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IGNOU MEG 03 Solved Free Assignment

MEG 03 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024

Q. 1. Comment on Fielding’s narrative strategies in Tom Jones.

Ans. Opinion differ in two extremes. Some people believe that Fielding gave not much attention to plot. This implies that he gave an overwhelming attention to characterization.

On the other hand, some believe that he was all for plot. This plainly means that he was almost indifferent to depicting realistic and plausible characters. The truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes.

Nobody can deny that Fielding was a great realistic who delineated real men and women of his age with all their virtues and vices, without moralizing or presenting any consistent ethical or philosophising canons.

According to Cron, “Fielding begins his character building in Somersetshire with Squire Allworthy, Squire Western, Tom Jones, Young Bilfil, Sophia, a philosopher, a clergyman, a doctor, a house-keeper and a gamekeeper.

He starts Jones on a journey to London, introducing chance acquaintances by the way.

I more hurried journeys, Jones is followed by Sophia and Allworthy and Western. When Fielding gets them to London, he brings them into contrast with the more highly reasoned men and women of the town, as represented by Lord Fellamar and Lady Bellaston.

The immense canvas, when filled, contains forty figures.” (Development of the English Novel, 1952, p. 52)

It is clear that Fielding’s canvas is very large. He virtually presents a Chancerian gallery of portraits widely different in dress, tastes, manners and station in life.

We have Squires Allworthy and Western who represent the landed gentry. Lady Bellaston and Lord Fellamar are the members of an ultra-modern fashionable corrupt and depraved when society.

We have Thwackum the tutor and Square the philosopher who belong to the middle-class. Mr. Partridge is a jack of all trades.

He is at once a school-master, a barber, a surgeon, a tailor and a host of other things. Then we have land ladies, inn-keepers, servants, soldiers, maid-servants, gatekeepers and others.

We have a good number of female characters of different hues and moral standings, though most of them are corrupt.

Sophia is the heroine. She has a high moral sense. She is a paragon of beauty and a model of obedience, but at the same time, she is self-willed as far as her love for the hero is concerned and at last she has her way.

Lady Bellaston, Mrs Waters and even Mrs Fitzpatrick are women of weak moral characters. Mrs Honour too is found hidden behind the curtains in a room with the hero.

Fielding’s characters are well-defined and the author gives a minute description of them in most the cases.

According to Baker, “Even such minor personages as Supple, Squire Western’s led-curate the, irresponsible man of fashion, Lord Fellamar
who tries to win Sophia by force, the disreputable attorney, lawyer Dowling, the rakish, easy-going Nightingale and the nameless crowd of innkeepers and their shrewish wives, doctors, soldiers, ructics, gipsies and non-descripts have not only something to do in the complications of the story, but are also essential to the completeness of the picture.” (History of the English Novel, Vol. IV)

It is often said that Fieldings characters are flat. E.M. Forster says this in his “Aspects of the Novel” about the flat characters : “Flat characters were called humours in the seventeenth century and are sometimes called types, and sometimes caricatures.

In their purest form they are constructed round a single idea or quality; when there is more than one factor in them, we get the beginning of the curve towards the round.”

(Aspects of the Novel, Edward Arnold & Co. London, 1953, p. 65)
We should bear in mind the last part of Forster’s assertion:

“When there is more than one factor in them, we get the beginning of the curve towards the round.”

Thus we have in Tom Jones, the hero conflicting between idealism and falling prey to sexual activities, the heroine obedient and yet rebellious to parental authority and Mr. Western wavering frequently.

With what minute details Fielding depicts even apparently the most insignificant of his characters, may be noted from the delineation of Miss Bridget’s character as under-

“He now lived, for the most part, retired in the country, with one sister (Miss, Bridget), for whom he had a very tender affection.

This lady was now somewhat part the age of 30, an aera, at which, in the opinion of the malicious, the title of old maid may, with no impropriety, be assumed.

She was of that species of women, whom you rather commend for good qualities than beauty, and who are generally called by their own sex, very good sort of women – as good a sort of woman, madam, as you would wish to know.

Indeed she was so for from regretting want of beauty, that she never mentioned that perfection (if it can be called one) without contempt; and would often thank God she was as handsome as Miss such a one, whom perhaps beauty had led into errors, which she might have otherwise avoided.

