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Fate and Destiny by Mash'al Sultanpoori 1

Fate and Destiny by Mash’al Sultanpoori

Fate and Destiny

‘Taale ta Karam’… a Kashmiri poem in free verse by Mash’al Sultanpoori… Translated from Kashmiri by Shabir Magami…


Some straight/
Some crooked/
And some twisted/
I kept drawing on a sheet of paper/
Straight and Bent and Spiral/
Right to left and Left to right/
Horizontal and Vertical/
Here, there and everywhere/
Poorly drawn lines/
Some unfinished and some complete/
Some big and some small/
Some thin, thread-like/
Some thick like twined ropes/
Which lines mean what?/
And how many of them have meaning?/
Which mean the best and which mean the worst?/
And which are meaningless?/
Which to keep and which to erase?/
Head feels like bursting/
If I keep the straight line/
It has a crooked line entwined with it/
Lost and confused/
And thinking what to do/
Nails on the paper/
Applying the eraser/
Pruning and chiselling/
Erasing one and keeping another/
The sheet of paper is torn and shredded/
But the lines/
Straight and crooked/
Remain the same and are still there/

A Far Cry from Africa:  Summary, Critical Analysis,Theme, Questions 2

A Far Cry from Africa: Summary, Critical Analysis,Theme, Questions

A Far Cry from Africa Summary


“A Far Cry from Africa” talks about the events of the Mau Uprising in Kenya in the early 1950s. In the mid-twentieth century, British colonialism was a blurring but at the same time, it was an intense power on the earth. In the African country of Kenya, British colonists had settled and acquainted European ideas with the local people: money, tax collection, and land ownership. At the point when the British asked, ”Who possesses this land?” tribal people reacted, ”We do,” and the British assumed that “we” alluded to the tribal government, despite the fact that the land was really owned by individual families. Since the British were supplanting the tribal government with their own, they then asserted all the land for the sake of the new British government. Naturally, the Kenyan individuals were outraged. Now, rather than owning and cultivating their own land, they were decreased to being workers for the British proprietors. As representatives, they were additionally offended by being paid just a small amount of the sum a British worker got for doing likewise work.

The Kikuyu tribe was the biggest in Kenya, and the most learned. In 1951, some Kikuyu upheavals of violence against the British happened, and in 1952 a mystery Kikuyu society known as the Mau Mau started a war of violence against the British and any Africans who were faithful to them. By October of 1952, the circumstance was so intense that the British got out troops to battle the agitators, and a three-year war followed, during which 11,000 rebel warriors were executed and 80,000 Kikuyu men, ladies, and youngsters were locked up in confinement camps. One hundred Europeans and 2,000 Africans faithful to them were murdered. Afterward, the leader of the rebellion, Jomo Kenyatta, was chosen prime minister of Kenya when Kenya became independent from Britain in 1963.

In the poem, Walcott presents some graphic images of the conflict and asks how he can be expected to choose one side over the other since he is of both African and European descent. He cannot condone the colonialism of the British, or the violence of the Mau Mau, because choosing either side would mean he is turning against that part of himself.

“A Far Cry from Africa” uses metaphors, such as “colonel of carrion, and ironic statements, such as “corpses are scattered through a paradise” to describe the death and destruction and inhumanity that has occurred in both Africa and Europe. Walcott was privileged to bear both horrible histories as a half-European and half-African. The desire of the full-blooded natives was to look and act like the colonizers. They didn’t have to bear the strain of being genetically comparable to the colonizers, however, and not only being torn between two societies but being “divided to the vein,” Derek Walcott utilizes his genetic hybridity and cultural hybridity to convey the extreme of his unholiness.


Violence and Cruelty:– The wind” ruffling Africa’s tawny pelt” relates to the Mau Mau Uprising that took place in what is now independent Kenya from about October 20, 1952, to January 1960. The White Government called an emergency conference during this period against a secret Kikuyu community that came to be known as Mau Mau and was devoted to overthrowing the White regime. The short-term cruelty of the Mau Mau insurrection erupted against the backdrop of a cruel, long-lasting British colonialism.

STYLE:” A Far Cry from Africa” has four mainly iambic tetrameter stanzas. The poem actually begins in iambic pentameter, the predominant form of poetry published in English, but it quickly veers off course metrically— a shift reflecting the evolving scene and viewpoint in the poem— with lines of differing length and amount of stresses. The use of masculine endings (lines ending with accented vowels) and masculine rhymes (one syllable rhymes) by Walcott is a point of consistency. Rhyme is just as uncommon as a meter. The first stanza’s rhyme scheme could be rendered as ababbcdecd.

Critical Analysis

When analyzing” A Far Cry from Africa,” most critics comment on the message of the poem and what it shows about the poet, rather than technical elements of its creation. In an essay titled” West Indies II: Walcott, Brathwaite, and Authenticity,” Bruce King comments,” The poem is noteworthy for its emotional complexity” and that it” treats the Mau Mau uprising in terms that mock the usual justifications and criticisms of colonialism.” King notes that the narrator is hit by” confused, irreconcilably opposed feelings:…

In his critical biography of 1993, Derek Walcott, Robert D. Hamner observes,” For Walcott, it is not a easy decision between cultures, but a matter of laying claim to his mixed heritage.” This” mixed heritage,” which the Swedish Academy took on a range of often-paradoxical forms when it awarded Walcott the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, known as” the complexity of its own position.” For instance, Walcott is genetic ancestry of both English and African. In his veins flows the blood of colonizers and colonizers, oppressors and oppressed. Derek Walcott often described himself as a “mongrel;” they were both African grandmothers and they were both European grandfathers. He disliked the English culture but loved the English language and empathized with the Irish because they were the colonization victims as well.

Walcott does not convey all elements of British and African culture in “A Far Cry from Africa,” but focuses solely on the violent history of both. He’s “poisoned with the blood of both,” and he’s torn between a bloodied Africa’s two terrible choices or the England murderer.

A Far Cry From Africa “is the story of a half-African and half-English man who witnesses the death and destruction of his homeland as a result of South Africa’s English colonization. However, in his description, he does not favor one side over the other, but rather focuses on the injustices of both cultures.The narrator shouts at the end of the poem, wondering how to choose between the two. Several elements of this poem demonstrate indications of transculturation. Perhaps the most evident sign to write this poem is the adoption by the narrator of the dominant English language. This element of English culture has, in reality, become such a component of the narrator that he refers to the language as “the English language[ he] loves.”

The narrator’s adoption of derisive European names for uncivilized people to describe the Kikuyu is another sign of transculturation. The narrator likes the Kikuyu “to savages” and a “gorilla,” for instance. The narrator also borrows the phrase, “a waste of our compassion,” from the phrase he characterizes as being British in line six. The narrator demonstrates another sign of transculturation in the last stanza by”[ cursing]/British rule’s drunken officers.” These subtle rejections and adaptations of British imperialism can be discovered throughout the poem, all signs of transculturation.

In the last stanza of Walcott’s poem arises the personal struggle characteristic of this transculturation:

Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?

I who have cursed

The drunken officer of British rule, how choose

Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?

From this, it is evident that in his personal fight with transculturation, the narrator finds it difficult to choose between the two cultures. In an article entitled “Conflicting Loyalties in’ A Far Cry from Africa,'” the writer, Heather Bradley claims, “this severely pessimistic image illustrates a consequence of displacement—isolation”. In fact, the final lines of the poem contain several pictures of isolation, and even the headline takes part in the withdrawn tone of the remainder of the poem.

However, isolation does not always have to be the resulting state of personal battle as long as one can determine the culture to which he or she is most loyal. But then Bradley goes one step further, claiming, “an individual’s sense of identity arises from cultural influences which define his or her character according to a particular society’s standards.” While one’s perceived identity can be defined by the norms of a specific society, real identity can only be acquired through self-analysis, such as transculturation’s private fight. The transculturation method describes one’s identity at the junction of two cultures.

Homi Bhabha’s concept of “colonial mimicry” will serve to explain exactly why personal struggle is characteristic of transculturation. According to Bhabha, “colonial mimicry is the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same but not quite” (1). In essence, “colonial mimicry” is the process by which a subjugated people are driven to reproduce the characteristics and ideals of a dominant culture in a way that closely resembles the true dominant culture; hence, it is a form of transculturation. On a more personal level, this concept may translate to one individual’s mimicry of someone who wields power over him or her. The result of this mockery is ambivalence the subordinate feels towards his superiors: on one hand, he respects and envies the power of his superiors and on the other hand, he scorns their oppression of him. The subordinate’s search for balance between respect and scorn for his superiors is a form a personal struggle, and this ambivalence is reproduced almost exactly in Walcott’s “A Far Cry from Africa”: the narrator curses his tyrant English conquerors at the same he time worships the language they speak.

African mimicry of British themes, which Bhabha sees as indicative of ambivalence, and thus personal struggle, can be seen throughout Walcott’s poem. For example, the Kikuyu are characterized as flies that “batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt” (3) just as the English are represented by a worm, the “colonel of carrion” (5). In addition, the murder of an innocent white child in bed mimics the holocaust-like genocide of the natives. The narrator also mocks the English by reproducing their language only to curse and criticize British imperialism. Even the title mocks British rule. By calling British colonization “a far cry from Africa,” the narrator is criticizing the attempt of the British to civilize Africa and make it a better place. All these images of mimicry are signs of the narrator’s personal transculturation of British paradigms.

