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Notes On English Lesson For Practice

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The students who wants to get good marks in their exam, this practice lesson will help them a lot.

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    A Nation's Strength Comprehending This poem by the great American Transcendalist Poet, Ralpho Waldo Emerson, emphasises on the importance of building a strong nation through democratic means by the principle of natural governance. He lived during a major part of the 19th century and had seen America change from a young nation to a mature one. He also experienced slavery and resultant American Civil War, which went a long way In developing the country into a strong and modern nation with an identity of its own. Emerson emphasises that a nation's strength does neither depend upon the amount of gold it has at its disposal nor on its military might; it depends upon the moral strength of its citizens. Thus, a lot of love and sacrifice is required on the part of the citizens to develop a country so that it can be a force to reckon with. Words — Meanings, Pronunciations, Thesaurus foundations — bases of buildings that remain underground defy disobey; rebel; resist; dare foes — enemies throng — crowd; assembly; gathering; mob; swarm; horde shafts — pillars; rods; columns; helves; shanks; stanchions abiding — lasting; enduring luster (British English 'lustre') soft glow or shine; glaze; gleam; sheen; gloss; burnish honor — honour (the poet being an American, has used spellings prevalent In American English) Analysing Preparation 1. Some of the powerful nations In the world include America, England, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, China and India. 2. India too is considered to be a very powerful country In the world because of the combination of all the points mentioned. They have a combined effect in projecting our strength In fron t of the rest of the world. Aids to Comprehension 1. 1. Tme. 2. True. 3. False. Nations with huge armies too fade away from memory. 4. Ttue. 5. True. 11.
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    1. The questions asked In the poem serve the purpose of making us ponder about what actually makes nations stronger. If there is no sense of patriotism and of sacrifice for the country, then all the gold and military might Will not be of any use in protecting its unity and Integrity. 2. The building or structure that is the nation, is built by its citizens. 3. Wealthy kingdoms are unstable, because its structures are built on sand and lack firmness. In other words, people of such kingdoms profess loyalty as long as their wealth is protected and assured. However, since such people are driven by greed and selfish interests, they Inevitably fall into their own traps and lead to a decimation of their countries which leaves them In peril. 4. Victories won through wars leave behind a legacy of death and destruction. But, they are not everlasting because one day, the victors themselves become losers. 5. Bloody wars leave behind untold miseries and sorrows. The blood-stained soil and rocks seem as if they are rusted and are on the verge of decay. 6. Victories won on the battlefields are tumed Into decay by time. One country which is strong now, w Ill not continue to be strong forever and some other day, another stronger country will emerge to defeat it and turn its glory Into ashes. 7. No, a country having weapons of mass destruction cannot be considered to be strong because it can only destroy but not construct. 8. National pride seems to be 'sweet' because it gives us a sense of recognition and being In the limelight. But, such pride also makes us look down upon others and this goes for a fall because nobody wants to be browbeaten In anything. 9. The ultimate fate of pride is that it goes for a tumble and is lost in ashes. 10. The true engineers of a great and strong nation are those for whom values like truth and honour are integral parts of their character. 11. The qualities of men that go into making a nation strong are the qualities of bravery, honour, taking up responsibilities and dedication. Poetic Devices 2. The poet's use of the conversational tone In the poem is the result of questions asked and answers provided. Some examples of the approach Include: ' What makes it mighty to defy The foes that round it throng? It is not gold. Its grand... Its shafts are laid on sinking sand... 'Is it the sword? Ask the red dust Of empires passed away..
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    And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown Has seemed to nations sweet... 3. Two examples of antithesis In stanzas 2 and 3 are: 'Its shafts are laid on sinking sand.. and 'Their glory to decay'. 4. The poem IS an example of the extended metaphor because throughout it, the poet has compared numerous images with transitoriness In an implicit manner. He has pointed out how, historically, all notions of pride and glory have proved to be temporary and superseded by something even better or stronger. 5. The questions In the first stanza are aimed at making us ponder but those In the third and fourth stanzas are aimed at breaking our false notions about some fake ideals. Towards Appreciation 1. The type of foundation that the poet has talked about in the poem is the one on which a nation's principles and ideologies are established. These are noble ideals and help to develop its character In the long run. 2. The rhyme scheme of the poem is: abab cdcd efef ghgh ijij klkl. The rhyming pairs of words In stanzas 4 and 5 are: crown — down; sweet — feet; make — sake; and strong long. 3. The underlying message of the poem is the necessity of developing a strong national character based on high moral ideals rather than on emphasising upon the material progress of the country. Extension 1. Emerson's poem has a close thematic relationship with H. W. Longfellow's 'O Ship of State' although both the poets have adopted different paths to reach the same goal. Both the poems emphasise on the necessity of building a strong nation. In Longfellow's poem, there is a call to the citizens of the country to contribute In whatever way they can in developing the country, which has been compared to a ship.


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