Thursday, December 29, 2011

Know your English !! Part.IV

Cloud-cuckoo-land: An idealized fantasy world: this term is a translation of the name for an imaginary city, floating in the air in the play The Birds by Aristophanes.

Cutting the Gordian knot: Solving a problem by taking prompt and extremely bold or unconventional action: The phrase is based on a supposed incident that occurred in ancient history. The Gordian knot was an enormous and intricate knot tied with rope made of bark by King Gordius of Phrygia in the 4th century BC. According to the oracle, whoever could undo the knot was destined to reign over a large empire in Asia Minor. Alexander the Great apparently took up the challenge by simply hacking through the knot with his sword in 334BC.

Curate’s egg: Something that is actually bad although claimed by some-out of sensitivity or some other reason – to have both good and pad parts. The phrase derives from a punch cartoon in which a nervous young curate at a bishop’s table is given what is obviously a bad boiled egg but fearful of giving offence tells his host that ‘parts of it are excellent.
This term is often misused. It correctly refers to something which is in fact completely bad or which cannot be redeemed, and not to something which has both good and bad qualities.

Beyond the pale: totally unacceptable, unreasonable or unbearable: the original pale was an area surrounding Dublin which was under English control in 12th to 16th centuries. People living outside it were considered to be dangerous and civilized.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

History Mystery: Sex And The Religions Part.VII

In India the lingam was also symbolized and worshiped in the shape of lotus flower or the lotus bud. The lily is often the symbol of The Father in the Christian church art. It was come from the Pagan origin which transplanted into Christian art. The Madonna and the child with lily symbolical of the holy family and the Assyrian god Ashur having a pine cone in the hand is worth mention. The lingam is also shown as a divine rod or a two forked stick the two forked stick represents the penis with two testicles and the Clover leaf or shamrock also represents the same.

The Russian and the Greek orthodox cross is with three cross bars, that was later the cross of the pope of the Roman church and that was also a religious symbol of Ancient Egypt and on the lids of Sarcophagi. The Shamrock is the emblem of Trinity in Irish.

In ancient times in India there are many shrines with realistic figures of lingam where the sterile women go on pilgrimage and touch those holy images with their vulvas with the hope to conceive. Some sects in Hinduism believes that a woman who dies as virgin cannot go to the heaven (remember child marriage is predominant in those days and the widow children could not re marriage). Such girls goes to those temples with scared stone phallus and ruptures their hymen with the belief the angles guarding the gates of heaven will examine them and they will find that she had done her duty(coition) in earth and allow them to proceed.

According to Menander, a pre Christian believer in Gnosticism, Of all the wild beasts on the land and water, the greatest is the woman. Even many of the Christian priests held the same views and early saints also preached that woman are unholy and made to tempt the man hence men should deliberately avoid her. According to St. Paul (I Cor. vii, 1), It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Hence everyone thought that sexual connection was the greatest sin by that time.                
                                                                                                                                             (to be cont.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Know your English !! Part.III

Blue blood: Noble birth, aristocratic descent. The term is a direct translation of the Spanish songre azul:  In Spain, a pale complexion used to be considered a sign of pure breeding—unmixed by Moorish stock from the long Arab occupation of Spain. Such fair skin showed up the bluish veins on the wrist or temple, and so the idea of blue blood developed as a mark of nobility.

Crossing the Rubicon:  Taking a step or making a decision on which there is no going back, and which marks the start of a chain of events:  The Rubicon is the ancient name of a river in northern Italy, believed to be the present day Fiumicino, which Julius Caesar was prohibited from crossing. In 49 BC, however, he forced the river with his army, effectively declaring war in Rome.

Dark horse: unfamiliar competitor or quiet new comer whose abilities remain unknown or untested. The phrase derives from horse racing: the betting public might be ‘in dark’ regarding the speed, stamina, or jumping ability of an unfamiliar runner- a dark horse- and therefore uncertain about the odds.

Devil to pay:  An idiom used to warn that trouble is on the way: the original version shows hot its meaning has changed; the devil to pay and no pitch hot suggests a lack of preparation for some important task – that is, the sailors’ task of sealing with tar the seam (known as ‘the devil’) between the planks of a wooden sailing ship.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Know your English !! Part.II

Weasel Words: Words or phrases with a vague meaning- such as efficiency or not in the public interest- as used in official statements to avoid specific commitments. The idea behind the term is the supposed ability of a weasel to suck out the contents of an egg while leaving the shell intact.

