Dr. Samuel Johnson famous letter to Lord Chesterfield in February 1755 was a declaration of the writer’s independence. Goldsmith had no patron and therefore, he had to face abject penury though the popular market was expanding. Alexander Pope in The Dunciad speaks of “caves of poverty and poetry.” Henry Fielding records the hand-to-mouth existence of a hack writer in Author’s Farce. Thomas Amory in his novel John Buncle tells us how Edmond Curil- the bookseller and his hacks sleep in relays- three in a bed. Dr. Samuel Johnson in his Life of Savage paints the sordid poverty and relentless struggle of writers. But soon the profession was on the way to independence. The writer could earn his bread and butter by writing in prestigious journals, newspapers, and magazines. The Spectator extended the circle of readers. Addison took upon himself the task of educating the public morality and healthy criticism and amused his readers by satire and curious chapter sketches. A. Pope’s translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey were sold like hotcakes. They were not dedicated to any aristocrat or a prime but to Congreve. The Gentleman’s Magazine was founded in 1731 and several other periodicals reviewing and popularizing contemporary literature were started. The eighteenth-century fiction had a large number of readers. Richardson’s success with Pamela and Clarissa, Sterne’s with Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey< Macpherson’s Ossian were portents of an epoch of popular literary taste and sentiment.
The political and economic conditions of England fostered the growth of social consciousness along with literary proliferation. This was the trend of practical humanism. This period was known as the age of prose and reason. A general desire for social harmony prevailed as a sequel to the Civil War and the persecution of dissenters after Lord Monmouth’s rise in 1685. The remarkable feature of the period was the evolving social order with the reason being the key attribute. Economic progress was certainly responsible for the growth of social consciousness. Daniel Defoe speaks admiringly of the abundance of things, rising buildings, and new discoveries during this period. The organic conception of society linking together the high and the low, the illustrious and the obscure, emerged though the class distinctions had not entirely disappeared. More and more attention was given to the management of public affairs. John Locke desired that men should seek knowledge of material causes and effects of things and that they should develop such arts, engines, and inventions which could contribute to a happier state of society. The Bank of England was well established now. Traders, merchants, bankers, industrialists, etc preoccupied themselves with a new sophisticated economic order. They were as respectable in society as in the domain of literature. Sir Andrew Freeport in The Spectator is a remarkable character in the context. He is admired for indefatigable industry, strong reason, and a great experience.” James Boswell writes: “In this great commercial country, it is natural that a situation which produces much wealth should be considered very respectable.”
This was “The strongest assertion of the Middle class” which has emerged very strongly. The men of all sects and creeds were in fact, now willing to take up business as the very philosophy of life. England was heading for industrial property. The commercial prosperity got centered in London. It became an unfailing object of literary reflection. We find it in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, Belinda’s dressing table, loaded with “All Arabia” breathing from perfume boxes; tortoise-shell and ivory stuck in combs, the various offerings of the world have been assembled for her make-up. Commercial prosperity in the Royal Exchange is well reflected in Addison’s Spectator (Paper No. 9). Ken interest began to be evinced in foreign lands as one notices in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Throughout the eighteenth century, interest in the East was mounting: The South Sea Company was launched in 1711 and The South Sea Bubble burst in 1720. Commodore Anson Circumnavigated the globe during (1740-44), Byron’s grandfather commodore John Byron did it in (1764-66) Captain Wallis did it in 1775-78. Captain Cook made his several expeditions in 1768-71, 1772-75 and 1776-79. Eastern trade constituted a small part of British economy. Burke’s brilliant speeches refer admiringly to England’s Eastern trade and its brighter prospects. This trade was the channel for a wave of Oriental interest which spread in entire Europe. The European came to know of oriental wisdom and virtue and enlightened moral values.
Literary Trends in the Eighteenth Century England
From the imaginative and literary writings of the period we get a glowing perspective of the countryside. Daniel Defoe painted it rosy in his Tour; Thomson’s Seasons, Gay’s Rural Sports, Dyer’s Fleece,…….all breathe an atmosphere of growing prosperity. We may contrast it with Oliver Goldsmith’s The Deserted Village mourning the lost happy peasantry of his youthful days: Under the enclosure system, the private estates replaced the old communally formed open fields and a large number of the laborious were dispossessed.
It would be a blunder to forget that the evolving social order in the eighteenth century was accompanied by violence. It is worthwhile to refer to Anti-Roman Catholic Popish Plot and attempts to block James II’s succession and also Lord Shaftsbury’s plot against James II in favour of Lord Monmouth. Dryden has dexterously exposed it in his satires- The Medal and Absalom and Achitophel. Then came Lord Monmouth’s revolt, the anti-Dissenter riots, provoked by the Tory Occasional Conformity Bill, of which the literary offshoot was Daniel Defoe’s parody- The Shortest Way with the Dissenters and the bitter Tory campaign against Marlborough in which Jonathan Swift’s Conduct of The Allies accelerated his fall. Intrigues of parties, on the verge of Civil War in the Whig Replacement of the Stuart line by the Hanoverian one in 1714, personal animosities during the Prime Ministership of Walpole, John Wilkes’s disputed election to the Parliament and lastly the American War of Independence followed. The French Revolution in 1789 was a great event in France: The fort of Bastille was stormed by the masses. Queen Antoniette was guillotined. The age of Oliver Goldsmith was ripe for socio-political upheavals and drastic changes.
