Showing posts from 2020

Emerson: An Essayist

Emerson, the sage of Concord, is the father of American Transcendentalism. He is one of the greatest essayists of America. He is appreciated in the entire world for his essays. About the significance of his essays Matthew Arnold, a great critic, is of the view, “As Wordsworth’s poetry is, in my judgment, the most important work done in our language during the present century, so Emerson’s ‘Essays’ are, I think, the most important work done in prose.”From the thematic point of view Emerson’s essays can be categorized into three major categories. His essays like Self-Reliance, Compensation, Spiritual Laws, The Over-Soul, Circles, Experience, Nature and Realist can be taken as the essays of the first category. These essays of the first category deal with the descriptions of universe and its laws. Love, Prudence, Heroism, Character and Manners fall under the second category. The essays of this second category analyze the moral faculties in human relationship in general. The essays of the …

Emerson: An Introduction

Emerson is a very popular writer of America. He was born in 1803. After graduation he became clergy of a Boston church. This great author married in 1829 but his wife left this world in 1831. He resigned from the post of clergy in 1832 because he could not conduct those religious rituals in which he did not believe. After resignation Emerson went to Europe and stayed there for almost a year. During his stay in England he met Wordsworth, Coleridge and Carlyle. They became his lifelong friends. On his return he moved from Boston to Concord, a nearby town. He married again in 1835. After that he started his writing and began to deliver lectures in the USA. He delivered nearly 1500 lectures in all. His lectures were the principal means of support of his life. Emerson’s literary flowering took place during 1834 to 1844. During this period he formulated his basic ideas and wrote several essays for which he is popular today.At the start of his literary career he appeared as a controversial f…

Chekhov’s Death of a Clerk: A Critical Appreciation

Abstract The present paper proposes to undertake a deep study of the Death of a Clerk.This beautiful short story has been written by Anton Chekhov, a prominent story teller of Russia. This story has been translated into English from Russian by Ivy Litvinov. This translation of Ivy Litvinov has been made the basis of the present study. The period of 1880-1885 is a very important period in the career of Anton Chekhov. During this period he wrote hundreds of humorous tales. They show a keen sense of the social scene and of the incongruities of life. These tales reveal a deep feeling for human injustice and suffering. In these stories Anton Chekhov attempted to see things as they were and to deal with them as he saw them. According to him a reasoned life without a clear-cut point of view is not a life, but a burden and a horror. This was a strange idea for that day but it played a significant role in his works. Chekhov’s Death of a Clerk is one of them. It beautifully presents the picture …

Santiago: A character Sketch

The Old Man and the Sea is a masterpiece of literary art and craft by Ernest Hemingway. Here he has selected a common man as his hero. His name is Santiago who is an old fisherman. He is the most honourable and finest example of the code hero. This central figure has specified characteristics. This ordinary man is invested with the qualities of bravery, resolution and endurance. We are moved by his solitary, dignified and self-sufficient valour. The story of the novel is the study of the mind and temperament of Santiago’s mind.

Santiago is an old fisherman. He is lean and thin. There are deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. His face has brown blotches. He handles heavy fish on the cords. Thus his hands have deep creased scars. None of these scars are fresh. Except his eyes everything about him is old. His eyes have the colour of the sea. They look cheerful and undefeated. The old man’s name has specific meaning. In Spanish Santiago means Saint James. Saint James was originally a fi…

Hemingway: A Great Novelist

Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century. He is an artist of great versatility and vitality. He is credited with the creation of a new style of writing. This new style suited his purpose eminently. The Old Man and the Sea is considered to be his masterpiece. It is treated as classic of world literature.

Hemingway is an excellent story teller. It is one of the important features of his novels. It preserves the liking and attention of the readers. The story of The Old Man and the Sea is very interesting. Its plot is very simple but gripping. It deals with the story of an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago. He is unfortunate and alone. After a long gap he gets success in catching a big sea-fish named Marlin. With great effort he does so. Through his innate genius and the power of narrative, Hemingway turns Santiago’s adventure into a brilliant work of art. The descriptions are vivid and realistic. The action is thriving and exciting. Santiago’s struggle a…

Currimbhoy: A Great Indian Playwright

The history of Indian drama is very old. Its origin can be traced back to the Vedic Period. It is popular as the fifth Veda. The Indian English drama made genuine progress in the early post-independence period. Asif Currimbhoy made a significant contribution in its development. He liberated it from the static tradition of Tagore and Aurobindo and laid a strong foundation for Indian drama.

