A blog for the comprehensive understanding of Literature, Applied Linguistics and ELT

June 10, 2017

To His Coy Mistress as a Love Poem

Andrew Marvell (1621–1678) is a strong embodiment of the transitions that came over the English society in the course of the 17th century. Marvell is deemed by many as one of the greatest love poets and is praised extravagantly for his Metaphysical wit and finely balanced lyric verse. His love poems generally deal with the spiritual as well as the carnal properties of love. The following commentary attempts to undertake a critical inquiry into his attitude towards love along with a special reference to his most celebrated poem To His Coy Mistress.

To His Coy Mistress

Marvell’s romantic tour-de-force To His Coy Mistress is a rigorous representation of the spiritual and physical aspect of love.  It is a great poem on carpe diem tradition wherein we are confronted with a passionate speaker or lover who is requesting his beloved to forsake her shyness or modesty and submit herself to his embraces. The lover repeatedly offers a series of arguments in support of his proposition. With thoughtful wit and humour he justifies that human life is essentially short-lived and thus it is wise to gratify sexual passion while they still have time at their disposal. Hence, he appeals to his beloved to stop the lingering and expedite the pleasures of the flesh.

In the very beginning of the poem spiritual courtship is presented with a similar style and manner found in the poems of Petrarch. This is noted especially when the lover commends his beloved’s physical beauty. Just akin to a typical Petrarchan lover, the speaker praises the beauty of his beloved’s eyes and limbs in an extravagant manner:

“A hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
 But thirty thousand to the rest;”

Afterwards, the speaker’s spiritual love subsides and he tends towards physical relationship. This urge for physical love has been reinforced through the carpe diem concept. By presenting the images of death and decay the speaker tries to justify the futility of resistance towards carnal pleasure:

“Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”

Through the above coarse imagery the speaker throws an implication towards his beloved to sacrifice her virginity to him rather than foolishly saving herself for the "worms" when buried. Then he also adds that after demise her virginity will be transformed into dust along with her body. He further adds that although the grave is a peaceful place none does make love there. Hence, death would definitely cease their opportunity to make love.

Then the lover draws a conclusion to his arguments by stating that they won't be young forever and thus should take advantage of it while they can. To emphasise the aforesaid statement he makes the following comparison which is quite animalistic and hints at his barely-controlled desires:

“Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour”

Here the lover becomes extremely impatient and passionately requests his beloved to “seize the day” and enjoy the present moment. The poet advises his beloved not to wait for death and urges her to gratify the pleasure of love like amorous birds.

Soon the lover moves away from all the negativities and reaches the zenith of his passion when he invites his beloved to have the pleasure of the flesh. He maintains that physical intercourse is the way to enter into another world, a way to break out of the confinement of time. He also feels that bringing the "strife" of life into the bedroom will enhance the sexual experience:

“Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:”

In the end of the poem the lover appears somewhat calmer since he admits that sex is a compromise. He also admits that sex cannot be employed to stop time but they can use it to make time go faster:

“Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.”

To conclude, Andrew Marvell did an outstanding job in presenting the heart-felt emotions of a passionate lover from both spiritual and physical point of view. Although certain images seem a bit coarse and vulgar, To his Coy Mistress is still able to receive the reader’s admiration due to the speaker’s intense devotion to his beloved. Thus it won't be an overstatement if we call it one of Marvell's best love poems.

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June 3, 2017

Robinson Crusoe as an Allegory

The Eighteen century English novelist Daniel Defoe (c. 1660–1731) was part of a Protestant culture that was vigorously intellectual and energetically literary. Separated from the life of the upper classes and their erudite writers, he produced, amongst many pieces of commissioned writings, a series of purportedly true but actually fictitious memoirs and confessions, which made him one of the great masters of realistic narrative. His skillfully crafted fictions, presented by specific and well – chosen details create the illusion of exact truth, tricking the reader into suspension of disbelief.

Robinson Crusoe (1719) is an allegorical story of conversion employing metaphoric symbols readily recognisable to an audience familiar with a similar set of symbols found repeatedly in the sermons, tracts, and other religious writings of both Anglican and dissenting divines. Defoe’s novel does not simply chronicle a practical man’s continuous strife and struggle for adjustment of life on a deserted island; rather it is the record of a notable spiritual pilgrimage across the sea of life, from a lawless course of living to true Christian repentance.

Crusoe’s wandering in desolate and afflicting circumstances stresses the allegorical and figurative meaning of the novel. Crusoe’s journey advances through suffering, repentance and realisation. Finally, he finds atonement by exploring himself and God. Each adverse situation makes Crusoe realise that it is a punishment for him given by the God for his wicked deed of ignoring the good advice of his parents and defying his duty to God. Each time he promises and vows to God that he will not continue his journey and return to home. However, when he is saved from the danger, he forgets all his repentance and repeatedly makes the same mistakes. He learns almost nothing. His emotionally volatile mind entirely kept him aloof from becoming spiritually enlightened.

Eventually, under the stress of the hardships of life on the island, and more specifically under the severe strain of his illness, Crusoe realises his sin and undergoes a spiritual transformation. During his illness he sees a frightening dream in which a man, having descended from a cloud, threatens to kill him with a spear. This dream may be considered as a kind of divine warning or a divine guidance to him. On waking up from dream, Crusoe recalls the excellent advice which his father gave him at his desire to set out for the journey. But it is the irony of his fate that Crusoe did not pay any heed to his father’s advice. He now remembers that during the past eight years since he left home, he had not looked upwards to God with any sincerity of feeling even once. During these eight years he has been guilty of a certain ‘stupidity of soul’ without any desire for goodness and without any repentance of evil. Tears now begin to flow from his eyes, and he prays to God for help. This, Crusoe tells us, was the first prayer which he had ever addressed to God for many years. Here we have the turning point in Crusoe’s spiritual life. From this time onwards, his mind is essentially at peace and entirely free from spiritual apathy.