Returning to Pratt with a better understanding of transculturation in its context as a personal struggle, the drawback of viewing transculturation as an emotionless transition becomes apparent. In her article, Pratt cites three examples of transculturation on an individual basis: an Incan under Spanish rule, a class taught by a teacher, and a child discovering the world of baseball. However, in each instance, Pratt fails to recognize the emotion characteristic of personal struggle involved in the transculturation process. When discussing her six-year-old son, Pratt casually mentions that baseball cards taught him “what it means to get cheated, taken advantage of, even robbed.” She doesn’t even spend one sentence analyzing what kind of effect these types of lessons would have on a six-year-old kid. Pratt then goes on to objectify the life’s work of the Incan under Spanish rule by treating his letter as a monumental example of “autoethnography” instead of what it simply is: a plea to King Phillip III of Spain to end the oppression of the Incas. In the classroom, Pratt is “struck” by the realization that “the lecturer’s traditional (imagined) task–unifying the world in the class’s eyes by means of a monologue that rings equally coherent, revealing, and true for all…[is] not only impossible but anomalous and unimaginable”. Whatever she teaches to a diverse group of students will be received and interpreted by each student differently. That which is surprising to Pratt is self-evident to those who understand transculturation in its context as a personal struggle. The student has the power to accept or reject all aspects of the instruction based on his own values and therefore must every day take part in his or her own intellectual development through personal transculturation. Hence, it is important to analyze cultural intersections on a small scale as well as a large one and to pay attention to how each individual is affected by cultural interaction.

After all, Walcott’s narrator isn’t just an individual assuming a dominant culture’s traits; he is one man torn between loyalties to two opposing countries. He is one man “divided to the vein” (Walcott 18), struggling with himself. In order to effectively colonize another’s land, the colonizer’s culture has to become so widely spread and deeply embedded in the colonized land’s culture so that the indigenous peoples will begin to accept that they are inferior to the colonizers.

The term mimicry is used to describe the imitation of the colonizing nation by the natives because of their desire to be “accepted by the colonizing society” and their sense of inferiority and shame for their own society (Tyson 221). The colonizer must use one of the most strong conveyances for the dispersion of ideologies to fully dominate a territory by promoting its culture as superior: English. They implemented English as the official language when the British colonized the West Indies, the primary means of causing the natives to embrace British culture as their own. However, in “A Far Cry from Africa,” Walcott ironically describes how he rejects the British culture – the colonialist ideology – but accepts the British language as superior.

Walcott would have been seen by the colonizers as another colonial subject, and as a half-European subject, Walcott would have been seen as different from the entire indigenous peoples. Although these full-blooded natives, along with the French Creole, would also have learned Standard English and emulated British culture, their hybridity would not be as extreme as the context of Walcott. Derek Walcott would have had a First World education in a Second World country as a person of mixed blood and family members who were European.






The author is looking out of the window. He was watching the beauties of nature. The rain had just stopped and drops of water dripping from plants. The kids were playing and making a lot of noise. Just then his daughter Munni came running up to him and asked him to come and see the swing of gudda – guddi. She pointed towards the rainbow in the sky. She told her father that she wants a swing of her own. The author told her to take the one in the sky which she refused. The author was lost in his own thoughts. He remembered how his grandmother had told her about the gudda – guddi. She had told him that he was a gudda and a guddi would come into his life. The guddi came in the form of his wife. She too had the same dreams as him. But life proved to be very tough for both of them. They with their four children found it difficult to cope up with his limited salary. The author often quarreled with his wife. This time round they also quarreled. The wife hurled choicest abuses at him and he left his home in anger.

The author returned home late at night. He took his meal outside and spent the afternoon in a cinema hall. The children had slept and his wife was waiting for him. She brought a Thali for him. She seemed to be normal. But the author insisted that he would not eat. But his wife insisted that he should eat or else she too will go hungry. She held his arm and the author had to oblige. He forced a morsel into her mouth. They laughed together. The next day the children told each other that their parents had reconciled and the swing of guddh and guddi was brighter that day.


awning: a canvas supported by a frame to give protection against the weather
barely: almost not
oblivious: not aware of something
splendiferous: splendid; grand in appearance
musings: thoughts
convolutions: twists; (here) troubles, difficulties
hues: colours
tiff: a slight argument

brewing: about to happen
cherish: to love, care and protect good riddance: used to express happiness that someone or something unwanted has gone.

hauteur: excessive pride
awry: not right
well-to-do: rich, prosperous
remonstrate: to argue in protest
fortification: defence
breach: to break through
incarnation: human form

Q. 1. Working with the Text

(A) Answer the following questions.

1. What did the narrator observe when he looked out?
Ans. He observed the beauties of nature. He observed how the drops of water were dripping and sliding down the plants. He paid great attention to the raindrops.

2. Why was the narrator unable to pay attention to what his daughter was saying?

Ans. The narrator was lost in his own thoughts and thus was unable to pay attention to what his daughter was saying.

3. Why did the narrator have a tiff with his wife?

Ans. The family was hard up. The expenses had increased and the limited salary was insufficient for them to live a good life. The wife kept reminding the narrator of their poverty. This irritated him and he had a tiff with her.

4. What did the narrator find when he returned home late at night?
Ans. When the narrator returned the kids had gone to sleep. The wife was sitting all by herself. She had not eaten since morning and was waiting for her husband.

5. Why did the narrator not have an appetite?

Ans. The narrator had taken his lunch with his friends and thus had no appetite for more.

(B) The following phrases, phrasal verbs, and idioms occur in the text. Find the sentences in which they occur.

burst into laughter, close by, looked at, cope with, wan and weak, all by herself, feel homesick, grown-up, in a huff, lost sight of, get up, got fed up with, picked up, hard up

(C) There are many Hindi words used in the story. List those Hindi words and write them in the space provided.


Gudda –guddi

Buddtic Prakash



Language Work


Binomials are expressions (often idiomatic) where two words are joined by a conjunction (usually ‘and’). The order of the words is usually fixed. It is best to use them only in informal situations, with one or two exceptions.

Odds and Ends: Small, unimportant things, e.g.: Let’s get the main things packed; we can do the odds and ends later.

Give and take: a spirit of compromise, e.g.: Every relationship needs a bit of give and take to be successful.

Here are some jumbled binomials. Using similarities in sound, join them with ‘and’. Then check a dictionary that you have the right word order.

prim all high safe rough bread butter dry tough sundry proper sound

Ans. Prim and proper; all and sundry; high and dry; safe and sound; rough and tough; bread and butter.

Ans. Law and order; now and then; hit and trial; clean and tidy; pick and choose.

The following binomials do not have and in the middle. What do they have? Check-in a dictionary if you are not sure.

1. Sooner …………………later

2. All ……………………..nothing

3. Back ………………….. white

4. Sink ………………….. swim

5. Slowly ……………….. surely

6. Make ………………… break

Ans. (1) Or; (2) For; (3) and; (4) or; (5) but; (6) or. Use the following binomials in your own sentences:
part and parcel
pick and choose
leaps and bounds
peace and tide
first and foremost
here and there
on and off
to and fro
ladies and gentlemen
black and white
sooner or later
hot and cold

Ans. Self Grammar Work

Question tags (Do you? Isn’t it? etc.)

Put a question tag at the end of the following sentences. The first two have been done for you.

1. Tom won’t be late, will he?

2. You’re tired, aren’t you?

3. You’ve got a camera, haven’t you?

4. You weren’t listening, were you?

5. She doesn’t know Aneeka, does she?

6. Mubashir is on holiday, isn’t he?

7. Ram’s applied for a job, hasn’t he?

8. You can speak Dogri, can’t you?

9. He won’t mind if I use his phone, would he?

10. There are a lot of people here, aren’t here?

11. Let’s go out tonight, should we?

12. This isn’t very interesting, is it?

13. I’m too impatient, aren’t I?

14. You wouldn’t tell anyone, would you?

15. You wouldn’t listen, would you?

16. I shouldn’t have lost my temper, should I?

17. Don’t drop that vase, will you?

18. You’d never met me before, had you?

A Shocking Accident by Graham Greene: Summary, Plot, Setting, Character, Theme and Solved Questions 4

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

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.

God’s Grandeur | Summary, Analysis, Annotations, Theme and Questions

The sonnet God’s Grandeur was written by Hopkins in February 1877. This sonnet is a protest against the crass materialism of the age. Yet the poet says that everything is not lost. Till the time God continues to brood over it, there is hope for the world. God’s glory is going to burst out like the shine of the gold tinsel.

The world is full of the glory of God. This glory will burst out like the foil of gold. It gathers greatness like the oil crushed from olives. It achieves magnificent proportions after the human ego has been crushed under religious discipline. Just as oil becomes useful only when crushed out of seeds, likewise man partakes of God’s glory only after religious devotion. Then, why do people not pay attention to God’s glory? Generations of men have trodden the same path without recognizing God’s power to punish them. Everything in this world has been made ugly by crass materialism, by commercial activity, and by human toil for monetary ends. The world bears man’s smudge and smells of man’s ugliness. The fragrance of nature has been drowned in the foul smell of machinery.

Despite man’s activities leading to the destruction of the beauties of nature, it remains fresh and undestroyed. Although the sun moves to the western horizon and the earth is plunged into darkness, yet the sun will be rising again the next day. Likewise, there will be a renewal of nature. From darkness would come light; from winter, spring. In nature, there is a never drying source of freshness, which envelopes the world in spring. The Holy Ghost broods over the “bent” world and this brings forth renewed life. The Holy Ghost looks after mankind with the same protective care as a dove looks after its little ones.

