125 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2017
    1. ANTONY

      Antony’s speech is masterful in turning the Romans against Brutus and the other conspirators. Describe how Antony wins their favor and then inflames their emotions against Brutus and the others. What clever methods does he use to influence the mob? Annotate on this page and comment on the rhetorical devices used.

  2. Apr 2017
    1. Six months later relief came. The government demanded a report from the Municipality on the question of the statue, and this together with other lapses on the part of the Municipality made them want to know why the existing Council should not be dissolved and re-elections ordered. I called on the Chairman and said, ‘You will have to do something grand now. Why not acquire my house as a National Trust?’‘Why should I?’ he asked.‘Because,’ I said, ‘Sir F. is there. You will never be able to cart him to his old place. It’ll be a waste of public money. Why not put him up where he is now? He has stayed in the other place too long. I’m prepared to give you my house for a reasonable price.’‘But our funds don’t permit it,’ he wailed.‘I’m sure you have enough funds of your own. Why should you depend on the municipal funds? It’ll indeed be a grand gesture on your part, unique in India . . .’ I suggested he ought to relieve himself of some of his old blanket gains. ‘After all . . . how much more you will have to spend if you have to fight another election!’ It appealed to him. We arrived at a figure. He was very happy when he saw in the papers a few days later: ‘The Chairman of Malgudi Municipality has been able to buy back as a present for the nation the statue of Sir Frederick Lawley. He proposed to install it in a newly acquired property which is shortly to be converted into a park. The Municipal Council have resolved that Kabir Lane shall be changed to Lawley Road.’

      This is a very funny story, and yet highly political. How so? Might you consider this an allegory?

    2. Next the Municipality called for tenders. A dozen contractors sent in their estimates, the lowest standing at fifty thousand rupees, for removing the statue and carting it to the Muncipal Office, where they were already worried about the housing of it. The Chairman thought it over and told me, ‘Why don’t you take it yourself? I will give you the statue free if you do not charge us anything for removing it.’ I had thought till then that only my municipal friends were mad, but now I found I could be just as mad as they. I began to calculate the whole affair as a pure investment. Suppose it cost me five thousand rupees to dislodge and move the statue (I knew the contractors were overestimating), and I sold it as metal for six thousand . . . About three tons of metal might fetch anything. Or I could probably sell it to the British Museum or Westminster Abbey. I saw myself throwing up the upcountry paper job.The Council had no difficulty in passing a resolution permitting me to take the statue away. I made elaborate arrangements for the task . . . I borrowed money from my father-in-law, promising him a fantastic rate of interest. I recruited a team of fifty coolies to hack the pedestal. I stood over them like a slave-driver and kept shouting instructions. They put down their implements at six in the evening and returned to their attack early next day. They were specially recruited from Koppal, where the men’s limbs were hardened by generations of teak-cutting in Mempi Forest.

      Is the narrator suggesting that this whole fiasco is not really about a new political consciousness?

    3. People dropped their normal occupations and loitered around the statue, wondering how they could have tolerated it for so many years. The gentleman seemed to smile derisively at the nation now, with his arms locked behind and his sword dangling from his belt. There could be no doubt that he must have been the worst tyrant imaginable: the true picture—with breeches and wig and white waistcoat and that hard, determined look—of all that has been hatefully familiar in the British period of Indian history. They shuddered when they thought of the fate of their ancestors who had to bear the tyrannies of this man.

      This reflects the emerging post-colonial consciousness of India.

    4. He lay there he did not know how long. He strained his ears to catch the sound of the train, but he heard nothing more than a vague rattling and buzzing far off . . . Presently he grew tired of lying down there. He rose and walked back to the station. There was a good crowd on the platform. He asked someone, ‘What has happened to the train?’‘A goods train has derailed three stations off, and the way is blocked. They have sent up a relief. All the trains will be at least three hours late today . . .’‘God, you have shown me mercy!’ Rama Rao cried, and ran home.His wife was waiting at the door, looking down the street. She brightened up and sighed with relief on seeing Rama Rao. She welcomed him with a warmth he had not known for over a year now. ‘Oh, why are you so late today?’ she asked. ‘I was somehow feeling very restless the whole evening. Even the children were worried. Poor creatures! They have just gone to sleep.’When he sat down to eat she said, ‘Our tenants in the Extension bungalow came in the evening to ask if you would sell the house. They are ready to offer good cash for it immediately.’ She added quietly, ‘I think we may sell the house.’‘Excellent idea,’ Rama Rao replied jubilantly. ‘This minute we can get four and a half thousand for it. Give me the half thousand and I will go away to Madras and see if I can do anything useful there. You keep the balance with you and run the house. Let us first move to a better locality . . .’‘Are you going to employ your five hundred to get more money out of crossword puzzles?’ she asked quietly. At this Rama Rao felt depressed for a moment and then swore with great emphasis, ‘No, no. Never again.’

      So fate offers a twist just at the most crucial point.

    5. ttention to speculate whether HOPE or DOPE or ROPE mad

      In what ways are the words "hope", "dope", "rope" both symbolic and humorous?

    6. For the next few days his head was free from family cares. He was thinking intensely of his answers: whether it should be TALLOW or FOLLOW. Whether BAD or MAD or SAD would be most apt for a clue which said, ‘Men who are this had better be avoided.’ He hardly stopped to look at his wife and children standing in the doorway when he returned home in the evenings. Week after week he invested a little money and sent his solutions, and every week he awaited the results with a palpitating heart. On the day a solution was due he hung about the newsagent’s shop, worming himself into his favour in order to have a look into the latest issue of The Captain without paying for it. He was too impatient to wait till the journal came on the table in the Jubilee Reading Room. Sometimes the newsagent would grumble, and Rama Rao would pacify him with an awkward, affected optimism. ‘Please wait. When I get a prize I will give you three years’ subscription in advance . . .’ His heart quailed as he opened the page announcing the prize-winners. Someone in Baluchistan, someone in Dacca and someone in Ceylon had hit upon the right set of words; not Rama Rao. It took three hours for Rama Rao to recover from this shock. The only way to exist seemed to be to plunge into the next week’s puzzle; that would keep him buoyed up with hope for a few days more.

      The detailed description conveys how deeply Rao is committed to the crossword puzzles. For his, it is an escapism from the reality of life. He seems to have abandoned both hope and responsibility.

    7. And one day, it was a bolt from the blue, the crash came. A series of circumstances in the world of trade, commerce, banking and politics was responsible for it. The gramophone company, which had its factory somewhere in North India, automatically collapsed when a bank in Lahore crashed, which was itself the result of a Bombay financier’s death. The financier was driving downhill when his car flew off sideways and came to rest three hundred feet below the road. It was thought that he had committed suicide because the previous night his wife eloped with his cashier.

      The humour comes somewhat with the word "crash" accumulating so many references!

    8. ‘Five-nought-one in second-class! Can it be true?’ he shrieked. He looked at the number again and again. Yes, there it was. He had obtained a second-class. ‘If this is true I shall sit in the B.A. class next month,’ he shouted. His voice rang through the silent building. ‘I will flay alive anyone who calls me a fool hereafter . . .’ he proclaimed. He felt slightly giddy. He leant against the wall. Years of strain and suspense were suddenly relaxed; and he could hardly bear the force of this release. Blood raced along his veins and heaved and knocked under his skull. He steadied himself with an effort. He softly hummed a tune to himself. He felt he was the sole occupant of the world and its overlord. He thumped his chest and addressed the notice-board: ‘Know who I am?’ He stroked an imaginary moustache arrogantly, laughed to himself and asked, ‘Is the horse ready, groom?’ He threw a supercilious side glance at the notice-board and strutted out like a king. He stood on the last step of the porch and looked for his steed. He waited for a minute and commanded, ‘Fool, bring the horse nearer. Do you hear?’ The horse was brought nearer. He made a movement as if mounting and whipped his horse into a fury. His voice rang through the dark riverside, urging the horse on. He swung his arms and ran along the sands. He shouted at the top of his voice: ‘Keep off; the king is coming; whoever comes his way will be trampled . . .’‘I have five hundred and one horses,’ he spoke to the night. The number stuck in his mind and kept coming up again and again. He ran the whole length of the riverbank up and down. Somehow this did not satisfy him. ‘Prime Minister,’ he said, ‘this horse is no good. Bring me the other five hundred and one horses, they are all in second-classes—’ He gave a kick to the horse which he had been riding and drove it off. Very soon the Prime Minister brought him another horse. He mounted it with dignity and said, ‘This is better.’ Now he galloped about on his horse. It was a strange sight. In the dim starlight, alone at that hour, making a tap-tap with his tongue to imitate galloping hoofs. With one hand swinging and tugging the reins, and with the other stroking his moustache defiantly, he urged the horse on and on until it attained the speed of a storm. He felt like a conqueror as the air rushed about him. Soon he crossed the whole stretch of sand. He came to the water’s edge, hesitated for a moment and whispered to his horse, ‘Are you afraid of water? You must swim across, otherwise I will never pay five-nought-one rupees for you.’ He felt the horse make a leap.

