Note & Reference for Com. English B.A/B.B.S/BASW first YearTable of Contents
1) A 1996 Commencement Speech Salman Rushdie
2) Shep's Hobby James Harriot
3) A Sound of Thunder Ray Bradbury
4) Telegram on the Table Parashu Pradhan
5) Stopping by woods on a snowy eveing Robert Frost
6) Where the Mind is Without Fear Rabindranath Tagore
7) Piano D.H. Lawrence
8) The Lunatic Laxmi Prasad Devkota
9) Gaia Shreedhar Prasad Lohani
10) The Making of a Scientist V. S. Ramachandran
11) Third Thoughts By E.V Lucas
12) The Cabuliwallah Rabindranath Tagore
13) A Tale B.P. Koirala
14) The Great Answer Fulton Oursler
15) King John and the Abbot of Canterbury Anonymous
16) The Stub Book Pedro Antonio de Alarcon
17) Why Go To University? Moti Nissani
18) Marriage is a private affair Chinua Achebe, Nigeria
19) Arranging a marriage in India Serena Nanda
20) Then and Now: Finding My Voice Elaine H. Kim
21) TV Can Be a Good Parent Ariel Gore
22) Life without Chiefs Marvin Harris
23) The Sword of Damocles Source: Greek Legend
24) Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Richard P. Feynman with Ralph Leighton
25) Life Is Sweet at Kumansenu Abioseh Nicol
26) To Know a Fly Vincent Dethier
27) Mr. Know All W. Somerset Maugham
28) Adaptive Failure: Easters End Jared Diamond
29) The Good Example Vicent Riva Palacio
30) Swan Song Anton Chekhov
31) How Sane Are We? Anuradha Chaudhary
32) To His Coy Mistress Andrew Marvell
33) A painful case James Joyce
34) “What Is Intelligence, Anyway?” Isaac Asimov
35) Ethics Linda Pastan
36) Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test Carl Hempel
37) The Wretched Stone Van Allsburg
38) Curbing the One Eyed Monster Fiona C. Jenkins
39) Smarter Kids, Brought to You by the letters T and V Dimitri A Christakis
40) Keeping Errors at Bay Bertrand Russell
41) Yudhisthira's Wisdom Source: The Mahabharat
42) The Brave Little Parrot Buddhist Legend
43) If Not Higher I.L Peretz
44) Ahab and Naboth Source: The Holy Bible
45) Phaedo Plato
46) The Cricket P' u Sung-Ling
47) The Library Card Richard Wright
48) The Four Tusked Elephant
49) Science and the Spirits
50) Nine Puzzles(for self study only, not for exam)
A 1996 Commencement Speech
It is a speech given by Rushdie to graduate students at Bard College. Rushdie feels happy because all of the graduate students of Bard college are present and listing his speech instead of boycotting. Rushdie shares his own graduation day at Cambridge University. A few nights before his graduation day, someone hurled bucketful gravy of onions all over the walls and furniture in his room. He had not done it. But he had to pay for the damage before the ceremony if not he would not be permitted to graduate. It was his mistake to be responsible for the mess which he had not done. Next, he went to ceremony wearing brown shoes. But he was instantly plucked out of the parade and made him wear black shoes. He did what he was ordered to get graduation. And, at last, he had to kneel at vice chancellors feet, hold up his hands, palm together and beg in Latin for the degree. He had work hard for three years. So, it was his right to get degree. But he did all those all things which were ordered him by the college. Now he realizes his mistake that he was wrong to compromise with injustice. The injustice that he accepted in his college life to get graduation tortures when he remembers those days.
But Rushdie tells that he was very happy for three years when he was at Cambridge and he guesses that the students at Board Collage might feel the same. In his speech, Rushdie Advises the graduate students not be like him to accept the injustice. He encourages them to defy even the gods if they try to limit and control their thought and life. He gives many examples from the myths that how people objected the power of gods. Queen Niobe of Thebes told people not to worship Latona which they had not seen but to worship who stood before their eyes. The gods murdered her children and husband. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. He was bound to a rock where the birds bit his liver. The myths proved that great human being challenged the gods and were ready to get punishment. They were guided by their own thought. He suggests the graduate student not to bow their head in front of the power. They must defy even the god if he is not good. They must enjoy their freedom and rights. If anyone tries to capture their rights, they must revolt against it. They should be ready for a suffering because of their objection. Education is a symbol of freedom and right. So, educated people must challenge the wrong ideas.
Commencement Address at Bard College, May 25th, 1996 by Salman Rushdie
• Rushdie’s Research into Commencement and its traditions
• His graduation from Cambridge 1968-the great year of student protest
• Few nights before his graduation day- his room was redecorated/made dirty with thick gravy onion sauce
• Rushdie was charged for this and announced his deprivation from joining graduation ceremony.
• Paid for the damage and got eligible to receive the degree but plucked out for his wearing brown shoes in place of black ones.
• He had to stay in the parade, hold university officer by his hand, kneel at Vice-Chancellor’s feet, hold up his hands and beg for degree in Latin( dead language acc. To him) /Got the degree.
• He was not satisfied with his act: since he surrendered to get the degree/Ultimately he admits that he was wrong to compromise.
• So he inspires the students of Bard College not to make an accommodation with injustice as he did.
• He encouraged the students to stand up for their rights/kneel before no man , to gain much being happy
• He was offered honorary degree from Bard college giving place to intellectual solidarity and human concern./so got exceptional privilege of addressing the students of Bard College.
• He believes defiance an inevitable and essential aspect of freedom. /Advises to defy any kind of gods.
• Focus on self rule-the rule of men and women by men and women.
• His advices: we must be guided by our natures; we shouldn’t bow our heads; we shouldn’t bow our heads.
• The writer has stated the conflict between young Rushdie and old Rushdie.
• Young Rushdie: submissive, surrendering, compromising to receive the degree
Old Rushdie: aggressive, attacking, admitting that he did mistake by receiving the degree by bowing his head.
• Focus on defying/Defiance is an inevitable and essential aspect of freedom.
• Has severely criticized the system of organizing traditional graduation ceremony where recipients have to bow their head/feel humiliated to receive the degree.
• The writer has come heavily upon the common truth that Cambridge University had the tradition of fairness and justice which was proved wrong from his own experience.
The writer’s argument seems to be convincing but at times some questions come into our mind:
• Simply for the reason of ‘gravy and onion’ issue, how can one university deprive a student of getting a degree?
•Bowing to receive a degree has become an old fashioned now.
• If the writer was so much conscious about his freedom, why did he tolerate the injustice done to him?
• He instigates us to defy gods which is almost against our right/freedom.
• How can defiance be essential aspect of freedom? Doesn’t it give rise to violence?
• The writer on his part surrenders/then why does he give lessons to others?
Salman Rushdie in his commencement speech at Brad College took his audience back to the Cambridge University from where he had completed his graduation in 1968. It was just a few nights before his graduation day when someone redecorated his room with a bucket of sauce all over the walls and furniture. Though the Cambridge University was reputed for the ancient tradition of fairness and justice, Rushdie was found guilty for the mess. It was the first time Rushdie was accused of muckspreading. He was declared eligible to receive degree after he had paid for the damage. In a defiant spirit, he went to the ceremony wearing brown shoes. But he was plucked out of the parade and ordered to change his shoes because brown shoes were not allowed to wear on such occasions. Changing his shoes, he joined the parade. When his turn came, he was instructed to knell at the feet of Vice Chancellor and begin Latin for the degree. He found it very unusual because he had worked hard for 3 yrs supported by his family. After all these formalities, he was finally admitted to the degree of arts.
Looking back at the day he regrets his passivity. He should not have paid. Neither should he have changed his shoes, and nor he should have knelt to beg for his BA. He, at that time preferred to surrender and get the degree. He was wrong to compromise. He was even wrong to make an accommodation with injustice.
This was the message he delivered from the parables of unknown Gravy bomber, the vetoed foot wear and the unsteady Vice-Chancellor upon his throne which he wanted to pass on to them that day.
Rushdie suggested the members of the class of 1996 defying such a penalty as gravy abuse the vetoed foot wear and going down on their knees before a man. He advised the graduates to develop themselves as avenging figures like goddess Nemesis. To him defiance was an essential aspect of freedom. He noted the graduates that their future days should be determined to fight against of all sorts’ gods because all of them demanded to be worshipped and obeyed. Rushdie advised to defy them because; myths say by defying gods human beings have best expressed their humanity. According to the Greek stories Prometheus had combative sentiment which gave rise to humanism.
Prometheus stole the fire from god and gave it to human kind; which could be characterized as the desire for progress, for improved scientific and technical capabilities. Certainly defying of gods involves personal interests. For example, Arachne competed with goddess out of pride. Minerva was vindictive, Niobe fought against Latona for cruel rule of gods. They all challenged the role of gods to promote the rule of human. The gods are weakened by their show of strength and power. The message of myths was that we should behave ourselves and know ourselves and that we must be guided by our nature. Finally, Rushdie advised the graduates not to bow their heads, not to know their place, and defy the gods and be guided by better nature.
From this text, I have come to understand that we should not surrender ourselves to injustice. We should fight for freedom where our progress is. All the old traditions and trends should be replaced by new and progressive ones.
Critical Thinking on "A 1996 Commencement Speech (Salman Rushdie)"
There are few contradictions in between what young Salmon thought about preservation of his liberty and the manner he compromised with the disgusting Cambridge principles while obtaining the degree with his body down at the knees below the Vice-Chancellor who seemed very likely to drop direct over him from the high placed chair. In a sense, he did right by following all of the University principles as the price for making himself eligible to be conferred with a degree. Otherwise, no value system of higher education could be substantiated unless the individuals resigns himself to the established principles handed down as the legacy from the long past in a way of giving credit to those who paved the course for the development of educated culture.
Though Salman surrendered his individual liberty in receiving the degree, he regrets later and feels very sorrowful for being forced to do so and compromise with repulsive Cambridge traditions and show passivity before gods and the university authorities. In this light, any type of defiance is a counter to the established value system followed as a legacy for ages to achieve the educational goal. So, if no respect is shown for academic formalities established in the past, that would prove to be a great weakness and result merely in causing social chaos and endangering base of human culture honoring the seniors and being safeguarded by seniors and authorities.
Salman reacts negatively even about the things he did to serve his purpose but addresses the audience not to and says nothing about the duties to be fulfilled by the degree earners. He should fully know that no human right can be ensured or practiced without fulfilling the corresponding duties in a way as expressing "thanks" to those who show favor to the other. Of course, this practice doesn't prevail among the beasts always centered for the fulfillment of personal needs. And we know education flourishes only through the practice of mutual care and respect. Keeping the same in mind, the teachers teach and the scholars guide those who come to be guided or instructed.
Salman details largely about pros and cons of Cambridge University from where he graduated but ignores almost to highlight the academic greatness of Southampton University. He simply shows his indebtedness to the University for honoring him with an opportunity to give 96th Commencement Speech and extends gratitude to the President of the Bard, who offered him a position of teaching in the Department of English even during the crucial moments of his life.
To the rationalists and the scientific men, religion is moral code of conduct. They want it to be applied by all men and women for mutual welfare, trust, and happiness. So, they are against the purpose of 'organized religion' characterized these days by blind faith and as means for the power mongers to exploit the ignorant and exert the power over those who are powerless for the fulfillment of their false-ego. Maybe holding for similar ideas, Salman was declared as an atheist and condemned to death by Mullahs as Thomas Becket and Martin Luther King for their fair attempt to stand up against religious repression. So, as the educationists with free mind, Mr. Feynman, Riva Palacio or Rushdie would not show regard for distorted conventional wisdom and for 'organized religion' characterized now by blind faith, irrational beliefs, power grabs, ulterior motives of greedy ministers, a lack of love and no personal respect.
The writer, an English country veterinarian, visits a farmer who has the misfortune to have one of the cows in his small herd of ten falls ill. On this particular occasion, the vet is badly startled by the farmer's dog who barks furiously just as he is passing by. This incident is just the latest; Shep has made a hobby of trying to scare the wits out of this man at every opportunity, but this time he really succeeds. After pulling himself together, the writer proceeds to attend to the ailing cow. No matter what he does however, the cow's health continues to decline. Finally, the vet uses his favorite and most drastic technique in an effort to help the cow. Returning to the farm a short time later, he starts off through the field to speak with the farmer and as he walks, the smells and quiet of the meadow mesmerize him. Suddenly, all is sound and fury as Shep leaps in front of him, barking madly. Heart pumping furiously, the vet continues toward the farm where he is delighted to see that the cow has made a speedy recovery. He congratulates himself only to have his ego deflated when the farmer calmly tells him that the postman, of all people, gave him the proper advice that led to the cow's comeback. The vet listens to this as he absentmindedly scratches the cow's tail, soiling his hand in the process. With the farmer's consent, he heads to the farmhouse to wash his hands only to be waylaid once again by Shep. Already low in spirits, the vet's nerves snap and he goes after the big collie. Dragging the dog by chain to him, he berates the animal loud and long. Chastened, Shep tucks his tail and slinks away to the safety of his kennel. While he is relieved that the dog has learned not to startle him any longer, the writer feels badly that he has deprived Shep of his amusement. But, later that summer as he finds himself near the farm again, he waits at a distance and watches while an unsuspecting peddler is set upon by the dog. Satisfied that Shep still has his hobby, the vet continues on through his day.
This charming first person account of an English veterinarian relates a tale of a small time farmer and his dog, Shep. The vet is summoned to treat Rose, one of the farmer's ailing cows. He is unnerved by Shep's timed leap and barking during his approach to the farmer.
Our vet renders several unsuccessful remedies on the ailing bovine. Stymied, he resorts to administering his most powerful portion to Rose. A follow-up visit to the farmer triggers another ambush by Shep. Regaining his composure, our vet renews his trek toward the farm. He's pleasantly surprised to see Rose is feeling better. His victory smile is short-lived, however, when the farmer informs him that the local postman effected Rose's cure. Adding insult to injury, our disheartened vet discovers his hands were dirtied while scratching Rose. He receives the farmer's permission to wash up in the farmer's house. Of course, Shep is lurking in the shadows and executes yet another ambush on our already troubled vet. Yanking the oversized collie's tether, he administers a severe scolding and threatens the now subservient animal.
Over time, our vet is consoled to find that Shep heeded his message. He discovered, however, that his victory was hollow. There's simply no joy - no satisfaction - in bullying Shep, a mere animal. Indeed, he could only lament over the hurt Shep suffered at his hands. He stripped Shep of his happiness - his "hobby." He wholeheartedly regrets his one-time impetuous action. But vet's burden of guilt is lifted when, later that season, he spies the village tinkerer approaching the farmer's --and Shep's -- house. With all the reliability of Old Faithful, Shep happily dispatches the tinkerer who soon disappears from the vet's view. Our vet now knows that life in the peaceful English village is exactly as it should be.
The writer was Herriot. He was frequently visiting Mr. Bailes farm because Bailes cow was sick. One day he was walking between the walls towards the farm .Where the cow was kept. He was worried about why sick cow? Suddenly the dog barked near his ears. He jumped in to the air being frightened. His heart was thumping. Then he saw the dog was running in the corner of the house. It was shep, Bail's dog. He reached the farm. The cow was not well. His medicine was not working. He planned to near cure the cow by using gastric Lavage and with the help of long rubber stomach tube; He pumped the two gallons of warm water mixture in formalin and sodium chloride. He thought that the cow would come in normal situation by this treatment. Then next morning he met Mrs. Bailes. She informs him that the cow was not well. So, he went to see the cow. When he was walking in the field the dog again barked him unexpectedly. This time he staggered back and so frightened. He was trembling. When he reached the farm there he saw the cow was not well. So he decided to use the lavage for the last time. He added two pounds of black treacle to the mixture and pumped into the stomach of cow. Next afternoon, He was surprised to see rose in the field .she seemed well and was cured well. She looked like a normal cow. But the farmer told him that the cow was cured by the postman. He informs the writer that the postman made the cow gallop and the cow came into normal condition. According to Bailes the, Post man used t keep a few animals. So he was clever how to cure the animals! The writer became sad and when the farmer was explaining he scratched the cow's tail. The cow soiled in his hand. He went to the farmer's house to wash his hand. Again the dog shep barked at him. That time he felt his heart stopped. The writer got angry and he grabbed the chain and began to pull. The dog didn't show any his dangerous action. But he surrendered to the writer. The writer Shook his fist under the dog's nose and threatened him furiously. Then the dog never barked at him. The writer knew that it was shep's hobby to frighten the people by barking. The writer felt sorry because he snatched (try to hold on with your hand) the dog's hobby from him. But one day he saw the dog barking at the thinker and thinker ran for away being frightened throwing his pots and pans. Then the writer was satisfied because shep was still having fun with the people.
A Sound of Thunder
Plot (Literal Comprehension)
The story is set in 2055. A hunter named “Eckels” goes on the adventure of a lifetime: travelling back into the past on a prehistoric safari to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. As the participants wait to depart, they chat about the recent presidential elections, in which an apparently fascist candidate, Deutscher, has just been defeated by the more moderate Keith, to the relief of many people.
After the party arrives in the past, Travis (the hunting guide) and Lesperance (Travis's assistant) warn Eckels and the two other hunters, Billings and Kramer, about the necessity of minimizing their effect on events when they go back, since tiny alterations to the distant past could snowball into catastrophic changes in history. The hunters must stay on a path to avoid disrupting the environment and only kill animals which were going to naturally die at the same time.
Despite his earlier eagerness to begin the hunt, Eckels loses his nerve at the sight of the T Rex. Travis tells him he cannot leave, but Eckels panics and veers off the path. The two guides kill the dinosaur, and shortly afterward, the tree that would have killed the dinosaur in the absence of human intervention falls on the corpse. Travis' elation quickly changes to fury when they find Eckels and see his muddy boots, which prove he went off the path. Travis threatens to leave Eckels in the past unless Eckels removes the bullets from the dinosaur’s body, as they cannot be left behind.
Upon returning to the present, Eckels notices subtle changes. English words are now spelled strangely, people and buildings are different and, worst of all, Deutscher has won the election instead of Keith. Looking through the mud on his boots, Eckels finds a crushed butterfly, whose death was apparently the cause of the changes. He pleads to Travis to take him back into the past to undo the damage, but Travis refuses and fires his rifle. It is left untold what he shoots, although it is presumed that he kills Eckels. The dark ending reveals that the title not only refers to the "sound of thunder" made by the T-Rex —the story’s final words are, “There was a sound of thunder.”
On the eve of an American presidential election, a party of rich businessmen undertakes a time travel safari to the past to hunt dinosaurs. While the organizers have taken every precaution to minimize the impact of the hunting party on the past, one member violates the rules and leaves the designated path. Upon their return to the present the group finds that the world has been drastically altered by the seemingly innocuous death of a pre-historic butterfly.
The encounter with the Tyrannosaurus forms the heart of the story with Bradbury’s eloquent prose transporting the reader along with the hunting expedition sixty-million years into the past.
