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BEGE 141


IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024

section A

Q. 1. Image and symbol as figures of speech.

Ans. Image: An image is a visual picture evoked by the use of either a word or phrase. It is used to make descriptive writing more effective.

An image refers to the sense of taste, smell, touch and hearing, besides seeing. An image is usually written in the form of a simile or metaphor. For example:
There is a garden in her face,
Where roses and white lilies grow.

Symbol: A symbol is something that stands for something else. A dove is a symbol of peace. It is a concrete expression of an abstract concept such as peace.
A literary symbol usually has a range of meanings.

Example: In Bleak House, the novel by Charles Dickens, we have ‘Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, fog down the river-“,”
Fog, here, is the symbol of confusion, obscurity and the endless delays caused by outdated legal practices. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Image: An image is a visual picture evoked by the use of either a word or phrase. It is used to make descriptive writing more effective.

An image refers to the sense of taste, smell, touch and hearing, besides seeing. An image is usually written in the form of a simile or metaphor.

Symbol: A symbol is something that stands for something else. A dove is a symbol of peace. It is a concrete expression of an abstract concept such as peace.

Q. 2. Narrative Prose.

Ans. Narrative prose deals with what actually happens, that is, with events. However, this may not be true in every case, and may be an over simplification.

Complementary: Essentially, describing people and places and objects and narrating what happened to them are two related and complementary activities. Often writers do both in the course of the same sentence.

The real distinction between the two is one of focus, and focus can keep shifting from one to the other, according to the writer’s purpose and design.

If the writer aims at introducing us to an important character in a story, the author can attempt this introduction either in any one of these ways or by using a combination of several techniques.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Narrative Writing: The narrative is unlike the descriptive writing. The latter mainly concentrates on the scene, the presentation of objects, events, and situation.

On the contrary to it, narrative shifts the focus to what happens next, or what follows. In this way, a narrative presents a sequence of events. In fact, narrative is indispensable for a ‘story’.

Traits of Description: Description needs the following traits:

(i) A certain kind of sustained effort.
(ii) The ability to capture the essence of the arrested moment.
(iii) Ability to render it powerfully and evocatively.
(iv) Ability to recreate an incident or scene in all its vividness and immediacy.

Forms of Narration: Narration can take several forms:

(i) It can be slow or rapid in tempo.
(ii) It can be exciting and colourful, or matter-of-fact and solidly truthful.
(iii) It can be prejudiced, distorted or heightened to impress or mislead.
(iv) It can be purely objective as in most scientific and technical writing.
(v) It can be alive in the hands of highly imaginative scientists, scholars and historians.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment
(vi) Historians have also narrated historical events in such a way as if the past had been revived to benefit their readers.
(vii) Creative writers, scientists, scholars and autobiographers-everyone has to choose the appropriate narrative to suit his purposes.

Q. 3. Art and craft of diary writing.

Ans. The diary is form of autobiographical writing, a regularly kept record of the diarist’s activities and reflections.

The diary is also a valuable historical document of an individual life and gives the historian written evidence of the historical, social and political circumstances of a particular period.

Written primarily for the writer’s use alone, the diary has a frankness that is unlike writing done for publication. Its ancient lineage is indicated by the existence of the term in Latin, diarium, itself derived from dies (“day”).

Writers like Jonathan Swift and Samuel Pepys have used the diary form not only to comment upon the lives, but also as a means of describing and critically analyzing the society, culture and politics of their times.

Anne Frank’s Diary is not a novel or a tale of the imagination. It is the diary kept by a young Jewish girl for the two years she was forced to remain in hiding by the Nazi persecution of the Jews of Europe. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Between June 1942 and August 1944, from Anne’s 13th birthday until shortly after her fifteenth birthday, Anne Frank recorded her feelings, her emotions, and her thoughts, as-well-as the events that happened to her, in the diary which her father had given her as a birthday present.

Together with her parents and her sister, Margot, the Van Daan family (consisting of a husband, a wife, and a son, Peter, two years older than Anne) and, later on, an elderly dentist named Mr. Düssel, Anne lived in a set of rooms at the top of an old warehouse in Amsterdam, Holland, concealed behind a hidden door and a bookcase.

During the day, when people worked in the office and in the warehouse below, Anne and the others had to keep very quiet, but at night they could move around more freely, though of course they could not turn on any lights nor show in any way that the house was inhabited.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The Diary is many things at one and the same time.

It is an amusing, enlightening, and often moving account of the process of adolescence, as Anne describes her thoughts and feelings about herself and the people around her, the world at large, and life in general.

It is an accurate record of the way a young girl grows up and matures, in the very special circumstances in which Anne found herself throughout the two years during which she was in hiding.

And it is also a vividly terrifying description of what it was like to be a Jew- and in hiding- at a time when the Nazis sought to kill all the Jews of Europe.

Above all, Anne was an ordinary girl, growing up, and eventually dying, but she was an ordinary girl growing up in extraordinary times.