      What does this horse fantasy acting-out symbolises?

    9. Soon the lights went out and the show started—a Tamil film with all the known gods in it. He soon lost himself in the politics and struggles of gods and goddesses; he sat rapt in the vision of a heavenly world which some film director had chosen to present. This felicity of forgetfulness lasted but half an hour. Soon the heroine of the story sat on a low branch of a tree in paradise and wouldn’t move out of the place. She sat there singing a song for over half an hour. This portion tired Iswaran, and now there returned all the old pains and gloom. ‘Oh, lady,’ Iswaran appealed, ‘don’t add to my troubles, please move on.’ As if she heard this appeal the lady moved off, and brighter things followed. A battle, a deluge, somebody dropping headlong from cloud-land, and somebody coming up from the bed of an ocean, a rain of fire, a rain of flowers, people dying, people rising from graves and so on. All kinds of thrills occurred on that white screen beyond the pall of tobacco smoke. The continuous babble on and off the screen, music and shouting, the cry of pedlars selling soda, the unrestrained comments of the spectators—all this din and commotion helped Iswaran to forget the Senate House and student life for a few hours.

      How does the world in the film contrasts with the world that Iswaran lives in? What does the film symbolise?

    10. He hummed as he went in for a wash before dressing to go out. He combed his hair with deliberate care, the more so because he knew everybody looked on him as a sort of an outcast for failing so often. He knew that behind him the whole family and the town were laughing. He felt that they remarked among themselves that washing, combing his hair and putting on a well-ironed coat were luxuries too far above his state. He was a failure and had no right to such luxuries. He was treated as a sort of thick-skinned idiot. But he did not care. He answered their attitude by behaving like a desperado. He swung his arms, strode up and down, bragged and shouted, and went to a cinema. But all this was only a mask. Under it was a creature hopelessly seared by failure, desperately longing and praying for success. On the day of the results he was, inwardly, in a trembling suspense. ‘Mother,’ he said as he went out, ‘don’t expect me for dinner tonight. I will eat something in a hotel and sit through both the shows at the Palace Talkies.’

      The narrator here with god-like omniscience, gives us the full picture of the kind of person that Iswaran is. How does this make you revisit his words and behaviours recounted just before? Does this narrative unveiling make you sympathetic to Iswaran?

    11. On his way home he stopped for a moment at his hospital, called out his assistant and said, ‘That Lawley Extension case. You might expect the collapse any second now. Go there with a tube of———in hand, and give it in case the struggle is too hard at the end. Hurry up.’Next morning he was back at Lawley Extension at ten. From his car he made a dash for the sick bed. The patient was awake and looked very well. The assistant reported satisfactory pulse. The doctor put his tube to his heart, listened for a while and told the sick man’s wife, ‘Don’t look so unhappy, lady. Your husband will live to be ninety.’ When they were going back to the hospital, the assistant sitting beside him in the car asked, ‘Is he going to live, sir?’‘I will bet on it. He will live to be ninety. He has turned the corner. How he has survived this attack will be a puzzle to me all my life,’ replied the doctor.

      Is it? Do you think it is the Doctor's word of hope that brought about his survival? The writer leaves hint at the beginning of this story. What is it that the Doctor does not understand about life and death?

    12. When the doctor resumed his seat the patient asked in the faintest whisper possible, ‘Is that someone crying?’ The doctor advised, ‘Don’t exert yourself. You mustn’t talk.’ He felt the pulse. It was already agitated by the exertion. The patient asked, ‘Am I going? Don’t hide it from me.’ The doctor made a deprecating noise and sat back in his chair. He had never faced a situation like this. It was not in his nature to whitewash. People attached great value to his word because of that. He stole a look at the other. The patient motioned a finger to draw him nearer and whispered, ‘I must know how long I am going to last. I must sign the will. It is all ready. Ask my wife for the despatch box. You must sign as a witness.’

      For all his powers to heal, what do you think is the doctor's weakness?

    13. People came to him when the patient was on his last legs. Dr Raman often burst out, ‘Why couldn’t you have come a day earlier?’ The reason was obvious—visiting fee twenty-five rupees, and more than that, people liked to shirk the fact that the time had come to call in Dr Raman; for them there was something ominous in the very association. As a result, when the big man came on the scene it was always a quick decision one way or another. There was no scope or time for any kind of wavering or whitewashing. Long years of practice of this kind had bred in the doctor a certain curt truthfulness; for that very reason his opinion was valued; he was not a mere doctor expressing an opinion but a judge pronouncing a verdict. The patient’s life hung on his words. This never unduly worried Dr Raman. He never believed that agreeable words ever saved lives. He did not think it was any of his business to provide comforting lies when as a matter of course nature would tell them the truth in a few hours. However, when he glimpsed the faintest sign of hope, he rolled up his sleeve and stepped into the arena: it might be hours or days, but he never withdrew till he wrested the prize from Yama’s hands.Today, standing over a bed, the doctor felt that he himself needed someone to tell him soothing lies. He mopped his brow with his kerchief and sat down in the chair beside the bed. On the bed lay his dearest friend in the world: Gopal. They had known each other for forty years now, starting with their kindergarten days. They could not, of course, meet as much as they wanted, each being wrapped in his own family and profession. Occasionally, on a Sunday, Gopal would walk into the consulting room and wait patiently in a corner till the doctor was free. And then they would dine together, see a picture and talk of each other’s life and activities. It was a classic friendship, which endured untouched by changing times, circumstances and activities.

      Notice in this exposition how the writer covers an expanse of narrative time, in order to build up Dr Raman's character, his relationship with Gopal, and introducing the story problem. This is 'telling,' rather than 'showing.' The rising actions, will show the detail. How important is this technique to story-telling? All kinds of narratives?

      Furthermore, the conflict suggested here is between the doctor and Death itself. How do you respond to this?

    1. The earth, that’s nature’s mother, is her tomb. What is her burying, grave that is her womb.

      What does the structure of Fr Lawrence's soliloquy reveal about how he thinks? The thinks is terms of contrasting ideas, using balanced lines which indicated by the parallelisms.

      These two lines are a chiasmus.

      Friar Lawrence is a deeply reflective person, turning over and over in his mind philosophical ideas, seeking to resolve contradictions. He is a priest-philosopher.

    2. Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, And vice sometime by action dignified.

      This is a chiasmus, which is a kind of parallel structure, but with the organising structure inverted.

    3. Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.

      This is an example of parallelism. In its syntactic form, the structure of one sentence mirrors the other.


      This is a soliloquy — a very personal talk, revealing a character's most innermost personhood. If this person is reliable, then his soliloquy will be the most revealing.

  3. Mar 2017
    1. Conceal me what I am, and be my aid For such disguise as haply shall become The form of my intent. I’ll serve this duke.

      Viola: On one hand, this is independently minded, and dares to cross gender boundaries, so as both to survive and also to thrive. However, she is dependent on the help of the Captain to supply her with male clothings and teach her how to wear them. However, learning the part of being masculine is something that she has to learn, practice, and be an expert in. She is inventive and determined.

    2. There is a fair behavior in thee, captain, And though that nature with a beauteous wall Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee I will believe thou hast a mind that suits With this thy fair and outward character.

      Captain: Loyalty -> Plot: What he will do for Sebastian. Seafarers are usually socially marginal. In this case, as a marginal woman, Viola is able to see his goodness.

      Viola: She is not superficial, intuitive about the depth of personality. Not easily deceived. Experienced: women are often easily exploited on the whole, and Viola is often risk taking, exposing her to a higher degree of exploitations.