The literature of the period, therefore, reflects the irresistible desire of the people to maintain law and order. The reason was the very basis of desirable social order. Saint Evremond tells us: “We love plain truth; good sense has gained ground upon the illusions of fancy and nothing satisfies us nowadays but solid reason.: Dryden thought of “wit” as “propriety of words and thoughts adapted to the subjects”. Pope defined it as “what oft was thought but beer so well expressed.” Hume, harping upon the Aristotelian idea of the constant universals of human nature,” sought to explore it further. Therefore, wit in the eighteenth century meant not only stating and formulating the familiar truths but it was also impressing upon mankind with fresh ways of thinking and discovering new truths. We can understand why propriety, perspicuity, elegance, and cadence came to he highly valued both in poetry and prose: The discourse or content was to be happily-worded. Horace’s Art Poetica and Boileau’s Lirt Poetique ruled the day. Jonathan Swift in his Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding emphasized the value of good conversation and etiquette. Oliver Goldsmith in his Account of the Augustan Age bears witness to the accomplishment of these values: A happy union of literature and polite society marked the salient feature of the age.
These Augustans debt to the past cannot be underestimated. Though they lived their own lives, had their moral ideas, and developed their lifestyle. They showed deep respect for the way the things had been done in the glorious classical past. They regard their lives collective as an integral part of a majestic ideal of humanity. They tried their best to emulate the great masters. Dryden quotes Longinus in his Preface to Troilus and Cressida (1669): “Those great men whom we propose to ourselves as patterns of our limitation serve us as a torch which if lifted up before us, to enlighten our passage and often elevate our thoughts as high as the conception we have of our author’s genius.” It is stated in the 86th Guardian: “The ancient were fountains of good sense and eloquence.” Burke’s letter to a member of National Assembly(1791) speaks volumes of England’s disdain of Rousseauesque anarchy.
Goldsmith and his Contemporarily Drama and Fiction
Oliver Goldsmith was a playwright of no little importance. In his play She Stoops to Conquer, there is an undercurrent of hemour and satire. It marks a sort of relief from the turgidity of the heroic drama to lighter stuff.
The gaiety, cynicism and the strain of immorality of the Restoration period are fully reflected in this witty play. It satirizes the social behaviour of a certain class of English society. It is a sentimental comedy which reacts against Restoration wit and license. Goldsmith’s play She Stoops to Conquer incorporates a genuine spirit of comedy.
Satire came very handy to the Restoration playwrights and which was the legitimate element of drama had degenerated into farce. A new impulse now came to sustain the drama: it was sentimentalism. Sentimentality and bourgeois respectability went hand in hand. The desire to attack licentious morality of the period, the finer intelligence of Henry Fielding got deviated from the stage to the novel. He came out with Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones. Tom, the bastard, he sats the natural impulses of genuine humanity against hypocritical and calculating ‘vartue.’ While determining the grow of the sentimental movement we should take into account the bourgeois concept respectability and stiff calculating commercialism. It is to be noted that a counter-movement began at the same time. It is crystal clear in Richardson’s Pamela and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. Sentimentalism which encroached upon the drama and the fiction of the day expressed decadent morals. A weaker form of sentimentality implies unmanly pity, lack of moral strength, and puritanical hypocrisy. Jean Jaqucs Rousseau is sentimental but his sentimentalism is saturated with humanitarianism. Sentimentalism, which penetrated the comedy of the period, banished murth and laughter from the stage. Etherege, Wycherley, Farquhar, Congreve might be rather lax in their moral tone but they did catch the genuine spirit of comedy. They not only provoked mirth and laughter but they also recognized the social problems of the days.
It was hypocrisy masquerading as sentimentalism. The sentimental movement may be traced back to the early eighties of the seventeenth century. The political interest of the public during the last phase of Charles II, the reign of James II and the Rebellion contributed to the dramatic literature as the people had become highly aware of religious, political and moral forces interacting in society. The Puritan ascendancy and commercialism went side by side and the net outcome was hypocritical and calculating virtue. Henry Fielding with his unclouded reason was the first writer to react against it.