Upper case: Capital letters, the larger and less common form of the letters of the alphabet, as used at the start of sentences or proper names.
The terms ‘Upper Case and Lower Case’ come from the early days of printing when type was stored in a case with capital letters at the top and small letters at the bottom.

Accent: Way in which words are pronounced in a particular region or by a particular social class. It also refers to DIACRITICAL MARKS such as ACUTE ACCENT and GRAVE ACCENT, which adjust the way letters are pronounced in some languages. The word can also refer to the emphasis or stress placed on a particular syllable in a word.
Acronym: Words formed by combining the initial letters or syllables of a name or phrase, and pronouncing it as if it were an ordinary word.
Example:  Radar, Radio Detection And Ranging.

Ante-: Prefix from Latin, meaning ‘before,’ as in anteroom.

Anti-: Prefix, from Greek, meaning ‘against’ or ‘opposed to’, as in anticlockwise

Back-formation: Words created accidentally, on the mistaken assumption that it is an earlier and more basic form of an existing word.
Example: burgle and laze are back formations of burglar and lazy

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Know your English !! Part.I

Expletive: Any exclamation or oath, especially one considered to be blasphemous or obscene, whether currently or formerly, such as Damn! Or Heavens above! Nowadays, any obscene word can be loosely referred to as an expletive.

Feet of Clay: Phrase used of a highly regarded person revealed to have a character weakness or flaw: it probably comes from a passage in the Book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams of a huge statue with gold head, silver arms, and so on, down to feet or iron and clay. Daniel interpreted the dream to mean that a future kingdom would be divided, and would eventually crumble like the clay that supported the statue.

Gilding the lily: Trying to improve something that is already beautiful or perfect: dyeing her naturally
blonde hair would just be gilding the lily. The phrase is often taken to be a quotation from Shakespeare, but the words he actually used in King John were: ‘To gild refined gold, to paint the lily… is wasteful and ridiculous excess’.

In the doldrums: Gloomy, down in the dumps, feeling depressed and lazy. It can also be used of economic condition.
The phrase originated as a reference to equatorial seas, where ships were often becalmed.

Grist to the mill: Something that can be turned to one’s advantage or something that should prove useful even thought it may not appear particularly promising at first. The image is of an old grain mill such as a watermill, which treats anything presented to it as grist or grain, and grinds it regardless.

Monday, December 5, 2011

History Mystery: Sex And The Religions Part.VI

In ancient Rome and Hellas, the people erected the image of Pariapus and Pan in the fields (usually pillars with a head or a phallus in the front) for the productivity of crops, flocks and family. In the temples of Pariapus, a figure of Pariapus in a sitting posture with the erected penis kept. The soon-to-be married brides were taken to the temple and the priestess elaborated them about the male genetic organs and its functions and the brides were usually sat on the lap of the nude god in a position such that their vaginas introduced on to the erected penis of the god, thus rupturing their hymens (which is an offering to the deity). Most of the male gods in Egyptian temples carries icas or their sex organs in their hands. Seti is a symbol based on male triangle. The Egyptian pyramids are the oversize seti symbols.

Male deities in Egyptian temples are often indicated by carrying- this pole in their hands, but frequently they held their real organs in their hands. In the ancient art work “welt Gemaelde Gallerie” one can see one copper plate cut of God appearing to Mosses in the burning bush. In that Jehovah is represented as a male triangle.

In India, the Kama Devan the god of love is represented by shooting an arrow made up of lotus bud which is the representation of male organ phallus or lingam and the bow is made up of sugar cane. The God is riding on the dove or sparrow both are the symbolic representation of coition. In ancient Greek, The god of wine Dionysus or Bacchus was worshiped the rituals on his festive days were accompanied by rampant sexual excesses.