    1. When Father came home and was told, he said, ‘The child must not have any chain hereafter. Didn’t I tell you that I saw her carrying it in her hand once or twice? She must have dropped it into the pot sometime . . . And all this bother on account of her.’

      Trace the words spoken and actions by Mr Sivasanker. What do they reveal about this character? What role does he play in the story?

    2. How did it get into the tamarind pot?’ Mother asked.‘Somehow,’ replied Leela.‘Did you put it in?’ asked Mother.‘Yes.’‘When?’‘Long ago, the other day,’‘Why didn’t you say so before?’‘I don’t know,’ said Leela.When Father came home and was told, he said, ‘The child must not have any chain hereafter. Didn’t I tell you that I saw her carrying it in her hand once or twice? She must have dropped it into the pot sometime . . . And all this bother on account of her.’‘What about Sidda?’ asked Mother.‘I will tell the inspector tomorrow . . . in any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house.’

      Is Leela's naivety and innocence a good thing or not? Explain your response.

      Would you lay the blame on Leela for Sidda's misfortune? Explain your answer.

      What hints does Narayan leave in this story to provide an understanding of Sidda's ambiguous words and silence?

    3. Leela ran in and told her mother, ‘Sidda knows the moon.’ At dusk he carried her in and she held a class for him. She had a box filled with catalogues, illustrated books and stumps of pencils. It gave her great joy to play the teacher to Sidda. She made him squat on the floor with a pencil between his fingers and a catalogue in front of him. She had another pencil and a catalogue and commanded, ‘Now write.’ And he had to try and copy whatever she wrote in the pages of her catalogue. She knew two or three letters of the alphabet and could draw a kind of cat and crow. But none of these could Sidda copy even remotely. She said, examining his effort, ‘Is this how I have drawn the crow? Is this how I have drawn the B?’ She pitied him and redoubled her efforts to teach him. But that good fellow, though an adept at controlling the moon, was utterly incapable of plying the pencil. Consequently, it looked as though Leela would keep him there pinned to his seat till his stiff, inflexible wrist cracked. He sought relief by saying, ‘I think your mother is calling you in to dinner.’ Leela would drop the pencil and run out of the room, and the school hour would end.

      Sidda is placed in another setting, that of the classroom. What is the role of this setting?

    4. ‘I have asked it to follow us about.’

      Sidda obviously told a lie. Do you think it is a bad thing? Explain your answer.

    5. ‘Sidda, come and play!’ Leela would cry, and Sidda had to drop any work he might be doing and run to her, as she stood in the front garden with a red ball in her hand. His company made her supremely happy. She flung the ball at him and he flung it back. And then she said, ‘Now throw the ball into the sky.’ Sidda clutched the ball, closed his eyes for a second and threw the ball up. When the ball came down again, he said, ‘Now this has touched the moon and come. You see here a little bit of the moon sticking.’ Leela keenly examined the ball for traces of the moon and said, ‘I don’t see it.’

      What can you say about Sidda's personality and the role that he is given? What kind of people does he represent?


      What kind of anticipation does Narayan create for you with a title about friendship, and yet, the opening paragraphs are about domestic servants?

    7. giving the stock reply.

      Why is this narrative comment significant?

    8. ‘As I know all other things. Guru Nayak, listen carefully to what I have to say. Your village is two days’ journey due north of this town. Take the next train and be gone. I see once again great danger to your life if you go from home.’ He took out a pinch of sacred ash and held it out to him. ‘Rub it on your forehead and go home. Never travel southward again, and you will live to be a hundred.’‘Why should I leave home again?’ the other said reflectively. ‘I was only going away now and then to look for him and to choke out his life if I met him.’ He shook his head regretfully. ‘He has escaped my hands. I hope at least he died as he deserved.’ ‘Yes,’ said the astrologer. ‘He was crushed under a lorry.’ The other looked gratified to hear it.

      How does the earlier description of the area around the Town Hall as both sacred and profane reveal about this event here?

    9. ‘Ah, tell me more.’‘A knife has passed through you once?’ said the astrologer.‘Good fellow!’ He bared his chest to show the scar. ‘What else?’‘And then you were pushed into a well nearby in the field. You were left for dead.’

      Narayan leaves details here and there, without explaining their significance. Earlier on, the narrator informs us that the Astrologer "caught a glimpse of the stranger's face", which makes him "uncomfortable". At which point of your reading did you notice its significance? Here, or elsewhere? What can you say about Narayan's story-telling?

    10. There was a pause as cars hooted on the road, jutka-drivers swore at their horses and the babble of the crowd agitated the semi-darkness of the park.

      Long description slows down the pace of reading, reflecting the substantial pause in the narrated event.

    11. He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles: marriage, money and the tangles of human ties. Long practice had sharpened his perception. Within five minutes he understood what was wrong. He charged three pies per question and never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes, which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices. When he told the person before him, gazing at his palm, ‘In many ways you are not getting the fullest results for your efforts, ’ nine out of ten were disposed to agree with him. Or he questioned: ‘Is there any woman in your family, maybe even a distant relative, who is not well disposed towards you?’ Or he gave an analysis of character: ‘Most of your troubles are due to your nature. How can you be otherwise with Saturn where he is? You have an impetuous nature and a rough exterior.’ This endeared him to their hearts immediately, for even the mildest of us loves to think that he has a forbidding exterior.

      What can you say about the Astrologer's prediction? What does the language reveal about his craft?

    12. The screen which had covered the image parted. A great flame of camphor was waved in front of the image, and bronze bells rang. A silence fell upon the crowd. Every eye was fixed upon the image. In the flame of the circling camphor Nataraja’s eyes lit up. His limbs moved, his anklets jingled. The crowd was awe-stricken. The God pressed one foot on earth and raised the other in dance. He destroyed the universe under his heel, and smeared the ashes over his body, and the same God rattled the drum in his hand and by its rhythm set life in motion again . . . Creation, Dissolution and God attained a meaning now; this image brought it out . . . the bells rang louder every second. The crowd stood stunned by this vision vouchsafed to them.At this moment a wind blew from the east. The moon’s disc gradually dimmed. The wind gathered force, clouds blotted out the moon; people looked up and saw only pitchlike darkness above. Lightning flashed, thunder roared and fire poured down from the sky. It was a thunderbolt striking a haystack and setting it ablaze. Its glare illuminated the whole village. People ran about in panic, searching for shelter. The population of ten villages crammed in that village. Another thunderbolt hit a house. Women and children shrieked and wailed. The fires descended with a tremendous hiss as a mighty rain came down. It rained as it had never rained before. The two lakes, over which the village road ran, filled, swelled and joined over the road. Water flowed along the streets. The wind screamed and shook the trees and the homes. ‘This is the end of the world!’ wailed the people through the storm.

      Why do you think the full force of cosmic power is unbearable to human beings? Does this point towards a universal and timeless truth? Explain your response.

    13. This man spoke to people and the great secret was out. A kind of dread seized the people of the village. On an auspicious day, Soma went to the temple priest and asked, ‘At the coming full moon my Nataraja must be consecrated. Have you made a place for him in the temple?’ The priest answered, ‘Let me see the image first . . .’ He went over to the sculptor’s house, gazed on the image and said, ‘This perfection, this God, is not for mortal eyes. He will blind us. At the first chant of prayer before him, he will dance . . . and we shall be wiped out . . .’ The sculptor looked so unhappy that the priest added, ‘Take your chisel and break a little toe or some other part of the image, and it will be safe . . .’ The sculptor replied that he would sooner crack the skull of his visitor. The leading citizens of the village came over and said, ‘Don’t mistake us. We cannot give your image a place in our temple. Don’t be angry with us. We have to think of the safety of all the people in the village . . . Even now if you are prepared to break a small finger . . .’

      Gather evidence that it is Soma which initiates how the statue is to be used and that he is generally an unhappy and selfish person. Why do you think Narayan has characterised him in this way? What role does he function in this story? What kinds of people do they represent?

    14. After all, his labours had come to an end. He sat back, wiped the perspiration off his face and surveyed his handiwork with great satisfaction. As he looked on he was overwhelmed by the majesty of this image. He fell prostrate before it, praying, ‘I have taken five years to make you. May you reside in our temple and bless all human beings!’ The dim mud flame cast subtle shadows on the image and gave it an undertone of rippling life. The sculptor stood lost in this vision. A voice said, ‘My friend, never take this image out of this room. It is too perfect . . .’ Soma trembled with fear. He looked round. He saw a figure crouching in a dark corner of the room—it was a man. Soma dashed forward and clutched him by the throat. ‘Why did you come here?’ The other writhed under the grip and replied, ‘Out of admiration for you. I have always loved your work. I have waited for five years . .