The recurring theme of the sentimental comedy is that their licentious characters get reformed in course of time. Sir Richard Steele started the vogue of the Sentimental comedy. He threw all his weight on the side of morality as he believed in domestic happiness, in faithful love and in the goodness of the human heart. His play The Tender Husband emphasizes honorable love as the very basis of domestic happiness. The Sentimental comedy as a brand of drama was saturated with emotional sense and sentimental platitudes: it was divorced from realism. It was centered primarily on the middle class of society. It depicted the world of fops and dandies and fashionable ladies and exposed all follies and vices of society. Sentimental comedy was, thus, a degenerated mode of drama. In it, we had tears in a place of laughter, melodramatic situations instead of intrigue, heart-breaking heroines and passionate lovers, and honest servants instead of rogues, gallants and witty damsels. The role purpose of the sentimental comedy, it seemed, was to make men and women charitable honourable. Sheridan and Oliver Goldsmith were the pioneers of anti-sentimental movement and reached sharply against the sentimental comedy. As early as 1759, Goldsmith condemned it in The Present State of Polite Learning She Stoops to Conquer(1773) stormed the sentimental comedy more successfully than The Good Natured Man(1768) did Sheridan’s play The School for Scandal is it equally brilliantly. Oliver Goldsmith rightly conceived amusement to be the primary objective of comedy. Sheridan comments the humour- ‘guaint and sly’ gay invention and satire should be the proper stuff comedy. The Sentimental comedy which substituted emotional tension and tears for mirth and laughter, and trotted forth mawkish sentiments was called into being by bourgeois pseudo-morality, humbug, and horror of vulgarity. It was called genteel comedy as it rejected the absurdities of the vulgar, the follies and vices as ‘low’. Goldsmith reacted against this mode of spurious comedy in which the virtues of private life are exhibited rather than vices exposed, and the distresses rather than faults of mankind make our interest.
In these plays, the characters were good and exceedingly generous and extravagant.
If they happened to have faults of foibles, they were applauded. Thus follies instead of being ridiculed were commended. Goldsmith reacted against this genteel comedy. He proposed to restore humour and nature to comedy. He regarded humour and comic situations as the very sine que non of comedy. Lachrymose and Maudlin sentimentality was no substitute for humour and character. She Stoops to Conquer by Goldsmith revived the spirit of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Sheridan’s play The School for Scandal the English drama reached the culmination of anti-sentimental movement.
A Pointwise Summary of the Contents of this unit:
1. Oliver Goldsmith was an eighteenth-century writer. He had a versatile literary genius
2. He was an Irish by birth. He started from scratch, as he had very humble origins.
3. He worked as a bookseller’s hack as a young man.
4. He contributed his articles to the newspapers and journals.
5. He tried his hand at writing poems, plays, fiction, essays, etc.
6. He came in close contact with Dr. Johnson and his circle of scholars.
7. Goldsmith had an extraordinary sense of humour.
8. He was a man of sweet disposition and remained in debt in spite of lucrative income He hosted suppers to his friends and spent rather extravagantly.
9. He was called ‘Nolly’ or ‘Goldy’ among his chums.
10. Dr. Johnson admired his literary genius and sense of humour.
11. Goldsmith was not patronized by any prince or nobleman.
12. The eighteenth century was a period of developing trade and commerce. It was also a period of political and religious upheavals.
13. The Sentimental comedy, which excluded mirth and laughter, depended largely on lachrymose and maudlin emotion. It did not depict genuine humanity and nature. The French influence was rather morbid on the English drama.
14. Goldsmith and Sheridan reacted sharply against the Sentimental Comedy.
15. Goldsmith revived the spirit of Elizabethan/Shakespearean comedy with humour and depicted genuine human reality.
16. His play She Stoops to Conquer was a brilliant success.
17. Goldsmith had wonderful potentialities as a novelist. His novel The Vicar of Wakefield speaks volumes of his mind.
Penury: Abject poverty. For example, Goldsmith lived in penury in his early days.
Lsd: Pound shilling and penny. (Please note that LSD is a drug)
genteel: Polite in an exaggerated manner.
hack: A hack was the helper who performed odd jobs in offices. Goldsmith was himself a bookseller’s hack.
lachrymosity: A tendency or instinct to be moved to tears. For example, women become lachrymose in emotional moments.
disposition: nature or temperament. For example, Goldsmith was a man of a kindly disposition.
Guinea: a gold coin. sentimental:emotional. licentious: sexually immoral.
Curate: An assistant to a Vicar.
Vicar: A church priest.
Protestantism: A Christian sect which came into existence in protest of the corrupt practices of Roman Catholic church in the sixteenth century.
Guillotin: A French device of execution: The person to be executed was made to stand on a platform and a sharp blade operated with a liver and chopped off his head like a fruit.
1. Who was the bookseller’s hack? What was his work?
Answer: Oliver Goldsmith.
2. Tell us the titles of at least two plays by Goldsmith.
Answer: The Good Natur’d Man and She Stoops to Conquer.
3. Why was Goldsmith in debt?
Answer: He was a man of sweet disposition and remained in debt in spite of lucrative income. He hosted suppers to his friends and spent rather extravagantly.
4. Name a few renowned friends of Goldsmith in London.
Answer: Bishop Percy, Garrick, Smollett, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Dr. Samuel Johnson.
5. Who was called ‘Noll’ or ‘Nolly’ or ‘Goldy’!
Answer: Oliver Goldsmith.
6. Who wrote the famous biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson?
Answer: James Boswell.
7. Refer to a few socio-political events of the eighteenth century in England.
Answer: Growth of social consciousness along with literary proliferation well establishment of Bank and trade propered.
8. What is Goldsmith’s grievance in The Deserted Village?
Answer: The Deserted Village mourning the lost happy peasantry of his youthful days: Under the enclosure system, the private estates replaced the old communally formed open fields and a large number of the laborious were dispossessed.