Thus, Robinson Crusoe allegorically treats the theme of transgression, punishment, and repentance. Crusoe suffers from his sin and he is salvaged through his repentance and prayer. In this way, the novel becomes essentially a religious tale. Crusoe ultimately possesses the infinite knowledge. He becomes spiritually enlightened by believing in God. Like the journey of the Christian hero in Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, the journey of Robinson Crusoe in not merely a physical journey but a religious journey too.

Robinson Crusoe
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May 29, 2017

Quotations by Daniel Defoe

DANIEL DEFOE (1660?-1731) AN ENGLISH NOVELIST AND JOURNALIST, WHO IS WIDELY REMEMBERED FOR ROBINSON CRUSOE (1719) AND MOLL FLANDERS (1722). BESIDES BEING A BRILLIANT JOURNALIST, NOVELIST, AND SOCIAL THINKER, DEFOE WAS A PROLIFIC AUTHOR, PRODUCING MORE THAN 500 BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, AND TRACTS.

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.” ~ Daniel Defoe, The Education of Women (1719)

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The Education of Women (1719)

“Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The Life and Adventures of Mrs. Christian Davies (1741)

“The best of men cannot suspend their fate:
The good die early, and the bad die late.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Character of the Late Dr. S. Annesley (1715)

“All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“And of all the plagues with which mankind are cursed, Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman (1701)

“Tis very strange Men should be so fond of being thought more wicked than they are.”
~ Daniel Defoe, A System Of Magick

“It is never too late to be wise.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth ... that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Nature has left this tincture in the blood,
That all men would be tyrants if they could.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The History of the Kentish Petition

“Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself when apparent to the eyes; and we find the burden of anxiety greater, by much, than the evil which we are anxious about : ...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Man is a short-sighted creature, sees but a very little way before him; and as his passions are none of his best friends, so his particular affections are generally his worst counselors.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

“Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them. All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Redemption from sin is greater then redemption from affliction.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, and he shall strengthen thy heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“If you have regard to your future happiness, any view of living comfortably with a husband, any hope of preserving your fortunes or restoring them after any disaster, never, ladies, marry a fool. Any husband rather than a fool. With some other husband you may be unhappy, but with a fool you will be miserable.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Roxana

“So possible is it for us to roll ourselves up in wickedness, till we grow invulnerable by conscience; and that sentinel, once dozed, sleeps fast, not to be awakened while the tide of pleasure continues to flow or till something dark and dreadful brings us to ourselves again.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Roxana

“If a young women once thinks herself handsome, she never doubts the truth of any man that tells her he is in love with her; for if she believes herself charming charming enough to captive him, 'tis natural to expect the effects of it.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

“I had been tricked once by that Cheat called love, but the Game was over...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

“But, he says again, if God much strong, much might as the Devil, why God no kill the Devil, so make him no more do wicked?
I was strangely surprised at his question, [...] And at first I could not tell what to say, so I pretended not to hear him...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“It is as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“How mercifully can our Creator treat His creatures, even in those conditions in which they seemed to be overwhelmed in destruction! How can He sweeten the bitterest providences, and give us cause to praise Him for dungeons and prisons! What a table was here spread for me in a wilderness where I saw nothing at first but to perish for hunger!”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“How frequently, in the course of our lives, the evil which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into, is the most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into ...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

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May 28, 2017

Quotations by Alfred Tennyson

ALFRED TENNYSON (1809-1892), AN ENGLISH POET OFTEN DEEMED TO BE THE CHIEF REPRESENTATIVE OF THE VICTORIAN AGE IN POETRY.

“Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;  Death closes all: but something ere the end,  Some work of noble note, may yet be done,  Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.” ~ Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses

 “It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses

“Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore,
And the individual withers, and the world is more and more.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Loksley Hall

“I sometimes find it half a sin,
To put to words the grief i feel,
For words like nature,half reveal,
and half conceal the soul within,”
~ Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

“So runs my dream, but what am I?
An infant crying in the night
An infant crying for the light
And with no language but a cry.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

“I hold it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

“Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

“The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Tithonus

“Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade

“When in the down I sink my head,
Sleep, Death's twin-brother, times my breath;
Sleep, Death's twin-brother, knows not Death,
Nor can I dream of thee as dead:”
~ Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

“Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of: Wherefore, let thy voice,
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King

“T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Mov’d earth and heaven, that which we are, we are:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses

“Dear as remember'd kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign'd
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Tears, Idle Tears

“She sleeps: her breathings are not heard
In palace chambers far apart.
The fragrant tresses are not stirr'd
That lie upon her charmed heart
She sleeps: on either hand upswells
The gold-fringed pillow lightly prest:
She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, The Sleeping Beauty

“She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott

“While he gazed
The beauty of her flesh abashed the boy,
As though it were the beauty of her soul:
For as the base man, judging of the good,
Puts his own baseness in him by default
Of will and nature, so did Pelleas lend
All the young beauty of his own soul to hers”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King

“The wind sounds like a silver wire,
And from beyond the noon a fire
Is pour'd upon the hills, and nigher
The skies stoop down in their desire;
And, isled in sudden seas of light,
My heart, pierced thro' with fierce delight,
Bursts into blossom in his sight.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, Fatima

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,             
And God fulfils himself in many ways, 
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, The Passing of Arthur

“In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All around the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, The Lotos-eaters

“Let us alone. What is it that will last?
All things are taken from us, and become
Portions and parcels of the dreadful past.
Let us alone. What pleasure can we have
To war with evil? Is there any peace
In ever climbing up the climbing wave?
All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
In silence; ripen, fall and cease:
Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.”
~ Alfred Tennyson, The Lotos-eaters

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May 13, 2017

Katherine Mansfield Quick Facts

Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield, a New Zealand short story writer, who is regarded as a key figure in British modernism for developing modern short story.