Bradbury’s tale serves not only to entertain but also to speculate on the dangers of time travel. His illustration of a ripple effect on the timeline caused by a seemingly unrelated events over a long period of time is not only demonstrated by the climax of the story, but is also explained in the context of the story.
While Bradbury does an excellent job illustrating the point, he tends to over simplify the ripple effect since he assumes the timeline to be static and that by removing the mouse from the equation a void is created that multiplies up the timeline. It seems more likely that true effect might be equally as dramatic, but unfolding over time in a much more dynamic way. Using Bradbury’s example a lack of mice might mean something other than the fox evolves and thrives on the land, or perhaps the fox adapts to another food source altogether.
The climax of the story involves the return of the hunting party to the office of Time Safari Inc. which still oddly enough still exists, but the language has evolved differently.
But the immediate thing was the sign painted on the office wall, the same sign he had read earlier today on first entering. Somehow, the sign had changed:
TYME SEFARI INC.
SEFARIS TU ANY YEER EN THE PAST.
YU NAIM THE ANIMALL.
WEE TAEK YU THAIR.
YU SHOOT ITT.
More importantly they discover that the presidential election has been influenced and that the fascist candidate Deutscher was elected president instead of the moderate candidate.
While dramatically effective, the ending virtually contradicts Bradbury’s earlier example of the ripple effect and the mouse. The ending suggests that while the players remain the same, namely the presidential candidates Keith and Deutscher, that their environment and the evolution of the human language has been influenced.
It's an interesting coincidence that Bradbury chose a butterfly to symbolize the chaotic effect multiplied over time. The term Butterfly Effect did not originate with this tale, but rather was coined after MIT research meteorologist Edward Lorenz who discovered in the early 1960s that small variations in his computer model caused wildly divergent results. Lorenz later went on to write a seminal paper on Chaos Theory based on his experience.
Neither Bradbury's time travelers nor the accident prone Homer J. Simpson could predict what consequences their actions would have, but suffice it to say that all actions have consequences big and small. If you are time travelling it might be wise to stay on the path to avoid changing history, but looking forward we should do the opposite. There is no telling how one small action can change the world for the better. As an example, Rosa Parks likely knew the immediate consequences of her actions of refusing to give up her seat on a bus that fateful day on December 1, 1955, but not the far reaching consequences that would come out of it.
"A Sound of Thunder" is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury. The story is about a man named Eckels who is a passionate hunter. Eckels travels back in time to kill a dinosaur but his actions alter the balance of nature and he changes the future. The author uses a series of unique describing techniques, which make this story full of surprises. In "A Sound of Thunder", Ray Bradbury presents the fact how the small act of human beings at present can change the future drastically. It gives the idea that the "Sound of Thunder" is the consequence of messing with nature and its power, and from breaking the balance in time. The author tries to describe the nature as the delicate and very sensitive thing and he means to say "don't mess with nature and don't break the balance in time". So the author requests us to use the natural resources properly and wisely so that our exploitation over the nature doesn't create destruction in the future. The writer's main concern over nature in "A Sound of Thunder" is the way human are misusing the natural resources will surely lead to the drastic devastation in the near future so to avoid them, we should learn to properly mobilize these resources.
Telegram on the Table
Krishna had come in the city from the village. He worked as a guide for tourist. All the day, all the days he was busy explaining the entire history of the country to the tourist and answering their question, He had a dream of going to America following a tourist girl. He always used to come late at night in his room from hotel being tired. A telegram had been lying on the table for weeks. There was a message that his wife had died previous day. But the message of his wife’s death did not touch him at all. The telegram should have made him weep. He should have felt regret. He should have fasted for some days. But he didn’t do any anything. The telegram should have affected him. But he was not sad and nothing touches him. He was happy dreaming of America.
His living room was bad. He paid high rent but there was no facility. If he could not get up early in the morning, he would not get water. He wanted to move somewhere else. And he could invite Miss pandey from travel service for dinner. His best friend from his village, who was also in the city, knew about the tragic event and gave him sympathy. But the words of sympathy did not touch him at all. But one night, he could not sleep. He switched the light on and went to the table and read the telegram again. The message touched him. He regretted because he had become heartless like a stone. He got angry with himself, tore the telegram into pieces and cried for a long time. Krishna was an ambitious boy. He came to Kathmandu leaving his parents wife and village. He had a colorful dream about learning English. Of course, he learnt English and worked as tourist guide. He spent 10 years without going home. He wanted to forget his village and family. He only lost himself in a thought of going to a foreign land. He dreamed of following an American girl who would take him to her country and he would enjoy with her there. He totally left the real track of his life. He did not care about his beautiful village and dear parents and wife. Probably, he remembered the good deeds of his wife and his stone heart melted and flood of tears came from his eyes because of his wife's memory. Suddenly, he became angry with the death and began to cry. At last he returned to the real life and the separation of his wife gave him great grief.
The story may be trying to say that a person can’t be happy forgetting his village and dearest relatives. He has to regret in the future like Krishna. This story tried to show the picture of the present Nepalese society. How young generation is being attracted by America. They are ready to abandon anything for America. Nepalese people are made senseless and heartless by the so-called modern thinking and way of living. This story may be trying to tell us that people who have come to the town from village want to forget their beautiful village, loving family and home. They dream of going to foreign country to earn more money, marry with a foreigner and live happily. They never want to return home. If they are married in the village, they feel their wives burden of their shoulder. The death of their wives gives them pleasure. Life in the city is very artificial. People easily leave the way of reality and sink in beautiful dream of comfortable life.
The story is realistic, heart touching, beautiful and interesting. This all does not mean that it is flawless. There are many things to be understood, realized, analyzed and applied in our everyday life. How can husband totally be untouched by his wife’s deaths? The writer had not given any clue that they had a bad conjugal life. So, why Krishna did not think about his wife and family? These all questions are looking for right answers. Needless to, people become selfish after they come to the town. But can a husband forget his wife because of his colorful dream? Isn't a husband touched by the death of his wife? Should a man forget his past completely? Isn't worldly life momentary? Are migrated people to the town really stone hearted? Does a married man really gain natural love and respect from his second wife? So, I don't totally agree with the writer. The story does not apply to everyone's life. This is the case of particular people.
I got cursory reading first and second I gave in depth reading it. I found many things in this story to be applied, realized in our everyday life. I came to realize how people vanish in the city. They leave their village and family for the better future. But when they reach in to city, they are enchanted by modernity and slowly they start forgetting their family. They don’t come to meet their family in the village for a long time.
This story took me back to a selfish boy who lives in Kathmandu at this time. Actually he is from a remote village of Nepal. Some years ago, he lived with his family happily. He was well to do in the village but he left his home and family to earn more money in Kathmandu. Kathmandu attracted him badly and he could not leave it. He even forgot his family, village, friend s and culture. One day, he got a letter about his wife's serious illness. He was requested to bring her to Kathmandu for treatment. But he didn't care. After some weeks he got telegram about her death. That day some changes could be seen on his face. Tears were running down on his face continuously probably he remembered his happy past life with his wife.
Stopping by woods on a snowy evening
By Robert Frost
Robert Frost is one of the famous American romantic writers. The present poem,' Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' is one of the best-known poems by Frost. Romantic writers write on the theme of ‘Nature’. For them, nature is god, a teacher and has both capacities to create and destroy. This is a very short poem consisting of four stanzas where Frost presents a beautiful landscape of snowy evening. He begins his poem with an indirect question: whose woods are these? The answer is vivid that the wood belongs to the God himself. The capitalization of the pronoun ‘He’ also makes us easy to understand the fact that the owner of the wood is God. The speaker of the poem is riding on a horse. He is a traveler. In fact, he is on his way of certain destination but the beauty of snowy environment makes him stop his horse and see the beauty of nature. He is sure that the owner of the wood would not see him. Therefore, he can get the pleasure of the beauty as much as he wishes. At the same time, he looks at his horse and finds it as sensible as a man. He believes that the horse must have been surprised finding him stopping in such dark snowy environment in the midst of the forest. His horse shakes the bell to make him continue the journey. In the final stanza, when the bell of the horse makes him aware of his aim constantly, the poet leaves the beautiful and sublime place and continues his journey. The poet further informs us that the beauty of the very place was lovely, dark and deep but at the same time, he has so many responsibilities and obligations to fulfill before he goes to sleep i.e. his death. Hence, he cannot enjoy that beauty of the forest any longer as we, human beings can’t do. In the poem, the poet describes about his journey. It is an evening. He is riding a horse. He is alone in the deep and dark forest. The snow is falling. There is not any house nearby. The lakes are frozen and he does not hear any sound except snow falling and the wind. On the way through the beautiful forest, he is enchanted by the natural setting. So he stops his horse to enjoy with this environment. The horse rings its bell. It feels strange because there are not any houses or men then he feels that he has to go miles ahead before he sleeps. So he decides to continue his journey.
This poem may be trying to say that duty is more important than any things else. We have to carry our duty even if we feel it difficult. We will not have only enjoyment but will also have bitter moments in our lives. We must face those happiness and tragedy until we live in the world. We cannot avoid them because they are attached to our lives. 'Stopping by Woods a Snowy Evening' is a natural poem composed by Robert Frost. In this poem the poet has described how a man gets impressed by beautiful natural sight.
The poet is on his way home on his house in the snowy evening. There is a beautiful forest on the way and he stops the horse and himself to see its peace and beauty. The breeze and downy lake have added beauty to the peaceful forest. Being night there's no one to break this silence. Horse feels surprised for being stopped. There is not a farm house nearby and the darkness is growing. Now the poet can't stop more because he has promised to reach his goal before he sleeps.
The speaker of the poem is actually a representation of real human being. In reality, all of us are traveler in our life. It begins right from our birth and ends with our last breath. The forest is also symbolic here because it indicates the various attractive, luring events of our life, which try to make us forget our duty and responsibilities and enjoy our life on our own way. Similarly, the horse symbolizes the consciousness of the speaker’s mind. Whenever we meet something beautiful or pleasant events of our life, we become unconscious and tend to forget the tasks to our family, friends and the society. What reminds us our duty is certainly our conscious mind! In fact, all of us have the miles to go before we meet our ultimate friend death. Hence, the poem is a capable of presenting the beauty of nature on the one hand and the factual history of each human being on the other. The poet may be trying to tell us that peace and beauty can't be separated from life. Sometimes one can find unexpected peace and beauty on the way of one's long journey of life. In spite of the long journey, one stops to see the natural beauty. But one has to move to fulfill one's promise or responsibility before death. Responsibility is more important, lack and one should even neglect other things for the sake of duty and responsibility. In this poem the poet talks about sense of beauty and sense of duty. The poem is about human life and duty. Human life is full of obstacles and hardships. But one must be patient and courageous to overcome this to fulfill the promise of his/her life. If one fails to understand such aspect of life, he/she can never get success in his/her life. The poem can be interpreted symbolically by addressing such aspect which always tried to divert the human from their way of life. But man being conscious of it should continue his pace of life forgetting everything.
Though the poem is able to capture the beauty of nature, it also raises some questions as we go through the poem. Life is to be lived and enjoyed but Robert Frost defines it only with the duties and responsibilities. Is our life just to travel miles after miles? Is not it to take some relaxation be in the lap of nature and feel the eternity? Of course it is. Similarly, the poet has looked the life in one perspective only. Nature is not the only beautiful things that everyone desires. There are other several products of modern science and technology which have become an inseparable part of modern world. They have become a source of entertainment and Frost does not talk on this fact. Frost makes an animal, horse, more intelligent than human being. Has a modern man become so dull that he needs an animal to remind his aim? Certainly not. Despite these questions, the poem is sweet, melodious and appealing. Natural beauty gives real pleasure to the spectators. But can beauty and peace disturb all people when they are making a long journey in a hurry? Do all people keep their promises? Can a man enjoy the beauty and peace in the snowing night when the chilly wind is blowing? Do all people fulfill their duty and responsibility before death? Can animal feel as human beings? can a man enjoy the peace and beauty in the dark if he is in a hurry? So, I couldn't totally agree with the poet. So far the poem talks about the human life and duty, it is very impressive. But in many respects, the speaker fails to give very convincing incidence such as how does the writer feel stopping at the lonely woods? Here the horse is shown as if it were giving information about the harshness of the climate. Is it possible for the horse to notice and inform about it? How does one travel along the path alone which is full of falling snow?
I visited Pokhara last year. It was the first time I had been in my maternal uncle’s home. The panoramic view of nature nourished my heart. The flight of the birds in the open, clean sky made me forget the essence of zoo in my hometown, Kathmandu. The reflection of Machhapuchhre in the crystal water of Phewa lake made me contemplate on the beauty of the Kailash Parvat, the abode of the Lord Shiva. The clear and fresh water of the streams provided a new energy in my veins. I wished I could live in such jocund company of nature longer. At the same time, my exam was approaching and I was forced to return Kathmandu and do my duties of preparing for the examination.
Nature really changes the mind of human being. There is a beautiful hill above my house. Last year I went to celebrate dashain festival with my family. On the way the bus broke down and I was late by three hours. When I reached the hill, it was twilight. I saw many beautiful scenes on the hill and I even forgot where I was going. The birds were twittering and a gentle air was blowing. I was a bit tired. It was getting dark. Although I would enjoy seeing the scene, I had to walk till three hours to reach home. At last, I left the beautiful scene and went home.
Where the Mind is Without Fear
"Where the mind is without fear" is a patriotic poem, composed by Rabindra Nath Tagore. The poet is inspired by the feeling of patriotism. Tagore has expressed his deep patriotic feeling in this poem. He wished his country to be taken into the heaven of freedom where one feels fearlessness and honored. He wants to make his country as the place where truth exists and people get perfection of work, where all people are reasonable with ever ending thoughts. Lastly, the poet prays the god to take his country to the heaven of freedom. This is a patriotic poem. The poet wishes that his mind would be fearless of anything else. He can hold his head high if there is no any fear. According to him, knowledge should be free and country should not be broken into fragments by the unseen domestic walls. He wishes that the people of his country would not lie to each other. They should be laborious to lead the nation towards the way of development. He wants his people to use their reason and creative thoughts to solve the problem. Thus he prays the god to make his country like heaven where there is only peace and freedom. The poem "Where the Mind Is without Fear" is a pleading poem in which the speaker is requesting the god almighty to guide his people and his country to the world of eternity where everything is free to everyone. The speaker wishes every freedom to his people and to the whole humanity. He wants to take his people to such land where people don't need to have any fear, where education to every people is free, where people live happily together without being divided into groups, where the people always head to the perfection. To get such Promised Land, the speaker pleads the god
The poet may be trying to tell us that fearlessness, knowledge, honor, wide mindedness, truth and reason are supremely important to take the country to the climax of prosperity. The poet has lost himself in the dream of heavenly country. He still find his country fallen into slumber and prays the god to let his country awake in such heaven of freedom. The poem is a patriotic poem considering the freedom and eternal happiness of life of the people as the most important factor. If people are deprived of such basic requirements, then there remains no place to feel the life. As a result, the society is full of social unjust and discrimination. Thus the poem asserts the fact that society must be free from all such social evils. For this, the speaker requests the god to create a very ideal and heavenly society.
It is the most admirable thought of a citizen to lead his county towards prosperity. But can people create such heavenly county in reality? Do all people have the same feelings as the poet? Can a single man take his country to such ideality if other people don't take it seriously? Can one really enjoy freedom in such threatened world by bomb? Is heaven a real place? So, I don't totally agree with the poet. The poem with a nationalistic feeling is successful to impress the reader. So far his point in the poem is concerned; we may not easily accept him. The country naturally consists of people of various castes and creeds, and in such situation, there arises various thoughts and ideas. So it is useless to talk about one nation. Similarly the poet seems too much spiritual and believing on the mercy of god. It, in no way, is acceptable in case of ruling the country as well as imposing the rule over the people. On the other hand, he pleads the divine power but up to now no man is blessed by him.
Freedom is lovelier than life. People want to fight for freedom if their rights are grabbed. This poem took me back to the movement of 2007 B.S in Nepal. Before democracy came to Nepal, people were spending their sorrowful days in the darkness of autocracy Panchayat system. People could not speak and work freely. The corrupted leaders of that time tortured people without reason. Many people lost their lives for the sake of democracy. But conscious people began to struggle in all respect. They challenged the autocracy system and its rulers and the king was compelled to declare multiparty system. Thus, people could breathe in freedom. But democracy is still in danger due to the selfishness of the leaders of different political parties. Let's see what will happen in the future. As I read the poem, it has brought me back to the condition of Nepalese people under the rule of Ranas. During this period, Nepalese people couldn't get chance to read and write. Education had been too precious and expensive to them. People were too much suppressed by the rule that they were under the great fear of the Rana rule. They could do nothing except pleading the god for their freedom from such rule.
There are two persons in the poem: The poet and woman. The woman is singing a song for the poet and also playing piano. Her beautiful song suddenly takes the poet back down the vista of years. He reached in his childhood. He remembers his mother and childhood. He finds himself as child sitting under the piano and pressing his mother's feet. His mother used to sing and play piano. She would smile at him. It is his past and he is grown up now. His present is totally different from his past. The woman who is singing a song makes him remember of the world Sunday evening. They used to sing hymns and piano were their guide. When poet starts thinking of his past, the present song of a woman turns to be useless. He doesn't want to listen the song being sung by the woman. Her music and song is sweet but his remembrance of far sweeter than that. Though his past is sweet and pleasing, he can't get it back even if he pays million and billion. His past has gone away forever and he can never reach there. So, he weeps like a child for his past throwing his manhood in the flood of remembrance.
Piano is a memory poem composed by David Herbert Lawrence. The poet has depicted his feelings from the memories of his childhood in this poem. Softly in the evening, a woman is singing a song to the poet. The song makes the poet sink deep in the recollection of his childhood days. He recalls the scene in which a child is sitting under the piano and his mother is playing the piano smiling at the poet. The child is innocently pressing the balanced small feet of a mother.
The poet has skillful efficiency of song but that has betrayed him back. He weeps and his heart pains. He remembers the past Sunday evenings. It was cold outside and there were hymns in the comfortable room.
Now, the song can't impress the poet and he thinks it is useless to burst into the clamor. He reaches his childhood days and helplessly sinks into floods of tears which come from his eyes.
The poem may be trying to focus that music has power. None can keep themselves away from music. Music can touch our hearts and it can make us remember of our past. Everyone wants to listen music. Music can melt our feelings and emotion. We are lost in the music it matches with our situation. The poem may also be showing that our childhood is very important period which we can never forget.
The poet may be trying to tell us that some memories give bad shocks to people of sentimental minds. Memory of the past is the basic theme of the poem ' Piano'. The poet remembers his childhood days of sitting at his mother's knee enjoying songs of his mother.
Fresh and the true love of his mother was heart touching for the poet and the music and song of the woman can't give him such pleasure as his mother because the poet has blown himself in the great flood of memory. So, he weeps bitterly while hearing the music and the song produced by the woman.
