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Smart Writing Prompts 1

Smart Writing Prompts

#WritingPrompts – 01

1. Talent in winters is to save your matting when kangri falls on it, even if it takes your marks cards in firefighting, the issue is to save yourself from family wrath, marks card will come at the end of the day.

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2. You were just made a powerful immortal entity and appointed the youngest real. You are responsible for protecting each fictional universe that has ever been created. This includes all kinds of fiction, including fan fiction and other work by fans. This often means that you must enter the worlds indefinitely to ensure that safety is tight. However, changing everything to the timeline will destroy it. Should it be easy, right? One problem: you still keep falling in love with the main characters.

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3. When you, an author, are kidnapped by aliens, you are let out into the world of aliens. They put you in a little apartment, and leave you mostly alone. You need to make money to survive, you begin to write books. Books of self- help. For outsiders, Write about your adventures becoming the best self- helper on an alien planet.

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4. You always thought as a child that dolls grew their hair back, as children so often. Of course, none of them grew back, and you got a shelf of bald dolls. Looking back on a photo album for your childhood, you find a picture of your favourite doll, the only one you kept. It has short choppy hair, however, unlike the long, normal hair it now has.

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5. To avoid the omnipotence of God, Satan has made it so that the Antichrist is not born until the host of men is ten years old. You are a guardian angel and your human ward has just turned ten, and there are troubling omens around you.

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6. You look at your phone and it seems that somebody has been calling you for 20 minutes without stopping. You’re calling and telling them your name. On the other hand, you hear it: ” Listen and listen very well. I’ve got your two best friends held at gunpoint. Any friend you choose will be set free. The other is going to be killed. If you hang up, both of them will be killed. If you call the cops, both of them will be killed. If somebody asks why you are on the phone and tell them the truth, both of them will be killed. You have 30 minutes to decide.”

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7. You live in a world in which you can buy knowledge literally with money. Rumour has it that the world’s biggest secret is at a low price, but it’s not easy to get it.

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8. The world turns out to be a simulation. You were just promoted to admin.

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9. You lose your vision, and the last thing somebody says is ” finally!”

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10. You wake up as an orc and see two more orcs watching you. One of them says:’ You woken up from your coma at last.’

11. Today in English class we had to write little prompt about how it would feel if we were in love and I shared mines out and everyone was just saying how good it was and my teacher legit told me about how good of a writer I would be but little did they know half of the prompt was just filled with some song lyrics that were changed a little.

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12. Today, you wake up as Bill Gates. You have everything that Bill Gates had. The only thing that you own different than Bill Gated is your ideas.

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Article Writing and Some Samples of Article Writing For Students

What is an article?

An article is is a piece of writing which is usually written for a wider audience. It is published in a magazine, newspaper or journal. It includes intriguing stories, analysis, description or information. Articles are mostly formal but depending upon the target audience, it can be informal too. It should give opinions, thoughts, facts, and suggestions. It describes some experience, event, person or place. In the article, the writer provides his opinion or balanced argument, compare and contrast, information and advice. An article should be written in a bewitching and entertaining manner.

An ideal article consists of:

1. Title: The title should be eye-catching. It should attract the attention of readers and suggest a theme. The article can also have subheadings before each paragraph.
2. Introduction: An Introduction defines the topic to be covered and maintains the reader’s attention. It usually contains a topic sentence which is elaborated in the next paragraphs.
3. Main Body: It contains two or more paragraphs in which the topic is further developed in detail. In this section, the arguments and facts, etc are included in this section.

4. Conclusion: In this section, the topic is summarised or the final opinion, suggestion or comment is provided.

Important Points:

For article writing, it is paramount to consider the following points.
Where it is going to appear- in a magazine, newspaper or journal?
Who is the target audience- a particular group such as students or teenagers it adults or people in general?
What is the purpose of the article – to inform, suggest or advice, compare and contrast or describe, etc

Article Writing

SAMPLES OF ARTICLE WRITING

1. Learning About Life

Studying abroad is a great experience as it provides you the chance to study the customs and culture of the host country and its people. Aside from the beneficial education, I got during three years stay in England, I additionally made a wide network of friends and enhanced my language skills. I learned how to face and manage different issues, and accordingly, have turned out to be an increasingly independent and self-assured person.

I learned English Literature and along with this made many friends both at college and through the part-time work I had, improved my English. Despite the fact that I previously spoke the language quite well, when I initially arrived I experienced difficulty understanding a few accents and the slang or idioms that are in regular use. Presently I am a much more fluent and normal speaker, and my writing has improved, as well.

The most concerning issues I confronted were discovering someplace to live when I did not know the zone well, getting the electricity and phone associated and by and large learning how to take care of myself. I had to become acclimated to shopping, cooking and doing the housework, as well as studying and working, so I swiftly learned the art of planning my time reasonably.

In spite of the fact that adjusting to living in another country isn’t simple, once the underlying homesickness and missing the family has been overcome, learning how to fight for yourself absolutely makes you an increasingly independent person and certainly more confident. My time abroad helped me develop as a person and now I believe I could handle any issue now in a quiet and sure way, without having to promptly approach somebody for their assistance.

2. The Place of Women in Indian Society

In Indian society, women have been given a better position than that of men. We can see their presence in every walk of life. Ranging from a topmost constitutional position of a prime minister and president to constable and metro driver, they have marked their presence.

Now women are police officers, judges, bank managers, army officers, pilots, etc. They are holding positions of responsibility in various spheres of life. They are successful in the field of business and commerce. More and more women are coming out of the four walls of their houses. Literacy rates in women have witnessed a sharp rise during the post-independence era.

But there is no denying the fact that the rise in social and economic status of women has added to their burdens and responsibility. They are still slaves as they have to do double duty—as employed women and as working housewives. Despite all achievements and progress, women still have to depend on male members of the

family for their protection during different phases of their life. At times they have to depend on their father.

Then there are husband and again sons. They are not given freedom to take the decision of their life. In our male-dominated society, women are still regarded as inferior to men.

Therefore it is the crying need of the hour that women should awake and arise against their exploitation.

3. The Importance of Moral Education

In our country, the introduction of a new education system is essential which must be in tune with our major values of national tradition and integration. This system can only nourish and strengthen our national consciousness.

Human actions are judged as good or bad right from an ethical point of view. These judgments are always determined by the common moral standard of our society. In a nutshell, morality means honesty of characters, fairness in attitude, absence of evils like hatred jealousy, greed, telling lies, etc. This ultimate objective of education is to inculcate these human values in the students.

Moral education can be given through value education curriculum by all boards and universities. At school level, the syllabus should include folk tales, stories of patriotism, biographies of great men, poems, parables providing valuable lessons for the student. As a character is necessary for individuals, it is also necessary for a nation. A nation cannot make progress if it has lost its character.

This, the introduction of moral education from grassroots to university level is very necessary.

4. Environmental Pollution

The introduction of harmful pollutants into the environment is called environmental pollution. It has a hazardous effect on the natural world and on the activities of living beings.

The industries all over the world that brought prosperity and affluence, made inroads into the biosphere and disturbed the ecological balances. The pall of smoke, the swirling gases, industrial effluents and the fall-out of scientific experiments became constant health hazards, polluting and contaminating both air and water. The smoke emitted by vehicles using petrol and diesel and the cooking coal also pollutes the environment. The contaminated water that we drink creates a number of incurable diseases.

Air-pollution may cause several lung-diseases, asthma, brain-disorder diseases, etc. Soil-pollution may have a negative effect on farm output ratio. Noise-pollution causes deafness, tiredness, and mental losses.

In order to deal with environmental pollution, the Government can at least see those future factories are set up at a distant place, an industrial complex far away from the township. Deforestation should be stopped and Forestry should be developed. Discharge of Factory wastes in rivers should be banned.

5. Meaningful Use of Leisure Time

Leisure implies a free or unoccupied time when there is freedom from the demands of work or duty. Today people live under constant stress and demands of modernity.

As a result, they are prone to physical and psychological problems. It is essential to spare some time from a mechanical routine and spend this time to rejuvenate the mind and the body.

We can utilize our free time in a variety of ways. Reading is one of the most popular free-time activities. A wide range of subjects and the existence of well-maintained libraries has made reading a very rewarding and affordable activity. From simple entertainment to highly specialized discourses, reading invariably contributes to one’s knowledge and helps widen one’s perspective. Other common activities are music, gardening, carpentry, cooking, etc. One can also choose from activities which are directly relevant to society, like special work, caring for abandoned and stray animals, caring for the environment, etc. Activities in the areas enumerated above impart s sense of achievement besides giving meaning and purpose to life. Activities like carpentry, painting, and clay-modeling help satisfy the creative an impulse in many an amateur artist. Besides, we should spend some time in socializing. It is a healthy activity and promotes goodwill and mutual understanding among people.

We should play outdoor games also. It has the advantage of catering to physical fitness and thus helping to develop a healthy attitude towards life.

6. Disaster Management

The term ‘disaster management’ refers to all aspects of preventive and protective measures, preparedness, and organization of relief operations for mitigating the impact of disaster on human beings and socio-economic aspect of the disaster-prone areas. We can divide the whole process of disaster management into three phases: impact phase, rehabilitation, and reconstruction phase and integrated long term development and preparedness phase.

There are three components of impact phase: forecasting of disaster, close monitoring of agents causing disasters and management activities after the disaster has occurred. In order to forecast about flood, one needs to study. Approach of cyclone can be tracked and monitored by satellites. Then early warning and evacuation efforts may be made. Close monitoring of agents responsible for disaster can help deployment of teams to help evacuation and supply of goods, clothing and drinking water. Disaster leaves a trail of death and destruction.

This will require medical care and help of various kinds to the affected people. Under long term development phase, preventive and precautionary measures of various kind should be implemented.

7. Population Hazard

There is no denying the fact that the rate of population increase has gone down, but the balance between the optimum population growth and a healthy nation is far to be achieved. Ignorance, illiteracy, unhygienic living and lack of proper recreation are the main causes of population hazard in India.

People, themselves must realize the merits of small family. They should be encouraged to adopt preventive checks—checks that control the birth rate. Religion also adds to the growth of population. Some communities consider any mandate of a statutory method of prohibition to be sacrilegious. India, being a secular state, cannot exercise any check or restraint on religious grounds.

The importance of a higher standard of living should be inculcated in the mind of the people. The desire for better living conditions automatically works as a deterrent to heavy increases in population. It restricts the population explosion and thus tends to keep high the efficiency of our existing population.

Education at the grass-root, more equitable distribution of the natural wealth, restriction on religious fanatics that would damage the country’s economy by unnecessary births, These measures alone can bring about a kind of effective control over the population problem.

8. Work is Worship

This is an oft saying proverb that work is worship, which means there is no better way to worship God except to be hardworking. Man owes all his greatness to hard work. Hence, it is the root of all success. There is no alternative for hard work. Today man has conquered nature, he has set foot on the moon, he has traveled in space, he has invented so many life-saving drugs—all became possible because he never avoided work. We see wonderful progress in the field of agriculture and industry.

God also gets impressed and helps and cooperates only those who are hardworking and sincere. God does not love being worshipped by a person each second. He wants a person works hard. So, it is not useful if we worship God all the time and do not work at all. Some useful people who believe that it is luck that plays a significant role in anybody’s life.

Thus, they avoid work and wait for the miracles, which according to them must occur in their life and consequently they would get all those things which they wish for. But the reality is that no such miracle happens particularly when we don’t work.