Katherine Mansfield Quick Facts

Profile

  • Birth Name: Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp
  • Married Name: Kathleen Mansfield Murry
  • Pseudonym: Katherine Mansfield
  • Date of Birth: October 14, 1888
  • Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
  • Zodiac Sign: Libra
  • Death: January 9, 1923
  • Place of Death: Fontainebleau, France
  • Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: New Zealand
  • Place of Burial: Cimetiere d'Avon, Avon
  • Gravestone Inscription:
“KATHERINE MANSFIELD
WIFE OF
JOHN MIDDLETON MURRY
1988-1923
BORN AT WELLINGTON
NEW ZEALAND
DIED AT AVON”
  • Father: Harold Beauchamp (1858–1938)
  • Mother: Annie Burnell Beauchamp (1863–1818)
  • Siblings:
  1. Sister: Vera Margaret Bell (c. 1885–1974)
  2. Sister: Charlotte Mary Perkins (1887–1966)
  3. Sister: Gwedoline Burnell Beauchamp (1890–1891)
  4. Sister: Jeanne Worthington Renshaw (1892–1989)
  5. Brother: Leslie Heron Beauchamp (1894–1915)
  • Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
  • Spouse:
  1. George Bowden (m. Mar 2, 1909)
  2. John Middleton Murry (m. May 3, 1918)
  • Partner: Ida Constance Baker (1888–1978)
  • Children: 1 stillborn daughter
  • Alma Mater: Wellington Girls’ College; Queen's College
  • Known for: noted for her short stories with themes relating to women's lives and social hierarchies as well as her sense of wit and characterizations.
  • Criticized for: her bohemian lifestyle and libertinism, which entailed affairs with many men and two women.
  • Katherine Mansfield was Influenced by: Anton Chekhov (1860–1904), George Gurdjieff (1866–1949), and Beatrice Hastings (1879 –1943)
  • Mansfield’s Works Inspired: Christopher Isherwood (1904–1986), and Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)

Quotes

“Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become Love. This is the mystery. This is what I must do.”

Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 19 December 1920

Major Themes

  • The growth and self-consciousness of the female
  • The relation between men and women
  • Complexity of human emotion
  • Children’s innocence
  • Repressed sexuality
  • Bisexuality
  • Disappointment
  • Gender roles
  • The cruelty of the reality
  • Death

Notable Works

  • In a German Pension (1911)
  • "Prelude" (1918)
  • Bliss and Other Stories (1920)
  • The Garden Party and Other Stories (1922)
  • The Dove's Nest (1923)
  • Something Childish (1924)

Did You Know?

  • Katherine Mansfield was the third of the five children born to a financier and the chairman of the Bank of New Zealand, Harold Beauchamp.
  • She first published her stories in the Wellington Girls’ High School magazine and the High School Reporter.
  • Her short story "Prelude” was published by Woolf's Hogarth Press as a book in 1918.
  • Only three collections of her stories were published during her lifetime and most of her works remained unpublished till her death.
  • Most of Mansfield’s subjects were recollections of her family and her childhood spent in New Zealand.
  • Mansfield was an early practitioner of stream of consciousness technique.
  • When Mansfield settled in the United Kingdom, she became a friend of modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.
  • Mansfield is thought to have contracted tuberculosis from D.H. Lawrence.
  • Apart from her literary career Mansfield is widely remembered for her promiscuous relationships with both, men and women, which partly led to her downfall.
  • At the age of nineteen she fell in love with Garnet Trowell, a young violinist. When the affair collapsed, she rashly married G.C. Bowden, a singing teacher and then abandoned him the day after the wedding to live with Ida Baker. She resumed her relationship with Garnet, became pregnant, and eventually had a stillborn child.
  • It is alleged that she had a love affair with a young woman artist, Edith Bendall.
  • In 1910 she became seriously ill with the effects of untreated gonorrhoea. An operation left her unable to have children.
  • In 1912 Mansfield met John Middleton Murry and began living together that culminated in their marriage in 1918, although she left him twice, in 1911 and 1913.
  • Katherine Mansfield died from a haemorrhage on January 9, 1923 at eleven 11 pm soon after the arrival of her husband, John Middleton Murry.
  • Mansfield willed her manuscripts, notebooks and letters to Murry, who published many posthumously, and contributed to the growth of her international reputation.
  • Ida kept many of Mansfield’s belongings, and all the letters that she and Mansfield had exchanged after 1915.
  • After Mansfield’s demise Ida looked after Murry. However, although needing to be looked after, Murry did not want to live with Ida. So the relationship did not work and Ida made a dignified exit.

Media Gallery

Katherine Mansfield in 1917

Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry in 1920

Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry in 1921

Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry

Katherine Mansfield's Family

 

 

References

" Katherine Mansfield.” Wikipedia. 2017. Wikimedia Foundation Inc. 10 April 2017
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Mansfield>.
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May 12, 2017

Quotations by Jonathan Swift

JONATHAN SWIFT (1667–1745), AN ANGLO-IRISH SATIRIST AND POLITICAL PAMPHLETEER.

“Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”  ~ Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, preface (1704)


“Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”
~ Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, preface (1704)

“I cannot but conclude that the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

 “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“Laws are like Cobwebs which may catch small Flies, but let Wasps and Hornets break through. But in Oratory the greatest Art is to hide Art.”
~ Jonathan Swift, A Tritical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind (1707)

“Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“Proper words in proper places, make the true definition of a style.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Letter to a Young Clergyman (January 9, 1720)

“Judges... are picked out from the most dextrous lawyers, who are grown old or lazy, and having been biased all their lives against truth or equity, are under such a fatal necessity of favoring fraud, perjury and oppression, that I have known several of them to refuse a large bribe from the side where justice lay, rather than injure the faculty by doing any thing unbecoming their nature in office.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

 “The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver's watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“For, in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery: but in fact, eleven men well armed will certainly subdue one single man in his shirt.”
~ Jonathan Swift, The Drapier's Letters, letter iv (13 October, 1724)

“... a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she cannot always be young.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“This made me reflect, how vain an attempt it is for a man to endeavor to do himself honor among those who are out of all degree of equality or comparison with him.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)

“The latter part of a wise man’s life is taken up in curing the follies, prejudices, and false opinions he had contracted in the former.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest persons uneasy is the best bred in the company.”
~ Jonathan Swift, A Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding (1754)

“Poor Nations are hungry, and rich Nations are proud, and Pride and Hunger will ever be at Variance.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726)
“The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable; for the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726)

“And surely one of the best rules in conversation is, never to say a thing which any of the company can reasonably wish had been left unsaid…”
~ Jonathan Swift, Hints Toward an Essay on Conversation (1709)

“A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”
 ~ Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (1729)

“It is impossible that any thing so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.”
~ Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Religion (1765)

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May 2, 2017

Quotations by E. M. Forster

E. M. FORSTER (1879-1970), ENGLISH NOVELIST AND ESSAYIST, WHOSE NOVELS EXPLORE THE ATTITUDES THAT CREATE BARRIERS BETWEEN PEOPLE.

“People have their own deaths as well as their own lives, and even if there is nothing beyond death, we shall differ in our nothingness.” ~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“People have their own deaths as well as their own lives, and even if there is nothing beyond death, we shall differ in our nothingness.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“Adventures do occur, but not punctually. Life rarely gives us what we want at the moment we consider appropriate.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

“Life is sometimes life and sometimes only a drama, and one must learn to distinguish tother from which…”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“To trust people is a luxury in which only the wealthy can indulge; the poor cannot afford it.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“The past is devoid of meaning like the present, and a refuge for cowards.”
~ E.M. Forster, Maurice

“There is no harm in deceiving society as long as she does not find you out”
~ E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

“Those who prepare for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“At times our need for a sympathetic gesture is so great that we care not what exactly it signifies or how much we may have to pay for it afterwards.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“When love flies it is remembered not as love but as something else. Blessed are the uneducated, who forget it entirely, and are never conscious of folly or pruriency in the past, of long aimless conversations.”
~ E.M. Forster, Maurice

“The crime of suicide lies rather in its disregard for the feelings of those whom we leave behind.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“Men were not gods after all, but as human and as clumsy as girls.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us love one another, and work and rejoice. I don't believe in this world sorrow.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“There's never any great risk as long as you have money.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“All a child's life depends on the ideal it has of its parents. Destroy that and everything goes - morals, behavior, everything. Absolute trust in someone else is the essence of education.”
~ E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread

“Outside the arch, always there seemed another arch. And beyond the remotest echo, a silence.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

“The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won't do harm - yes, choose a place where you won't do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“The tragedy of preparedness has scarcely been handled, save by the Greeks. Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty.”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“It's not what people do to you, but what they mean, that hurts.”
~ E.M. Forster, The Longest Journey

“When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love; it is one of the moments for which the world was made.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room With A View

“This desire to govern a woman -- it lies very deep, and men and women must fight it together.... But I do love you surely in a better way then he does." He thought. "Yes -- really in a better way. I want you to have your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.”
~ E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy

“Passion should believe itself irresistible. It should forget civility and consideration and all the other curses of a refined nature. Above all, it should never ask for leave where there is a right of way.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“While her lips talked culture, her heart was planning to invite him to tea”
~ E.M. Forster, Howards End

“A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood.”
~ E.M. Forster, Maurice

“I seem fated to pass through the world without colliding with it or moving it — and I'm sure I can't tell you whether the fate's good or evil. I don't die — I don't fall in love. And if other people die or fall in love they always do it when I'm just not there.”
~ E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread

“She only felt that the candle would burn better, the packing go easier, the world be happier, if she could give and receive some human love.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

“He had awoken too late for happiness, but not for strength, and could feel an austere joy, as of a warrior who is homeless but stands fully armed.”
~ E.M. Forster, Maurice

“One touch of regret- not the canny substitute but the true regret from the heart- would have made him a different man, and the British Empire a different institution.”
~ E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

“How indeed is it possible for one human being to be sorry for all the sadness that meets him on the face of the earth, for the pain that is endured not only by men, but by animals and plants, and perhaps by the stones?”
~ E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

“Society is invincible - to a certain degree. But your real life is your own, and nothing can touch it. There is no power on earth that can prevent your criticizing and despising mediocrity - nothing that can stop you retreating into splendour and beauty - into the thoughts and beliefs that make the real life - the real you.”
~ E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread
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May 1, 2017

Riders to the Sea as a Tragedy

John Millington Synge
The formulaic tragedies are essentially tagged with the classical Greek plays of Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. These plays exerted an enduring influence on the subsequent tragic plays. The classical tragedies were composed of strict observation of rules and regulations, ranging from plot, setting, tragic hero, style, diction, dialogue, catastrophe, cathartic appeal, etc. However, during the Renaissance period William Shakespeare deviated from the strict adherence to rules and tried to create an individualistic style. The majority of modernist playwrights also paid much attention to establish a new type of tragedy. However, in all traditions, whether classical, Shakespearean, or modern, the conflicting forces in human mind and the bitter human suffering constitute the essence of tragedy. The spectacle of man's suffering, caught by some mightier forces, brings the cathartic appeal which is the inevitable experience of a tragic play. So the difference between classical and modern tragedies then chiefly lies with the technique of presentation.