Miss Bridget Allworthy (for that was the name of this lady) very rightly conceived the charms of person in a woman to be no better than snares for herself, as well as for others and yet so discrete was she in her conduct, that her prudence was as much on the guard, as if she had had all the snares to apprehend which were ever laid for her whole sex.

Indeed, I have observed (tho’ it may seem unaccountable to the reader) that this guard of prudence, like the trained bands, is always readiest to go on duty where there is the least danger.

It often basely and cowardly deserts those paragons for whom the men are wishing, sighing, dying, and spreading every net in their power; and constantly attends at the heels of that higher order of women, for whom the other sex have a more distant and awful respect, and whom (from despair, I suppose of success) they never venture to attack.”

This makes us pause to ponder that Fielding, in spite of all the details he gives about a particular character may not intend to assign him or her a role in conformity with his or her descriptions.

Thus we have a great detail about Allworthy, but we do not find his role in the novel corresponding to those descriptions.

Similarly, Mr. Bilfil does not get so many descriptive notes from the pen of the novelist, but his role in the novel is very crucial. But for his machinations, the novel would have turned into a static statue.

We know quite well that Fielding’s real aim was to present human living being and throbing who presented a true picture of the society of his times and in this endeavour, he fared squarely well.

Compton-Rickett presents a gist of Fielding’s realistic representation of the society of his times when he writes-
“The society that Fielding painted was a coarse and noisy one, but Fielding draws attention to the fact that “its bark is worse than its bite”, that it is more frivolous and thoughtless than deliberately bad.

His genial humour playing over its rough surface, easily and spaciously, irradiates everyone who is not a hypocrite or a muff.

The essential humanity of his characters is their most attractive asset, and this gives much astonishing vitality to his work.

His treatment of hypocrisy is the least satisfactory illustration of his art, for his hearty deterioration of it prevents him even from making his hypocrites plausible.

Minor affectations he can deal with tolerantly and pleasantly enough, and one recalls Parson Adams urging Joseph Andrews to resign his Fanny “peaceably, quietly and contentedly,” by philosophic considerations conveniently deduced from the Bible and from Seneca than being suddenly faced with a calamity of his own, the supposed loss of his child, when straight way the affectation of philosophy slips from him.

On the whole this humour of Fielding is nowhere more pleasantly expressed than in the picture of the lovable person-good-hearted, absurd, and most impractical of men; like a full-blooded Don Quixote.”

U.J. Long gives us a very potent clue to Fielding’s claim of being the real founder of the English novel, as the specific attention he gives to the portrayal of his characters-

“In all his work sincerity is perhaps the most marked characteristic. Fielding likes virile men, just as they are, good and bad, but detests shams of every sort.

His satire has none of swift’s bitterness, but is subtle as that of Chaucer, and good-natured as that of Steele.

He never moralizes, though some of his powerfully drawn scenes suggests a deeper moral lesson than anything in Defoe or Richardson; and he never judges even the worst of his characters without remembering his own frailty and tempering justice with mercy.

On the whole, though much of his work is perhaps in bad taste and is too coarse for pleasant or profitable reading, Fielding must be regarded as an artist, a very great artist, in realistic fiction; and the advanced student who reads him will probably concur in the judgement of a modern critic that, by giving us genuine pictures of men and women of his own age, without moralizing over their vices and virtues, he became the real founder of the modern novel.”

Fielding had tried his long hand at the drama before endeavouring to be a dramatist. He wrote sixteen dramas in all. That’s not a small number.

Thus he had acquired a dramatic art which he brought to advantage in his novel.
Thus, he says in Book VIII, Chapter (I) of Tom Jones-

“The world hath been often compared to the theatre; and many grave writers, as well as the poets, have considered human life as a great drama resembling, in almost every particular, those scenical representations, which Thespis is first reported to have invented, and which have been since received with so much approbation and delight in all polite countries.”(T.J. Book VII, Chapter 1)

Fielding does not make any claim regarding perfection of his models since perfect characters are not available in society. It means he wants to present true and realistic picture of society only.

He says candidly-“If thou dost delight in these models of perfection, there are books enow written to gratify thy taste; but, as we have not in the course of our conversation, ever happened to meet any such person, we have not chosen to introduce any such here.”

This is the reason why Fielding’s characters are sometimes called “fallible paragons.”
It will not be out of place to examine what Fielding himself has to say about his art of characterization, since he is fortnight is asserting his views candidly-

“But we who deal in private character, who search into the most retired recesses, and draw forth examples of virtue and vice from holes and corners of the world, are in a more dangerous situation.

