VALENTINE'S DAY BY LAMB: DR. HARESHWAR ROY
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". These gifts bear a symbol of the human heart. The essayist wonders why heart is given so much importance in the matter of love. On this day lovers wait for the postman. The maidens generally open the gifts most cautiously. For Lamb "Valentine's Day" is a key to younger generation's psychology.
Mostly the gifts given on this day are the expression of certain follies of the lovers. But Lamb tries to defend the youth. He says, "All valentine's are not foolish". He adds the story of E. B. In front of his house there lived a beautiful girl. He is much impressed by that girl. Without showing his identity, he sends a picture to her. The innocent girl gets the gift and begins to dance with joy.
Thus in "Valentine's Day" Lamb has analysed the psychology of lovers. This essay is full of humour. The stylistic beauty of this essay is fantastic. The essay abounds in quotations and allusions. Lamb uses obsolete expression. He hides the identity of the persons mentioned in the essay. The sentence construction is complex at time. On the whole, this essay looks like an ode in prose.
Dr. Hareshwar Roy, Professor of English,
Satna, M.P. Govt.