9. What do you mean by genteel comedy?
The Sentimental comedy which substituted emotional tension and tears for mirth and laughter, and trotted forth mawkish sentiments was called into being by bourgeois pseudo-morality, humbug, and horror of vulgarity. It was called genteel comedy as it
rejected the absurdities of the vulgar, the follies and vices as ‘low’.
10. Why is Sheridan associated with Goldsmith?
Answer: She Stoops to Conquer by Goldsmith revived the spirit of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Sheridan’s play The School for Scandal the English drama reached the culmination of anti-sentimental movement.
Goldsmith recorded his ideals against the Sentimental comedy in his Essay on the Theatre: or A Comparison Between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy 1772. He attacked the Sentimental comedy in his preface to The Good Natur’d Man and placed his cards plainly upon the table.
He was a versatile genius: He tried his hand poetry. He wrote The Deserted Village and The Traveller. He wrote a novel The Vicar of Wakefield and a number of essays; and plays- The Good Nautr’d Man and She Stoops to Conquer. He would have achieved greater success if he had devoted himself entirely to drama. However, his achievement as writer of comedies is remarkable. In the play, She Stoops to Conquer he recreates the atmosphere of Farquhar’s Beaux Strategem and revitalizes a breath of genuine humanity to drama stifled with excessive emotions.
1. Describe the life of Oliver Goldsmith as a Bookseller’s hack.
2. Write a note on Goldsmith’s friendship with Dr.Samuel Johnson.
3. What were the personal qualities of Goldsmith?
4. Comment upon the socio-political conditions in eighteenth-century England.
5. Write an essay on the eighteenth century Drama with reference to comedy.
6. Why did Goldsmith react to the Sentimental Comedy?
7. Make an assessment of Goldsmith as a writer.
Why did you run
When your schoolmates were walking?
Why did you sprint
If they started to run?
Why did you train
while others were playing?
What was the secret
That made it seem fun?
Was it the feel
of the fresh air and sunshine?
Was it the stir
of the breeze in your hair?
What made the coach
recognize you were special?
Was it because
you had courage to spare?
Showing your will
when the muscles were aching,
Long spells of effort
and much to be learned,
Heeding the words
that some others rejected,
Knowing that winning
could only be earned.
Time slipped away
then came the Olympics;
Still in your teens
but spurred on by the cheers;
Glory at last –
as you gained your gold medals,
A time to remember
the rest of your years.
Summary: The Poem ‘A Girl Called Golden’ is written in praise of Betty Cuthbert. She was a great sprinter and had won three gold medals at the 1956 Olympics Games in Melbourne and one more at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Betty Cuthbert who had a passion for running. She then pursues her career and becomes an Olympic winner. Betty trained herself when her friends were busy playing. She practiced and showed courage even in time of physical diversity. Though she had a strong will, her muscles were aching. She knew that she had to be hardworking and determined. Coach recognized Betty as a special one compared to others. Time had passed and when Olympics came, she was still in her teens and was cheer by others. It was a glorious moment in her life when she won three gold medals. It was the time to remember the rest of the years for which she struggled to attain at the age. The title of the poem suits because of the girl’s hard work and determination.
Read Also : Attitude Status and Quotes
1. What was the secret that made Betty Cuthbert seem fun?
Ans.: The secret that made her seem fun is the feel of the fresh air and sunshine and the stir of the breeze of hair.
2. What made the coach recognize her was special?
Ans.: The coach used to recognize her was special because she had the courage to spare.
3. What does Betty was showing?
Ans.: Betty was showing her will when the muscles were aching.
4. What should be remembered according to the poet?
Ans.: The time to be remembered for the rest of her years.
5. What was the glory at last?
Ans.: The glory at last was she gained her gold medals.
6. Who is the poet speaking about?
Ans.: The poet is speaking about an Australian athlete by name Betty Cuthbert or Elizabeth
7. Who is the poet of the poem ‘A Girl called Golden’?
Ans.: David Bateson is the poet of the poem ‘A Girl called Golden’.
8. What did Betty do when her schoolmates were playing?
Ans.: Betty Cuthbert use to train to run or sprint when her schoolmates were playing.
I9. What according to poet makes Betty run faster?
Ans.: The poet says that fresh air and sunshine feels Betty run faster.
10. When did Betty win her Gold Medals?
Ans.: Betty won three gold medals at the 1956 Olympics games in Melbourne. She added the fourth gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
1. “Why did you run?”
a. Who does ‘you’ refer to?
Ans.: ‘You’ refers to Betty Cuthbert.
b. Who said this and what made him say so?
Ans.: The poet David Bateson said this. He asked her why did she run when her classmates were walking.
2. “Why did you sprint?”
a. Who said this?
Ans.: The poet David Bateson said this.
b. Why did she sprint?
Ans.: Betty used to sprint when her schoolmates started to run.
3. “Why did you train?”
a. Who said this?
Ans.: The poet David Bateson said this.
b. When did she train and what?
Ans.: Betty trained to sprint or to run when her mates were playing.
4. “What was the secret?”
a. Who said this?
Ans.: The poet David Bateson said this.
b. What was the secret that made her fun?
Ans.: The secret that made her fun is the feel of the fresh air and sunshine, the stir of the breeze
in her hair.
