BRITISH LITERATURE: 19th CENTURY
BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Section – A
Q. I. Explain with reference to content the following linesete
(1) “Come, my friends Tis not too late 16 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 or all the western stars, until I dieradshah of Online Study and E-Learning
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Explanation: In this stanza. analyses address the printings with whom he has worked traveled and weathered life’s storms over many years.
He declared that though he and they are old, they still have the potential to do something noble and honorable before the long day wanes.”
He encourages them to make use of their old age because”? “is not too late to seek a newer world.”
He declares that his goal is to sail onward “beyond the sunset” until his death. Perhaps, he suggests, they may even reach the “Happy Isles,” or the paradise of perpetual summer described in Greek mythology where great heroes like the warrior Achilles were believed to have been taken after their deaths.
Although Ulysses and his mariners are not as strong as they were in youth, they are strong in will” and are sustained by their resolve to push onward relentlessly: “To strive to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
(ii) I was ever a fighter, so-one fight more, The best and the last! I would hate that death bandaged my eyes paid forbore, And bade me creep past.
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from Prospice by Robert Browning.
Explanation: The poet says that death cannot treat him as a coward. He does not want any mercy at the hands of death. He will face death like a bold man and not like a coward.
The poet says that throughout his life he has struggled with the numerous odds and difficulties of life. He has been a fighter in his life.
He will gladly fight the last battle of his life with death. This battle against death would be the final battle of his life. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
It will also be the best battle because soon after death he will reach the kingdom of God and meet his beloved wife.
Earthly life is completed by our going to Heaven where all the broken areas” are made into ‘perfect rounds’ The same idea is conveyed here in these lines in a somewhat different way.
Browning says that even the heroes of antiquity had to face death and fight it bravely. We ordinary people should derive inspiration from them and be prepared to meet death bravely and cheerfully like them.
If we do so, we can overcome it in one minute. It is like our first plunge into the cold of death water which is painful.
Thereafter it is pleasant to be in the water. Also, death squares up all human accounts.
(iii) Yes! in the sea of life enisted. With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone….
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from To Marguerite: Continued by Matthew Arnold.
Explanation: In the first stanza of this short poem. Arnold compares humans to islands, to suggest how distant we are from one another.
He paints an image of a vast sea between the islands (people), and emphasizes their separation through the line “We mortal millions live alone.”
And yet these islands are drawn to one another, through the lovely sounds of birds singing, sounds which drift between the islands. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The speaker expresses his desire for connection, which modern society lacks. He suggests that we must have once been together -all the “islands must have once been one “continent.”
He desperately wishes that the water between the islands would recede so that the landforms might meet again.
In the final stanza, he asks what power could possibly keep lovers apart like this, and “render vain their deep desire.”
The answer, he states. is God – the God of the modern world does not provide the same hope and connection that He once did, since much of faithless tainted lit science. Limited
(iv) Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; a dazzle, dim; He fathers-forth Whose beauty isipastfchange: Praise brinudy and E-Learning
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from Pied Beauty by Hopkins.
Explanation: In the final five lines Hopkins goes on to consider more closely the characteristics of these examples he has given attaching macal quality to the concept of obandyan diversity that he has elaborated thus far mostly in terms of physical characteristics.
The poem becomes an apology for these unconventional or “strange” things, things that might not normally be valued or thought beautiful. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
They are all, he avers, creations of God, which in their multiplicity, point always to the unity and permanence of His power and inspire us to “Praise Him.”
Q. I. How does the novel A Tale of Two Cities end and with what effect ?
Ans. A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution.
The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment
in the Bastille in Paris and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie, whom he had never met.
The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
At the end of the novel. Sydney Carton is executed at the guillotine along with many other French prisoners.
Although Carton does not make a farewell speech, Dickens ends the novel with imagining what he might have said.
This hypothetical farewell speech allows Carton to look ahead and envision a future where those he loves go on to honor and cherish his memory: “I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants.”
The visionary speech provides a sense of closure and optimism to an otherwise tragic ending.