9. Our National Festivals

In our country, people of different religions, regions, and cultures live together with peace and harmony. India is worldwide known for its cultural diversity and colorful festivals. Apart from these festivals, we also have national festivals such as the Independence Day, the Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti.

We celebrate Independence Day to mark the independence of India. India became independent on
August 15, 1947, after the British left the country. Since then, August 15 is celebrated as the Independence Day. On this day, various formal events including flag-hoisting and march in all states, districts, panchayats, schools, colleges are organized to commemorate the day of freedom. The Prime Minister of the nation hoists the tri-color national flag (Tiranga) at the Red Fort and addresses the nation from its rampart.
We celebrate Republic Day on January 26 to commemorate the adoption of our Constitution. As per the records, the Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950, by replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.

Like the Independence Day, flag hoisting ceremony and cultural programmes are organized across the nation on Republic Day. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Every year, this auspicious occasion is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. People across the nation offer prayer services and tributes to Gandhiji on this day. Various cultural programmes showcasing Gandhi Ji’s life and struggle for independence are organized, at school, colleges, government, and private organizations, etc. Also, different types of competition, such as essay writing, painting, etc are organized to remember the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

10. Indian Farmers

It is indeed a matter of shame for us as the food producers in our country have to die out of hunger. India is mainly an agricultural country. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. The farmer is an important part of agriculture. It is the hard work of the farmer which brings prosperity in the country.

The farmer has to lead a tough life. He gets up early in the morning. He takes his plough and oxen and goes to the field. His wife and children also help him in his work. His routine does not change even in biting cold.

The farmer remains busy in tilling the fields, sowing seeds and reaping crops throughout the year. The farmer takes great care of his crops and dreams of good crops.

Sometimes adverse weather condition causes severe harm to crops in the form of drought, flood or untimely, uneven rains. In spite of his hard work, the farmer has to live in a miserable condition, when his crops fail. They have to borrow have money from the moneylenders at a high-interest rate. In case of the failure of his crops, he becomes hopeless. It becomes difficult for him to pay back the money. Sometimes he takes the drastic step of suicide.

We need to be sensitive towards farmers. Governmental and non-governmental organizations should come forward and make them aware of the latest technologies, programmes, and policies. Our nation can be a prosperous one only when our farmers are prosperous.

11. A Good Citizen

A good citizen is one who tries to work for the greatness and glory of his country. He is faithful to his country and is ready to sacrifice everything for the honour of the land. He must be law-abiding and must respect the traditions of his country. He should make all possible efforts to remove the social evils which are the bane of the society.
He must live in peace with his fellow citizens and help the state against all criminals and lawbreakers. He is not blindly conservative and he is progressive in his outlook.

A good citizen must be committed to the high ideals and work for the betterment of his country. He should work for unity in the country and does not do anything which might harm the solidarity of the country. He knows that if his countrymen are not united, the nation shall face danger from other countries hostile to us. He is kind and sympathetic towards everyone. He respects this rights and privileges of others. He does not do anything which might have a bad effect on others. He is honest and diligent and works for the good of his fellow citizens.


Effective Use of Words

Category : LESSONS

Words Work Wonders or Blunders

The capacity to express the desired message in a few words is a hallmark of effective writers. Great writers use language which is clear and to-the-point.However, it is also a heart-felt desire of every educated person in india and abroad to write effectively. In order to write correct English one needs to master the ins and outs of the language.

Effective Use of Words 2

One who can explore all the possibilities and potentialities of the language can write it in an Inimitable style. Most of the sentences written by such an Inimitate knower and practitioner are the sentences that will live and play on the lips of the readers.
Language is not merely play or jugglery of words. Words in themselves are nothing although the famous writer, E. M. Forester has called them “The wine of life “.Before the words can really become the wine of life; they must come from heart which has responded to and communicated with the world at large. Words are dead but they are brought to life by the magic touch of man of genius. A very rich and all embracing experience must precede a good and impressive writing. Language can develop in society alone. So, correct English can be written only by the person who has studied life with his ears open and heart feeling sympathetic. Wide and careful reading goes a long way in developing a beautiful and effective style.

Words are of primary importance in any kind of writing. Words can work wonders and blunders. We Should be doubly cautious with words as compared to swords. The use of words should always be judicious and well-tuned.Anyone who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour before he falls into the trip of ostentation in addition affectation, to be direct, simple brief and lucid. The familiar words should always be given precedence over abstract words. Words must take the reader most delightfully by surprise and leave him with a catch in the breath, wondering. He can then appreciate Tennyson’s famous line.

“All the charm of all the muses often flowering in a lonely wood. ”

Effective Use of Words 3

A word is often made effective by contrast. They should be used to express different shades of thought. From the word, we proceed to ‘Harmony’ and ‘Proportion’. Every writer must have a nice sense of proportion that will tell him where to begin and when to stop. Form and appropriateness of detail are also paramount. Closely connected with the selection of detail is the question of accuracy. Accuracy and Harmony must give rise to unity which is very basic of effective writing. Harmonious contrasts creates but discordant contrasts destroys. By the one, our impressions are built up and strengthened;by the other, they are knocked down like proverbial ‘ninepins’.

Effective Use of Wods

Effective Use of Wods

This blog is mainly designed for those who want to learn the art of correct English. The site is divided into many sections. Some sections deal with Grammar and How to Write or Speak Effectively and other sections with written composition, analysis and answering questions etc. It is that knowledge of grammar that can teach us how to write correctly and speak effectively. Flowery expression of effective expression may not be grammatically correct. So grammar is the root and expression is the fruit Many new sections have been introduced to make the blog more comprehensive and beneficial. Writing prompts have been given in some sections. These exercises will be very useful to the learners. They can easily give wings to their thoughts.

Effective Use of Words 4


OUR CONTENT GUIDELINES

OUR CONTENT GUIDELINES

Welcome to Smartenglishnotes.com! Our goal is to bestow an online stage to assist students and other as well to discuss each and everything without exception about English language and literature. This site contains study notes, research papers, expositions, articles, writing prompts, biographies and other unified learning material submitted by skilled guests like YOU. If you wish to share your wonderful articles with us and everybody, you are warmly welcome to submit the same provided the article must be unique and without any scraped substance. We will be hugely upbeat to see you the part and parcel of our Learning Community.

Give Wings to Your Thoughts and Write Your Life Wisely.

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Must and Mustn’t

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Submit Your Article

1. Your language must be correct and clear. Your article must be written in Proper English. It must ensure proper spelling, correct grammar and correct punctuation.

2. Words can work wonders and blunders. You must not fall in the trap of ostentation and affectation but to be direct, simple, brief and lucid.

2. Your article must not have a Private Label Rights (PLR) article or contain Unattributed Content to which the author does not have Exclusive Rights.

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5. Your article must not contain negative content towards any Product, Company, Individual, or Group. However, it does not mean not to be critical.

6. Your article must not be controversial and unlawful.It must not go against the law or any community.

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7. Your article must not contain obsolete and rehashed substance, or subject matter very similar to the prior submissions.

8. Your article must have good readability. The articles written in intricate and twisted language are not permitted. As said above you must avoid ostentation and affectation.

9. Above all , your article must speak YOU not anybody else. You must give wings to your own thoughts because we want to know you and your style. God Bless You!

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How to Write a Paragraph

How to Write a Paragraph: A step-by-step guide

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A well-developed academic paragraph can be hard to write. The following is a recipe for drafting, extending, improving and describing your ideas so that you can write clearly, well-developed paragraphs and discussion posts.

How to Write a Paragraph

How to Write a Paragraph

Step 1: Decision on your paragraph topic

You should know what you are writing before you start writing. First of all, look immediately at the assigned topic or writing prompt. Note all key terms or repeated phrases as soon as you see them because you want to use them in your response. Then ask yourself:

• What topic have I to write about?

• What do I already know about this topic?

• If I do not know how to answer this assignment, where can I go to find some answers?

• What does this prompt mean to me? How am I related to it?

After looking at the topic and following some extra reading and research, you should better understand your assignment and what you need to talk.

Step 2: Development of a subject sentence

Before writing the paragraph, first of all, it is necessary to think about the topic and then what you want to say about this topic. Most often, the topic is simple, but the question turns into what you want to say about the topic. This concept is sometimes called controlling idea.

Strong paragraphs are usually about one important idea or topic, which is often described clearly in a subject sentence. Good topics always have both
(1) a topic and
(2) a controlling idea.

The Topic -The paragraph contains a major theme or idea that is discussed in the paragraph

Controlling idea – This idea focuses on the theme by providing direction to the paragraph.

Read the following topic sentences. All of them contain a topic and a controlling idea. When your paragraph contains a clearly described topic like one of the following, your readers will know what is expected and, therefore, understand your thoughts better.

Examples of topical sentences

• There are many benefits of online education.

• Effective leadership needs specific features that anyone can develop.
• People can avoid smoking by taking some precautions.

Step 3: Demonstration of Your Point

After describing your topic sentence, you need to provide information and description to explain, and/or clarify your viewpoint.

Ask yourself:

• What best examples can I use to support my point?

• What information can I provide to explain my thoughts?

• How can I support my view with specific data, experiences, or other realistic content?

• What information does the reader need to know to see my point?

Here is a list of the kinds of information you can add to your paragraph:

• Facts, subtleties, reasons, examples

• Information from the readings or class talks

• Paraphrases or short citations

• Statistics, surveys, rates, information from research studies.

• Personal experience, stories, accounts, models from your life Sometimes, including transitional or introductory expressions like: for instance, for example, first, second, or last can help direct the reader. Likewise, ensure you are referring to your sources properly.

Step 4: Give Your Paragraph Meaning

After you have given the reader enough data to see and comprehend your point, you have to clarify why this data is applicable, important, or interesting.
Ask yourself:

• What does the given data mean?

• How can it relate with your general point, contention, or postulation?

• Why is this data critical/noteworthy/significant?

• How does this data relate with the assignment or course I am taking?

Stage 5: Concluding the Paragraph

After describing your point with pertinent data, include a concluding sentence. Concluding sentences connect one section to the following and provide another tool for helping you guarantee your passage is bound together. While not all sections incorporate a closing sentence, you should always think about one which is suitable.

Concluding sentences have two critical jobs in paragraph writing:
➡ First, they draw together the data you have introduced to expound your controlling idea by
• Summarizing the point(s) you have made.
• Repeating words or expressions from the topic sentence.
• Using linking words that demonstrate that ends are being drawn (e.g., therefore, consequently, resulting).

➡ Second, they frequently connect the present paragraph to the following passage. They may foresee the topic sentence of the following passage by:
• Introducing a word/expression or new idea which will at that point be gotten in the topic sentence of the following section.
• Using words or expressions that point ahead (e.g., the following, another, other).

Step 6: Look Over and Proofread

The last important step in the great paragraph is editing and correction. Before you present your composition, investigate your work at least one more time. Read your passage aloud so anyone can hear to ensure it makes sense well. Moreover, put forth these questions to yourself:

• Does my passage answer the prompt and bolster my assignment?

• Does it bode well? Does it use the appropriate scholarly voice?

Proofreading And Editing Strategies

Many students do not realize that the final stages of the writing process are proofreading and editing. Every task– a discussion board post, essay, proposal, etc. – should be reviewed and edited before it is submitted to the instructor. There are some revision and editing strategies that work well to guide you in this process:

➡ Take a break.