The poem is very beautiful and sweet to read but it arouses many questions in the mind of the reader. We can't be satisfied with the poem in many respects. The poet cries like a child for this past. Do we get our past if we cry? Does it seem natural for a man to weep like a child? Is the poet telling truth or exaggerating himself? Isn't he trying to get sympathy from readers by presenting himself as self-heartened man? He ignores the music which helps him to remember of his past. Should we be that much selfish? Naturally, the past memories give a great shock to a passionate (sentimental) person now and then, but some of the sayings of the poet are not agreeable to me (i) Does a man weep from such memory? (ii) Does the presence of singing women really betray people? (iii) Can the sweet music be clamor for the true love of music? (IV). Does a man remember the past if he is deeply in love with someone? So, I don't agree with the poet totally.
The poet loves his past in this poem. It is the music which takes him to his past. His wants to forget his present and wants to live in his past which is impossible. In the same way, when I see small children playing marble on the way to my campus, I also happen to remember my past, my childhood. I used to play marble and used to quarrel with my friends. Those days were very beautiful. I was not worried of anything. I will never get back those blissful moments. So, like poet, I also sometime happen to be sad for my past and childhood.
After reading this poem, I understood that past events can't be forgotten easily. Sometimes they greatly affect on the life of the person who remembers but the people of sentimental minds are much more affected than the average people. Tears themselves find their ways for the people of sentimental mind. However, I am greatly impressed by the poet's efficiency.
(Literal Comprehension and commentary)
By Laxmi Prasad Devkota
In this poem, Devkota declares himself to be a lunatic. He goes on explaining his conditions in the poem. He says that he visualizes sound and hears the visible. He can taste fragrance and touch those things the existence of which the people deny. He goes on showing difference between him and the people in the society. He can do such things which a normal person can't do. He finds a flower in the stone. He speaks such language which can't be written printed nor can be spoken.
In his calculation one minus one is always one. He has six senses and has heart instead of brain. So, he gets Helen and Padmini in the rose. He is poetry whereas other people are prose. He tried to catch dream which is impossible for a normal one. Then he claims that he speaks with a mountain and basks the heat of stars in cold January month.
One day when he sang with tempos the so-called wise peoples took him to Ranchi for a treatment. He directly says that he does not praise those things which the world highly appreciates. For him, king is a pauper and he abuses Alexander the great. But he praises the common people and highly learned men are big fools for him.
Lunatic by Laxmi Prasad Devkota is one of the greatest poets of Nepali Literature. He is known with the many titles in this field. He is one of the pioneers of modernity in Nepali Literature. Certainly, he was a initiator of Romanticism in Nepali Literature. He was the one to raise the voice of the age long dominated marginal. people.
Devkota was born to Til Madhav Devkota and Amar Rajya Laxmi in 1909. His father was Sanskrit scholar. He was one of the most conscious citizens of his time. Though he was not an active politician but was a freedom fighter and lover of democracy. It was because of this nature of Devkota, the totalitarian Rana rulers were always against him. He was blamed even to be mad. Similarly, he was forced to go to Banaras. This poem is a response to those people who could understand the sentiment of the poet. But, we must not miss the point that the poet has presented lunacy as a kind of creativity, a capacity to see the reality in its deeper level.
Devkota begins his poem expressing his some unique characteristics. He asserts that he can see the sound, hear the visible. Similarly, he can taste the smell. He has the potentiality to understand the language of chirping birds, murmuring stream. He could even communicate with the fairies that were looking at him. Similarly, he claims that he is a man of heart against those common people who are the man of mind. For them profit and loss matters but the poet says that the love sympathy counts to him. He satirizes the people who always think of earning gold by using some kinds of unfair means. He claims that such gold for him is mere iron.
Besides these aforementioned a bitter satire on social evils, Devkota throws a bitter satire on the political system where so- called great rulers who rule on the basis of power rather than the consent of the people. Hence, he denounces Alexander the Great and claims that all the kings are pauper for him. Similarly, he writes all those so-called rational courtiers who spent their whole life flattering the corrupt kings are dead corpse for him. He hates to those leaders who break the bones of people's right to fulfill their petty desires. The poet would like to stung and burn the system of government where a man does not treat a man as man, where a big fish eats to the small one. Here, the poet is certainly indicating the ill governance of totalitarian Rana regime where so many innocent people were made victim. Hence, the poem is successful to reveal the brutality and madness of the then time of poet, Devkota. The poem is remarkable as it drags the attention in the power of a creative writer's knowledge about which we are not so much conscious most of the time.
Shreedhar Prasad Lohani
Shreedhar Prasad Lohani is one of the most famous, loved and respected name in English Department. He is a Nepali writer, critic, poet in English literature. Prof. Lohani has achieved his degrees from Tribhuvan University and the University of England and the U.S.A. He has taught English literature in English Department for several years.
Generally, poet Lohani's poems are influenced by the romantic writers. The title of the present comes from Greek myth. In Greek myth, Gaia (also called Gaea) is considered to be the Goddess for earth. Hence, Gaia is the symbol or personification of mother earth or nature. Hence, this entire poem is on nature which is the main subject matter of romantic writers. Nature is mother, a feeder, care taker and the one who nourishes. Indeed, it is nature that sacrifices, endures all the difficulties and gives life to her generations. As a mother, nature or the earth is gentle. As a female she is not only and delicate but also ruthlessly cruel who can even kill others if she got angry. Such anger of the earth, human beings can see in the form of storm, landslide, flood, tsunami, wind, and volcanic eruption. So, nature is paradoxical because she is the source of creation and destruction. She creates life on the earth and destroys the life when she desires. In this sense, Lohani has presented earth not as dead space but like a human being who contains both good and bad qualities.
Though nature is goddess but she is all the surrounded by threats and challenges. To show how death lives in all the parts of earth, poet Lohani has used many death images. Death images are those mental pictures which give us the idea of death. Lohani begins with the image of wind which is surging (very hot) wind which has made the entire palm tree wither away. He writes that the rain which is generally supposed to be the source of life in fact devours the life itself. Most probably, the poet is referring to the floods which occur time and again and sweep away human settlements by the image of devouring rain. We must not forget the point that the poet has personified all the images which he has used in this poem. There is sea on the earth but the sea is opening its mouth like cave to eat whatever comes its beforehand. Similarly, the mountain which is supposed to be a source of entertainment, a source of relaxation and pleasure is compared with the beak of a bird which tortures and wounds its prey. If we think on the time, we come to know that it is the source of everything. It was the time which had produced the best civilizations and given birth to greatest scientific inventions but the poet here uses time merely as an agent which plucks ( destroys ) everything. Poet Lohani writes that entire world shrouded (covered) with mildew (bad smell).
The world is described as a house which has been covered by hunger from all the sides. Then, the second last line of the poem contradicts with all destructive qualities of earth with her another quality because the earth tolerates all these obstacles (challenges, threats and difficulties) because she knows that there is no creation without destruction. Hence, earth alone can show the best way to live life. That is, we should not be afraid of the difficulties of our life because they might have occurred to sharpen us so that we can do the best in our life.
"Gaia" is a short poem written by Shreedhar Lohani. The poem uses Gaia, the Greek Goddess for earth as a personification or a symbol of earth and discusses what the human beings are doing over the nature and how the nature is enduring us no matter how bad she is exploited. In the poem, the different physical things turn into the devastating demons. The rain is devouring one, the sea has cavernous froth mouth, mountain peaks are snowless and the whole nature is being more exploited day by day and it's bringing lots of natural disasters. But whatever happens, the mother earth is enduring us. The author is optimistic about the life of human beings as he thinks that the mother earth will never stop feeding and providing life to us.
The Making of a Scientist
V. S. Ramachandran
V. S. Ramachandran begins with one of the most important element to be a scientist which is a sense of curiosity and wonder. He also states that one has to be ready to tolerate physical discomfort. For him, science is a love affair with the nature but one has to be on the lap of nature to establish romantic love. To be near the nature is certainly an adventurous task, one needs to face many difficulties while playing with nature. Ramachandran believes that stimuli and inspiration also plays vital role to change a person into scientist. He himself had been inspired by his teachers, lecturers in his school and college days. In his family, his uncle had motivated him to be a scientist; his mother had brought seashells so that he could research on them. He had got a chemistry lab opened under his staircase. His father had bought a microscope for him. Hence, one should be motivating family and environment to be a scientist who is further supported when he claims that Victorian era was the encouraging time which had produced the scientists like Darwin and Huxley. Ramachandran believed that one has to isolate from the mundane world and be studious about those dead scientists treating them as the living people. Similarly, Ramachandran believes that a scientist should have interest in different aspects of the earth. He himself had studied in the different fields like civilization; he loved anthropology, the survival strategy taken by a plant etc. Hence, he believed that the intense zeal of doing research and ability to find a sense of fun is another quality of a scientist. Undoubtedly, a scientist should feel a sense of fascination while performing any kind of experiment.
In short, exploration and stimuli are interrelated to each other. The first and foremost requirement to be a scientist is the curiosity and enthusiasm. S/he must have desire to know more even if an end ends. One should be ready to get and face the difficulties. Curiosity is something that does not make someone comfort. Certain other qualities are required to be a scientist: They are as follows: innate trait, associations, family can stimulate an individual to be a scientist.
‘The Making of a Scientist’ is an essay written by V.S. Ramachandran. It is an opinionated and descriptive essay based on his own experiences. The essay describes the writer’s opinion of how a scientist can be mustered. The essay focuses on how a scientist can be made by dealing with most significant requirements for it. Scientists are eccentric people than others. So, their interests, hobbies, environment should be something extra than those for normal ones. To be a scientist one should be obsessively, passionately and pathologically curious. As science is a subject of creations, freedom and independence, people should understand that in the absence of anyone results in the failure of innovations.
The writer explains about the nature and behavior of a scientist. He clarifies how a scientist is. He, from his own life experiences, also vividly tells us about the life of a scientist to some extent.
In my context, this essay has revitalized my belief in curiosity. I joined engineering course to play with my curiosity. But, the mugging system of Kathmandu University had discouraged me. But after this essay, I feel like still trust passion and instincts.
2. There is very less to interpret than to assimilate in The Making of a Scientist. Elucidate.
There is very less to interpret than to assimilate in The Making of a Scientist. Interpretation of the making of scientist is very less. First in the sense it is an argumentative essay and essay needn’t to be interpreting since it is already clarifying something. In this case the importance of family background, school and friends, teachers, colleagues and self interest in making of the science is being clarified by the writer. Hence the essay is argumentative and has interpreted above concept.
But there are many aspects to be assimilated. The text is written for learning how to turn a child into a great scientist. Interpretation has no meaning without assimilation but later is always must be more than former. We need to have clear concept of how to perform certain things and must learn to apply it but application is always higher than the theory. Here interpretation is understanding theory while the assimilation is applying the theory by learning. Hence every theory has numerous applications.
As in the essay, the writer makes argument that to be a scientist one need to be curious obsessively, passionately, almost pathologically from the childhood. Then the parents of that child must boost him/her by giving proper attention on proper way. When the child grows young he must be able to maintain the circle of friend who is curious obsessively, passionately, almost pathologically like him. He must have good relation with the teachers and must perform scientific experiments regularly to understand theories. When he starts his career he must make various researches in the field of interest. As done by the Ramachandran in his life.
Above paragraph is the interpretation about how to make the scientist. But it can be assimilated in many ways .Learning or assimilating is multidimensional factor since is can be learned in many different way. As in the essay we can assimilate: There are many scientists who were curious obsessively, passionately, almost pathologically from the childhood. For example scientist like Darwin, Newton etc. wouldn’t be scientist without the curiosity. In our society we can see those child who were given good assistant regarding their curiously flourishes much in youth in the same field. The same fact is applicable for Ramachandarn.
Also writer explained Science flourishes best in an atmosphere of complete freedom and financial independence. He interprets this by giving the example of the Victorian time when the science flourishes much under the sound financial and complete freedom. Many discoveries were made at that time. This also shows that the interpretation of above statement can be assimilated in many ways as given below: This can be the answer why in America science is very developed than that in Nepal and any other developing countries. We Nepalese can learn fact and establish the peace and prosperity to provide sound environment for scientists, economist, and worker etc to work freely. This also explains why some students are bad at study than other simply because former might be living in poverty and violence while later in prosperity and peace. Hence, in the making of the scientist the understanding is much less than its application.
By E.V Lucas
The writer's friend's destiny was to buy things at the highest price and to sell in the cheapest, but one day, he was walking round the old shops of the city. He saw collection of water color drawings. There was a painting which had possibility of Turner. The dealer was not sure of it. So, he was reading to sell it in 10 shillings if the writer's friends did not buy, the dealer would take it to London to check-either the painting was original one or not.
The writer's friend bought the painting at 10 shilling. He was lucky because the painting was proved to be original and he sold the painting at 50 pound. He earned 49 pound 10 shillings as a profit for the first time in his life. He thought to share the profit with the dealer because the dealer had behaved him very well. He thought to give him half of the profit. He wrote a note to the dealer then he went to bed because he did not have stamp and it was too late.
He woke up at 3:30 am and began to think his mistake. He thought why he had to share half profit. Then decided to give only ten pounds he tried to sleep but could not. Again he begins to think about the dealer by closing his eyes. If he sends the dealer 10 pounds, he would always expect similar later from other customers every day. It would make him sad waiting for the later which none would send him. Then he decided to send 5 pounds and that would be plenty for dealer. In the morning while he was dressing, he thought about the dealer again. Sharing a large part of profit was to disregard the goodness of business. He controlled his feeling and was ready to send just a pound to the dealer. Then he wrote a note and kept the cheque inside the envelope. He went the club for lunch there he started playing card and lost whatever he had. Then he concluded his though that buying and selling are straight forward matter between customer and dealer. Dealer asks as much as he can and customer tries to pay less. When the selling and buying activity end, there is no obligation of any duty from both sides.
In this essay, the essayist has talked about the human thinking process. This is a biographical essay in which the writer talks about the events of his friend's life. The writer's friend was a dealer who used to sell some of the water color paintings. He was not a good business man because he had failed to make profit in his business. He was a man of heart rather than mind. He used to buy the things at higher price and sell them in lower price. The situation reversed when he visited the old curiosity shops of a cathedral city. There he saw a water color drawing and the name of famous painter, Turner's name was written on it. Being curious on it, the writer's friend asked the price of the drawing with the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper replied that he was not sure whether the drawing was really of Turner which he was going to confirm on his visit to England. But if he wanted to buy it, he could take in ten shillings. The writer decided to buy it and took it to his shop. Later on, the drawing turned out to be the real work of Turner. The writer's friend became successful to sell it with the net profit of forty nine pound and ten. As a man of heart, he started to think that the shopkeeper was equal partner for the profit. If the shopkeeper had not sold it in that price, he would not have been able to make such profit. So, he decides to give him half of the profit. He writes a note to the shopkeeper. Since it was already night and he had no stamps, he keeps the letter and goes to the bed. He wakes up at about 3.30 a.m. Then he ponders over his entire life. He had faced so many losses in his life. At that time, there was none to support him, why should he give half profit to the shopkeeper? He feels that he should not be so much quixotic (idealist). He questions himself whether the shopkeeper would have been so kind if he had been in loss, of course not. So, he decides to give ten pounds. He closes his eyes and again begins to think about the dealer. Why should he give ten dollar? He thinks that if he gave ten dollars to the shopkeeper, he would be expecting same kinds of gifts in the days to come. Since other customers would not be like the writer's friend, so they would not send any gift. If it happens, the shopkeeper would live all the life with the false hope sinking down in the ocean of tears which he did not want. So, he decides that he would give just five pounds.
The story presenting the constant changing nature of human mind seems to be full of humor and satire. Basically thinking with the nature of businessman's mind it proves that human mind can never be rigid and fixed. Especially in business their mind keeps on changing. At another level, it sheds light on human earning since the earning as that of writer's friend has no meaning at all in life. The most important thing in the story is that in business buying and selling are straight forward dealings. It has nothing to do with human consideration, sympathy and faith. Once goods are sold or bought they have nothing to do with them since then.
The story offers a great deal of humor and satire. But in many respects, it doesn't seem appropriate and convincing. The first is: Does anyone want to share his profit? It is so much unbelievable. Similarly, the seller of any good knows its quality and the cost. Does any seller sell his good without knowing it?
As I went through the story, it reminded me of my own events that I experienced earlier. Once I had been to my village after a long time from the city. I had taken a beautiful watch there. Everyone liked it, one of my friends promised to pay Rs 500 for it, so I gave it to him. I got Rs 300 as profit, and so I got extremely happy but I did not share the profit and I was very happy.
The writer's five-year-old daughter Mini could not live without chattering. She had a habit of asking questions continuously. She sometimes asked nonsense questions to the writers and disturbed him in his writing. But she was afraid of the peddler who was even called "Cabuliwallah". She had believed that there were perhaps two or three children like her inside the bag which the cabuliwallah was carrying.
One day Mini was asking nonsense question to her father. She saw cabuliwallah. Then she suddenly shouted "cabuliwallah". She was very much afraid and ran towards her mother. The cabuliwallah came in the house. The writer bought something from him because his daughter had called him. Then writer thought that Mini must have got rid of her false fear. So, he brought her in front of cabuliwallah. Cabuliwallah gave her nuts and raisins. She was still afraid of and was clinging with her father. It was their first meeting. After some days, when the writer was leaving the house, he got surprised because Mini was talking and laughing with cabuliwallah sitting on a bench. The writer gave him an eight-Anna piece because he had given almonds and raisins to the writer's daughter. But cabuliwallah gave that coin to Mini .When the writer came back home, Mini was being scolded by her mother because she had taken money from stranger.
Then they started meeting regularly. One day cabuliwallah asked her when she was going to her father-in-law's house. She did not know what to reply. So, she asked some questions to cabuliwallah. He answered her that he would thrash his father-in-law. When they met, they enjoyed a lot. But Mini's mother was afraid and suspected the cabuliwallah.
The cabuliwallah would go to his village once a year. One day he came to writer's house and told the writer that he was going his village. But after some days, the writer saw cabuliwallah was being led by two policemen. One policeman was carrying a knife. Mini also saw it. There was crowd. The writer got down and knew that cabuliwallah had attacked to a neighbor because he denied buying shawl after using it. Mini asked from Verandah if he was going to father-in-law's house. Cabuliwallah replied that he was going to his father-in-law's house. But his hands were bound if not he would beat his father-in-law. On a charge of murderous assault, he was sent in jail for several years. Then cabuliwallah was forgotten by writers and even by Mini.
But, cabuliwallah came back in writer's house on Mini's wedding day after 8 years. Writer's did not like and told him to come another day. He wanted to meet Mini. He had forgotten that Mini was grown up. Before he left the house, he requested the writer to give a few almonds, raisins and grapes. He refused to take money. He told the writer that he had also a daughter in the village. He used to come to meet with Mini thinking that she was like his daughter. Then he showed the impression of his little daughter's hand on the paper which he was carrying. The writer felt sad for cabuliwallah's condition. He called Mini in front of cabuliwallah. But she spoke less because she was grown up. Then the writer gave him 100 rupees to go to meet his daughter in the village, then he was happy even if he could not manage …………………hand in his daughter's marriage.