God’s Grandeur

God’s Grandeur

Annotations of God’s Grandeur

Line 1. The world is full of the grandeur of God. Charged – filled with energy.

Line 2. This grandeur of God will shine forth like the foil made of gold. Shook foil – metal foil which is beaten to make thin foil.

Lines 3-4. the ooze of oil crushed – When olives are crushed they give oil. Likewise, the poet suggests that human ego improves under religious crushing (discipline).

Line 4. reck his rod – pay attention to the punishing power of God.

Line 5. The repetitions are effective. The poet says that unmindful of divinity, people have followed the same way.

Line 6. seared with trade – withered because of the application of the heat of trade. bleared – blinded. Smeared – covered with dust, etc.

Line 7. And wears man’s smudge – The nature wears the marks of man’s corruption and pollution. shares man’s smell – Man-dade machinery and its foul smell have corrupted nature.

Line 8. The soil is bare now – The growth of nature has been arrested. Nor can foot feel, being shod – Because man is wearing shoes he is unable to feel the softness of the soil.

Line 9. Despite everything, nature can never be exhausted. Nature will reassert itself.

Line 10. Deep down the earth the same freshness still persists.

Lines 11-12. The poet says that the sun goes down through the western horizon and the world is plunged into darkness, yet the next day also dawns. Likewise, nature also refreshes itself.

Line 13-14. The nature is renewed because of the presence of the Holy Ghost. Here Hopkins compares the Holy Ghost to a dove. Just as the dove broods over her young ones, in the like manner the Holy Ghost gives a protective covering to the earth. So the world is full of the grandeur of God.

Model Explanations

The world is charged …. Feel, being shod.

These lines have been taken from Hopkins’ immortal poem, ‘God’s Grandeur’. This poem was composed by Hopkins in February 1877. This poem is a protest against the crass materialism of the age; yet despite man’s wantonness and greed and wastefulness, there is hope for the world, as God continues to brood over it. The poems of Hopkins written in 1877 breath with a simple rapture at the loveliness of the world as a manifestation of God, and by a confident, even triumphant mastery of rhythm, diction, and imagery.

In these lines, the poet says that the world is full of the glory and grandeur of God. And this grandeur of God bursts out like shining from a hammered foil- “like shining from shook foil”. This gathers greatness just as the oil gathers after it has been crushed out from olives. So the poet suggests that God’s grandeur gets its totality after a fruitful but painful crushing of human ego under religious discipline. Just as oil becomes useful only after it has been taken out of olives, in the like manner human ego partakes of God’s glory and grandeur only after a great deal of religious perspiration and devotion. This leads the poet to lament the fact that still, people do not pay attention to God’s power and glory. Generation after generation of men has followed the same path without minding the power of God to punish them. In this world, everything has been seared and corrupted by the dirty materialism in which man has taken part. Everything has been smeared and corrupted by commercial activity and the toil which brings worldly success or monetary gains. The nature around bears the marks of this smearing – man’s foul odour can be seen in the midst of nature. In other words, we can say that all the beauty and graces of Nature have been blurred by man’s worldly activities. The sweet fragrance of nature has been drowned in the foul smell of machinery. These ideas are reminiscent of Wordsworth who also spoke against the crass materialism of his age. In a word, Hopkins suggests that the beauty of nature has been spoiled and marred by man’s industrial activities.

Because of man’s activities, nature is becoming shorn of vegetation.

Hopkins says that man has been despoiling nature unmindful of the punishments which God can inflict on humankind. Man’s toiling feet have worn away vegetation from the surface of the earth. In term of imagery also these lines deserve special mention. The similes introduced by the poet, in the beginning, are unique. He mentions “shook foil” and “ooze of oil crushed.” These similes, to say the least, are highly suggestive. The repetition of the phrase “have trod” is very effective. It brings to our mind the poet’s opposition to the industrial civilization which is taking root everywhere.

Critical Appreciation of God’s Grandeur

‘God’s Grandeur’ was written by Hopkins in February 1877. The poem is permeated with the glory and grandeur of God. The poet begins by saying that nature has been made ugly by the industrialization of the age. Everything has become seared and corrupted :

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod ;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot fell, being shod.

Here the protest of the poet against crass materialism of the age can well be compared with the complaint of Wordsworth, who was also dissatisfied with industrialization. In the poem ‘The World is Too Much With Us’ he says :

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers :

Little we see in nature that is ours ;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

Both the poets lament the indifference of people to the beauties of nature that lies around. But while Wordsworth satisfies himself with lament only, being a Jesuit, Hopkins goes further and having full faith in the greatness and goodness of God feels certain that the grandeur of God will still shine forth, Man has tried to kill nature but it will rejuvenate itself because the spirit of the Holy Ghost lies over it :

And for all this nature is never spent :

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things :

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

The poem states its meaning with severe precision and hence the development of the thought becomes slightly difficult. There is great compression in the thought elements, perhaps because the sonnet form demanded great economy. The sentence-structure demands close attention to be understood properly. For ceaseless, untiring efforts the poet uses the structure “have trod” and repeats it thrice in the same line. The Holy Ghost bending over the world and thus proving God’s grandeur connects it with the opening statement – “The world is charged with the grandeur of God”.

In many poems of Hopkins, we find a streak of pessimism lurking through the texture. But in this case, there is no pessimism. The pessimism is short-lived. The poet, being confident of the grandeur of God, is sure that “nature is never spent”. He sees natural beauty being seared, blurred and smudged by the footfall of man, but the poet never becomes despondent. He is aware of the wings of the Holy Spirit spreading over the earth so that the “dearest freshness” of nature will be revived.

The theological element of the poem is insignificant. The conviction of the poem transcends any particular doctrinal belief. And everything is bound in typical Hopkinsian language. It is very sinewy, strong, personal, and inventive. The internal rhymes in “seared” and “bleared” and “smeared” are very happy indeed. The rhymes suggest richness and plentitude. The poem comprises some very individual and very personal poetry

This poem belongs to Hopkins’ year of renewed inspiration when he wrote copiously. After the composition of ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland,’ there was an inordinate silence. But in 1877 there was a spurt of renewed inspiration and he wrote some wonderful poems expressing ecstatic wonder at the beauty of nature. And among these poems about nature, ‘God’s Grandeur’ stands supreme.

Questions and Answers

1. When was the poem ‘God’s Grandeur’ written?
Answer: February 1877

2. What kind of protest does the sonnet ‘God’s Grandeur’ express?
Answer: The poem is the protest of the poet against crass materialism.

3. Which poem of Wordsworth can be compared with Hopkins’ ‘God’s Grandeur’?
Answer: ‘The World is Too Much With Us’.

4. Why does Hopkins compare the Holy Ghost to a dove?
Answer: The Holy Ghost looks after mankind with the same protective care as a dove looks after its little one.

5. How, according to Hopkins, does human ego improve?
Answer: Through religious discipline.

6. Critically analyze Hopkins’ poem ‘God’s Grandeur’?
Answer: See the critical appreciation of the poem.

The Shadow of Silence 5

The Shadow of Silence

The Shadow of Silence is the translation of Kashmiri poem “Tshoapi hanz tshaay ” by Shabir Magami…..

The Shadow of Silence

The Shadow of Silence

The Shadow of Silence

When the day kisses and embraces the dark and,

Time takes a trip to the universe of stars,

precisely right then is brought into the world the idea, …

The perception begins to come to fruition.

The candle illuminates behind the shut vaults of eyes,

flickering fire, and decorating its fire, …

the shadow of silence hovers around every moment of Time…

circumambulating it, …

also, the haziness of the night spreads thick like a snake wound around itself.

But, the first smile of the dawn.

see the fire part with the lamp, …

somebody pulls at the hem of the breeze, awakening the spins

the sky changes tone

Coming back from some obscure world …

The sun again lights its hearth, …

And feeds the fire.

Flocks of birds trill and sing,

uncovering things untold and obscure.

Would that our resources go up the ladder of their secrets and resolve the riddle

Whether the day is conceived of the night … or the night brings forth the day.

Pied Beauty | Summary, Analysis, Explanation, Theme, and Questions 6

Pied Beauty | Summary, Analysis, Explanation, Theme, and Questions

Pied Beauty

Pied Beauty is a ‘catalogue’ poem. The poet catalogues the things which change from moment to moment, from season to season; things whose function, appearance, characteristics mark them out separately and individually – the changing patterns of the sky, like the ‘brinded’ (dappled) hide of a cow; the small pink or red moles which lie like stippled (dotted) paint on a trout’s back : the contrast between the red-brown nut of the fallen chestnut and the green husk which encloses it, a contrast which he likens to the glowing flame which is revealed by breaking open a lit coal, the varied browns, and yellows of finches’ wings; the patchwork of landscapes, changing according to time and space from the green of the fold where animals are pastured, to dull fawn-brown of land left fallow, and the rich deep brown of fields newly ploughed; all the ‘gear, tackle and trim’ of man’s different jobs-the fisherman’s nets, floats and lines, the mechanic’s spanner, wrench and grease-gun and so on.

