IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. I. Write short notes in about 200 words each:
(i) epic theatre.
Ans. Epic theatre is a theatrical movement that emerged in the early to mid-20th century from the theories and practice of a number of theatre practitioners, especially Bertolt Brecht.
The epic form describes both a type of written drama and a methodological approach to the production of plays: Its qualities of clear description and reporting and its use of choruses and projections as a means of commentary earned it the name epic.
One of the goals of epic theatre is for the audience to always be aware that it is watching a play. Epic theatre was a reaction against popular forms of theatre, particularly the naturalistic approach.
Brecht disliked the shallow spectacle, manipulative plots and heightened emotion of melodrama. One of the most important techniques Brecht developed to perform epic theater is the “making strange” effect.
The purpose of this technique was to make the audience feel detached from the action of the play, so they do not become immersed in the fictional reality of the stage or become overly empathetic of the character.
Flooding the theatere with bright lights, having actors play multiple characters, having actors also rearrange the set in full view of the audience and breaking the fourth wall by speaking to the audience are all ways he used to achieve this effect.
As with the principle of dramatic construction involved in the epic form of spoken drama amalgamated or what Brecht calls “non-Aristotelian drama”, the epic approach to play production utilizes a montage technique of fragmentation, contrast and contradiction, and interruptions. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Acting in epic theatre requires actors to play characters believably without convincing either the audience or themselves that they have become the characters.
Actors frequently address the audience directly out of character and play multiple roles.
(ii) Comedy of manners.
Ans. Comedy of Manners is a play concerned with satirizing society’s manners. A manner is the method in which everyday duties are performed, conditions of society, or a way of speaking. It implies a polite and well-bred behaviour.
Comedy of Manners is known as high comedy because it involves a sophisticated wit and talent in the writing of the script.
In this sense it is both intellectual and very much the opposite of slapstick, which requires little skill with the script and is largely a physical form of comedy.
In a Comedy of Manners however, there is often minimal physical action and the play may involve heavy use of dialogue. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
A Comedy of Manners usually employs an equal amount of both satire and farce resulting in a hilarious send-up of a particular social group.
Most plays of the genre were carefully constructed to satirize the very people watching them.
This was usually the middle to upper classes in society, who were normally the only people wealthy enough to afford going to the theatre to see a comedy of manners in the first place.
The playwrights knew this in advance and fully intended to create characters that were sending up the daily customs of those in the audience watching the play.
The satire tended to focus on their materialistic nature, never-ending desire to gossip and hypocritical existence. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
It reaches to new heights in the restoration period. Major contributors to the genre in England at the time were William Wycherley’s The Country Wife (1675) and William Congreve’s The Way of the World (1700).
Explain with reference to the context in 300 words each.
(i) Well, that’s what a war does.
I had two sons, now I got me. It changed all the tallies. In my day when you had sons it was an honour.
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from ‘All My Sons’ by Joe Keller.
Explanation: These are the words of Joe Keller who is mourning the loss of his son Larry, who died in the war. He is illustrating the consequences of war on his family.
However, what Joe Keller does not know, and could not face, was that his son Larry did not die as a result of fighting in the war.
Larry committed suicide because he could not live with the shame and guilt of his father’s actions in providing faulty parts to the military which led to the deaths of several pilots, and then blames the whole matter on his partner, Steve Deever, who is in jail for his participation in the crime.
Larry sacrifices himself for his fathers sins. He cannot bear to live with the idea of his father’s flawed, immoral behaviour. Joe Keller has lost one son, but not to the war effort, but to his own war with morality.
The internal conflict that he fought, and lost, when he knowingly shipped faulty parts, with hairline cracks, due to pressure to meet the shipment date, which he claims was necessary to keep the military contract, has resulted in the loss of his son, as well as the sons of other families.
(ii) For how many years have I been bearing
the burden of life! And for how many years I have
been looking after his family?
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from ‘Halfway House’ by Mohan Rakesh.
Explanation: Mahendranath is shown to search for a new identity and reason behind his existence through his relationship with Juneja.
The economic crisis and his losing the identity of being the bread-earner of the family had altered his position in the house into a non-entity and affected his mind and heart adversely “…….silent acceptance, perpetual snubs, constant insults, is all that I deserve after so many years.” IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
He greatly resents his loss of control and influence in the family and is immensely unhappy to be regarded “only as a stamp of respectability to be used only when the need arises.”
Under such circumstances of changed power equations, Mahendranath searches for meaning in new relations build on a sense of understanding and mutual respect, as is the case with Juneja.
From Savitri’s perpetual insults and accusations and its subsequent repercussions in giving him an inferiority complex, Juneja’s friendship offered Mahendranath the alternate sanctuary of solace and comfort in the midst of an emotional and economic crisis within the family.
He began to define himself in terms of his non-utility and unsuccessfulness, and thereby sought solace in temporary acts of rebellion involving leaving the house and seeking meaning and mental peace in his companionship with Juneja.
(iii) I was blessed by a blind grandmother,
A peasant, a toiler. She imparted her strength,
the strength of our people into me.
Ans. Context: These lines are taken from ‘The Trial of Dedan Kimathi’ by Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
Explanation: As the second movement begins, we see the fruit seller trying to hide his impatience. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The scene transitions to the inside of the courtroom, which is segregated as obviously as before. Kimathi doesn’t remain silent this time.