The Cabuliwallah was from Kabul. His real name was Rahaman. He was a peddler. He used to sell seasonal goods in India. His wife and little daughter Parvati lived in Kabul. He went to visit them once a year.
In the course of selling goods, he chanced to meet a chattering girl name Mini who was a daughter of one of his customers. At that time she was five years old. Seeing him at distance, she teased him calling him 'A Cabuliwallah! A Cabuliwallah'. The Cabuliwallah loved her intensely because his daughter also was as lovely as herself. So, he went to meet her. At that time, mini's father was busy writing a novel he found that mini was afraid of the Cabuliwallah. He was wearing loose, soiled clothes and a tall turban. She thought that there were two or three children in his bag and he was probably a child lifter but the writer decided to remove her fear from her mind and he introduced her with him. He gave her nuts and raisin. Soon she was attracted towards him. But her mother was afraid that he might steal her. The Cabuliwallah visited her almost every day and gave her kismiss on his every visit. They cut jokes and laughed freely. Thus, they became good friends.
Once, the Cabuliwallah had sold a 'Rampuri' Shawl to a customer on credit. But the customer denied it and did not pay. Cabuliwallah could not control himself and struck with a knife and for this charge; he was imprisoned for 8 years. When he was free he went to meet his little Mini. Surprisingly, it was her wedding day. At first he was not allowed to visit her thinking that it would be an evil omen. But his appealing face compelled the writer to allow him to visit her. She was in wedding dress, when the Cabuliwallah asked her if she was going to her father in law's house. She merely laughed as if she remembered her old friend. He gave her some presents. The writer felt pity on his condition and gave him a hundred rupee note cutting of the wedding expenses. The Cabuliwallah also went to his house.
This story may be trying to tell us that satisfaction is the greatest happiness. It also suggests us to look all people with broad mind and godly eyes whether they are rich or poor of the same country or of the foreign country. Fatherly love is really great. Children are source of interest and happiness. All human beings are equal all over the world. We should help people when they are in need. It is a real greatness. A broad minded person understands other's problems and helps them selflessly losing his own interest and requirement. This story portrays a touching friendship between a poor, uneducated Afghan fruit seller who is forced to make a living in exile in Bengal, and a upper class, sweet Bengali girl. It is a story of compassion and of building fragile cross-cultural bridges. This romantic story subtly conveys a great humanitarian message: rich or poor, Bengalis or Pathans, Hindus or Muslims- in the final analysis, we are all brothers and sisters.
Although this story teaches us many moral things and importance of help and humanitarian feelings, about brotherhood, some of the writer's sayings are not agreeable for me. Do people allow stranger to make friendship with their children? Does a grown up person make jokes with children wasting his important time? Doesn't a peddler get busy and try to earn more money? Does anyone give presents to other's children every day? Doesn't a man feel disturbance if someone enters while making creative works? Doesn't man complain if a foreigner disturbs every time? Does anyone help others selflessly cutting off his expenses of social functions? Can we find any such person like the writer in this selfish world? So, I don't totally agree with the writer.
Before reading this story, I used to look on the foreigners who are peddlers with hateful eyes. But this story brought a revolutionary change in my mind. Now, I understand that they are also father and moter of someone. They have also same feeling of respect. I also came to the conclusion that all human beings are the same creation of god. We should treat with them equally now I hate those who hate the independent foreign peddlers.
Long-long ago human beings could complete with gods. God did not hesitate to request for help with human beings. They could get godhood by the hard penance. God used to be envious and tried to destroy the penance of the people who left all the worldly pleasures. Gods used to send beautiful nymphs for the destruction of penance.
Once, a man wanted to achieve supreme knowledge and godhood. So, he went to the forest for penance. He lived in the forest at wild roots and drank water from the river. He started hard penance. He sat in front of tongued fires in summer and plunged into ice-cold water in winter. The wild animals surrounded him as guards. Tigers and bears tiptoed not to disturb the sage. Termites build their nest one his leg. But the sage went on sitting motionlessly in a deep meditation. The sage's penance started to threaten the seat of Indra. So, Indra, king of gods sent an attractive and beautiful nymph in the forest to destroy the sage's penances.
She came down and started playing in the river which was near to the sage. She put off her clothes and stooped to feel her hands with water. Her breasts seemed so lovely like twin birds. At that very moment, the sage's eyes were suddenly opened as he was going to get godhood but he left his penances. He went towards the nymph because she was so attractive.
They married in the forest. The sage and his wife built a house in village. They gave birth of sons and started living a normal life. They helped their neighbors, nursed sick and fed hungry people. But the villagers did not like the Woman because she destroyed the sage's penance. This story may be trying to give massage that people can easily be defeated by the beauty.
Many years ago, human beings, competed with the gods who would request the human beings to help t hem in fight against the demon. The human beings wanted to become gods through penance but the clever gods broke their penance by sending beautiful nymphs. In the course of achieving supreme knowledge and god hood, a man went to the remote jungle because the thought that social obligations and the love of family and friends would block the path of godhood in the society. The man survived by eating fruits and drinking water by his hut. To win over his flesh, he sat before seven tongued fire in the summer and plunged into ice cold water in the winter. With much difficulty, he won his flesh and lost his soul to god. He received bliss by his penance and spent many years along with insects and animals. He felt the brightness of thousand suns inside him. The king of the gods, Indra, was afraid of him and sent the most beautiful nymph to destroy his penance. The nymph came to the river near his hut. She put off her clothes and entered the river water excitedly. At that time, the sage's eyes opened. He could not control his sexual desire and went towards her. He got attracted to her youth forgetting his main aim of achieving godhood. Then he married her and returned to his village. They started to live in simple domestic life and helped the villagers in whatever way they could. But the village people looked at them with hateful eyes. However the sage experienced the same bliss in his meditation with the nymph in the jungle and in his simple domestic life.
The writer may be trying to tell us that over ambition leads towards destruction. He is also trying to tell us that the state of bliss and relax of beauty are similar. Passion is very strong and undying. It blocks the path of progress. One, who cannot control his senses, can hardly reach his goal. Running away from our own desire to achieve unknowable is not justifiable, reasonable and praiseworthy. We need to adjust and make balance between our heart and mind, desire and need. Being idealistic is against our practical life, happiness and better future. Even great personalities get defeated against desire. Inner peace and outer peace are two parts of life. We should be able to balance them. This story tells us that passion or lust is great and never dies. Some people look indifferent to family life and even leave home to get peace but ultimately they return home
After reading this story, I knew a very good moral lesson. It teaches us to live simple life with high thinking and not to be over ambitious. Yet there are some points to the writer which are not easily agreeable. Do gods exist? Can anyone live by sitting before seven tongued fire in the summer and plunging into ice cold water in winter? Can't the harmful and poisonous insects and beast disturb a man's penance in open place in the jungle? If people feel bliss in simple domestic life, why do they leave home and become hermit or saint? So, I don't totally agree with the writer.
This story tells us that passion or lust is great and never dies. Some people look indifferent to family life and even leave home to get peace but ultimately they return home. There is a man in my locality who said that married life would block the way of progress. So, he promised to live a single life. He even made friendship with hermit. But after some years, he changed his idea and married a girl. He had two children but he again got married with another woman. He was charged in other many cases with his immoral relation with other women. Thus, man can never win the nature and its system.
The Great Answer
People were gathering near the Spanish border. They were escaping from Nazi because they could be capture and killed by the Nazi because they. Among them there was a young mother with her little daughter. They were all refugees and were trying to get across into Spain and planned to get America by a ship. They were afraid because Nazi could come there to capture them. Spanish soldiers did not let the refugees cross the border.
A person came into the woman’s room. He was a leader. He informed her to come in a certain place and he was guiding them to cross the border in the right side. Woman and her daughter went to place where the leader had told her to come at night. All the refugees had already come there. Then they started the difficult journey. They promised to help the woman and carry her baby. They walked the secret way in the night. But on the way an old man could not continue the journey. So, he sank to the ground and said that he could not go ahead. He wanted to die and suggested the other refugees to save their life. But the leader came and told him that he couldn’t leave the journey. He must have helped to carry the woman’s daughter. The old man gathered his strength and continued the journey. On the journey three old men tried to leave the journey but leader didn’t allow them to do so. Those old men helped to carry the woman’s daughter. The next morning, they reached in the safe place by crossing the border and High Mountains. Thus they saved their life. It was the great answer for them of the struggle in the lives. The story may be trying to say that we can get success if we do something collectively.
King John and the Abbot of Canterbury
King John hears that the abbot of Canterbury was living a very luxurious life. He had hundred men in his house to serve. He had a lot of expensive ornaments. The king was envious with the abbot and he called him in the palace. Then the king accused abbot that he was plotting against the king. Abbot denied the king’s accusation. He replayed that he was enjoying with what he had. Then the king asked him three questions. If Abbot could not answer the questions, the king would kill him. The first question was what his worth was? Then he asked how much time he would take to go round of the earth? And the last question was what he was thinking. Abbot could not reply those questions because the questions were very difficult and deep to answer for the questions from the king.
Abbot went to oxford and Cambridge University to get answers from the scholars, but no intellectual person could answer those questions. He left his hope. Then he went to his villages, he meet a shepherd. Shepherd asked him about the king. Abbot told him everything what he was facing. Shepherd was ready to help the Abbot. They almost looked similar. So, he took Abbots cloths and to go to ready the kings questions. Shepherd reached in the place and king asked him the answers of his question. King could not recognize the shepherd because his face was similar to Abbot.
Shepherd replied that their god was sold in thirty pence and king was not as worthy as god. So his worth was 29 pence, one penny less than the god. His second answer was if the king woke up with sun and rode in the speed of sun, he would go round of the earth in twenty four hour. His third answer was that king was thinking him as the Abbot of Canterbury but he was not, he was a Shepherd. King became happy with the answer of the Shepherd and wanted to make him abbot. But Shepherd denied because he was not literate. The king planned to send four intellectuals a week to teach him. And king also sent message to Abbot that he forgave.
King John ruled over England mighty but he maintained little right. He had a humble Abbot. One day, the king heard that the Abbot of Canterbury lived in better way than the king did. The king was jealous with the Abbot and plotted to ruin his life and property. He called the Abbot and asked three nonsense questions. What he was worth. How long it would take for him to go round the world and what he thought. He warned the abbot to answer them rightly within two weeks. Otherwise his head would be cut off. The Abbot looked very depressed and consulted many scholars to find the solution but vain. On the twelfth day he returned home and his humble shepherd knew his problem and promised to help the Abbot in this matter. He looked like the Abbot outwardly. So, he disguised as the Abbot and went to answer the king's questions with the Abbot's servants on the horse.
The king asked him if he was ready. As he replied positively the king began to repeat him to the questions. The shepherd replied that the king was worth twenty nine pence. He would ride round the world in twenty four hours and the king thought he was the Abbot of Canterbury. Everyone was surprised and being impressed by the replies the king offered the shepherd the post of the Abbot but the shepherd refused and re quested the king to pardon his Abbot. The king told him that the Abbot was pardoned.
This poem may be trying to tell us that an absolute ruler is very dangerous for the people. A despotic ruler does not hesitate even to seize the life and property of his people. Rulers like King John are found in almost every country where weak and slow thinker people can't live peacefully. The poem also tells us that a learned man can't always find solution of any serious problems. But even an uneducated practical man can find right solution and he can give good knowledge to the educated ones through the characterization of Abbot and the shepherd. Likewise, the story beautifully shows that jealousy and fear are inseparable realities of human nature because the king, who had ruled England with fame and might, decides to kill an abbot so that his reputation as a rich ruler would not be questioned. The poem is humorous and satirical.
From the moral point of view, the poem is much impressive. Through the poem, the poet proves that the bookish and formal education is not so much effective and useful to solve the practical problems. It has a great lesson that people and their knowledge shouldn't be judged on the ground of their profession and appearance. Thus the text has taught a great lesson that makes it clear that much is learnt through their daily life activities than from the universities. So the so called ignorant ones in terms of getting formal education aren't to be ignored and devaluated
After reading this poem I got the impression that absolute ruler is really dangerous. But do such events as explained in the poem take place in real life? Can a man be valued in term of money? Can a man be compared to god? Can a man ride round the world in twenty for hours on horse? Doesn't a man recognize his own service man? Can an educated man like the shepherd find the solution of such different questions so easily? So, I don't totally agree with the poet. The poem seems to be much humorous and satirical. So far it imparts the idea of human knowledge and wisdom, it is appropriate but in whatever way the King Abbot and the Shepherd are presented, they don't seem believable and convincing. Since the king fails to recognize the shepherd changed as abbot. Similarly, the shepherd is presented in such a way that doesn't fit him to be more than that it mocks the formal education. It is too difficult to accept it.
This poem presents how cruel rulers torture their countrymen without reason to fulfill their desire. This poem also shows that powerful rulers are corrupted. They never fall behind to fulfill their even bad intention. I also came to know from the poem that practical knowledge is really strong. Even a scholar can't find solution of difficult problems. It is because they don't have practical knowledge. An uneducated person also can reach educated people many good lessons. The shepherd was quite ignorant but his knowledge was greater than of the doctors of oxford and Cambridge. "Loyalty is really great in need" is the main point of the poem.
Reading this poem, I am too much impressed with the fact that only the formal education doesn't make people capable, rather they may learn many things from the practical experiences too. Having seen in my village, I come to know that many old people are capable of doing various things which other educated men don't know. So people can learn many things from their practical knowledge and experience.
The Stub Book
Pedro Antonio de Alarcon
Rota was a small town where farmers grew fruits and vegetables. The quality of its tomatoes and pumpkins were famous. The soil of the Rota was not soil but pure and clean sand cast up by the ocean, blown by the wind. Farmers were very laborious. There was not even a tiny stream flowing through the field. Farmers had made wells from which they drew the precious liquid for their vegetables. They watered tomatoes seeds or pumpkin pip by hand like a father who gives water to his child.
They loved their vegetables like their children. They even kissed, blessed and even gave names to the plants and vegetables. Uncle Buscabeatas was one of those farmers. He was sixty years old. He had spent 40 years tilling his field near the shore. He had grown some enormous pumpkins that they were turning to yellow. He knew them by color, shape and even by name. He planned to sell them next day. He was sad because he was going to be separated with the pumpkin the following day.
But he was astonished, angry and sad when he found his forty pumpkins stolen in the night. He thought his pumpkins could not be sold in Rota. They must have been taken to Cadiz to sell. He went in Cadiz and saw that his pumpkins were kept for sale. He told police to catch the vendor. The Vendor told them that he bought the pumpkins from Uncle fulano.
The Inspector of public market told uncle Buscabeatas to prove that those pumpkins were from his garden not of others. Uncle Buscabeatas threw a sack on the ground. He kneeled down. Everyone was curious to know that he was doing. Uncle Fulano also came there to see what was going on there. He was caught but he also asked to prove accusation. Uncle Bascabeatas looked out green stems and told them that they were stolen. He fitted the stems to pumpkins one by one. The spectators were surprised to see that the stems really fitted the pumpkins exactly which proved that uncle Buscabetas was right and uncle Fulano was thief. Uncle Fulano was compelled to return 15 duros to vendor and vendor gave it to Uncle Buscabeatas. Uncle Buscabeatas happily returned to his village but Uncle Fulano was arrested and sent to jail.
This is a story of a village situated at the bay Cadiz. This is the place which was liked by even by the duke of Osuna. He had made a beautiful castle because of his fascination to this place. The writer claims that he could describe this castle's brick by brick but he admits that his intention was not to describe any duke or castle but his purpose is to describe the hard labor of the people who are living in the same island. The essayist writes that the soil of this village is not so much fertile which consists of sand but the farmers here are so hard working that they have been referred as pumpkin and tomato growers. All the farmers accept this title with certain pride. Alarcon writes that the farmers dig well to supply the water which he calls life blood to the plants they grow. He makes terraces on the land, digs, and tills and sows the seed of pumpkin and tomatoes. Then, he provides water, fertilizer and love similar to the parents love to their children.
In the second section of the essay, the essayist talks about a farmer named Uncle Buscabeatas. In that year, he had grown up many pumpkins which were perfect in color, shape and were turn yellow to indicate that they had ripen. The farmer had given them name and could recognize them by their names. He had dreamt to sell those pumpkins and thought the person who would cook and eat them would be luckier. He had expected that the price of the fifteen duros. But contrary to his expectation, his all daughters (pumpkins) were stolen last night at nine or ten. The ground under his feet sank down but he determined that he would catch the thief and recover the daughters of toil. Uncle Busabeatas went to Cadiz vegetable market to find out his daughters and punish the thief. He took policeman. Pointing out a shop, he said the police man, '' These are my pumpkins, arrest him.'' The shopkeeper replied that he had bought those pumpkins and they belonged to him and suggested him to go to the court if he liked. People had started to gather around them. Stopping their debate, the policeman inquired the shopkeeper whom he had bought those pumpkins with. The shopkeeper replies that he had bought them from Uncle Fulano. Uncle Busabeatas becomes sure that Fulano must be thief because his garden had not produced anything this year. The policeman questions him how he could recognize that those pumpkins really belonged to him. He replies that he could as intimate with them as a father becomes with his daughter because he had nourished them with his own hands. At the same time, Uncle Fulano arrives there. As he sees Uncle Busabeatas and police, he tries to escape but the police man stopped him. Recovering his consciousness, Uncle Fulano challenges him to prove the blame. Then he brings the stems of those pumpkins and started to fill it with pumpkins. All the people were amazed when they saw that whichever pumpkin he picked claimed to fit on the stems, it fitted exactly. Astonished crowd began to shout that the pumpkins really belonged to Uncle Buscabeatas. Certainly Uncle Fulano had to pay fifteen duros before going to jail. Uncle Busabeatas returned pleased with himself but the images of pumpkins were still there in his mind. Indeed, they looked very beautiful in the market. He still doubted whether he did well by selling them in the market. Instead, he could have eaten himself and kept the seeds for the next cultivation.
Why Go To University?
1. University education helps someone to get good job and other opportunity. The better educated you are the higher your income tends to be. It is said chief wealth of a nation is not its hand, Natural resources or population but skillful people. Educated people can construct a gold mine in the desert land.
2. An educated person is more likely to solve difficulties and problems in rational manner. Education teaches us many other practical applications.
3. Educated people are more likely to enjoy good health. They have better health consciousness than uneducated people. An educated person is more likely to lead the meaningful life and is less vulnerable to stress related diseases.
4. Educated person exercises his mind more than uneducated person. The way we take care of our body by exercising, we should also exercise our mind. It is said that sound mind is necessary to live a comfortable life.
