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BEGC 106

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IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024

Section A

Q. 1. Write short notes

(i) Kitsch

Ans. Kitsch, a German word, relates to all that is worthless and tasteless. Kitsch includes those objects or art that is considered as poor in taste due to excessive garishness and sentimentality.

Kitsch has been linked with the popular, the lowbrow and the common. For example, literature produced by the marginalised people in the west particularly the blacks and the natives was considered as kitsch or camp literature.

Kitsch and camp literature became redefined after some significant and brave stories were written. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

One such story was written by Maxine Hong Kingston (1940), a Chinese American. It was the story of a Chinese girl growing up in America called Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976).

(ii) Ekatatis

Ans. Ekstatis, a short ecstasy or happiness, is triggered by the thrill or pleasure when a reader reads a work of art or an audience watches its performance.

Ekstatis is the emotive charge and can be summed up as the therapeutic function of art, which helps us to connect emotionally.

Starting from Aristotle’s (385-323 BC), Poetics and Shakespeare’s (1564-1616), plays and Premchand’s (1880-1936), stories to popular bestsellers such as the romance Gone with the Wind (1936), by Margaret Mitchell (1900-49), the Detective fiction of Agatha Christie and Spy Thrillers of Ian Fleming are based on this principle of pleasure.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Aristotle’s poetics and its universal principle tells us that Tragedy does not produce any chance pleasure, but the pleasure proper to it.

Similarly, the form of pleasure evoked by thrillers is suspense which makes a reader read a story to find out what happens next.

Every narration has the pleasure principle as its basis. If the bloody murders in the popular spy thriller writer Ian Fleming’s Bond novels and the detective fiction of Agatha Christie’s crime thrillers invoke thrill and excitement so does the murders in the novels of classic novelists such as George Eliot (1819-80) and Thomas Hardy (1840-1928).

(iii) Bildungsromon

Ans. A bildungsroman is a type of fiction that depicts and explores how the protagonist develops morally and psychologically. A bildungsroman ends on a positive note. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Examples of bildungsroman are: Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte, Great Expectations (1861) by Charles Dickens, Anne of Green Gables (1908) by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Sons and Lovers (1913) by D. H. Lawrence, Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell, Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee, Black Swan Green (2006) by David Mitchell and Skippy Dies (2010) by Paul Murray.

The Funny Boy explores Arjie’s journey into adulthood. The novel has six sections and in each of these sections Arjie comes across a different social, cultural or political construct.

The novel shows the conflict among ethnic, national and sexual identities. Arjie, who belongs to an upper middle class Tamil family, saw the horrors of the riots.

When Arjie’s paternal aunt Radha falls in love with a Sinhalese man Anil, Arjie’s grandparents are aghast. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

To put an end to her relationship with Anil, they send Radha to one of their relatives’ place in Jaffna, located in the north-eastern part of Sri Lanka.

On her way back to Colombo, Radha is physically assaulted by armed Sinhalese men during an episode of ethnic violence.

This shows how ethnic violence persecutes the female body and creeps into the most personal of relationships.

After this incident, Radha’s resolve to marry against her family’s wishes is weakened and she eventually gives into their demands.

This also is a painful learning experience for Arjie about the failings of true love. Arjie’s own mother also once loved Daryl, a member of the Burgher community (half Dutch, half Sri Lankan) and their relationship did not receive social sanction.

Later she went for a marriage of convenience.
The Tamil-Sinhala conflict can be felt in Arjie’s school as well.

At a poetry recitation to be held on the Annual Day, he is told that he will be supporting the Tamil cause by performing well.

The most agonizing influence of the ethnic conflict can be seen in the riots that happen towards the end of the novel.

Arjie’s grandparents are killed in the violence and his family is forced to migrate to Canada, leaving behind much of their wealth.harbours a strong sense of alienation on two distinct levels, both as a homosexual and as a member of a minority ethnic community. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

In the first section titled “Pigs Can’t Fly”, he is caught in the middle of the gendered spatial division wherein girls and boys have separate areas earmarked for them.

Before he is prohibited from playing with the girls because of his cousin Tanuja’s interference, Arjie becomes the unquestioned leader of the girls gang because of his imagination. Through fantasy, he transgresses society’s imposed gender roles.

