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Practice Notes On English Literature

Published in: English
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The Notes that will help students to preapare their English Literature for their Board Exam.

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    The Person I Am Looking For Comprehending Hazara Singh, in his poem The Person I Am Looking For, tries to highlight to us the importance of self-respect and dignity in our lives. These are virtues which stay with us till the end of our days and people possessing them are respected in all spheres of life. Those who aspire to succeed at any cost and compromise with these virtues, taste the fruits of their endeavours only for a short while as success follows those who are brave, innovative, fruthful, humble and broad- minded as these are the types of people who respect themselves and maintain their dignity. They always lead by example. Such people will not fry to impress others by doing undignified things and thereby prevent themselves from being lowered in their own eyes. They will also distance themselves from gossips and lies by candidly expressing their disinterest for such petty things. They will also not be swayed by victories or defeats and maintain a stoic calm. This prevents success from getting into their heads and making them proud as well as helps them to maintain their composure when faced by adversity. For them, there is no lame excuse and every mistake made IS an opportunity to learn and improve so that such things are not repeated in the future. Dignified people always accept criticism With an open mind and never display their ego. They also do not scoff at the mistakes of others and never display stubbornness. Such people know how to pay due respect to all people and myriads of human beings. Thus, they are always a pleasure to work with because of their unconditional cooperation. Self-respect drives them to be courageous and thereby, refuse to accept anything that is unethical. They are the ones who lead by example and do not worry about success or failure. For them, leaving behind a legacy is much more important than anything else. The poet continuously reiterates the refrain 'You may be the person I am looking for' to emphasise on the importance of the virtues mentioned above. The word 'I' has a significant connotation—it not only implies the poet himself but society as a whole. In spite of all shortcomings and limitations, society always looks up to such brave people and honours them in the course of fime. And it is such people who prove wrong the idea that the virtuous cannot be successful. Words — Meanings, Pronunciations, Thesaurus get lowered in your own eyes — to do something demeaning and thereby lose one's self-respect gossip (gaw-sip) — idle talk; chitchat bothers (baw-thers) —worries; frets crave (krave) — desire; lust head toss or spin — make someone proud or boastful set-back — a defeat or failure; adversity counsel (kaun-sel ) advice re-assess — re-examine thereof — of the thing just mentioned (here, it implies of the counsel or advice) pledge — take oath; promise to oneself obstinate (awbs-tinate) stubborn; adamant frown — expressing displeasure or disapproval; irritafion scoff (skof0 scorn; derision beacon-light (bee-kon laait) — guide; an example to look up to jeers (jeaz) — mocks; ridicule expose the lie — bring out the truth behind anything Il Page
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    Analysing 1. is your idea of an idol or a role model in society? An idol or a role model should be a person, who has risen up the rungs of society, overcoming such debilitating factors like gender discrimination, economic classification and pettiness of region and religion. He or she should be able to inspire others to achieve excellence in whatever they do and thereby create a name for themselves. Such people always lead from the front and practice what they preach. They are bereft of any hypocrisy and egotism. 2. are your role models? A role model need not necessarily be a celebrity; he or she can also be an ordinary person In our day-to-day lives who possesses the virtues necessary for being one. A role model can be one's own parents or any relative, friend, neighbour who goes about doing their work sincerely and with dedication by overcoming all those forces which create hurdles for them. For me, my role models are my parents who have devoted their entire lifetime for my development Into a decent human being. They may not have given me the luxurious life of the rich and famous, but they have given me the vital training of how to survive with dignity. 3. XVhat qualities in them do you like most? Why? The qualities that make my parents my role models are their uncomplaining dedication to their child, their unending and unconditional love, their simplicity, honesty and the capacity for hard work. 4. Xhat should you be cautious of when raising yourself in the eyes of the above? While raising ourselves in the eyes of others, we should be cautious of maintaining our dignity and self-respect. 5. What should be your reaction towards 'gossips and lies'? 