IGNOU BEGC 114 Solved Free Assignment
BEGC 114 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. What do you broadly understand by South African Literature? Is it different from African Literature?
Ans. The body of writings created in the Republic of South Africa, both in Afrikaans and English, is referred to as South African literature.
It includes collection of works and narratives that have been orally passed and preserved in the southernmost nation on the African continent.
The larger category of African Literature is used to study the literatures from other African countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.
African literature is either oral or written literature produced in the continent of Africa and its related languages. African literature that predates colonisation, dates back at least to the fourth century AD.
The Kebra Negast, or “Book of Kings”, is the most well-known. The slave tale, which is frequently published in English or French for western audiences, is a recurring motif during the colonial period.
‘Things Fall Apart’, by Chinua Achebe, was one of the first works of African literature to win wide-ranging international recognition.
It was released in 1958. Liberation and independence are themes that are increasingly present in late colonial African literature.
Post-colonial literature has expanded in diversity, with some authors using their native tongues once more.
The conflict between the past and the present, between tradition and modernisation, between the self and the community and between politics and development, are common themes.
In general, female authors are now much more well-represented in African literature than they were before the continent gained its independence.
The emergence of digital reading and publishing platforms like OkadaBooks can be attributed to the internet, which has also altered the landscape of African literature.
Through their interactions, discourses and conflicts, the four communities of Anglo-Afrikaner, Indian, Nguni-Sotho and Khoisan create the diversified South African social milieu.
The Boers or early Dutch colonists make up the majority of the Afrikaner population. The Transvaal and Orange Free State were the home of the Dutch, German and Huguenot settlers known as the Boers.
The Anglo-Afrikaner, which combines white, tenuously creolised Afrikaners and the British, united (after the South African War of 1899-1902) against the black or non-white South Africans, is the prevailing fusion of two communities with different histories of colonisation.
They had a good understanding of market dynamics and were knowledgeable about industrial production and maritime navigation.
The Anglo-Afrikaner community has been around since the 17th century, hence its inception and subsequent existence are not particularly old.
The former British colony of India’s Indian community, mostly made up of people from the working class and semi-working class, as-well-as people from the commercial class, was introduced in the 19th century.
In terms of assimilation and subsequent existence, the Indian population is very recent; it first came in Natal after 1860.
The Nguni-Sotho people, who all speak Bantu languages and have a history of iron production, include the Nguni, Sotho (or Suthu or Suto) and Tswana.
A labyrinth of South African literary forms and texts that depict the complex nature of regular inter-community exchanges in South Africa, ranging from brutality and ethnic conflict to the expression of love and intimate bonding, result from the fusion of these traditions as a result of social and literary creolisation from the pre-colonial period, up to the present.
In addition to these communities based on ethnicity and indigeneity, there are super communities composed of homosexuals, queers, cis- gendered straight women, as well as political and religious organisations.
Worries and experiences of these super-communities’ members have sparked a number of important literary trends.
Q. 2. What are the major issues generally discussed in the postcolonial short story?
Ans. Some of the main issues addressed in the post-colonial short story include challenging colonial authority, challenging patriarchal authority, resolving complications and tensions brought on by colonial rule, western greed in grabbing land, extensive mining, exploiting forest produce, grabbing raw farm produce, exploiting land resources and worst of all, engaging in human trafficking.
Numerous stories have been written about how white people in the Caribbean enslaved males from local tribes and used them for harsh physical torture and inhumane treatment.
The stories written from the perspective of the oppressed used their physical and psychological suffering, their wish to return to their own place, their hatred and enmity towards their white rulers, as well as their successful and futile attempts to break free, as their backdrop.
Before white people arrived in these areas, the aborigines lived in a wonderfully harmonious society with its own set of laws, rituals, customs, family structures, power dynamics, celebration occasions and celebration methods that were distinct from those of the white people.
The white people attempted to replace their way of life with their own and saw their way of life as being less civilised.
Strong opposition to this intolerance and false sense of superiority led to animosity and violent conflicts.
In his 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth, French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon examined the dehumanising effects of colonialism on the person and the region and talked about the consequences of creating a movement for the process of decolonising the person’s psyche and the country.
