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THE GIFT OF MAGI BY O HENRY

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O' Henry is  recognised as one of the representative short story writers of America. He usually presented an incident from the life in general and he also escapes from the grim realities of life. His stories are brief. They usually open with a conversation. The ending are usually surprising. They are a powerful source of humour. He expresses himself through slang, which add to realism. His verbal energy and metaphors are typically American.      O' Henry is one of the most beloved writers in the world. From Shakespeare he took the art of punning. From Lamb he acquired gentleness, sympathy for the downtrodden, mild irony and pathetic humour. Under the influence of Lamb he acquired the art of word coinage and Latinism in language. As a story writer he punctures the bubble of middle class hypocrisy.      The Gift Of Magi is one of the finest short stories of O' Henry. It is one of those rare stories on which the future reputation of O' Henry finally rests. This is a popular…

FROM FAIREST CREATURES BY SHAKESPEARE

“From Fairest Creatures" is an excellent poem. It has been composed by Shakespeare. This poem belongs to the poet's first group of sonnet. It deals with the metaphorical pictures of Time, Youth and Beauty.

      The present sonnet is addressed to a young man. He is a man of matchless beauty. He is the friend of the poet. The poet requests his friend to immortalize himself through his issues. The poet's friend is the fairest of creation. He is of very tender age. His social position is very high. The poet expects from him that he should develop his own race. It seems that the young man is unwilling to marry.          In the beginning of the poem the poet says to his friend that he should follow the laws of nature. According to the poet all the beautiful things should be multiplied. Thus the fair youth should marry and beget children. The poet is of the view that the life is a subject to decay and death. Thus the fair youth should try to produce children to perpetuate his im…

VALENTINE'S DAY BY LAMB

Charles Lamb is a greatest essayist. He acquired immortal recognition for himself. He is known as the prince of the English essays. His "Valentine's Day" is a beautiful essay. His essays are mostly subjective and this essay is not an exception.             "Valentine's Day" is an essay, which is written, in lighter vein. It opens with an invocation to Bishop Valentine. In a humorous manner the description is given with numerous minute details.

            In this essay the essayist talks about "Valentine's Day". This is celebrated mostly in the Christian world on 14th February. It is associated with St. Valentine. He was a Bishop. He was martyred and became very popular. But this day is celebrated by the lovers to express their love. Love tokens are exchanged between the lovers. Thus Bishop Valentine acts as an immortal agent between lovers.             Lamb says that the gifts that are given on this day are called "Valentine's"…

LOVE AND MARRIAGE IN PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Jane Austen is one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century. She produced six full length novels. Among them "Pride and  Prejudice" is the most popular novel. It is regarded as a fine piece of composition. It has an indelible place in history of English novels. In the words of an eminent writer "Pride & Prejudice"  occupies the highest position amongst  the novels of Jane Austen. It is indeed the most widely read and popular novel of the writer.

            Love and marriage form an important element in Jane Austen's novels. Hers was a practical idealism. She was pre-occupied with the subject of love and marriage. In her novels a young woman falls in love with a rich and desirable man. She has to face a lot of difficulties in the way of her marriage, but everything ends well. Austen is against illicit love. According to her love must terminate in matrimony. For a successful marriage mutual harmony is essential. Husband and wife should be spiritual  c…

THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AS A SATIRE

Jonathan Swift is one of the best satirist of English literature. He belongs to the 18th century England. He is always remembered for his 'A Tale Of A Tub', ' Gulliver's Travels' and ' The Battle of the Books'. All these satires earned wide acclaim. In these three satires, he vehemently satirised the follies and vices of the life of the time. The political, religious and literary controversies are treated as major themes in these satires. His satires are full of imagination, inventiveness and rhetorical skill.

    ' The Battle of the Books' is written on the famous controversies on the relative matters of the ancient writers. In this controversy Swift took the side of Sir William Temple, his patron. Temple favoured the merits of the ancients. Bentley and Wotton challenged Temple's views. The battle started. In this battle Swift favours the ancients.     Swift has given this controversy a shape of satire. This controversy is the major theme of &#…

SHELLEY AS A POET

Shelley is great romantic poet. He belongs to the second generation of Romantic poets. He is an advocate of Romanticism. He is a great lyric poet and he is the most romantic among all the romantic poets.

                   Shelley is known for his revolutionary idealism. It is said that he has contributed a new quality to English poetry. It is quality of ideality, freedom and spiritual audacity. These ideals are realised in his poetry. They imply a revolt against tradition. Shelley's revolutionary idealism can be enjoyed in his 'To A Skylark'.                    Shelley is a Greek in thought. He is influenced by Plato. Platonic ideal of love and beauty is beautifully expressed in his finest poetry with classical simplicity. Shelley is a great optimist too. He is always interested in future than the past. He constantly looked forward to the future.                     Shelley is famous for his lyricism. The lyrical rapture of his poetry is unique. His poetry has the appeal …

SHADWELL BY DRYDEN

John Dryden is the spokesman of his age. He is the greatest reasoner in verse. He is indeed a great satirist. 'Shadwell' is an extract from his longer satire named 'Mac Flecknoe'. It holds an important place in the history of English satirical poetry.