He derives almost a sensual kind of pleasure from all activities associated with the game titled ‘Bride-Bride’.

For a brief period Arjie manages to find happiness by inhabiting a space and indulging in activities that are considered inappropriate for boys as per the norms of society.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

This is one of the ways in which Arjie challenges heteronormative traditions. This rebellion might be short lived and unsuccessful in the long run, but he can imagine an alternative to the one ordained by traditions.

Arjie’s feelings of both as a student and as a homosexual is the beginning to embrace his sexuality.

Significantly, this idea takes hold of Arjie’s consciousness after his first sexual encounter with Shehan which takes place in the garage of his house.

Immediately after that Arjie experiences shame and feels disgusted with himself. He becomes extremely conscious of his family’s gaze on him and internalised their sense of discomfort with the very prospect of homosexual behaviour.

When he thinks about the countless times that Shehan had come to his aid that he begins the process of embracing their relationship.

At this moment, he disassociates himself from his family’s views and develops a unique individual sense of self. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

He goes against the moral code of his parents (and by extension of the society) as he moves towards a healthy acceptance of his homosexual relationship with Shehan.

He makes the conscious choice to prioritise his individual judgement over his sense of belonging to a community. He learns to embrace his sexuality and moves towards a wholesome development of his individual self.

Arjie’s sexual disposition is categorically demonised by the society. For his coming of age journey to reach a meaningful conclusion, he has to go against society and its gender expectations.

Therefore, the novel has been often read as a counter- bildungsroman that de-centres hegemonic traditions.

It presents an alternative point of view of a character whose journey towards self-realisation is achieved by challenging and sub-verting the status quo.

(iv) Postmodernism

Ans. Postmodernism in the 20th century has brought an end to an elitism that was based on distinctions of culture. It saw the promotion of commerce over culture.

Postmodernism dismantled the boundary between ‘authentic’ and ‘commercial’ culture. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

For example, there is a growing list of artists who have had hit records because of their songs appearing in television commercials.

A question can be raised: ‘What is being sold, song or product? The answer is both. Postmodernists like: Fredrick Jameson, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Susan Sontag and Hal Foster accept this new sensibility in understanding the cultural discourse of today.


Q. 1. Discuss the chess motif as central to the understading of Through the Looking Glass.

Ans. The world of the novel is laid out in the form of a chess game, where the land is a giant chess board with rows separated from each other and divided by brooks and hedges. The structure of the book is also in the form of a chess game.

The chess motif is a key to the narrative of the book which can be read at the physical level, metaphysical level and dream world level of the looking glass.

For example, Alice says that “It is a huge game of chess that’s being played-all over the world”, and wishes she “Could be one of the chess pieces… (and) wouldn’t mind being a pawn… though of course I should like to be a Queen best.”

Alice also finds herself a chess piece – a white pawn – and a part of the bigger chess game in the narrative.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

As a pawn Alice progresses from square to square before she reaches the last square and becomes a queen.

Her unidirectional progress on the chessboard and its linearity presents her ageing and maturation where she has to leave behind her childhood and emerge a woman.

This development fits in with the actual rules of the game of chess, where, upon successfully reaching the last row of the chess board, a pawn may become any piece the player desires.

The narrative carries a metaphysical dimension with the structure of chess described as a metaphor of the world with all its rules. Carroll raises philosophical question on the nature of our existence.

The Chess motif presents a deterministic concept of life. It explores the idea of us humans as pawns, as a part of the bigger game of chess, journeying through the pre-determined plot of life and moving according to what has been already planned for us.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Martin Gardner says the game of chess becomes an allegory of life itself. Alice can move freely but only within the confines of a square and has no real agency, just as we too are living out the dream of some God.

It draws upon the idea of humans as just chess pieces on earth with limited influence like Alice’s movement on the board where things happen to her and she has no real agency.

The chess motif helps Carroll throw light on the pre-deterministic nature of the universe where free will is an illusion and we humans are merely pawns being moved by an invisible hand.