It is established through a criticism of nationalism and imperialism that the process of decolonising involved just as much violence as the act of colonisation. Negotiated colonisation and decolonisation are nevertheless facts of the real world.
These actual events, along with numerous more comparable sagas, served as fertile ground for the post-colonial tale, regardless of whether it was largely based on fact or fiction.
The so-called “civilised” and the “savage” underwent transformations during the process and the “new man” who cleared the way for the creation of a global village emerged.
A postcolonial narrative is one in which a man who has been freed from colonial rule, forges his own path by coming to terms with and rebuilding himself.
The coloniser comes to the revelation that the colonised, dehumanised “thing” is just as evolved and human as the coloniser himself in this story.
Decolonisation sparked a desire to trace one’s roots through the memory passages of ancestry, history and oral traditions in order to situate oneself and one’s community in pre-colonial times.
A vast body of literary riches resulted from this enquiry. Regardless of whether post-colonial writers embraced nostalgia for the past or made the present, the only point of reference, they all created stories centred on the fight for freedom, their rich and diverse indigenous cultures, a utopia of equality, their belief in human dignity and ambivalent feelings of hope and despair.
Thus, the post-colonial story’s journey begins in the pre-colonial era, continues through the colonial era, accompanies the postcolonial present and strives to conclude in a globalised future.
By undermining people’s belief in their religion, social and local laws, traditional medicines and therapeutic modalities, daily routine and education above all else, the indigenous framework was relentlessly undermined.
For individuals who chose to reject the aforementioned in favour of embracing a whites-centric perspective of the world, a system of awarding titles, advantageous jobs, greater social status and participation in administration was put in place.
Making English a required subject in schools destroyed analytical and critical thinking, encouraged memorisation, stifled curiosity, made speaking awkward and fostered a slave mentality.
It made a whole generation of so-called educated people into submissive clerks and yes men.
The mother language was given a secondary role because the educational setting at the schools was artificial and isolated from the family milieu.
Later, post-colonial authors addressed these issues in various articles and short tales. In schools, an environment of envy and unhealthy competitiveness that pitted the kids against one another was encouraged.
The spirit of cooperation and solidarity was gradually destroyed, and betrayal of their own comrades was rewarded with a sense of accomplishment.
The missionary schools came up with numerous strategies to make sure that no one spoke the local tongue. Children were given rewards for doing well in English class and were disciplined for speaking in their mother tongue.
The language-neutral traits of mathematical prowess and scientific curiosity in children were purposely overlooked.
The colonial policies struck the natives’ core beliefs, values and sense of self-worth, as well as their self-assurance and sense of national pride. The post-colonial short tale arose from this nation’s and self’s uneasy feeling of self.
Q. 3. Write a critical note on the language of the postcolonial literature.
Ans. A new political equation was created as a result of colonialism and stories centred on the new connection.
The literature that is truly native in its sensibility, characterisation and themes evolved to be written originally in English as English eventually became the language of the educated.
Following the liberation of the former slave nations from the burden of European domination, a rise in nationalistic sentiment encouraged the creation of literature that was first written in the original tongue before being translated into English.
Some authors converted their own original writings from their native tongue into English.
It is ironic that some authors chose to express in their writings the painful experiences of native peoples’ subjugation, loss of land and land rights, assault on culture, repeal and replacement of old political laws, widespread religious conversions and oppression of various kinds by European or, primarily, English rulers, only in the oppressors’ language, i.e., English.
The type of English spoken and used in one location differs from that used in the other, which is an interesting observation given that one region’s literature is distinct from that of another.
Former colonies no longer use British English as the de facto language; instead, they use their own version of the language.
There are now numerous variants of English spoken around the world, including American English, Indian English, Jamaican English and Kenyan English. Each of these regional dialects has its own distinctive characteristics.
In Caliban’s Voice, Bill Ashcroft, writes:
“The unshakeable link between ‘our language and ‘us’ has made language not only the most emotional site for cultural identity but also one of the most critical techniques of colonisation and of the subsequent transformation of colonial influence by post-colonised societies…
it is incontestable that language is the mode of a constant and pervasive extension of cultural dominance-through ideas, attitudes, history and ways of seeing-that is central to imperial hegemony…
This book pivots on a moment in Shakespeare’s The Tempest which has become the very symbol of the impact of a colonial language. When Caliban says to Miranda and Prospero:
You taught me language, and my profit on’t
For learning me your language
he gives voice to an issue that lies at the centre of post-colonial studies.”