As we have no public notoriety, no concurrent testimony, no records to support and corroborate what we deliver, it becomes us to keep within the limits not only of possibility, but of probability too… In the last place, the actions should be such as may not only be within the compass of human agency, and which human agents may probably be supposed to do; but they should be likely for the very actors and characters themselves to have performed; for what may be only wonderful and surprising in one man, may become improbable, or indeed impossible when related of another.”

Q. 2. Discuss the ways in which Pride and Prejudice foregrounds the social and economic realities of women’s lives in Jane Austen’s time.

Ans. Charlotte Lucas is a practical type of girl in the novel Pride and Prejudice. She believes in acquiring social status, economic security.

She says, “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of change.” Thus she believes in a marriage of convenience rather than a romantic marriage.

She is the daughter of Sir William Lucas. She is a plain-looking girl of twenty-seven. She is quite intelligent and practical. Every body cannot understand her.

When she marries Mr. Collins, she is only shocked. But Charlotte knows that she is already becoming an old maid and is not so beautiful.

She wants to have some security and comfort in life. After her marriage with Mr. Collins, she says about him that she is happy when he is way and she ignores his presence when he is around.

Charlotte believes in frankness. She rightly advise Jane to show her love Bingley. She herself immediately accepts Mr. Collins proposal.

She does not feel that necessity to go into much detail. She does not believe in romantic love. In the novel, she serves as a foil to Elizabeth. Elizabeth stands for ideal love and Charlotte for practical love.

This is how Charlotte express her views of marriage, but we should also note how Elizabeth reacts to her remarks- “Well,” said Charlotte, “I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him-tomorrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelve-month. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.

If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each-other, or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least.

They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation, and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.”

“You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that would never act in this way yourself.”

Certainly Jane Austen herself is on the side of Elizabeth who has a close analysis of Darcy character, behaviour and various traits besides his high social and economic status, before going in marriage with him.

Unlike Lucas, social and economic security is not the only, not even the main criteria with her.

One of the major themes of the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is love and marriage. Besides the marriage of Mrs. and Mr. Bennet, four marriages take place in the novel.

Moreover, the main concern of the novel is courtship and love, particularly the coming close of the hero, Darcy, and the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, by stages.

The first marriage that attracts our attention is that of Mrs. and Mr. Bennet. Mr. Bennet was an educated young man when he fell in love with Mrs. Bennet and married her. This happened before the start of the novel.

But Mrs. Bennet was not a fit match for Mr. Bennet. She is a nervous, ridiculous lady. So, this marriage is the worst example of its kind in the novel.

The second example of marriage in the novel is that of Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins is a stupid clergyman.

He first proposes to Elizabeth. She rejects him. Then he proposes to Charlotte Lucas. She accepts his proposal because she wants social and economic security. So, there is no love in this marriage.

The third example of marriage in the novel is that of Lydia and Wickham. Wickham is a philanderer and a cheater. Lydia falls in love with him. She elopes away with him. Lydia’s action is bound to bring disgrace to the family.

It is Darcy who bribes Wickham and makes him marry Lydia. The family is saved from disgrace.

The fourth example of marriage is that of Jane and Bingley. Jane and Bingley truly love each other. Bingley is a well to do young man. He marries Jane without dowry. This is an example of a successful marriage.

The fifth example of marriage is that of Elizabeth and Darcy. It is an example of an ideal marriage. Elizabeth and Darcy actually love each other. But their love develops slowly and after careful observation of each other.

They get married only after Darcy has given up his pride and Elizabeth has given up her prejudice.

The two try to understand each other and learn that they will be able to lead a life of social and economic security. Theirs is an example of an ideal love.

Q. 3. How does Dickens’s novel Great Expectations engage with the theme of upward social mobility and self- improvement?

Ans. Pip is, undoubtedly, the hero of the novel “Great expectation.” The whole story of the novel revolves round him and almost all the characters in the novels are connected to him in one way or the other.

He gives the following description about himself and his family in the first chapter of the novel :His name and family description(Chapter 1, p. 9)

My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my unfant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

I give Pirrip as my father’s family name on the authority of his tombstone and my sister-Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith.

As I never saw my father or my mother and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were lie unreasonably derived from their tomb stones.

The shape of the letters on my father’s give me an odd idea that he was a square stout, dark man, with curly black hair.