She loved life and laughter, was interested in history and movie stars, Greek mythology, and cats, writing, and boys.

In the few entries which she wrote before the family went into hiding, we discover something of the world of a child growing up in Holland in 1942.

Anne went to school, had girl friends and boyfriends, went to parties and to ice-cream parlors, rode her bike, and chattered (an understatement) in class.

In fact, Anne chattered so much that, as a punishment for her talkativeness, she had to write several essays on the subject of “A Chatterbox.”

Much of this chatty quality of hers, however,spills over onto the pages of her diary, where we often feel as if she is a good friend who is confiding in us.

Although the world of that period is divided from us by more than mere years, Anne’s voice is very contemporary, and many of her thoughts and problems are very much like those of any youngster growing up both then and now.

Anne Frank did not survive the concentration camps to which she was sent after her little group was discovered. Of all the eight people who hid in the “Secret Annexe” in Amsterdam, only Anne’s father survived.

The pages of Anne’s diary, which the Nazis left scattered on the floor when they arrested the group in hiding, were kept by the two young women who had worked in the office and had faithfully supplied the little group with food and other provisions.

When Mr. Frank returned after the war, they gave him the pages of Anne’s diary, and he eventually published them. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

And so, although Anne died, as the Nazis had intended, her spirit lives on, through her Diary, stronger and clearer by far than any brute force or blind hatred.

It is a first person narrative which explains individual and personal experiences of the holocaust. As a writer and humanist, she is the spokesperson of an age. Her diary is a document of social, historical and literary expertise.

This diary can be read as a novel because iit sustains tension in the reader. She presented the transformation of a mental state from a child to an adult which is a universal and personal experience.

Her prose style has precision, confidence and tenseness. She has shown honesty in his description which made it a huge success in the whole world.

Anne portrays the people efficiently in psychological realism. She became shrewd and cruel in her character analysis due to her mood swings of adolescence.

It showcases the quality of Anne’s self-introspection. The reader puts himself/herself into the mind of a young girl under stress in unavoidable circumstances.

She was happy and positive, kept will power, courage and perseverance in presenting the truth. Her prose style shows wit, sensitivity, emotion, warmth and humanity.

She wrote everything under the constant threat of death. She has become immortal. It is considered a classic and has been translated into 31 languages including Bengali and Malayalam. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

It has been published in 31 countries and has sold more than one million copies in hardcover alone.

It has been adopted into many plays and movies. She wanted to live even after her death. It has come true through her diary.

Q. 4. What is autobiography?

Ans. It is written in prose which is a story of a person who writes it himself/herself. It is written in the later part of life. The events are written in sequel or random. But it is seen that some biographies are not written in the later age.

For example-Dom Moraes wrote his autobiography named My Son’s Father at the age of twenty two. An autobiography is a personal account.

The details of the individual like the individual’s personal experiences are made interesting irrespective of the status of the writer. It is mandatory to maintain the reader’s interest, curiosity and attention.

Writers make use of the first person pronoun. The reader should be sympathetic. The literary form should not be rigid or more of logical structure but it should be easy, flexible and thrilled. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

An autobiography cannot be judged in the same way as biography. There are two types of autobiographies. One is an informal autobiography which includes letters, journals and diaries.

These are a self-conscious form of revelation. They are pleasing and important. Formal autobiography is the recollection of life events. It is the first hand experience of an individual.

Informal Autobiography: Autobiography, like biography, manifests a wide variety of forms, beginning with the intimate writings made during a life that were not intended (or apparently not intended) for publication.

Whatever its form, however, autobiography has helped define a nation’s citizens and political ambitions. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The form is crucial to not only how an individual meets the challenge of stating “I am” but how a nation and a historical period do so.

Formal Autobiography: This category offers a special kind of biographical truth: a life, reshaped by recollection, with all of recollection’s conscious and unconscious omissions and distortions.

The novelist Graham Greene says that, for this reason, an autobiography is only “a sort of life” and uses the phrase as the title for his own autobiography (1971).

Any such work is a true picture of what, at one moment in a life, the subject wished or is impelled to reveal of that life. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

An event recorded in the autobiographer’s youthful journal is likely to be somewhat different from that same event recollected in later years.

Memory being plastic, the autobiographer regenerates materials as they are being used.

The advantage of possessing unique and private information, accessible to no researching biographer, is counterbalanced by the difficulty of establishing a stance that is neither overmodest nor aggressively self-assertive.

The historian Edward Gibbon declares, “I must be conscious that no one is so well qualified as myself to describe the service of my thoughts and actions.”

The 17th-century English poet Abraham Cowley provides a rejoinder: “It is a hard and nice subject for a man to write of himself; it grates his own heart to say anything of disparagement and the reader’s ears to hear anything of praise from him.”

Autobiography and Memoir: These are auto-biographies that usually emphasize what is remembered rather than who is remembering; the author, instead of recounting his life, deals with those experiences of his life, people, and events that he considers most significant. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

(The extreme contrast to memoirs is the spiritual autobiography, so concentrated on the life of the soul that the author’s outward life and its events remains a blur.