In the 20th Century John Millington Synge opted to write moving plays that reverberated the traditions of the Greek tragedies in a rather modern style. Even with the modified style Synge has been able to produce tragic plays that could arouse the audience’s the emotions. His critically acclaimed play Riders to the Sea is also a great tragedy in its representation of human suffering and cathartic appeal. However, the play is not merely a tragedy of an individual rather it is the tragedy of humanity, struggling for survival against the heavy odds of life.

In general there are two prevailing views on the tragic vision of life:
  1. Man is the helpless victim of fate: In Greek tragedies fate often plays a role in the downfall of a character. The tragic fate for the character is preordained and it's absolutely futile to try to outwit it. For example, Oedipus and Antigone confronts tragic end since they maintained overweening self confidence in their respective attitudes. Again, Agamemnon kills Iphigenia by divine command; Orestes kills his mother by Apollo's direction. In fine, in Greek tragedy, fate is the predominant force that leads the characters to their dooms.
  2. Character is destiny: This view is prevalent in Shakespearean tragedies wherein the role of fate is minimized and the focus is largely on human choice and moral accountability. It is the actions of each character that bring about their inevitable fate. For instance, Macbeth's downfall is engendered by unchecked ambition which entailed a desire for power and position; Othello’s tragedy is brought about by jealousy which flared at suspicion and rushed into action unchecked by calm common sense; Hamlet's inability to act brings about his tragedy.
Keeping the above context in mind we can find that in Riders to the Sea Synge Incorporates mostly Greek tragic vision of life. It's more a tragedy of fate than a tragedy of character. In this play, the characters confront their downfall without any hamartia or tragic flaw. Here destiny or the fate controls everything and none can change either its decree or direction. Hence, life means nothing but tragedy and unconditional surrender to the merciless fate.

The inhabitants of Aran Islands are dependent solely on the sea in order to support their family. They have been going to the sea from generation to generation fully aware of the danger of death. The cruel sea has devoured countless lives, but the struggle of the islanders never ceases as there are no other options for earning living. Thus here the sea assumes almost the role of fate and becomes instrumental to human suffering and death. It is rather the nemesis of human life that comes down to shatter human hopes and happiness.

Riders to the Sea is full of grim wherein we are informed that Maurya has already lost six loved ones to the ocean, her father-in-law, her husband, and four of her sons. In Maurya’s words:

“I've had a husband, and a husband's father, and six sons in this house – six fine men, though it was a hard birth I had with every one of them and they coming to the world– and some of them were found and some of them were not found, but they're gone now, the lot of them.... There were Stephen, and Shawn, were lost in the great wind, and found after in the Bay of Gregory of the Golden Mouth.”

Now her only surviving sons are the eldest Michael and the youngest Bartley. Unfortunately Michael has been missing for nine days and discovery of his dead body ultimately confirmed his demise. All these loved ones went to the sea being fully aware of the possible danger and faced what the destiny predetermined. They can’t be held liable for their decision, as it was an inevitable part of their living. Eventually, Bartley also walks in the same path and decides to go to the main land in order to sell a couple of horses at the cattle fair. He too, was conscious of the dangers but was determined to stick to his decision. In the end Bartley is thrown by his horse and swept out into sea, where he drowns. Thus Bartley falls a victim to fate without having any hamartia or whatsoever. Maurya’s speech also echoes that man is helpless against fate:

“In the big world the old people do be leaving things after them for their sons and children, but in this place it is the young men do be leaving things behind for them that do be old.”

Moreover, Maurya’s closing remark confirms that none can fight against the fate. So she admits the power of the fate and surrenders to fate saying:

“What more can we want than that? No man at all can be living for ever, and we must be satisfied.”

To conclude, Riders to the Sea is a great modern tragedy having Greek dramatic qualities. Here Synge did an excellent job by representing fate symbolically, however along with its age-old relentless nature. Through the cruelty of the fate Synge universalized the theme of human suffering and loss.
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April 27, 2017

Quotations by Anita Desai

ANITA DESAI (B. 1937), AN INDIAN NOVELIST AND SHORT STORY WRITER, ESPECIALLY NOTED FOR HER SENSITIVE PORTRAYAL OF THE INNER LIFE OF HER FEMALE CHARACTERS.

“Isn't it strange how life won't flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forwards in a kind of flood?” ~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“Isn't it strange how life won't flow, like a river, but moves in jumps, as if it were held back by locks that are opened now and then to let it jump forwards in a kind of flood?”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“Do you know anyone who would — secretly, sincerely, in his innermost self — really prefer to return to childhood? “
~ Anita Desai, The Clear Light of Day

“They never looked at anyone else, only at each other, with an expression that halted me. It was tender, loving, yes, but in an inhuman way, so intense. Divine, I felt. Or insane.”
~ Anita Desai, Studies in the Park

“Even though his cigarette stank — it was a local one, wrapped in a tendu leaf, fierce enough to make his head swim — he could smell the distinctive Indian odour — of dung, both of cattle and men, of smoke from the village hearts, of cattle food and cattle urine, of dust, of pungent food cooking, of old ragged clothes washed without soap and put out to dry, the aroma of poverty.”
~ Anita Desai, Baumgartner's Bombay

“It seemed to her that the dullness and the boredom of her childhood, her youth, were stored here in the room under the worn dusty red rugs, in the bloated brassware, amongst the dried grasses in the swollen vases, behind the yellowed photographs in the oval frames-everything, everything that she had so hated as a child and that was still preserved here as if this were the storeroom of some dull, uninviting provincial museum.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

 “At first she mistook them for sheets of pink crepe paper that someone had crumpled and carelessly flung down the hillside, perhaps after another astonishing party at the club. A moment later she remembered her great-grandmother's words and saw that they were hosts of wild pink zephyranthes that had come up in the night after the first fall of rain.”
~ Anita Desai, Fire on the Mountain