Then, moving from particulars, the poet lists the contrasts and antithesis of life which create instress and inscape- all things set in opposition, all things which strike one with a shock of newness, all things whose function is individual and economical. All these things whose nature is ‘freckled’ with opposites in union are products of God. Yet God himself is ‘past’ (or ‘above’) change; He who creates is not the same as His creations; they are the ‘signs’ of his powers of invention, of individuation. These things ‘praise him’, but the final words are really an imperative, addressed to man – ‘Praise Him; it is your duty and should be your delight to do so’. The poem is denotative in its method, indicating specific examples of God’s variousness.

As is evidenced in ‘Pied Beauty’, Hopkins’s nature poetry is descriptive but one finds no long passages of pure descriptions. His effort is to inscape objects with the art of concentration, activity and individuating. Needless to say, the result is ‘instress’ both by the poet and the reader. In his painting of nature, there is the Keatsian sensuousness evident everywhere. He prefers the concentrated thrust of compounds like ‘fresh-fire coal-chestnut-falls’ and dispenses with prepositions and articles which as elsewhere, show his violence to syntax. Excessive use of alliteration coupled with this concentration results in verbal inscape. On the whole, the poem itself becomes an ‘inscape’ of delicate variety and pattern.

The deep sympathy of Hopkins with the thirteenth-century Franciscan philosopher Duns Scotus was responsible for the lovely, carefree poems of praise such as ‘Pied Beauty’, ‘God’s Grandeur’, ‘The Windhover’ and ‘Hurrahing in Harvest’. The influence of the teachings of Ignatius Loyola and the two phases – his Keatsian sensuousness and Hellenic intellectualism – before he became a Jesuit priest, resulting in his sacramental view of nature, all go to make the poem characteristically Hopkinsian in form, theme and poetic art. The priest who was a poet demonstrated through the poem that as a poet he was deeply convinced of God’s presence and being in everything, while the poet, as man was also aware of sensuous beauty in everything.

Pied Beauty

Pied Beauty

Pied Beauty Meanings

Pied: parti-coloured or multi-coloured.

Lines 1-2. Both the cow and the sky, one animate and the other inanimate, bear witness to God’s artistic power.

Dappled – brinded – marked with spots or streaks,

Couple-colour- two colour combination.

Brinded – early form of ‘brindled’; streaked.

Line 3. Stipple – dots of paint. The poet touches upon God’s handiwork in sky, land and in the water. Trout – a kind of fish.

Line 4. Fresh-fire coal etc – coloured husks that fall from the chestnut tree. Finch – a kind of bird – multi – coloured wings of these birds.

Line 5. Fold – sheepfold. Fallow – uncultivated land. Plough – ploughed land.

Line 6. Trades – occupations.

Gear tackle and trim – occupational implements which reveal the glory of God.

Line 7. Counter – opposite.
Line 8. Freckled – coloured with.

Line 9. Things counter to each other.

Line 10. Fathers-forth – Hopkinsian word. God creates and puts it forth. God is a repository of beauty which does not change.

Whose beauty is past change – God’s beauty is not subject to change; it has neither past nor future; it does not pass or change; it is eternal in comparison to the transient beauty of nature.

Model Explanations

Glory be to God…. Tackle and trim.

These lines have been taken from the poem ‘Pied Beauty’ written by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Hopkins was a Victorian poet but his fame was posthumous. He was almost unknown to all except a few friends, especially Robert Bridges. It was Bridges who put him before the reading public. Today he is considered to be the greatest influence on modern poetry. ‘Pied Beauty’ is a curtal sonnet, that is, a sonnet which has less than fourteen lines. It has ten and a half lines in all. Hopkins wrote only two curtal sonnets, the other being ‘Peace’.

Here the main qualities of a sonnet are retained but in a circumscribed manner.

The theme of the poem is the praise and glorification of God for creating various multicoloured, multi-shaped and multi-natured things in this world. He begins the poem by this praise. He says “Glory be to God for dappled things”. The poet catalogues the various things which change from moment to moment, from season to season. He praises the sky which is many-coloured and compares it with a “brinded” cow. He also praises God for creating the fish with black-spots on their rose-coloured skin. And he also praises God for the fallen chestnuts and the green core which encloses it. Hopkins is all praise for God for the patchwork of landscapes, changing according to time and space.

The poet praises God for creating all fish and fowl, men and animals. It is from God that all animate and inanimate objects take life. Hopkins gives a catalogue of all the things created by God for which praise be His. Beginning with praise, the poem builds up through a description of a variety of beautiful things which either are pied or contain opposites of various kinds – colour, taste, speed, brightness- to an assertion of the Creator of them, whose ability to comprehend the paradoxes within his unity aptly demand praise.

Critical Appreciation of Pied Beauty

‘Pied Beauty’ is a dazzling creation of Hopkins. It is a ‘curtal sonnet’ a sonnet curtailed in length. Instead of having the traditional fourteen lines, it consists of ten and a half lines. Hopkins used this curtal form only in two of his poems, in the present poem and in ‘Peace’. The curtal form was an original invention of Hopkins. Still, the poet is able to retain all the essential character- ristics of a sonnet- it has an octave and a sestet. The Octave consists of the first six lines while the last four and a half lines form the sestet. The metre of this poem is ‘sprung paeonic.’ A paeonic foot has one stressed and three unstressed syllables.

The religious fervour of the poems is extremely remarkable. According to Norman H. Mackenzie, “Hopkins praises God for brindled cows and the blacksmith’s anvil as well as for the so-called poetic objects around him. He whose beauty is past change is recognized as fathering forth the slow and the sour, the shade as well as the light, pleasant little echoes ripple and lap through the poem – dappled, couple, stipple, tackle, fickle, freckled, adazzle.

Even though it is unwise and hard to categorize a poet’s works, the poems of Hopkins can be divided into two categories: the poems written between 1876 and 1879 as nature poems expressing joy, positive faith and mystical perception and those written between 1879 and 1885 as poems on man trying to adjust himself to a difficult world. But whether a poet of nature or of man God was always supreme in the mind of Hopkins.

Hopkins had great admiration for Wordsworth. But Wordsworth was a pantheist; Hopkins, a true Catholic. So God is apart from Nature to Hopkins God is an artist, the Master-creator of beauty, for Hopkins. And the beauty of created things is a message from God, that behind ‘Pied Beauty’, varied and shifting, is the creator, changeless, eternal, One. The poem expresses the poets’ joyous wonder at the beauty of the work, of joy enhanced because creation is seen sacramentally and because he himself is using beauty to praise his Maker. The beauty of created things, including the beauty of Nature, is not permanent, but only by knowing transient beauty in the many, can the heart grasp the ‘Immutable Beauty’ of God. God is Beauty is itself. So praise Him; let it be your duty and your delight.

Hopkins uses the technique of enumeration in the poem. He is a poet of particulars, here. He catalogues things which change form moment to moment, from season to season : the changing patterns of the sky, the contrast between the rich, red-brown nut of the fallen chestnut and the green husk or case which encloses it ; the patchwork of landscape changing according to time and place; the green pasture-land, the dull fawn-brown fallow lands, the deep brown ploughed lands ; the different implements of artisans and workmen; he catalogues them all. Then he generalizes, contrasting the antithesis of life, things set in opposition. All these things are products of God. Yet, God, Himself is ‘past’ or above change. He creates, but He is not the same as His creations. These things praise Him; are meant to praise Him.

In his Nature poetry, Hopkins betrayed as complete and unashamed a sensuousness as Keates himself. He fuses a Keatsian immediacy of sense perception with the spiritual tranquility of Wordsworth and his sublime healing power. ‘Pied Beauty’ shows how alert and alive, his sensuous faculties were. The poet is ‘adazzled ‘ by different colours in Nature; his physical feelings are stirred by thought of earthly occupation: he is aware of the sweet-sour tastes of life. As for the power of concentration shown by the poet the original poem has to be placed by the side of a paraphrase to understand the poet’s ‘nutty’ style. The compound words, like ‘Fresh fire coal, Chestnut-falls, are full of force and meaning. At the same time, the poem is a good example of the violence to syntax and grammar.

To understand what ‘Inscape’ was to Hopkins, one need read-only ‘Pied Beauty’. The poem is full of image to give an idea of the variety and ‘dapple’ of the world, giving experiences of inscape in nature. For ‘Cynghanedd’, the Welsh art of making intricated and beautiful patterns of speech sound which Hopkins turned to good use in his poems, lines like with swift, slow, sweet sour addazle, dim are good examples. This is the art of alliteration by which language inescaped.

Like Milton who rose to greatness by writing poetry to vindicate the ways of God to men’, Hopkins, by nature a dreamer and a sensualist, only raises himself to greatness by writing poetry for ‘great causes as liberty and religion’. In doing this, he had to sublimate his poetic power. In a poem like ‘Pied Beauty,’ we see how he did it. There is sensualism in the poem; there is no asceticism. It is a tribute to God’s glory, as all poetry must be; but they are tributes of the senses.

Assessment Questions

(a) Answer the following questions in about 20 words each:-

1. What is a curtal sonnet?
Answer: A curtal sonnet is a sonnet curtailed in length. It contains ten and a half lines.

2. Who is the English poet associated with the curtal sonnet?
Answer: Hopkins is associated with the curtal sonnet.

3. What, according to Hopkins, is our duty?
Answer:: Our duty is to praise the Master – the creator who created the things of variegated beauty for us.