      Find other evidence which demonstrates that Soma sees the Nataraja statue as his creation rather than an image of a god.

    15. but he did not mind it so long as it helped him to keep out prying eyes. He worked with a fierce concentration and never encouraged anyone to talk about it.

      What are some hints here that Soma is rather self-absorbed, rather than religiously spiritual?


      The title hints at the theme of this story — humans are attached to their perfect created things out of their own selfishness.

    17. Nataraja

    18. At about five in the morning the station-master and the porter arrived, and innocently walked in. The moment they stepped in the tiger left me and turned on them. They both ran at top speed. The station-master flew back to his house and shut the door. The porter on fleet foot went up a tree, with the tiger halfway up behind him. Thus they stopped, staring at each other till the goods train lumbered in after 5:30. It hissed and whistled and belched fire, till the tiger took himself down and bolted across the tracks into the jungle.He did not visit these parts again, though one was constantly hearing of his ravages. I did not meet him again—till a few moments ago when I saw him riding in that bullock cart. I instantly recognized him by his right forepaw, where three toes and claws are missing. You seemed to be so much lost in admiration for those people who met the tiger at their own convenience, with gun and company, that I thought you might give a little credit to a fellow who has faced the same animal, alone, barehanded. Hence this narration.When the Talkative Man left us, we moved on to the square, where they were keeping the trophy in view and hero-worshipping and fêting the hunters, who were awaiting a lorry from the town. We pushed through the crowd, and begged to be shown the right forepaw of the tiger. Somebody lowered a gas lamp. Yes, three toes were missing, and a deep black scar marked the spot. The man who cut it off must have driven his knife with the power of a hammer. To a question, the hunters replied, ‘Can’t say how it happens. We’ve met a few instances like this. It’s said that some forest tribes, if they catch a tiger cub, cut off its claws for some talisman and let it go. They do not usually kill cubs.’

      Compare what the humans did and what the tiger actually did. What do you think this story is saying? What role does the Talkative Man serve in this story?

    19. At this point the dream ended as the chair barricading the door came hurtling through and fell on me. I opened my eyes and saw at the door a tiger pushing himself in. It was a muddled moment for me: not being sure whether the dream was continuing or whether I was awake. I at first thought it was my friend the station-master who was coming in, but my dream had fully prepared my mind—I saw the thing clearly against the starlit sky, tail wagging, growling, and, above all, his terrible eyes gleaming through the dark. I understood that the fertilizer company would have to manage without my lectures from the following day. The tiger himself was rather startled by the noise of the chair and stood hesitating. He saw me quite clearly in my corner, and he seemed to be telling himself, ‘My dinner is there ready, but let me first know what this clattering noise is about.’ Somehow wild animals are less afraid of human beings than they are of pieces of furniture like chairs and tables. I have seen circus men managing a whole menagerie with nothing more than a chair. God gives us such recollections in order to save us at critical moments; and as the tiger stood observing me and watching the chair, I put out my hands and with desperate strength drew the table towards me, and also the stool. I sat with my back to the corner, the table wedged in nicely with the corner. I sat under it, and the stool walled up another side. While I dragged the table down, a lot of things fell off it, a table lamp, a long knife and pins. From my shelter I peeped at the tiger, who was also watching me with interest. Evidently he didn’t like his meal to be so completely shut out of sight. So he cautiously advanced a step or two, making a sort of rumbling noise in his throat which seemed to shake up the little station house. My end was nearing. I really pitied the woman whose lot it was to have become my wife.I held up the chair like a shield and flourished it, and the tiger hesitated and fell back a step or two. Now once again we spent some time watching for each other’s movements. I held my breath and waited. The tiger stood there fiercely waving its tail, which sometimes struck the side walls and sent forth a thud. He suddenly crouched down without taking his eyes off me, and scratched the floor with his claws. ‘He is sharpening them for me,’ I told myself. The little shack had already acquired the smell of a zoo. It made me sick. The tiger kept scratching the floor with his forepaws. It was the most hideous sound you could think of.All of a sudden he sprang up and flung his entire weight on this lot of furniture. I thought it’d be reduced to matchwood, but fortunately our railways have a lot of foresight and choose the heaviest timber for their furniture. That saved me. The tiger could do nothing more than perch himself on the roof of the table and hang down his paws: he tried to strike me down, but I parried with the chair and stool. The table rocked under him. I felt smothered: I could feel his breath on me. He sat completely covering the top, and went on shooting his paws in my direction. He would have scooped portions of me out for his use, but fortunately I sat right in the centre, a hair’s-breadth out of his reach on any side. He made vicious sounds and wriggled over my head. He could have knocked the chair to one side and dragged me out if he had come down, but somehow the sight of the chair seemed to worry him for a time. He preferred to be out of its reach. This battle went on for a while, I cannot say how long: time had come to a dead stop in my world. He jumped down and walked about the table, looking for a gap; I rattled the chair a couple of times, but very soon it lost all its terror for him; he patted the chair and found that it was inoffensive. At this discovery he tried to hurl it aside. But I was too quick for him. I swiftly drew it towards me and wedged it tight into the arch of the table, and the stool protected me on another side. I was more or less in a stockade made of the legs of furniture. He sat up on his haunches in front of me, wondering how best to get at me. Now the chair, table and stool had formed a solid block, with me at their heart, and they could withstand all his tricks. He scrutinized my arrangement with great interest, espied a gap and thrust his paw in. It dangled in my eyes with the curved claws opening out towards me. I felt very angry at the sight of it. Why should I allow the offensive to be developed all in his own way? I felt very indignant. The long knife from the station-master’s table was lying nearby. I picked it up and drove it in. He withdrew his paw, maddened by pain. He jumped up and nearly brought down the room, and then tried to crack to bits the entire stockade. He did not succeed. He once again thrust his paw in. I employed the long knife to good purpose and cut off a digit with the claw on it. It was a fight to the finish between him and me. He returned again and again to the charge. And I cut out, let me confess, three claws, before I had done with him. I had become as bloodthirsty as he. (Those claws, mounted on gold, are hanging around the necks of my three daughters. You can come and see them if you like sometime.)

      How does Narayan suggest that the Tiger is not what the Talkative man expects him to be?


      • Factual description of the Tiger's actions
      • Subjective interpretations of those actions from the point of view of the Talkative Man
    20. The station-master lived here with his wife and seven children. He fed me. I changed. He sent the porter along with me to the village, which was nearly a mile off in the interior. I gathered about me the peasants of those forty houses and lectured to them from the pyol of the headman’s house. They listened to me patiently, received the samples and my elaborate directions for their use, and went away to their respective occupations, with cynical comments among themselves regarding my ideas of manuring.

      What are some of the ways in which the villagers are different from the Talkative man?

    21. We watched this scene, fascinated, drifting along with the crowd—till the Talkative Man patted us from behind and cried, ‘Lost in wonder! If you’ve had your eyeful of that carcass, come aside and listen to me . . .’ After the crowd surged past us, he sat us on a rock mount, under a margosa tree, and began his tale: I was once camping in Koppal, the most obscure of all the villages that lie scattered about the Mempi region. You might wonder what I was doing in that desolate corner of the earth. I’ll tell you. You remember I’ve often spoken to you about my work as agent of a soil fertilizer company. It was the most miserable period of my life. Twenty-five days in the month, I had to be on the road, visiting nooks and corners of the country and popularizing the stuff . . . One such journey brought me to the village Koppal. It was not really a village but just a clearing with about forty houses and two streets, hemmed in by the jungle on all sides. The place was dingy and depressing. Why our company should have sought to reach a place like this for their stuff, I can’t understand. They would not have known of its existence but for the fact that it was on the railway. Yes, actually on the railway, some obscure branch-line passed through this village, though most trains did not stop there. Its centre of civilization was its railway station—presided over by a porter in blue and an old station-master, a wizened man wearing a green turban, and with red and green flags always tucked under his arms. Let me tell you about the station. It was not a building but an old railway carriage, which, having served its term of life, was deprived of its wheels and planted beside the railway lines. It had one or two windows through which the station-master issued tickets, and spoke to those occasional passengers who turned up in this wilderness. A convolvulus creeper was trained over its entrance: no better use could be found for an ex-carriage.