Allow yourself some time to read and write. Even a five- minute break can be productive because it allows you to distance yourself from what you wrote so that you can return to your paper with a fresh eye and mind.

➡ Read out loud.

When you read aloud what you have written by yourself, you can catch both grammatical errors and awkward organization or ideas.

➡ Involve other people.

If you ask a friend or family member to read your paper, you will have a different view of your writing. A new reader can also help you to catch errors you may have overlooked.

➡ Run the check of the spell.

The Microsoft Word Spell Check function can help you quickly detect spelling and grammar errors in the Word document. You can also use Grammarly to discover your mistakes.

Sample Paragraph

Afforestation and its Uses

Afforestation means planting more and more trees. Trees are very important. They give us many amenities. If we want to live happily, we have to preserve our forests. It is time to remind ourselves of our dependence on the forest. Where would be the modern man without wood? Even the most cursory look at your surroundings in enough to show its importance. Most of the furniture, homes and offices are more or less made up of wood. Many tools like boxes, vessels, bridges and other implements are made up of wood. The benefits of trees are unlimited. Can you imagine life without paper? The life would be halted without paper which is also obtained from the trees. Not only this there are so many other useful things like medicines, rubber and wax which are a few out of limitless blessings obtained from the trees. Trees further bestow us firewood which is called the best friend of the poor. Above all, trees also protect our environment and make it beautiful. They maintain environmental balance and decorate our surroundings with lush greenery and keep it afresh.


Trees by Joyce Kilmer Poem 5

Trees by Joyce Kilmer Poem

NCERT Solutions For Class 11 English

Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer

The poem “Trees” written by Joyce Kilmer, is proposing that trees are the most wonderful thing “no one but God can make a tree”. He wants people to appreciate nature and God. He uses personification to demonstrate that trees are wonderful as people.

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Trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

Trees by Joyce Kilmer | Explanation

The poem Trees is an outstanding poem written by Joyce Kilmer. The “Trees” is one of the many poems written by him. His other beautiful poems are “Summer Love” and “Main Street”.

Joyce Kilmer did not write this poem all of a sudden. It is believed that he had got the inspiration to write this wonderful poem one morning when he opened the window and was fascinated by the trees. The wonderfulness of the trees struck him with an idea to personify the attributes of the trees. The poet seems to be so charmed by the trees that he says, he” Shall never see a poem as lovely as the tree”.

The trees obtain water and other nourishment from the soil which are inevitable for its survival. The poet has used a lot of imagery to make his point. The line “A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed” symbolises that the roots of the tree are anchored to the ground to obtain its sustenance. The poet says that the roots drink the “earth’s sweet flowing” that is the water which keeps the tree alive and fresh. In this way, the life of a tree relies on the earth, the same is true for human beings who also depend on the earth for its rich sources. The earth contains all the rich sources in abundance needed for survival. Thus, the earth sustains all living beings including the trees.

The trees are spread everywhere making the earth beautiful. They grow upwards. They appear as if they are looking towards God. The post poet also says the same thing, “A tree looks at God all day”. As the tree grows upwards it seems to be trying to realise God. In the next line, the poet says the tree ” lifts her leafy arms to pray” this symbolises that the different people on the earth are praying to God. The people pray and worship God for the abundant blessings that God bestows from the earth.

The post also praises the robustness of the tree. In severe winter the trunks of the tree usually remain covered with snow. The poet writes, “under whose bosom snow has lain”. Bosom alludes to the trunk of the tree. The trees are capable to bear the cold due to their robustness. The tree even thrives during the rains.

The wonderful trees are not made by man they are created by God. This reflects the omnipotence of God. The poet describes himself and other poets as fools. The poems are created by the poets using their imagination but trees are real creation of God. By this, the post expresses his inferiority to the works of God. The poet says,

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree

In a deeper sense, it alludes the human cannot create things but discover or praise the created things of God.

Discussion Questions

Identify 2 examples of personification in the poem and discuss what ideas about trees/nature that personification conveys.

In the poem “Trees”, by Joyce Kilmer, the most common poetic device used in this poem is a personification, yet there’s two that really identify the writer’s thoughts of nature. One example of personification is, “A tree that looks at God all day”, which gives the tree the human capability of being able to “look” at its surroundings. The tree “looks at God” specifically, which suggests that trees and nature, in general, are transcendent and spiritual. The idea of “God” gives off a holy presence of divine power, therefore by mentioning that the tree looks to “God” suggests that trees and nature should be treated like they are divine and sacred forms, with similar respect to that of our own God. As well, another personified statement in the poem is that the tree, “may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair”. The tree “wears” the nest of robins means that the tree homes the lives of robins which live and depend on the tree given that they’ve established their nest/home in the tree. This depicts how in nature life is created and nourished like that of the robins living in the tree, and nature is a place that is home to all types of life. Just how we look to our environment and daily lives as a community and home, nature provides that for many living beings within it. Nature is a home, a home which is both spiritual and deserving of respect.

Question: What ideas about Nature are conveyed in this poem? Choose one idea and explain how you came to that idea. Use quotes in your response.

In the poem “Trees”, by Joyce Kilmer, the author conveys the connection between God and his creations, in a form of a tree. He praises God’s power and ability to create such magnificent objects that outshines the other elements on this planet. The quote in line 6, “And lifts her heavy arms to pray,” represents a tree as a woman, who prays to God for creating such an enticement for the world to ponder. Furthermore, this poem reveals that beauty is outside the tree, but the roots are what give it the power. The author illustrates that nature which has been created by God himself is incomparable to other manmade objects. It can be inferred the poet is very religious and strongly believes in a supernatural entity known as God. Ultimately, the poem depicts nature is very powerful and enticing due to being a direct creation of God.

Writing Prompts

Trees Poem Questions

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Grammar Family 6

Grammar Family

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Can you create a story like the one below or elaborate the same story?

There is a family in London. The name of the family is grammar. In the family, there lives a couple Mr Noun and Mrs Verb who always agree with each other. The couple has three children: a son and two daughters. The name of the son is Pronoun and the names of two daughters are Adjective and Adverb. The son( Pronoun) has all the work of his father ( noun) in his absence. The two daughters love each other but there is a difference in them. Adjective loves her father and brother and keeps praising them. While Adverb loves her mother more and she always modifies her when there is a need. There are also two servants in the family: Preposition and Conjunction. The Proposition is the chief servant. He is the official servant of his master. Conjunction is a family servant and joins every member of the family. The interjection looks after the family in times of joy and sorrow.

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La Belle Dame Sans Merci | Summary, Model Explanations, Critical Analysis, Question Answers 7

La Belle Dame Sans Merci | Summary, Model Explanations, Critical Analysis, Question Answers

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Introduction: “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” was written in April 1819. Keats took the title La Velle Dame Sans Merci from ‘an early fifteenth-century French poem by Alain Chartier. The phrase belongs to the terminology of the courtly love and describes a beautiful lady without mercy, that is the sort of gracious kindness which prompts a woman to accept a lover’s plea’. (Brian Stone: The Poetry of Keats). The title must have fascinated Keats, for in the “Eve of St. Agnes” that he had just completed, it is the title of the song played on the lute, by the lover to his sleeping lady.

“La Belle” is a ballad. There are two kinds of ballads—traditional and literary. The traditional or true ballad has its roots in the Middle Ages and the literary ballad was the revival of the ballad form in the nineteenth century. Ballads were written in the stanzas of four lines i.e. quatrains (metrical patterns of 4, 3, 4, 3) with 2nd and 4th lines usually rhyming.

The ballad was a dramatic verse tale which moved rapidly. The ballad used little description, it narrated very few incidents and the details of the story were presented in a straight forward manner. The themes of the old ballads were usually love and war, an exciting adventure, a loss, a family disaster, usually they contained supernatural elements.

Ballads gradually died out. But in the later half of the eighteenth century, there was a revival of interest in the ballad form. Consequently, collections of old ballads were brought out. Some poets in the late eighteen and early nineteenth century were inspired by the form and wrote ballads.

Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Keats’s “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” are masterful literary ballads. Keats in his ballad has changed the quatrain, making the fourth line shorter—this slows the movement of the poem.

Many legends concerning ‘women’ were current during the dim and shadowy Middle Ages. The beauty of the Fatal woman or Femme Fatale was a curse to mankind. These women were often presented as enchantresses, witches, sirens, mermaids, or serpent women (example, Coleridge’s “Christable” and Keats’s Lamia) who lured men by their strange (`wild’) beauty to their ruin or death.

The lady of Keats’s ballad “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” is a fatal woman of the medieval romance. The title itself suggests that she is a beautiful lady without any pity who ruins the life of a knight.

Summary of La Belle Dame Sans Merci

La Belle Dame Sans Merci is a wonderful romantic ballad which some have considered one of the best of Keats’ poems. It was composed probably in the spring or summer of 1819.

The title of the poem means ‘The Beautiful Lady without Pity’. The title is taken from a poem of Alain Chartier, a French poet of the 15th Century of the Court of Charles VI. Keats is indebted to Alain Chartier only for the title which had a kind of fascination for him. In the Eve of St. Agnes, the title is mentioned in the following lines:

“He played an ancient ditty, long since mute,

In Provence called, “La belle dame sans merci:”

Chartier’s poem narrates “a prolix conversation” between on obdurate lady and her lover. At the end, the lady goes away indifferent to dance and play while the lover is desperate to tear his hair and die.

Among books which Keats read with devotion and which influenced his poetry considerably should be mentioned Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy. The Knight-at-arms of Keats’ La Belle is the same one who is Burton:

“wandered in the woods sad all alone,

Forsaking men’s society, making great moan.’

These lines can be compared with the opening lines of Keat’s La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

“O what can ail thee, Knight-at-arms,

Alone and palely loitering?”

The central idea of the poem is unrequited love, and the pain and suffering of one who loves but is not loved in return. It is said that in writing this ballad, Keats was perhaps expressing his own feelings; for he also loved but his love was not returned.

The poem starts with a question: What can trouble the Knight at arms and make his look pale and sick? To describe the Knight’s condition, epithets like ‘Alone’, ‘palely loitering’ ‘haggard’ and so ‘woe-begone’ are used. His brow is compared with white lily and his pale cheeks with ‘a fading rose’.

In the following stanzas, the knight-at-arms narrates his sad story how he was enchanted by a very beautiful lady in the meadows who appeared to be as beautiful as a fairy and whose wild eyes seemed to be inviting. He expressed his love for her by making a garland for her head and a girdle of sweet-scented flowers. She gave him a loving glance, so he made her sit on his horse.

The beautiful lady reciprocated the knights’ love and sang a fairy song while riding on the horse with him. She brought sweet-tasting roots, honey, and enchanted food and in an unfamiliar language said, “I love thee true!” She took the knight to her fairy cave and sang a lullaby to make the knight go to sleep.

The knight dreamed that there would be trouble in his life. He saw pale kings and warriors who had died for the love of this beautiful lady without mercy. They told him that she had enslaved the knight as she had enslaved them. Their pitiable condition in the evening twilight woke him up from his dream. After giving this simple explanation the knight says:

‘And that is why I sojourn here

Alone and palely loitering,

Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,

And no birds sing?

The knight-at-arms represents that chivalrous and romantic hero who has aspirations of each one of us. It is not only the soul of the poet “in thrall” in love but the soul of every lover and idealist. The knight expresses the infinite agony of frustrated love which is doomed to

“loiter padely and alone.”