Carton has led a difficult and lonely life, and dies in much the same condition. Likewise, the French Revolution is wreaking violent havoc without showing signs of achieving much progress. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
By having Carton predict a future where his sacrifice will allow those “for which I lay down my life to be peaceful, useful, prosperous, and happy” and where France will be restored to peace and order, the novel ends with a sense of optimism rather than crushing defeat.
The Marquis d’Evremonde is killed by one of the revolutionary figures who go by the generic name of Jacques.”
The Marquis is killed in an act of revenge because on the previous day he heartlessly ran over and killed a young child with his carriage.
After the death of the child, the Marquis showed no remorse, and described the lives of working-class people as worthless,
His murder foreshadows the further outbreaks of revolutionary violence that will come later.
Q. 2. Draw a character sketch of Lucetta in Hardy’s novel A Mayor of Custerbridge.
Ans. Like Michael Henchard, Lucetta Templeman lives recklessly according to her passions and suffers for it. Before arriving in Casterbridge.
Lucetta becomes involved in a scandalously indiscreet affair with Henchard that makes her the parish of Jersey. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
After settling in High-Place Hall, Lucetta quickly becomes enamored with Henchard’s archival, Farfrae.
Their relationship is peaceful until the town learns of Lucetta’s past relationship with Henchard, whereupon they make her the subject of a shameless kirimityrider Although warned of these likely consequences,
Lucetta proceeds to love whomever she wants however she pleases.
Still, her character lacks the boldness and certainty of purpose that would devate nerto the level of the isolated, damuned and self-destructive individualist:** that critic Albert Guerard describes as the great nineteenth-century myth.”
Lucetta emerges not as heroic but as childish and imprudent. Her love for Farfrae, for example, hinges on her refusal to accept Henchard’s visits for several days, a refusal that makes her seem more petty than resolute.
Similarly, her rapidly shifting affectionsFarfrae eclipses Henchard as the object of her desire with amazing, almost ridiculous speed-brand her as an emotionally volatile Victorian female, one whose sentiments are strong enough to cause the most melodramatic of deaths.
He was a young woman from Jersey who had a brief relationship with Michael Henchard when he traveled to her town on business.BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Lucetta nursed Henchard when he fell ill in Jersey, and, despite her innocent love for him, their interactions caused a scandal.
Henchard returned to Casterbridge, having told Lucetta of his lost wife. Lucetta wrote a series of love letters to Henchard, and, once she hears that Mrs. Henchard has died, she moves to Casterbridge, having recently inherited a large fortune.
In Casterbridge, she takes Elizabeth-Jane into her home and attempts to renew her relationship with Henchard, only to fall in love with Donald Farfrae instead.
In order to protect herself from Henchard and his ability to reveal their secret history, she marries Farfrae without anyone’s knowledge.
Henchard threatens to reveal their secret, but Lucetta meets him at the Ring and begs for his mercy. However, Jopp reveals the secret instead.
The villagers publically shame Lucetta with the skimming on, and she eventually dies from the emotional strain of possibly losing her husband’s love.
Q. 3. Critically analyse the poem ‘Break Break, Break’ by Tennyson.
Ans. Break, break break is an elegy by Alfred Lord Tennyson on the death of his friend Arthur Hallam. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The author imagines being standing near the cliff on the seashore and addressing to the sea waves which are lashing the rocks repeatedly. The poet finds an analogy and expresses it implicitly.
He wishes that the waves of his grief would break the inarticulateness (inability to speak out) in his heart, so that he also expresses his grief easily.
The speaker emotionally commands the sea to “break”. He wants the sea waves to break on the cliffs, but it is also possible to interpret the lines as demanding to ‘break the cold gray stones of the cliff.
The cold gray stones’ are symbolic of the hardened heart of his inexpressible grief.
In the first stanza the poet says that the torment of his heart as the death of his friend is tremendous.
There is a struggle like the struggle of the sea waves on the stormy shores. The question before him is how he can express adequately the thoughts which are rushing into his mind.