The artless res gestae, a chronology of events, occupies the middle ground.)


Q. 1. Justify the comment, “Be strong before people, only weep before God”, from the story ‘Mother’.

Ans. These words were the words of the mother in the story. It shows the strength to fight for something what is yours. It tells that one should not let other people see the weakness that resides in you.

She believed that once we start showing our weakness to other people they would start taking advantage of it. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Once people know that you are weak they would not let you live and will try to exploit you as much as possible and therefore if you do not want to be exploited you should pretend to be strong when we other people.

Therefore, one must not be weak in front of anyone except God. These words also show that she is an introvert who would not ask for help from others.

The character of mother is at the centre of the story. She had a neglected childhood. Her father did not look at her with approving eyes, mainly because she was a girl.

At the age of fifteen she became orphaned and had to live with her widowed aunt. Later she earned a diploma in nursing through her hard work and zeal to learn and read.

She valued literature and her past and had hard time getting herself mixed in the new land. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

After her marriage she had little solace, and being disappointed by her husband her life started to revolve around her children.

In spite of all her problems, poverty and tensions she wanted to give best to her children.

The story ‘Mother’ has been critically praised by many for its lucidity, fine sense of comedy and depth of feeling.

The story has been much anthologized. It has been included in ‘Oxford Book of Australian Short Story’ and also in ‘Contemporary Australian Short Story’.

The story tells us about an orphan girl, addressed as mother. We have no idea of her birth and name. The story has been told in first person narration by her son.

Throughout her life, she faced challenges, and the way she faced those challenges. The changes that these challenges made in her life andher attitude towards life have been documented in the story.

Even in her marriage she finds little comfort as her husband is a person who lives in moments and does not believe in saving for the future.

Therefore, he is not able to provide her with security and warmth that she longed for her whole life.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The story ‘Mother’ is actually a fictional account of the author’s own life. It shows how his mother worked hard for a better life.

During middle of 20th century, many of the Jew families left Europe for Australia and America because of persecution of Jews by Nazis.

But here the story is bit different. The mother and her family left their home for Australia for a better economic prospect, with a dream to live a better and richer life.

Not to be missed though, anti-Semitism also plays in the story, especially when the narrator tells us about the childhood of the mother.

He says: “During those early days mother rarely looked out into the streets, for since the great pogroms few children were ever to be seen aboard.

From the iron grill of the basement she saw the soles of the shoes of the passers-by and not very much more. She had never seen a tree, a flower or a bird.”

During her childhood she also faced a sense of discrimination, mainly because of she was girl. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The narrator says that her father, “looked with great disapproval on his offspring, who were all girls”, later her widowed aunt says, “If only you dear father of blessed memory had left you just tiny dowry it would have been such a help”.

Obviously the cause of disapproval from the both her father and aunt is dowry, a system which was prevalent in then Russia.

Through various suggestions the story provides a great insight into the society of that time. We learn that there was no emphasis on a girl’s education.

The only thing possible which could have been imagined then in Russia for a girl was to marry her.

Even at the age of fifteen the mother did not know how read or write. She got education only when someone took pity on a lonely girl.

But after that education became her passion and she started believing firmly that the only escape from the misery of her life is through books. And that is how she continued studying and acquired a nurse’s diploma.

Not happy in her married life, she centred her life on her children, whom she always wanted to give her best. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

But soon she realized that even in new land the life is difficult for the unprivileged, and what she hoped did not come true.

She would often set great aims for her children. She wished that the narrator and his sister should shine in medicine, literature, and music.

But her every attempt to fulfil this very aim is thwarted because of their not very good economic position.

The story is a vivid portrayal of the anxiety and tensions which a new immigrant has in the country he/she has just migrated.

Their dreams and aspirations and the obstacles that they face in achieving these is what the story tries to capture.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Looked from the narrator’s perspective it was easier for him and her sister to get acquainted with new land and call it their new home since they were young.

They could adjust to their new surroundings easily but for mother case entirely different.

Q. 2. What do you learn about the life of the English people in Burma from Orwell’s essay, ‘Shooting an Elephant”?

Ans. The Europeans were hated by the Burmese. If they saw a European lady in the bazaar, she would be humiliated.

They used to throw beetle juice on her skirt. Once an English man tripped by a Burmese on the play-ground and deliberately ignored by the umpire.

The police were teased whenever the Burmese thought they could do that with impunity. Orwell explained that the Buddhist monks were the most fanatic of all and never lost the chance to jeer at the Europeans.

The Burmese had anti- European feelings for the British. He was targeted as he was a policeman. The prisoners in the Burmese jails gave him an intolerable sense of guilt.

They were poor and under foreign domination. The children used to roam on the road were mostly naked. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

They were shooed away by an old lady with a stick in her hand. The houses of the Burmese were made up of palm leaves and they used to live in slums.