     'Shadwell' is named after a notoriously bad poet and playwright. His name was Thomas Shadwell. He belonged to the 17th century. This fellow was not a first rate author but he was the poet laureate of England. He had quarreled with John Dryden. Dryden was a Tory and Catholic. Shadwell was a Whig and a Protestant. He attacked Dryden in his satire 'The Medal of John Bayes'. Thus Dryden became very angry. In reply he vehemently satirized Shadwell.      In the present satire Dryden portrays Shadwell as a literary dunce. He has been presented as a worthy successor of Flecknoe. Flecknoe was a third rate writer. Shadwell bears the perfect image of Flecknoe in his dullness and stupidity. He is the epitome of non…

JANE AUSTEN AS A NOVELIST

Jane Austen is one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century. She occupies a high place among female novelists of England. Her contribution to the English novel is noteworthy. She was a very careful artist who imparted realism to her novels. She pioneered the comedy of manners and she introduced dramatic element. She wrote her novels from the feminine point of view. It is also a notable contribution that she feminised the English novel.

NarrowRange: - Austen is called a 'pure novelist'. She presents an authentic criticism of rural society within the limits of art. The range of her novels is limited. She drew all her material from the society around her. She presents her own experiences and her own world. She never steps out of it. All her scenes belong to South England. She is familiar with her characters. They are true to life. Her acquaintances include country families, clergymen and naval officers. Their chief interest was matrimony. She chooses themes within the range o…

HOW SOON TIME HATH BY MILTON

‘How Soon Time Hath' is a well-known sonnet by John Milton. John Milton was a profound scholar. When this poet was twenty-three years old, he composed the present poem. In fact, it is an autobiographical poem. It throws light on the poet's early life.


     'How Soon Time Hath' begins with the personification of 'Time'. This early part of the poem reflects the poet's mood of despair. The poet feels that time is passing fast. Twenty-three years of his short life have passed without any great achievement. This feeling makes the poet sad. It is the pessimistic attitude. He laments his own inability. The lack of the mental and inward ripeness is the root cause of poet's grief.  When John Milton was eighteen years old, his first poem was published. In a little span of time he composed many beautiful poems. They anticipate a great future but they do not show the inward ripeness. The poet has gained physical maturity but he has not gained mental maturity. It ma…

THOMAS GRAY AS A TRANSITIONAL POET

  Thomas Gray is the greatest poet between Milton and Wordsworth. He is called the poetical classic of the 18th century. It is he who has offered some immortal poems to the literature of his nation. 'An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' is the best example of it.

      Gray is a great and matchless elegiac poet in the annals of English poetry. He indulged himself in the luxury of tears. Melancholy is the distinguishing feature of his poems. His poetry is full of sorrow, suffering, disease and death. As a true mourner Gray mourns the tragic fate of mankind. He always deals with the mortality and meaninglessness of human life.His 'ELEGY...' is a sincere song of mourning. Thus Gray is par excellence a poet of death and mourning.       Thomas Gray is transitional poet. He showed his merit between the Neo-Classical and Romantic Age. Thus his position as a classic and as a precursor of Romanticism is established. It is said that he began his career as Classicist but ended…

ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD BY GRAY

  'Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard' is a very popular dignified and matchless elegy in the annals of English poetry. It is a sincere song of mourning and melancholy is its hallmark. Here the poet has attained the sublimity of Milton and the harmony of Pope.        The mortality and the frailty of human life is the major theme og this poem. It deals with the lives of simple country folks in a pathetic manner. Here the poet does not lament the death of an individual but he mourns the tragic fate of all mankind. It gives the poem an universal appeal.

       In the beginning part of the poem Gray presents a gloomy picture of an evening at some country churchyard. Here there are many graves of unknown villagers. Here the ancestors of the village folks are taking final rest. While they lived they had a hard life of toil and work. The poet says that the rich should not mock their toil.        According to the poet, the death is the greatest leveler. Thus all the rich and the poor …

DOVER BEACH BY ARNOLD

Matthew Arnold is a very great poet of English literature. His 'DOVERBEACH' is one of the finest lyrics of the 19th century. It is the most famous lyric among all his lyrics. It reflects the melancholy of a troubled but brave spirit. Here the world has been presented as dreary and desert.

     About the dates and sources the scholars are divided in their opinions. It is said that this poem was not composed in one sitting. It is because there is a break between its last two stanzas. But on the whole this fine poem heightens our appreciation for Arnold's melancholy.      'DoverBeach' starts with the images of stasis. The poet is standing at the English coast. He is watching the waves of the sea. The sea is calm and quiet. Arnold's keen observation of the sea is remarkable. He describes the process through which rough pebbles are made smooth. Thus we can say his description of nature is vivid, pictorial and accurate.      The first two stanzas depict the mood of tran…