In the second stanza, the poet says that life is full of joy for the fisherman’s son and daughter who are laughing and shouting merrily.BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The poet, on the other hand, is entirely in a different mood. He is restless and grief-stricken at the death of his friend.
The poet admires the innocent joy of these youngsters but he is sorry because he cannot share it.
The lad of the sailor is also happy and sings in his boat face to face with the magnificence of the sea. But such joy is not for the poet.
In the third stanza, the poet says that the majestic ships ply on their destination under the hill.
The poet however has no definite plan for his life and he misses his friend Hallam whose voice and touch was so soft and tender.
The grief of the poet is terribly intense. In the two lines:
But o for the touch of a vanish’d hand
And the sound of a voice that is still
The speaker turns aside seas and a very different picture of life. Unlike himself (grief-ridden) and the cold grey stones, the fisherman’s boy who is playing with his sister looks at Boxes the smilo’s latsingingin his boat on the bay.
They’re also the stately ships going on to their destinations. They all contrast with the speaker’s plight. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
They put the speaker’s grief-stricken situation, on a contrastive prominence. He remembers the touch of his friend’s “vanished hand and the sound of this voice.
This friendly voice has become stache speaker looks at the sea again and addresses to it once more.
By this time he realizes that even if he manages to express his grief, the grace of his friend will never come back to him. The wish to express is itself no solution to the problem.
The poem is remarkable for the sound symbolism in it. The refrain “Break, Break, Break” that consists of one word repeated thrice parallels the waves that repeatedly beat the cliffs.
Syntactically (structure of sentence) the line is a broken sentence. Economically empathic, the idea is further reinforced by the nature of the very sound the word is made of.
The sentence of b-r-k makes a cracking sound; *b’ explodes; ‘r’ is harsh and ‘k’ stops before the pause of comma. “gray’, ‘stone’, ‘utter’, ‘crag, dead and even tender ironically) reiterate the same plosive, harsh and heavy sounds.
They go together with the ideas of grief and the wish of breaking wherever they occur. We can also draw a neat distinction of these features with the absence of such sounds in the second and third stanza, BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
which draw a picture of carefree children’s life and the ships.
The poem is written in four stanzas of four lines each: the first four and the last six are about grief, and the third stanza alis short of giving happy life.
The rhyming scheme is abeb but with the harmony of the children’s life the rhyme also adds up to aaba. Master of technical and musical perfection,
Tennyson seems to carve each word carefully into perfect form. Our understanding of the real incident of his friend’s death strikes us the more with the heartrending appeal to the sea’ – a vast image of the sorrow of the sad!
Q. 4. In your opinion, what is the theme of Dover Beach’?
Ans. The poem represents a particular sense of dissatisfaction and confusion which arose during the Victorian period, as science and the Enlightenment began to diminish the Christian faith which had previously been almost universal in the nation.
The speaker laments the loss of the Sea of Faith” which once wrapped around the nation and protected it, metaphorically, from the “clash” which now seems to be the result of human uncertainty and ignorance.
The “ignorant armies” at the end of the poem represent people who no longer have the “certitude” they once had: they are arguing with each other, but have no real guidance.
They are simply fighting with each other with no real aims in the metaphorical dark.
Arnold emphasizes the continuity of the human condition by referring to the Greek dramatist Sophocles hearing the same note of misery on the Aegean, many thousands of years ago. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Amold is indicating that people have always been, at heart, the same: people long for certainty and, without it, suffer terribly and will always try to pinpoint some kind of certainty and hope of joy in their lives.
The sea is used metaphorically to represent this continuity. It indicates through its endlessness, repetitive movement, and sameness-a bridge between the speaker and the ancients.
The sea can either be protective, as when full of faith, or can represent a boundary between groups of people, cutting them off from one another.
The prose work of Matthew Arnold dressed more generanadience attempts to suggest to those of his day some relatively public, institutional substitute for the loss of the unifying faith that men once shared,
most notably what Arnold called “Culture” Arnold’s poerry havever, is more personal and ultimately less assured, Virtually all of Amold’s poetry is the record of his personal search for calm, for objectivity, for somewhere firm to stand.