They were excited when they saw the rifle in the hands of the author. They brought knives and baskets for the elephant’s flesh even before it was dead.

This showed their poverty. They were quite helpless against the Europeans. They were ruled and commanded by the Europeans. The Burmese population had no weapons.

The appearance of many monks shows the poverty of the Burmese under British rule. Indian workers were the workers in Burma on the orders of the British.

It was because the Burmese were poor themselves which was undesirable. Secondly, they were not trusted by the natives and expected the immigrant Indian workers in Burma to be loyal to them. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The British hated both the Indians and the Burmese which shows that imperialism as an institution was dreadful.

His real name was Eric Arthur Blair and he was an English essayist, novelist, journalist and political satirist.

He was born on 23rd January, 1903 in Motihari, Bihar to Richard Blair. After completing his education he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma in 1922.

‘Shooting an Elephant’ is an essay in which he participated as a police officer in Burma. Orwell returned home in 1927 and resigned from his service in Burma.

After his savings ran out, he worked as a dishwasher in Paris which he described as his experience in Down and Out in Paris and London (1933).

He published A Clergyman’s Daughter, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, etc., his essays Inside the Whale, Critical Essays and Shooting an Elephant were remembered. He died of tuberculosis on 21st January, 1950.

Q. 3. What is the theme of the essay ‘On seeing England for the First Time’?

Ans. The first paragraph of the essay explain Kincaid’s views on England as seen from a map in school. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

According to him, the shape of England resembles a leg of mutton but immediately changed this view because she had been conditioned to think of England as a great land which must not be compared with the ordinary things like a leg of mutton.

England for her is a jewel which only English could wear. Antiguans view England as a holy land like Jerusalem.

They were slaves under Engalnd and were given minimum few rights. In the second paragraph it said that Antiguans had no power of their own.

As a child, the author came to know that whatever she used to have like shoes, hats, cereal, etc. were from England.

Kincaid feels frustrated by her plight. She feels that she has no identity of her own. They were forced to know about England and feel a sense of inferiority and dominance. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

She was not English and they were ‘nobodies’ and would become nothing. They had to follow the culture of England.

The children were taught only British history in the schools. The children heard the views on England’s nature and weather. The beauty of England was imaginative in the minds of children as they have seen nothing like that in Antigua.

They had to sing English hymns, had to bow before the flag of England and the British Queen and to British people whom they have never met.

At first Kincaid thought of England as poor. There is nothing which could appeal to her. She hated its food, weather, and its people.

She read about the white cliffs of Dover in the school that were not liked by her. She was not able to open with her views on England as they were colonised and were powerless to put up their views on English.

We strongly agree to the fact that Kincaid has presented a striking contrast between the English situation and Antiguan reality.

She begins the passage with recollections of her childhood memories and recalls how England was admired as “A special jewel” and it was from England that she got “sense of what was meaningful and what was meaningless”.

In fact, even her “source of myth and the source from which (she) got (her) sense of reality” were based in England. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

However, beneath all this praise for England, there are patches of unconformity. Patches like “though (England) looked like a leg of mutton, it could really not look like anything so familiar…because it was England.”

This demonstration of flawed circular reasoning represented the flawed ideas of islanders who worshipped England instead of scorning it.

She had seen how England had completely taken over the Antiguan lifestyle, culture and people and enslaved them.

She is so disgusted with their high-headedness that her hatred is evident in her sarcastic statement “England was a special jewel all right, and only special people got to wear it.”

She skillfully uses the technique of masking excoriation in praise and reflects the way England portrayed themselves as “good guys” in front of the entire world.

Whereas, in reality, they were cruel, exploited their colonies and imposed slavery on islanders and others. She had also gone through the humiliation of being treated several times as an ‘inferior race.’IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The notion that England is wonderful and Islanders are not ‘English’ thus, should be considered as ‘inferior manifest’ was something that she was not willing to accept.

She rebelled against the notion and bluntly reiterates “I had long ago been conquered…I didn’t know then that this statement was part of a process that would result in my erasure.”

Her statement is full of resentment because all that seemed to be so pleasant about England had been very tormenting for her and other islands and countries that were colonized and exploited by England.

Q. 4. Outline the portrait of Queen Victoria as seen in Strachey’s biography Queen Victoria.

Ans. She was shown as a young girl, vital, fresh and fixed to enjoy every moment of life. She was shown as a wayward young monarch and a woman who was deeply in love. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

She is a shrewd politician who understands the minds of the English public and rules over them.

She cannot offend their emotions. This may be the reason that she cannot allow Albert a role in the government of the country. She liked to dance through the night or read books.

She didn’t like to discuss serious topics. Lytton portrays her as an extraordinary person who gains a stature which earns her the love and reverence of her beloved subjects.

In her marriage she was the one who dominated the other. As a monarch she indulges her whims and fancies. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Albert used to make adjustments. She was living in her home country but Albert was an outsider so she had the special advantage. She had immense love for him. She could not come out of the death of Albert.