      The unusual narrative switch whereby the Talkative man takes over the story should surprise you. The preceding paragraph is a framing device. It establishes a key thematic idea — human civilisation vs the power of nature.

    22. The man-eater’s dark career was ended. The men who had laid it low were the heroes of the day. They were garlanded with chrysanthemum flowers and seated on the arch of the highest bullock cart and were paraded in the streets, immediately followed by another bullock-drawn open cart, on which their trophy lay with glazed eyes—overflowing the cart on every side, his tail trailing the dust. The village suspended all the normal activity for the day; men, women and children thronged the highways, pressing on with the procession, excitedly talking about the tiger

      What is the dominant impression of the tiger presented here? What words contribute to this dominant impression?

    23. The tiger had held a reign of terror for nearly five years, in the villages that girt Mempi Forest.

      Why do you think Narayan ends this introductory paragraph with a picture of the tiger which contrasts with the characterisation which precedes it?

    24. Attila was the hero of the day. Even the lady of the house softened towards him. She said, ‘Whatever one might say of Attila, one has to admit that he is a very cunning detective. He is too deep for words.’

      In what way is this an irony of situation? What does it say about the nature of fate and its relation with human intentions?

    25. But this was a vain promise. He stood up twenty inches high, had a large frame and a forbidding appearance on the whole—but that was all. A variety of people entered the gates of the house every day: mendicants, bill-collectors, postmen, trades-men and family friends. All of them were warmly received by Attila. The moment the gate clicked he became alert and stood up looking towards the gate. By the time anyone entered the gate Attila went blindly charging forward. But that was all. The person had only to stop and smile, and Attila would melt. He would behave as if he apologized for even giving an impression of violence. He would lower his head, curve his body, tuck his tail between his legs, roll his eyes and moan as if to say, ‘How sad that you should have mistaken my gesture! I only hurried down to greet you.’ Till he was patted on the head, stroked and told that he was forgiven, he would be in extreme misery.Gradually he realized that his bouncing advances caused much unhappy misunderstanding. And so when he heard the gate click he hardly stirred. He merely looked in that direction and wagged his tail. The people at home did not like this attitude very much. They thought it rather a shame

      Can you gather evidence of how Narayan characterises Attila as a rather lovable child, capable of making conscious choices?

    26. But as time passed our Attila exhibited a love of humanity which was sometimes disconcerting. The Scourge of Europe—could he ever have been like this? They put it down to his age. What child could help loving all creatures? In their zeal to establish this fact, they went to the extent of delving into ancient history to find out what the Scourge of Europe was like when he was a child. It was rumoured that as a child he clung to his friends and to his parents’ friends so fast that often he had to be beaten and separated from them. But when he was fourteen he showed the first sign of his future: he knocked down and plunged his knife into a fellow who tried to touch his marbles. Ah, this was encouraging. Let our dog reach the parallel of fourteen years and people would get to know his real nature.

      Narayan has a tendency to humanise animals. Can you find another place where he does so? What is the moral of such a characterisation? Can you say Narayan is more subtle or more didactic in conveying the message of the story?

    27. In a mood of optimism they named him ‘Attila’. What they wanted of a dog was strength, formidableness and fight, and hence he was named after the ‘Scourge of Europe’.The puppy was only a couple of months old; he had square jaws, red eyes, a pug nose and a massive head, and there was every reason to hope that he would do credit to his name. The immediate reason for buying him was a series of house-breakings and thefts in the neighbourhood, and our householders decided to put more trust in a dog than in the police. They searched far and wide and met a dog fancier. He held up a month-old black-and-white puppy and said, ‘Come and fetch him a month hence. In six months he will be something to be feared and respected.’ He spread out before them a pedigree sheet which was stunning. The puppy had running in his veins the choicest and the most ferocious blood.

      Consider here how fate plays with human expectations. Here, the name Attila symbolises the roles which the family hopes the dog to live up to. Then, there is hereditary genetics, which should bolster the family's hope.

      Also, notice the time shift in the second paragraph. Why does Narayan begin with the naming of the dog and then go back in time?

      See Narrative Techniques.

    1. Gottlieb wrote:

      "… from its inception, Russian ‘comedy of manners’ embraced realism in its depiction and criticism of contemporary society, but the realism was heightened by the use not only of satire and parody but of ‘the grotesque’. …

      It is also in the contemporary Russian setting in the plays of this genre that the ‘realistic’ features of daily life are to be found…"

      To what extent does the 'realism' of everyday life interplay with the 'grotesque' successfully in this comedy of manners?

    2. a landowner

      Context: The theme of Anton Chekhov's "The Proposal" stems from the cultural practice of nineteenth-century Russia as economic stability for the gentry rested in the possession of as much land as possible since the potential for the production of agrarian products promised monetary profit. Therefore, in this one-act farce the theme is that economic security takes precedence over romance and love.

      It is certainly of interest that Lomov is thrity-five years old and his neighbor Natalia is twenty-five, well past the age of most brides at the time of the play's setting. This fact suggests that Lomov's motivation is not romantic, but practical. Underscoring this idea is Lomov's reluctance to say anything in this romantic vein to Natalia; instead, he speaks of the meadows, suggesting that the possession of land is foremost in his mind.

      LOMOV I'll try to be brief. My dear Natalia Stepanovna, as you know, for many years...I inherited the estate, always have the greatest respect for your brother and ...mother....and furthermore my property....my meadows touch your birchwoods.

      As he broaches his proposal of marriage, Lomov speaks at length of property, thus indicating that marriage is symbolic of economic considerations, reinforcing the theme of marriage as contract for economic security. Reinforcing this theme, too, are the actions of the Tschubukovs who, although engaged in heated arguments with Lomov, scurry to bring him out of a faint to enough consciousness that he can agree to the marriage with Natalia which the father ironically proposes.

    3. LOMOV: My left foot has gone to sleep. ... You're an intriguer. ... Oh, my heart! ... And it's an open secret that before the last elections you bri ... I can see stars. ... Where's my hat?

      A ridiculous figure befitting farce, Ivan Vassilievich Lomov is a personnage whose defining character is his lack of character. For his attempts to prove his manliness fail as he seeks a wife to care for him,

      "I must live a well regulated life. I have a weak heart, continual pappitations, and I am very sensitive and always getting excited...But the worst of all is sleep! I hardly lie down and begin to doze before....I jump up like a madman, walk about a little , lie down again.... And so it is all night long!"

      A hypochodriac, Lomov is a ridiculous fellow. When he attempts to propose, he sputters and murmurs about the coldness of the air. Then, when he mentions the meadows, Natalia overpowers him in argument and he reaches fearfully for water as the argument degenerates into family name-calling.

      After he departs, Natalia has her father call Lomov back; although he returns he complains of his leg and side and his heart palpitations. Then, with his disputatious procliviity, he recommences his arguing and name-calling with Natalia, not realizing that such confrontations will increase after they marry.

    4. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours!

      In "A Marriage Proposal," there is an indication that the intentions of Ivan Vassiliyitch Lomov to marry his neighbor stems from something other than love because Natalia, who has lived near him for years, is now past the usual age of marrying. Lomov has another motivation; namely, consideration of property. Thus, the theme of this one-act farce is that economic security takes precedence over romance and love.

      When Lomov arrives at the Tschubukov's country home, he is formally dressed and full of good cheer for his neighbor, who, in turn, embraces and kisses him when Lomov reveals his intentions. However, when Tschubukov leaves to tell his daughter that Lomov is there, he merely tells her that there is a dealer who has come to buy something--a bit of dramatic irony, as it turns out. But, she greets him cheerfully, remarking that he has not been to visit in a long time. That is, until the mention of the "my meadows" made by Lomov.

      LOMOV I'll try to be brief. My dear Natalia Stepanovna, as you know, for many years...I inherited the estate, always have the greatest respect for your brother and ...mother....and furthermore my property....my meadows touch your birchwoods.

      NATALIA. Pardon the interruption. You said "my meadows"--but are they yours?

      LOMOV. Yes, they belong to me.

      NATALIA. What nonsense! The meados belong to us--not to you!