Instead of answering the question of his guilt, he gives a powerful speech about how the colonial law is irrelevant to him. He argues that the law is meant to protect the ability of the colonizers to oppress his people.
He questions why he should follow a law that is written to hurt him. The judge’s retorts are weak and justify Kimathi’s ideas.
The Kenyans in the courtroom are excited by the speech, and the white people grow angrier and more aggressive.
One settler is so upset by Kimathi’s speech that he points his gun at the Kenyan side of the room and gives a speech of his own in which he hysterically blames the people of Kenya for all his losses. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
His farm was built on land that was stolen from Kenyans, but he sees himself as entitled to it and blames them for fighting to have it back.
Q. 1. Does Kate know about Keller’s guilt in All my Sons? What is the impact of her action on other characters?
Ans. After three years George has become an advocate. He comes in order to cancel his sister’s marriage with Chris. Meanwhile, he has gone to visits his father in jail. There Steeve Deever, George’s father tells him how Keller traps him in the case and send him to jail.
He also tell him that Joe Keller is equally responsible for shipping defective equipment and killing 21 pilots. But while trials he blamed him for everything.
Now George is acquaints with the facts and decides to compel Joe in order to confess his guilt. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
As Joe Keller knows that George is coming to his house he memorize the last day of trial when Steeve threatened him to take revenge from him.
As George arrives Keller’s home he enquires Joe about the truth but Keller escape himself with clever replies.
Further George discloses the reality in front of Chris. As soon as Chris found his father guilty he shatters and scorns him very much.
When Ann discloses the reason of Larry’s death. Chris transfers to the world of shock. Larry’s letter and Chris disdain compels Keller to confess his offence.
Now he thinks that his single misdeed is responsible for his loving son’s death. After years of denial, he is forced to acknowledge that the soldiers who died as a direct result of his actions were someone’s sons, and they all might as well have been his sons. Finally, he can’t bear the scorn of his dear son and put his life into end.
Like her husband, Mother is in denial. She knows about Keller’s guilt, and it is the source of her anxiety and headaches throughout the play.
She is complicit in Keller’s denial, and as for her own denial, she is forcing her son to stay alive, if only in her mind, in order to allow her to continue to live with her husband in some acceptable way. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
That is, if she had to accept that her husband effectively killed their son, then she could not bear it.
But her loyalty to Keller ironically serves to separate the couple, since her knowledge of his guilt strains their relationship.
Like her husband, she prefers to believe that there are forces outside her control in her case, astrology and God’s choice, both on Larry’s side – that ultimately dictate life or death more than individual choice does.
Joe was a traditional, amiable father figure. Joe is uneducated and a middle-aged father. He had neighbours named Jim and Frank.
Her wife is younger than Joe. In the play he was shown a man who loves his family very much. He had great pride in his business.
He has run a successful business for decades. Joe’s neighbour and partner became victims of Joe cunning planning. He blamed Steve for delivering faulty parts of cylinders of aeroplanes. Joe lives in denial.
In the whole play he was not accepting his fault and guilty conscience. He chose to destroy himself rather than dealing with the consequences of his actions.
Joe seldom fell sick as per his wife, Kate. He spent 40 years in a business with a lot of hard work. He wanted Chris to marry Ann but his wife, Kate was not at all supporting this. Joe lives his life with blinders. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
He blocks his responsibility to society. He is an honest worker and a friendly and polite person. He has flaws and weaknesses.
His love for his family and he did not want to be bankrupt so his supplied faulty cylinders to the army. Keller shoots himself at the end of the play. Thus he created sympathy in the eyes of the audience.
It is tragic in many senses. Firstly he is unable to cope up with the non-friendliness between his son and him. Secondly, His death can spare his son, Chris from more embarrassment on what his father has done.
Thirdly, the conflict between morality, denial of the characters, the guilt of killing 21 pilots who were all his sons.
Fourthly, Joe Keller realised that his sinful act has no forgiveness towards the state of affairs in the modern world.
All My Sons is a modern tragedy because of the creation of the chief character as tragic and his actions resulted to several tragic consequences.
All My Sons is a play by American author Arthur Miller, first produced in 1947. The play is based on the true story of a manufacturing conspiracy during WW-2.
All My Sons is set several years after the conviction of Steve Deever, and the exoneration of his partner Joe Kellor, after their factory’s defective military-use aircraft parts results in several deaths.
The eldest Kellor son, Larry, went missing in the war, but his mother Kate believes he is still alive. Larry’s childhood sweetheart, Ann Deever, Steve Deever’s daughter, has become engaged to Larry’s younger brother Chris.
Tensions between this engagement and the fact that Joe Kellor was aware of the defective parts before selling them, fuel the central drama of a rare get-together of the two families. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The play was a critical success and is viewed by many as a poignant critique of the American Dream.
The play consist more than one theme. They are running parallel with the major theme. Problem of Chris marriage is also a theme among them. Chris is the younger son of Joe and Kate Keller.
Chris has been fallen in love with Ann (fiancée of his elder brother who is dead). Ann too loves Chris. They wanted to marry but Kate is opposed of this marriage. She assumes that someday his elder son Larry will definitely come back.