The ballad is medieval in subject matter and the medieval element is highlighted by Keats’ power of recapturing the mystical as exemplified in this poem and his other poems Lamia and The Eve of St. Agnes. Herford has rightly commented that Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci is “a masterpiece of horror-stricken reticence and magical suggestion”. The poet intentionally left the story slightly mysterious, that the reader may be left asking questions.

It is a ballad of forty lines arranged in twelve stanzas of four lines each. The diction is very simple, selective and dignified, old spellings of the words such as ‘thee’ ‘hath’ ‘thy’ don’t pose any difficulty in understanding. It may be concluded that the composition of this ballad is full of artistic skills and the epithets and images convey the poets’ ideas successfully.

Detailed Explanation

In this ballad (“La Belle”) with an inimitable magic Keats has depicted a cheated soul. “Flight into visionary experience and back again is expressed by means of well-known motif (which he later used in Lamia) of a mortal’s ruinous love for a supernatural lady.”

What is its story? “La Belle” is a dramatic verse narrative in which the speaker comes across a woebegone knight-at-arms in a desolate winter setting. He asks the knight why he is loitering aimlessly, all alone, in this cold landscape, why he looks so sick, pale and lifeless. The knight narrates his eerie experience. He tells that he met a beauty (“a fairy’s child”) in the “mead” and fell passionately in love with her. He rode with her to her “elfin grot” where the beautiful lady lulled him to sleep. There he had many horrifying dreams. In his latest dream be saw “death-pale kings and princes”, and “pale warriors” who warned him that “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” had enthralled him. When he woke up he found himself on this dreary landscape. He is now wasting away “On the cold hill side.”

( a ) La Belle as a poem of love

Keats’s Isabella, the Eve of St Agnes, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” and sonnet on Paolo and Francesca tell love stories and all are “modern” recreations of a medieval source or setting and none of them offers a self-evident “meaning”. All these poems deal with couples possessed by love. They have “strong erotic elements”, and in Isabella and “La Belle” ‘sexual love leads to death’. There are two types of women—either they respond passively to the events beyond their control, or they are dominant and demonic like La Belle. All these women (of the four poems) “are expressions of prevalent attitudes to women’s sexuality” (John Barnard—John Keats). La Belle’s erotic gestures destroy men; Isabelle’s violent love leads to her death, Paolo and Francesca are condemned to hell for their carnal love while passive Medeline is united with her lover.

The Eve of St Agnes is ‘a celebratory dream of love’—it is not merely a poem describing the truth about human love but is also “a metaphor for the prefigurative power of the imagination.” “La Belle” presents a contrasting (contrasted from what is presented in The Eve of St Agnes) picture of love. The knight’s experiences take away his liberty, he finds himself in “thrall”, which separates him from “the natural and human cycles of generation”. To the knight, she is a seductress and destroyer, ‘Taut, eerie, and impersonal the ballad makes no judgments. Although “La Belle Dame Sam Merci” belongs to the Romantic cult of the ballad, evident in Burger, Scott, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Keats’s intuitive assimilation of his sources, results in a very different kind of poem,” (John Barnard).

Keats’s La Belle is more akin to the fairy goddess (in Celtic tradition) than to the femmes fatales of the Middle Ages. In the Celtic tradition, the goddess is “paradoxically both an evil figure and a protector and nurturer of heroes… La Dame der Lac, the benevolent fay, is, in reality, Morgan La Fee, the malevolent enchantress, in another guise, the two are part of a larger duality. Starting within a tradition of literary imitation, Keats’s truth to the inner forum of his story allows ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci” to recreate its archetype.” (John Barnard).

“Keats makes no judgment on the lady or the knight. Nowhere do we get a clear hint that the lady is wilfully cruel to the knight or the knight is unable to sustain the vision and so he finds himself on the cold hillside.” Some critics consider the lady to be a Circe figure who deliberately leads men to destruction through love.

The fairy world described in the poem is both attractive and ominous. It is a question poem in the sense that we cannot comprehend the meaning of the knight’s experience nor can we accept his version as authentic. The knight’s questioner as well as the reader “is located firmly in the natural world of harvest and fulfillment and is as firmly excluded from the knight’s experience as he is from ours.” (J. Barnard).

The knight’s fairy lover (“the fairy’s child,” “wild” and “full beautiful”) looks at him “as she did love”, and “in a language strange she said—”I love thee true” …Is the knight trying to convince himself that she genuinely loved him? Or is he in a state of confusion? But the following stanzas reveal that the outcome of her love is destructive. Once he enters her `grot’, she ‘wept’ and “sighed” full sore, She lulled him to sleep and there he dreamed—had nightmarish dreams of death and destruction caused by the beautiful woman.

Keats has woven a glimmering web of mystery around the love story. We can’t be certain whether the lady loved the knight genuinely or whether the dream was true. Can’t tell whether he has himself chosen to wander aimlessly in the desolated deserted landscape or he has been punished for loving the lady without mercy. (“whether his dream experience ties him there against his wish”). “Unlike his questioner, who lives in real-time, with a past and future. the knight inhabits a wasteland more psychic than physical and exists in a timeless present progressing towards death…” (J.Barnard).

( b ) As a poem of “dream within dreams”

In “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” Keats has skilfully conjured “diverse elements into a unified impression of spell-bounding mystery”. It is a poem of “dream within dreams”. It has three “concentric dream circles”. The outer frame (Dream I) shows ‘a weird encounter’ between the poem’s first speaker and the woe-begone, haggard knight-at-arms, on whose cheek the rose is fading and whose forehead is lily-like pale and white, with drops of perspiration. The knight’s ride through the meadow with the fairy’s child and the “Kisses four” in the “elfin grot” fo7n the inner frame (Dream 2)

In the “grot” the knight is fed on supernatural delicacies (“manna dew” and “wild, honey”) and is lulled to sleep. In his sleep, he has frightening dreams and in his “latest” dream he saw pale kings, ‘pale princes and pale warriors with parched lips and awesome expressions, who gaped at him to warn him about his enthrallment. This appalling dream-forms the third frame. (Dream 3).

“The aura of a transcendental experience which pervades the meeting with the fairy lady (dream 2) is undermined by the knight’s dream of the death pale kings and warriors (dream 3) with its suggestion of mortality and betrayal. This dream [within the Knight’s dream of the starved lips and horrid warning” (dream 3)] comes true when the Knight awakens on the cold hill side pale and enthralled as the dream prophesied” (John Keats):

Keats has exploited dream-sequence in many poems. The dream-sequence of “La Belle” differs from that of Endymion. The realization of the dream of pallor and starvation (“La Belle”) “moves in the opposite direction from Endymion’s and Madeline’s dreams”. In (Endymion) the dreams of Endymion and Madeline, we observe that the fulfillment signifies “a shift from the actual to some ecstatic transcendental dream”. What do we observe in “La Belle”? Within the dream of the La

Belle the movement from the first speaker’s questioning to the knight’s reply, the transition is from the bleak dreary landscape to the beautiful supernatural world—(the world of fantasy) and within this fairy world the real, horrifying deadly dream occurs. And from this ‘death’ world we move back to the world of the withering sedge. (The movement is from Dream l to Dream 2, to Dream 3 and then back to Dream One). The transition is from the harsh real world to the imaginary world of beauty and love to the world of mutability to the harsh real world. If there is something which thrills and pleases the Knight and makes the poem a fantasy is the second dream, the entry into or journey through and sojourn in the “elfin world itself is a pure dream” (Dream 2) in the ballad.

The second dream, described in six stanzas, is central to the poem. In the beginning, the Knight meets with a fairy’s child in a meadow. The Knight was so much enamoured of her beauty and “wild, wild eyes” that he made “a garland for her head and bracelets too”, and garlands, also for

her “fragrant zone”. He forced her to sit on “his pacing steed” (indicative of the intensity of his passion) and did not see anything else “all day long”. It is apparent that at the outset the Knight is the dominant figure, who plays upon the feelings of the lady. Then there occurs a subtle transfer of the initiative (Stanzas 4 to 7) from the Knight’s / to the lady’s she (Stanzas 7 to 9.) It is noteworthy that the lady’s ‘erotic feelings’ are expressed in ambiguous terms—”as she did love me,” Is the Knight not certain about her feelings or is he attempting to convince himself that she loved him? Do the stanzas seven to nine depict the lady as a seductress?

“For side longwould, she bend and sing.

A faery’s song”

……………………………………………

“She found me roots of relish sweet

And honey wild and manna dew.”

“….in a strange language, she said, “I love thee true”. She appears as a caressing mother when she

lulls him “asleep”.

The lady’s side-long bending, unusual food, strange language and sore sighing help to create a supernatural atmosphere, a dream-like vague atmosphere. When the Knight says that in his latest dream he saw death pale kings, warriors and princes and when he woke up, he found himself on the cold hillside, instead of the `groe, we doubt whether he really met a fairy child, the beautiful lady, and entered her `groe; or whether it was a ‘vision’ or ‘a dream’—he had never left “the cold hill side”; when he entered this imaginary world, the birds were still singing and the harvest was not yet done. When he is ‘back’ to the actual world after the horrifying dream, the weather has changed and winter has arrived. Winter is used both figuratively and literally.

In the traditional ballad style, Keats has used question and answer form in “La Belle”. In a traditional ballad, the mystery is resolved in the last stanza. Since “La Belle” is a complex poem, the mystery remains unresolved until the end. The Knight’s explanation “And that is why…” does not satisfy the reader and the speaker’s curiosity. It raises more questions than it answers. Both the reader and the speaker know that the Knight is unable to go ‘home’ in this clement weather because he is in ‘thrall’. But it is not evident whether the Knight knows exactly how, why and what things have happened to him? The dream in the grot holds the key to the riddle and enables the questioner to comprehend what the Knight has experienced.

“In “St. Agnes” Keats skillfully manipulates his reader and carries him from the world of fantasy and romance to the world of reality”. But there is no manipulation in the ballad. The poem begins with the description of the stark cold desolate winter setting where the speaker meets with the woe-begone Knight. Then the questioner is guided by the Knight to the fairy world, where the latter is supposed to have a blissful exotic (erotic) experience. From the fairy world of ‘passion’, pleasure and ‘entertainment’ the speaker enters the nightmarish ‘dream’ of the Knight, moves into the world of sickness, and death—it is a transition from the wonderful fantastic world of ‘sexual’ happiness to ‘the Hades’. The speaker is made to participate both in the blissful and the dreadful experiences of the Knight. The Knight had an encounter with ‘death’ in his dream, and when he wakes out of the frightening dream he finds himself on a lonely landscape.

In the last six lines of the poem the speaker once again returns to the realistic level and finds himself within the dream world of the outer frame. The concentric dream circles make the poem enchanting and mysterious. Here we have the presentation of something “felt on the pulses, of a beauty seized as a truth by the imagination, and expressed in a language of sensation, inaccessible to the consecutive reasoning.”

(c) The use of Negative Capability

The concept of negative capability has been given a new dimension in “La Belle”. The whole story of the Knight, his experiences and dream are presented in a masterful way. The poem can be interpreted in various ways. First, so much of ambiguity surrounds the Knight and the lady that it is not possible to say what they symbolize. Critics interpret the lady, the Knight, the journey of the Knight, and his dream in many ways. In fact “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” is the most evasive and mysterious of Keats’s poem.