      Underscoring the theme of marriage as contract for economic security, too, are the actions of the Tschubukovs who, although engaged in heated arguments with Lomov, scurry later on to bring the hypochodriac out of a faint to enough consciousness that he can agree to the marriage with Natalia, a proposal that the father ironically proposes because he wishes also to accumulate property through marriage.


      The title "The Marriage Proposal" or "The Proposal" as it is also known in Russian is appropriate because of its simplicity. It may lead the reader to assume that this will be a love story in which romance and love will reign. However, we know that this is a satire of marriage proposals and the process of establishing bonds of family, land and fortune, and the entire thing is in itself ridiculed through the hypochondriac Lomov and the hysteronic Natalia.

      Hence, with a simple subject nobody can suspect the complexity and irony of this farce.

    6. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It was too much, Ivan Vassilevitch. LOMOV: I think it was very cheap. He's a first-rate dog. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess! LOMOV: Squeezer better than. Guess? What an idea! [Laughs] Squeezer better than Guess!

      What kind of aristocratic malaise is Chekov satirising here?

    7. CHUBUKOV: [Yells] He's coming, I tell you. Oh, what a burden, Lord, to be the father of a grown-up daughter

      How is Chubukov's words dramatically ironic?

    8. CHUBUKOV: And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! What? A proposal!

      Here is the turning point of the play.

    9. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Oxen Meadows are ours, and I shan't give them up, shan't give them up, shan't give them up! LOMOV: We'll see! I'll have the matter taken to court, and then I'll show you! CHUBUKOV: To court? You can take it to court, and all that! You can! I know you; you're just on the look-out for a chance to go to court, and all that. ... You pettifogger! All your people were like that! All of them! LOMOV: Never mind about my people! The Lomovs have all been honourable people, and not one has ever been tried for embezzlement, like your grandfather! CHUBUKOV: You Lomovs have had lunacy in your family, all of you! NATALYA STEPANOVNA: All, all, all!

      Stepanovna turns into another stock character immediately — that of a very spoilt child, who can only repeat a same point over and over again. What dramatic function does she serve in this play?

    10. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: No, it isn't at all like that! Both my grandfather and great-grandfather reckoned that their land extended to Burnt Marsh--which means that Oxen Meadows were ours. I don't see what there is to argue about. It's simply silly! LOMOV: I'll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna! NATALYA STEPANOVNA: No, you're simply joking, or making fun of me. ... What a surprise! We've had the land for nearly three hundred years, and then we're suddenly told that it isn't ours! Ivan Vassilevitch, I can hardly believe my own ears. ... These Meadows aren't worth much to me. They only come to five dessiatins [Note: 13.5 acres], and are worth perhaps 300 roubles [Note: £30.], but I can't stand unfairness. Say what you will, but I can't stand unfairness.

      Stepanovna certainly does not fit into the gender stereotype of a woman that Lomov is expecting, and wanting.

    11. NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Well, there! It's you, and papa said, "Go; there's a merchant come for his goods." How do you do, Ivan Vassilevitch!

      What does it say about Natalya's idea of gender roles when she quotes her father, referring to herself as "goods"?

    12. LOMOV: You see, Honour Stepanitch ... I beg pardon, Stepan Honouritch ... I mean, I'm awfully excited, as you will please notice. ... In short, you alone can help me, though I don't deserve it, of course ... and haven't any right to count on your assistance. ...

      The language is deprecating, if not over-the-top so. It is both farcical and insincere.

    13. [Aloud]

      What dramatic functions do asides serve here?

    14. LOMOV: I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since my childhood, in fact, had the privilege of knowing your family. My late aunt and her husband, from whom, as you know, I inherited my land, always had the greatest respect for your father and your late mother. The Lomovs and the Chubukovs have always had the most friendly, and I might almost say the most affectionate, regard for each other. And, as you know, my land is a near neighbour of yours. You will remember that my Oxen Meadows touch your birchwoods.

      In A Marriage Proposal, Chekhov satirizes the courtship rituals of the upper class by emphasizing the land exchange between two wealthy families over love in the proposal scene. Lomov begins his attempt at a proposal by speaking about their families' land ownership.

      The two then argue extensively over whose family owned a certain plot of land until Lomov leaves without proposing. Their argument further satirizes the rich by characterizing them as extremely neurotic and sensitive, to the point of having heart palpitations and panicking over an argument about land ownership. When Lomov returns, the two argue instead over who owns the superior dog until Lomov faints from the stress. He awakens to Natalya's father urging him to marry, and responds "Eh? What? To whom?" The object of Chekhov's satire is the rich, for both their excessive sensitivity and their entirely loveless rituals of courtship and marriage.

  4. Feb 2017
    1. Away before me to sweet beds of flowers. Love thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.

      Poetic - Blank verse, ending with a rhyming couplet. His language about Olivia is generally very well crafted and deliberate. There is a hint therefore of artificiality.

    2. liver, brain, and heart,

      Use of metonymy. Orsino is asking for everything of Olivia - Hyperbole. http://digilander.libero.it/mgtund/elizabethan_beliefs.htm

    1. Yet, a barful strife— Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

      Why is it significant that this line is said as an "aside"?

    2. Thy small pipe Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound, And all is semblative a woman’s part. I know thy constellation is right apt For this affair. (to CURIO and attendants)

      What are some quotes you can cite to demonstrate that Orsino is attracted to Viola? What general impression does his word choice create of Viola?

    3. Diana’s lip Is not more smooth and rubious.

      Here Orsino's speech takes an elevated tone, and Shakespeare makes some connections with Sc.1. This time, Cesario is compared with a mythological figure, and found to be more beautiful than Diana. Interesting to note that Diana is also a goddess of hunting.

    4. When least in company. (to VIOLA) Prosper well in this, And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord, To call his fortunes thine.

      His generosity is striking. He offers what he has; but for Olivia, he seeks to possess all she is.

    1. dreams are as beleaguered as the nextJoe’s, my happiness as absurd

      There are two sets of oxymorons here. What are their effects?

    2. You, too, have seenthe bulbs flash from the sea. You, too, have feltit breathing down your neck. You eat fish. You’ve heardthat mermaids sing.

      Structurally, the syntax contrasts between realistic and unrealistic imagery. Why? Also, unlike the first septet, the rhythm is more markedly disturbed with enjambment and initial and medial caesura. Why?

    3. .

      A period here divides the sonnet into two septet. We expect a turning point (vole) thereafter. What has changed? Structurally, the addressee "You" is contrasted with "my" — why?

    4. Let’s sayit’s the Almighty, twirling His whistle, ready to blow itat any moment and let loose the bottomless Apocalypse:the ocean would make bone of a body, coral of bone.

      How does language here contrast images of magnitude/power and smallness/vulnerability?

    5. she could see the yellow billows spread like gasor dreams between kids’ legs.

      How is the language on one hand innocently childish, and yet for an adult reader somewhat disturbing?

    1. PROCTOR [with a cry of his soul]: Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!

      Proctor finally asserts his individuality and claims his name by denouncing his confession as a lie. In a vivid gesture, he tears and crumples the paper before the judges. Proctor is honest, above all, with himself. To confess is to align himself with what he believes to be evil. The prosecution is the real example of the devil. All who consort with them, then, become true witches. For Proctor, to confess is to admit the truth of the court’s charge against him. In the end he refuses to surrender his unique beliefs. He makes the choice that costs him his life but restores his soul. Proctor surprises himself with this new strength. “You have made your magic now,” he says, “for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor.” Proctor has earned his death in his final act. His achievement is heralded by his wife, who says to Hale: “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!”

    2. But PROCTOR snatches it up, and now a wild terror is rising in him, and a boundless anger.]

      Proctor, after much protest, proceeds to sign a written confession. He refuses, however, to surrender it to the judge. The written evidence of his dishonesty is more than he can bear. Proctor also knows that his signature will be posted publicly on the church doors and used to force others to confess, thereby losing their own identities. He refuses to incriminate others or to serve as an example of submission. It is enough that he has offered the lie. God knows his soul and should be its only judge. The reason that he gives to Danforth in the climax of the play comes back to the idea of a good name: “Because it is my name! . . . How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”

    3. PROCTOR [evading]: This woman never thought she done the Devil’s work

      The ambiguity here is illustrative of Proctor's survival instinct working against his conscience. He could have said simply: "she did not do the Devil's work'. Instead, he hedges with "This woman never thought she done...". With this hedging, Proctor offers the possibility of Martha Corey doing the "Devil's work", without being aware of that.