5. Educated person is respected in every culture in the world. A person is handsome, kind and physically fit but if is uneducated, he will be considered as difficult or inferior. Education makes people self confident.
6. Education makes people curious. Basically uneducated people are less curious. Curiosity leads us to the critical and creative world. So educated people are more creative and critical than uneducated people.
7. We can expand our social horizon wider going to university. We meet people from different places and cultures. We become friend and share experiences.
8. Education increases our personal freedom. It makes us less dogmatic about own belief and more tolerant about the belief of others. It destroys the narrow minded walls of our mind.
9. Education tells us about our existence in the universe. It informs us that all human beings are members of the same species. It also warns that any species will extinct if we can't modify as per the environment.
10. There is direct relationship between democracy and education. Democracy requires educated citizens to flourish it. We must educate ourselves if we want to established permanent democracy in our country.
Marriage is a private affair
Chinua Achebe, Nigeria
Nnaemeka was in love with Nene. Nene was from the city and Nnemeka had come in lagos from the village. Nene suggested Nnaemeka to write a letter about their relation to his father who was living in the village. But Nnaemeka did not want to inform about their relation to his father from the letter. He wanted to tell everything after meeting his father in the village in his vacation. So, he told his beloved that his father would not be happy knowing their plan of marriage without taking his permission. Nene was surprised with Nneameka's saying. But he convinced her that people who were living in his culture would carry concept that the parents had to arrange the marriage for their children.
His father had sent him a letter. Father had written that he had selected the girl for his son. She was Ugoye who was Nnaemeks's friend in their childhood. But he did not tell anything about it to Nene. In his vacation Nnaemeka went his village and he asked forgiveness to his father that he could not marry the girl whom his father had chosen. He told his father that he was in love with a girl in city. She was a teacher. She was Nene Atang who was from different tribe. When his father listened all those things about his son, He was very much angry and upset. But Nnaemeka was not ready to change his mind. Then he went back to Lagos. The villagers suggested Okeke to treat his son by a native doctor. But Okeke did not even want to listen about his son. He said that his son was dead for him.
Nnaemeka married with Nene and he wrote a letter and sent a photo to his father but father return the letter as well as photo by mutilating the picture of Nene. When Nene saw her photo, she became very sad but Nnaemenks convinced her that his father was not a bad person and he would accept their relation one day. Villagers knew that Nnaemenka was living a happy marriage life in lagos. But nobody told Okeke about it because they knew that Okeke did not want to listen anything about his son.
After eight years of their marriage life, they had two sons. But they could not inform to Okeke in the village. And at last Nene wrote a letter to her father-in-law. She wrote that when their sons knew that they had grandfather in the villages, they were eager to see him. So, she requested him to allow Nnaemeka to visit him with two sons for a shirt time in the vacation when Okeke read the letter he knew that he had two grandsons in the city and wanted to meet him. He felt himself to be very selfish. He thought that how he could shut the door for them. That night he hardly slept. He was afraid that he might die with night correcting his mistake.
Even though the change was tough for Okeke, he still manages to move on and except the change. Okeke is shown here that he is totally against his sons doing and thinks that he is brainwashed. He shows this when he says, "I can't have you in my house." Okeke replies "I shall never see her. These changes are usually not bad, but because people are set in their traditional ways it can be a tough change. "As Okeke thinks about the grandchildren the author then pretty much leaves you with the question "How could he shut his door against them?" Thus Okeke finally does change when realizes that he has neglected his grandsons and the relationship a grandfather and grandchildren should have. Okeke is a stubborn father because even when Naemeka say, "You will change your mind, Father, when you know Nene. As you can see, Okeke is a man that goes through a change in his life. Eventually, Okeke even become resentful towards his son. It can be of no interest to me where or how you spend your leave- or your life, for that matter. Okeke shows this when he says, "I owe it to you, my son, as a duty to show you what is right and what is wrong."
Nnaemeka's decison to mary Nene was made with a specific intent. While Namesake and Okeke are in agreement that his wife should have a Christian background, Okeke takes great offense to Nene's teaching. Tradition is an aspect of Ibo life which transcends all other obligations. Likewise, Okeke embraces tradition to such a degree that he neglects his family. Namesake realizes this before he even confronts his father about the marriage, which explains his hesitancy and apprehension to inform Okeke in the beginning of the story. Because Okeke is so dogmatic, this decision was not made without regard to its consequences or Okeke's reaction. However, Nnameka's unique character has an effect which is calculated and tactical. Likewise, Nnaemeka's less literal translation of the Bible allows him to marry Nene and abide by a set of standards which set his future at odds with Okeke. Namesake tries to appeal to his father through reason and persistence, neglecting any personal sacrifice to appease Okeke. Okeke values Ibo tradition to such a degree that he negates his familial ties in order to retain a pure, untainted sense of integrity. The crux of their disagreement revolves around the emphasis placed on tradition. Okeke's refusal to yield or concede anything to Namesake has an effect which permeates all his future actions. When Namesake tries to justify his reasons for not marrying Ogee, he says, "Marriage to day is different"
The story basically presents the burning social problems found in the rural areas where the majority of the people are superstitious and uneducated. Okeke living in a village doesn’t like his son marrying with a city girl of different tribe. It presents thus the conflict between father and son, one representing the traditional values and the next modern and changing values. The next important point in the story is that it has shown the fact that marriage must be a private affair in everyone’s life. One must be free to choose his/her life partner according to his/her wish. It helps them to lead a very happy life and also it helps to avoid the social discrimination to a great extent.
Though the story presenting a burning social problem deserves good response and appreciation from the reader’s side, yet, in deeper level, there are many points in which they may not be satisfied. Now people aren’t as they were in the past because of changing social values and education. People aren’t stuck to the old values, tradition and system. So far marriage is concerned; people are enjoying it as a private affair rather than the means to protect the culture. Inter-cast marriage has become the fashion among the youngsters of the time. So, the present story captures the interest of the people.
This story took me back to an event occurred in the life of my close friend Gagan. Gagan is only one son of his parents. He belongs to a Brahmin family. He is quite modern but his parents are conservative. Once, his parents chose a girl of their caste for Gagan. But Gagan had fallen in love with a girl of lower caste. So, he refused to marry the girl his parents had chosen. He requested them to allow him to marry the girl he loved. His parents became very angry and abandoned him when he married the girl. But Gagan had a son after one year. His wife was tactful and one day she wrote Gagan's parents if they did not like to see the face of their grandson. Their heart melted and one day Gagan's father wrote him to come home with his family.
Arranging a marriage in India
In India, almost all marriages are arranged by the parents. Marriage is as much a concern of the families as it is of the individuals. In many cases, the bride and groom do not meet each other before marriage. If they meet, they meet for a short conversation. Parents do not compel their children to marry a person whom they selected. If their children don't like, they search another one.
The writer is an American. So, she found the system difficult to believe. She thought the cultural of arranged marriage oppressive. She was very much curious to know how young Indian would take it. She met Sita who was a collage graduate student. She had been waiting for over a year while her parents were arranging a match for her. The writer asked her how she could marry whom she had never seen and known well. Sita replied that her parents never arrange a marriage for her without knowing about the boy and his family. Her parents would not marry her into a bad family. She told her that Americans don't know about their partner so well before marriage. So there would not be mystery and romance after marriage. So, she continued that American girls were spending all their time worrying about if they would meet a man and get married but Indian girls would have a chance to enjoy their life and let their parents do that work of worrying for them.
Six years later, she returned to India again. She met many Indian couples whose marriage had been arranged were living a happy marriage life.
In India, she also participated in arranging marriage for her friend's son. Her friends were in the process of arranging for the marriage of her eldest son. He was well-educated, nice looking and carrying out his father business. The writer was sure that he would easily get a partner for him. Her friend was so selective that did not arrange the marriage for her son if she found a small weakness in the girl or in her family she did not like to arrange the marriage from the big family where there were five daughters. Next she rejected a family simply because the girl was fat and wearing glasses. And even a girl was rejected because she was traveling alone in the city. They thought she was independent. Independent girl was not accepted by her family.
Two years later she again returned to India. Her friend was still searching a girl for her son. At that time, the boy was close to 30, and her friend was little worried. The writer met family with marriageable daughter. The girl studied fashion design in the college. She was pretty. Her parents had not allowed her to go out of the city to find out her career. So, she was running a small dressmaking boutique. After a year, the boy was going to marry with a girl.
The essayist Serena Nanda has beautifully described the assumptions of western and eastern culture regarding marriage in this essay. The essayist had been temporarily in India. She was grown up in US. So, she strongly believed in western culture. She was quite surprised when she came to know that marriage in India is a matter of family rather than Individual. She writes that there are two ways of marriage system in India. One is the marriage which is arranged by the parents and the another is one in which parents do not have any role but the boys and girls themselves select their life partner which is called 'love match' She was shocked when she came to know that parents and other relatives take the responsibility of arranging marriage in India. Then she ponders on this issue. At first she does not like this idea because she believed that Western marriage system is better because it has following merits: It provides the freedom to select their spouse, has sufficient romance, boy and the girl can know each other. They can make a plan of their life before marriage.
She does not prefer Indian marriage system: She simply believes that it is ridiculous because Indian marriage system ceases the personal freedom and is devoid of romance in her definitions. It is through the communication with an Indian girl, Sita, she slowly realizes that how content the Indian boys and girls were to give the responsibilities of selecting their life parents form their matured parents and enjoy the freedom. It is her friend who makes the essayist knows some beliefs associated with Indian marriage system because her friend was also in search of a bride to her son. According to it, a girl who is more educated, goes out of the home without any guardian is not preferred. Similarly, she should be religious, soft spoken and modest. She should neither gossip and nor should she quarrel. These are the most two important qualities desired from a good girl. Similarly, the essayist also knows that a good Indian boy should not be short and dark. In addition to these negative aspects of a boy, the writer also knows that Indian people would not like to give her daughter's hand to the person who is an army or police. All these details have both positive and negative impact upon the writer. It causes humor in the writer and she also begins to appreciate such intense awareness given by the Indians on the serious issue like marriage at the same time. The writer goes to US and finds that her many friends who had of course married in the west style had divorced. Quite contrarily, she finds that all the couples in India were living very happily. This perception of two realities on the two marriage system of the east and west germinates a kind of faith on the Indian marriage system. Then, the writer herself gets engaged in the search of her friend's son's bride. Finally, she is successful. Hence, the essay is the reflection of a westerner's assimilation of the eastern culture after the understanding its deep riches.
Then and Now: Finding My Voice
Elaine H. Kim
Basically, this essay is about a struggle of an Asian- American woman to find her identity in a country where she is treated as a foreigner, the ‘other’. It shows how she suffers as an Asian- American woman in a White male dominated society of America and how she discovers herself with a strong voice.
An incident of fortune telling takes the writer back to her childhood days, the time when she had to struggle in the USA as a foreigner. Kim reassesses her past particularly her teenage year and remembers how being brought up in a hybrid culture. She had to struggle to establish her identity, voice and her space in USA. She had to face two sides of reality: people and culture inside the house and outside the house and she could not understand this disjuncture and felt trapped in between. She found herself suppressed and discriminated against by the White people (European and American), violence and discrimination against the Afro- Americans, racial prejudices and gender discrimination.
She had to face two problems- as a foreigner and as a woman in the male dominated White society. She was taken as 'perpetual outsider' and the 'other'. There were strong prejudices against the foreigners. Her determination to be cheerleader was her attempt to be popular and to be recognized. However, her success in becoming the cheerleader did not bring her any new identity. Rather she developed the feeling of isolation and alienation. He suffering brings her new understanding. The difficulties and confusion during her teenage inspired her to learn about history and when she grew up. She learned that she was not alone in her suffering. She learned about racism, American women’s and African American’s struggle for equality and social justice.
As a result of her struggle for identity, she discovers herself. Now she views her past from a different perspective. Her experience has stimulated her to work to educate people against the racism and sexism. This work has helped her better understand herself. Now she finds herself strong with a new voice.
Kim in "Then and Now: Finding my Voice" talks about the fortune-telling. She loves fortune telling way of prediction. She brings her own experience as she has once been to Buddhist temples and long waited for her turn. A popular fortuneteller took a glance on her four animals: horse, dragon, tiger and dog, and asked who that man was.
The particular year these were the sponsor of a fund-raising part by the Korean community center in Oakland. There Kim showed her saju and was informed that whatever would be was in between 12 to 17 years of age.
Kim talks about the social injustice. The predication about her seemed to have been wrong because the period between junior high and high school was the most unhappy and most difficult period in her life. May be the fortune teller considered the writer to have been brought up in the US and luckily not to have seen the devastating Korean war of 1950s though he was wrong in predication, he insisted that her period was a watershed one according to his numerology figures.
The writer remembers that her house in suburban Maryland was being sheltered by the Korean refugees. Her parents were scraping by themselves, and she never seemed able to catch the attention of mother. When bad lucks come, they come in chain. Another disaster she faced between the ages of 12 to 17 was the disjuncture between people and culture inside and outside her house. People inside her house spoke Korean, ate Korean food and talked about Korea. But outside her house none knew much about or interested in Korea. Those who had heard of Korea thought it was a state in Japan or China.
1950s was also a period of violence and discrimination for many people of color. African Americans were forced to live in segregated neighborhoods. Moreover, they were victimized by the police. Though Asians were allowed to live in white neighborhoods, the writer’s brother was beaten by white boys daily. The writer was also harassed in her school. Besides she was not invited into white people’s homes. She was treated as a perpetual outsider or foreigner.
In such difficult situation, the writer was determined to become a cheerleader. Her determination to be a cheerleader was her attempt to be popular and to be recognized However, her success in becoming the cheerleader did not bring her any new identity. Rather she developed the feeling of isolation and alienation.
Her suffering brought her new understanding. The difficulties and confusion during her teens inspired her to learn about history when she grew up she learned that she was not alone in her suffering. She learned about racism, American women’s and African. American’s struggle for equality and social justice.
As a result of her struggle for identity, she discovers herself. Their experiences stimulated her to work to educate people against racism and sexism. That work helped her better understand she found herself strong with a new voice.
This essay is about a struggle of an Asian- American woman to find her identity in a country where she is treated as an Asian- American woman in a white male dominated society of American and how she discovers herself with a strong voice.
TV Can Be a Good Parent
As a single working mother Gore defends television and thinks that it can be a good parent. She is surrounded by the host of problems and she cannot be a stay-at – home mother. She shows how TV can be useful for the working mothers like herself who can spend sufficient time for children. When she needed time for herself she found that the TV programs like Big Bird and Barney the Dinosaur a better parent than herself. TV has been a helpful co-parent.
She cites American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that states she is doing her daughter an injustice every time she lets her watch TV, babies and toddlers need direct interaction with parents for healthy brain growth and for cognitive skills, exposing young children to television should be discouraged. Gore analyses the report and defends herself: She admits that the babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interaction with actual people. However, she disagrees with the view that children should not be exposed to television. She thinks that sticking them in front of TV all day and all night should be discouraged but watching kids don’t interact with their parents is a false assumption.
She also criticizes AAP’s view that young children should not watch TV at all and its recommendation that the pediatrician view that TV is not the best learning tool and it can be interactive. She is not ready to accept the assumption that TV watching kids don’t interact with her parents.
Life without Chiefs
(Literal Comprehension and extensive reading)
Life without Chiefs is an essay based on the reality of human history in which the essayist Marvin Harris has afforded to define the concept leadership in a new way. He begins his essay by exposing the reader how leadership began in human evolution where he talks about the nomadic hunting and gathering stage when the people used to be divided into people in groups. According to the essayist, it has been just two thousand years that most of the people have left the stage of hunting and gathering and has settled themselves into a particular place. He claims that people lived without kings, queens prime minister and other forms of posts for ten thousand years but the life had run smoothly at that time as well. He writes that people used to help other with the expectation of getting the same in their need. In fact this reciprocity was a small society's bank. So, the man who declared himself king would be left alone to be the king of him. Similarly, there was no tradition of thanking even if someone helped another. Slowly the leadership got birth when human beings started to live in a village. The person was called headman but he was not given the authority to obey his orders Each member of the village had not even a single feeling of being dominated. All of them used to believe that they were all headmen. Certainly, headman did have respect in the village. If something needs to be done, it is the headman who would stand at first. Hence, he was a ray of hope to those people who were in need. He was in fact a model of good behaviors who would teach the rest of the people to work hard to provide generosity. A headman would also teach them to keep control over the sexual appetites work hard in the garden and take frequent bath into the rivers. Up to this time, the essayist believes that there was no possession of the land. For him, a kind of communism existed in this time. Slowly and gradually, people started to have possession over things, all the people were allowed to own their weapons but they were not supposed to use them for their individual benefits. A person who misused his weapon would be punished even though there was absence of criminal justice systems.
With the passing of the time, reciprocity took another form which was known as redistribution of food. The headman was the real distributors who would offer the feast. Since the capacity of offering the feast started to determine the headman. People started to accept that there could be headmen if they offer the feasts. Among those headmen, there will be mumis who was the big man in the village who would offer the best and greatest feast. So, a sense competition came there to be mumis. So, the mumis had to eat less food and meat so that he would be able to offer feast and preserve his dignity. The big man slowly started to help the people in the time of need but a different rule occurred in the society. According to this, mumis now called chief would not have to go to the field and work hard. Instead, the people would work in their field. The people would even distinguish the food for the chiefs so that they would ask with him at the time of need.
In “Life without Chiefs”, by Marvin Harris, Harris “traces the evolution of political leadership”. The types of leaders mentioned were headmen, big men, and chiefs. Harris associates headmen “with small hunting and gathering societies marked by reciprocal exchange, and big men with slightly larger horticultural societies that employ redistributive exchange”. Chiefs had similar societies with the big men but their population was a bit larger and could inherit their position. Marvin Harris shows in this chapter how everything is connected and how leaders evolved to become what they are today.
Small populations had a rule of reciprocity exchange. It was all about sharing in the society because “chance played a great role” in getting food and some day's people needed help. “So the best way for them to provide for their inevitable rainy day was to be generous”. Anthropologist Richard Gould said, “The greater the amount of risk, the greater the extent of sharing”. As people share, they don’t calculate exactly what they expect back. For example, something more modern might be giving presents and gifts. Nobody expects to get back the same amount of what they gave. This reciprocal exchange has one expectation which is “that our generosity will be acknowledged with expression of thanks”. Anthropologist Robert Dentan discovered in Central Malaysia that “saying thank you is very rude because it suggests that one has calculated the gift and that one did not expect the donor to be so generous”. Also, in reference to “Christmas in Kalahari”, Richard Lee realizes that the Bushmen didn’t praise his gift of the ox because then he would think of the rest as inferior as and lower than him. “We refuse one who boasts, for someday his pride will make him kill somebody”.