As a broad generalization, the poem presents the common opposition between appearance and reality, the appearance is the opening lines, which um out Hendren while the reality of life, which the poet accepts, is the desolate beach and the confused battlefield.
The poem also presents the eternal conflict between the wisdom of the heart and the wisdom of the head.
The heart is attracted by the pleasant appearance of the view from the window, but the head is forced to take heed of the eternal sound of the surf, which says something entirely different.BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
It is notable in the poem that the poet does not make a clear choice between the two; in fact, he accepts that the world is the way his reason tells him. The problem is how to reconcile these apparently irreconcilable forces.
The answer given, tentatively, is that perhaps true love between two people can somehow supply meaning in a world that is still filled with confusion and struggle.
In “Dover Beach,” Amold is doing two things: chronicling and lamenting the loss of faith and seeking a substitute, here the possibility of human love for another individual.
Amold firmly believed that Christianity was dead. His reason and his knowledge and investigation of such mid-Victorian intellectual trends as the Higher Criticism of the Bible and quasi-historical concerns about the historical Jesus had convinced him that a reasonable man could no longerbelieve in Christianity.
Yet Arnold’s heart and instincts told him, not that Christianity ought to survive, but that humankind desires and indeed must have something in which to believe in order to truly live, to be truly human.
Humankind wants something which can give force and meaning to life, which the modern world with its science and commercialism cannot supply.
Arnold’s best-known expression of this problem is in “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse,” where he finds himself Wandering between two worlds, one dead. The other powerless to be born.”
The dead world is Christianity, the world powerless to be born is the modern world with its deceptive attractions. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Though on one level one may call “Dover Beach” a love poem, the possibility that human love and communication can somehow make the loss of faith and certitude bearable (because it will not make the world go away) is really given short shrift.
The images of sadness, melancholy, and desolation dominate the poem, while the possibility of love gets no more than two short lines.
Even those two lines are overwhelmed by the emotional impact and vividness of the final image.
The effect of the poem would seem to emphasize that the possibility of love is tentative at best, while the poet cannot seem to purge from his consciousness his horrifying vision of human life.
Q. 1. What is the significance of the title of Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities?
Ans. There may not be a book where setting, the time and place a story happens in, is more important than in Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities.
After all, the title refers specifically to the place (or more accurately, places) where the story happens: the cities of Paris and London. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
And its famous first line, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, tells us the time period of the story is important as well. Published in 1859.
A Tale of Two Cities looks back to the previous century and sets its story in the lead-up to and beginning of the French Revolution.
Paris is portrayed as a city where aristocratic corruption leads revolutionaries to rise up against the powerful,
but the violence that replaces that corruption is not much better The London of the book relatively peaceful, especially in the quiet village of Soho where Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette raise their loving family,
but Dickens takes pains to point out the corruption Jying beneath the surface, there as well
The novel’s ramadsoperling line, ‘It was the best of times he was the worst of times sets the ambivalent tone for the rest of the novel.
A few lines later, the narrator says, ‘the period was so far like the present period, indicating that any time, past or present contains greatness and horror, brilliant and stupidity
As the opening line indicates. A Tale of Two Cities is looking back on a previous period, namely the years 17751792, several decades before the book was published.
The book sets its fictional characters against the backdrop of a real historical event, the French Revolution, making it a work of historical fiction, a novel that tells a fictional story set during a historical event. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The French Revolution was an uprising by the poor and common people of France against the nobles and aristocrats who controlled the country and lived in luxury while common people starved.
The conflict would last from 1789 until 1799, though Dickens only portrays its early years, ending in 1792
The novel depicts two key real-life events of the early years of the Revolution.
The first is the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, in which radicals take over the notorious prison. The event is generally considered the beginning of the Revolution.
Near the end of the book, we see the September Massacres of 1792, in which the radicals indiscriminately muffler nobles and political prisoners.
This is the beginning of an increasing pattern of violence among the radicals that will eventually become known as the Reign of Terror.