It raises a variety of questions. Is the fairy’s child a Cynthia who failed to “make Men’s being mortal immortal” (Endymioh I Lines 843-44), a vampire, a Circe “a fairy mistress from hell” or “neutral to good or evil”? Does she stand for poetic imagination? Is the Knight’s lapse from the vision is due to her refusal to keep the deception (the world of beauty and fantasy) or due to his inability to sustain “the transcendental experience”? Or Is his failure, the result of ‘his awareness of his mortality’ (Wasserman) or “his fear of facing death”. (Richard Benevento).

The Lady could be any of the four intensities mentioned in Keats’s “Why Did I Laugh Tonight”. She could be verse, fame, ‘beauty and death. She may even represent ‘the fatality of beauty’ or “a fair maid and love her name” (“Ode on Idleness”).

Keats in the three poems—Isabella, “St Agnes” and “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” has depicted the perils of love. According to Murry behind the poem “lies the anguish of impossible love” of Fanny Brawne. To

some critics, the Knight’s journey symbolizes the tragedy of Faustian rejection of human limitation. The poem reminds us of Edymion’s lines 646-48 IV.

There never liv’d a mortal man, who bent

His appetite beyond the natural sphere,

But starv’d and died.

The Knight is prey of his supernatural adventure, consequently, he is unable to find his bearings in the natural world of birds, harvest and decay. Perhaps when he was journeying through the fairy land, the birds sang, the squirrel filled their granary, but, now when he is back to the natural world, the harvest is done, no birds sing, and the granary is full. He is left alone on a ‘waste land’ unprovided for.

Observe the pattern of the last two stanzas. The ‘truncated stanzaic close” echoes “the finality of tik loss.” “In his vain attempt to be a part of the supernatural world, the Knight has alienated himself from the natural world and thus he loses both the worlds, he is a double loser. We can interpret his predicament in a different way. The fairyland is merely a figment of his imagination or fancy or is a daydream. As Keats says in his ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ fancy is a deceiving elf, here imagination can not cheat him forever. The visionary world of passionate love and beauty disappears. The impact of the fanciful experience and the nightmarish dream is extremely powerful, so he is unable to reconcile to the reality. He has been cheated of both the wonders of the elfin world and of nature. His is now ‘a kind of life-in-death experience.’ In Endymion and St Agnes, the `romantic journey is a worthwhile risk, it proves disastrous in “La Belle”‘.

A critical appreciation of the poem

According to Brian Stone (The Poetry of Keats) “with its haunting medieval resonances, the poem (-La Belle”) is the last of those for which Keats drew on the literature and folk love of the

Middle Ages. Like Blake’s “The Sick Rose” the poem raises by powerful images the ideas of love, corruption, and death…The verification and the process of narration by dialogue show Keats to be deeply imbued with the spirit and techniques of the medieval ballad”.

The story moves in a circular manner. The speaker meets a Knight in a winter landscape from which the birds have departed, the sedge has withered and where no birds sing. The squirrel’s granary is full and the harvest is done. All these details point to the season—it is the end of autumn and winter has arrived. Winter is a season of ‘lifelessness’ or inactivity.’ The Knight’s physical appearance synchronizes with the winters desolation.’ The speaker is eager to know why the woe-begone pale-looking Knight-at-arms is loitering aimlessly in this bleak landscape. From this desolate setting, the speaker is transported to a ‘dream’ world of sexual bliss—to the supernatural world. The Knight describes his blissful experience in detail. The lady whom he meets in the mead is a fairy’s child with wild, wild eves. He is enamoured of her, offers her gifts, rides with her on his ‘pacing steed’ she sings fairy songs in strange language and seems to convince him about her genuine love. The lady is presented as eerie being. He rides to her elfin grot, is fed on heavenly delicacies. On ‘such choice natural products’ as “honey wild and manna dew”. ‘It is apparent then the plenty is a part of the enchantment’, it ‘lures him to acts of love and to the ensuing sleep in her arms’. ‘With a sudden chill of nightmare,’ he sees pale kings, princes and pale warriors—”death pale were they all”. With starved lips and parched tongues, they gazed at him as if they warned him that he was “in thrall” of La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

The horrifying description of the kings, princes, and warriors is significant in the poem. The Knight after the erotic bliss finds himself in the realm of death. “The starved lips” has a Shakespearean connotation implying starved to death. Incidentally, the speaker had already observed the signs of sickness and decay in the Knight’s appearance. Perhaps he can now, after listening to the Knight’s tale, easily surmise that the Knight himself is responsible for his own plight because he ‘was active and willing in his own seduction’.

The five fold repetition of pale links the ballad with “As Hermes Once” in considering the act of love in connection with death. The Knight’s nightmare can be interpreted in an other way. ‘It is as if the Knight was taken beyond life, saw in the hereafter others, who like himself had been seduced by the enchantress and was returned to this world weakened and corrupted, past cure, by his experience.’ (Brian Stone).

The poet has used assonances and alliterations. The poem’s movement is slow and deliberate since Keats intends the reader to ‘experience’ and share the experiences of the Knight and the speaker.

The bleak wintry setting suits the temperament and appearance of the Knight, whose existence is meaningless, he is completely cut off from natural and supernatural world, he is ‘unprovided’ for and is under the spell of the beautiful lady without mercy. The Knight who is supposed to be an adventurer, a protector of law and of people has lost all his powers. He is still the Knight-at-arms, but with a difference, he is aimlessly wandering, he is in ‘thrall’, a captive.

Some of the images (in the poem) including those of rose and lily are taken from Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (Refer to the Section on Love—Melancholy). The poem ‘haunts the mind of the reader with the music of its particular tragic themes.’ “The Knight-at-arms of “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” inhabits his own memorable limbo: possessing neither the joys of the girl nor the finality of death, existing neither in the dream nor in the active life, he is “alone and palely loitering” a haggard figure in a desolate landscape.

Assessment Questions

1. Is the title of the Poem a good one? Why?
A. Yes, the title is a good one. It is appropriate because the knight-at-arms is enchanted by the beautiful lady and expresses his love for her but she instead of returning his love enslaves him and has no mercy for him.

2. Who is alone and palely loitering?
A. The Knight-at-arms is along and lingering with a pale face on the cold hillside.

3. What ails the knight?
A. The knight looks pale, sad and worried because the beautiful lady without pity has enslaved him and his fate will be like that of other pale kings and warriors.

4. Why did the lady charm the knight?
A. The enchantingly beautiful lady charmed the knight because she wanted to enslave him though she had no mercy for him.

5. What happened to the knight in the end?
A. The knight saw the pitiable condition of pale kings and warriors in the dream with their starved lips in the evening twilight. They cried that the beautiful lady “Hath thee in thrall!” He woke up as they warned him about his tragic fate. That is why the Knight is staying on the cold hill side alone looking pale and sad. Keats intentionally leaves the story at slightly mysterious note so that we may be left asking questions.

6. What is the theme of the poem?
A. The theme of the poem is unrequited love, and the pain and suffering of one who loves but is not loved in return. It is said that in writing this poem Keats was expressing his own feelings. He too loved but was not loved by Fanny Brawne.

7. What point of view is the poem written in? Who is its speaker(s)?

A. The poem is written in the first-person point of view. The poem is written as a dialogue between a knight and another man.

8. In the second stanza, what does the speaker say are reasons for the knight-at-arms to not “ail”?

A. The speaker says the “squirrel’s granary is full,” meaning it has been a slow fall, allowing much time for preparation. This concept is repeated in the second reason he gives, which is “the harvest’s done.”

9. Why does the lady weep and sigh in the poem’s eighth stanza?

A. Answers may vary. Example: The lady weeps because she knows that while she loves the knight, they cannot be together since they are too different.

10. How does the French title translate into English?

A. The title translates into “The Beautiful Woman with No Mercy.”

11. What does the speaker’s dream suggest about the woman whom he has fallen in love with?

A. The pale people of the speaker’s dreams warn him that he has fallen for a woman without pity, suggesting that she has left him for good, without consideration of his feelings.

12. Why do you believe the knight-at-arms is so sad?

A. Answers may vary. Example: One reason might be that when he awoke from his dream, the beautiful woman he had found and kissed was gone. Another reason might be his realization that the woman he had seen did not truly love him.

13. Explain the significance in the speaker’s choice of words in the final stanza, especially “sojourn” and “palely.”

A. The choice of “sojourn” suggests that the speaker is waiting for something, most likely his love. The choice of “palely” parallels the description he has given of the kings and princes in his dreams. This may infer that he has also fallen for la belle dame sans merci.

Word Meanings

Belle – a beautiful woman

Dame – woman

Sans – without

Merci – mercy

Line 1 Ail – cause problem and make sickThee – YouKnight –in-arms – a man who saves a woman from a dangerous situation.

Line 2 Palely loitering – lingering with a pale face

Line 3 Sedge – a plant-like grass that grows in wet ground or near water. Withered – dried up

Line 6 Haggard – looking very tired because of illness Woebegone – looking very sad

Line 7 The squirrel’s granary is full – The squirrel has gathered his food for the winter.

Line 8 Harvest is done – the cutting and gathering of crops on a farm is done.

Line 9 Lily – a large white or brightly coloured flower

Line 10 Anguish – pain and unhappiness

Line 11 Thy cheek a fading rose – your cheeks have become paler as if all colour has faded from them.

Line 12 Fast – moving or happening quickly Withereth – Witness

Line 13 Meads – Meadows

Line 14 Full – Very

Line 18 Fragrant Zone – a girdle of sweet-scented flowers.

Line 20 Moan – make a long deep sound

Line 21 Packing – walking up and down Steed – (literary) horse to ride on

Line 25 Relish sweet – Sweet taste

Line 26 manna dew – enchanted food

Line 29 elfin grot – fairy cave

Line 30 Sigh’d – took a long deep breath expressing sadness
Sore – painfully

Line 33 lulled – Soothed my nerved by singing

Line 34 Woe betide – there will be trouble for………

Line 37 I saw pale kings… These men with pale faces had died for love of the Beautiful Lady without pity.

Line 38 death – pale – as pale as death.

Line 40 Hath – hasin thrall – enslaved

Line 41 Starv’d lips – Lips showed that they were feeling very hungry. gloam – evening twilight

Line 42 horrid – terrible, horrible gaped wide – staring with open mouth in surprise

Line 45 Sajourn – Stay here for a time

Review Questions

1. Write a critical appreciation of Keats ‘Ode on Melancholy.’

2. Bring out the narrative acumen of Keats by citing examples from the prescribed poems


A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene: Summary, Plot, Setting, Character, Theme and Solved Questions 8

A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene: Summary, Plot, Setting, Character, Theme and Solved Questions

A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene

About the story: A Shocking Accident was published in 1967 in the collection of stories May We Borrow Your Husband?. It was later made into a film which
won an Oscar for Best Short Film in 1983.

Background information

In the story, Jerome, the main character, attends a ‘preparatory’ or ‘prep’ school. This is an independent school for children aged between 7 or 8, and 11 or 13, and is often a boarding school where the pupils live.

In these schools, students are often divided into groups. Each group has its own teams and activities. The groups are called ‘houses’, and each one has its own master, a teacher who manages the students and events in the house. Jerome’s housemaster is Mr. Wordsworth.