 The god Dionysus scepter was a cane surmounted by the figure resembling grape punch or otherwise called thyrsus scepter ( the figure is not clearly represented and it resembles a pine cone also ). This symbol represents the penis erected on the influence of illicit love. This pine cone is the most frequent ornament of the ancient Christian churches. The arrow in the hand of god Eros is the lingam erect under the pressure of lawful love. The cane held by the god Bacchante or Bacchus is the symbol of lingam erect under the excitement of lust. The word erotic came from the name Eros.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

History Mystery: Sex And The Religions Part.V

Before 1896 cyclone, the old steeple of St. Vincent’s church in St. Louis was quite similar to phallic and after the cyclone it was modified. Very practically speaking no part of the pre historic world is without any phallic pillars or towers. The ancient man plainly created god in his own vision and idea as the penis which was named as “ Asher”, “The powerful” and ”The Opener”. The ancient people named the right testicle as Ann or On and the left testicle as Hoa. The right testicle was supposed to be superior since they believed the male offspring produced there and the left testicle was inferior since it produces the female offspring. There are various reasons ascertained by the researchers why right testicle was considered as male. Usually the right testicle is larger than the left and the left testicle hung lower than the right and hence it was considered inferior. According to the Hindu myths entire right part of the Lord Shiva is male and the left female. The same view is available in the  Theories of the Kabbalah, the Greek theories of conception(Note: In Pythagorean numbers right considered  as male and left considered as female  is worth mention here)

In Hebrew the syllable Ben means Son, hence Benaiah mean the son of the God. The name Ben-Oni means the Son of On (son of the right testicle), Benjamin means, The son of the right side. Not only the lingam represented the sacred male genital, the pyramid or upright triangle (or otherwise called sacred male triangle) with its apex upward derived from the shape of the pubic hair of man which is very much naturally different from the pubic hair of woman (the male pubic hair resembles the upright triangle with apex upward, where as the female pubic hair resembles the triangle with apex upward). The Hindus or the Aryans, Early Egyptians symbolized the Trinity with the symbol triangle.

In India the lingam was also symbolized and worshiped in the shape of lotus flower or the lotus bud. The lily is often the symbol of The Father in the Christian church art. It was come from the Pagan origin which transplanted into Christian art. The Madonna and the child with lily symbolical of the holy family and the Assyrian god Ashur having a pine cone in the hand is worth mention. The lingam is also shown as a divine rod or a two forked stick the two forked stick represents the penis with two testicles and the Clover leaf or shamrock also represents the same. The Russian and the Greek orthodox cross is with three  cross bars, that was later the cross of the pope of the Roman church and that was also a religious symbol of Ancient Egypt and on the lids of  Sarcophagi. The Shamrock is the emblem of Trinity in Irish.
In ancient times in India there are many shrines with realistic figures of lingam where the sterile women go on pilgrimage and touch those holy images with their vulvas with the hope to conceive. Some sects in Hinduism believes that a woman who dies as virgin cannot go to the heaven (remember child marriage is predominant in those days and the widow children could not re marriage).  Such girls goes to those temples with scared stone phallus and ruptures their hymen with the belief the angles guarding the gates of heaven  will examine them and they will find that she had done her duty(coition) in earth and allow them to proceed.
                                                                                                                              (to be continued...)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. XIV

Far from the Madding Crowd: Novel by Thomas Hardy published in 1874. It tells the story of farmer Batheheba Everdene and her three suitos- the good hearted Gabriel Oak, the dashing Sergeant Troy and the wealthy farmer Boldwood.
 The title came from the lines in Gray’s Elegy which says of those buried in the country churchyard: ‘Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife/ their sober wishes never learned to stray.’

Gray’s Elegy: Popular name for the poem Elegy written in a country church yard by Thomas Gray. The poem begins by considering the lives of those who lie buried in the village churchyard and then turns into a meditation on death. It contains many well known lines, such as ‘full many a flower is born to blush unseen, / and waste its sweetness in the desert air’.

Hamlet: Tragedy by William Shakespeare, written around 1599-1601. Before the play opens, the king of Denmark has been murdered by his brother, Claudius who has taken the throne and married the queen, Gertrude. The ghost of the dead king visits his son, Prince Hamlet, and urges him to avenge the murder. Hamlet tormented by this revelation, appears to be mad and cruelly rejects Ophelia whom he loved. Using a troupe of visiting players to act out his father’s death the prince prompts Claudius to expose his guilt. Hamlet then kills Ophelia’s father Polonius in mistake for Claudius, and Claudius tries but fails to have Hamlet killed. Ophelia drowns herself in grief, and her brother Laertes fights a duel with Hamlet. The play ends with the death by poison of the main characters and the arrival of Fortibras, prince of Norway, who assumes control.
Hamlet’s dilemma is often seen as typical of those whose thoughtful nature prevents quick and decisive action.. Hamlet contains several fine examples of Soliloquy, such as”To be or not to be” and the Hamlet’s earlier speech lamenting his mother’s hasty remarriage and Claudius’ reign which opens ’O! that this too too solid flesh would melt’. Much quoted lines include’ neither a borrower nor a lender be’, Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’, ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’, ‘To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the nub’; ‘the lady doth protest too much, methinks’, and ‘Alas, poor Yorick’.