His technique shows that he presents external details and inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. The psychological aspect comes out from the facts at hand.

Albert’s predicament and his personal response coming out of the history was constructed by Lytton.

Lord M and the Baron controlled the Queen’s political and personal life and the prejudice that the English had against foreigners.

As Albert was a German prince and he was in tough conditions after his marriage to the English Queen. How it impacted Albert’s mind was beautifully and sensitively recreated by Lytton. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Lytton reconstructed the story of Albert where he locked himself in the room and the series of repetitive questions and answers took place.

He was not sure that this incident actually took place. He constructed the incident imaginatively.

He attempted to keep as close to authentic evidence as possible. Lytton portrayed the character of Albert where he highlights his relationship with the Queen.

He has constructed the political scenario of Victorian Britain. The text also presented the prejudice of the British people against foreigners and their interference.


Q. 1. What is the significance of the title ‘Misery’ in the story of the same name.

Ans. The word ‘Misery’ appears towards the latter half of the story five times and on a sixth occasion it is used as an adjective ‘miserable’. The word ‘misery’ in the title signifies the mood the story carries.

This word tells us about the self- centred, unresponsive and feelingless nature of human beings in this world.

The title ‘Misery’ represents the overwhelming grief of Iona Potapov over the loss of his son and his unfruitful attempts to share it with fellow travellers in his sledge.

The first part of the story explains that the old man’s grief had his continuous attempts to grab the attention of the riders but he failed to make them listen to his tales.

His emotions turned into misery which appears in the later parts of the story. Misery means a great intensity of suffering of the mind or body.

The sufferings mentioned in the story are within the heart of the old man. This kind of suffering does not have any cure unless it is shared or let out.

The old man does not have anybody to listen to his story as the riders do not lend their ears to him. He was suffering from inside which is increasing his loneliness.

So he is miserable in the story. He watches the crowd moving in all the directions but still he is alone. He has no company for so many people.

His misery is immense. Chekhov tells us a story of the main character, penurious Iona Potapov. He, as a sledge-driver, meets various types of people and spends most of his time with them. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

It may seem that Iona should not be lonely, as he is always surrounded with people. But when we read between the lines we can see the crying soul of Iona.

Iona does not have a wife, he just lost his son, and he is left with his horse and his soul is dancing with pain. Misery is preying on him from inside.

His passengers are insincere to themselves and to Iona; this makes his pain even worse. “Do you hear you old plague? I’ll make you smart. If one stands on ceremony with fellows like you one may as well walk.

Do you hear, you old dragon? Or don’t you care a hang what I say?”. “Misery” faces loneliness as its main problem and indirectly asks us to be better, sincere and understanding people.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The author shows some serious problems to his readers. “Misery” explains a significance of moral principles. This story is about people that are satisfied in their lives, and who feel they are above other people.

This story is about people who are not able to understand each other, and who do not know the significance of sympathy.

“And Iona turns round to tell them how his son died, but at that point the hunchback gives a faint sigh and announces that, thank God! they have arrived at last”.

It feels like it is difficult for other people to understand his grief, for those that never had this feeling before. Iona does not lose this faith and still tries to find someone who will listen to him. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

He is childlike when he tries to see support and sensibility spark in people’s eyes. Unfortunately, he bumps into a wall of incomprehension and indifference.

How often do we hear about indifference? We wonder in disgust, and we do not think it could be said about us. How often we forget about grievances we cause to our closest people.

Sometimes so little is needed: to listen, to smile or just to say an amiable word, but sometimes that is all we need.

It would not take too much effort for “Misery” characters to give just a little bit of kindness, gentleness and patience, so that Iona Potapoy would feel better. We all need to shy away from our indifference to make our lives brighter.

Anton Chekhov knows how to write simply about huge important things. That is what he did writing “Misery”. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

There Chekhov faces the biggest perennial problem of mankind – inner-communication, indifference for someone’s loss and grief.

The feeling of heaviness and melancholy stays in place while reading this short story. The main character of the story, Iona, is lost in a busy city, where everybody rushes without paying attention to someone who needs it most.

“The little mare munches, listens, and breathes on her master’s hands. Iona is carried away and tells her all about it”.

This fragment shows that Iona lost his faith in people, and he finds a warm heart that would understand his grief. Iona found a real friend his old mare, which always stays around.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Anton Chekhov is a great artist in words. He is able to convey his thoughts in this short story and to show a big picture of Iona’s life.

The author reveals a cruel atmosphere that surrounds Iona, “Big flakes of wet snow are whirling lazily about the street laps, which have just been lighted, and lying in a thin soft layer on roofs, horses’ backs, shoulders, caps”.

It is not just dusk and snow; it is a symbol of emptiness, hopelessness and apathy. It allows us to understand how small the human being is in this cruel universe.

Chekhov pictures the big city with heartless people, where inside the person could be alone. Four times Iona tried to start a conversation and all four times he tried to share his grief. He wants to talk about his loss about his sorrow.