In the second part of the story, Jerome is older and he attends a ‘public school’, which in the UK is, traditionally a single-sex boarding school, most of which were established in the 18th or 19th centuries

Writers

Greene often wrote about his travels in some of the world’s most remote and troubled places. In contrast, Jerome’s father is a writer who seems to travel mainly in Mediterranean countries. His books are given unadventurous titles, such as Sunshine and Shade, Rambles in the Balearics, and Nooks and Crannies — suggesting, perhaps, that Jerome’s father does not take risks. This makes the way he dies even more ‘shocking’.

We learn that often, ‘after an author’s death’, people write to the Times Literary Supplement expressing an interest in personal letters and stories about the writer’s life. Greene tells us that most of these ‘biographies’ are never written and suggests that perhaps some of the more scandalous details are used as ‘blackmail, that is — by threatening to reveal damaging information about someone. It is quite possible that Greene himself saw some examples of this type of behaviour.

Summary of A Shocking Accident

Jerome, a young boy at a boarding school in England, is called one day to his housemaster’s study. The housemaster tells him that his father, a travel writer, has died in Naples, Italy, as the result of a pig falling on him from a balcony.

As Jerome grows up, his father’s death becomes a source of embarrassment to him. He mentally prepares different ways of telling the story in case anyone is interested in the future in writing his father’s biography.

Jerome becomes engaged to Sally, a doctor’s daughter. He realises that she will find out about his father’s death when she meets his aunt, with whom he has been living. He tries to tell her himself before the visit takes place, but all his attempts fail. A week before the wedding, Sally meets Jerome’s aunt who tells her what happened to his father. Jerome is full of apprehension: what will Sally’s reaction be?

Sally is the first person who responds with the proper annoyance and grieving. Jerome has consistently felt the story requires, thus he falls promptly enamored with her.

Main themes

Before you read the story, you may want to think about some of its main themes. The questions will help you think about the story as you’re reading it for the first time. There is more discussion of the main themes in the Literary analysis section after the story.

Father-and-son relationships

It is interesting to see how Jerome’s attitude to his father changes as he grows older. As a young boy, he idolises and romanticises him, imagining that he leads an exciting and dangerous life as an agent for the British Secret Service. He is sure that his death has been the result of a gun fight.

Later, at public school, he is teased by the other boys when they learn how Jerome’s father died. By now, he knows his father was a travel writer rather than a secret agent. He accepts this, however, and cherishes the memory of his father and wants to keep it alive.

As a young man, he feels sympathy and quiet love for his father. It is essential to him that the girl he loves understands his feelings.

Reactions to death

Different cultures react to death in different ways. It is not rational that death from a falling pig should cause amusement. Nevertheless, in the story, most people who are not related to the person involved, find something comical in the event. Convention tells us that we should receive news of death with sympathy and seriousness but the housemaster, Jerome’s schoolmates, and strangers find it difficult to react in the conventional way. Because the cause of death is so unusual and unexpected, it makes people react in unusual and unexpected ways.

Understanding The Story

Q. 1 Is Jerome afraid when he is called into the housemaster’s room? Why/why not?

Answer: No, because he was a warden – a position given to approved, reliable boys.
Q. 2 Who has telephoned the school? Why?

Answer: Jerome’s aunt.
Q. 3 What are Jerome’s feelings for his father? What does he think his father does?

Answer: Jerome adores his father. He thinks that he is a gun runner or a member of the British Secret Service.

Q.4 How does Jerome imagine that his father has died?

Answer: He thinks he has been shot.
Q.5 How does Mr. Wordsworth react when he tells Jerome how his father died? Greene writes that the housemaster shook with emotion. What kind of emotion do you think Wordsworth is feeling?

Answer: He finds it hard not to laugh. The emotion he feels is probably suppressed amusement.

Q. 6 Does Jerome show a lot of emotion when he hears about his father’s death?

Answer: No, he doesn’t.
Q. 7 When does Jerome realise that other people find his father’s death comical?

Answer: When he first goes to public school.
Q. 8 Why has Jerome got so many postcards? Does he remember his father with love?

Answer: His father sent him postcards from different places. He loved the memory of his father.
Q. 9 Why is it terrible for Jerome to listen to his aunt telling other people about his father’s death?
Answer: People are only interested in his aunt’s story when she tells them about the pig and Jerome hates to see this interest.
Q. 10 Is it likely that anyone in the literary world will ask Jerome for details about his father’s life? Why/why not?

Answer: It is unlikely because his father had not been a very distinguished writer.
Q. 11 Is Jerome aware of his father’s position in the literary world?

Answer: No, because he has no contact with the literary world.
Q. 12 How many explanations of his father’s death has Jerome prepared for other people? Are the explanations very different?

Answer: He prepared two accounts: one leads gradually up to his father’s death; the other says simply that his father was killed by a pig.
Q.13 How would you describe the relationship between Jerome and sally?

Answer: Contented, conventional.
Q. 14 What is Jerome afraid of with regard to Sally and his father?

Answer: He is afraid that Sally will laugh when she hears about his father and he wants to protect his father’s memory.
Q. 15 Why does Jerome long to leave the room when Sally is talking to his aunt?

Answer: He does not want to see Sally’s reaction when his aunt tells her about his father.
Q.16 What is the miracle and why does Jerome’s heart sing with joy?

Answer: The miracle is that Sally is horrified when she learns about Jerome’s father. Jerome is pleased and relieved.
Q. 17 Does the story have a happy ending?

Answer: Yes. Jerome and Sally’s future will probably be a happy one.

Understanding The Story. (Literary analysis)

1 Use these questions to help you check that you have understood the story.

Plot

Q.1 What is the shocking accident in the story? How do most people feel when they hear about it? How do you think you would react?

Answer: The shocking accident refers to when the pig fell from the balcony and killed Jerome’s father. Most people are interested and amused.
Q.2 How old is Jerome when his father dies? Do you think this affects Jerome’s reactions?

Answer: He is nine. Because he is young, death is something of a mystery to him. He does not find anything
comic in it.
Q.3 How old is Jerome when the story finishes? How has the manner of his father’s death affected him during his life?

Answer: Jerome has reached adulthood, since he is working, and is engaged to be married. All his life, he has been afraid of people’s reactions to the way his father died.

Q. 4 How many accounts are there in the story of Jerome’s father’s death? Think about Mr. Wordsworth, Jerome, and his aunt.

Answer: Mr. Wordsworth tells Jerome, Jerome tells other people, either very briefly or in a more elaborate way.

He tells Sally his father had a street accident. His Aunt has a complicated way of telling the story to strangers. The account she gives Sally is uncharacteristically abrupt.

Q. 5 How are the accounts of the death different? Who finds it difficult to tell the story? Who finds it easier? Why?

Answer: Mr. Wordsworth is perhaps embarrassed but also amused. Jerome finds it painful. His aunt is less worried because she has no sense of humour.
Q. 6 How do you think Jerome would have felt if Sally had laughed at his aunt’s story? Would the story have ended differently?

Answer: Jerome would probably have felt disappointed. He wonders whether this quiet love of his would survive if Sally were to laugh; he might have ended the relationship in this case.

Q.7 This story was made into a short film. What changes do you think were made? Think about characters, setting, and plot.

Answer: Certain scenes would have to be more explicit, for example, the reactions of other boys at Jerome’s public school, and the discussion of Jerome’s behaviour among his teachers. Perhaps there would have been a scene where Jerome meets Sally for the first time.

Character

Q. 8 How would you describe Jerome’s father? How does he change in Jerome’s eyes as the boy grows older?

Answer: He is a rather sad figure, widowed, restless and a second-rate writer. In Jerome’s eyes, he changes from a mysterious, adventurous figure into an ordinary man with problems. However, Jerome feels strong affection for him.

Q. 9 What kind of person is Jerome? Do you think he is like his father?

Answer: Jerome is possibly a rather unimaginative person. He seems to want an ordinary life, with a respectable job and a conventional marriage. He may be even less adventurous than his father.

Q. 10 How would you describe Jerome’s aunt? What does she think of her brother? Give evidence for your answer.
Answer: Jerome’s aunt is very fond of her brother; she misses him and believes him to have been a better writer and a more glamorous person than he was. She sees nothing amusing in the form of his death and is not embarrassed to tell total strangers what happened. She has probably not travelled much and regards other countries with suspicion.

Q. 11 What kind of person is Sally? Do you think she and Jerome are suited to each other?

Answer: Sally is the right age for Jerome, pleasant, respectable (a doctor’s daughter) and likes children. The author suggests that she is boring, similar to Jerome and that they are well suited.

Q.12 Do you think the type of schooling that Jerome receives affects his character or attitudes? How?

Answer: Jerome’s desire for conventionality and conformity may have been encouraged by his schooling.

Independent schools in the mid-19th century in Britain were single-sex and did not encourage displays of emotion. The pupils were expected to control their feelings and use work and sport to keep them healthy and well-balanced.

Narration

Q. 13 What do you think Greene’s attitude is to his characters? Do you think he identifies with some characters more than others? If so, which?

Answer: Greene stands outside of his characters and observes them from a distance. It is possible that he

identifies a little with Mr. Wordsworth as he describes the headmaster’s dilemma with sympathy and humour.
Q. 14 Do you think Greene is a sympathetic narrator or a cynical observer of human nature?

Answer: He is rather cynical. All of his characters are caricatures to a certain extent. He is quite rude about his characters’ tastes (Sally likes reading family sagas and was given a doll that made water).

Q. 15 Why do you think Greene makes Jerome a chartered accountant and Sally a doctor’s daughter who adored babies? How do these details contrast with the main event at the centre of the story?

Answer: A chartered accountant is a respectable profession but was considered boring and ‘safe’, especially by writers and other creative people. Sally is a doctor’s daughter and predictable – she likes babies. These normal, harmless details contrast horribly with the violent and absurd manner of Jerome’s father’s death.

Q. 16 Do you think Greene succeeds in making us feel sympathy towards Jerome? How?

Answer: We feel sympathy for Jerome because he is left an orphan at nine, and then has to deal with the unkind remarks of his teenage friends. Despite everything, he is loyal to his father’s memory and desperately wants his future wife to love his memory too.

Atmosphere

Q. 17 How would you describe the atmosphere of the story? Are any of the following adjectives appropriate?

amusing bizarre absurd sad cynical well-observed true-to-life unrealistic

Can you think of any more adjectives?

Answer: Student’s own answer.

Q. 18 Are people’s reactions to the pig incident understandable?

Why/why not?

Answer: People’s reactions are understandable if sometimes cruel. It is unusual for a person to die in such a way and people find it difficult to know how to react. A lot of their amusement is caused by embarrassment.

Q. 19 Is the story believable or is it exaggerated? Explain your answer.

Answer: It may be exaggerated. It is important to try and understand the cultural background of the story and Greene’s ironic stance.

Style

Q. 20 Look again at the first paragraph of the story [page 81] and the beginning of the conversation between Mr. Wordsworth and Jerome. Notice how Greene obtains a comic effect by using both long, formal sentences and short, spoken sentences. Find more examples of this kind of narrative in the story.

Answer: More examples:

‘Nobody shot him, Jerome. A pig fell on him.’ An inexplicable convulsion took place in the nerves of Mr. Wordsworth’s face; it really looked for a moment as though he were going to laugh. Mr. Wordsworth left his desk rapidly and went to the window, turning his back on Jerome.

Jerome said, ‘What happened to the pig?’