Monday, October 31, 2011

History Mystery: Sex And The Religions Part.IV

Almost all the religion worship the power greater than us. Prehistoric men followed many forms of Divine Power, and consequently polytheism, or a faith in numerous gods, is a peculiarity of Pagan peoples and Hinduism. In whatever mode the immense divine power was conceived, it always followed the form of worship of a sexual power that created the nature.“Father”, “our father” or “Father who is in heaven” is the words mentioning the creator in all nations of Aryan extraction (All the religions of European origin else Aryan are the male worshipers). The most primitive idea of Aryans Greek and Romans was the Sky (male) overlay and held Earth (female) in an unending embrace, which result in the creation of all living things. Simply saying, all materialization of nature (thunder, lightning etc) which are mysterious to the primitive people were called by them as god.

The power of procreation or reproduction was the overwhelming characteristic of all religions. In the ancient times the people noticed the child was born after the man first copulated with his counterpart and hence the credit for creation of a new born was given to the male. The same theory was mentioned in Anaxagoras of 450BC. According to the Anaxagoras the embryo was seed given by the father and the mother was only the ground from where the seed grow into a plant.

Give me children or else I will die” Rachel said to Jacob (Gen.XXX, 1). Because of his physical strength and he subjugate the women and children from the enemies most of the tribes accept the male superiority. Even the life and death of his women, children and his slaves were at his liberty (most of the researchers believe the ancestor worship was the first and foremost original religion).  The Greeks called the penis and the testicles as Phallus and therefore the sex worship was named as phallic worship. The Phoenicians called the Penis as “Asher” which means; “The Upright”, The Powerful”, and “The Opener”. Since the Penis ruptured the hymen and opens the door of the womb in the first coition with a virgin it is called as The Opener.

The Phoenician god Asher was similar to that of Egyptian god Ptah and Ptah were considered identical with Baal-Peor means; “The Master of the Opening”, “Master of the Hole” or The Master of the Vulva”. Even the same ideas were prevailed among the ancient Israelites (refer Bible, “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her wo4m1b ;”) Gen.XXX, 22 :) In the ancient days the Jews were taken oaths by laying their hand on the penis of the one to whom the oath was given. Later period the translators of the Bible ashamed of using the word phallus or penis they used the word loin.  The bible of ancient Israelites tells us the Pagan gods as Baal or Baal-Peor. The Hindus reverenced the Penis as “Lingam” and worship it as the visible representation of the Creator himself. The ruins of Aztec temples and ancient Egyptian temple sculptures speak the truth so loudly.                                                                     (to be continued)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

History Mystery: Sex And The Religions Part.III

In Indian mythology the gods are usually represented with four, six, twelve or more arms which symbolically indicate their superior power this is somewhat similar to that of the ancient Greek gods with hundred handlers. The development of bible is similar to that of Indian Rig Vedas; entire composing of Bible took at least a sixteen hundred full years. Bible is actually a collection of history, hymns, law, proverbs, visions and even romantic or erotic love stories (Story of Esther is worth mention) and it is not written by God himself in heaven. From the unique internal evidences available in bible we can conclude that bible was compiled from some other old sources that may be lost long before.

Some stories in the bible are quiet similar with the stories found in the Vedas, Babylonian and Assyrian inscriptions. The great flood and the sun standing still for accommodate a human hero are the few. The Assyrian inscriptions are a whole thousand years ancient than the Bible with the similar stories. As recent researches have shown that the Old Testament is largely derived from the same sources as the Assyrian, Babylonian, Chaldean and Egyptian religions, it should not surprise us to find traces of these religions and of their symbolism in Christianity, as will appear farther on in our future posts.