Asif Currimbhoy is an Indian playwright. He is one of the most prolific playwrights of the Post-Independence period. As a playwright he has no equal. He is known as India's first authentic voice in the theatre. He is one modern Indian playwright who has shown great interest in producing drama. His love for Shakespearean drama has influenced his body of work. Asif Currimbhoy had a background of a reputed family of Khoja Muslims. His father was an industrialist and his mother was a dedicated social worker. His wife, Suraiya, called him a Karma Yogi. He was acquainted with English language from his c…

An Astrologer’s Day: A Critical Appreciation

R.K. Narayan, the winner of Sahitya Academy Award, is one of the most famous Indian writers in Indian English writing. He achieved international acclaim as a prolific and perfect storyteller. He wrote several stories which fascinated the readers throughout the world. An Astrologer’s Day is one of them. This is the first beautiful short story in Narayan's anthology called Malgudi Days. An Astrologer’s Day is a very short story. It is very typical in its theme and style. It deals with the themes of fear, revenge, freedom, deception, guilt, relief and the ironies of life. It combines suspense, realism, and thriller genres. Here the central character, the Astrologer, faces some kind of crisis and resolves it at the end. The interesting plot, the element of suspense, the logical climax, the figurative language and the underlying meaning behind the story are the important elements of this story. These elements have been artistically interwoven in the story and that is why this story bec…

A Doll's House: A critical Commentary

Ibsen is one of the greatest dramatists of English literature. He is the first man to show that high tragedy can be written about ordinary people in ordinary everyday prose. His contribution to the theatre is memorable. His A Doll's House is a beautiful drama.

A Doll's House is a problem play or thesis play. Here Ibsen presents the problem and leaves the solution to the readers. The problem is - what is the position of woman in relation to her husband and her home? The play focuses our attention on the conjugal life of a middle class couple. It shows the sad consequences of the subordination of a married woman to the control of her husband.  It again shows the method to get out of that predicament. Thus marriage is the major theme of this play. Ibsen is in favour of Nora, the heroine of the play. She wins our sympathy also. Thus it can be said that A Doll's House is a feminist play. 

Ibsen is popular as a dramatist of social realities.He was interested in women's indepe…

Premchand: A Great Storyteller

Munshi Premchand, the pioneer of modern Hindi and Urdu social fiction, has been the epitome of Hindi literature. He is always compared with Charles Dickens, Gorky and Tolstoy. He, the most renowned authors of the early 20th century in India, was a versatile writer of short stories, novels, dramas and essays. He translated a number of literary works of other languages into Hindi. Born at Lamahi near Banaras in a lower middle class family, Premchand learnt his early lessons in a madarsa. No doubt, his whole life was full of struggle. He made an active participation in the freedom movement of India. In response to Gandhi’s call he quit his job of Deputy Inspector and after that he devoted himself to writing. Premchand, a fantastic story writer, wrote more than three hundred stories. Experience of life is the soul of these stories and they are pure classic. These short stories mirror the society and encompass everything in the universe. Premchand’s first story Duniya ka Sabse Anmol…

Where the Mind is Without Fear: Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The King and the Foolish Monkey (Panchatantra - Part I)

Once upon a time, there was a king who kept a monkey as a pet. The monkey served the king in whatever way he could. He had a free run of the royal household because he was the king’s pet. One hot day the monkey sat fanning by the side of the king who was sleeping. He noticed a fly on the chest of the king and tried to swish it away. The fly would go away for the moment and come back again to sit on the king's chest. The monkey could take it no longer and decided to teach the fly a lesson. He looked for a dagger to kill it and when he found it brought it down with all force on the fly. The fly flew away but the king died as result of the dagger blow delivered by the monkey. Karataka said, “Therefore, the lesson is that a king who cares for his life should not have a fool as his servant.’ He went on to relate a second story to show how shrewd people save the lives of others. Once upon a time a Brahmin lived in a big city and as a result of his misdeeds in his previous birth he beca…

The Foolish Crane and the Mongoose (Panchatantra - Part I)

A big banyan tree was home to a number of cranes in a forest. In the hollow of that tree lived a cobra, which used to feed on the young cranes which did not yet learn to fly. When the mother crane saw the cobra killing her offspring, she began crying. Seeing the sorrowing crane, a crab asked her what made her cry. The crane told the crab, “Every day, the cobra living in this tree is killing my children. I am not able to contain my grief. Please show me some way to get rid of this cobra.” The crab then thought, “These cranes are our born enemies. I shall give her advice that is misleading and suicidal. That will see the end of all these cranes. Elders have always said that if you want to wipe out your enemy your words should be soft like butter and your heart like a stone. Then the crab told the crane, “Uncle, strew pieces of meat from the mongoose's burrow to the hollow of the cobra. The mongoose will follow the trail of meat to the cobra burrow and will kill it.” The crane did a…