4. Name the ‘catalogue’ poem prescribed for your study?
Answer: ‘Pied Beauty’

5. Why is the poem ‘Pied Beauty’ called a catalogue poem?
Answer: Hopkins uses the technique of enumeration in ‘Pied Beauty’ and catalogue things which change from moment to moment, from season to season.

6. Name the Franciscan philosopher who had a great influence on Hopkins?
Answer: Duns Scotus.

(b) Answer the following questions in about 500 words each.

Answer: Critically appreciate Hopkins’ curtal sonnet ‘Pied Beauty’.

Prospice Summary, Critical Analysis, Theme, Meaning, Questions and Answers 7

Prospice Summary, Critical Analysis, Theme, Meaning, Questions and Answers

Prospice by Browning

Summary of Prospice

The poet is not at all afraid of the physical troubles that come at the time of death. Though he may feel suffocation (fog) in his throat, a heaviness in his vision and a cold numbness creeping over his body, all showing that death is very near, yet he is not at all afraid of death. These symptoms of death cannot unnerve him. He may find it difficult to breathe and hard to see because of his blurred vision, yet it is his duty as a strong man to go forward and face with fortitude and courage the severities and pains at the time of death.

During the course of our lives, we engaged in various kinds of activities and have achieved various kinds of honours and distinctions. We choose difficult adventures and take pleasure in overcoming them. There we prove the unconquerable nature of our spirit. But all the honours and glories which we acquire in life are only an introduction to our last fight with death. Like competitors in a race who are awarded prizes at the end of the struggle, the rewards that await, come to us only after death has been overcome.

The poet says that death cannot treat him as a coward. He does not want any mercy at the hands of death. He will face death like a bold man and not like a coward.

The poet says that throughout his life he has struggled with the numerous odds and difficulties of life. He has been a fighter in his life. He will gladly fight the last battle of his life with death. This battle against death would be the final battle of his life. It will also be the best battle because soon after death he will reach the kingdom of God and meet his beloved wife.

Earthly life is completed by our going to Heaven where all the “broken arcs” are made into ‘perfect rounds’ The same idea is conveyed here in these lines in a somewhat different way. Browning says that even the heroes of antiquity had to face death and fight it bravely. We ordinary people should derive inspiration from them and be prepared to meet death bravely and cheerfully like them. If we do so, we can overcome it in one minute. It is like our first plunge into the cold of death water which is painful. Thereafter it is pleasant to be in the water.

Also, death squares up all human accounts.

Death appears to be frightening only when we are afraid of it. As a matter of fact, even the worst moment of death becomes enjoyable and appears to be the best for those who have got courage in them. After all, through death, we pass into another life and pass into Heaven if we are brave. Shortly before death, one feels as if a storm were blowing, it were raining and in the mind of the man about to die it appears as if demons were standing ready to take him to hell. But all this disturbance of the mind and heart gradually decreases. One feels a peace pervading through his entire personality. This peace then gives place to the feelings of joy. Then the dying man sees a light, the light of God and ultimately with the help of this light he is united with the one he loves.

Critical Analysis of Prospice

The poem ‘Prospice’ first appeared in Dramatist Personace in 1864. His wife had died in 1861. The poem is a tribute to her memory. It has been regarded as one of the most inspiring and original poems on the subject of death.

‘Prospice is a Latin word. It means ‘to look forward’. It is an apt title for the poem. In this poem, it is confident that he will conquer death. He ‘looks forward’ joyfully to his reunion with his wife.

The poet compares the experience of climbing up a lofty mountain. A mountain climber has to face fog, mist snowstorms, etc. during his ascent. Like the climber, a man in this world has also to face physical and spiritual sufferings when he approaches death. To face death is the final battle of a man’s life in this world. And the man who puts up a heroic fight is fully rewarded for his bravery.

Throughout his life, the poet has been a fighter. Therefore he is determined to fight Death also bravely. He does not want any mercy or leniency from Death. He does not want to die in a state of unconsciousness like some persons who die in a state of coma during their illness. These people fear Death. In a state of coma, they are sweetly unaware of what is happening to them. The poet would like to be in a state of perfect awareness when death comes to him. He wants to taste all the pain and suffering which Death brings with it. He is ready to meet in Death all the pain and suffering which he has escaped in life through some happy chance. In other words, he is ready to face any amount of suffering at the time of his death. He thinks that in this way he will be able to pay off all his arrears of life.

The poet is a brave man. He is an optimist. He knows that the worst will soon be over. All the pain, all the agony, all the torture will come to an end in no time. Within a very short time, he will find all his suffering vanished. He will be reunited with his beloved wife who is waiting for him in heaven.

Theme of Prospice

The poet looks forward to a battle with death. He expresses a heroic attitude towards death which is man’s arch-enemy, and he flings a challenge at it. This is justly regarded as one of the most original poems in English on the subject of death. The poem is perfectly characteristic of Browning’s philosophy. He is not in the least afraid of death. He would like to experience all the pain and suffering of death. He does not wish to die in a state of coma or unconsciousness because that would mean creeping past death in a cowardly manner.

On the contrary, he wants to taste all the grim horror of death. He would hear the raving of the fiend-voices and be in the very thick of fight. In all references to death in his poetry, Browning shows the same confident faith in the future. Death does not mean for him the close of life; it means the beginning of a new life. He believes in God and in heaven. He has a Christian philosophy of life which finds a brief but unambiguous expression in the lines in which he says that he will be reunited with his wife who is waiting for him in heaven. According to Robert Browning, death is only one stage in the unbroken, immoral life of the soul. Browning was a firm believer in God, in the immortality of the soul and in heaven.

Love Poetry

In this poem, we find Browning’s philosophy that love endures even after death and that we must be hoping to meet our loved ones after death in the Kingdom of God. Browning’s poems on death possess the same note of confidence and love for the person concerned and the creator of this world. It is the love and faith in the immortality of love, which enables the poet to believe in life after death and reunion with his dead wife in the Kingdom of God.

In Browning’s other poems related to God and death, even his knaves and rogues have faith in God and rely upon His perfection and mercy. They are in direct contact and are sure of the ultimate union with the Absolute. Sympathetic communion between Man and God is possible because in addition to His attributes of power and knowledge he has the highest attribute of love. It is love which kindles and exacts both knowledge and power and as love is common both to God and man. It is love which harmonizes and unites all living beings.

The language of the poem is very simple, while the sentiments contained are universal and appeal to all. He reasserts his faith in God and not only forgets his sorrows but looks forward to meeting his wife in Heaven.

Questions and Answers

Answer the following questions in your own words. (Word limit 200-250 words)

(i) Comment on imagery in Browning’s poetry.

Answer: The poem titled Prospice is organized around the image of a journey undertaken by a knight in search of a guerdon-a reward-who has met many opponents on the way and is now about to meet the last one the Arch Enemy. But this enemy may choose not to fight. The end may be painless. He may be allowed to pass without a battle. That would be a disappointment. Therefore the next line begins with ‘No, let me.’

(ii) Write a note on the pictorial quality of Browning.
Answer: Browning’s pictorial quality is clearly indicated in Prospice. He compares the experience of meeting death with the experience of climbing up a high mountain with all the dangers and hazards of the upward journey. The hardships of the ascent are vividly pictured in the following lines :

“to feel the fog in my throat,”

“The mist in my face,”

“When the snows begin and the blasts denote”

“I am nearing the place,”

“The power of the night, the press of the storm”

(iii) Write about the poet’s faith in God’s love and mercy.

Answer: Robert Browning was the poet of soul and in his poems, he has attempted to see the soul of man as created by God. He has firm faith in God, and immortality of the soul. The body may die but the soul lives on in the infinite. It has an afterlife or lives. It has experienced not only in the world and this life but also in countless lives to come. The world is beautiful for God created it out of the fullness of His Love. Life in this world is worth living. For both life and the world are the expressions of Divine Love.

(iv) Describe Browning’s optimism.

Answer: Browning is a cheerful optimist. Optimism is at the very core of his teaching and his view of human life. Contrary to the views of some critics, his optimism is not blind. He does not shut his eyes to the suffering and evil that is prevalent in life. His optimism is founded on the Mercy of God and the realities of life.

(v) Write a note on Browning’s style.
Answer: In form, the poem is a monologue in which the poet is speaking in his own person. The style of the poem is simple. It does not suffer from Browning’s usual defects of style. There is no obscurity about it and it is easily comprehensible. It also shows Browning’s genius for consideration. He says, many of the words in the first few lines have an explosive or a near-explosive sound (technically beginning with letters classified as Plosives, Fricatives, and Affricates): power, press, place, post, death, blast, fear, fog, etc. The effect is a noticeable difficulty in reading corresponding to the sense which too speaks of the difficulty of breathing experienced by a man climbing a mountain or by a man gasping for breath in the last hours It also expresses the determination to face the difficulty with courage. The last lines are similarly noticeable for the frequency of the liquid l, m, n and the soft ‘s’ sounds : ‘dwindle’, ‘blend’, ‘elements’, ‘minutes’, ‘end’, ‘breast’, ‘soul’, ‘clasp’, ‘rest’, ‘peace’, the repeated ‘shall’ etc. and as a result the lines flow smoothly to the ecstasy. ‘Thou soul of my soul I shall clasp thee again whispered with the repeated ‘s’ sound.