Ashcroft further writes: “Most of the battles fought over language in post-colonial theory, stem from a confusion between language as a communicative tool and language as a cultural symbol.”
The same analogy was also brought out in 1971 by the Cuban poet Roberto Fernandez Retamar, one of the most distinguished Latin American intellectuals of the 20th century who stated: “Our symbol is not Ariel but Caliban…I know no other metaphor more expressive of our cultural situation, of our reality.”
Q. 4. Attempt a critical note on Postcolonial poetry.
Ans. There are several stains left by colonialism in the post-colonial settings. Poems include detailed information that can achieve a similar goal via the use of imagery and metaphor, much as fiction and other literary works of a similar nature can do with the complexity and accumulation of actual life. It’s crucial to comprehend the terminology being utilised.
The poetic ardour evolved as the social fabric’s structural elements did. After the conquerors fled, a “new world” emerged.
The “new world” languages were first disassembled from the leftovers and then reformulated to make them suitable for and practical for the post-colonial phase’s load.
Books on post-colonial poetic voice are scarce. Any available poetry is filled with nationalistic overtones that discuss the history, politics and sociology of the colonists.
The first generation of the post-colonial era was forced to express themselves poetically in the foreign language of English.
The colonised population was forced to use the coloniser’s language and they had no choice, but to do so. As time has gone on, the language has changed and been rewritten to better suit the post-colonial subjectivity.
The post-colonial poet struggled to find a clear place to put their sense of connection to their own original territory and its population, as well as the constantly changing, rapidly modernising world in the age of globalisation.
They had to grapple with the colonial past and neo-colonial present. It cannot be disputed that the post-colonial poet finds himself or herself on the verge of two different worlds.
The two types of culture are imposed culture and innate culture. And in such situations, poets like Pablo Neruda, Derek Walcott and David Malouf to name a few, have such ferocious voices.
In his poems, Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) strove to distinguish Latin America from Spain. Born Neftal Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, he passed away in Santiago on September 23, 1973.
Neruda was born in Parral, Chile, on July 12, 1904. He was a politician, diplomat and poet from Chile, who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was possibly the most significant poet from Latin America in the 20th century.
He’s referred to as the Pablo Picasso of poetry. Neruda was the child of Rosa Basoalto and José del Carmen Reyes, a railroad worker.
His mother passed away at a young age and the family went to Temuco, a small Chilean town further south, where his father remarried.
Neruda started writing poetry at the young age of 10 but his father never supported him in doing so. For this reason, it’s likely that the young poet started publishing under the alias Pablo Neruda.
He enrolled in the Temuco Boys’ School in 1910 and graduated from there in 1920. He was a very introverted man who read voraciously.
The good news is that Gabriela Mistral, the principal of the Temuco Girls School and a talented poet who would eventually win the Nobel Prize, gave him a lot of encouragement. His life was quite difficult.
Despite writing numerous poems, he was still unable to support himself with them. He started writing for several newspapers and other publications in an effort to make ends meet.
The breadth and variety of Neruda’s corpus of work make it impossible to categorise or easily sum up.
There were four main axes in which it evolved. His love poetry is sensitive, sad, sensual and passionate, as shown in the juvenile Twenty Love Poems and the mature Los versos del Capitán (1952; The Captain’s Verses).
Loneliness and sadness submerge the author in a subterranean world of dark, demonic forces in “material” poetry like Residencia en la tierra.
Canto general, a reinterpretation of Latin America’s past and present, as well as the fight for freedom by its enslaved and impoverished masses, is the best example of his epic poetry.
The poetry of Neruda’s common, daily things, animals and plants, such as those in Odaselementales, is the last category.
In 1936, under his administration, the Spanish Civil War began. Another setback occurred on his poetic voyage.
He even got involved in politics in his own nation but he had to worry about being expelled because he disagreed with the ideology of the ruling dictatorship.