And he will marry with Ann. Both Chris and Ann try a lot to show her the mirror of reality but she still live in a fallacy.
Chris tells her that it is ludicrous to wait a person who was missing from last three years. Kate tells Chris if he marries with Ann he will suffer from the guilt of marrying the girl who is the fiancé of his elder brother.
This guilt will never allow him to lead a blissful life with Ann. Hence, his idealism stopped him from engaging with Ann.
Later, Ann reveals the truth of Larry’s death. He tells them about the last letter of Larry before going to war and accused her husband for killing Larry.
Larry committed suicide to escape himself from the burden of his father’s guilty of supplying defective cylinders heads to the army due to which 21 pilots died. She reveals the truth because she wants to defend her relationship with Chris.
Idealism as Theme: Chris is described by other characters as an idealist, although we do not see this trait in action aside from his angry response to the wartime profiteering. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Yet the others define him by his idealism, setting him apart as a man of scruples. Chris decides that he must abandon these scruples to the cause of practicality when he is faced with the prospect of sending his father to jail.
Sue considers Chris a dangerous influence on her husband because of his belief in doing well. And Joe bemoans the ethical sensitivity of his son: “Everything bothers him. You make a deal, overcharge two cents, and his hair falls out” (3.77).
But, Chris seems to recognize and be proud of this vision of him. After proposing to Ann, he tells her about the self-sacrifice of men in the war, and the lack of meaning that sacrifice seems to hold for people at home.
He doesn’t count himself among these thoughtless people.
Yet for all his talk about social responsibility is Chris really such a force of moral rectitude? As he admits at the end of the play, he’s also a bit of a coward. He’s afraid of his mother and won’t be honest about his intentions with Ann.
Perhaps part of him knows that telling her will unleash some fury he wants no part of. He attacks his father savagely when Joe’s guilt is revealed, calling him lower than an animal.
Father-Son Relationship as Theme: The title of the play is very significant; since it indicate one of the most important subsidiary themes of the play, namely “the father-son relationship”. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
As we have said before the main theme of the play has to deal with the importance of a man’s social responsibility as compared to his responsibility towards his family.
This main theme is very related, even interwoven, with the conflict that might arise between a son’s duty towards his father and his own moral duty towards his society.
Perhaps, a close examination of the character of Chris Keller and his relation to his father would make this point even clearer.
Chris Keller and Joe Keller are friends. There is a deep intimacy in their relationship. Chris took his father in his confident before doing any act.
For Keller his son means a lot. When Chris discloses his decision of marrying Ann before his father, Joe advises him to be sure about Ann’s opinion for their marriage. Chris wants his father to defend him if Kate denies his marriage with Ann.
Chris has complete faith in his father. He is a great admirer of Joe. He wants to become like his father. When Ann tells him about the guilty of his father in the case of supplying defective cylinder heads to the army, he unnoticed his talk.
He tells her if his father found culprit, he will never forgive him. Finally, he tells her that he has confidence that his father is innocent.
Chris: On his [Steve Deever] own. And because he is a frightened mouse this is another thing he’d done through the blame on somebody else because he’s not man enough to take it himself. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
He tried it in the court, but it did not work, but with fools like you [George] it works. It is worthy of note that “much of the success of “All My Sons” has been due to Miller’s complex vision of Keller’s shared guilt and each’s contribution to this family collapse.
That’s to say Miller was keen to affirm that Joe Keller is not solely responsible for his family troubles, and ultimate disaster”. Chris, also, is responsible for his family’s dilemma.
Though he adopts a highly moral tone, he was only trying to escape his own sense of guilt.
Having watching the heroic young men under his command die selflessly in the battle to save their comrades, Chris feels guilty for failing them and surviving the war.
So when he was given a chance to escape his anguish, he tries to find relief out of his sense of guilt; in the form of contempt for his father’s criminal act, on the hope that by destroying his father he can somehow escape his own sins and his own personal torment.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
His father, thus, becomes his scapegoat. It is hard, therefore, not to see and condemn the hypocrisy behind the zeal that leads to Keller’s Suicide.
His motives are purely selfish. We all know that his words ring hollow because he has long suspected his father’s guilt, but deliberately avoided confronting the truth-again for purely selfish motives: at some level Chris fears that if he allows himself to see his father’s human imperfection, he will also have to realize his own limitations and his experience in the war make him dread that confrontation.
Elsewhere, Chris idealism finds expression in his feeling surprised and shocked by the revelation that his father was the real culprit in the matter of supplying defective cylinder heads to the air force, after his confrontation with his mother about Ann’s stay in their house, which has developed to its peak that Kate affirms him that his father had really been guilty:
“Chris… Chris, I did it for you, it was a chance”.
Q. 2. Comment on the significance of time in the play The Trial of Dedan Kimathi.
Ans. The authors have used some theatrical techniques to maintain the flow of time-merging the past and the present in order to point to the future.
They have interpreted the history of the people’s struggle for independence giving a time sequence of events in such a manner the present appears to be linked to the past events and the present throws a new light on the past, offering a fresh interpretation of the past events in view of the present happenings.