From the character and turn of the inscription, “Also Georgiana wife of the Above,” I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freck led and sickly.

To five little stones lozenges each above a foot and a half long which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine who gave up trying to get a living exceedingly early in that universal struggle.

I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers, pockets, and had never taken them out in this state of existence.

Fear complex. We find Pip alove first in the marshes. He is about to cry on seeing his parent’s and dead brother’s tombs.

There he encounters the first convict, Abel Magwitch-a meeting which gives him quantas of fear and makes him steal food and a file from his sister and brother-in-law’s house where he lives.

Not a coward. Even if Pip seems to suffer from fear complex, basically, he is not a coward. This he amply proves in his duel with Herbert, in his efforts to save Magwitch and his encounter with Orlick in the sluice house.

Full of Imagination. Pip’s mind is full of imagination. This is both a positive and a negative quality. He had a child-like fancy of enlarging things and persons and situations.

He actually believes that his heart would be torn out by a cruel man if he does not comply with the demand of Magwitch.

But this wild imagination also enables him to take Mr. Jaggers word in their true spirit and he strives hard to become a gentleman.

High ambitions and great expectations. The same wildness of imagination raises high ambitions which are rather too high as he is obsessed with great expectations which virtually come to nothing.

Inferiority complex. From the very beginning, Pip is conscious of being “base born.” He thinks too much about his coarse body and dress and manners and sometimes even dislikes his trust and greatest friend, Joe, just for similar reasons.

Rusticity : There is something rustic and uncouth in manners and appearance. As he visits Miss Hanisham house his treatment by Estella enhances the element of inferiority complex in him.

Relations with Miss Hanisham and Estella. Pip is very sincere in his relations with Miss Hanisham and Estella. He has a high regard for the strange lady and he is simply bewitched by Estella.

Pip vainly hopes that Miss Hanisham is his benefactress. Then he believes that one day she will arrange Estella’s marriage with him.

He is not well-treated by Estella from the very beginning. She hates him from the very beginning and even tries to break his heart as she is trained to do by Miss Hanisham. Still, he believes that she will marry him.

Estella, in Miss Hanisham’s house, even caters food to him in a highly presumptuous manner. But he, though tormented tries to forgive and forget his humiliation.
Pip escorts Estella to Richmond as desired by her.

He sincerely advises her to have no relations with a knave like Drummle. But she admonishes him and cares not a fig for him.

Finally, when Estella becomes a widow, she marries him. It is too late. One can only say, better late then never, just for the sake of consolation. A true friend. Pip is a true friend. He helps Herbert sincerely to become a partner in Mr. Wemmick’s firm.

He does not even inform him of this fact. He sincerely pleads his case with Miss Hanisham for help. He pleads even the case of Mr. Matthew Pocket, his tutor, for the same purpose.

Pip’s treatment of Joe must be considered questionable. Joe is his brother-in-law and best friend who takes him as his apprentice and plays off all his debts to his creditors as he visits London when Pip is ill.

Pip does not like his uncouth dress of blacksmith and his rustic too simplistic manners.

When Joe visits him in London to convey to him Miss Hanisham’s massage, Pip wishes he should not have come and when he actually comes, he maintains a reserved attitude towards him.

In the end, Pip abundantly makes amends for this lapse as the following dialogue-Chapter 57, (pp. 497-98) reveals: At least, one day I took courage and said, “Is it Joe !” And the dear old home – voice answered, “Which it air, old chap.” “Oh, Joe you break my heart! Look angry at me, Joe.

Tell me of my ingratitude. Don’t be so good to me !” For Joe had actually laid his head down on the pillow at my side, and put his arm round my neck, in his joy that I knew him.

“Which dear old Pip, old chap,” said Joe, “You and me was ever friends. And when you’re well enough to go out for a ride what larks!”

After which Joe withdrew to the window, and stood with his back towards me wiping his eyes. And as my extreme weakness prevented me from getting up and going to him, I lay there, penitently whispering, “O God bless him !’ O God bless this gentle Christian man!”

Joe’s eyes were red where I next found him beside me, but I was holding his hand and we both felt happy “How long dear Joe ?”
“Which you means to say, Pip, how long have your illness lasted, dear old chap?”
“Yes, Joe.”
“It’s the end of May, Pip. Tomorrow is the first of June.” “And have you been here all the time dear Joe ?”