He was actively mediating between oppression that was colonial and neo-colonial. It is very admirable the poetic space he made in his native speech.
Because of the consistency of style and intent in his writing, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971.
The full name of West Indian poet and dramatist Derek Walcott was Derek Alton Walcott. He was born on January 23, 1930, in Saint Lucia and passed away on March 17, 2017, in Cap Estate.
With the publication of In a Green Night: Poems 1948- 1960, Walcott became best recognised for his poetry (1962). In honouring the natural beauty of the Caribbean region, this volume is typical of his early poetry.
The verse in Walcott’s Selected Poems (1964), The Castaway (1965) and The Gulf (1969) is similarly lush in style and incantatory in mood as he expresses his feelings of personal isolation as he is caught between his European cultural orientation and the black folk cultures of his native Caribbean life.
Another Life (1973) is a book-length autobiographical poem. In Sea Grapes (1976) and The Star-Apple Kingdom (1979), Walcott uses a more economical style to examine the deep-cultural divisions of language and race in the Caribbean.
The Fortunate Traveller (1981) and Midsummer (1984) explore his own situation as a black writer in America, who has become increasingly estranged from his Caribbean homeland.
In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in recognition of his unceasing efforts to write poetry that would foster understanding in his multi-cultural country.
Particularly in Walcott’s poems, language is a significant tool for expressing Caribbean identity. The influence of colonisation can be seen in the multiculturalism, linguistic diversity and racial diversity of Saint Lucian society.
Prior to being given to the UK in 1814, the island was repeatedly divided between France and England.
Standard English, English Creole and French Creole are the three languages spoken in Saint Lucia as a result of these changes in the colonial authority.
In his poetry, Walcott uses these three languages to illustrate the benefits and depth of cultural diversity. He believed that invaders had completely altered the supposed country of the ancestors.
In Walcott’s writing, memory and imagination are used extensively. Walcott always had an inner conflict within him as he could not take sides, since his grandfathers from both sides were white, while his grandmothers from both sides were black.
an Australian poet and novelist of Lebanese and English descent whose work reflects his ethnic background as well as his childhood and youth spent in Queensland. Malouf received a B.A. with honours from the University of Queensland in 1954.
He lived and worked in Europe from 1959 to 1968, then taught English at the University of Sydney until 1977. After 1977, he became a full- time writer, dividing his time between Australia and Italy.
David Malouf’s full name is David George Joseph Malouf, (born March 20, 1934, Brisbane, Australia).
He Malouf’s volumes of poetry include Bicycle and Other Poems (1970); also published as The Year of the Foxes and Other Poems, Neighbours in a Thicket (1974), Wild Lemons (1980), First Things Last (1980), Typewriter Music (2007), and Earth Hour (2014).
Malouf even authored several plays and novels, which were significant of the ages.
His first collection of poems to be published is Malouf’s Interiors. Malouf provides a nuanced critique of post-colonial Australia through his portrayal of interior spaces.
In reality, memories are thought to be stored in the interiors. As a result, they are strongly related to “the enculturation of a topic” into the linguistic order and consequently, the social order.
Because of this, the connections to things outside of this order are those times when the interior space is compromised.
The interior spaces present two different modes of existing in Australia: one that is decolonial, if only in reference to the white subject and one that embodies the post-colonial mindset (in the sense of internalised colonial frameworks).
The first is mirrored in the interiors as places of recollection, particularly the cultural artefacts and memories that were brought over from England.
These form the cornerstone of suburban life and engagement with the Australian environment. ‘The Crab Feast’ and “First Things Last” stand out for how they examine awareness itself.
They provide a method for dramatising the act of “being aware.” In “First Things Last”, Malouf depicts a hospital surgery. Under the impact of anaesthetic, the patient loses consciousness before gradually regaining it.
The entire process is seen as a metaphor for the structure of the mind, as well as for how the mind acquires knowledge and develops a sense of value.
Malouf shows empathy and imagination in presenting this state of loss and recovery. Senses and judgement disappear, only then to recreate themselves awkwardly after the event.