Let Us Sum Up

In this unit, you have acquired knowledge about the poet and his poetry. Now you practice to:

understand trends and main features of the Victorian Age, know about life and works of Robert Browning, understand the poetry of Browning, know and understand various literary techniques used by Browning, critically analyse the poems of Browning, and answer the questions based on your text.

Review Questions

1. Comment on the style and Optimism of Browning’s poetry with suitable examples.

2. What philosophy of Browning is expressed in the poem ‘Prospice’? Explain in detail.


Fear death: the poet asks this question which implies a negative answer

Feel the fog in my throat: feeling of suffocation in the throat at the time of death

mist in my face: the blurred vision at the time of death

snows begin: when the winter season begins; when the body begins to become cold as death approaches

blasts: stormy weather; to face difficulty in breathing at the time of death

denotes : informs

hearing: approaching

the place: refers to death

power of the night: increase of invisibility

press of the storm: increase of difficulty in breathing

the post: the place where death is waiting

foe: the death, the enemy of life

he : the death

Arch fear: the fear of death

visible form: death becomes visible in the shape of the dying man

strong man: a healthy man

must go: must die

journey: the life span

done : completed

summit attained: the final point of life is reached

barriers: difficulties of life

fall: come to an end

battle: the struggle of life

ere : before

guerdon: reward, place in the kingdom of God

ever a fighter: a brave person in life

one fight more: the final fight with death

hate : dislike

bandaged my eyes: closed his eyes

forbore: prevented from moving about

bade : ordered

creep past: go away

taste: to bear sufferings

heroes: great men

bear: to sustain

brunt: fury of death

in a minute pay: life ends suddenly

arrears: miseries of life

element’s rage: difficulties faced by a person

worst turns the best: a strong person dies

friend voices: voices of devils of death

rare : cry

dwindle: disappear

blend: loose intensity of life

light: the light of Heaven

breast : wife

soul of my soul: refers to his wife, E.B. Browning

clasp : embrace

thee: you, refers to his wife

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


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.

Spring and Fall Summary, Explanation, Annotation, Summary and Questions 8

Spring and Fall Summary, Explanation, Annotation, Summary and Questions

Spring and Fall Introduction

Spring and Fall is an intense love poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. It narrates an incident, it is a tragic meditative poem, imagining a philosopher as a speaker in discussion with a girl named Margaret. We also discover in the poem character, dialogue, setting, and plot. The poem deals with the fact of human life well established by its title’ Spring and Fall.’ The speaker in the poem discusses a girl, Margaret, who weeps at the falling of tree leaves. Speaker as a philosopher asks Margaret not to grieve about unleaving the golden grove.

Spring and Fall is of the Hopkins’ modern poems about the philosophical definition of human life. His such other poems are ‘Felix Randal’, ‘The Bugler’s First Communion’, ‘The Candle Indoors’, ‘The Handsome Heart’ and ‘Brothers.’ These poems reveal Hopkins’ Wordsworthian sympathy towards Nature and all living creatures, old and young, proud and wretched alike. They recall to our minds Wordsworth’s Leech-gatherer, Old Cumberland
Beggar and Michael. Felix Randal was only a farrier, but his death is of great significance to Hopkins. ‘Harry the Ploughman’ is another mute Karmayogin whose work, being the body’s offering to God, is akin to the prayer. The Bugler also, humble for all his red-coated glory, kneels at the altar rail. ‘Brothers’, based on a real incident, deals with Harry, a reserved, sensitive boy and his impulsive younger brother John. In ‘Spring and Fall: to a young child’, Hopkins delicately unfolds a child’s growing sensibility. In ‘The Candle Indoors’, the salt of Henry’s tears is the very salt of Christ, whereby men become ‘the salt of the earth’.

In ‘Spring and Fall’, written at Lancashire, in 1880, Hopkins tells us that youth has an intuitive, almost innate knowledge of the sad transiency of all things due to the curse of Adam’s original sin. Remarkably compressed and condensed, the poem opens with a tender and gentle address by a father-confessor to an imaginary child.

In the Title ‘Spring and Fall’ – Spring suggests the Garden of Eden in the Bible.

(Margaret, the young child, also represents Spring). Fall suggests Adam’s fall, the penalty of Adam, for eating the forbidden fruit. Fall also suggests the season of Autumn, when leaves ripen, become pale and ultimately fall. This is one of the few poems of Hopkins which is free from doctrinal elements explicitly stated. ‘Spring’ in the title suggests both the season of growth and the Garden of Eden (of Adam and Eve in The Bible); ‘Fall’ similarly suggests Autumn, when the leaves fall, as well as the Fall of Adam, the penalty of Adam. Remarkably compressed and condensed, the poem opens with a tender address to a child by a kindly father-confessor. The child Margaret is imaginary only; ‘Goldengrove’ may also refer to an actual village; it means the golden trees in a grove or garden, which in the Autumn season, stand bare, leafless. Are you, Margaret, my young child, sorry for it?” Leaves like the things of man’ suggests the Biblical assertion in Isiah, ‘And we all do fade as the leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Spring and Fall: Annotations

Line 1. Margaret – no real Margaret is intended; any child.

Line 2. Goldengrove – the golden trees in a grove. There is ‘Goldengrove Farm’ in North Wales. Unleaving – leaves falling away getting leafless.

Line 3. Leaves – refer to The Bible (Isiah): and we all do fade as the leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away’. Like the things of man – mortality is a part of all created things.

Line 4. Fresh thoughts – the poet points out a child’s growing sensibility. Young Margaret grieves because the trees in the grove are getting leafless and beauty is fading away.

Line 5 -6. The heart grows older …. Colder – one day, later, when you lose your sensibility. Line 7. Nor spare a sigh – Margaret, you will be unmoved.

Line 8. Wanwood – a very effective coinage; the bitterness of wormwood is suggested. ‘Wan’ gives the combined meaning of dark, gloomy, deficient, pale, bloodless (note it, as an example for ‘inscape’). Leafmeal piecemeal; leaf by leaf; like ‘inchmeal’, ‘limbmeal’, in Shakespeare. Wanwood leafmeal lie – one by one, the leaves fall, and then rot into mealy fragments.

Line 9. You will weep – note this as an example for the ambiguities in Hopkins. This can mean : (1) insist upon weeping, now or later, (2) shall weep in the future. And know – another ambiguity : (1) you insist upon knowing, (2) you shall know. You will weep and know – a third variation, ‘listen, and I shall tell you why you weep’. Know – a third variation ‘listen, and I shall tell you why you weep’.

Why – because of the blight of the original sin of Adam.

Line 10. The name – of Adam, his sin and fall and the curse source.

Line 11. Sorrow’s……. the same – all sorrows have virtually one source.

Line 12. Mouth… mind – of Margaret or somebody else’s.

Line 12-13. Nor mouth ….. guessed – neither your mouth nor even your mind has expressed what your heart must have known and your spirit must have guessed.

Line 13. What heart heard of – mortality. Ghost – archaic usage: spirit (of the living). It stands for both mortality and grave.

Line 14. The blight – the curse of decay and death.

Line 15. You mourn for – the inevitability of decay and death of all created things, the result of the original sin, the disobedience of Adam and the resultant punishment.

Model Explanations

(i) Margaret, are you grieving….. care for, can you?

These lines have been taken from the poem Spring and Fall written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Victorian poet, who remained almost unknown to the poetry reading public during his lifetime. He was first published by Robert Bridges, and since then he has been the most potent influence on modern poetry. This poem was written by Hopkins in 1880. This poem is remarkably condensed and compressed. The poem opens with a tender and gentle address by a father-confessor to an imaginary child.

This is one of the few poems of Hopkins in which the doctrinal viewpoint does not dominate. ‘Spring’ in the title of the poem suggests, both the season of spring during which nature takes on a new look and the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived so blissfully before their transgression. ‘Fall’ in the title similarly suggests two things: the autumn season, when the leaves fall, and the Fall of Adam, the penalty which he got for his transgression.

The child Margaret of the opening statement of the poem is an imaginary child. Likewise, ‘Goldengrove’ is no actual place, although the reference to Byzantium where there were golden trees may be made. The poet begins by giving a picture of autumn season when leaves begin to fall from trees. The poet asks Margaret if she is full of sorrow because leaves in the Goldengrove are falling. The poet asks her the reason for weeping. Then he asks her whether she is so upset because the leaves in the grove are falling or whether she is weeping for similar mortality in human world. Here leaves like the things/humans suggest the Biblical assertion in Issiah, ‘And we all do fade as the leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. The poet asks the child whether she, in all her simplicity, is grieving over the trees in the grove getting leafless and their beauty fading away. The father asks the child not to be so sensitive because as she matures she will know the facts of life and hence of decay and drabness of things in the autumn season.

(ii) Nor mouth had….. you mourn for

These lines have been taken from the poem ‘Spring and Fall’ written by Gerard Manley Hopkins. In this poem, the title suggests the coming and going of seasons. The poet emphasizes the sad transiency of all things due to the curse of Adam’s original sin. This poem is free from any doctrinal content. It has been a favourite with anthology collectors. This poem expresses the idea of ‘sad mortality’ of man as well as nature. The child Margaret (who weeps because she finds leaves falling in the Goldengrove) does not know that she too is mortal and subject to decay like the autumnal leaves.

In these concluding lines of the poem, the poet speaks about the little girl Margaret who has no suitable words, nor real understanding of her own grief. She does not know that like the leaves she is also liable to decay. Her heart half knows and her heart has half guessed the cause of her grief. But she has no definite words through which she could express the thoughts that come to her mind. Still, her heart has sensed the truth almost intuitively.