“Pretty nigh, old chap for as I say to Biddy when the news of your being ill were brought by letters, which it were brought by the post, and being formerly single he is now married though underpaid from a deal of walking and shoe-leather, but wealth were not an object on this fast, and marriage were the great wish of his hart.”
“It is so delightful to hear you, Joe, ” But I interrupt you in what you said to Biddy.”

“Which it were” said Joe, “that how you might be amongst strangers, and that how you and me having been ever friends, a visit at such a moment might not prove unacceptable.. And Biddy her word were ‘Go to him, without loss of time.”

That said Joe, summary up with his judicial air, “were the word of Biddy, ‘Go to him Biddy says, ‘without loss of time.’ In short I shouldn’t greatly deceive you.”

Joe added after a little grave reflection, “If I represented to you that the word of that young woman were, ‘without a minute’s loss of time.”

These Joe cut himself short, and informed me that I was to be talked to in a great moderation and that I was to take a little nourishment at state frequent times, whether I felt inclined for it or not, and that I was to submit myself to all his orders.

So I kissed his hand, and lay quietly, while he proceeded to write a note to Biddy with my love in it. Evidently Biddy had taught Joe write.” (Chapter 57, pp. 497-98)

Pip’s materialism. Dickens’s was age when money was gaining the centre-stage in human relations. As such, when Mr. Jaggers informs Pip of his great expectations from an unknown benefactor, he is overjoyed.

When he informs uncle Pumblechook, Miss Hanisham and others of his bright prospects, Key all congratulate him.

Thus Pip hankers after money and status. Magwitch’s attempt at making Pip a gentleman clearly demonstrates that is the new world, it is not birth or inheritance alone which makes a gentleman, but money and education can do this and Magwitch wishes this and Pip tries to take full advantage of it.

Pip’s fate. One may believe in fate as divine dispensation or not, yet fate play its part, at least with Pip. His circumstances, environment and events in life are closely connected with fate.

In the Victorian world poor orphans like Pip had no status in society even when having a kind patron like Joe. Pip lived in a marshy and this is connected to his fate.

It was there that he met Magwitch who caused him ripples of fear and held out great expectations to him even if they dissolved into the mists of the marsh, as Pip himself say towards the end of the novel.

It was providential that Pip met women like Mrs Joe, his own sister (who did not treat him well), Miss Hanisham who first treated him as a plaything and became instrumental in causing him frustration in the matter of his expected marriage with Estella and that Estella who at best once broke his heart, though in the end reconciled to him as a feeble widow-a poor substitute for that throbbing, vibrating Estella.

Again whereas Miss Hanisham bequeaths everything for Estella and Mrs Pocket she wills nothing for poor Pip.

As far as his fate is concerned, Pip must himself also be blamed to a great extent for this. He realized too late that it was a folly on his part to have deprecated a noble man like Joe and left his forge for the glamour of London.

Self-respect. Pip is a man of self-respect. As he comes out of Miss Hanisham’s house, he is not afraid to fight a dual with Herbert when the latter challenged him.

He feels remorseful when he learns that he has become a gentleman only with the money of a convict.

Nobility of heart. Pip’s essential nobility of heart must be recognized. He tries his best that Herbert should be helped and makes him a partner in Mr. Wemmick’s firm by spending money from his own pocket and that without informing him.

He tries his best to save the life of his benefactor, Magwitch, though it is a different thing that circumstances play the villain.

The nobility of his heart is amply brought out from the parting he words speaks to Joe and Biddy as he visits them in the village and as he learns that they are celebrating their wedding day (Chapter 58, p. 514)

“Dear Biddy,” said I, “you have the best husband in the whole world, and if you would have seen him by my bed you would have But no, you couldn’t love him better than do.”

“No, I couldn’t indeed,” said Biddy. “And, dear Joe, you have the best wife in the whole world, and she will make you as happy as ever you, desire to be you dear good noble Joe!”

Joe looked at me with a quivering lip, and fairly put his sleeve before his eyes.

“And Joe and Biddy both, as you have been to Church today and are in charity and love with all mankind, receive my humble thanks for all you have done for me, and all I have so ill-repaid! And when I say that I am going away within the hour for I am soon going abroad and I shall never rest until I have worked for the money with which you have kept me out of prison, and have sent it to you, don’t think, deer Joe and Biddy, that.. if I could repay it a thousands times over I suppose I could cancel a farthing of the debt I own you, or that I would do so if could !”