He even states, “It would be even better to talk to women. Though they are silly creatures, they blubber at the first word”. No one was interested in his words.

Iona could not let his grief out so his sorrow was getting bigger. “His misery is immense, beyond all bounds. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

If Iona’s heart were to burst and his misery to flow out, it would flood the whole world, it seems, but yet it is not seen”.

Chekhov is like a psychologist. He shows how big the sorrow could be and how lonely a human could get. This theme is relevant for all of us.

We all rush through our lives without thinking of others. We rarely think that we all could get to a situation pictured in “Misery” by Anton Chekhov.

Q. 2. Outline the horrors of the Holocaust and the persecution of the Jews as seen from Anne Frank’s diary.

Ans. Anne Frank’s diary is an example of the diary form used for providing ideas, thoughts and words. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl in Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

She had written the trauma and agony faced of the Holocaust. The diary was gifted to her father at the age of 13 and she named it ‘Kitty’.

She notes her life events of two years which she spent in a Secret Annexe in Amsterdam to escape Nazi.

Anne died in a concentration camp after their hideout was discovered by the Gestapo in 1944. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Her diary was found in the annexe and was published by her father Otto Frank under the title The Diary of a Young Girl.

The Holocaust

The Holocaust was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, throughout Nazi-occupied territory Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds perished.

In particular, over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men.

Some scholars maintain that the definition of the Holocaust should also include the Nazis’ genocide of millions of people in other groups, including Romani (more commonly known in English by the exonym “Gypsies”), Sinti, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, homosexuals, people with disabilities, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other political and religious opponents, which occurred regardless of whether they were of German or non-German ethnic origin.

Using this definition, the total number of Holocaust victims is between 11 million and 17 million people.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The persecution and genocide were carried out in stages. Various legislations to remove the Jews from civil society, predominantly the Nuremberg Laws, were enacted in Nazi Germany years before the outbreak of World War II.

Concentration camps were established in which inmates were used as slave labour until they died of exhaustion or disease.

Where the Third Reich conquered new territory in eastern Europe, specialized units called Einsatzgruppen murdered Jews and political opponents in mass shootings.

The Third Reich required Jews and Romani to be confined in overcrowded ghettos before being transported by freight train to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, the majority of them were systematically killed in gas chambers.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Perhaps the most famous personal account of the Holocaust, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ was written in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between 1942 and 1944.

The Franks were a Jewish family originally from Germany, where Anne was born in 1929. Anne’s father, Otto, had come from a wealthy background, but his family’s fortune was lost after World War I.

Anne’s diary begins on her thirteenth birthday, June 12, 1942, and ends shortly after her fifteenth.

At the start of her diary, Anne describes fairly typical girlhood experiences, writing about her friendships with other girls, her crushes on boys, and her academic performance at school. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Because anti-Semitic laws forced Jews into separate schools, Anne and her older sister, Margot, attended the Jewish Lyceum in Amsterdam.

Anne’s early recollections of Jewish persecution

Anne matures considerably throughout the course of her diary entries, moving from detailed accounts of basic activities to deeper, more profound thoughts about humanity and her own personal nature.

She finds it difficult to understand why the Jews are being singled out and persecuted. Anne also confronts her own identity.

Though she considers herself to be German, her German citizenship has been revoked, and though she calls Holland her home, many of the Dutch have turned against the Jews.

Anne feels a tremendous solidarity with her aggrieved people, and yet at the same time she wants to be seen as an individual rather than a member of a persecuted group.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

During the two years recorded in her diary, Anne deals with confinement and deprivation, as-well-as the complicated and difficult issues of growing up in the brutal circumstances of the Holocaust.

Her diary describes a struggle to define herself within this climate of oppression. Anne’s diary ends without comment on August 1, 1944, the end of a seemingly normal day that leaves us with the expectation of seeing another entry on the next page.

However, the Frank family is betrayed to the Nazis and arrested on August 4, 1944. Anne’s diary, the observations of an imaginative, friendly, sometimes petty, and rather normal teenage girl, comes to an abrupt and silent end.

The family’s escape to the ‘Secret Annexe’

The Franks had moved to the Netherlands in the years leading up to World War II to escape persecution in Germany. After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the Franks were forced into hiding. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

With another family, the Van Daan, and an acquaintance, Mr. Dussel, they moved into a small secret annex above Otto Frank’s office where they had stockpiled food and supplies.

The employees from Otto’s firm helped hide the Franks and kept them supplied with food, medicine, and information about the outside world.

Anne’s relationship with her parents

Anne’s mother Edith Hollander was originally from Aachen, Germany, and she married Otto in 1925. Anne feels little closeness or sympathy with her mother, and the two have a very tumultuous relationship.

Anne thinks her mother is too sentimental and critical. Edith dies of hunger and exhaustion in the concentration camp at Auschwitz in January 1945.