For example, in the First Movement, when the Loud singing by a crowd of peasants also shows-simultaneously- the enactment of the history of the Black people in four Phases, the authors” stage directions are:
“The phases recapitulated flow into one another; without break or interruption.”
During the Fourth Trial, in semi-darkness the miming of black (earlier enacted) is going on, against the torturing behind the scene.
The stage directions say: should be as much harmony as possible between the action on the stage and the goings on in the torture chamber. It links the past and the present.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The merger of past and present also happens in the very last scene of the play when after the judge has pronounced the death sentence on Kimathi and the Boy and Girl stand up to announce “Not dead!”, the stage directions are…soon, the stage gives way to mighty crowd of workers and peasants at the centre of which are Boy and Girl, singing a thunderous freedom song.
In The Trial of Dedan Kimathi, the authors have employed dramatic techniques to keep up the flow of time. They have merged the past and the present, but the time flow has not been affected.
The Kenya people’s struggle for independence have been presented in such a way that it appears to be linked to the past events and the present throws a new light on the past, offering a fresh interpretation of the past events in view of the present happenings.
For instance, in the First Movement, when the loud singing by a crowd of peasants also shows-simultaneously- the enactment of the history of the Black people in four Phases, the authors’ stage directions are: “The phases recapitulated flow into one another; without break or interruption.”
During the Fourth Trial, the stage instructions states: should be as much harmony as possible between the action on the stage and the goings on in the torture chamber. It links the past and the present. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The merger of past and present also happens in the very last scene of the play when after the judge has pronounced the death sentence on Kimathi and the Boy and Girl stand up to announce “Not dead!”, the stage directions are… soon, the stage gives way to mighty crowd of workers and peasants at the centre of which are Boy and Girl, singing a thunderous freedom song.
G.D. Lillam praises The Trial of Dedan Kimathi written by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and Micere Mugo. he says that the feats of leadership and resistance of the most brilliant of the generals of the independence struggle in Kenya.
He was successful in restoring the character of Kimathi to his legitimate place in Kenya’s history. Kimathi’s values are followed in the present movements too. Literature plays an important role in the revolution.
There are no single historical work written by a Kenyan presenting a magnificent tale of bravery and heroism of Kenyan people fighting against exploitation and domination.
The Movements were started and run by the Kenyan people in the 15th and 16th century. The people of Kenya and other East Africans took arms against murder, conquest and plundar.
Some of the people in these places were the direct supporters of imperialism and lauded the pronouncements of colonial governors in the name of Anglo-Africana Commonwealth.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Ngugi and Mugo used innovative techniques in the Trial of Dedan Kimathi. This play has an Opening, three Movements and fourteen scenes which are different from traditional divisions of plays into Acts and Scenes.
The authors want the characters to communicate their messages directly. The authors used some other techniques such as audio-visual devices like drumming, music, dancing, mime, singing, sudden blackouts and changes in light effects in the play.
In the First movement, Loud singing by a crowd of peasants, etc. in Phase IV, angry blacks were taking out procession by chanting anti-imperialism slogans loudly through songs
and thunderous shouts. In the second trial of Kimathi the Mime shows that the groups of dancers were performing a sequence of dances by different peoples of Kenya.
The Mime shows the cultural identity of Kenyans and co-existence and cultural cooperation among members of various ethnic groups.
Q. 3. Critically analyze the character portrayal of Mahendranath in the play Half way House.
Ans. Let’s move on to the distinctive features of the characters of the play. First we take Mahendranath the head of the family. Mahendranath seems the head of the family but in red sense his reputation is zero in the family.
In everyone’s view he is trivial. The remark clearly sketches his position in the family: “What is my status in the house? Silent acceptance perpetual snubs, constant insults.” Financial dependence stroked his self-worth.
Other members the house also assumes him as, burden. He is leading his life in fear that what will happen if his wife left him. His dread is clearly seen in his remark, “dry rot in this house, eating away at its very foundations.”
We also trace a kind of insecurity in Mahendranath’s behaviour as his wife his frequently impressed by the persons who secure good position in the security.
We see that the financial status of the house is interconnected with the economical world exist in the security. It is noticeable. We are informed that Mahendranath and his friend establish a company in joint venture.
Both have equal share in the factory and Juneja has secured a comfortable position and lifestyle in society. Mahendranath remain a jobless person.
Now he borrowed money from him in order to fulfil the needs of his family but failed. Juneja defined Mahendranath and misused his money while Mahendranath is thinking that he is his true friend. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Mahendranath is leading his life on the obligation of Juneja. Therefore, Juneja succeeded in establishing his superiority to Mahendranath.
On the other hand, Savitri’s thought that Juneja was not the helper of his family but a perpetrator of their perplex.
In her conversation with Mahendranath we can trace that Juneja is the creator of the clash between Savitri and Mahendranath.
She expects with her husband that he should understand the hiding help of Juneja: her dialogue reveals it:
“The women: That’s….. Haven’t I?”
Savitri was the single breadwinner of the house. Therefore she had the right to make decisions in the family. Neither the family member nor the colleague respects her. Actually she was the head of the family because she runs the house.
Her priorities were to maintain her position in the workplace and to secure a good job for her son Ashok. But when she found that her vigorous attempts were fruitless, she irritates.