Q. 21 Look at the aunt’s question [refer text] ending but who could possibly have expected when he was walking along the Via Dottore Manuele Panucci on his way to the Hydrographic Museum that a pig would fall on him?’ What effect do the details of the place have? Can you find other places where unnecessary detail is given? What effect does it have?
Answer: These details make the account more real but also more comical. The name of the street and the museum are largely irrelevant.

The aunt also gives irrelevant detail about her brother’s water filter. Jerome gives lots of irrelevant detail about the tenement blocks in Naples in his rambling account of his father’s death.

22 Wordsworth’s question, ‘All going well with the trigonometry ?’
[page 81] is absurd in the circumstances — so inappropriate that it is funny. It shows how difficult Mr. Wordsworth finds it to tell Jerome of his father’s death, and how uncomfortable he is in this situation.

What other questions are there which create a comic effect?

Answer: Some other such questions are:

Did they shoot him through the heart?

i. ‘What happened to the pig?’

ii. ‘Was your father keen on polo?’

iii. ‘I was wondering,’ Sally said, ‘what happened to the poor pig?’

23 Culturally, the English are known for their use of understatement. For example, they might say ‘It was rather cold’ when they really mean ‘It was absolutely freezing!’ Greene is very ‘English’ in this respect. Look at these examples of understatement from the story. Naturally, after that disclosure he was known, rather unreasonably, as

Pig. (It was a very unreasonable and cruel nickname.) Jerome’s father had not been a very distinguished writer. (He had been a bad writer.)

Can you find any more examples of understatement in the story?

Answer:
i. ‘Your father has had an accident.’

ii. ‘A shocking accident.’

Q. 24 Greene often uses irony in his writing — a form of humour where the literal meaning is the opposite of the actual meaning, it can sound as though you are being serious, but actually you are being sarcastic. Notice below, how he describes Jerome’s profession and how it affects his relationship with Sally.

In course of time, neither too early nor too late, rather as though, in his capacity as a chartered accountant, Jerome had studied statistics and taken the average, he became engaged to be married. Their relationship was contented rather than exciting, as became thelove affair of a chartered accountant; it would never have done if it had interfered with the figures.

Answer: The description suggests a practical, unromantic attitude to love and marriage. Greene seems to be saying that chartered accountants tend to behave in this way and are rather dull. He could have written: Jerome, doing everything by the book, became engaged to be married at just the right time of his life.


Solved Questions of The Adventure 9

Solved Questions of The Adventure

NCERT Solutions For Class 12th English

SUMMARY OF THE ADVENTURE

Professor Gaitonde, who is a historian, is on his way to lecturing in The Third Battle of Panipat on the implications of catastrophe theory when his car collides with a truck and he goes into a coma where he is now experiencing a completely changed history that is different from the real world. The Marathas were defeated in the real world in the Third Battle of Panipat Afghans and their leader Vishwas Ra was killed. But as Vishwas Rao narrowly escapes the bullet and survives, the parallel world in which the Professor now sees things for him Marathas won the war. According to him, this victory brought significant changes and reforms to the country.

When he regains his consciousness back, his friend Rajendra Deshpande tries to rationalize his experience based on two theories that are Catastrophe Theory and Quantum Theory’s lack of determinism. The narrator, meanwhile, is still talking about the parallel world in which Professor Gaitonde is on his way from Pune to Bombay. It’s a pre-independent India where he finds Anglo, Indians and Jack from Union.

The professor goes to the library where he reads four volumes of history books from the Asoka period up to Panipat’s Third Battle. Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’s fifth volume that he read tells a different story where Marathas won Panipat’s Third Battle. Absent as a proof, Professor tucks a copy of the book into his pocket and reaches Azad Maidan where a lecture is taking place. Without the chairman, the meeting is taking place and he decides to go on stage and snatch the mike he begins to speak. He wasn’t welcomed by the crowd and he was finally thrown out with eggs and tomatoes showered on him and then he gets lost in the crowd. After this strange experience, we find the Professor talking to his friend Rajendra in the real world.

Rajendra describes the two scientific theories responsible for Professor’s strange behaviour. According to the theory of Catastrophe, a small change can bring about a sudden shift in behaviour, and if the same is implied in the battle of Panipat, it can be seen that the Marathas went through a crucial time when their two leaders Vishwas Rao and Bhausaheb died, leading to a loss of morality. So, another way that the crucial event has gone may change the course of history. So, the copy of the book he’s supposed to keep in the pocket is nothing but the notes he’d prepared for his lecture where he’d imagined the battle’s fate would be different. The bullet hitting Viswas Rao was a catastrophic event and the present has been reached because of such a catastrophic incident in the battle.

According to the Lack of determinism in Quantum theory the behaviour of electrons orbiting the nucleus in an atom cannot be predicted. They are in higher and lower state and can jump from high to low energy level and send out a pulse of radiation that can knock it out from state number 2 to state number 1 and these can apply to the world too and therefore Professor Gaitonde made a transition from the world we live into a parallel world. He neither travelled to the past nor to the future in the fact he was experiencing a different world in present itself. At the time of the collision with the truck, he was thinking about the catastrophe theory and its implications in war. He was probably wondering about the battle of Panipat. Perhaps the neurons in his brain acted as a trigger and he made a jump from this world to the parallel world.

THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE

1. In which language do you think Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other? Which language did Gangadharpant use to talk to the English receptionist?
Ans. Gangadharpant and Khan Sahib talked to each other in Urdu or Persian. Gangadharpant used English while talking to the English receptionist.

2. In which language do you think ‘Bhausahebanchi Bakhar’ was written?
Ans. ‘Bhansahebanchi Bakhar’ was written in Marathi.

3. There is mention of three communities in the story, the Marathas, the Mughals, the Anglo-Indians. What language do you think they used within their communities and while speaking to the other groups?
Ans. Within their communities, the Marathas used Marathi, the Mughals used Urdu and the Anglo-Indians used English. While speaking to the other groups they used the language which was intelligible to the listener and helped them to express their thoughts. Sometimes it could be a mixture of two languages.

4. Do you think that the ruled always adopt the language of the rulers?
Ans. The masses do not always adopt the language of the rulers, but the classes always do so. It is because in courts, offices, banks, educational institutions, etc. the language of the rulers gets the place of pride. So, that section of the ruled who want to get any benefit from the rulers do adopt the language of the rulers.

WORKING WITH WORDS

I. Tick the item that is closest in meaning to the given phrases:
1. to take issue with (i) to accept (ii) to discuss (iii) to disagree (iv) to add
2. to give vent to (i) to express (ii) to emphasise (iii) to suppress (iv) to dismiss
3. to stand on one’s feet
(i) to be physically strong (ii) to be independent (iii) to stand erect (iv) to be successful
4. to be wound up (i) to become active (ii) to stop operating (iii) to be transformed (iv) to be destroyed
5. to meet one’s match (i) to meet a partner who has similar tastes (ii) to meet an opponent (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself (iv) to meet defeat.

Answers 1. (iii) to disagree, 2. (i) to express, 3. (ii) to be independent, 4. (ii) to stop operating, 5. (iii) to meet someone who is equally able as oneself.

II. Distinguish between the following pairs of sentences:
1. (i) He was visibly moved.
Ans. He was moved in a way that was easily noticeable.
(ii) He was visually impaired.
Ans. His sight was impaired.
2. (i) Green and black stripes were used alternately.
Ans. Green and black stripes were used one after the other.
(ii) Green stripes could be used to alternatively black ones.
Ans. Either green stripes or black ones could be used.
3. (i) The team played the two matches successfully.
Ans. The team achieved success in the two matches it played.
(ii) The team played two matches successively.
Ans. The team played two matches one after the other.
4. (i) The librarian spoke respectfully to the learned scholar.
Ans. The librarian spoke with respect to the learned scholar.
(ii) You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum respectively.
Ans. You will find the historian and the scientist in the archaeology and natural science sections of the museum in the same order as the people or thing already mentioned.

III. Notice these expressions in the text. Guess the meaning from the context:
 blow by blow account
 de facto
 morale booster
 astute
 relegated to
 doctored accounts
 political acumen
 gave vent to
Ans.  blow by blow account: a description of an event which gives you all the details in the order in which they happen
 morale booster: encouraging/increasing confidence
 relegated to: ignored/pushed to lower position
 political acumen: political sharpness
de facto: real, actual, in fact
astute: shrewd, crafty
doctored accounts: manipulated (false) descriptions
gave vent to: expressed.

NOTICING FORM

The story deals with unreal condition and hypothetical situations. Some of the sentences used to express this notion are given below:
1. If I fire a bullet from a gun in a given direction at a given speed, I know where it will be at a later time.
2. If I knew the answer I would solve a great problem.
3. If he himself were dead in this world, what guarantee had he that his son would be alive.
4. What course would history have taken if the battle had gone the other way? Notice that in an unreal condition, it is clearly expected that the condition will not be fulfilled.

Solved Questions of The Adventure 10

THINGS TO DO

I. Read the following passage on the Catastrophe Theory downloaded from the Internet.

Originated by the French mathematician, Rene Thom, in the 1960s, catastrophe theory is a special branch of dynamical systems theory. It studies and classifies phenomena characterized by sudden shifts in behaviour arising from small changes in circumstances. Catastrophes are bifurcations between different equilibria, or fixed point attractors. Due to their restricted nature, catastrophes can be classified based on the basis of how many control parameters are being simultaneously varied. For example, if there are two controls, then one finds the most common type, called a ‘‘cusp’’ catastrophe. If, however, there are more than five controls, there is no classification.Catastrophe theory has been applied to a number of different phenomena, such as the stability of ships at sea and their capsizing, bridge collapse, and, with some less convincing success, the fight-or-flight behaviour of animals and prison riots.
II. Look up the internet or an encyclopedia for information on the following theories: (i) Quantum theory (ii) Theory of relativity (iii) Big Bang theory (iv) Theory of evolution.

Answers (i) Quantum Theory. Quantum means a very small quantity of electromagnetic energy. Quantum theory is based on the idea that energy exists in units that can’t be divided.

The Adventure Questions

(ii) Theory of relativity. Einstein’s 1905 paper ‘‘On the Electro dynamics of Moving Bodies’’ introduced the special theory of relativity. Special relativity considers that observers in inertial reference frames, which are in uniform motion relative to one another, cannot perform any experiment to determine which one of them is stationary. This is known as the principle of relativity. Einstein’s theory of relativity is his theory of universe which states that all motion is relative and treats time as a fourth dimension related to space.

(iii) Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. After its initial appearance, it (the ‘‘Big Bang’’), apparently inflated, expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, all of which is inside an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. This is the Big Bang theory.

(iv) Theory of Evolution. Biological evolution ia s genetic change in a population from one generation to another. The speed and direction of changareis variable with different species lines and at different times. Continuous evolution over many generations can result in thdevelopmentnt of new varieties and species. Likewise, failure to evolve in response to environmental changes can, and often does, lead to extinction. Charles Darwin modified his religious beliefs, as a result of the discovery of convincing proof of evolution. In his famous book, ‘On the Origin of Species’, Darwin states his theory of evolution. Simply put evolution is the process of gradual development of plants, animals features over many years from simple to more complex forms.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS SOLVED

A SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS (Word limit: 40 words)

1. What plan of action had Professor Gaitonde arrived at?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde had decided to go to a big library at Bombay and browse through history books. Then he would find out how the present state of affairs was reached. On his return to Pune, he would have a long talk with Rajendra Deshpande. He hoped that Rajendra would help him understand what had happened.