Headmen didn’t have the power to make people obey their orders. “They have no formal authority and can only persuade, never command”. The headman’s job is basically to lead by example. “If something needs to be done, it is the headman who starts doing it. He works harder than anyone else”. Freeloaders were people who sat home all day while others got them food and did the work needed. To punish them, the society used sorcerers. “The task of identifying these evildoers falls to a group’s shamans, who remain responsive to public opinion during their divinatory trances”. Another form of exchange was redistribution which was when people gave food and other things to a main figure and then divided in portions and given out. Whoever “redistributed the most food etc. would become the big man” and would receive status. The muminai feast was created which was a competition between prestigious figures, and whoever lost “suffered great humiliation and fall from mumihood was immediate”. The chief status was viewed as an “office, a sacred trust with the rules of hereditary succession and the dominion was no longer a small, autonomous village but a large political community”. Chiefs were more like kings than headman and big men. They had certain clothes and ornaments they wore and commoners couldn’t put a chief’s head lower than theirs. The chief had “exclusive rights” to granaries which stored food for droughts etc.
Chiefdoms evolved into states than into empires etc. till what we have now. “It is essential that we understand the past before we can create the best possible future”. Studying the past will help societies to learn from what systems had a bad effect and create better ones so we can “survive as a species”.
Marvin Harris' Life without Chiefs brought to light a great phenomenon which we may not be aware of. Harris claimed that for about 98 percent of our existence as a species, most of our ancestors were hunting and gathering bands containing no more than 50 people. He continues by showing how effectively these bands functioned without the everyday norms of judges, policemen and many others whom our society greatly relies on.
In Harris' piece he says the reason that these small group were functioning so effectively was because of their principle of reciprocity. As he states, "In reciprocal exchange, people do not specify how much or exactly what they expected to get back or when they expect it back." He gives an example of another ethnographer Robert Dentan who worked in Semi of Central Malaysia, where it is impolite to say Thank you for the meat provided from another hunter. It is impolite because it suggests, "That one has calculated the gift and that one did not expect the donor to be so generous." This is so different from our present time where it is impolite not to say thank you for anything given to us.
This change makes us think that it had to do with the changes from headman, to big man and then finally to chiefs. The village man's quest was not one of power; his only job was to lead by example. They gave more of what they had to everyone else and it then became competition between many village men who can give more generously and thus big men arose. Big men had also struggled with competitors for generosity and the reciprocity was change when chiefs arose. Not only did the chiefs have dominion over multiple villages, but the villagers were now giving to them instead of the reverse.
"From peaceful origins, humans created and mounted a wild beast that ate continents. This line sums it up, the rise of political systems has changed the way we operated as society and cannot be reversed. However, I pose the question; can we ever go back to the times of Village men? Would it change the quest for power and greed that we now posses?
The Sword of Damocles
Source: Greek Legend
The Sword of Damocles is an object in a Greek legend which is designed to illustrate the perils of being in a position of power. The term is often used in popular culture to talk about an imminent threat or peril, with the idiom “the Sword of Damocles” in reference to such a threat dating back to around 1747, along with the related concept of “hanging by a thread.” The story of Damocles is relatively brief, and as a result many people are familiar with it.
According to legend, Damocles was a courtier in the palace of Dionysius II, a king who ruled Syracuse in the 4th century BC. Like many courtiers, Damocles constantly flattered the king, in the hopes that he would be given a position of greater power in the court. Apparently, Dionysius was tired of the constant flattery, and he asked Damocles if the courtier would like to switch places for a day, to see what it would be like to be a ruler.
Damocles eagerly assented, and spent a day being waited on by the king and other attendants. Towards the end of the day, while seated at dinner, Damocles looked up to see a heavy sword suspended directly over his head, hanging by a hair. In a panic, he asked Dionysius about the meaning of the sword, and the ruler explained that he wanted to show Damocles what it was like to be in a position of power, which might seem privileged from a distance to the casual eye but was actually quite dangerous.
The sword terrified Damocles into fleeing the court, with no more thoughts of power in his head, and the parable about the Sword of Damocles became a symbol for the hidden dangers of power. The concept of hanging by a thread as a leader is very poignant. It illustrates the incredible danger which many leaders find themselves in, as they are often beset on all sides both literally and figuratively, making their positions far from enjoyable. The Sword of Damocles is a somber reminder that power comes with many dangers attached.
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!
Richard P. Feynman with Ralph Leighton
Extensive and critical reading
Richard Feynman was a Nobel-prize-winning physicist best known for his alternative formulation of quantum mechanics and his work on quantum electrodynamics. Like many physicists of his generation, he also worked on the Manhattan Project to construct a nuclear bomb during World War II. Late in life, he became renowned for his participation in the panel investigating the Challenger disaster. He was also a professor at Caltech, where he won the highly prestigious Oersted Medal for teaching.
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman is an autobiography by anecdote. It leaves out much of the structure and framework of an autobiography and skims over what a conventional biography would treat as the meat of Feynman's career (much of the physics, much of his personal life, almost the entirety of his teaching career). Instead, reading it is like listening to Feynman tells funny stories and tall tales about his life.
Feynman had a curious mind. His interests ranged far and wide. Physics buttered his bread, but the world was his oyster. In each endeavor he undertook, he set sail on his quest for understanding in fundamentally the same way–by first acknowledging his ignorance, and then clearing his mind of preconceptions. Only then could he rationally, objectively and amorally investigate the matter, allowing the evidence to carry him wherever it would. This is the best one can do in the quest for knowledge and understanding—objective, amoral investigation of cause and effect relationships, with a gimlet eye casting aspersions on all untested conclusions and inferences. Applying logic—the idea of “if this, then that”—is the only hope of ever understanding anything, and Feynman’s mind was exquisitely logical. Though he tells next to nothing about the technical intricacies of his work in physics, it can be assumed that he attacked problems in quantum dynamics (for which he eventually won a Nobel Prize) in much the same manner.
It seemed Feynman rarely engaged in rationalization–the daily mental gymnastics in which most folks engage to make the world as it appears to be somewhat congruent with the world as we wish it to be. Feynman took things at face value, which is the running joke of Surely you’re joking. Feynman seemed to live something like Jim Carrey’s character in the movie Liar, Liar, almost unable to lie, even when it would benefit him. Men of less extraordinary talents might, like Carrey’s character, find everyday life impossible to negotiate without the occasional rationalization. Feynman’s brilliance allowed him to get by with little need of it. He was honest to a fault. He blatantly told his hosts exactly what he felt of their education- by-rote-memorization system after having taught physics to undergraduates in Brazil. Feynman had the heart of a lion with the wit of a hyena when navigating the shoals between objective reality and perceptual delusions.
Feynman concludes his undergraduate work at MIT. He wishes to remain there for graduate school, but is advised to do his graduate work at a different institution. He decides to attend Princeton.
He is a little nervous about Princeton, since the school has a reputation for formality and elegance, and vows to make an attempt to improve his social graces. When he arrives at Princeton, he notices that everybody speaks very formally, lives in nice rooms, and wears academic robes when taking daily meals in the elegant dining hall. On the day of his arrival he is invited to a "tea". Feynman has never been to a tea before, and is not sure how he is supposed to behave, but it is clear to him that he has committed social error.
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" is a chapter with almost no plot, in which the story is told in first person. The voice the reader hears is that of a single, actual person, relating his life experiences and observations. However, the chapter credits other contributing authors (most notably Ralph Leighton). Therefore, although the ideas, and experiences (as well as most of the words) are almost certainly Feynman's, the process of taking his words and ideas, organizing them into a coherent (if unconventional) whole, and producing them in the form of a chapter. However many contributors may be working on this narrative, the primary purpose is to show the multiple talents within a person.
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" is an autobiography of the late physicist, Richard P. Feynman—a very unconventional one. Rather than relating the story of his life in a traditional manner, Feynman gives us a collection of unconnected anecdotes loosely organized into this chapter. After reading the collection of anecdotes, which focus more on mundane details of his life than on major life events and great career accomplishments, what we end up with is a pretty good idea of the day-to-day life and personality quirks of this particular man, and insight into what makes him tick.
I graduated college the year this book came out. At the time, I knew next to nothing about physics. (Feynman was a Nobel laureate physicist that worked on the Manhattan Project, et al). I knew less about how to think. All I really knew was how to memorize and regurgitate, because that’s how you got through college. Had I read this book when it first came out, maybe I’d have had a shorter journey from ignorance to understanding. But maybe not. Given that I thought I knew and understood a lot, I’d have probably dismissed the book and its author as somewhat deranged, and anyways, not useful or relevant to my life goals. I’d have not realized, as I do now, that Feynman reveals, through this string of anecdotes and events in his life (very few of which concern physics), a great deal about how to gain an understanding of the world. Understanding begins with acknowledging ignorance. That’s surely where I would have failed to grasp the lessons of Feynman’s life. I’m glad I didn’t read the book back when it came out. Twenty five years of life’s humbling have left me feeling very Socratic regarding knowledge and understanding. Socrates was considered the wisest man in the world because he was the only man who didn’t think himself wise. That’s what the intervening years have done for me. All I know for sure these days is that I know very little for sure. I don’t feel wise. I mostly just feel humble.
Life Is Sweet at Kumansenu:
There was a beautiful village in South Africa named Kumansenu. It was situated in a beautiful landscape. The beauty of the village had been further increased by the lines of thatched roofed houses of the village. In one of those houses, there lived a widow. Her name was Bola with her seven years old granddaughter named Asi. Bola had a story in her youth. She had given birth of five sons but none of them had survived. Hence they had consulted with the magician of the village who had suggested them to break the bones of dead child's legs so that his evil spirit would not be able to take another birth and trouble them. But, Bola did not allow to the people to do so. Instead, she put a black spot on the buttock of the baby so that she could recognize the baby when the same spirit would come next time when she would beget the next baby. Time passed, she gave birth to another son, Musa. She looked at the buttock. Indeed, there was a black spot in the exact place where she had spotted in her previous baby. Anyway, the child did not die young. He grew up, got married, and gave birth to a daughter. At present, Musa was working as a clerk in the city. He was staying there with his wife. One day, all of sudden the son appears in the room in one of the evenings. The old widow asked why he had been there without information. She wanted to call all the villagers to welcome him. But the son stopped her saying that he wanted to share his happiness with his family members only. His daughter went to meet him and saw that her father had covered his neck. Curious girl asked him why he had covered his neck. He replied that there was a wound in his neck and hoped that she would not touch it. Next day, both of them went to visit, father takes her far and wide. The girl was surprised because she could not see her father's shadow, he was very transparent and his watch had stopped at twelve o'clock. The father replied that it was twelve o'clock and there would not be any shadow at the time. He also teaches there to open a chain. They return their home. The mother suggests him to go to the graveyard and meet his father's tomb. Then they reach to the graveyard, the mother takes some of the almonds and throws up the graveyard. Three of them turn upwards and three of them turn downwards which means the living and dying soul was communicating each other. The mother tells her son that his father was happy with him. The son replies that he had felt very close with his father on that day. Both of them returned their home. The mother prepares food but the son would not take it. It was raining outside. The son was standing in the rain. The mother calls him inside but the son replies that he had come there just to thank her because she did not cut his legs in the previous life. Then he disappears. Next day Musa's wife who had been staying in the city comes. She delivers a message that her husband had died exactly at 12 o'clock when the glass of the window broke down and his head had been severed as he had tried to peep out through it. The daughter could not believe it and begins to cry and the mother lulls her by offering the chain which was her father's last gift. Bola was happy because she had selected not to break the legs of the dead child. And, it was because of her great decision there were her daughter in law and granddaughter as the support of her old age.
Life is Sweet at Kumansenu (Extensive Reading)
First of all, the theme of “Life is Sweet at Kumansenu” is portrayed through the ways that the author describes the setting of the story. The setting describes the surroundings around the character and the area in which the character lives or spends a lot of time. For instance, the setting is described as, “The sea and the wet sand to one side of it; green tropical forest on the other; above it, the slow, tumbling clouds. The clean, round, blinding disk of sun and the blue sky covered and surrounded the small African village, Kumansenu.” These statements fit with the theme, “Don’t take life for granted,” because they speak of the beautiful area that is all around and how sometimes you need to just stop and take a look at the beauty of life. Therefore, the author used a unique setting to describe the theme of the story.
Secondly, the theme can be seen in the uses of characterization throughout the story. In “Life is Sweet at Kumansenu,” the author shows characterization through speech and appearance. This statement is made: “She clutched Asi to her. ‘I am glad I gave him the opportunity to come back, for life is sweet.’” This form of characterization used was speech in which Bola clutched her granddaughter to herself she spoke of how happy she was that she let Meji come see her because he would be able to enjoy life. This is a form of characterization in that it shows how much Bola cared about her son and wanted him to enjoy the essence of life. Also another form of characterization used is, “He turned around from the window and looked at her with a twisted half-smile of love and sadness.” This form was that of appearance and it demonstrates the theme in that, without the audience knowing it, Meji is dead and he is looking at his living mother. He sees in her a love for life and wishes that he himself could be experiencing that sort of love. So it can be concluded that Abioseh, the author of this story, used characterization through speech and through appearance to interpret the theme that life should not be taken for granted.
Thirdly the theme of “Life is Sweet at Kumansenu” is demonstrated through symbolism. In this story symbolism provides foreshadowing and represents the emotions of the characters. An example of symbolism is when “She threw the four kola nuts up into the air and they fell on the grave.” In this case, the kola nuts represent death, which adds to the theme because it’s showing that death can come suddenly. Another instance of symbolism is when Asi’s mother tells her, “Your papa had this made last week for your Christmas present. You may as well have it now” She is referring to a gold locket, which symbolizes Meji’s love for his daughter. This contributes to the theme because it shows how love is important and you should appreciate those in your life. Therefore, symbolism is one element which serves to demonstrate the theme of this story.
The fourth aspect that illuminates the theme is irony. Irony is defined as the contrast between our expectations and reality. Irony is used a lot in “Life is Sweet at Kumansenu,” because of the fact that the main plot has a highly ironic twist (that a man who appears normal is really dead). One instance of this is when Bola and Meji are standing by the grave of Meji’s father and Meji “...said that he felt nearer his father at that moment than he had ever done before in his life.” This is both verbal and situational irony, since at the time, Meji was actually dead, and so he really would be closer than ever to his dead father. This proves the theme because it shows how unexpected things, death not least of all, can happen, and that you shouldn’t take things for granted. Because of this, irony is clearly one way in which the author presents the theme.
In conclusion; the message of “Don’t take life for granted” is clearly presented as the theme of “Life is Sweet at Kumansenu.” It is shown through Abioseh’s use of setting to describe the beauty in nature that we shouldn’t forget to notice. It is also made apparent because of the characterization that shows how sweet life is. Another element that shows the theme is the symbols of the story and how they represent death and the love a father has for his daughter. Irony also contributes by showing how things are not always what we expect them to be, and that death may be closer than we realize. Last but not least, the theme is demonstrated by the author’s imagery, which paints a vivid picture of how fleeting life is. This all goes to show that it’s important to not let life pass you by and to enjoy what you have while it lasts.
To Know a Fly
'To Know A Fly' is an essay based on scientific experiment. It has presented the view that every scientific experiment is to be carried out consciously and carefully because any experiment carried randomly may not give appropriate and acceptable result. The experiment always begins with act of faith over reality, cause and effect relationship, discovery by reason, our senses. It continues with an observation and a question. The scientist in fact alters the condition, observes a result and draws a conclusion. Therefore a man willing to conduct an experiment needs to be careful and conscious enough in this concern, since the most commonly committed scientific sin is the lack of proper experimental control.
The text presents one example of carefully carried out experiment and the next the randomly conducted experiment. Once a gentleman by cutting off flea's hind legs draws a conclusion that it hears from the hind legs since it couldn't jump despite his order and he had already tried by amputating other parts of it. Similarly the next man concluded from his experiment that the intoxicating quality lies in glass not in water and even not in other alcoholic substances like bourbon, rum, scotch, rye, and gin and so on since all these substances were mixed with water. This kind of confusing correlation with cause and effect gives rise to fallacy and scientific sin.
Finally, the text presents the extraordinary capacity of fly to test and identify the sweetness in substance. This is the most fruitful experiment conducted through shrewd observation. It extends out its proboscis and tastes the food item to ensure either it is sweet or not. It is too much sensitive. It tastes the food through the feet.
A properly conducted experiment is a beautiful thing. Experiment depends on the act of faith. A proper observation and probably questions about the result should be thought of before the experiment. A Scientist does any experiment in the same ways for success. But scientists also make mistakes in their experiment in two ways. One is the lack of proper experimental control with cause and effect. Experiment should not be random. It should not be like the experiment done by the man to find out the ears of a flea or like an earthquake survivor who said that the building collapse because he pulled down the window shade.
To know about a fly, a man made quite meaningful experiment. He wanted to find out its sensitiveness. He also wanted to find out when the fly takes its proboscis in and out. He found out that a thirsty fly lowers different quantity of sugared water. It hides its proboscis. This fact shows that a fly can take taste from its feet. It also shows that a fly is much more sensitive than human beings in taking taste. If different typed of sugar water is placed in different saucers. The fly gives more priority to the tastiest water. Thus, we can get exact information from a properly conducted experiment.
As a piece of scientific writing, the text is trying to present the importance of experiment and alerts that one must be careful and conscious to carry out the experiment. Otherwise, it harms more than it helps. Similarly, presenting an experiment on fly informs the reader that nature has given every creature with own distinct qualities. In this, it is useless to regard human as superior creature in the world.
The text presents the ideas on scientific experiment and its importance. Naturally, one must be conscious and careful but in every experiment such excessive consciousness doesn't work. Since many scientific discoveries are taking suddenly and in random experiments. No scientist works being fixed on his invention. Whatever the discoveries take place, it is sudden and strange.
As I went through the story, it really impressed me. I used to think that experiment is just to get the conclusion and they are easy. Everything is there and to experiment is to mix the things and observe them carefully. But now I know that to perform experiment needs a lot of care and knowledge. More than that, after reading it, I came to know and accept the fact that nature has equally empowered its creatures with distinct qualities.
Mr. Know All
W. Somerset Maugham
One day, the writer set out to make a 14 days long voyage from San Francisco to Yokohama. The writer felt discomfort to share the cabin with Max Kelada because he thought that Max Kelada was also an Englishman but he was a boring man. He had carried many strange things and talked about different subjects. He said that he had a very good knowledge about everything. So, he could be called Mr. Know all.
Mr. Kelada was very frank and friendly. He offered the writer a drink and booked a seat for dinner for the writer. But he followed the writer all the time and ruined his fun.