Anne’s father Otto is practical and kind, and Anne feels a particular kinship to him. He was born on May 12, 1889, into a wealthy Frankfurt family, but the family’s international-banking business collapsed during the German economic depression that followed World War I. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

After the Nazis came to power in Germany, Otto moved to Amsterdam in 1933 to protect his family from persecution.

There he made a living selling chemical products and provisions until the family was forced into hiding in 1942. Otto is the only member of the family to survive the war, and he lives until 1980.

Anne thinks that Margot is pretty, smart, emotional, and everyone’s favourite. However, Anne and Margot do not form a close bond, and Margot mainly appears in the diary when she is the cause of jealousy or anger.

She dies of typhus in the concentration camp a few days before Anne does.

Anne’s relationship with others in the Secret Annexe

The father of the family that hides in the annex along with the Franks and who had worked with Otto Frank as an herbal specialist in Amsterdam.

Mr. Van Daan’s actual name is Hermann Van Pels, but Anne calls him Mr. Van Daan in the diary. According to Anne, he is intelligent, opinionated, pragmatic, and somewhat egotistical. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Anne initially describes Mrs. Van Daan as a friendly, teasing woman, but later calls her an instigator.

She is a fatalist and can be petty, egotistical, flirtatious, stingy, and disagreeable. Anne first sees Peter as obnoxious, lazy, and hypersensitive, but later they become close friends.

Peter is quiet, timid, honest, and sweet to Anne, but he does not share her strong convictions.

During their time in the annex, Anne and Peter develop a romantic attraction, which Mr. Frank discourages. Peter is Anne’s first kiss, and he is her one confidant and source of affection and attention in the annex.

Q. 3. Laurence was committed to the cause of nuclear disarmament. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

Ans. In ‘My Final Hour’ Laurence shows how gravely she as a human being was concerned about humanity and the sufferings of people.

During the last decade of her life, she had become highly involved in nuclear disarmament, social justice and environmental protection causes.

Her concern and commitment towards social causes is evidently seen in the essay where she states “I speak as a Christian, a women, a writer, a parent, a member of humanity and a sharer in life itself, a life I believe to be informed and infused with the holy spirit.”IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

She further shares the pain of Holocaust in Europe, when Nazis mercilessly murdered a great part of Jewish communities.

She satirically mocks the audacity of politicians who despite being aware of the consequences of ‘nuclear war and of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; still speak with sheer complacency of “Winning a nuclear war.”

In her speech she spoke about the poor condition of people living in Somaliland – who were dying of hunger and thirst.

Her commitment towards the social causes is further evident when she says that she is astonished at so much money being spent in the production of nuclear arms.

The money that is being used for such wrong reasons is sufficient to supply water to everyone on earth and eradicate malaria from the face of earth.

Towards the end of the speech she reiterates that every individual must affirm life and therefore, must take part in saving the world.

In the last decade of her life Laurence became involved in nuclear disarmament, social justice and environmental protection causes.

She became more conscious of problems existing in the world. During her time nuclear weapon was being made by every country. Entire world was in the race of acquiring nuclear weapon. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Ironically nuclear weapon is not for making once country safe but is a tool for mass destruction. Laurence considered it a grave problem, a threat.

She decided to stand against it. She gave speeches and lecture concerning these causes hoping to make people aware of it.

While still living in England Laurence established a summer home in southern Ontario, which she named Manawaka Cottage.

Her return to Canada became year-round in 1973 and she made her home in Lakefield, Ontario. In 1976, she began attending the Lakefield United Church.

The United church of Canada was thus both the Church of her youth and the church of her later years. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Although she had been comfortable with Unitarian belief (or lack of it) she did not feel in the Unitarian heritage the raw power of the image of crucifixion, which she thought expressed the suffering of humanity, and of women in particular.

Moreover, she sought an emotional continuity with “the church of my ancestors,” the Scottish Presbyterian Church (one of the components of the United Church in Canada).

The Unitarian Church in Canada and The United Church of Canada have similar positions on most social issues.

In one of Laurence’s final essays she wrote: “I want to proclaim my belief in the social gospel…(which) is no easier now than it ever was.”

In Western Canada two of the best known leaders of the social gospel movement were Tommy Douglas (Presbyterian/United Church of Canada) and William Irvine (Unitarian), both of whom were clergy who left their pulpits in order to serve in the Canadian Parliament.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The Social Gospel movement supported progressive causes and labour. Important for Laurence was its intermingling of the sacred and the secular, for she saw the handiwork of God in all activities including the ongoing struggle for dignity and justice for all people.

Laurence’s last novel includes the Christ figure, Christie Logan, who takes care of the town dump and proclaims: “by their garbage shall ye know them.”

On another occasion he reflects: “Some of them, because I take off the muck for them, they think I’m muck. Well, I am muck, but so are they.

Not a father’s son, not a man born of woman who is not muck in some part of his immortal soul.”IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Q. 4. Comment on the distinctive style of Nehru’s letter-writing as seen in ‘The Quest of Man’.