“Although it was shadowy and dark, Bim could see as well as by the clear light of day that she felt only love and yearning for them all, and if there were hurts, these gashes in her side that bled, then it was only because her love was imperfect and did not encompass them thoroughly enough, and because it had flaws and inadequacies and did not extend to all equally.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“They should be sitting together in the moonlight, looking together at  the moon that hung over the garden like some great priceless pearl, flawed and blemished with grey shadowy ridges as only a very great beauty can risk being.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear light of Day

“Greenness hangs, drips and sways from every branch and twig and frond in the surging luxuriance of July.”
~ Anita Desai, Fasting, Feasting

“Only their efforts to make him talk failed. he would say one word at a time, if pressed, but seemed happier not to and could not be made to repeat a whole line. Gradually, as his family learnt how to anticipate his few needs and how to respond, they ceased to notice his silence -his manner of communication seemed full and rich enough to them: he no more needed to converse than Aunt Mira's cat did.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“The room rang with her voice, then with silence. In the shaded darkness, silence had the quality of a looming dragon. It seemed to roar and the roar to reverberate, to dominate. To escape from it would require a burst of recklessness, even cruelty.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“Quick, nervy and jumpy -yet to the children she was as constant as a staff, a tree that can be counted on not to pull up its root and shift in the night. She was the tree that grew in the centre of their lives and in whose shade they lived.”
~ Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

“The wheel turns and turns and turns: it never stops and stands still.”
~ Anita Desai, The Village by the Sea

“The scent of earth receiving water, slaking its thirst in great gulps and releasing that green scent of freshness, coolness.”
~ Anita Desai, Games at Twilight

“It took them a minute to grasp what he was saying, even who he was. They had quite forgotten him.”
~ Anita Desai, Games at Twilight
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Quotations by John Millington Synge

JOHN MILLINGTON SYNGE (1871-1909), IRISH PLAYWRIGHT, POET, PROSE WRITER, TRAVEL WRITER AND COLLECTOR OF FOLKLORE.

 “The absence of the heavy boot of Europe has preserved to these people the agile walk of the wild animal, while the general simplicity of their lives has given them many other points of physical perfection.” ~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

 “The absence of the heavy boot of Europe has preserved to these people the agile walk of the wild animal, while the general simplicity of their lives has given them many other points of physical perfection.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“At first I threw my weight upon my heels, as one does naturally in a boot, and was a good deal bruised, but after a few hours I learned the natural walk of man, and could follow my guide in any portion of the island.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“What is the price of a thousand horses against a son where there is one son only?”
~ John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea

“A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“A low line of shore was visible at first on the right between the movement of the waves and fog, but when we came further it was lost sight of, and nothing could be seen but the mist curling in the rigging, and a small circle of foam.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“A translation is no translation, he said, unless it will give you the music of a poem along with the words of it.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“A week of sweeping fogs has passed over and given me a strange sense of exile and desolation. I walk round the island nearly every day, yet I can see nothing anywhere but a mass of wet rock, a strip of surf, and then a tumult of waves.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“In a good play every speech should be as fully flavoured as a nut or apple.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World

“In the middle classes the gifted son of a family is always the poorest — usually a writer or artist with no sense for speculation — and in a family of peasants, where the average comfort is just over penury, the gifted son sinks also, and is soon a tramp on the roadside.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Vagrants of Wicklow

“In this cry of pain the inner consciousness of the people seems to lay itself bare for an instant, and to reveal the mood of beings who feel their isolation in the face of a universe that wars on them with winds and seas.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“It gave me a moment of exquisite satisfaction to find myself moving away from civilisation in this rude canvas canoe of a model that has served primitive races since men first went to sea.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

“I knew the stars, the flowers, and the birds,
The gray and wintry sides of many glens,
And did but half remember human words,
In converse with the mountains, moors, and fens.”
~ John Millington Synge, Prelude

“In the middle classes the gifted son of a family is always the poorest—usually a writer or artist with no sense for speculation—and in a family of peasants, where the average comfort is just over penury, the gifted son sinks also, and is soon a tramp on the roadside.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Vagrants of Wicklow

“The grief of the keen is no personal complaint for the death of one woman over eighty years, but seems to contain the whole passionate rage that lurks somewhere in every native of the island. In this cry of pain the inner consciousness of the people seems to lay itself bare for an instant, and to reveal the mood of beings who feel their isolation in the face of a universe that wars on them with winds and seas.”
~ John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands
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April 25, 2017

Quotations by Joseph Conrad

JOSEPH CONRAD (1857-1924), POLISH-BORN ENGLISH AUTHOR AND MASTER MARINER WHO IS BEST NOTED FOR HEART OF DARKNESS (1902)

18 best quotations by Joseph Conrad on dream, life, women, evil, civilization, human nature, and savagery. “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” ~ Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

“All that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“We live in the flicker -- may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream--alone.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“I have a voice, too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“The mind of man is capable of anything--because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all? Joy, fear, sorrow, devotion, valor, rage--who can tell?—but truth—truth stripped of its cloak of time.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“He struggled with himself, too. I saw it — I heard it. I saw the inconceivable mystery of a soul that knew no restraint, no faith, and no fear, yet struggling blindly with itself.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Chance

“But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


“Your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appals me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies - which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world - what I want to forget.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“A woman's true tenderness, like the true virility of man, is expressed in action of a conquering kind.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Nostromo

“They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force—nothing to boast of, when you have it, since your strength is just an accident arising from the weakness of others.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

“A writing may be lost; a lie may be written; but what the eye has seen is truth and remains in the mind!”
~ Joseph Conrad, The Lagoon

“I couldn't have felt more of lonely desolation somehow, had I been robbed of a belief or had missed my destiny in life...”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies - which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world - what I want to forget.”
~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
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April 5, 2017

Quotations by Katherine Mansfield

KATHERINE MANSFIELD (1888 –1923), THE PSEUDONYM OF KATHLEEN MANSFIELD MURRY, WHO WAS A MAJOR NEW ZEALAND MODERNIST WRITER OF SHORT STORY.