    4. ROCTOR [almost inaudibly]: No.

      The theme of the good name is critically important in this last scene of the play. While Proctor verbally confesses to witchcraft, he refuses to name others who are involved. He is refusing to spoil anyone’s good name or reputation in the community. Proctor realizes that one’s name is everything. His refusal is taken as a sign that he is not truly repentant. Of course he is not repentant. He has done nothing wrong; however, slandering the names of others is perversely seen as a sign of rightness with God

    5. PARRIS: Praise God!

      Parris serves as a foil to Proctor. While Proctor anguishes over issues of the ambiguities of morality, Parris has absolutely none of this.

    6. PROCTOR: I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man. [She is silent.] My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing’s spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before.   ELIZABETH: And yet you’ve not confessed till now. That speak goodness in you.   PROCTOR: Spite only keeps me silent. It is hard to give a lie to dogs. [Pause, for the first time he turns directly to her.] I would have your forgiveness, Elizabeth.   ELIZABETH: It is not for me to give, John, I am –   PROCTOR: I’d have you see some honesty in it. Let them that never lied die now to keep their souls. It is pretence for me, a vanity that will not blind God nor keep my children out of the wind. [Pause.] What say you?   ELIZABETH [upon a heaving sob that always threatens]: John, it come to naught that I should forgive you, if you’ll not forgive yourself.   [Now he turns away a little, in great agony.]   It is not my soul, John, it is yours.   [He stands, as though in physical pain, slowly rising to his feet with a great immortal longing to find his answer. It is difficult to say, and she is on the verge of tears.]   Only be sure of this, for I know it now: Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it.   [He turns his doubting, searching gaze upon her.]

      This story of redemption gives an important insight into his feelings about keeping a reputation of integrity for perpetuity. He is sufficiently honest with himself to note that he has not been totally honest, and therefore in no position to set himself forth for this model of honesty. His dishonesty of course, is with his wife, and here, his wife's forgiveness sets him on this path to his redemption. With Elizabeth's forgiveness, the value of Proctor's 'soul' is restored and is worth preserving.

    7. HALE [continuing to ELIZABETH]: Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up. Beware, Goody Proctor – cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, woman, life is God’s most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it. I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess. Let him give his lie. Quail not before God’s judgement in this, for it may well be God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride. Will you plead with him? I cannot think he will listen to another.

      Hale's argument provides a context for John Proctor's dilemma — would Proctor stick to absolute integrity and thus preserve his reputation in perpetuity, or is he going to opt for a more practical option of saving some lives (for the court is quite an unstoppable execution machine. Hale's decision in itself is ethical, though he has to violently go against his own religion's moral stance against lying, in order to serve an urgent, greater good. This choice makes Proctor's more idealistic stance rather morally ambiguous, because that idealism is weighed against lives.

    1. ee the book even of my secret soul.

      -This is one of the few figurative language used. Books have a realistic quality, in contrast with the mythological allusions used for Olivia. Books are also commonly found, and not particularly exotic.

      • addresses Cesario by his name, rather than as a servant.
      • He opens himself to Cesario.
    2. ess but all. I have

      the rhythm of speech is broken in many places with media caesura.

    3. (to VIOLA) Cesario,

      Addresses Viola directly, rather than indirectly.

    1. desires, like fell and cruel hounds

      Conceit - a clever, and surprising way of using figurative language. This gives the speech not only a poetic, but scholarly quality.

    2. t instant was I turned into a hart,

      Language is elevated through mythological allusions. The allusion also suggests that Olivia has a high status of a goddess.

    1. dark visitation of The Word

      How does the religious imagery here jar with the rest of the images? Why do you think such imagery is used in a contrastive way?

    2. Now you must master me.

      How successful do you think is the reference to BDSM culture to learning to write poetry?

    3. your practiced slouch, your porkpie hat at rakish angle,commending the dumpling-shaped lump atop your pelvis—as if we’ve one more thing to consider amidst the striptease of all your stanzas and all your lines—draws me down into the center of you: the prize peony,so that I’m nothing more than an ant whose singular laboris to gather the beading liquid inside you; bring it to light.

      In this poem, "You" is compared with two conceits, which are also extended metaphors. Why does the first conceit transform into the second? What is the dominant impression? What are they? Bear in mind, that D.A. Powell identifies as a gay poet.

    4. Pupil

      What is the significance of the title?

    5. I have never written a true poem, it seems. Snatchesof my salacious dreams, sandwiched together all afternoon at my desk, awaiting the dark visitation of The Word.When you arrive, unfasten your notebook, and recite,I am only a schoolboy with a schoolboy’s hard mind.You are the headmaster. Now you must master me.

      Consider the deep structure of the following contrast: mundane/smallness vs transcendent/powerful. How would you fit the images under each category?

    6. your practiced slouch, your porkpie hat at rakish angle,commending the dumpling-shaped lump atop your pelvis—as if we’ve one more thing to consider amidst the striptease of all your stanzas and all your lines—draws me down into the center of you: the prize peony,so that I’m nothing more than an ant whose singular laboris to gather the beading liquid inside you; bring it to light.

      Consider the deep structure of the following contrast: Playfulness vs hard work. How would you fit the images under each category?

    7. you

      Determine who is the addressee referred to be "you" in both the stanzas. Can you justify your reason?

      Hint: Consider the different names, and figurative language to which "you" is compared.

      1. What are some aspects of the labour of writing poetry which the poet seeks to convey?

      2. How successful are the images used in this poem individually and as a whole?

    8. How is

      Structurally, this sonnet is divided into stanzas of an octave and a sestet. Why is the first stanza longer than the second? What is the nature of the volte in stanza 2? How has the topic/ situation transitioned between the two stanzas?

    9. Snatchesof my salacious dreams, sandwiched

      The sibilant alliteration here also stands out. For what effects?

    10. , it seems. Snatches

      The terminal caesura and enjambment here stands out. What effect do they carry?

  5. Jan 2017
    1. Well, Brutus, thou art noble. Yet I see Thy honorable mettle may be wrought From that it is disposed. Therefore it is meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes, For who so firm that cannot be seduced? Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus. If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, He should not humor me. I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name, wherein obscurely Caesar’s ambition shall be glancèd at. And after this let Caesar seat him sure, For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

      As a leader, Brutus is governed by ideals. At the same time, though charismatic , his idealism makes him naive to political manipulation. Here, through Cassius' honest and private soliloquy, Cassius articulates his weakness of Brutus' which leads to his downfall.

    1. A shirt, almost new, Creases still crisp from the iron,

      I find these two lines the most painful. Firstly it evokes the happier memory of the mother, ironing the son's clothes, as an expression of her love, as a description of a more peaceful past. Secondly, it reminds us of the absence of the wearer, and the empty gap now present in the mother's heart.

    2. Is unfurled by the wind Like a flag, In a country which already has Too many.

      A flag fluttering is a quiet image, but it also conjures the fierce fluttering of war banner and feverish patriotism.

    3. Whose hair is parted Straight down the middle.

      Poets also use imagery which suggest and symbolise. Here, a simple description of a parted hair symbolises a country riven into two, a heart irreparably fractured.

    4. Her face is hidden by her hands, But the hands are enough. She is slumped by the cross That bears her son’s name,

      The poem borrows its power from religious images known as the sorrowful mother. . Religious imagery as this lies poised between giving comfort and peace and reminding one of human violence.

    1. Find out about (1) "functions of a classical greek chorus", and (2) "choric devices"

    2. The Prologue to Act Two of Romeo and Juliet Is a Sonnet

      In case you need a translation!

      Now old desire lies in his deathbed, And young affection is longing to be his heir; That beauty for which love groaned and would die, With tender Juliet matched now isn’t beautiful.

      Now Romeo is beloved, and loves again, Both of them bewitched by the charm of looks; But he must complain to his supposed enemy, And she must steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks.

      Because he is thought to be an enemy, he may not have access To breathe such vows as lovers used to swear; And she, as much in love with him, has fewer chances To meet her new beloved anywhere.

      But passion lends them power, and time the means, to meet, Tempering the two people at opposite ends with extreme sweetness.