She felt degradation not only in her workplace but also in her home. She always thought about the wellness of her family members but no one understands her and increased her worries and anxiety. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Particularly, her son, Ashok’s attitude towards her made her sad when he misbehaved her before guests.
Ashok, on the other hand, felt humiliated when Savitri begged for his job from her high-class guests. He felt that everyone mocked over him.
Singhania’s ill-manner forced him to scorn him from his mother. He respects his Father but his Mother holds no favour in his eyes.
It was obivious in his conversation with Binni, “Don’t you pity him (Mahendranath) when you see what he’s been reduced to?” further he riposted, “If she can’t manage, why does she continue to try?” Binni was the sufferer of the family.
She eloped and married to Manoj but now, she was unhappy with her married-life. Another reason of her sorrow had been the broken house of her parent.
Her husband doesn’t want to go to her parents’ house because he found a kind of mysterious atmosphere within her house which forces them to behave like this. But, till the end no one knows about the mystery.
Therefore, she continue to come house so that she could resolve the problems of her household but the troubles were too deep that she also got into the difficulties.
In the course of the text it was mentioned that Binni, “start despising myself. I feel like… like smashing everything around me. Like defying him in a way that would… enrage him.”IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Finally, we talk about Kinni, who was the youngest family member in the house. She too had her own sets of troubles. She was an adolescent who need more affection and love from her family but the situation was reversed.
She was the sufferers of the doing of her elders. All this makes an unfavourable impression on her. Kinni’s sorrow knows no bound when she had been rebuked by her brother, mother and sister.
Everyone in the family seems to involve in resolving their problems and nobody cares about her. She felt embarrass in, “wearing torn shocks to school.”
Her comment acts as an eye-opener when she reveals that, “I’m hungry in school. I have no money to buy anything. And at home it takes hours to heat the milk.”
In the play Halfway House we trace male dominance throughout the play. These males (Juneja, Singhania, and Jagmohan) belong to the upper-trade of the society. They all acts within the limitations of social structure.
They are the representatives of their respective class. Their relationship with Mahendranath and his family members was as similar as exist between the prosperous and poor. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Mahendranath and Savitri act as a humble applicant before Juneja and Singhania. Even Jag Mohan’s attitude towards Savitri was full of compassion.
In all these relations the inability of Mahendranath and Savitri is clearly marked.
Particularly, Juneja plays a crucial role in the fortune of the family. He was authorized to speak with Savitri on behalf of Mahendranath because Mahendranath lend money from Juneja.
On the other hand, Singhania the boss of Savitri once invited by Savitri to her house: he lolls on the sofa as he is the owner of the house and everything is in his controlled.
His attitude gave him right to texture Ashok on labour issues and political rights. He witnesses a commanding tone in the pass on ashok, “Shiv shiv shiv! This violent attitude”. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
He gives non-stop lecture to Ashok and social prestige. Further the flouring conversation unfolds the relationship between Singhania and Savitri: The woman: I wonder if…….. Who was it you mentioned?
The half broken sentences reflect the hesitation of Savitri in asking favour for herself, but she has no choice. Even Singhania was also not paying attention towards her in favour of securing job for his Ashok.
He was persistently changing the topic and sung about his own achievements. Note Savitri was not a single person who wants favour from Singhania.
Mrs. Malhotra mentioned in the above conversation also seeks jobs for her kinsfolk. This makes us to believe that not only family was strange but also represent a special part of the society.
We trace a tone a tone of superiority in all the three men while communicating with Mahendranath’s family.
It was meaningful that all the member of family felt degradation from the ‘outsiders’. Juneja, Singhania, Jagmohan, Manoj, Kinni’s school teacher or Ashok’s friend Surekha’s mother all became remorseless towards them.
The play shows male dominance throughout the play. The male characters such as Jumeja, Mahendranath and Singhania, are from upper class society.
They act under the limitations of social structure. They are representatives of their respective class. Mahendranath and Savitri act normal in front of them.
Jagmohan was polite and compassionate towards Savitri. In all the relationships in the play Mahendranath And Savitri are the worst hit. Juneja provoked Mahendranath against Savitri. He played a crucial role in their lives.
He commanded Mahendranath to control Savityri and showed himself a well-wisher of Mahendranath.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
In reality he’s egoistic and has an ego against Savitri. He controlled Mahendrnath because he had taken money from Juneja for his business which he lost.
Next is Singhania who is Savitri’s boss and she invited him over for tea because she wanted a job for Ashok, her eldest and only son. He lied down on the sofa, he spoke rudely with them as if he’s the boss or the head of the family.
He even demanded sexual favour from Savitri indirectly in lieu of a job for Ashok. He knows that she is weak economically and has no male support behind her as what society of the 1960s used to think.
He gave a long lecture to Ashok and taunted him that hes has a bad attitude. On this Ashok told his mother that if he was not her boss, he would have kicked him out of the house.
Singhania was not interested in giving the job to Ashok. Every time she asked him over tea at her home, he changed the topic.
He was not at all respectful towards her. Even Mrs. Malhotra asked favour for her kins but he didn’t pay heed towards her. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
This shows that the men folks of the society then were showing superiority while communicating with Mahendranath’s family.
These men, Juneja, Singhania, JagMohan were disregarding the family and the women of the family.