They were both melted by these words, and both entreated me to say no more.

“But I must say more. Dear Joe I hope you will have children to love, and that some little fellow will sit in this chimney-corner of a winter night who may remind you of another little fellow gone out of it for ever.

Don’t tell him Joe, that I was thankless; don’t tell him, Biddy, that I was ungenerous and unjust; only tell him that I honoured you both, because you were both so good and true and that, as your child, I said it would be natural to him to grow up a much better man than I did.” (Chapter 58, p. 514)

Industriousness. Of course, for sometime in London Pip becomes extravagant, having been influenced by the flamboyant gentlemen of the city and mounds of debt get heaped on him.

But after all his debts are paid by Joe and he is saved from the prison, he realizes his folly. Later he becomes a clerk in Wemmick’s firm in which Herbert is also a partner because of him.

He himself slowly rises to be a partner. It is mainly because of his industriousness that he makes a steady progress.

A true lover and friend. Finally, we must accept Pip as a True lover and friend. He is constantly true to Estella. He genuinely helps Herbert.

He never reminds him of his secrete help in him. It is only later when he himself becomes a partner in his firm that Herbert learns of his noble gesture. We must recognize Pip as a good and great character.

A round character. Normally Dickens’s characters are said to be flat, as they never grow and maintain their original traits to the end.

Pip must be considered an exception. Wherever in the earlier part of the novel he is immature, in the later part, he shows enough of maturity. He helps Herbert and Magwitch and makes the best amends he could to Joe.

Q. 4. Discuss the ways in which forces of race and class shape characters and episodes in A Passage to India.

Ans. About Forster’s symbolism, Dr. A.S. Collins says, “He (Rickie) had, however, bequeathed Stephen salvation, and with a lost symbolic touch Forster shows another train with Herbert Pembroke in it passing in the distance-“a lurid spot …. massed, and the silence returned.”

In Howard’s End, the symbolic representation is well worked out. Wilcoxes become the symbol of money-minded people, while the Schlegels serve as the symbol of sensitive understanding of moral and aesthetic values.

Howard’s end, the house, is itself the symbol of stability. “By calling the story Howard’s End, Forster shows the importance he attaches to the symbol of country house-natural roots, stability, beauty the resources of an earlier England.”

Major Symbols: There are three major symbols. They are-
(1) Mosque (2) Caves (3) Temple
(1) In the first part, the readers are brought to a mosque-
(2) In the second part, the readers are brought to the caves; and
(3) In the third part, the readers are brought to a temple.

(1) In the Mosque Part:

In this part, there is the crucial meeting between an English women, Mrs Moore and Indian Dr. Aziz. The “secret understanding of the heart is established in this part.”

(ii) The Mosque presents a combination of light and shade and serene beauty regions there. It represents belief in oneness of India.

(iii) We should, however, remember that even in this part, there are intimation of the caves. At Fielding’s tea-party, Godbole avoids describing the caves.

This act of his adds to the mystery that surrounds the caves. Thus, the shadow or echo of the coming Marabar Caves can be seen or felt even in this Chapter.

(2) Caves :
(i) In the first Chapter of the second part called “caves,” we learn that the caves are prehistoric. That they predate Islam, Christianity and even Hinduism which is the oldest of all religions.
(ii) The caves represent the voice of that universe which is “older than all spirit.”
(iii) They are the voice of Chaos and Old Night.
(iv) They pre-exist even God…. i.e. formlessness and void.
(v) “Nothing attaches to them”….says Forster himself.
(vi) The Echo is the culminating horror in the caves.
(vii) Caves represent the hollowness of life, of the world, of the universe.
(viii) They represent evil in life which must not be let loose, but kept within the caves.
(ix) The caves communicate the following terrifying message to Mrs Moore-
Pathos, piety, courage they exist, but are identical and so is faith.

Everything exists, nothing has value. If one had spoken Vileness in that place, or quoted lofty poetry, the comment would have been the same-boum-Devils are of the North, and poems can be written about them, but no one could romanticize the Marbar because it robbed infinity and eternity of their vastness the only quality that accommodates them to mankind.(Chapter 14)

(x) The Echo is a powerful symbol in the novel. According to Trilling, “the very texture of the story is a reticulation of echoes.”