5. “What made the coach recognize you?”
a. Who did the coach recognize?
Ans.: The coach recognized Betty Cuthbert.
b. What did he recognize in her?
Ans.: The coach recognized Betty Cuthbert that she is special in running to sprint than the others, and the courage to spare in her.
“Where Are You” is one of my old poems. There are many things unique in this poem. One is that in every line second person pronoun is used. Please comment your remarks about the poem.
My dream is to get you
You’re the just cry of my heart
To touch your smell and smile
You’re my desire all the while
You for me is a beautiful rose
You for me all poetry and prose
I never forget you
You live always in my heart
You’re treatment of my every sorrow
You a cock of the walk in my shadow
My just contemplation is you
Every moment you in my heart
Every thing tell me just your name
In every conciousness dwell your fame
Twinkling stars give your hope
Frogs by their melodious tune cope
All utter the mark of you
And you surpass in my heart
Nightingale sweetly chant you looking
Goose-step give imitation of your walking
Every thing fair and square about you
You always the fair name in my heart
You for me far and wide
You in my soul in peace and tide
Yet Alas! I don’t find you !
Where are you!
Category : NCERT SOLUTIONS FOR CLASS 11TH
KARAN SINGH: Karan Singh was born in Cannes, France on 9th March 1931. His father Hari Singh was the last ruler of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. His mother”s name was Tara Devi. He had his schooling at the Doon School, Dehra Dun. He completed his graduation in Arts Faculty from Sri Pratap College, Srinagar. He did his M.A and Ph.D. in Political Science from Delhi University.
Karan Singh was appointed as the regent of Jammu and Kashmir State in 1949. He was then the youngest regent of the State. He worked as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir State from 1965 to 1967. He served as a member of the Lok Sabha for a span of 17 years from 1967 to 1984. He lost the Lok Sabha election in 1984. He was the Indian Ambassador to the US in 1989–1990. The book “Brief Sojourn” is the outcome of his enriching experience as the Ambassador.
He worked as a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1996 onwards. Thus Singh has a vast political experience. Along with his political career, he was a great academician too. He worked as Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, Jammu and Kashmir University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and NIIT University. He is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan (2005). Towards A New India (1974), Autobiography (1989), Hymn to Shiva and Other Poems (1991), The Transition to a Global Society (1991) are some of his books.
List of Difficult Words:
Onerous: involving much effort and difficulty.
Great vanguard: considerably above average in size, intensity, ability.
Juncture: a point in time, a join.
Reservoir: a lake used as a source of water supply, a container for a supply of fluid.
Pulsating: v.- expand and contract.
Predatory: killing others for food.
Dogged: follow or affect persistently.
Mediocrity: of average or fairly low quality.
Forge: make or shape a metal object by heating and hammering.
Disruptive: interrupt the normal operation of an activity or process.
Reiteration: say again or repeatedly.
Transcends: be or go beyond the range or limits of
Nepotism: favoritism shown to relatives or friends esp. by giving them jobs.
Galvanise: shock or excite into action.
Impetus: the force or energy with which something moves.
Myriad: a very great number
Denominational: a recognized branch of a church or religion, the face value of banknote.
Cradled: a baby”s bed on rockers, a supporting framework.
Divinity: the state of being divine, a god or goddess.
Inherent in: existing in something as a permanent or essential.
Cynicism: a person who believes that people”s motives are always selfish.
Defeatism: a person who accepts failure too readily.
Ingenuity: clever and inventive.
Momentous: very important.
Turbulent: involving much conflict, disorder or confusion, moving unsteadily.
“Youth and the Tasks Ahead” is a speech given by Karan Singh. Karan Singh tells the youth to become responsible citizens of India. He appeals the post-independence generation to realize their responsibilities towards the nation. Freedom should not be taken for granted. The youth should maintain and strengthen freedom. The youth should serve the nation, accelerate the process of economic development, demolish poverty and strengthen the fabric of democracy.
They should make India a secular and democratic nation based on the principles of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Karan Singh states that the immense strength of the youth should be properly canalized. The youth should safeguard the nation which has two ideals of secularism and democracy. They should have a commitment to safeguarding the nation. Mere desire to serve the nation is not sufficient. It should be accompanied by the ability to do so effectively. In order to serve the society effectively, it is important for youth to develop their physical, intellectual, patriotic and spiritual dimensions. Karan Singh states that it is a continuing process. The youth should give their whole-hearted participation in nation-building. The youth can serve the nation by transcending political, communal, regional and linguistic diversities.
Thus Karan Singh appeals the youth to undertake the noble tasks of defending and developing a free India.
Q1. Why does the author say that people who belong to his post-independence generation should not take independence for granted?
Ans. We won our freedom following years of servitude and all this required incredible battle and sacrifice. The author asks the post-independence people to take care to abstain from being easy and complacent. They should not underestimate autonomous on the grounds that its upkeep is a more grave assignment than its accomplishment.
Q2. The writer feels that the youth can be a great source of power to the nation. Why? Do you agree with him? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. The author feels that the youth can be an extraordinary source of capacity to the country. If this power be appropriately channelized and they are pursued to follow optimism and vitality without being aggressive they can extraordinarily fortify their country. They would then be able to protect secularism and idealism on which a powerful country is established. I completely concur with the author.