But it must be remembered that the poem does not end on a note of admonition to Margaret. It is on a note of sympathy, Wordsworthian sympathy, that the poem ends. In this poem, Hopkins expresses with poignant regret the fact of decay and mortality with great tenderness and pathos. In the words of Thornton, “The series of balances and comparisons in the poem give it a calm persuasive articulation, and the consciousness of all that is involved in ‘knowledge’ and ‘fall’ gives this apparently slight poem a great deal of weight”.

Critical Appreciation

Sring and Fall’ is one of Hopkins’ most popular poems. It is also one of his sad poems. This poem was written by Hopkins in the spring of 1880. It was written by Hopkins when he was struggling with great personal depression. Here we find him overworked and worried. Then he was living in Liverpool which for him was “the most museless, a most unhappy and miserable spot”. About this poem, he wrote to his friend Robert Bridges, “(it is) a little piece composed since I began this letter, not founded on any real incident. I am not well satisfied with it”. Still, it remains a poem of great lyrical intensity and passion in which technical innovations also abound. The poem expresses the idea of sad mortality of man and nature alike. The child Margaret who weeps because of the golden leaves falling in autumn really mourns, though she does not yet know it, her own mortality.

The poem concerns human mortality. It is a kind of lamentation which the poet makes because of the Fall of man. In the beginning, man lived in perfect innocence and bliss in the Garden of Paradise, but now after the disobedience of God, he has been made to decay and death. In this connection, the use of the coined word “Goldengrove” in the second line of the poem is greatly suggestive. To some it is a simple and rather gratuitous invention; they consider it to be merely a description of trees, the leaves of which have turned red and yellow, or “gold”. The unleaving of the Goldengrove, however, gains wider implication when we consider it with reference to the Garden of Paradise. The leaves that are falling, we are told are “like the things of man” (line 3). So Goldengrove may also stand for “golden days of youth”, the springtime of life. Thus the two aspects – the seasons of the year and chronological stages of man’s life, get united in this one word. Then, the capitalization of the word “Goldengrove” alerts us to other suggestions in the poem “worlds of wanwood”, “ghost guessed”, and “the blight man was born for”. The words – “world”, “ghost” and “blight” – give us an invitation to read the poem in the context of the Garden of Eden for which “Goldengrove” is a happy coinage.

From the ninth line onwards we find a change in the thought of the poem. Here he tells us about the cause of Margaret’s grieving; Nor mouth had, no nor mind expressed.

What heart heard of, ghost guessed :

It is Margaret you mourn for.

Now we are told about the cause of why death and decay have come into the world. Thus we come across a double symbolism in the poem. Fall refers to autumn as well as man’s fall from grace. And Spring stands for the fountainhead of sorrow (the Original Sin) and the spring of tears. Thus, this poem expresses Hopkins’ conviction that all sorrow springs from one cause – mortality, deriving from sin, and this is so, whether we are conscious of it or not. Margaret, now a mere child, will grow soon, and like Hopkins come to know of this great truth.

The poem is a direct address to the girl, Margaret, and there is no scene-setting worth the name. The poem is written objectively. But we can feel that this is rather away from the truth. The poem is a projection of the poet’s self in the form of Margaret. And the generalization of the human condition may also be read as the consciousness of the poet’s own position. In Margaret, he recognizes his own youth, and the distance he has traveled from it. Natural beauty, instead of being a revelation of God, is increasingly seen as a reminder of the shortness of his own life and his own mortal nature.

Hopkins has garnered the common resources of language and invented new words by extending the common process of its development and growth (shifting parts of speech, compounding new words from old elements). In the coinage of new words, Hopkins has used old elements into new entities. In this poem, he has twice coined two new words in a single line. In the second line, he has coined “Goldengrove” and “unleaving”, and inline eight “wanwood” and “leafmeal”. The happy choice of the coinage of Goldengrove has already been explained. As regards “unleaving”- it is composed of a noun “leaf” used as a verb with a negative prefix “un” to mean “leaving leaves”. The cause of misunderstanding is that many people consider it a compound of “leave” used as verb with the compound “un”.

The other line that contains two coined words is line eight. “Wanwood” is a compound of two words – “wood” and “wan”. And the woods are pale because the trees have shed their leaves and so they have become “wan”, that is pale. “Leafmeal”d seems ambiguous but this ambiguity is soon removed. Here we have to remember that there is a world in English, “piecemeal” which means “piece by piece”. Likewise, leafmeal means “leaf by leaf”. This line thus may be read: “though huge areas of dark, colourless groves have dropped their leaves on the ground, one by one to decay, becoming a mass of mealy matter”.

Terms used for Understanding Hopkins’ Poetry

The section discusses the terms Inscape, Instress and Sprung Rhythm, central to the poetry of Hopkins:-

(a) Inscape: We talk of olive trees. We generalize. But Hopkins treated each olive tree as an individual item. When you read his ‘The Windhover’, you find the flight of the Windohover expressing the whole personality of the bird. That is ‘inscape’ for Hopkins (and should be, for you). Hopkins wrote, “I have no other word for that which takes the mind or eye in a bold hand”. So he coined a new word ‘Inscape’. He used it to designate the beauty of Things. ‘Inscape’ is applied to some particular thing of beauty which is distinctive and patterned. It is the individual quality of an object as revealed in its characteristic action which reveals the inner form of it. Inscape is an effect to translate this into words. Verse is inscape of the spoken sound. Poetry is the only speech employed to carry the ‘inscape’ of speech. Hopkins adds: “It is the virtue of Inscape to be distinctive and it is the virtue of distinctiveness to be queer. ‘Inscape’ is the very soul of art”.

Verbal inscape is a pattern of design in words. When words are used to suggest the inscape by means of a sound pattern we get verbal inscape. For example, (1) ‘earliest stars, earl stars’, (2) ‘dapple – drawn dawn’.

(b) Instress : Inscape is the individuating quality. The reader’s response to the inscape may be called ‘instress’. It is the observer’s response to the object of observation. It is ‘stress’ emphasized, ‘stress’ felt inside, seen through the inner self. It is in order to produce this effect that the poet creates the inscape of the object. The poet finds adequate words to project the inscape which the object has, is such a way that the desired instress is produced. Hopkins tries to capture the flight of the Windhover in words and his apprehension of the characteristic activity of the bird, passed on to the readers, is called instress. It is the sensation of the ‘inscape’ – (W.H. Gardner). Hopkins has nowhere specifically defined ‘instress’.

(c) Sprung Rhythm: A term used by Hopkins to denote the method by which his verse is to be scanned. In his time, most English verse was written in Running Rhythm, that is, metres with regular stresses in the line. Hopkins wished to free English verse from this rhythm, so as to bring verse into closer accord with common speech, to emancipate rhythm from linear unit, and to achieve a freer range of emphasis. It is a rhythm not counted by syllables and regular feet but by stresses (stress being the emphasis of the voice upon a word or syllable). If you imagine a line divided into feet, then one syllable would be stressed in each foot, but that syllable can either stand-alone or be accompanied by a number of unstressed syllables (usually not more than four). As stresses, not syllables, make up the line, it may vary considerably in length. To put indifferently, in Sprung Rhythm, the number of stresses in each line is regular, but they do not occur at regular intervals, nor do the lines have a uniform number of syllables. The rhythm also drives through the stanza and is not basically linear. Consider these lines from ‘The Wreck’.

‘Thou hast bound bones and veins in me fastened me flesh,

And after it almost unmade, what with dread’.

Assessment Questions

(a) Answer to the following questions should not exceed 20 words each.

Q. What do the words ‘Spring’ and ‘Fall’ suggest in the title of the poem ‘Spring and Fall’?
Ans. ‘Spring’ in the title suggests both the season of growth and the Garden of Eden; Fall similarly suggests Autumn and the Fall of Adam.

Q. What does the word ‘golden grove’ mean in ‘Spring and Fall’?
Ans. ‘Goldengrove’ means the golden trees in a grove or garden. It may also refer to an actual village.

Q. Who is Margaret?

Ans. Margaret refers to an imaginary child to whom the poem ‘Spring and Fall’ is addressed.

Q. By whom were Hopkins’ poems first published?

Ans. Robert Bridges was the first to publish Hopkins’ poems.

Q. What does the poem ‘Spring and Fall’ express?

Ans. The poem expresses the sad mortality of Man as well as nature.

(b) Answer the following question in 500 words each :

Q. Critically appreciate the poem ‘Spring and Fall’.
Answer: See the Critical Appreciation of the poem.

Let Us Sum Up

In this post, we have discussed in detail Hopkins’ beautiful poem ‘Spring and Fall’. The poem expresses Hopkins’ intense love for common humanity. The post also contains a brief discussion on the terms Inscape, Instress and Sprung Rhythm, vital to the understanding of Hopkins’ poetry.

Review Questions

1. Comment on the confessional aspect of Hopkins poems.

2. Comment on the uniqueness of Hopkins poetry.

Felix Randal: Annotations  Summary, Critical Analysis and Questions Answers 9

Felix Randal: Annotations Summary, Critical Analysis and Questions Answers

Felix Randal Summary

‘Felix Randal’ is a sonnet with sprung and outriding rhythm, of six-foot lines, written at Liverpool in 1880. You should note the appropriateness of the name, ‘Felix’, which is a Latin word meaning ‘happy’.