As suggested by the title “A Tale of Two Cities”, Dickens’ novel is about the impact of the French Revolution upon the people living in France and England alike.
When Dickens wrote his novel in 1859, the Revolution had well subsided, but it was not completely out of the English cultural memory.
It is a tale that partly takes place in London and partly in Paris, and the title is an instrument to build up a covert comparison between the lives of the two nations at the important epoch of suggesting the very possibility of a revolution in Britain as well.
The tale begins in 1755 when the young French physician Dr. Manette was arbitrarily sent to the Bastille and ends in 1794 when the martyrdom of Sydney Carton saves the life of Charles Darnay who, together with his beloved wife, child, and father-in-law, is safely conveyed across the Channel.
Behind the tale of love and hatred, the book offers good glances into the condition of life in the two cities London and Paris. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The sights are, of course, pessimistic in both paved, ill-lighted cities with poor sanitation and robbery rampant in the streets.
The criminal law of the country was extremely bad and inequitable persons were capitally punished for the grave as well as small crimes. Therefore, the English used to live a pitiable life.
Q. 2. Henchard’s downfall comes about as a result of his own character. Discuss.
Ans. To understand Henchard’s situation, it would be proper to analyze his behaviour. In the initial scenes, he is frustrated at his poverty. In a state of frustration, he ends up messing his situation by selling his wife and daughter.
They are the only support he has in his life. Till they are with him, they are a burden and when they have left he feels lost and alone.
All does not appear to be caused by fate. Had Henchard been less stubborn and complicated, life could have been easier for him and his family.
It is not just him who is bearing all the difficulties but also his family. His daughter dies a few months after his wife his fent. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The sailer who has bought them gives them a better life and more care but is unable to save his daughter who falls ill and dies.
Henchard is also quick to lose toppen and to betray emotions. When Susan returns to his life with the sailor’s daughter whom she has named Elizabeth Jane after their daughter, she does not tell him the truth.
Henchard gets to learn the truth later and it makes him cold towards Jane. In this way, he ends up alienating her.
The sailor Newson who was believed to have died in a voyage returned to his life later looking for his daughter a strinned Henchard replies that she has died while she is alive and well with Donald Farfrae.
Newson, who had responsibly treated Henchard’s wife and daughter, leaves Henchard’s home with an aching heart. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Henchard cannot think straight after his family has returned to him. Again he has lost control of his wit and makes childish mistakes in anxiety.
It is why he ends up losing Elizabeth Jane’s sympathy when she learns of his lie from Newson.
Henchard has remained an honest and reliable leader for the people of Casterbridge. However, the picture is not as bright in his personal life which is a dark mess full of tragic episodes.
Hardy shows with clarity that Henchard trying to escape one mess lands himself in another. His poor fate follows him everywhere like a shadow.
By the end. all the love and hope in his life is gone and he is lying dead in a pit. Fate has punished him for his sins which seems a little unfair given the man had tried a lot to reform.
The pit in which he lies dead signifies a circle of hell to which Henchard’s soul has been banished forever.
It may appear that life has punished him excessively but then for Henchard, it has always been difficult to balance his act.
In his personal life. Henchard is a compulsive husband, an irresponsible father and a bad friend. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
None of his relationships work and everyone abandons him. It is because of his emotional volatility and stubbornness.
He is not a familan. However, he is an ambitious leader who just finds failure difficult to tolerate.
The biggest complexity with him is that he cannot retain his hard-earned success and happiness. Fate keeps bringing him back to where he had started from.
Susan and Elizabeth are his weaknesses whom he brings back into his life and everything he had built crumbles.
Henchard’s relationship with Farfrae is just as ill-fated who becomes the cause of his doom. He hired Farfrae thinking he will bring life back to his business but he turns a competitor and his rise becomes Henchard’s ruin.
Lucetta also dies because of her relationship with Henchard. She ends up dying a melodramatic death after her love letters are discovered.
In her death, she proves that Henchard’s ill fate has affected the people around him.