Q. 2. Comment on the relationship between Gender and Scape in the context of Arije’s school in Funny Boy.

Ans. Funny Boy explores many social gender constructs that govern the private and public lives of people. It shows how masculinity and femininity are defined in a social matrix and how these norms influence people.

Gender and Space: Home Protagonist Arjie faces social gender stereotypes in the opening. It shows the divide when his parents join their extended family for a monthly reunion at his grandparents’ house.

His cousins would get together and play two games. The boys play cricket in the field outside the house, while the girls play ‘Bride-Bride’.

The front garden, the road and the field that lay in front of the house belonged to the boys. The territory of the girls is “confined to the back garden and the kitchen porch”.

This division along gender lines reflects the national divide along ethnic lines that destroys the narrator’s and his family’s lives.

Arjie manages to transcend the boundaries by taking part in the Bride-Bride gang owing to the force of his imagination.

Arjie derives utmost pleasure from dressing up like a bride. His happiness get cut by the arrival of his cousin Tanuja who drags a sari-clad Arjie in front of the adults of the house. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

This revelation causes a stir in the family and becomes a source of embarrassment for Arjie’s parents as one of his uncle remarks sardonically to his father, “Ey Chelva! Looks like you have a funny one here”.

Gender and Space: School
Arjie’s father sends him to Queen Victoria Academy with a belief that it will “force [him] to become a man”.

The institution is governed by an ethos of hyper-masculinity and young boys are expected to pattern their behaviour as per dominant masculine stereotypes.

Arjie meets Soyza and their relationship plays an important role in the journey through which Arjie starts accepting his homosexuality.

The school is also driven with ethnic and political tensions and anxieties. It has separate sections for Sinhalese and Tamil students.

There is also a tussle between the Principal, Mr. Abeysinghe (referred to as Black Tie by the students) and the Vice-Principal. Mr. Lokubandara, a “political appointee”.

The struggle coloured by the ethnic conflict and a debate about the future of the academy and by extension, the country.

The principal imagines a modern, multi-cultural academy where diverse communities will be given equal representation, but Lokubandara believes in the idea of Sri Lanka as a pure Sinhala nation.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Q. 3. Comment on the narrative strategy in the Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Ans. Dr. Sheppard, the killer is the narrator in M.R.A. However, Agatha Christie breaks a crucial rule of a detective crime fiction by making the narrator to be the murderer.
Dr. Sheppard is a well-respected and a trusted doctor.

In M.R.A., Christie uses the narrative strategy to shield Sheppard. Dr. Sheppard puts himself beyond all doubt and readers never even examine his role in the murder as one of the possible suspects.

At the starting, the narrator gives plenty of information and establishes himself as a reliable chronicler of facts.

The story starts with the narrator reporting the death of Mrs. Ferrars “On the night of the 16th-17th September – a Thursday…”.

At the starting, the day and date of the murder of Mrs. Ferrars is provided by the narrator who gives out precise information and portrays himself as a faithful recorder of facts. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

However, he tells a little about himself and the reader finds out more about him only through other characters as the story develops.

The doctor gives the impression of him being a dignified gentleman with a strong dislike for gossip. He says “As a professional man, I naturally aim at discretion.

Therefore, I have got into a habit of continually withholding all information possible from my sister.” The persona that Christie builds of him is that of a serious and rational physician.

Dr. Sheppard disguises his intent by giving out less information than necessary and hiding behind too little information, omitting some details altogether.

For example, The inspector knows about the “blackmailing business” not through Dr. Sheppard but through Parker who had been listening at the door.

On another instance, he does not mention his visit to Three Boars until Flora asks him and eludes the mention of the Dictaphone, or the letter altogether.

As a first-person narrator, Dr. Sheppard does not lie but conceals the truth by simply omitting its mention. He is not too vocal regarding his own personal observations and plays a true chameleon by hiding his own role.

James Sheppard: The DoctorJames Sheppard is a physical by profession. He is the narrator of the novel. The writer puts a veil on him in such a way that he looks clean and blameless. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Dr. Sheppard looks like a conscientious doctor and is concerned about the welfare of his patients. He even becomes a confidant for their private sorrows of his patients.

He rushes to the Fernly Park after getting the news of Ackroyd’s death and helps the police and Poirot by providing them with details and medical information.