In fact, youth can be an incredible source of capacity to the nation. They have to provide leadership in all fields of life. However, they have to prepare and train themselves to achieve the objective of country building.
Q3. “………. A mere desire to be a service is not enough, it must be ………….” What are the abilities the writer feels the youth should be equipped with to be able to serve the nation?
Ans. To the writer, the youth should equip themselves with physical, mental, moral and spiritual abilities. Discipline and teamsmanship are required for every one of those expecting to join the defence forces. Then, they should go for and endeavor to get scholarly capacities of the most astounding request in this atomic age and should not enjoy purposeless and troublesome interests. What’s more, they should avoid getting engaged with gathering governmental issues and spotlight themselves on national improvement. They should likewise develop unadulterated patriotism, nationalism, and otherworldliness so as to have the option to take a stab settled and congruity among individuals following various beliefs and religions.
Q4. “Having muscles of iron and nerves of steel” means?
Ans. It means, “Being both physically strong and mentally fit”.
Q5. Besides physical endurance. The author talks about three other qualities that are essential for the defence personnel. Which are they?
Ans. As indicated by the creator, physical endurance is fundamental for defence forces. There are three other attributes, which the youth intending to join denfence forces must have. These three qualities are the characteristics of discipline, cooperation, and corporate advancement.
Q6. “We live in a highly competitive age of science and technology and can no longer afford the luxury of mediocrity if we are to forge ahead.” By this sentence, the author means that.
Ans. The author alludes that we should be intellectually superior to make progress in science and technology.
Q7. According to the author, “those undergoing higher education constitute the privileged elite.” Why does he think so? And what does he expect them to do for the nation?
Ans. The writer aptly feels that those experiencing advanced education comprise the elite world. In a developing nation like India, an enormous number are as yet unfit to procure even primary education. The author is, in this manner anticipating them that they should reimburse their obligation to society by not squandering a single moment of their scholastic life in worthless or problematic pursuits. Then again, they should do their best to become capable and productive in their particular fields of study so they can serve the country with greater capacity and efficiency.
Q8. The writer warns that educated youth must keep themselves away from some futile pursuits.” What are the futile pursuits he is hinting at?
Ans. As per the author, the educated youth must focus exclusively on the service of the country and so as to make assure that they can do it viably. The author cautions that they fend off themselves from some useless pursuits. He is alluding to getting engaged with party politics and troublesome exercises, which lead to wasting their valuable time and vitality. They should ward off themselves from interests and other such absurdities.
Q9. What according to the writer is ‘crucial to the success of democracy’?
Ans. According to the writer, the educated youth of India must develop patriotism, which goes beyond pettiness. What’s more, they should also be able to work mainly for national integration and national advancement and all this, as indicated by the writer, will help evacuation of corruption elements and favoritism from India and actuate the advancement of economic development which is essentially excessively vital to the achievement of democracy.
Q10. “All is contained in that one single advice”. Which advice of Sri Aurobindo is the author referring to?
Ans. The author is referring to the advice, which Aurobindo Ghosh gave to students of Bengal National College. He urged them to do everything, including suffering themselves, to serve India. By way of refreshing to this advice, Dr. Karan Singh advises the educated youth to hold service of India dearer than everything else. According to the writer, the youth must work so that India may prosper and suffer so that India may rejoice.
Q11. Why does the writer say that it is important to accept that all human beings are inherently divine?
Ans. As per the author, it is imperative to accept every single person as naturally divine for such acknowledgment raises the pride of individual and cuts over every restricted barrier and distinction and empowers us to live respectively in harmony. It likewise encourages us fight valiantly for our freedom. It gives people with and wisdom enough to live in amicability without disdain and ill will for each other.
Q12. “These may not be such to hit the newspaper headlines but it is solid and
a) What is the writer referring to in this line?
b) What according to the writer will be the result of such an activity?
a) The writer, in these lines, is referring to those numerous avenues that are always available to our youth for national service.
b) To writer, the result of such activity will be the real service of the nation, which can truly build the fabric of a great nation as India.
Q13. The writer lists out a number of tasks that the youth can take up for the progress of the nation. How does he suggest these tasks could be accomplished?
Ans. There are numerous tasks to be accomplished by our youth to be able to serve India effectively and according to the writer our youth will be able to accomplish these tasks if we organize a vast national youth movement transcending all political, communal, regional and linguistic diversities and than mobilize them for their success in all the dimensions.
Q14. Do you agree with the statement made by the writer that ‘The younger generation today faces challenges graver than any with, which their forefathers were confronted’?
Ans. We as free Indians are at a critical point in the history of country. I completely concur with what Dr. Karan Singh expressed on the grounds that our ancestors won freedom with extraordinary battle and more great sacrifice. At present, our country is experiencing narrow patriotism, nepotism, and corruption which are compromising secularism and democratic system and it is absolutely a graver test at the hands of our youth to battle with mental fortitude against these substantial odds since youth are brimming with gurgling excitement and vitality, they can do miracles and serve the country by just rising above selfish politics and stopping from getting indulged in such a troublesome interests and by appropriately preparing themselves to defeat all difficulties in satisfying every one of the tasks in front of them.