Felix Randal, the blacksmith is the subject of the poem; he used to make horse-shoes. Although he was robust and healthy, still he was overcome by diseases and died after receiving the Holy Communion. He was attended and looked after by the poet during his illness, and at the time of death, as a priest. The poem is a priestly meditation on his death.

Annotations of Felix Randal

Line 1. The farrier – one who shoes horses or cures horses’ disease. My duty all ended – the spiritual duties of Hopkins, the priest, ended now that Randal is dead.

Lines 2-5. Randal – who was once big-boned, hardy and handsome, was later afficiated by diseases, and he began to wish for death, illness broke his body and spirit.

Line 6. Anointed – consecrated with holy oil; like baptism at childhood, a religious ceremony before death.

Line 7. Reprieve – Holy Communion: religious ceremony. Randal, in preparation for death and salvation.

Line 8. God rest him – May his soul rest in peace! All road ever he offended – ‘any road’, anyway, anyhow; hence, in whatever manner he may ever have sinned.

Lines 10-11. The solace and comfort, as the priest sat by the side of the innocent, childlike, sick man, was mutual. The priest contrasted his boisterous past with his helpless present and was moved; the patient-derived comfort from the touch and words of the priest.

Line 12. Did anyone then – in those good old days, foresee that Randal would come to such a situation?

Line 13. Random – built with rough, irregular stone. Forge – a smithy; the workshop of a workman in iron. Peers – equals; other farriers.

Line 14. Fettle – make ready; repair or set right. Drayhorse – horse which pulls low, strong cart for heavy goods. Sandal – Randal used to shoe horses; but now the horse which carries him aloft to the Heavens, wears sandals; it is light-footed.

Model Explanations

(i) This seeing the sick ……. Battering sandal!

These lines have been taken from Hopkins’ poem ‘Felix Randal’. This sonnet was written by Hopkins when he was in Liverpool in 1880. In this poem, the happy (“Felix” is a Latin word which means “happy”) Randal is the chief character. By profession, he is a blacksmith who makes horseshoes. He was healthy and gay but after receiving Holy Communion he fell sick and died soon after. The poet attended him during his last illness. He also attended his last hours as a priest. So this poem represents the poet’s priestly meditations on death.

In these lines, the poet says that the visits of the priests to the sick persons make them mutually dear to one another. The priests become fond of the patients and the latter also begin to love their priests. When Hopkins, as the poet-priest visited Felix Randal, and spoke dear words in his ear, the words gave solace to him. Hopkins also tried to give relief to Randal by his caresses. The loving touch of the poet’s hands stopped the flow of the tears of Felix Randal. Once Felix was a strong man but now he had grown helpless like a child.

This makes the poet think about the days of Randal when he was young. At that time he was full of vigor and vitality. In his youth, Randal was big-boned, hardy and handsome. At that time Felix Randal never imaged that he could fall prey to such a sickness that will eat into his vitality and youth. He continued to work at his shop where his skill was acknowledged by one and all. Then with marvelous artistry of equivocation – double meaning – Hopkins uses the world ‘sandal’ at the end of the poem; Bright and battering sandal? Not shoes? That one word ‘sandal’ brings in pictures of hooves of horses, not iron-shod, but sandaled, battering, beating not the ground below, but flying with lighting in the skies, towards Heaven, in the company of, escorted by, angels who are riding the horses, lightning-shod. Look at the different picture now! Randal, for who salvation is assured, is pictured as preparing for this last journey, on horses not shod, but sandaled. Now, his name Felix which means ‘happy’ becomes appropriate. He is happy on his way to Heaven.

The sheer force and beauty of these closing lines should be noted. There is the clumping assonance as also thumping alliteration in these lines. The diction should also be noted. ‘Peers’ and ‘sandals’ are evocative mythopoetic words. Horse-shoes are heavy; sandals are light. We batter the ground with shoes; we fly in the air like birds with their light wings. Hence the suggestion of heavenward flight. Modern readers, mainly skeptical of metaphysics and religion, should give more importance to the theme of dissolution of material things than to the theme of humility, repentance and the Sacraments, in the poem ‘Felix Randal’

Critical Appreciation

The poem ‘Felix Randal’ was composed by Hopkins in April 1880 when he was staying in Leigh, Lancashire. Hopkins stayed in Leigh from September to December 1879 serving the parishioners there. This poem was written by Hopkins when he was in a happier frame of mind. What is so surprising about this poem is that its subject is death, but it does not have the melancholy and sadness which usually accompany his poems concerning death.

Felix Randal, a farrier, is the subject of this wonderful poem. Felix Randal, the blacksmith, was a robust and healthy man who had not known sickness. But after receiving the Holy Communion he was overtaken by sickness and died soon after. During his last days, this maker of horseshoes was attended by Hopkins. The description of Randal’s occupation is made in the following words :

When thou at the random grim forge, powerful amid peers,

Didst fettle for the great grey dray horse his bright and

Battering sandal!

This “big-boned and hardy-handsome” young man falls sick and his mind wanders :

Pining, pining, till time when reason rambled in it and some

Fatal four disorders, fleshed there, all contended?

The poem tells us about the physical as well as the spiritual state of Felix Randal.

Though his physical condition deteriorates, his spiritual condition becomes stronger.

The poem is also rich in the use of linguistic devices. This is the first of Hopkins’ Liverpool poems, and introduces Lancashire dialect, expression – “and all” (line 6), “all road over” (line 8) and “fettle” in line fourteen. Commenting upon the imagery and vocabulary of “Felix Randal” Norman H. Mackenzie has observed: “Felix Randal is noteworthy for the richness of its imagery and vocabulary. There is a word ‘mould’ for example, which was, both in dialect and in poetry, used for the grave; here this word has only a submerged meaning, ‘His mould of man’ is a metaphor from casting of metal particularly appropriate to a blacksmith’s forge. Hopkins with his own frail physique always admired strong-bodied persons. The last three lines of the sonnet are magnificently evocative of the blacksmith in his prime, physical strength. The word ‘random’ evokes the unplanned casualness of the smithy, typical of smith’s life itself. The word ‘grim’ combines reminiscences of the powerful and forbidding Satanic rebels in the smoke of Pandemonium, with its homely, widespread dialect use, ‘dirty, grimly covered with soot or filth’. The word ‘fettle’, which every customer would use to the farrier, means ‘to make’ or ‘to mend’. Furthermore, the last few lines are so arranged as to impart to Felix Randal the stature and splendor of the magnificent horse he is shoeing. How the rhythm beats out at the time the sledge-hammer blows; ‘random grim forge, great grey drayhorse’ (where the repeated vowels underscore the heavy strokes); we may catch too, the ringing of the horseshoe on the paving. The final phase of the poem is inspired; it transforms the drayhorse from drabness to radiance as the sonnet reaches an impressive and exultant close: ‘his bright and battering sandal!”


1. What does the word ‘Felix’ mean?
Answer: ‘Felix’ is a Latin word which means ‘happy’.

2. Who was Felix Randal?
Answer: Felix Randal, the blacksmith, or ironsmith is the subject of the poem ‘Felix Randal’. He used to make horseshoes.

3. Who are the patient and the priest in the poem ‘Felix Randal’?
Answer: The patient is Felix Randal, the Ferrier, and the priest is Hopkins, the poet.

4. When was the poem ‘Felix Randal’ written?
Answer: ‘Felix Randal’ was written in April 1880 when Hopkins was staying in Leigh, Lancashire.

5. Name the poem of Wordsworth which can be compared to Hopkins’ ‘Felix Randal’ and ‘Spring and Fall’
Answer: Wordsworth’s poems ‘Leech-gatherer’, ‘Old Cumberland Beggar’ and

‘Michael’ can be compared to Hopkins’ ‘Felix Randal’ and ‘Spring and Fall’.




It is rightly said that corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. It is one of the gravest vices in the world. It has spread and taken its roots deep into every society. Even if we admit that corruption is a worldwide phenomenon, yet we have to agree that in India probably it has crossed all conceivable limits. Corruption is there right from the peon level to the level of the highest officers. The politicians are probably the most infected people.

Corruption is a major obstacle in the progress and advancement of societies. It has made useless the sweet dreams and ideal ideologies of philosophers and thinkers to create economically and socially just societies. Wealth has got alarmingly accumulated in the hands of corrupt people. The resources of a country that are primarily meant to bring prosperity to the society and the nation as a whole are used by the corrupt people to promote their own interests.

The main responsibility of the corruption lies with the governmental machinery. You can not think of moving a file from one table to another until it has wings of silver attached to it. Every locker in a government or semi-government department opens only with a silver key. To the regret of humanity, all this goes undaunted. People in authority suck the blood of the poor and needy openly and there is nobody to make them accountable. It is a strange logic that at times if a poor man is caught while giving small amounts as a bribe, he is punished but those who offer and take hefty sums hardly get exposed.

Corruption a menace

This sorry state of affairs has given birth to an alarming disorder and injustice. Corrupt people at the helm of affairs have made the things go inversely. Illiterates get jobs while qualified perish disappointed.

The rich, under such circumstances, are growing richer and the poor becoming poorer.

Corruption is evil with many heads. When one head is cut, a new head emerges and we have to grapple with this new one. The common people simply feel baffled and helpless.

However, if we have a firm determination, we can certainly overcome this menace rather sooner than later.

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