All the family members were getting insulted by the outsiders. Some others were Kinni’s school teacher, Manoj, and Ashok’s friend Surekha’s mother insulted them in their own ways.
Mahendranath was the head of the family according to the society norms as the man of the family is considered as the supremo of the family.
But financial dependence snatched away his self-worth. Other members did not respect him. The financial status of the house is interconnected with the economical world in terms of security. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
So Savitri became the head of the family as she was the only breadwinner of the house. She had every right to make decisions in the family.
But nobody respects her, neither her family nor her colleagues. As she runs her house, she has to be a man of the family. It was not accepted by society in the 1960s.
Her priorities were to maintain her position at her work place and secure a job for her son, Ashok. It irritated her when after her continuous efforts he was not getting a job. She was doing all possible efforts to fulfil her family’s demands but she felt degradation everywhere.
No one understands her feelings and her concern towards her family so this increased her anxieties and worries.
Her son misbehaved with her in front of others. She didn’t like Juneja because she knew that he had superiority to Mahendranath. He created clashes between Savitri and Mahendranath.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
She expected that her husband should help her and must understand that Juneja had some hiding help. She was concerned towards BInni too.
She eloped and married Manoj. She wanted the best for her but their circumstances forced her to get married to Manoj.
As a father who always listens to his children and solve their problems, Savityri was listening to Binni everyrtime she came to her mother’s house. Savitri felt that Binni was playing the role of young Savitri.
Q. 4. Attempt a character sketch of Dedan Kimathi.
Ans. The Trial of Dedan Kimathi has characters who are more of type than those having traits that show their individuality. This is clearly stated in the Preliminary notes:
“There is impersonation, merging of characters and rejection of history emphasizing the complexity, duality and interrelationships of people and events.
A character like Shaw Henderson, for instance, can be played as a judge-Prosecutor and member of the Special Branch. He is also the enemy-friend of the Africans.”
The combined words like “Judge-Prosecutor” and “enemy-friend” point out the contradictory attributes in the characters.
It is the audience/readers have to distinguish between the mask and the reality.
The Boy, the Girl and the Woman, who have not been given any names, represent the people in Kenya belonging to their respective categories.
This is quite a deliberate effort by the author.
For example, in the Third Movement, when the Boy and Girl and the Women move a little way off on the stage to confer, the stage instructions state:
“Both Girl and Boy sit at the feet of the woman. It should be symbolic: the woman now represents all the working mothers talking to their children.”
It is apparent from the authors’ description that the woman represents all the working mothers.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
“She is between thirty and forty years of age, with a mature but youthful face, strongly built. Goodlooking.
She wears a peasant woman clothes and is barefoot. Though apparently a simple peasant, the woman is obviously world-wise, and perceptive of behaviour and society. Throughout, her actions are under control: her body and mind are fully alert.
Fearless determination and a spirit of daring is her character. She is versatile and full of energy in her responses to different roles and situations.
A mother, a fighter, all in one. She wears a kanga cloth wrapped around her upper body-over her simple flock-and has a small kondo, a sisal basket, hanging over her neck and across the shoulder over her shawl on the side nearest the audience.
She walks not exactly stealthily, but with great care-as if she treads on treacherous ground.”
The woman is versatile and full of energy in her responses to different situations. She has tactfully tackle the situation when Johnnie, the soldier notices her kondo and is about to discover a parcel wrapped in paper. She is cunningly trying to distract Johnnie.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Again, when Johnnie discovered the bread wrapped in paper and is about to break it into two, the woman changes her stance suddenly, changing it into one of supplication and feminine submissiveness since a gun was hidden in it.
The stage directions says “the woman dramatically kneels on the ground, almost reaching out for his legs… She talks all the time.” “WOMAN: [simultaneously with the above action]: Don’t eat it. Bwana. Master.
Afande a hundred times. It’s all I have to quieten the enemy who is finishing us.
WOMAN: Hunger. If you take it, I’ll die. I spent so many hours kneading the heavy millet paste. Look. You have almost finished all my bananas. You deserve to die. Have mercy on a poor woman.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
JOHNNIE: [Obviously relieved and pleased with her supplication and feminine submissiveness. He does not realize that she is over-reacting]
You don’t look too poor to me. Stand up. All you need is a brush, water, soap, high heels. A modern lady.” In the Third Movement, when the Girl and Boy accuses her of tricking him into carrying a gun, she tells them:
“In the struggle, you learn to adapt to changed circumstances. Yesterday was a day of setbacks. First the screening and the Johnnies! I walked into the mouth of a gun! Then, after we parted.
I found out that the fruitseller was among the ones picked in yesterday’s morning raid. That was a crucial contact gone.
This upset all the plans. What was I to do? I dressed as a fruitseller so that you would easily recognize me. The court adjourned sooner than I had thought: I then followed the crowd. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
I was going to speak to the Warder, another contact. I found that he too had been transferred to another place. So only you remained.
I kept on looking for you. Between here and Majengo, there is not a place I have not visited. Great risk: but the task once started must be completed.
The Boy also represented the stereotypical thinking about women and their lack of courage when he did not the fruitseller to whom he had been asked by the Woman to hand over the bread. The Boy soliloquies:
“She told me that he would be around here. But I have not seen an orange seller or any fruitseller. What a woman! Why would she not take the bread herself? Afraid. That’s it. Afraid.