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It’s very common for a student to dream of establishing a successful career abroad. But very few manage to achieve it. Most companies demand that the candidates have a decent international exposure. The question remains as to why? The answer is pretty simple, your employers are looking for individual who can deal with international clients effortlessly, candidates who are ideally multilingual, adaptable and professional. In short all qualities that get automatically imbibed when you get international exposure.
One of the simplest ways to achieve an international experience is to complete your higher education abroad. Higher education is a very valuable and often a luxury not accessible to all. This can be due to accessibility issues, lack of funds, etc. So when it comes to taking up such a program abroad most people would be apprehensive. So does that mean it’s an unattainable dream? Not at all! With the rise in demand for international education more and more countries with access to quality education and infrastructure are coming onto the forefront. Europe is currently at the top few in this list and offers some truly competitive costs for top courses such as MBA, Medicine, Engineering & Tourism.
One of the highlights of European countries apart from economic flexibility is the abundance of natural and cultural heritage, an aspect that drives travelers and explorers from all over the world to the countries. Students with an inclination to travel find European countries as a perfect option to complete their education and at the same time explore the sandy beaches, rocky mountains, historical monuments and much more. Being a student entitles them to discounted rates for transportation, lodging and food making the whole experience affordable.
You can opt to take up a Bachelors or Masters degree in Europe depending on your current educational background. One of the top reasons that students opt for European universities is the affordable tuition fees and the top quality education & infrastructure. The options are limitless with free education, public/private schools, scholarships and more providing excellent financial support for students and their families. Europe is home to some of the oldest and world-renowned universities with an excellent track record for educational excellence. Depending on the field of study you choose or the country of preference you can choose to take up Study in Germany, Study in Italy, Study in Malta and so on.
The tongue has the power to do good or evil to others. Backbiting is common among people. Even the religions books admonish the people who backbite. The Quran strongly condemns scandal-mongering and character assassination Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that the similitude of a person who indulges in backbiting is to a man who has eaten the flesh of his dead brother. The Bible says that a person with a good tongue is a perfect man. The Gita says that a man free from the habit of backbiting is born to god like endowments. And the Guru Granth says that a back bitter carries a great burden of sins. Lord Buddha says that one requires living a life based on right speech.
Robb Simeon Ben Gamalie once asked his servant to bring him something good to eat. The servant brought a tongue for him. The next time the Rabi asked him to bring something that was not good. The servant again brought a tongue. The Rabi was angry with his servant for bringing a tongue on both occasions. The servant explained that there was nothing better than a good tongue and nothing worse than an evil one.
1. What do the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH) tell us on backbiting and scandal-mongering?
Ans. The Quran strongly condemns those who indulge in scandalmongering and admonishes them. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that a person who indulges in backbiting is like a man who has eaten the flesh of his dead brother.
2) What do the Gita and the Bible tell us on backbiting?
Ans. The Gita tells that a person free from the habit of backbiting is like God. The Bible says that a person free from the habit of backbiting is a perfect man having control over his whole body.
3) What do the Granth Sahib and Lord Buddha tell us on backbiting?
Ans. The Granth Sahib tells us that a backbiter carries a great burden of sins. Lord Buddha lays stresses on right speech as a path towards salvation.
4) Why did the servant of Rabbi Simeon bring tongues both the times?
Ans. There is nothing better than a good tongue and nothing worse than an evil one. That is why the servant brought tongues on both occasions.
5) Why did Rabbi Simeon invite his disciples for a meal?
Ans. Rabbi Simeon invited his disciples for a meal to teach them the value of having a soft tongue.
6) What according to you is the moral of the lesson?
Ans. The moral of the lesson is that we should not speak ill of others behind their backs.
7) How does our tongue do good or bad to others?
Ans. From the tongue issues the good and also the bad. The tongue does well if one holds it and doesn’t speak badly about others. It proves to be bad if it is given liberty.
Add the correct ending to each of the following words and say what each person does or is connected with.
1. govern: governor = one who governs
2. cater: caterer = one who provides food or drink for a social or business function
3. translate: Translator = One who translates writing or speech from one language to another
4. Novel: Novelist = a person who writes novels
5. Tour: tourist = a person who visits a place for pleasure and interest
6. Politics: politician = a person whose job is in politics
7. Decorate: decorator= a person who decorates the inside of the people’s houses
8. Art: artists = An artist is a performer or someone who draws or paints pictures.
9. Economics: economist = An economist is a person who studies, teaches or writes about economics
10. Drama: Dramatist = A person who writes plays
11. Cricket: cricketer = a person who plays cricket
12. Engine: engineer = a person who uses scientific knowledge to design, construct and maintain engines or structures such as roads, railways, and bridges.