'Gossips and lies' are synonymous with wasteful idleness and meanness. A virtuous person should stay away from such things as they tend to divert us from goals and lose focus in life. 6. How should you behave when you are the winner or the loser? As a winner, one should not crave for praise, nor should one seek sympathy when defeated. Both are signs of weakness and lead to our downfall later on. 7. How does the poet expect you to react to 'cheers' and to a 'set-back'? The poet cautions us against success getting to our heads and, therefore, expects that we should not develop pride and haughtiness at cheers nor offer excuses for failures. 8. What advice does the poet give you about accepfing counsel? The poet says that one should be able to accept counsel and criticism with an open mind and reform oneself accordingly rather than to stubbornly hold on to one's own Ideas. 9. How, according to the poet, should you interact with others? According to the poet, one should not be scornful and contemptuous towards others. Rather, one should know how to give due respect to people. 10. What do you understand by the line 'You are a beacon-light for people far and wide'? This line means that the poet expects us to be a source of inspiration and enlightenment for people far and wide. Our good reputation as courageous and the ability of being unruffled by criticism should be able to transcend borders. 21 Page
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    11.* What is the significance of the repetitive last sentence of each stanza? The repetitive last line of each stanza signifies the emphasis that the poet lays on virtue and moral strength. Here, 'I' does not stand only for the poet himself but also for society. In spite of Its conventions, norms and drawbacks society always appreciates and worships those who are virtuous. 12.* are poetic devices? Which poetic devices have been used in this poem? Explain them and provide some examples. Poetic devices, also known as rhetorical terms (from the Greek Rhetor which means oratory) or figures of speech, are certain words or phrases that are used not only to improve the beauty of the language of poetry, but also to emphasis its meaning such that it gets embedded in the reader's mind and heart. Some of the poetic devices used by Hazara Singh are: antithesis, refrain, metaphor, Vision, alliteration and epigram. Let us now see what they mean and find their examples from within the poem. Antithesis implies using of two contrasting words, phrases or ideas within the same sentence in a balanced manner for the purpose of emphasising a condition or a situation. For example, in the first stanza, the poet has used the words 'lowered' and 'raised' , two contrasting terms, within the same poetic line only to emphasise upon the importance maintaining one's dignity. Similar uses are 'win' and 'lose' in the second stanza (emphasising the need to maintain emotional neutrality and balance) and 'live' and 'die' in the last stanza (emphasising the virtues of having a strong will- power an courage that are necessary to be person who leads from the front and never surrenders to adversity). Refrain is a phrase that is repeatedly used throughout the poem and, like antithesis, has the purpose of emphasising a condifion or situation. In this poem, 'You may be the person I am looking for' has been repeatedly used at the end of the first three stanzas. In the last, the poet has changed 'may be' to 'are'. This refrain emphasises the idea that a person with the set of virtues described in the respective stanza, may be welcomed and honoured In society. A metaphor Involves an implicit comparison between two unrelated things, words, Ideas or situations and, like antithesis and refrain, serves to emphasise. The best known metaphor is 'The camel IS the ship of the desert' where the camel IS compared to a ship, both being unrelated to each other, and the comparison IS implied at because of the absence of such words or phrases like 'like', 'as' and 'such as'. The emphasis is that as a ship is the lifeline of the seas, transporfing humans and cargo over long distances, so also the camel is the lifeline of the deserts. In this poem, the poet has compared the ideal human being to a beacon-light in a similar manner. A beacon-light can be seen from far and is a means of guiding people out of danger or to help in being rescued, so also the ideal human being guides and rescues society from all debilitating forces. In vision, an imaginary picture is raised by the usage of words and phrases such that the reader is almost able to visualise in their mind as to what is being written or said. The words 'toss', 'spin' and 'beacon-light' help to raise a visionary image in the minds of the readers. Alliteration is a poetic device where a letter or sound is repeated successively in a sentence or in nearly successive sentences for a rhyming-effect. Hazara Singh's poem is replete with uses of such alliterative examples. In the in first stanza, the word 'you' and the sound 'y' is repeatedly used. In the second stanza, there is a similar alliterafive usage of the sound produced by the letters 'w' and's'. Similar observations can be made about the sounds produced by 'o' in the third stanza and 'l' and 'e' in the last stanza. Lastly, in an epigram a short statement is made that is satiric in nature. In this poem, 'That virtue and success do not go side by side' is epigrammatic and satirises people who have sacrificed virtue for the purpose of material and ideological success. 31 Page