    3. ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?------------------E JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.-----------------F ROMEO O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;---------------E They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.--------------F

      In the first two quatrains, both Romeo and Juliet spoke their respective parts for the entire stanzas. In this quatrain, the lines are distributed between the two. To what effects?

      Notice also that English sonnets aim to increase tension. What kind of tension is heightened here, and how is it resolved in the volta?

    4. The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,-----------------------E And the continuance of their parents' rage,-----------------------------F Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,---------------E Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;--------------------------------F

      Here is the resolution of the play. Why do you think the key protagonists and antagonists are characterised as "children" and "parents" here?

    5. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes-----------------------------C A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;------------------------------D Whose misadventured piteous overthrows-----------------------------C Do with their death bury their parents' strife.---------------------------D

      Here is an account of the rising action, leading to the climax. This quatrain provides the solution to the problem introduced earlier in the play. What kind of solution is this? How does language here help the audience decide how to feel for the characters?

    6. Two households, both alike in dignity,--------------------------------A In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,--------------------------------B From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,-----------------------------A Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.-------------------------B

      How does this narrative exposition lay out the setting, and the key conflict of the play? What kind of conflict is this?

    1. If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.

      There is a use of conceit here. This also happens to be an extended metaphor. To analyse conceit, focus on what the unusual thinking reveal about the character. To analyse extended metaphor, focus on all the implied aspects of the figured comparison. How does it present Orsino? What does it say about his attitude to love? To Olivia?

    2. ORSINO

      “I love you so much that nothing can matter to me - not even you...Only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference” ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead.

      Do you think this describe Orsino's feelings about 'love'? Justify your view.

    3. Oh, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound, That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odor.

      Here is a simile. Often the choice of comparison reveals a character's state of mind. What is Orsino's state of mind? Within this simile, there is also a paradox, which in this case, reveal something about Orsino's state of 'heart'. What is it?

    4. O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou, That, notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soe'er, But falls into abatement and low price Even in a minute.

      This is an apostrophe. What dramatic effects do they carry? How does it present Orsino? What does it say about his attitude to love? To Olivia?


      In this story, identify the exposition, rising action, turning point and resolution.

      Once you have identified the plot structure, can you put it all into a statement about life that has relevance universally? This statement should be specific, but not so narrow that it is only about the text.

    2. This life went on for three years. And then a change in his life occurred. A beggar, blind in both eyes, appeared at the Market Gate. An old woman led him up there early in the morning, seated him at the gate, and came up again at midday with some food, gathered his coins and took him home at night.

      How significant is the description of the old beggar?

    3. Punctually at midday he opened his bag and spread out his professional equipment, which consisted of a dozen cowrie shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook and a bundle of palmyra writing. His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and vermilion, and his eyes sparkled with a sharp abnormal gleam which was really an outcome of a continual searching look for customers, but which his simple clients took to be a prophetic light and felt comforted. The power of his eyes was considerably enhanced by their position—placed as they were between the painted forehead and the dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks: even a half-wit’s eyes would sparkle in such a setting. To crown the effect he wound a saffron-coloured turban around his head. This colour scheme never failed. People were attracted to him as bees are attracted to cosmos or dahlia stalks. He sat under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree which flanked a path running through the Town Hall Park. It was a remarkable place in many ways: a surging crowd was always moving up and down this narrow road morning till night. A variety of trades and occupations was represented all along its way: medicine-sellers, sellers of stolen hardware and junk, magicians and, above all, an auctioneer of cheap cloth, who created enough din all day to attract the whole town. Next to him in vociferousness came a vendor of fried groundnuts, who gave his ware a fancy name each day, calling it Bombay Ice-Cream one day, and on the next Delhi Almond, and on the third Raja’s Delicacy, and so on and so forth, and people flocked to him. A considerable portion of this crowd dallied before the astrologer too. The astrologer transacted his business by the light of a flare which crackled and smoked up above the groundnut heap nearby. Half the enchantment of the place was due to the fact that it did not have the benefit of municipal lighting. The place was lit up by shop lights. One or two had hissing gaslights, some had naked flares stuck on poles, some were lit up by old cycle lamps and one or two, like the astrologer’s, managed without lights of their own. It was a bewildering crisscross of light rays and moving shadows. This suited the astrologer very well, for the simple reason that he had not in the least intended to be an astrologer when he began life; and he knew no more of what was going to happen to others than he knew what was going to happen to himself next minute. He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers. Yet he said things which pleased and astonished everyone: that was more a matter of study, practice and shrewd guesswork. All the same, it was as much an honest man’s labour as any other, and he deserved the wages he carried home at the end of a day.He had left his village without any previous thought or plan. If he had continued there he would have carried on the work of his forefathers—namely, tilling the land, living, marrying and ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home. But that was not to be. He had to leave home without telling anyone, and he could not rest till he left it behind a couple of hundred miles. To a villager it is a great deal, as if an ocean flowed between.He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles: marriage, money and the tangles of human ties. Long practice had sharpened his perception. Within five minutes he understood what was wrong. He charged three pies per question and never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes, which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices. When he told the person before him, gazing at his palm, ‘In many ways you are not getting the fullest results for your efforts, ’ nine out of ten were disposed to agree with him. Or he questioned: ‘Is there any woman in your family, maybe even a distant relative, who is not well disposed towards you?’ Or he gave an analysis of character: ‘Most of your troubles are due to your nature. How can you be otherwise with Saturn where he is? You have an impetuous nature and a rough exterior.’ This endeared him to their hearts immediately, for even the mildest of us loves to think that he has a forbidding exterior.

      Using Durkheim's concepts of the "sacred" and the "profane", what do these paragraphs reveal about what Narayan is saying about India?

      Or in short, how are the paragraphs like the image below?

      1. What is the speaker saying about the perspectives of a grown-up?
      2. To what extent would you consider the poet's use of humour successful?
    1. Why I Don’t Piss in the Ocean

      This poem is structured in a verse that can be divided into two septet, but presented in one stanza. (For stanza forms, see this page.)

      Consider the following (as you annotate the poem), First septet: Who is the central figure here? What is the dominant impression here? What is the key message contained here?

      Repeat for the second septet.

      What are the connections between the two septet?

    1. It matters not how strait the gate,       How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate,       I am the captain of my soul.

      This poem is written with deliberate craft — it is a fixed verse, rather than a free verse. What evidence of such deliberation can you find? What state of mind does it reveal of the speaker's?

    2. Out of the night

      Can you find the contrasting images? Imagery are the larger impression built up from individual images. What kinds of contrasting imagery do you find here?

    1. One of the sonnet’s most popular aims is to write in praise of someone (or something) beloved.

      Sonnets are basically used as a highly formal and lyrical praise of love.

    2. In the Petrarchan sonnet, the sections are broken up into an octave (first eight lines) and a sestet (final six lines). In the Shakespearean sonnet, there are three quatrains (four-line stanzas or sections) and then a couplet. In both types, a volta marks the transition to the final section.

      Here are some terms that you need to learn. "Octave", "Sestet", "quatrain", "couplet", "volta".

    3. The form was adopted and enthusiastically embraced by the English in the Elizabethan period, most notably by Shakespeare, who gave it the structure we commonly think of today: 14 lines of rhymed iambic pentameter.

      This is a key feature of sonnets: remember this.

    1. Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck Reviving blood, and that great men shall press For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.

      How effective is the use of parallelism?

      For more rhetorical devices, consult Handbook.

    2. great Rome shall suck Reviving blood

      How effective is the use of metonymy?

      For more rhetorical devices, consult Handbook.

    1. There was a Brutus once that would have brooked Th' eternal devil to keep his state in Rome As easily as a king.

      How effective is the use of adynaton?

      For a list of rhetorical devices, see Handbook of Rhetorical Devices

    2. When went there by an age, since the great flood, But it was famed with more than with one man? When could they say till now, that talked of Rome, That her wide walks encompassed but one man?

      How effective is the use of hypophora?

      For further discussions on hypophora, see Handbook of Rhetorical Devices

    3. Age, thou art shamed!

      A rhetorical device is used here. Click on this to find out more about apostrophe.

      What does "age" and "Rome" respectively refer to?

      How effective is this address directed towards an abstract idea?

      For a list of rhetorical devices, see Handbook of Rhetorical Devices