13. History: historian = A person who specializes in the study of history.
14. Mountain: mountaineer = a person who climbs mountains
15. Donate donator = Someone who gives something to a charity.
16. Grammar: Grammarian = A person who studies grammar and writes books about it.
17. Auction: auctioneer = a person in charge of an auction
18. Science: scientist = A person who does research in science
19. Teach: teacher = a person who teaches
20. Electricity: electrician = a person who job is to install and repair electrical equipment
21. Physics: Physicist = A person who does research connected with physics.
22. Write : writer = a person who writes books etc.
23. Speak: speaker = a person who makes a speech at a gathering
24. Win: winner = a person who wins a contest or a competition
25. mathematics = Mathematician = A person who is trained in mathematics.
Complete each sentence with an adverb. The first letters of the adverb are given.
1. We didn’t go out because it was raining he……
2. Our team lost the game because we played very ba…..
3. I had little difficulty finding a place to live. I found a flat eas……
4. We had to wait for a long time, but we didn’t complain. We waited pat……
5. Nobody knew Atif was coming to see us. He arrived in unex…….
6. Zeeshan keeps fit by playing tennis reg……
7. I don’t speak Punjabi very well, but I can understand it per…..if spoken sl……and cl……
Ans. (1) Heavily; (2) Badly; (3) Easily; (4) Patiently; (5) Unexpectidely; (6) Regularly; (7) Perfectly, slowly and clearly.
Put in the correct word.
1. Two people were seriously injured in the accident.
2. The driver of the car had _________ injuries, (serious/seriously) 3. I think you behaved very__________ (selfish/selfishly)
4. Razia is__________ upset about losing her job.(terrible/terribly)
5. There was a______ change in the weather. (sudden/suddenly)
6. Everybody at the marriage party was ______ dressed.
7. Aslam speaks English _________ (fluent/fluently)
8. Ved Sir fell and hurt himself quite ____________ (bad/badly)
9. Hafeez didn’t do well at school because he was taught __________ (bad/badly)
10. Don’t go up that ladder. it doesn’t look _________
Ans. (1) Seriously; (2) Serious; (3) Selfishly; (4) Terribly; (5) Sudden; (6) Colourfully; (7) Fluently; (8) Badly; (9) Badly; (10) Safe.
Backbiting is an evil which causes damage to our own self as well as the society. Mention some other such evils and write about them in a paragraph.
Superstitions are beliefs which are irrational and unscientific. Man has so many beliefs which are nothing but superstitions. These are relics of the ancient times when people were uncivilized and ignorance prevailed among men. They felt awe in the presence of mysterious and mighty forces of Nature and they worshipped all those things which were greater and stronger than them. Whenever they found anything happening in Nature, they tried to give some explanation for it. This explanation was not based on reasoning and naturally, this led to blind faith and superstitions. People had many blind beliefs out of fear or ignorance. All these foolish practices are resorted to, though there is no explanation for them. Fear of misfortune or expectation of good fortune makes us believe superstitions. Superstitions do us a great harm. They hinder our power of judgment and cripple our power of reasoning. They are a great obstacle to the development and growth of our spirit. They destroy self- confidence and encourage fatalism. Superstitions burden and weaken the mind. A superstitious man lives in daily fear of bad omens. He waits for a lucky sign before he starts doing something. Many men waste their time and energy in making calculations of lucky and unlucky days. Thus superstitions stand in the way of progress. They have done more harm than good. Of course, superstitions have gone deep into our blood, but we must try to get rid of them. We should have a rational and scientific attitude towards life.
Questions and Answers
Q. 1. What do the Quran and the traditions of Prophet (PBUH) tell us on backbiting and scandal-mongering?
Ans: The Quran says:
Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter.
The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that the similitude of a person who indulges in backbiting is to a man who has eaten the flesh of his dead brother.
Q. 2. What do the Gita and the Bible tell us on backbiting?
Ans: The Gita says:-
Freedom from fear, purity of heart, perseverance in (pursuit of) knowledge, freedom from the habit of backbiting, compassion for (all) beings, freedom from avarice are his who is born to god like endowments.
Ostentation, pride are his who is born to demoniac endowments.
The Bible says:-
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body.
Q. 3. What do the Granth Sahib and Lord Buddha tell us on backbiting?
Ans: The Guru Granth Sahib says:-
The slanderer carries the great burden of sins, without payment he carries loads.
Lord Buddha in his Eightfold Path says:-
One requires living a life based on right speech.
Q. 4. Why did the servant of Rabbi Simeon bring tongues both the times?
Ans: The servant of Rabbi Simeon brought tongues both the times because he believed that the tongue issues the good and also the bad. There is nothing better than a good tongue and nothing worse than an evil one.
Q. 5. Why did Rabbi Simeon invite his disciples for a meal?
Ans: Rabbi Simeon invited his disciples for a meal because he wanted to teach them the virtues and vices that a tongue can do.
Q. 6. What according to you is the moral of the lesson?
Ans: The moral of the lesson is that we should refrain from backbiting and scandal-mongering for the injuries caused by the tongue are the hardest ones to heal. We should always be polite and humble in our attitude toward others.
Q. 7. How does our tongue do good or bad to others?
Ans: Our tongue by being polite can please others and bring a smile on other’s face. A tongue has the power to make a sad person happy but the same can prove disastrous as well. It can hurt the other person so deeply that he will always remember our rude remarks. By insulting, and speaking ill of others, we leave an ugly scar in their hearts that always pricks them.