Ans. The first thing to note in this letter is its simple and elegant style which makes anyone who reads it as much an addressee as Indira, to who the letter was intended.

The letter seems to be written in such a way as if both the reader and the writer are conversing with each other.

The letter uses a direct form of address in order to make it appear that writer is directly addressing the reader.

We say that the prose style of this letter is conversational, personal, informal and subjective.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

Though the style of the letter is simple and elegant, the subject-matter is philosophical.

Perhaps the writer chose a simple style in order to make his reader, who was his fourteen years old daughter, understand the complex subject.

The way it has been written it appears that the letter is a story about human civilization.

In first three paragraphs the writer talks about the place where he has been imprisoned and the joy he felt on being near mountains and greenery.

We cannot sense any bitterness in his voice on being confined to a solitary stay in a prison. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The writer enjoys the nights’ cool air and when he looks at the tree and mountains at a far off distance, he becomes quite joyous.

In the fourth paragraph, the writer of the letter talks about the worth of his writing, about which he indeed is skeptical. But in spite of his skepticism he continued to write letters.

In the next two paragraphs, i.e., paragraphs five and six we see an attempt from the writer’s side to recreate the history of human being from the primitive to the modern times.

He starts with the discovery of fire and agriculture and then talks about different empires and civilizations.

He wonders if he has missed the greatest human challenge to reveal and uncover the mysteries of universe. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

He says that he talked about different civilizations that have come and gone but somewhere he missed to talk about the human quest to understand the world.

In the next paragraph, i.e., paragraph seven, the writer talks about man’s journey to know about the world he lives in.

He says that man’s mind is the greatest asset which helps him in his journey. Once Nehru starts writing about the man’s quest to know the world his skepticism fades away and he feels that he siting with his daughter and talking.

In the paragraph eight and ten, the writer explains the twin approach to know the world. The twin approach is through religion and through science.

He says that while religion chooses the path of belief and faith and spirituality, science believes in reason and experiments.

He feels that there could not possibly be one answer to man’s quest as the quest has taken two forms- one is to understand himself and the other is understand the nature. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

He says that while religion focuses on the inner nature of man, science focuses on the outer nature. According to him both are important.

But still he says that he would like the approach of science as it is open minded and rational and not dogmatic like religion.

Q. 5. How does Aitken make fun of Indian politicians? Base your answer on your reading of the excerpt from his travelogue.

Ans. Aitken while making fun of Indian politicians says that most of the Indian politicians have no vision to encompass the diversity of India.

He suggests that the politicians are so engrossed in their own profit and benefit that they have no time understanding the cultural differences and diverse lives of India.

He further says that while flying in their helicopters Indian politicians would not find any difference between a camel and a boat.

Politicians don’t know the reality if the ground as they are always busy in their own comfort zone.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

The extracts very well convey the writer’s eye for the detail, his understanding the cultural difference between north and south. His fascination for steam engines is apparent from the text.

The theme of the text is basically the description of things that the writer sees during his journey. He sees that the railway station has been re-modeled like a temple.

He says, “tastefully so” which signifies that the architecture used for the temple has similar aesthetic appeal as the temple. Both temple and the railway station are situated at the shore and are surrounded by the sea.

There is a giant lance at the top of the tower of the temple which appears like the hour-hand of a clock.

Aitken’s graphic description of lance and its comparison to the hour-hand of the clock is worth appreciation. It is also a symbol of the mighty lance of lord Murugan which in turns symbolizes strength and solidity.

While commenting on the cultural differences between North and South India, the writer refers to the verbal brabbling between north Indian pilgrims and south Indian bus staff. IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

This proves to be a good example of the cultural differences between the two groups. The North Indian travellers are not punctual while the South Indian are quite punctual and are always on time.

Writer observes that the south Indians have far greater sense of hygiene than those of the North Indians. Also paining 25 paise to use the toilet appears as an extravagance to North Indians.

The flip side is that the Tamilian driver does not mind spitting throughout the journey much to the consternation of travellers inside the bus.

The travellers inside the bus are worried about their luggage put on the open roof of the bus while the bus staff take this lightly which further causes bickering between the two.

It is important to keep in mind that the author is not displaying any bias towards any of the group. His description is objective, what he presents is more of little foibles than serious flaws in the characters.

Another interesting thing in the text is the writer’s fascination about steam engines. While talking about his fascination he says, “To make my day a steam engine lay…” Apart from being happy about the temple and railway station the author says that the day become happier because of the presence of steam engine in the station.

The concluding chapter of the book is a tribute to the steam engine by the author for allowing him to travel through 14 states in a single metre gauge line.

The journey in the metre gauge has also been inexpensive compared to the broad gauge trains.IGNOU BEGE 141 Solved Free Assignment

For him the travelling through train has been a pleasant journey as he was able to appreciate the beauty of the land, listen to the talks by co-passengers, and enjoy the rhythmic motion of slow moving train.

IGNOU BEGC 114 Solved Free Assignment

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