Why should she expect me to risk my life taking bread, suppose it’s not Kimathi, and it is his double, his shadow whom they [makes as if to move]: But where shall I find her? Where can I get I know. She did not want me to take the loaf to anybody.
She wanted to test I would eat the bread. [breaks a piece]: But she said she would be me all the time.”IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
When the Boy did not understand the reason behind the exploitation of millions of Kenya people, the Woman as the representative mother of all children tell him:
“The day you understand why your father died: the day you ask yourself whether right for him to die so; the day you ask yourself: ‘What call I do so that another shall not be made to die under such grisly circumstance?’ that day, my son, you’ll become a man.”
For this understanding and dedication to the cause of the freedom movement, that Kimathi pays a handsome tribute to her: “Do you see this woman?
How many tasks has she performed
Between here and the villages?
How many people has she
Snatched from jails, from colonial
Jaws of death!
How many brave warriors has she
recruited at great risks! Walking for miles
Hardly getting sleep
To this the Woman reacted in such a way that only confirms that the Boy represents the Kenyan youth: “It is the same old story. Everywhere. Mombasa. Nakuru. Kisumu. Eldoret.
The same old story. Our people….tearing one another…and all because of the crumbs thrown at them by the exploiting foreigners.
Our own food eaten and leftovers thrown to us-in our own land, where we should have the whole share. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
We buy wood from our own forests; sweat on our own soil for the profit of our oppressors. Kimathi’s teaching is: unite, drive out the enemy and control your own riches, enjoy the fruit of your sweat.
The Boy is unable to understand when the Woman says that she was also like him “Fighting… Drinking… Fighting… Drinking…” and one day she heard “The call of our people.
The humiliated, the injured, the insulted, the exploited, the submerged millions of labouring men and women of Kenya”: She goes on to say that: “…the day you ask yourself: What can I do so that another shall not be made to die under such grisly circumstances? That day, my son, you’ll become a man.
After the boy gets some money by her and when he offers to work for her, she tells him: “You want to change masters? A black master for a white master! Have you no other horizon? Except to be a slave! If I didn’t have better things to do, why, I would properly thrash you.”IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The Boy begins to change from this point of time and when the Woman asks him to carry a loaf of bread to a fruitseller he accepts it.
However, the Boy and the Girl have doubts about her when they accidentally find that the bread had a gun hidden in it and again when they do not to find the fruitseller.
The Boy repeatedly recalls the words of the Woman: “the day you’ll understand… that day, my son, you’ll become a man” and he resolves:
“No, no, not now, Mama.
But how can I turn
Against her call
The Boy changes completely when Kirnathi is sentenced to death by Judge, and he and the Girl enter the court, pull out the gun and shout in unison – “Not dead”.
The story of the girl is not given in such details as that of the boy. However, she is presented initially to be “scrounging” dustbins and roaming the hotels and tourist places along with some boys shows the kind of life she too has had in the city.
She also reveals how she became homeless and a wanderer. The girl shows signs of more maturity and better understanding of things than the boy when the Woman assigns them the task of carrying bread for a fruitseller.
The girl is also more rigid in her resolve when the boy has at times doubts about the intention of the Woman. She acts as the inspiration for the Boy in the absence of the Woman. At the end of the play, she and the boy act in unison in a mission to rescue Kimathi.IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The characters of soldiers, the Priest, the Banker, the Indian and the Politician have been presented in type mode. They represent their class.
They speak on behalf of their community or class. Shaw Henderson has also been projected with multiple identities to show how, under colonialism, various sections of the colonizing community acted in collusion.
Similarly, Dedan Kimathi has been projected more of a general character as a leader of freedom fighters rather than specific individual. It is also stated clearly in The Preface to the play:
“We agreed that the most important thing was for us to reconstruct imaginatively our history, envisioning the world of Mau Mau and Kimathi in terms of the peasants’ and workers’ struggle before and after constitutional independence.
The play is not a reproduction of the farcical ‘trial’ at Nyeri. It is rather an imaginative recreation and interpretation of the collective will of the Kenyan peasants and workers in their refusal to break under sixty years of colonial torture and ruthless oppression by the British ruling classes and their continued determination to resist exploitation, oppression and new forms of enslavement.” (Preface)
The authors have tried to present Kimathi as he existed in the minds and memories of the people among whom he lived and grew up and those with whose help he organized the freedom struggle rather than in the official records, documents and history books written by some armchair academics.
In the Preface, the authors wrote: “The writing of The Trial of Dedan Kimathi has been both challenging and exciting. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
It has put us through a lot of education in connection with the continuing struggle against economic and other forms of oppression.
We also discovered that Kimathi was still a hero of the Kenyan masses. One day, for instance, we visited Kimathi’s birthplace (thanks to Mr. Mundia who organized the trip) with the aim of eliciting a first hand assessment of Kimathi from the people who had known him as a child, a villager and guerrilla hero. It was a Sunday.
The drive to Karunaini took us through beautiful valleys, ridges, hills and forests that helped the imagination recapture the countryside where the Mau Mau War was hottest and had often been fought out in pitched battles.