In his capacity as a doctor, he aids the detective medically by conducting the autopsy, but hides the fact that Mrs. Ferrars had poisoned her own husband.

In the end. Poirot reveals that Sheppard blackmailed Mrs. Ferrars because he knew that she had poisoned her husband and used this knowledge to his advantage to blackmail her.

James Sheppard: The Watson FigureDr. Sheppard plays various roles in M.R.A. He works as the assistant of the detective by collecting background information and clues about the suspects and does other legwork.

Also, he helps readers understand the case and acts as the reader-surrogate to pose questions to the detective.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

In Christie’s earlier works, Captain Arthur Hastings is presented as the companion-chronicler of the detective. Poirot fondly remembers his assistant Hastings who helped him “With his practice of keeping a written record of the cases”.

However, in Hastings absence in M.R.A., Dr. Sheppard is the “the new Hastings” for the detective and is continually associated with the Sherlock Holmes’ associate Dr. John Watson.

The readers trust Dr. Sheppard all the more because he too is a doctor like Watson.

Hercule Poirot: The DetectiveIn M.R.A., Hercule Poirot is shown as a Belgian exiled in Britain and an outsider to the social milieu of King’s Abbot. As an outsider, he looks neutral and suspects everyone without discrimination.

Poirot is unbiased and impersonal. Poirot’s talent as a detective is undermined. His oddity and foreignness distance him from society, but his queer “Eggheadedness” and penchant for growing vegetable marrows are the eccentricities that humanise him.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

He goes unofficially investigating in his own quirky manner and scores where the Scotland Yard fails.

His “method, order and grey cells” display an astute understanding of human mind and motivations. He acts as a seasoned detective.

He does not take anything at face value, cross-checks and verifies every evidence; interrogates suspects and establishes their alibis by which he rules them out one by one.

He shows how the detective’s way of inquisition is different from the direct interrogation of the police.

At Fernly Park, he plays the suspects cleverly to ferret out secrets from each through psychological manipulation. Poirot accuses everyone of holding back something, where each one is “concealing something… has something to hide”.

By putting the suspects in a tight spot and accusing them all of hiding something, he pressurizes them to establish their alibi/innocence.

The suspects come out with whatever little they know related to the case and own up to their other offences and indiscretions. Many secrets tumble out of fear and a guilty conscience.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Even as the body of evidence unnerves the police, Poirot looks into trivial details like puzzle pieces to uncover motives. His deductions are not always scientific but based on ratiocination or reasoning ability.

Considering facts, Poirot concludes that the blackmailer and murderer are the same since Ackroyd is killed shortly after receiving the blackmailing letter that has disappeared.

The detective recognizes the importance of minor clues that are overlooked or ignored. He confirms the exact position of the chair and knows that starched cambric is no handkerchief but a maid servant’s apron.

The detective considers the time of murder to catch the murderer. He finds out what others were doing fater nine-thirty when Ackroyd was last heard by Raymond. Ralph Paton was found at Fernly Park at half-past nine.

Flora initially admits that she saw Ackroyd alive at a quarter to ten, but it turns out to be a lie when her theft is revealed. Every suspect had an alibi except Dr. Sheppard who had already left Ackroyd at eight fifty.

Dr. Sheppard’s alibi depended on the dictaphone that he had timed for half-past nine-evidence that does him in. Besides, Poirot shows knowledge of past incidents and connects. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

He links Sheppard’s “mechanical turn of mind” and his interest in clocks and machines to the use of the dictaphone that works on the same principle.

Hethen links the dictaphone to the chair. Poirot questions why Dr. Sheppard took longer than usual and the discrepancy in time nails, Dr. Sheppard as the accused. Sheppard’s manuscript also gives Poirot a peek into his personality.

The detective reads Sheppard’s account on the investigating case and points out Sheppard’s deliberate “reticence” on revealing little about his own personality.

assumed as the murderer as he has gone missing from Three Boars after the murder. Inspector Raglan strongly believes that Paton is the murderer as Paton’s boot prints are found on the crime spot and because he visited Fernly Park on the night of the murder. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

After committing the crime, Dr. Sheppard goes into the summerhouse to put on Paton’s purloined shoes and returns to the house through the window and leaves boot prints as misleading evidence.