2. Gangadhar Pant had not been to ‘this Bomabay before’. How was ‘the Bombay’ different?
Ans. This Bombay was under the British Raj. An Anglo-Indian in uniform checked permits. Each of the blue carriages of GBMR had the tiny Union Jack painted on it. The Victoria Terminus station looked very neat and clean. The staff was mostly of Anglo-Indians and Parsis along with a handful of British officers.

3. What led Professor Gaitonde to believe that ‘history has taken a different turn, perhaps before 1857?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde noticed an imposing building facing Bombay V.T. It was called East India House, Headquarters of the East India Company. He knew that the East India Company had been wound up shortly after the events of 1857. Yet here it was not only alive but also flourishing. So he concluded that history had taken a different turn.

4. How did the shops and office buildings along Hornby Road differ from those he knew well?
Ans. The Bombay he knew had a tower of OCS building. It peeped above the shorter victorian buildings. There was Handloom House also. There were no such buildings along the Road. Instead there were Boots and Woolworth department stores and offices of Lloyds, Barclays and other British banks.

5. ‘‘This was a blow, not totally unexpected.’’ What was the blow and how was it not totally unexpected?

Ans. At Forbes building, Professor Gaitonde made enquiries about his son Vinay Gaitonde. The English receptionist searched through the telephone list, the staff list and directory of employees of all the branches. She told him that she could not find his name there. This was a blow, but not totally unexpected one. If he himself were dead in this world, his son might not be alive or he might not even have been born.

6. Which according to Gangadharpant was the precise moment where history had taken a different turn?
Ans. The victory of the Marathas in the Battle of Panipat was very important. Abdali was defeated completely and pursued back to Kabul by the triumphant Maratha army led by Sadashivrao Bhau and his nephew, the young Vishwasrao.

7. ‘‘Gangdharpant read through the account avidly.’’ Which account is referred to here? Why did he read it avidly?
Ans. It was not blow by blow account of the battle itself, but its consequences for the power struggle in India. The style of writing was unmistakably Gangadharpant’s own, yet he was reading this account for the first time. So he read it eagerly.

8. How did the Victory in the Battle of Panipat affect the balance of power?

Ans. It was a great morale booster to the Marathas. It established their supremacy in northern India. The influence of Bhausaheb and Vishwasrao increased. The East India Company postponed its expansionist programme. Vishwasrao and his brother Madhavrao had political sharpness and bravery. The Company’s influence was reduced to small areas near Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.

9. How was the balance of power maintained in the nineteenth century?
Ans. The Peshwas kept the puppet regime alive in Delhi. There were political reasons for it. The Peshwas were the real rulers from Pune. They recognised the importance of the technological age beginning in Europe. They set up their centres for science and technology. East India Company saw an opportunity to increase its influence. It offered aid and experts. These were accepted only to make the local centres self-sufficient.

10. What was the state of India Gangadharpant had seen during the twentieth century?
Ans. India moved towards a democracy. The Peshwas lost their enterprise. They were gradually replaced by democratically elected bodies. The Sultanate at Delhi survived even this change because it exercised no real influence. The Shahenshah of Delhi held a high position but no real power. He simply gave official approval to the ‘recommendations’ made by the central parliament.

11. Why do you think Gangadharpant appreciated the India he had seen recently?
Ans. It was an independent and self-respecting country. It had never been enslaved by the white men. It was self-sufficient. It has allowed the British to retain Bombay as their sole outpost. This was due to purely commercial reasons. The treaty was signed in 1908. That lease was to expire in the year 2001.

12. Where from did Gangadhar Pant get the clue for the question. ‘‘How did the Marathas win the battle?’’ and what did he think about it?

Ans. He got the clue from a book called Bhausahebanchi Bakhar. He found the Bakhars interesting to read, but he seldom relied on them for historical evidence. The detailed but falsified accounts were quite vivid but truth lay hidden somewhere.

13. Which lines revealed that Vishwasrao had come quite close to being killed?

Ans. The lines read: Then Vishwasrao guided his horse to the melee. Elite troops were fighting there. He attacked them. God was merciful. A shot passed by his ear touching it lightly. Even the difference of a til (sesame) would have led to his death.

14. Why was Professor Gaitonde staring at the platform in Azad Maidan as if mesmerized?

Ans. He found a lecture in progress there. He saw a table and a chair on the platform, but the presidential chair was unoccupied. The sight stirred him to the depths. He could not approve of the public lecture without a presiding dignitary. For him it was a sacrilege.

15. How did the audience react to Professor Gaitonde’s remarks: ‘‘an unchaired lecture is like Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ without the Prince of Denmark’’?

Ans. The audience reacted sharply. They were sick of remarks from the chair, of vote of thanks and of long introductions. They had abolished the old customs long ago. Hence that lecture series had no chairperson. The chair was symbolic. They only wanted to listen to the speaker. They asked him to vacate the chair and keep the platform empty.

16. What happened as Professor Gaitonde kept on trying valiantly to correct the sacrilege?
Ans. Professor Gaitonde kept on talking and reminding the audience of the importance of presiding dignitary. The hostile audience reacted sharply. First they showered tomatoes, eggs and other objects on him. Then they rushed to the stage to eject him bodily. He was lost in the crowd.

17. Why do you think Rajendra’s ‘smile’ was replaced by a ‘grave expression’?

Ans. Rajendra had smiled on hearing Professor Gaitonde’s strange narrative. Perhaps he thought that Gaitonde’s mind was playing tricks and his imagination was over excited. He became serious as he read a page torn out of a book. This page from Bakhar contained vital evidence about the different turn history had taken.

18. What do you think made Rajendra realize that ‘‘facts can be stranger than fantasies’’?

Ans. Professor Gaitonde presented two totally different written accounts of the Battle of Panipat as contained in Bhausahebanchi Bakhar. The one he had come across in the other world described how Vishwasrao narrowly missed the bullet. The other account which he had in the familiar world, described that Vishwasrao was hit by the bullet.

19. How does Rajendra explain the disparity in the two accounts of the same crucial event in the Battle of Panipat?

Ans. Rajendra applies catastrophe theory to the Battle of Panipat. The outcome of the battle depended on the leadership and the morale of the troops at the critical juncture. In one of them, the troops lost their morale and fighting spirit at the loss of their leaders. In the other, the bullet missed Vishwasrao and this boosted the morale of troops and they won.

20. ‘‘We live in a unique world which has a unique history,’’ says Professor Gaitonde. What prompts him to make this remark?

Ans. Rajendra tries to explain the outcome of the Battle of Panipat with the help of catastrophe theory. The Marathas might have won it, but actually they lost it. Napoleon could also have won the Battle of Waterloo, but he was defeated. The idea of ‘it might have been’ is all right for the sake of speculation but not for reality.

21. What do you know about ‘reality’ on the basis of your study of Jayant Narlikar’s ‘The Advanture’?

Ans. We can experience reality directly with our senses and indirectly via instruments. Reality is not limited to what we see. It may have other forms. Reality may not be unique. This has been found from experiments on very small systems such as atoms and their smallest parts.

22. What do you understand by, ‘‘The lack of determinism in quantum theory’’?

Ans. Quantum theory is based on the idea that energy exists in units that can’t be divided. Determinism is the doctrine that all events and actions are determined by external forces acting on the will. The phrase thus means that the energy contained in electrons is not determined by the external forces that fire it.

23. How, according to Rajendra, was Gangadharpant able to experience two worlds?

Ans. According to Rajendra, Gangadharpant made a transition from one world to another and back again. By doing so, he was able to experience two worlds, although one at a time. One has the history we know, the other a different history. The separation or bifurcation took place in the Battle of Panipat.

24. ‘‘But why did I make the transition?’’ asks Gangadharpant. How does Rajendra try to convince him with guess work?

Ans. Rajendra has no readymade answer or explanation for this query. He makes a guess. Some interaction is needed to cause a transition. Perhaps Gangadharpant was then thinking about the catastrophe theroy and its role in war. Or he may be wondering about the Battle of Panipat. The neurons in his brain triggered the transition.

25. What had Professor Gaitonde been thinking at the time of collision?

Ans. At the time of his collision with the truck, Professor Gaitonde was thinking about the Battle of Panipat. He was wondering what course history would have taken if the result of the battle had gone the other way, i.e. if the Marathas had won the battle.

26. What do you learn about Professor Gaitonde’s thousandth presidential address?

Ans. His thousandth presidential address was made on the Azad Maidan. He was then rudely interrupted. He wanted to tell the audience what might had happened if Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat. Since people had misbehaved, he could not deliver this address.

B. LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS (Answer in 100-125 words)

1. ‘‘Gangadharpant could not help comparing the country he knew with what he was witnessing around him.’’ Elucidate.

Ans. Gangadharpant was an eminent historian of Pune. He had written the History of India in five volumes. During his train journey he was wondering what course history would have taken if the result of the Battle of Panipat had gone the other way. This helped him to make a transition to the other world. India was altogether different country in this world. Unlike the India he knew so well, the India he was witnessing around him was self-sufficient and self-respecting. It was independent. It had never been enslaved by thwhite menmen. It had allowed the British to retain Bombay as their sole outpost. This was done for purely commercial reasons. The buildings and offices in this British Bombay were the same as in typical high street of a town in England. East India House, thheadquartersrs of the East India Company was housed in an imposing building outside Bombay’s VT. The station itself looked remarkably neat and clean. The staff mostly comprised of Anglo-Indians and Parsees along with a handful of British officers. The Bombay he knew was altogether different. The tower of OCS building peeped above the shorter Victorian buildings. There was Handloom House as well22. What, according to Gangadharpant, would have been the consequences if the Marathas had won the Battle of Panipat?

Ans. The consequences of Maratha victory in the Battle of Panipat would have beefafar-reaching. It would have boosted their morale and established their supremacy in northern India. The expansionist programme of the East India Company would have been shelved. The political cleverness and bravery of Maratha rulers would have helped them to expand their influence all over India. The East India Company would have been reduced to pockets of influence near Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, just like its European rivals, the Portuguese and the French. The Peshwas would have been real rulers of India. They would have kept the puppet Mughal government in office for political reasons. Recognising the importance of technological age in Europe, they would have set up their own centres for science and technology. The twentieth century would have moved India towards democracy. The Peshwas would have been replaced by democratically elected bodies. The Shahenshah of Delhi would then merely approve the recommendations made by the central parliament.

3. How does Rajendra Deshpande try to rationalize the experience of Professor Gaitonde about his transition to another world and back?

Ans. According to Rajendra, Professor Gaitonde had passed through a fantastic experience, or more correctly, a catastrophic experience. He tried to rationalize it on the basis of two scientific theories that were current then. One was the catastrophe theory. The result of the battle would have been determined by the acts of the leaders and the morale of troops at the critical juncture. The blow of losing the leaders would have led the o loss of morale and fighting spirit. An utter rout would have followed. If the crucial event had gone the other way, its effect on the troops would also have been the opposite. Their morale would have been boosted and they might have won. The course of history would have been different. The other explanation is through the lack of determinism in quantum theory. Catastrophic situations offer radically different alternatives for the world to proceed. All alternatives are viable so far as reality is concerned. However, the observer can experience only one of them at a time. Professor Gaitonde made a transition from one world to the other as he had been thinking about the catastrophe theory and Battle of Panipat. The neurons in his brain acted aa s trigger.

Read Also: The Adventure by Jayanti Kirlokar


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