Once Mr. Kelada, the writer, Mr. Ramsay and Mrs. Ramsay chanced to sit for lunch on a table. Mr. Ramsay was in the American consular service posted at Kobe, Japan. He was going to Japan with his beautiful wife. Mr. Ramsay has stayed one year alone in Japan living Mrs. Ramsay in New York. The couple did not like the way Max Kelada behaved. While talking Mr. Kelada said that he knew everything about jewelry and he was going to Japan for the business of pearl. At that time, he saw a pearl chain worn by Mrs. Ramsay, he said that the chain was really original. At that time Mr. Ramsay asked him to guess its price max Kelada confidently said that it would cost 15000 dollars in general trade but on the 5th avenue, it would even cost 30000 dollars. But Mr. Ramsay laughed grimly and said that it was a duplicate pearl and they had bought it in a departmental store for 18 dollars. But Max Kelada did not believe and they bet for 100 dollars. At that time Mrs. Ramsay flushed Max Kelada took out his magnifying glass and examined the pearl. Although he won the bet he also studied the psychology of Mrs. Ramsay and knew that something wrong was going to happen in their relation. So, he announced that he was mistaken. He gave 100 dollars to Mr. Ramsay.
Next morning, when the writer was shaving, someone slipped envelope into their cabin. He gave it to Mr. Kelada because it had been addressed to him. There was 100 dollars in the envelope. Then the writer also did not hate him totally.
This story may be trying to tell us about the writer's attitude towards the black. Although Mr. Kelada was helpful and friendly, he was hated by the writer and the couple Ramsays. The writer also teaches us not to be so chatty like Max Kelada without understanding the view of the listeners and save people from trouble without caring personal benefit or selfishness. He also teaches us to apply skepticism power even on very close, relatives who are living far from us.
Critical Thinking (But don't write points in exam, write in paragraphs)
After reading this story, we can find some disagreeable points.
i) Is a passenger allowed to carry all kinds of wines with him?
ii) Does anyone dislike the other because of color discrimination?
iii) Does anyone give up his money even after winning the bet?
iv) Can we find such Mr. Know all in this world?
v) Don't we find a frank and friendly person good during a long journey?
vi) Should a husband really suspect on the behavior of his wife?
So, I don't totally agree with the writer.
This story taught me many useful things. Before I read the story, I used to make friendship with as many people as I met. I enjoyed talking with them about what I know. But I did not study their view whether they liked my talk to no. they may have hated me in the lack of my sincerity. I also offered people things while making a long journey but I got no benefit. No I will try to save myself from such events.
Adaptive Failure: Easters End
The article "Adaptive Failure: Easters End" by Jared Diamond (1995: 124-133) raises awareness of man's impact on ecology and earth resources. As humans we adapt to the resources in our habitat. However not always does man successfully or mindfully conserve these resources in order to promote future generations, as in the case in point of the infamous Easter Island. Customs are human responses to material necessity. Polynesian ancestors of today's Easter Island once inhabited a bountiful heavily forested fertile island. The government and people slowly declined because of the heavy environmental destruction and because social concerns took precedence over conservation. This island's fate should be a warning to us since our modern ecology is in a stressed state.
Easter Island has only an area of 64 square miles. It lies two thousand miles west of South America, and 1,400 miles from the next nearest inhabitable island. Its lower latitude and volcanic history yield it a mild climate and rich soil. While its isolation leads us to believe that it was once a pristine paradise. Its name is derived from the date of its first European discovery on Easter, 5 April 1722.
This article stresses the study of why ancient civilizations had failed, and especially those that seemed to have been prosperous. The former Polynesian society on isolated Easter Island is a prime example of this mystery. Once an island with gigantic stone statues and a bustling romantic island of paradise, it now stands as a desolate ruin with a few surviving inhabitants. For many years after its discovery by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, this island held its secrets. On Roggeveen's arrival there were only a few grasses, sedges, ferns and insects, leading him to believe that its inhabitants had little or no means of life. Other early visitors estimated the island population at 2,000.
Even though the Polynesians are known as a sea faring people Captain James Cook noted that the inhabitants came to meet him by swimming or in small flimsy, leaky canoes. They lacked the knowledge and materials to make sea worthy craft that was water proof. And only 3-4 canoes were noted on the entire island. The people apparently had no outside contact with the world, nor have any island artifacts been found in any other part of the world. Furthermore people living there have memories of visiting the Gomez reef 260 miles away. The islands most famous artifact is its huge stone statues. More than 200 had once stood on massive platforms and at least 700 more in progress has been found abandoned on the island in quarries or along roads. Most of the statues had been carved from the same quarry and had heights of 33 feet, and weighed up to 82 tons. The abandoned statues were as much as 65 feet tall and weighed up to 270 tons. And the platforms they stood on were up to 500 feet long and 10 feet tall, and weighed up to 10 tons. These facts raised the question as to where and how did its inhabitants come to occupy the island. And how did they construct, transport and raise the statues that have made the island famous?
The most startling question is that of the statues. How could people who are devoid of lumber, rope materials, wheels, draft animals, or a source of power construct and move such large objects? The statues had all still been standing in 1722; however by 1864 all had been pulled down. The statues imply that Easters society had been one vastly different from the one Roggeveen had seen in 1722. The supplies for the statues and tools used would have come from various parts of the island. All the while, farmland and fishing ground would have been located in other parts of the island. Extricating and distributing all the supplies for society would have required a complex social organization.
Early and recent anthropology and DNA research on the island turned up evidence that the culture and people were of Polynesian decent. Past theories gave way to archeology, pollen analysis, and paleontology. It had been discovered to be settled at about 400 A.D. by Polynesian settlers who arrived on sea worthy craft. The island would have been a pristine paradise teeming with woods, fish, and wildlife. The statue construction peaked around 1200 to 1500 as did the population of 7,000-20,000 residence. Pollen analysis and archeology turned up startling proof that the island had among its supplies 'hauhau' tree for making rope and palm trees yielding supplies of wood, nuts, sugar, and wine. Also found in garbage dumpsites were porpoise bones, fish bones, seabird remains, other exotic birdlife, and possibly seal bones. Easter was likely the richest bird breeding site in the south pacific.
The evidence found leads us to believe that destruction of the island ecology began about 800 A.D. just a few centuries after its original settlement. Because charcoal from wood fires began showing up in pond sediment cores, and pollen of tree and shrubs began to rapidly decline. The people had used up all the forest for their fires, buildings, gardens, canoes, and transport goods, including statues. Porpoise and fish bone abruptly disappeared from garbage sites around 1500 A.D. and bird remains became scarce then disappeared as well. Human bones from cannibalism took their place, along with chicken bones. Pollen from flora disappeared. Preserved statuettes with sunken cheeks and visible ribs suggest that people were starving. Since the chickens, rats, and humans replaced only a small portion of their diet. Surviving islanders related to early European visitors how the warrior class and chaos slowly took over the bureaucracy and centralized government. People also took to living in caves for protection against enemies and the elements. Around 1770 rival clans began to topple each other's statues and by 1864 all had been pulled down.
We may well ask why they didn't see what was happening and stop before it was too late. But they may not have realized what was happening. Because the destruction and erosion was so gradual that nobody noticed. Neither did they care; they put government and social aspects first. The economy on Easter Island depended on continued deforestation as much as our economy does today. Gradually the forest became smaller till no trees were left, and their significance dwindled in the economy.
The significance of Easter Islands fall should be obvious today. The island is like an earth in miniature. Just like then a rising population confronts a dwindling supply of resources. With the continued destruction of our forests to logging and clear cutting for farms all the way to our use of chemicals, and national one upping of our neighbors and war. With social and governmental precedence taken over survival and basic human needs we have reports of starving countries and depleted resources and extinct wildlife.
However even though the government and many people look away and pretend not to notice earths plight, we today possess something Easter Island didn't. We possess the ability to record and learn from history and the mistakes we ourselves and other countries have made both past and present. We can only hope that one day many will take notice and act upon the situation before it is too late.
Culture has many characteristics, which include the fact that it is shared and social, it is learned, it is used creatively. The characteristic that is highlighted in this reading is that culture is adaptive and maladaptive. The adaptability of culture enables its people to make changes to allow them to thrive. But every culture participates in some activities that are counterproductive to its survival. Smoking is a minor example of a counterproductive behavior that exists in the world today. But the people of Easter Island had to contend with a much more serious issue: over-exploitation of resources.
The general consensus is that Easter Island was first habited around AD 400. When early settlers arrived, they likely found a heavily forested and fertile land abundant in food and other resources. It was a miniature paradise. But such was not the case when Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, arrived in 1722. By then, Easter Island appeared to be nothing more than a wasteland.
Using just stone tools and muscle power, the Easter Islanders managed to devastate their entire environment thus undermining any technological and social advances they made. We, on the other hand, have metal tools and large machinery to help us to destroy ourselves. The sad thing is that we have documented accounts of such societies as the Easter Islanders who developed themselves into near extinction, yet we continue to build Wal-Mart Supercenters and ridiculously huge shopping malls at the expense of our forests. Why didn't they look around, realize what was going on and stop it before it was too late? What were they thinking when they chopped down the last palm tree?" These questions may seem obvious to us when thinking about the people of the Easter Islands, but why don't we apply them to ourselves? Don't we realize that we are exhausting our natural resources so quickly that we may end up with the same fate as the Easter Islanders? If we continue down this same path, our civilization may go in the same direction.
The Good Example
Vincent Riva Palacio
The message of the author is justified by the title, itself. The setting of the story is pure nature and the details of environment effectively reflect the taste of Don possessed with a virtues of good teacher. All that Don holds is expected in every teacher if dedicated to his job. His nature becomes so hospitable that even the students and the pets follow as the parrot does in the story. For his noble qualities and full commitment to his regular duties, Don was quoted far and wide in the village. In the villager's eye, Don Lucas was a true follower of the course of action, who cares nothing as the return from the students from his efforts to teach them. So, Don was quoted as a good model of teaching community and as veritable martyr.
Don as a good example of teaching cared for the student's needs as he did for his own. So he encouraged Perico, the parrot to share with his regular refreshment. Similarly, the parrot should be appreciated for acquiring the good qualities of good company or of all those around. Even babbling with Don Lucas as a friend and listening to the pupils singing in chorus at the school, the parrot learned alphabets, words syllables exactly as pronounced by the school children. The tale shows that a teacher is a best source for the pupils to learn the best about the good principles and conduct of life. This is shown in the industry by passion of the parrot for imitation paving the path of Don to teach his neighbors as taught to himself to chant Ba, Da, ...Ge, Je, etc even in far distance from the master.
Despite all these, the story is tilted towards throwing a satire on education system based on memory that of Mexico in the 19th century. The writer is much convinced if the learning process is as such then the school can be opened and run by the other creatures as well. To exemplify the very statement, he has intentionally brought about the case of Perico pet tamed by Don Lucas. To mug up something is terrible, monotonous and boring. Repetition of something to set in our mind indeed kills our creative power and intuition. Education is not something we should gain out of memorizing. Rather it should be assimilated and implemented into our practical affairs by understanding. It is a satire in the sense that education system of Mexico in 19thcentury was not inclined towards encouraging students towards comprehension and promoting their creative aspect. Rather it was forcible and tiring process which the writer did not prefer. That is why he attacked it in a mild and literary way.
The Good Example
There was a village in the region of the southern part of the Mexican republic at the foothills of the sierra Madre near the Pacific Ocean. There were little white houses barely touched by the rays of the tropical sun as they were under the cool shade of coconut and other gigantic trees. Don Lucas Forcida ran the school. Forcida was a magnificent person. He was loved by all his neighbors. He was never careless in his duty so to speak, he was also a victimized martyr as other long-suffering teacher.
There was a traditional sort of teaching which exercised the antique pattern of worn-out system. The students would have to follow the ideas repeating everything their master with annoying monotony. They would have to learn, in a single cacophonous chorus, about alphabet, syllables, religious catechisms and even multiplicities table. At that time children were sent very far trying to see who among these could yell loudest or best. Don Lucas was just the silent watcher paying no heed about it.
The children would learn the school by 4 o’clock, yelling and throwing stones. Then, Don Lucas could be free. He could carry a chair to the side walk, and a servant would give him a cup of hot chocolate and a big cake. A gust of cool breeze would strike on Lucas’ bald head. Lucas would share his light Tiffin with his friend i.e., his parrot.
Lucas had kept the parrot lovingly somewhere in his heart. The parrot was kept in a cage above the school door under the show of the palm leaves. There was a good understanding in between the parrot and Don Lucas. Due to the row of the school children, the parrot could hardly learn the words from Don Lucas.
As soon as the school children left the ground Lucas would start to share his affection to parrot taking the hot chocolate in his hand. The parrot would go up and down his perch (cage) babbling about everything he knew and didn’t know. Lucas would offer him the crumbs of cake.
The moving (heart-touching) incident repeated everyday several years passed by Don Lucas had a firm belief in the parrot (Perico). He thought of releasing the parrot. However, one morning about 10 o’clock, he heard the student shouting, “Don Lucas, Perico is flying away!” Having heard this, the teacher and the student rushed outside but, they ran in vain. Their attempt to bring the parrot back futile, far they could not recognize him in the multitude of the forest –dwelling parrots. Don Lucas returned to his seat, and continued the lesson. Every seemed to have forgotten the terrible incident. Several month passed by Lucas would have forgotten about the parrot. One day, he was going to make a trip to his neighboring village. He had to ride the horse for the journey. It was passed in the hot afternoon. There was no draught of air and he was feeling extremely hot. The birds were hiding in the thick foliage Lucas could only hear the faint chirping of cicadas
Don Lucas horse was marching ahead. Mean while he heard the familiar voice of children chanting syllables, words and catechisms.
Don Lucas thought in the beginning that it might have been his hallucination It was due to extreme hot. But, as he came nearer, it was the obvious that there was a school even in the desolate forest.
Having seen this, he was astonished. He found a flock of parrots chanting in unison ba, da, fa, ga, ja, be, fe, ge, je. Behind the flock, he noticed Perico, who bowed his head to have seen his master.
At once, Perico panted, “Don Lucas, I have a school now.”Since then, they disappeared in the shadow of obscurantism.
Critical Reading of "The Library Card" and "The Good Example" with connection to life
In this essay I will compare my own educational experiences to those described in Richard Wright’s “Library Card” and Vicente Riva Palacio’s “The Good Example”. The vast differences detailed encourage readers to think about how lucky they are, and also to pick up a book!
Growing up I was always encouraged to read books, for pleasure, for school, and for general knowledge, but I can trace back to just one relative that really helped turn me into a reader. My Aunt Rita, even though she lived across the country in California, would always ask me what I was reading any time she wrote to me or talked to me on the phone. When she was visiting us when I was 11 years old, she took me to a bookstore and had me pick out 5 new books for myself. From that point on I was a reader and I loved it. That day, I started reading young adult fiction in the form of “Sweet Valley High” books and from then on, I couldn’t read them fast enough. My parents later joked that they might as well leave me in the library rather than driving back and forth every few days to get me more books since I would finish a book in just a couple of hours. My Aunt continued to encourage me to read as I grew up, sending me boxes of books throughout my time in junior high and high school. Now that I’m an adult, I am still an avid reader, although now I have to fit a couple of books into each week around my career and my classes too. Plus, now I have to buy them myself!
My experiences with being encouraged to read and given free access to all of the books I could manage is directly opposite to Wright’s as written in “Library Card”, although we both developed a passion for reading. While Wright had to lie and sneak in order to get books from the library, I was allowed to freely spend hours there and borrow as many books as I could manage. The fact even once Wright got the books, he was still questioned as to what and why he was reading, illustrates what a terrible time it was for the black people during that time in history. Growing up in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s as a white child, I never experienced that type of restriction. It’s sad that anyone would ever have to experience not being completely free, not considered to be an equal, and not being allowed to borrow books from a public library.
In “Library Card”, Wright goes through several educational experiences. He learns that he must do things such as lie and hide in order to get to the books that he wants to read. Once he gets to the point that he is able to get the books from the library with just minimal problems, he opens himself to a whole new world by reading books from authors with radical view points. During his reading he discovers that he’s able to understand words that he doesn’t know by using the context of the text surrounding it and he also realizes that getting caught up in a book is easy to do. One of the most poignant sentences in the piece to me is “…I went to work, but the mood of the book would not die; it lingered, coloring everything I saw, heard, did.” This seems to be the point where Wright really learns that the written word is powerful. Reading about different topics enables him to grasp what his mother went through, lets him really think about his options for life in the South and the North, and leads him to the realization that his reading puts distance between him and those around him. At the end of the story, I’m not sure whether he wishes he’d never started reading and thinking about new things, or if he wants the books to keep taking him to new levels.
If I compare my experiences growing up of being encouraged to read and always wanting to learn with “The Good Example” by Vicente Riva Palacio, it further shows me how lucky I had it. In “The Good Example” thinking outside the box and learning things that were not strictly taught in the classroom were just not encouraged. Riva Palacio’s entire story mocks the education system in the Mexican Republic. The lessons taught in the story are all about memorization and all of the students parroting back what is said to them. While there were things that I had to memorize in school, I was still encouraged as an individual and allowed different books to help broaden my mind.
I think the point regarding education that is brought home in “The Good Example” is that when the only thing being taught is memorization, anyone can deliver the message. Throughout the story Riva Palacio tells us that the teacher, Don Lucas, considers him a long suffering martyr, only enduring the lessons each day. The thought that a pet parrot can learn all of the lessons taught by Don Lucas and then later ‘teach’ those lessons to other parrots further shows us what Riva Palacio thought of the education Don Lucas delivered. The last line of the story, “Ever since then, and well ahead of their time, the parrots of that district have seen the shadows of obscurantism and ignorance disperse.” tells us exactly what the writer thought of the lessons taught in the school. He’s telling us that the parrots of that area are now just as smart and educated as the children.
When I think about what educational aspirations that I would like everyone on the earth to achieve, the main one is literacy. I believe that the ability to read and comprehend is by far the most important skill that anyone can ever learn. Being able to read and having access to any and all forms of the written world can take people to new levels of intelligence. Having the ability to read gives people the skill to learn new things…if they can read instructions, they can teach themselves a new skill. Reading can also be a means of relaxation and escapism when people are able to imagine themselves in different roles and places. All in all, I think that being able to read is the one skill that can help bring everyone to a more level playing field, regardless of background.
For myself, even though I took a 6 year break from college, I love school. I love learning new things and I like being good at the things I take on. I am excited to be back in college and not far away from achieving my Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies. Eventually I may push myself to go after an MBA degree, but for now I will go with the short term goal of my Bachelors degree. Earning my degree does 2 things: It gives me a sense of accomplishment and completion that I have been missing, and it helps increase my options in my career. I love my current job, but I want to know that I have the required education to get myself into a new position should it become necessary either personally or professionally.
From Wright showing us what it’s like to diligently go after knowledge through books when formal education is not available, to Palacio’s disdain for teaching through constant repetition, and finally to my own experiences of being encouraged to read and empowered by learning, it is clear that not all educational experiences are equal. No one can say for sure what method of education is best out of the thousands available, however everyone should be given the chance to get an education in some way, shape or form.
The expression swan song refers to farewell appearance, a final act or statement or last works of artist
Vasili Svetlovidov enters the deserted and darkened theatre. He regrets drinking a lot of wine in the party organized in his honor. This is the first time in his life that he has slept on the stage following the play and the party. He repents how he has wasted forty five years on the stage. He grumbles that his profession is bottomless pit like the tomb with death hiding in it. He ponders upon the ravages of vodka and old.