Many secrets are revealed and ulterior motives come to light and facades are blown off as the mystery nears its resolution.

Ackroyd’s charming niece Flora is also revealed as a thief who stole forty pounds and lied about the time she last saw her uncle alive.

She never met her uncle that night and was near her uncle’s room stealing money when she heard Parker coming.

Flora is secretly in love with Major Blunt with her engagement to Ralph being nothing more than a financial arrangement to secure her future.

Hard-pressed for monetary assistance, both Paton and Flora depend on Ackroyd’s bequest.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Several red herrings related to the servants and housekeepers are there as they help and derail the investigation. Parker discovers the murder and reveals key details that helps the investigation.

Parker informs the police about the missing letter and the pulled out chair. Sheppard is caught off-guard at Parker’s mention of the oddity of the drawn-out chair that was found displaced from its usual position.

Ursula Bourne, the parlour maid who had resigned the afternoon of the murder is taken to be a suspect.

Reading the report of Ralph’s arrest, Ursula reveals herself to be Paton’s wife and seeks Poirot’s help claiming her husband’s innocence.

Caroline, Sheppard’s older spinster sister, is the local grapevine. She has her own network of servants and informants. She also has a knack to get the facts.

Sheppard does not like her curious interrogation but accepts that Caroline’s uncanny guesses based on intuitive knowledge and hearsay are often true.

As an informant to Poirot, she gives him details of Sheppard’s patients and complements the information on her brother.

Hercule Poirot praises her “womanly intuition” and acknowledges, Caroline has “makings of a born detective” to be able to see things “like a detective”.

With her female intuition, Caroline seems to be a more reliable judge of character than her brother Sheppard. She judges her own brother’s weak moral nature very astutely but regards him too well to see him as a suspect.

While Sheppard believes she is “full of curiosity”, Caroline knows her brother is “equally curious but hides it well”. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Caroline is a precursor to Christie’s famous female detective, Miss Jane Marple, who first appeared in Murder at the Vicarage (1939) as Poirot’s intellectual equal a nosy, independent detective with her uncanny insights into things.

Mah-Jong is an exotic Chinese game that Dr. Sheppard plays with his sister Caroline, Colonel Carter and Miss Gannett. Mah-Jong, which was popular in the cold war era and played in clubs during Christie’s time, is a variation of the card game rummy in which a player has to outwit his opponents to stack tiles in an arrangement.

The game party hosted at Sheppard’s house is much more than a mere game as it provides a meeting ground for the inhabitants and gives a glimpse of the society whose chief pre-occupation is gossip.

It gives a veritable picture of the inhabitants of King’s Abbot. The game is like the murder mystery where players are suspects in the murder who try to hide their cards. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

As in the card-game, all the concealments in the murder mystery eventually come to light.

This analogy between the game and the murder mystery also gives an insight into Sheppard’s mind by the very way he plays the game.

Sheppard remains quiet throughout the game and reveals nothing of his own thoughts while faithfully shedding light on everyone else.

As the players gossip to entertain and outwit one another, Sheppard deftly hides his hand all along and cleverly practices the art of concealment.

Sheppard’s way of playing of the game is similar to the way he constructs his narrative.

It shows us a reflection of his psyche where he conceals the truth simply by omitting its mention, by being reticent and keeping himself in the background to stay unnoticed.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Q. 4. Discuss Science Fiction as a literary genre.

Ans. Science fiction enables a fantastical elaboration of science or fictional narrative about science and its impact on society.

What Russ and Luckhurst write about science fiction, we can say that science fiction demands a different reading than say, the type of reading required by realist literatures.

Critics, like Norman Spinrad argue that science fiction is something Suspects, Red Herrings and the Body of EvidenceRed herrings are false trails and misleading clues. They throw the investigation off track.

In M.R.A., there are several red herrings in the form of incidents and sub-plots. Red herrings also make the plot both complicated.

The main red herring is the narrator, who diverts the reader’s attention to other suspects. He assists the detective and the readers never suspect him.