Henchard’s death proves two things. First, a man should not lose sight of his weaknesses or he will ruin his own fate.
The second thing it proves is that you can hide your weaknesses but to overcome them you need to make sacrifices. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Henchard has kept hiding his past from people until Susan’s retum. Susan is the punishment fate has imposed upon him.
The vicious circle of fate ends only with Henchard’s reunion with Susan in the heavens. He has not died a peaceful death but then nothing could have brought peace to his life than death.
He dies the most tragic death in the novel: even tragic than Lucetta. Hardy’s novel also shows the English society in a poor light which is habituated of intruding into other’s personal lives.
Q. 3. Discuss the Silent features of the Victorian Age as reflected in the works of the writers in your course.
Ans. Victorian literature is the literature produced during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).
England, during this time, was undergoing a tremendous cultural upheaval: the accepted forms of literature, Victorian art, and music had undergone a radical change.
The Romantic Movement, which preceded the Victorian Renaissance, had often portrayed the human pursuit of knowledge and power as a beautiful thing, for example in works of Wordsworth. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The most important and obvious characteristic of Victorian poetry was the use of sury elements.
Most of the Victorian Poets used imagery and the senses to convey the scenes of struggles between Religion and Science, and ideas about Nature and Romance, which transport the readers into the minds and hearts of the people of the Victorian age, even today.
Lord Alfred Tennyson lives up to this expected characteristic in most of his works.
One notable example is the poem Mariana, in which Tennyson writes, The doors upon their hinges creaked: The blue fly sung in the pane: the mouse/Behind the moldering wainscot shrieked.
These images of the creaking door, the blue fly singing in the window, and the mouse with the moldy wood paneling, all work together to create a very definite image of an active, yet lonely farmhouse.
Another characteristic of Victorian poetry was sentimentality. Victorian Poets wrote about Bohemian ideas and furthered the imaginings of the Romantic Poets.
Poets like Emily Bronte, Lord Alfred Tennyson prominently used sentimentality in their poems.
The husband and wife poet duo, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and Robert Browning conducted their love affair through verse and produced many tender and passionate poems.
Most prominent of which are Elizabeth Barrett-Brownings Sonnets from Portuguese, the most notably her If thou must love me and How do I love thee.
Lord Alfred Tennyson, arguably the most prominent of the Victorian Poets, held the title of Poet Laureate for over forly years. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
His poems were marked a wide range of topics from romance, to nature, to criticism of political and religious institutions, a pillar of the establishment not failing to attack the establishment
His Charge of the Light Brigade was fierce criticism of a famous military blunder: while the Princess dealt with pseudo-chivalry common among the royalty.
The poems of In Memoriam dealt with Tennyson’s exploration of his feelings of love, loss, and desire.
The reclaiming of the past was a major part of Victorian literature with an interest in both classical and medieval literature of England.
The Victorians loved the heroic, chivalrous stories of knights of old and they hoped to regain some of that noble, courtly behaviour and impress it upon the people both at home and in the wider empire.
The best example of this is Alfred Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, which blended the stories of King Arthur, particularly those by Thomas Malory, with contemporary concerns and ideas.
poets like Gerard Manley Hopkins drew inspiration from verse forms of Old English poetry such as Beowulf. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood also drew on myth and folklore for their art, with Dante Gabriel Rossetti regarded as the chief poet amongst them, though modern scholars consider his sister Christina Rossetti to be a stronger poet, of the two.
Comic verse abounded in the Victorian era. Magazines such as Punch magazine and Fun magazine teemed with the humorous invention and were aimed at a well-educated readership.
The most famous collection of Victorian comic verse is the Bab Ballads.
Victorian Poetry, thus, marks an important era in the history of poetry providing the link between the Romantic Movement and the Modemist Movement (Pre-Raphaelitism) of the 20th Century.
Q. 4. Critically analyse Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market’.
Ans. Christina Rossetti claimed that Goblin Marke was extemporized a single day.