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” ~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927)

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 14 October 1922

“Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become Love. This is the mystery. This is what I must do.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 19 December 1920

“It's an infernal nuisance to love Life as I do. I seem to love it more as time goes on rather than less. It never becomes a habit to me. It's always a marvel. I do hope I'll be able to keep in it long enough to do some really good work. I'm sick of people dying who promise well.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield, vol. IV, Letter to Anne Estelle Rice: 21 May 1921

“Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order. This is what life has taught me.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 10 October 1922

“Warm, eager, living life — to be rooted in life — to learn, to desire to know, to feel, to think, to act. That is what I want. And nothing less. That is what I must try for. … This all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it’s no longer so. I feel happy — deep down. All is well.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 29 January 1922

“When we can begin to take our failures nonseriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: October 1922

“I want so to live that I work with my hands and my feeling and my brain. I want a garden, a small house, grass, animals, books, pictures, music. And out of this, the expression of this, I want to be writing (Though I may write about cabmen. That's no matter.) But warm, eager, living life — to be rooted in life — to learn, to desire, to feel, to think, to act. This is what I want. And nothing less. That is what I must try for.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 14 October 1922

“When I say "I fear" — don't let it disturb you, dearest heart. We all fear when we are in waiting-rooms. Yet we must pass beyond them, and if the other can keep calm, it is all the help we can give each other.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927), Journal entry: 14 October 1922

“The ostrich burying its head in the sand does at any rate wish to convey the impression that its head is the most important part of it.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield

“Sleeping was her latest discovery. It’s so wonderful. One simply shuts one’s eyes, that’s all. It’s so delicious.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, Marriage A La Mode

“It is the only life I care about—to write, to go out occasionally and ‘lose myself’ looking and hearing and then to come back and write again. At any rate that’s the life I’ve chosen.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume 1: 1903-1917

“Oh, with you, I could conquer the world - oh, with you I could catch hold of the moon like a little silver sixpence.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Journal of Katherine Mansfield

“And it seemed to her that kisses, voices, tinkling spoons, laughter, the smell of crushed grass were somehow inside her.
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party

“What did garden-parties and baskets and lace frocks matter to him? He was far from all those things. He was wonderful, beautiful.”
~ Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party
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April 3, 2017

Quotations by Adrienne Rich

ADRIENNE RICH (1929 –2012), AN AMERICAN POET AND ESSAYIST, BEST KNOWN FOR HER EXAMINATION OF THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY.

“I write for the still-fragmented parts in me, trying to bring them together. Whoever can read and use any of this, I write for them as well.” ~ Adrienne Rich, Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985

 “Those who speak largely of the human condition are usually those most exempt from its oppressions - whether of sex, race, or servitude.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

“Poetry is, among other things, a criticism of language.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying

“No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees,
sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air,
dappled with scars, still exuberantly budding,
our animal passion rooted in the city.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Twenty-One Love Poems

“I touch you knowing we weren't born tomorrow,
and somehow, each of us will help the other live,
and somewhere, each of us must help the other die.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Twenty One Love Poems

“If you think you can grasp me, think again:
my story flows in more than one direction
a delta springing from the riverbed
with its five fingers spread”
~ Adrienne Rich, Time's Power

“If I cling to circumstances I could feel
not responsible. Only she who says
she did not choose, is the loser in the end.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Twenty-One Love Poems

“Probably there is nothing in human nature more resonant with charges than the flow of energy between two biologically alike bodies, one of which has lain in amniotic bliss inside the other, one of which has labored to give birth to the other. The materials are here for the deepest mutuality and the most painful estrangement.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

 “No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Sources

“Sleeping, turning in turn like planets
rotating in their midnight meadow:
a touch is enough to let us know
we’re not alone in the universe, even in sleep:
the dream-ghosts of two worlds
walking their ghost-towns, almost address each other.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Twenty-One Love Poems

“The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“Poems are like dreams: in them you put what you don't know you know.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations

“Whatever is unnamed, undepicted in images, whatever is omitted from biography, censored in collections of letters, whatever is misnamed as something else, made difficult-to-come-by, whatever is buried in the memory by the collapse of meaning under an inadequate or lying language - this will become, not merely unspoken, but unspeakable.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“In a world where language and naming are power, silence is oppression, is violence.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“I am an instrument in the shape
of a woman trying to translate pulsations
into images    for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Planetarium

 “These scars bear witness but whether to repair or to destruction I no longer know.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck

“Sexist grammar burns into the brains of little girls and young women a message that the male is the norm, the standard, the central figure beside which we are all deviants, the marginal, the dependent variables. It lays the foundation for androcentric thinking, and leaves men safe in their solipsistic tunnel-vision.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“There is nothing revolutionary whatsoever about the control of women's bodies by men. The woman's body is the terrain on which patriarchy is erected.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

“Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“Feminism means finally that we renounce our obedience to the fathers and recognise that the world they have described is not the whole world. Masculine ideologies are the creation of masculine subjectivity; they are neither objective, nor value-free, nor inclusively "human." Feminism implies that we recognise for us, the distortion, of male-created ideologies, and that we proceed to think, and act, out of that recognition.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“I am the androgyne, I am the living mind you fail to describe in your dead language the lost noun, the verb surviving only in the infinitive the letters of my name are written under the lids of the newborn child”
~ Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck

“Nothing can be done but by inches. I write out my life hour by hour, word by word . . . imagining the existence of something uncreated this poem our lives.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck

“The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of these possibilities”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