The concluding poem in the sequence delivers a startling, challenging effect:
Laying the small bones out
in rows for the moon
to suck. We call this Living
from One Day to the Next.
apply but can be broken.
Nobody wins. (First Things Last 39-40)
This explanation on the origins of moral and social ideals and how society as a whole comes to recognise and uphold them is clever.
Malouf contrasts small images from dreams or newspaper articles with massive cliches or proverbs in these last stanzas.
The implication is that this is how society falls over its ideals. Here, there is a rare and oddly dignified form of sarcasm and even comedy.
The wit in the phrase “First Things Last” has been interpreted in a number of ways. It implies that we either live in unfinished times or, more likely, in innocent times. Malouf takes the ambiguous phrase in the last line (above) seriously.
Styles, players and regulations are actual, yet they are also relative and temporary. They are breakable. Social agreements change throughout time.
No one triumphs. Here, societal order and how it develops are respected with calm and stoicism. It is a wisdom that slowly emerges through Malouf’s turbulent descent into the unconscious.
Australian landscapes gave form to Malouf’s post-colonial narratives. The post-colonial conundrum and the remnants of indigenous heritage found magnificent expression as follows:
Here the sheer edge
Of a continent dry weed Clutches, grey gulls turn From the sea and gather
The furthest promontory
And exit sheer fall. (‘Sheer Edge’)
The majority of his poetry are reflections of how the aboriginal population was treated by the European settlers.
David Malouf, a post-colonial writer, illustrated how colonisation affects people and how people feel about their sense of national identity in previously colonised areas.
Q. 5. What do you understand by the term magical realism? Discuss the magical realism in the poetry of Pablo Neruda.
Ans. A challenging literary genre, known as magical realism challenges conventional reality by portraying the extraordinary and magical elements as normal or banal and the ordinary as noteworthy because it produces a different reality from what we currently perceive.
This form is sometimes viewed as a genre of political subversion because so many authors have used it as a weapon against political regimes.
In his article “On the Marvellous Real in Spanish America”, Cuban author Alejo Carpentier introduced the concept of “lo real maravilloso”, or “the glorious real.”
It is often referred to as “fantastic realism” or “marvellous realism”. He asserted that the dramatic history and topography of Latin America were “amazing” to the rest of the globe.
However, critic Angel Flores used the term “magical realism” in 1955 to describe works by Latin American authors who “transformed the banal and the daily into the amazing and the surreal.”
Around the world, magical realism is currently in vogue. However, magic realism gained considerably, more popularity as a literary trend after Miguel Angel Asturias was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Another influential book is ‘Augusto Roa Bastos’ Yo, el supremo, published in 1974. “Love in the Time of Cholera” was written by Garca Márquez, who also received the Nobel Prize in 1982.
Other important writers of this era included the Chilean José Donoso, the Guatemalan Augusto Monterroso and the Cuban Guillermo Cabrera Infante.
“The modern age” is the period that comes after. It is often referred to as “the post-Boom phase”, since writers had started to feel the strain of the Boom’s success.
The typical caricature of Latin American literature was limited to magical realism. Irony, humour and popular genres are typically preferred in the writing produced during this time.
Some authors are still succeeding in the Boom era, though. “Como agua para chocolate” by Laura Esquivel, released in 1989, is one such book.
It employs a pastiche of magical realism. The writing of the present day is varied. Authors who have recently won appreciation on a global scale include Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, Diamela Eltit, Giannina Braschi, Luisa Valenzuela and many others.
The testimonio genre has become fairly popular since Rigoberta Menchu, a feminist and human rights defender for the indigenous people of Guetamala, gained international acclaim.
Some contemporary poets from Latin America that are well recognised, include Ernesto Cardenal, Carmen Ollé and Nicanor Parra.
Known as the “Picasso of poetry” for his inclination to experiment and frequently change his poetic style, Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda was regarded as a genius. He was born in the town of Parral on July 12, 1904.
Neftali Ricardo Reyes, his original name, was changed to Pablo Neruda. Later, he also utilised the moniker as his own name.
Neruda’s poetry dominated Spanish-American literature between the 1920s and the 1970s, acting as a crucial bridge between the surrealist movement and 20th-century magic realism.