Standing powerful and dominant to the north was Kirinyaga, the mountain at the foot of which the undulating Nyeri plains spread, rising to the Nyandarua mountains.
Karunaini was right next to Nyandarua Forest and, standing very near the school where Kimathi once taught, we could see the spot where he was finally shot down. The huge trench that the people were once forced to dig by the British forces so as to cut off the villages from the Forest was still visible.” (Preface)
In The Trial of Dedan Kimathi, the characters are more of type than with individual traits. The Boy, the Girl and the Woman represent the people in Kenya belonging to their respective categories. This is quite a deliberate effort by the author.
In the Third Movement, for instance, when the Boy and Girl and the Women move a little way off on the stage to confer, the stage instructions state: “Both Girl and Boy sit at the feet of the woman.
It should be symbolic: the woman now represents all the working mothers talking to their children.”IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
It is also clear from the authors’ description that the woman represents all the working mothers. “She is between thirty and forty years of age, with a mature but youthful face, strongly built. Goodlooking.
She wears a peasant woman clothes and is barefoot. Though apparently a simple peasant, the woman is obviously world-wise, and perceptive of behaviour and society. Throughout, her actions are under control: her body and mind are fully alert.”
The Boy is first seen in the play chasing the Girl, catching her and handling her roughly and shouting to kill her. When the Woman saw them, she compared his behaviour to that of an animal.
After the Boy explains his reasons for being harsh with the girl, the Woman reacted in such a way that only confirms that the Boy represents the Kenyan youth: “It is the same old story.
Everywhere, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret. The same old story. Our people…tearing one another…and all because of the crumbs thrown at them by the exploiting foreigners.
Our own food eaten and leftovers thrown to us-in our own land, where we should have the whole share. We buy wood from our own forests; sweat on our own soil for the profit of our oppressors. IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
Kimathi’s teaching is: unite, drive out the enemy and control your own riches, enjoy the fruit of your sweat.”
The story of the Girl is not given in such details as that of the Boy. However, she is presented as the representative of the Girls in Kenya.
The characters of soldiers, the Priest, the Banker, the Indian and the Politician have been presented in type mode. They represent their class. They speak on behalf of their community or class.
Shaw Henderson has also been projected with multiple identities to show how, under colonialism, various sections of the colonizing community acted in collusion.
Similarly, Dedan Kimathi has been projected more of a general character as a leader of freedom fighters.
It is also stated clearly in The Preface to the play: “We agreed that the most important thing was for us to reconstruct imaginatively our history, envisioning the world of Mau Mau and Kimathi in terms of the peasants and workers’ struggle before and after constitutional independence.
The play is not a reproduction of the farcical trial’ at Nyeri. It is rather an imaginative recreation and interpretation of the collective will of the Kenyan peasants and workers in their refusal to break under sixty years of colonial torture and ruthless oppression by the British ruling classes and their continued determination to resist exploitation, oppression and new forms of enslavement.”
The authors have presented Kimathi as he existed in the minds and memories of the people among whom he lived and grew up and those with whose help he organized the freedom struggle rather than in the official records, documents and history books written by some armchair academics.
Dedan Kimathi has been a presented in the play as the leader of the freedom fighters in Kenya. He has been project as a daring and courageous person and his ultimate goal is freedom of his people.
Dedan Kimathi is the high priest of Mau Mau. He also has been projected more of a general character as a leader of freedom fighters rather than specific individual. The Preface to the play clearly states:IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
“We agreed that the most important thing was for us to reconstruct imaginatively our history, envisioning the v world of Mau Mau and Kimathi in terms of the peasants’ and workers’ struggle before and after constitutional independence.
The play is not a reproduction of the farcical trial’ at Nyeri. It is rather an imaginative recreation and interpretation of the collective will of the Kenyan peasants and workers in their refusal to break under sixty years of colonial torture and ruthless oppression by the British ruling classes and their continued determination to resist exploitation, oppression and new forms of enslavement.”
Kimathi has been presented as he existed in the minds and memories of the people among whom he lived and grew up and those with whose help he organized the freedom struggle and as he is mentioned in the official records, documents and history books written by some armchair academics.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Micere Mugo have projected Dedan Kimathi in the play to counter the colonial’s portrayl of Dedan Kimathi as a gun-totting terrorist.
Kimathi is a legend among the Kenya people. They talked of him as still being alive. “Kimathi will never die’, the Woman in play says.
“But of course if your people have killed him, go and show us his grave!’ She said this in a strange tone of voice, between defiance and bitterness, and for a moment we all kept quiet.”IGNOU BEGE 142 Solved Free Assignment
The authors have not tried to eulogize Kimathi as they also point out his weaknesses. For example, in the Third Movement, while speaking to the Girl and Boy, the Woman makes the following remarks about Kimathi: … He so hated the sight of Africans killing one another that lie sometimes became a little soft with our enemies.
[softly]: He, Great commander that he was, Great organizer that he was, Great featless fighter that he was, he was human! [almost savage/v, bitterly]: Too human at times!”
Dedan Kimathi has also been presented as being friends of Kenyans. In the Second Movement, when Shaw Henderson visits Kimathi in the prison for the First Trial, he says-“All your people know me I’m a Friend”.