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    13.* What is the purpose of rhyme scheme? Note down the rhyme scheme used in the poem. The language of poetry is unlike that of prose and therefore requires a different approach while reading. A rhyme-scheme IS a poetic convenfion which helps us to read a poem properly and understand its meaning by following its rhyming pattern. The rhyme scheme of this poem Is: ababc dedec fgfgc hihic. 14. Explain: If you ignore the jeers and, thus, expose the lie 'That virtue and success do not go side by side.' There is a misplaced belief that if one has to rise up the social ladder successfully then virtue has to be sacrificed as success needs the 'killer instinct'. To be successful, one needs to resort to some degree of unfairness. However, the poet is sure that if a person can courageously counter the jeers of one's contemporaries then he or she will be able to belie this belief. Thus, it will be possible for a virtuous person to succeed in life. 15. What is the significance oof the use of 'are' instead of 'may' in the last line of the poem? All along the poem, Hazara Singh has emphasised the characterisfics that identify virtue and possessing them might make a person the ideal one; however, the trait that is the most important of all is courageousness. The person, who possesses It, can overcome all adversity and such a person is definitely an ideal human being. Therefore, the poet replaces 'may' with 'are' because he is confident of the genuineness of such a person. 16. In what sense is the poem, 'a poem for understanding and enriching "the self"? 17. What is the poet's purpose in emphasising the 'dos' and 'don'ts' about the qualities of a good human being? 18. Would you describe the poet as a social reformer? How? 19. Vhy does the poet need to look for an ideal person? Is it because there IS a dearth of ideal persons around him? Or does he indirectly want the readers to assess their own personality traits ? The poem is aimed at self-rectification and enrichment of the human psyche. The poet has pointed out the faults in the human character that lead to our moral degradafion and thereby retards the progress of the human civillsafion. The poet provides us a clear picture of the pettinesses and meannesses that we need to overcome In order to be truly respected as ideal individuals. His 'dos' and 'don'ts' do not indicate misanthropy but is actually a manifestation of his love and genuine concern for his fellow-beings. In this respect he acts like a social reformer. Thus, he feels that if all humans weed out those debilitating traits from their characters then there will not be a dearth or shortage of good human beings and so the world will become a better place to live in. Extension Activities 1. Interviewing people, and that too socially important people, is a tougher task for the Interviewer than that for the interviewee because the person taking the interview must ask not only relevant questions but also ensure that they do not antagonise the interviewee In any way. Therefore, it IS necessary to prepare a set of questions beforehand rather than think them up on the spot and create an embarrassing situation on the spot. Some of the probable questions can be: 41 Page
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    a. Vho or what was the inspirafion behind your development Into the individual that you are now? b. What are your daily activitles and what methodology do you use for the work that you do? c. What are the things that make you feel let down by your fellow human beings? d. Do you regret anything in your life? e. How do you overcome adversities? f. How do you feel at the thought of being an ideal human being in society? g. What message would you like to convey to our youngsters so that a better society is evolved in the future? 2. This is an activity that can be done in the classroom with the help of the teacher. 3. Mr. Madhav Sawant Borivali (East) Mumbai Sir, Sri Nagri Society Shivaji Park Hadapsar, Pune Through this letter I express my sincere gratitude to you for the commendable work you are doing regarding the issue of gender sensitisafion and protecting women from social injustice. In recent years, our country has witnessed a steady and alarming rise in horrific crimes against women that has lowered our image considerably in front of the rest of the world. According to recent surveys conducted by reputed International organisafions, India is considered to be one of the most unsafe countries for women. The worst part of the entire scenario IS that in spite of all the upheaval created by the youth, there has hardly been any change. In fact, laws are still Inadequate to protect the dignity of women and the law-enforcement agencies are still as much powerless today as they were earlier. Considering all of the above, It is really nice of you to take the bold decision of setting up a women's helpline and trauma centre where you counsel them continuously in order o overcome their tragedies and move on with life. However, the best part IS your endeavour to conduct workshops in schools and colleges for gender sensitisatlon. These sessions will make the youth of our country realise the great harm we are doing to ourselves in disrespecting women in our country. It will help to eliminate our hypocrisy in worshipping the female power mentloned in our holy scriptures and the reality of trying to browbeat them into submission to our egotism. Having said all this, I express my desire to be part of this noble campaign. Yours sincerely, 51 Page


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