She also called it a children’s poem, and for her it probably was since, like her romantic antecedents, she saw childhood as a time of unparalleled intensity and experience lideed if any single romantic poem can be said to be behind Goblin Market,
it is William Wordsworth’s Nutting, also a sexualized coming-of-age poem in which intensity of feeling for nature climaxes in unexpected sexuality which reverses into a sense of guilt and loss. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Clearly, the poem is about the experience of Sexuality and it also seems clear that the sexuality in the poem centers on same-sex eroticism.
The poem is about as daring as can be imagined, and it is protoFreudian in its evocation of dread, loss, anxiety, and sin in a context where two sisters (Lizzie and Laura) are sharing an experience of the awakening of desire.
As with Freud, the stages of sexual desire go from a generalized friendship to intense and intensely singular sexual self-discovery: to its opening out into same-sex, half-individual sexual interplay between the sisters who are not one person but not quite two, either; to a more “mature sexuality which can lead to the venerated States of marriage and motherhood.
Rossetti is interested in all these stages and sees their persistence even as they develop
The goblin men who offer Lizzie and Laura their wares offer a panoply of fruits from the tree of knowledge.
Laura succumbs to their offerings, giving up (as in a ghost story) a curl of her hair for the forbidden fruits they offer. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
Their friend Jeanie has done this before them with the result that she who for joys brides hope to have/Fell sick and died in her gay prime” (11. 314-316).
The for in the line is ambiguous: She may have received sickness and death instead of the joys brides hope to have and this is the obvious reading); or it may be that she experienced the sexuality that brides hope to experience as joy as sickness and death instead.
These are not necessarily mutually exclusis readings.
One may be a metaphor for the other, and we can say that the awakening of sexuality transforms itself from excitement to dread-a dread that makes it the harbinger of age and death (both Jeanie before her and now Laura grow conspicuously gray as a result of eating the fruit).
The two readings of the poem-the metaphorical and literal-would correspond to two attitudes toward the story it tells: the adults and the child’s, respectively.
For the child, sexuality threatens death, real death, the utter change marked by sexuality and the adulthood it begins. Of course, this is not real death from our point of view, but it is from the child’s. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
The onset of sexuality is also the onset of the realization of mortality. When we are old enough to be sexually aware, we are old enough to understand that we will die.
This is why the tree of knowledge introduces Adam and Eve to both sex and death. In “Goblin Market” the goblin men stand for both.
The end of the poem makes much of this clear: Lizzie and Laura are mothers now “With children of their own; Their mother-hearts beset with fears” (II. 545-546), and the time in which the bulk of “Goblin Market” is set is now called “Those pleasant days long gone/Of not-returning time” (II. 550-551. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
So those days were pleasant, even in their intensity and terror. The fears of the mothers are different: less intense but far deeper.
Notice that the mothers talk to the children about their own experiences-the experiences recorded in the poem.
The poem is a children’s poem in the same way that Laura’s tales about the haunted glen and the goblin men are tales for the children.
The children are being fortified against the coming loss by the knowledge that their mothers survived that loss by staying true to their own sisterhood-that is, the childhood relationship that endures beyond childhood. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
It would be a mistake, however, to think the poem is only about sexuality. It is about every sort of childhood intensity, from sexuality to nature to language.
The goblin men are noteworthy for their “iterated jingle” (1.234-that is, for the possibilities they offer in the very modern poetry like Goblin Market (For other poems that metaphorize the prolixity of rhyme in fascinating ways,
see the entries on Robert Southey’s “The Cataract of Lodore” and Robert Bridges’s “London Shew Poetry arises out of her sense that the world’s repetitions and several and every energizing,
but what makes it great at least for the romantic tradition Rossetti is writing in-is the way it records the loss of novelty and energy in the very language which had promised so much and delivered so little. BEGC 110 Free Solved Assignment
“Goblin Market” may be a children’s poem butike everything the children dicat, it is sung by the direction the fine faible emblems of age and death.
The recompense, if there is one, is joy, love, tenderness, and fear for subsequent generations of children, and the poem’s half happy ending is one that makes it possible to re-imagine the richness of the world through children who still feel it that way.
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