In this novel, every character has the opportunity and motive to kill Ackroyd and falls within the ambit of suspicion. Each suspect has something to hide and has a vested interest in lying. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Everyone is shown to harbour a secret and the readers are made to suspect everyone.

A major red herring is that all evidence squarely points towards his adopted son Ralph Paton, who, everyone testifies, had a strained relationship with his stepfather and was staying separately at Three Boars inn.

Initially, he is which is marketed and published as science fiction. So, science fiction for them is a literature that most readers claim to understand by the covers of the text itself with its glossy designs of aliens, spaceships and robots.

For Brian Aldiss, science fiction “Is a search for the definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge.”

For Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction is a “modern myth”, while Fredric Jameson terms it as “a representation of the future” and Robert Scholes and Eric Rabkin terms science fiction as “modern conscience.” IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Critics like Darko Suvin (1979), Carl D. Malmgren (1991) and Adam Roberts (2006) argue that the term science fiction itself is contradictory, as it is built using an oxymoron ‘science’ and ‘fiction’.

Initially, science fiction was considered as an instance of fantastic literature. Tzvetan Todorov defines the fantastic through three modes – the Marvellous, the Uncanny and the Fantastic.

He says, the fantastic is “An integral part of reality-but then this reality is controlled by laws unknown to us.

The fantastic is that hesitation experienced by a person who knows only the laws of nature, confronting an apparently supernatural event”.

Rosemary Jackson says fantasy “as the inside, or underside, of realism, opposing the novel’s closed, monological forms with open, dialogical structures”.

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. identifies this “oxymoronic fusion of the rational and marvellous” as that which enables science fiction “to challenge received notions of reality-sometimes seriously, sometimes playfully”.

Suvin’s explanation of science fiction as “cognitive estrangement” allows a critical examination of the familiar, everyday reality by looking at it through the lens of defamiliarisation.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Farah Mendlesohn says, science fiction texts are less a “genre” and more a “mode” of writing. Science fiction borrows from any available genres like romances, horror, mystery and thrillers.

John Reider argues for an accretion of repetitions, echoes, imitations, allusions, identifications and distinctions which have different meanings in terms of its socio-historical context.

Sherryl Vint believes that science fiction is always actively being made from hetero-geneous materials and larger questions of market, cultural politics and aesthetics. Carl Freedman asserts science fiction explains critical theory.

Freedman’s analysis of SF and dialectical thinking as accounts of each other allowed it to traverse beyond the rigid generic boundaries as formulated by Suvin.

Andy Sawyer and Peter Wright say, science fictions’ speculative nature invites a comparative speculative response. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

They say it requires engagement with thought experiments that confront and often overturn passive acceptance of contemporary conditions.

It has the capacity to stimulate, unsettle and provoke the reader into an intellectual response.

Q. 5. Does the language of cinema convey meaning discuss with reference to Vishal Bharadwaj’s The Blue Umbrella.

Ans. In written language, we use letters, words, sentences and paragraphs to convey a narrative. In Cinema, the film maker uses shots, shot sequences, scenes and dramatic sequences to tell the story.

The language of cinema starts with the shot. In film and video, a shot is a series of still image frames that runs for an uninterrupted period of time.

Like a letter in written language, the shot is the smallest piece of visual language. However, a shot is closer to a word because it communicates much more than a single letter can.IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

Depending on its elements, a shot can tell the entire story or just a tiny piece. These elements include the shot’s duration, camera angle and movement, sound, lighting and all the visual design of the production.

If an actor or actors are in the shot, their physical performance and emotions can also communicate more than dialogue.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Ruskin Bond’s novella, The Blue Umbrella, is set in a village in Chamba.

It opens with an extreme wide shot followed by the camera panning to show snow covered mountains, snowfall and in the middle of it all, a little girl whose face is hidden by a blue umbrella.

Through a wide shot, the girl is seen through a leafless tree, while she is twirling her umbrella. IGNOU BEGC 106 Solved Free Assignment

The next scene shows the Khatri tea stall where Nand Kishore is listening to a self-help lecture about becoming a millionaire like Bill Gates.

Bhardwaj uses songs to show the serene and splendid mountains and the simplicity of the villagers.

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