 “The failure to examine heterosexuality as an institution is like failing to admit that the economic system called capitalism or the caste system of racism is maintained by a variety of forces, including both physical violence and false consciousness.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

“if you unquestioningly accept one piece of the culture that despises and fears you, you are vulnerable to other pieces.”
~ Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978

“Women have married because it was necessary, in order to survive economically, in order to have children who would not suffer economic deprivation or social ostracism, in order to remain respectable, in order to do what was expected of women because coming out of "abnormal" childhoods they wanted to feel "normal," and because heterosexual romance has been represented as the great female adventure, duty, and fulfillment. We may faithfully or ambivalently have obeyed the institution, but our feelings - and our sensuality - have not been tamed or contained within it.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

“I write for the still-fragmented parts in me, trying to bring them together. Whoever can read and use any of this, I write for them as well.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985

“I question the more or less psychoanalytic perspective that the male need to control women sexually results from some primal male "fear of women" and of women's sexual insatiability. It seems more probable that men really fear, not that they will have women's sexual appetites forced on them, or that women want to smother and devour them, but that women could be indifferent to them altogether, that men could be allowed sexual and emotional-therefore economic-access to women only on women's terms, otherwise being left on the periphery of the matrix.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

“I don't trust them but I'm learning to use them.”
~ Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck
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April 1, 2017

Characteristics of a Good Research Paper

What is Research Paper?

Research is the methodical investigation into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered. The findings and conclusions of such an investigation appear in the research paper. The term ‘research paper’ refers to a particular genre of academic writing, in which the writer’s own interpretation, evaluation, or argument on a specific issue is given prominence.

A research paper involves surveying a field of knowledge in order to find the best possible information in that field. Such information is then utilised to present a competent argument on a topic. Hence a research paper requires a presentation of one’s own thinking backed up by others’ ideas and information. In short, a research paper is:
  • focused on a specific issue or problem,
  • a presentation of facts that are based upon extensive reading and extraction of information from several sources, and
  • original in selection of literature, evaluation, expression and conclusion.

Waht are the Qualities of a Good Research Paper?

Whatever may be the types of research works and studies, one thing that is important is that they all meet on the common ground of systematic method employed by them. One expects systematic research to satisfy certain criteria. Usually a research is considered good when it is:
  1. Systematic: It means that research is structured with specified steps to be taken in a specified sequence in accordance with the well defined set of rules. Systematic characteristic of the research does not rule out (discard, prevent) creative thinking but it certainly does reject the use of guessing and intuition arriving at conclusions.
  2. Logical: This implies that research is guided by the rules of logical reasoning and the logical process of induction and deduction are of great value in carrying out research. Induction is the process of reasoning from a part to the whole whereas deduction is the process of reasoning from the premise. In fact, logical reasoning makes research more meaningful in the context of decision making.
  3. Empirical/Tangible: It implies that research is related basically to one or more aspects of a real situation and deals with concrete data that provides a basis for external validity to research results.
  4. Replicable: Replicability is one of the most important yardsticks for judging the quality of a research. The researcher’s presentation and explanation of the system, logic, and data collection should be designed in such a way that the reader is able to replicate the study.
  5. Reductive: A good research can reduce the confusion of facts that language and language teaching frequently present.
  6. Comprehensive: A research can be considered good if it has the ability encompass all important parts of the topic into a complete picture. But it should not present excessive detail which may hamper the development of the thought.
  7. Prolific: It suggests that a good research builds on, but also offers something new to, previous research.  It should have the potential to suggest directions for future research.
  8. Relevant: A good researcher will be able to extract relevant information from large amounts of info. Complete research will have the core information, or sets of core information, which together answers the question directly, and the contextual information, which determines whether or not the core research is applicable to given circumstances. That is, the research must be relevant.
  9. Well-executed: The researcher should also be able to convey the research in an accessible format that is, the research must be easy to make use of.

References

Brown, James Dean. Understanding Research in Second Language Learning. Cambridge: CUP, 1988

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March 30, 2017

Quotations by Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Norwegian playwright, a major force behind the rise of modern realistic drama.

“Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls.” ~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

“Our home has been nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was papa's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

 “Yes indeed, there are endless things to be considered. You three must be together if you are to attain the true frame of mind for self-sacrifice and forgiveness.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, The Wild Duck

“When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

“However wretched I may feel, I want to prolong the agony as long as possible. All my patients are like that. And so are those who are morally diseased;”
~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

“Rob the average man of his life-illusion, and you rob him of his happiness at the same stroke.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, The Wild Duck

“…the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

“The most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom amongst us is the compact majority...”
~ Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

“A party is like a sausage machine; it mashes up all sorts of heads together into the same mincemeat—fatheads and blockheads, all in one mash!”
~ Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

“Yes--you see there are some people one loves best, and others whom one would almost always rather have as companions.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

“When I lost you, it was as if all the solid ground went from under my feet. Look at me now--I am a shipwrecked man clinging to a bit of wreckage.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

“It is not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that "walks" in us. It is all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake them off.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts

“The majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools?”
~ Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

“You should never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

“You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

“There is so much falsehood both at home and at school. At home one must not speak, and at school we have to stand and tell lies to the children.”
~ Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

“That heartfelt love can weather unimpaired
Custom, and Poverty, and Age, and Grief.
Well, say it be so; possibly you’re right;
But see the matter in another light.
What love is, no man ever told us — whence
It issues, that ecstatic confidence
That one life may fulfill itself in two —
To this no mortal ever found the clue.
But marriage is a practical concern,
As also is betrothal, my good sir —
And by experience easily we learn
That we are fitted just for her, or her.
But love, you know, goes blindly to its fate,
Chooses a woman, not a wife, for mate;
And what if now this chosen woman was
No wife for you —?”
~ Henrik Ibsen, Love's Comedy
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