In its early stage, the religious worship of sex was as pure in intention and as far removed from any ideas of anything impure or obscene as any of our own religions. As of now those rites may seems to us indecent but the primitive peoples followed those rituals without any idea that they are impure and religious. The Unitarianism, the oneness of all religion seeks to find the truth in worship of god. Most of the people believe in revelation as the source of their religion but both ancient and modern writers thought that the religions are the due to the process of evolution. Our own religion is rarely the result of study and though but rather it is the result of habit and heritage; we are what our parents are. We follow the religion because of the inherited faith on it. Since we have no time or no facilities or don’t have the skill or ability to study our own religion critically and impartially to ascertain the truth; or we don’t have the theosophical education that will enable as to judge our religious inherited faith hence we solemnly settle with the thought our religion is the best to the greater extent.
(to be continued)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. XIII

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Children’s book by Lewis Carroll published in 1865 and written for Alice Liddell, the daughter of a friend. Alice enters Wonderland by following the white Rabbit down his hole, and has many strange adventures there. She meets the Mad Hatter and the march Hare, the grinning Cheshire Cat and the Queen of hearts, who shouts, ‘Off with her head!’ when Alice makes a mistake at croquet. The book was highly successful and was followed in 1872 by through the Looking Glass.
The book has been interpreted in many different ways, from being a satire on the court of Queen Victoria or academic pedantry at oxford, to mocking the legal system or exploring the unconscious mind.

William Wordsworth: English poet whose work played a major role in the development of Romanticism in English literature. His writing expresses a mystical view of life in which nature and the unman spirit are closely connected. Wordsworth grew up in Cumbria, and the Lake District country side inspired many of his poems, such as ‘The prelude,’ ‘Intimations of Immortality’ and ‘Resolution and Independence’. He was a close friend of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and in 1798 they published a joint volume, Lyrical Ballads, which included such poems as The Rime of the ancient mariner and Tintern Abbey. He was mad poet laureate in 1843.
Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy and wife, Mary, at Dove Cottage, now a museum, in Grasmere.

Brer Rabbit: Wily animal character from black American folklore used by the 19th century American author Joel Chandler Harris in his ‘Uncle Remus’ tales.
Brer is a dialect version of brother

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. XII

The Charges of the Light Brigade: The poem written by Tennyson in 1854, about a disastrous British cavalry charge in the Crimean War, in which nearly 250 soldiers were killed or wounded. The poem contains the lines:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.

‘Big Brother is watching you’: Slogan appearing on posters throughout the fictional dictatorship in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty four. Big brother is the unseen head of the ruling party. The term ‘big brother’ is used to refer to any ruler or government seen as invading the privacy of individuals.

Brave New World: Futuristic novel by the British author Aldous Huxley published in 1932. It is set in a time when society is governed by science, and solutions have supposedly been found to all human problems. The main character is an intellectual, Bernard Marx, who in his travels encounters ‘Savages’ who still lead lives of unscientific disorder. Marx returns to London accompanied by a Savage, and the book ends with a debate on human freedom versus scientific determinism.
The book’s title comes from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest in which Miranda, brought up alone on an island, catches her first glimpse of a man other than her father. ‘O brave new world,’ she exclaims,’ that has such people in it.’

Anita Brookner: Novelist and former art historian who began writing fiction in middle age. Her heroines are innocent romantics who find to their cost that in life – unlike literature – there are few happy endings. Her novel Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker prize.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. XI

Othello: Tragedy by William Shakespeare, probably written between 1602 and 1604. Othello, a Moor, has command of the Venetian forces in Cyprus. However, the villain Iago cunningly convinces Othello that Desdemona, his beautiful and faithful wife, has committed adultery with Cassio, a lieutenant. Consumed by jealously Othello murders Desdemona by smothering her in bed. When he realizes his error and Iago’s malice, he kills himself.

Pride and Prejudice: Novel by Jane Austen published in 1813. The story concerns an upper middle class Hertfordshire family consisting of the foolish Mrs. Bennet, her wryly humorous husband and their five daughters. After a complex succession of proposals, refusals, engagements and even an elopement, three of the daughters end up happily married.
                The book’s opening sentence is well known:’ It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife’.