In his lifetime, he is acknowledged as the finest poet to have written in Spanish. Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971. His poems have been translated into other languages.
Neruda was born and raised in Temuco, where he also attended school. It is known that his father worked for the railway and that his mother was a teacher. Neruda’s parents died, when he was still very young.
Gabriela Mistral, Neruda’s English teacher, encouraged him to write poetry. Neruda was brought up by his stepmother.
Mistral, his mentor and a past recipient of the Nobel Prize, recommended several books for him to read. Early in the 1920s, he travelled to Santiago, Chile, to pursue his studies.
He published some of his first poetry in the student newspaper Claridad and contributed some of his first essays to the daily “La Maana” because he was a cautious young man.
Under a pen name, he began contributing articles to the literary journal “Selva Austral” in 1920.
He greatly admired Czechoslovak poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891). He took on his name in honour of him. He published his first book, “Crepusculario”, in 1923.
His best-known work, “Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada”, was published the following year (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair).
In his essay “Pablo Neruda: Overview”, Renéde Costa notes that this composition was regarded as overtly titillating when it was first published.
It drew criticism for being incredibly sensual and departing from the expected politeness of Hispanic lyricism.
Neruda’s second phase, in which he established himself as a poet diplomat, lasted from 1927 to 1935. During this period, he received a number of honorary consulships from the government.
He travelled to countries like Burma, Ceylon, Java, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Madrid throughout the ensuing years.
His visits across these countries had a lasting impression on Neruda. In 1934, Neruda was appointed the Chilean consul in Barcelona, Spain.
Nevertheless, he was soon transferred to Madrid, where he met Fedrico Garca Lorca and grew close to him. Garca Lorca and Neruda later developed a strong friendship. Lorca was a fervent supporter of Neruda’s poetry.
Around this time, Neruda started to become known as a popular poet and strengthened his communist views. He ran into Rafael Alberti, Meguel Harnandez and Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo, while travelling.
His life was significantly affected by the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, which was a military coup sponsored by conservative forces against the Republican government in Spain.
He was also motivated to join the Republican Movement by Garca Lorca’s execution. In this time period, he wrote poetry that is socially and politically aware. In 1937, he returned to Chile.
He then began to actively participate in politics in his country. He also read poems and gave countless speeches. He supported the new center-left government in Chile, as well as the Spanish Republicans.
He arrived in Mexico in 1940 to take the position of Chile’s general consul. He ran into Rafael Alberti, Meguel Harnandez and Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo, while travelling.
His life was significantly affected by the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, which was a military coup sponsored by conservative forces against the Republican government in Spain.
He was also motivated to join the Republican Movement by Garca Lorca’s execution.
In this time period, he wrote poetry that is socially and politically aware. In 1937, he returned to Chile.
He then began to actively participate in politics in his country. He also read poems and gave countless speeches.
He supported the new center-left government in Chile, as well as the Spanish Republicans. He arrived in Mexico in 1940 to take the position of Chile’s general consul.
Neruda’s acts led to his expulsion from the senate and he was punished for them. He was attacked and exiled as a result.
When he was banished, he visited Mexico, Poland, the Soviet Union and Hungary. It is also claimed that he met Matilde Urrutia, a Chilean woman, whom he later married. By 1952, Chile’s political situation had changed for the better, enabling Neruda to return.
“Elemental Odes” was released in 1954, as a result of his prolific writing during this latter year of his life, which was marked by international praise and personal fulfilment.
These straightforwardly worded poems, hilariously capture the slightest details of everyday objects. Between 1958 and 1973, he produced and released about 20 books.
Among his works of the last few years are Cien sonetos de amor (1959), Memorial de Isla Negra, Arte de pajáros (1966), La Barcarola (1967), the play Fulgory muerte de Joaquin Murieta (1967), Las manos del día (1968), Fin del mundo (1969), Las piedras del cielo (1970) and La espada encendida.
Neruda spent 1972-1973 on a bed after receiving a cancer diagnosis in 1970. In 1971, he received the Literature Nobel Prize.
He passed away in September 1973. When hundreds of mourning Chileans spontaneously, flooded the streets to attend his funeral, it erupted into a public protest against the dictatorship in Chile.