(xi) “Echoes generate echoes,” i.e. meaninglessness spreads out layer upon layer like serpents “which writhe independently.”

(xii) In Forster’s own words,
“When I began ‘A Passage to India’ I knew that something important happened in the Marabar Caves, and that it would have a central place in the novel-but I didn’t know what it would be….. Let me see how to explain. The Marabar Caves engender an event like an egg

(3) Temple :
(i) Temple represents the final triumph of Hindu Temple over the pre-Hindu caves of Marabar.
(ii) In this section, we have

(a) The scene of Krishna’s birth and Godbole’s vision;
(b) the scene presenting Aziz and Ralph’s coming together as a result of Mrs Moore’s mystical influence.
(c) collision of beats of Aziz and Fielding which brings them together again and brings about a reconciliation between them.
(d) Fielding and Aziz’s last ride together in the jungle.
(e) parting ways between them for ever.

(iii) It is to be remembered that it is only the divine muddle of the Hindu ceremonial festival which has brought Aziz and Fielding together.
(iv) Yet, even the effect of the Hindu mysticism is momentary.
(v) The result is that like the unity of India, the friendship of Aziz and Fielding remains unstable.
(vi) Temple represents the world mountain.

Total Effect

The tripartite system of the book signifies.
(i) Mosque stands for Union through oneness of God.
(ii) Cause stand for Disintegration through negation or nullity.
(iii) Temple stands for Reunion through love and all-inclusiveness.

According to Glen O. Allen, “the three part division of the novel adumbrates three attitudes towards life: the path of activity, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion.

It is Forster’s triumph, he shows to weld these diverse paths together through delicate use of symbolic motifs so that they form a total satisfying, if mystifying pattern of life and art.”

Expanding Symbols
Apart from these major symbols, there are some expanding symbols like “the bee wasp” and the “echo.”

The Bee wasp:

(i) First of all, we find the wasp in the Mosque Section when Mrs Moore notices a wasp on the tip of the peg, “an Indian social wasp.” The English lady notices it when she is undressing in her room. She calls it, “Pretty dear.”

(ii) Later, a Christian clergyman says in connection with the wasps, that certain things have to be excluded.

(iii) Later, Godbole in his vision sees Mrs Moore as well as the wasp. He is not for excluding the wasps from the universe.

Unlike Christianity which believes in exclusiveness, Godbole represents Hinduism which believes in inclusiveness of good and evil. To him “Good and evil are different as their names imply.

But in my own humble opinion they are both of them aspects of my Lord. He is present in one, absent in the other, and the difference between presence and absence is great…. Yet absence implies presence, absence is not non-existence, and we are therefore entitled to repeat, “Come, come, come come,” (Chapter 19)

The Title
Even the tile of the novel is symbolic, as it suggests meanings as various levels.
As F.R. Karl and M. Magalaner say, “In A Passage to India Forster’s intent is………. to present not only western civilization in collision with eastern imperial with colonial, the human heart in conflict with machinery of government, class and race but also a mystical, highly symbolic view of life, death and human relationship.”

Forster’s Conscious Mystification
Forster’s himself intends the reader to be mystified in literature when he says into ‘Two cheers for Democracy, “I like the idea of fantasy, of muddling up the actual and the impossible until the reader is not sure which and I have sometimes tried to do it when writing myself.”

The employment of the symbol of Echo in such a deftly manner, speaks volumes of the triumph of Forster’s creative art. According to E.K. Brown, “An echo distorts Mrs Moore’s sense of her purport of life, but that distortion……. is not entirely ruinous.

An echo distorts Adela’s sense of what happened in the cave; but another echo restores her to truth. Good and evil interweave in these expanding symbols, making them more mysterious.”

Effect of Echo on Mrs Moore

(i) To Mrs Moore, the echo is the voice of “something snub-nosed, incapable of generosity-the undying worm itself.”

(ii) “Echoes generate echoes”-

(a) meaninglessness spreads out layer upon layer like serpents “which writhe independently.”

(b) that is the condition of human beings, of human relations, of the universe.

(c) the echo brings the universal image to focus. It focuses on the total human civilization, achievement of mankind and prospects of the future.

(d) the condition of Indian confusion, muddle, mystery become an enigma a problem, but Mrs Moore being an “oriental” doesn’t find that difficulty with which Adela asked is face to face.