The Wind in the Willows: Animal story for children by Kenneth Grahame published in 1908. The book started out as a series of tales told to Grahame’s son, featuring the highly strung, conceited and irresponsible toad and his riverside companions Rattie, Mole and Badger- characters partly based on friends of Grahame’s and partly on the rural gentry.
A musical, Toad of Toad Hall, was adapted from the book by A.A.Milne in 1930.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’: First line of the 17th century poem urges young people to make the most of life in particular,of love- while they can.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. X

The Jungle Book: Collection of short stories for children by Rudyard Kipling published in 1894 and followed by the second Jungle book. Many of the stories feature Mowgli, a boy who is brought up by wolves and educated in the ways of the jungle by animals such as Ballo, the brown bear, and Bagheera, the Black Panther.
·         Mowgli and his friends are now, perhaps, best known to thousands of youngsters through Walt Disney’s 1967 delightful animated film version of the jungle book.
·         The Jungle Book was the inspiration behind the Wolf Cubs, the junior division of the Boy Scouts, founded in 1916.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Comedy by William Shakespeare, written around 1595. Four lovers spend a night in a wood outside Athens, where the fairy king and Queen, Oberon and Titania, have had an argument. To punish Titania, Oberon gets the sprite Puck to drop the juice of a magic herb on her eyes while she sleeps so that she will fall in love with the first thing she sees when she wakes. This turns out to be the weaver Bottom wearing an ass’s head mask for a play rehearsal, Puck also uses the herb on the human lovers who unfortunately set eyes on the wrong partners first. When Titania and Oberon are reconciled, Oberon releases the human lovers from the spell.
Ø  Well known lines from the play include
Ø  Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania
Ø  Lord, what fools these mortals be!’

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. IX

Emma: Novel by Jane Austen published in 1816 and regarded by many as her best work. The heroine, Emma Woodhouse, is a talented and attractive young woman who is, however, just a little too pleased with herself and a little too keen to meddle in the lives of others. Her action upset many people and nearly causes disaster on several occasions. However, Emma eventually learns her lesson and is rewarded by marriage to the chivalrous Mr.Knightley.
Samuel Johnson: Writer, wit, critic and lexicographer, best known for his Dictionary of the English language, published in 1755. In it, Johnson defines more than 40000 words and includes over 100000 quotations illustrating their usage. The book remained the standard reference work until publication of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1884.
Henry V: Historical play by William Shakespeare, written in 1599. The new king, Henry V, is advised that he has a claim to the French throne and wages war on France. After his rousing and patriotic speech- designed to increase his soldiers comradeship, and which includes the line ‘We few, we happy few, we band of brothers’- the English win a great victory at Agincourt. The play ends with peace reestablished and Henry courting Katherine of France.
·         Films of Henry V include a 1944 version, starring Laurence Olivier, and a 1989 version directed by Kenneth , Branagh in which he also played the title role

Let us go then, you and I’: First line of the poem The Love song of J.Alfred Prufrock by T.S.Eliot. The title is ironic, and Eliot deliberately uses unromantic images to reflect the nature of modern existence. The poem continues:
         When the evening is spread out against
                       The sky
          Like patient etherised upon a table.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Know Your English Literature Part. VIII

A Passage to India: Novel by E.M.Forster published in 1924 and set in India at the time of the British Raj and in which Forster examines the complex interaction of the two cultures. The events revolve around the strange experience of a young English woman, Adela Quested, in the Marabar caves. The experience- never fully explained- leads her to accuse Aziz, an Anglophile Indian, of rape. Eventually she withdraws the charge, but Aziz and many other Indians are left angry and embittered, and the British community is divided.

A Modest Proposal: Satirical pamphlet written by Jonathan Swift in 1729, suggesting the eating of children’s as a way of solving social problems in Ireland. It was written in outrage at government policy towards Ireland and at the appalling conditions in which the Irish peasantry lived.

The lady of Shallot: Poem by Tennyson based on medieval legend. It tells of a lady shut up in a tower on a river island. She is under a curse, and may only look at the world outside in a mirror. One day, hearing Sir Lancelot approach, she rushes to the window- and brings down the curse upon herself. She knows that death is near, leaves the tower and floats downstream in a boat, singing a last lament until her arrives- dead-at Camelot.
Jane Eyre: Romantic novel by Charlotte Bronte published in 1847. It describes how Jane, an orphan, becomes governess at Thornfield hall and eventually marries its intense, brooding master, Mr. Rochester.