(e) Whatever is said, the same monotonous noise replies, and quivers up and down the walls until it is absorbed into the roof. ‘Boum’ is the sound as for as the human alphabet can express it, or ‘bou-oum’, or ‘ou-boum’, – utterly dull. Hope, politeness, the blowing of a noise, the squeak of a boot, all produce ‘boum.’

(f) The result is that Mrs Moore “loses all interest, even in Aziz.”

(g) Now to her :”And all this rubbish about love, love in a church, love in a cave, as if there is the least difference, and I held up from my business over such trifles.”

(h) She realizes: ……….. the echo began in some indescribable way to undermine her hold on life. Coming at a moment when she chanced to be fatigued, it had managed to murmur.

‘Pathos piety, courage-they exist, but are identical, and so is filth. Everything exists, nothing has value.”

(i) Forster himself acknowledges that echo has brought Mrs Moore to a state-“Where the horror of the universe and its smallness are both visible at the same time-the twilight of the double vision in which so many elderly Effect on Adela Quested
Adela thus felt about the echo-Ce are involved.”

“and was going on still like a river that gradually floods the plain…. Evil was loose… She could even hear it entering the liver of others.”
If returned to her in the trail scene.

Effect on Fielding
This is how Fielding reflected on the echo “everything echoes now; there’s no stopping the echo. The original sound may be harmless, but the echo is always evil.”

Q. 5. Comment on Muriel Spark’s narrative technique in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Ans Muriel Spark likes to utilize an all-knowing 3rd individual storyteller. when she writes her books. as a manner for the reader to see all the character’s ideas and positions.

The storyteller in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” acts as a kind of fly on the wall. allowing the reader observe the different state of affairs environing each single character.

As the fresh returns. the reader can so detect the different positions of Miss Jean Brodie by every miss from the set.

To state the narrative of Miss Jean Brodie’s prime the reader merely can non take a point of position from one beginning because each miss from the set was affected in a different manner.

By roll using all the different point of positions the reader can analyse all the different facets of Miss Brodie’s character.

Muriel Spark besides uses a similar brainwashing technique used by Miss Brodie. Spark can give the reader any senti- ment she wishes them to believe.

The storyteller tells the narrative in such a manner that all the characters’ sentiments on Miss Brodie are exposed.

Throughout the narrative. the storyteller bases and manipulates our thoughts about the characters. Despite the fact that Miss Brodie might hold good purposes.

The reader is more compelled to dislike her because of her fascist instruction methods and actions.

The storyteller proves this by concentrating on certain characters. The one’s who were most influenced by Miss Brodie’s premier.

Such illustrations are Mary MacGregor’s decease which led the reader to believe that she truly was every bit stupid as Miss Brodie predicted.

Another is the fact that Rose Stanley was said to be celebrated for sex. Besides predicted and preached by Miss Brodie. This makes it hard to explicate any different sentiment on Miss Brodie.

Muriel Spark develops her characters in this manner as well. Joyce Emily Hammond is introduced as the girl who is rejected from the Brodie set.

Nothing is said about her past and the nature of life she lives in her former school before joining the Blaine school. What motivates her to join the Blaine school is not even mentioned, unlike others.

Her character development is so dry and shallow. After her brief introduction in chapter one, nothing is said about her again until when the news of her death is announced.

At this juncture, readers can feebly understand the fact that Miss Brodie encourages her to run away to fight in the Spanish Civil War on nationalist side, which she does, only to be killed in a train accident.

With this technique, the narrator of the story is omniscient and timeless, relating the entire plot, all at once. Muriel Spark creates deep characters, which are realistic in their human imperfections.

The complexity of the characters of Miss Brodie and Sandy seems to mirror the complexity of human life.

Jean Brodie is genuinely intent on opening up her girls lives, on heightening their awareness of themselves and their world and on breaking free of restrictive, conventional ways of thinking, feeling and being.

Through the character of Jean Brodie, I see this literary masterpiece questioning popular and long-held notion, or better still, breaking tradition.

Here, the philosophy of what education should be is questioned. Jean Brodie smartly denounces Miss Mackay s philosophy of education in her relationship with her pupils.

Whenever Jean Brodie addresses them, she looks around often to see if anyone is there to eavesdrop.

This suspicious mentality hunts her throughout the narrative. In a way, this contradiction of ideas further expresses the modernist view of writing and also makes readers inquisitive to the idea that will eventually triumph.

IGNOU MEG 02 Solved Free Assignment 2023-24

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