He tells Nikita, the prompter, his litany that he was dashing young fellow when he was in the army. He loved an elegant, graceful and innocent lady. But she denied marrying him for his being an artist. This failed love affair led to distrust his audience. He regrets having no wife or children to share his life with. He laments his direction his life has taken and his declining health and talent.
Then he gradually slides into reciting passionate excerpts from three troubled heroes of Shakespeare- King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth. Nikita willingly is acting the part of the secondary persona in each respective dialogue. His spirit lifts when he recreates each scene and his confidence as an artist is briefly restored. But it is only passing fancy. The final moments of play show Svetlovidov's admittance that both Nikita and he are too old and too significant to continue the profession. They are melting icicles whose song is sung. The play ends with Othello's recitation in which Othello senses his own doom. This recitation also suggests Svetlovidov's acceptance of old age, decline and meaningless. He feels that he has come to the swan song stage of his life and art.
Swan song is a drama written by famous Russian writer Anton Chekhov. Concerning the literal understanding of this drama, it deals with an actor Svetlovidov, 68 years old and his swan song. Svetlovidov had spent 68 year of his life .Here he evaluates his life and expresses his agony to Nikita.
Actually, life is full of expectations. We all expect that our next move will bring us great fortune but at the end the result may by different. Then another move is made and another result is received. Life goes on and at last in old age when all our energy is fading we want to be with our family or relatives. When such hope is faded then we start remembering our past and burst in agony. That’s what happens with Svetlovidov in this story.
Also, human is social animal. We like to be in family and spend our time with family at old age. Love, care and devotion are very expected things by everyone. When we cannot achieve any one of these we may be lost in pain. As here with the Svetlovidov, life without support is disaster full of agony.
Also, I come to understand young love can both destroy and make any one's life. As in story Svetlovidov loses hope another woman after rejection from one mentioned in the drama. He changed his mind toward the drama. He misunderstood the meaning of joy and happiness onward and spent his rest of life alone in agony.
Swan song is a play by Anton Chekov. It resembles a soliloquy but the presence of the character Nikita makes it a play. The central character is a man who has worked in the theater for most part of his life and who just gave his last show. After the show everyone leaves and as Svetlovidov, the main character, was asleep he is left alone in the theater. He wakes up and then finds no one around.
Then, the dramatic sequence of his reflection on his life begins, his swan song.
Svetlovidov seems satirical to the world and its function. The way it works. He expresses his regret. Nikita, the prompter caters his history and with this he transcends to a stage of nostalgia.
He recalls his life in the army and then his subsequent transfer to the field of art. Svetlovidov had been proposed by a lady but she had asked him to leave the world of acting. This shattered his positive attitude towards his work. The author succeeds in minutely showing the consequences of being denounced here. This is the psychological aspect in the story. Svetlovidov then recalls the dialogues he had spoken and the character he had played. Nikita assists him in doing so. There is a drama within a drama in this part. In the end, the drama succeeds in criticizing the development going on in the theater by showing the departure of an immensely talented actor.
How Sane Are We
The Essay "How Sane Are We?" by Anuradha Chaudhary is based on environmental problem. Basically, she presents her ideas that human beings have been too much irresponsible and indifferent to the conservation of the environment and she predicts that it will make their life quite difficult. She believes that due to human indifference, rapid urbanization and industrialization, the environment is getting heavily polluted. Mainly she believes that the gases produced from the industry, mishandling the chemicals and the excessive use of CFCs have greatly contributed for the destruction of ozone layer which causes skin cancer, green house effect and other various epidemics. Similarly, people have been greatly suffering from other various natural calamities such as flood but still people don't seem concerned to the direction of its preservation. Finally, she believes that if it continues, it will be impossible to continue life on it.
Anuradha Chaudhary is a professor of environmental biology. In this essay as a researcher of environment she talks about the degrading condition of the nature and surrounding. She begins her essay with an idea of Kipling who writes if the condition of the nature degrades in the same rapidity, we have to slain the heads of our generation in near future. Chaudhary sees that there is possibility of such catastrophe in human life because she has read about the laws like Parkinson’s in which the leaders who are elected for making the laws of the state for the welfare of people are themselves engaged in power politics. To make irrationality and irresponsibility of human beings naked, Chaudhary believes that the students shouldn’t believe in facts because they are published by the leaders to deceive the common people. At the same time, she also presents the facts after facts which make her essay more appealing and convincing. Chaudhary stresses on reshaping, rethinking on the ways of politics. Here Chaudhary satirizes those leaders whose goal is to get the power rather than solving the real natural threats to human beings.
Chaudhary writes that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) causes 20% green house effect which is capable of completely destroying life on earth. Here, Anuradha highlights the fact that the ozone depletion will take place completely if the use of cfcs continues. Chaudhary also mentions ozone layer protects our life by observing 99% ultra-violet rays. If it reaches to the earth, she believes more than 240 million people get skin cancer, eight million might get eye cataracts which would result millions death. Chaudhary appreciates to the decision o f some developed countries like United States, Canada, Sweden and Norway have banned in the use of cfcs in aerosol sprays.
Chaudhary brings an example of science fiction to persuade us about the terrible effects of careless scientific inventions. Citing an illustration of the science fiction War with the Newts, Chaudhary shows us vividly that one day our own invention will be used to dig our own grave yard. Chaudhary sarcastically presents the evil effects of science and technology which has invented the different missiles, guns, arms and ammunitions which have transfigured our way of fighting in comparison with the way our forefather used to fight. That is to say, we no longer fight with the sticks and stones but we have highly modern weapons. But she wants to make us ponder on the fact: Is there any space for our satisfaction? Is there any place for the secured life of our upcoming generation? Of course not, it is because we have not comprehended and acted for the solution for the adverse effect they have given on the nature. We are neglecting the nature we are living in and we are not able even to save the nature as our ancestors. We have not been worried about the forth coming danger due to our activities although we have been warned about it. We are digging our own graves and our future generations. If we don't think about changing the present social, economical and political system of the world, we will have to face a great disaster in the future and we will ourselves be responsible for it. Politics is quite related to ecological system. So, people should choose a right leader freely who can help to save the environment or atmosphere wisely.
Man has invented different kinds of harmful things for the nature CFCs is also a man made chemical which cause 20% of the green house effect. They also greatly effect on ozone layer by reducing its layer which blocks the 99% of the total ultraviolet radiation. If the sun's ultraviolet radiations reach the earth, it will badly disturb the natural eco system the agricultural product decrease people lose their sight. They can get skin cancer and it also suppress in the human immune system. CFCs was invented in 1930 and used in making refrigerators trays, spraying cans and computer chips. The government was warned by the scientists in 1974 that these chemicals destroy ozone but the government did not take it seriously. But the use of CFCs was banned in 1978 and in 1985 the CFCs ozone links was established. All the nations of the world agreed to stop this production by 2006 A.D by global phase out. It shows the rationality of human beings, yet some people want to stop their production immediately. Some skeptic people compare the production of CFCs to the war with the news people tried to save them from sharks and their number increase. So, they affected the lives of people very badly. It was due to their shout sightedness. However, all the conscious people of the world are worried about the future of the world because of the mass misconduct. If the present system all over the world is not changed, we are sure to meet a great irreparable disaster in the future.
The text being a piece of a study of environment centers on the environmental problem. Here, the text asserts the importance of environment on human life and it must be preserved for the sake of continuity of human life. Presenting such ideas, the essayist is appealing to all to preserve the environment.
Chaudhary presents the latent irrationality within the so-called rationality of the human beings and tries to persuade us to think seriously on our actions. She stresses repeatedly that there should not be any political play of power and personal power on the issues of environment in which the life of new generation itself is associated. Hence, Anuradha’s individual contribution to generate the public consciousness through this essay is highly appreciative and praise worthy. So far the essay presents the ideas on environmental problems and issues, it is very appreciative in a sense that it warns the people and makes them conscious for the conservation of the environment. But the essayist only concerns on the destruction and only destruction. She completely ignores the positive signs and steps carried out in this concern. As a result she appears to be so partial and full of biasness.
As I read this story, it has made me draw my attention towards the degraded environment of Kathmandu. Seeing its condition, it is true that we have really been too much indifferent and irresponsible. People here in Katmandu are suffering from various environmental problems, such as air pollution, water pollution, lack of open space and so on. As a result, life's getting too much difficult. Similarly, due to the river pollution, the aquatic life is also much affected. If it continues, there will be too difficult to sustain life in the days to come. So it has compelled me to take some action for its improvement.
To His Coy Mistress
To his coy mistress is a love poem composed by Andrew Marvell. The poet has sunk in the deep ocean of love. If the beloved and his lover had plenty of time, they would sit down and choose the right path of life. Then they would spend long time loving each other. He would love her ten years before the flood came. He would spend two thousand years to praise the rest parts of her body. He would spend an age to describe her heart. He has estimated her value so great. But he sees and hears time moving fast and he fears he will not meet her because he is on the bank of Humber and she is on the bank of the Ganga. As time brought her on this earth, when she will be in her marble grave, she will not even hear the sound of his coming loving song. The preserved virginity and the poet's lust will turn to ashes. No one will embrace her in the grave.
So, the poet suggests her to enjoy happily each other when she is young beautiful and smart. They should not waste time and delay so that their lives will be sweet. The poet is very crazy for making strong love and uses all strength and energy to quench his thirst of lust he says that they should hurry for enjoying love.
The poet may be trying to suggest us that we should do every duty or work in good time. Time is passing very fast. If the poet's beloved would do the same for a long time. There was no point in hurrying for enjoying love. But time and tide wait for no one. One should enjoy life in youth and there will be no charm in the old age. An old person is a dead for romance. One should repent if not enjoyed in the youth.
Andrew Marvell looks very crazy for love to fulfill his lust but would a man love a girl only for sensual entertainment? Does a man really become mad or blind in love? Should a man be so crazy to fulfill his lust? Should not one think about the future before making sexual intercourse? Isn't there a limitation of love? Is it good for a man to hurry for lust? Is love only youth and beauty? Isn't there feeling of love in the great of old people? So, I don't totally agree with the poet.
Love is life. But there should not be selfishness in love. There should be faith, truth and beauty in love. True love never dies but some people lose their love in this case. Here I remember an event. The boy was about twenty years. He loved a girl who studied in college with him. They loved each other very much but the girl was married with another boy. The boy could not bear it and committed suicide.
Extensive and critical reading
........"To His Coy Mistress," acclaimed long after Marvell's death a masterly work, is a lyrical poem that scholars also classify as a metaphysical poem. Metaphysical poetry, pioneered by John Donne, tends to focus on the following:
• Startling comparisons or contrasts of a metaphysical (spiritual, transcendent, abstract) quality to a concrete (physical, tangible, sensible) object. In "To His Coy Mistress," for example, Marvell compares love to a vegetable (line 11) in a waggish metaphor.
• Mockery of idealized romantic poetry through crude or shocking imagery, as in lines 27 and 28 ("then worms shall try / that long preserved virginity').
• Gross exaggeration (hyperbole), as in line 15 ("two hundred [years] to adore each breast].
• Expression of personal, private feelings, such as those the young man expresses in "To His Coy Mistress."
• Presentation of a logical argument, or syllogism. In "To His Coy Mistress," this argument may be outlined as follows: (1) we could spend decades or even centuries in courtship if time stood still and we remained young. (2) But time passes swiftly and relentlessly. (3) Therefore, we must enjoy the pleasure of each other now, without further ado. The conclusion of the argument begins at Line 33 with "Now therefore."
The title suggests that the author looked over the shoulder of a young man as he wrote a plea to a young lady and that the author then reported the plea exactly as the young man expressed it. However, the author added the title, using the third-person possessive pronoun "his" to refer to the young man. The word "coy" tells the reader that the lady is no easy catch; the word "mistress" can mean lady, manager, caretaker, courtesan, sweetheart, and lover. It can also serve as the female equivalent of master. In "To His Coy Mistress," the word appears to be a synonym for lady or sweetheart. In reality, of course, Marvell wrote the entire poem.
The Persona (The Young Man)
Although Andrew Marvell writes "To His Coy Mistress" in first-person point of view, he presents the poem as the plea of another man (fictional, of course). The poet enters the mind of the man and reports his thoughts as they manifest themselves. The young man is impatient, desperately so, unwilling to tolerate temporizing on the part of the young lady. His motivation appears to be carnal desire rather than true love; passion rules him. Consequently, one may describe him as immature and selfish.
Theme and Literal Comprehension
Here is the gist of Andrew Marvell's poem: In response to a young man’s declarations of love for a young lady, the lady is playfully hesitant, artfully demure. But dallying will not do, he says, for youth passes swiftly. He and the lady must take advantage of the moment, he says, and “sport us while we may.” Oh, yes, if they had “world enough, and time” they would spend their days in idle pursuits, leisurely passing time while the young man heaps praises on the young lady. But they do not have the luxury of time, he says, for “time's winged chariot” is ever racing along. Before they know it, their youth will be gone; there will be only the grave. And so, the poet pleads her to make love soon.
The poem does not present a scene in a specific place in which people interact. However, the young man and the young lady presumably live somewhere in England (the native land of the author), perhaps in northeastern England near the River Humber. The poet mentions the Humber in line 7.
Young Man: He pleads with a young lady to stop playing hard to get and accept his love.
Young Lady: A coquettish woman.
1.....coyness: Evasiveness, hesitancy, modesty, coquetry, reluctance; playing hard to get.
2.....which . . . walk: Example of enjambment (carrying the sense of one line of verse over to the next line without a pause).
3.....Ganges: River in Asia originating in the Himalayas and flowing southeast, through India, to the Bay of Bengal. The young man here suggests that the young lady could postpone her commitment to him if her youth lasted a long, long time. She could take real or imagined journeys abroad, even to India. She could also refuse to commit herself to him until all the Jews convert to Christianity. But since youth is fleeting (as the poem later points out), there is no time for such journeys. She must submit herself to him now.
4.....rubies: Gems that may be raised red or purplish red. In folklore, it is said that rubies protect and maintain virginity. Ruby deposits occur in various parts of the world, but the most precious ones are found in Asia, including Myanmar (Burma), India, Thailand, Sri, Lanka, Afghanistan, and Russia.
5.....Humber: River in northeastern England. It flows through Hull, Andrew Marvell's hometown.
6.....Flood. . . Jews: Resorting to hyperbole, the young man says that his love for the young lady is unbounded by time. He would love her ten years before great flood that Noah outlasted in his ark (Gen. 5:28-10:32) and would still love her until all Jews became Christians at the end of the world.
7. vegetable love: love cultivated and nurtured like a vegetable so that it flourishes prolifically, short time love
8.....this state: This lofty position; this dignity.
9.....Time's winged chariot: In Greek mythology, the sun was personified as the god Apollo, who rode his golden chariot from east to west each day. Thus, Marvell here associates the sun god with the passage of time.
10...marble vault: The young lady's tomb.
11...worms: a morbid phallic reference.
12...quaint: Preserved carefully or skillfully.
13...dew: The 1681 manuscript of the poem uses glew (not dew), apparently as a coined past tense for glow.
14...transpires: Erupts, breaks out, emits, gives off.
15...slow-chapt: Chewing or eating slowly.
A painful case
Mr. James Duffy lived in an old somber house. There was little furniture in his room. But there were plenty of books on the wall rack. He was very intellectual because he studied too much. He worked in a private bank in Baggot street and had dinner in an eating house. He was for away from love, romance and women. Sometimes he went to the concerts to listen to the music.
One evening he went to a concert. There were not many people in the hall. A woman was seated near him and she began to talk with him. The woman was with her young daughter and James Duffy thought that she was a few years' young than himself. He also knew that she was Mrs., Sinico and her husband was a ship's captain. Another day after some weeks, he again met her in another concert. From that time he met her in evenings. He was impressed by her words and he wanted to make friendship with her morally. One day they walked together and they passed some days in the same way. Then James Duffy asked her to take him to her house. Then he frequently went to her house. Mr. Sinico also encouraged his visit because he thought that James Duffy wanted to marry his daughter. But he did not suspect on the evil intention of his wife.
Mr. Sinico always went to his work and his daughter also went out to give music lesson. So, the two spent more time talking and enjoying. She talked in fantastic way and Mr. Duffy also gave her some books to read. But he still did not study her psychology. One evening, she suddenly got excited and took his hand to her cheek from her sexual feeling. Mr. duffy did not like her manner and he stopped meeting her. Then she sent his books back. Once she wrote to meet him and that day they talked for 3 hours and agreed not to meet again. For 4 years James Duffy did not hear anything from her. One evening when he was having dinner, his eyes fell on a newspaper which title said "Death of Lady at Sydney Parade a painful case"
He became grieved remembering the past events. Now he thought that at least she loved him but he neglected her. As a result, she lost her life. He had really missed the joy of his life and he felt himself alone in darkness.
In the story the writer may be trying to tell us that life does not become blissful without love. A lonely life is a source of sadness. Mr. Sinico was very busy with his job and Mary Sinico also left home for giving music lessons. So, Mrs. Sinico often lived alone. She needed their love but she did not get warmly. She found James Duffy but he also could not understand her feeling. Thus, she thought that she was abandoned by all. To control her feeling and tension, she began to drink wine. She became mentally unhealthy. As a result, she lost her life. This story also may be trying to tell us that sexual desire is very strong in both male and female but very dangerous. Unfulfilled sexual desire drives a man or woman to madness and some people even may lose their morality in the course of fulfilling such desire.
At the beginning of the story we find that James Duffy liked to live lonely.
i) But is lonely life worth living?
ii) In a sentence James Duffy writes love between man and man is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse and friendship between man and women is impossible because friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse but is it always true?
iii) Should one love only for sexual pleasure?
iv)Does a husband allow his wife to mix freely with other man?
v) Can't a woman express her inner lust with her husband and look for other man for sexual entertainment?
vi) Do all frustrated people drink wine?
vii) Do we find any honest and moral man like James Duffy in this world?
So, I don't totally agree with the writer.
After reading this story I understood that love is very important for living. A deserted life is not worth living. A husband should give time to his wife as necessity to prevent her from being ruined. This story took me back to a man in my town that lost his wife being very busy in his business.
He often went foreign country for business. Perhaps he could not understand his wife's desire and Psychology. So, she made immoral relation with her husband's friend. This event leaked out and she committed suicide to hide her crime. Thus, there should be both husband and wife together for happy conjugal life.
“What Is Intelligence, Anyway?”
Isaac Asimov writes about how he has always scored high academic tests. How he scored 160 when an average score was 100 and that there were people that made a big fuss over that. And that the auto repair man didn't seem as intelligent as he was but the auto repair man would always fix his car. Then he says that if the auto repair guy would make questions for an intelligent test that he would fail it and he would look like a moron. The auto repair guy tells Isaac a joke and falls for it. Isaac tells him if any others have gotten tricked the guy tells him that he has gotten quite a few and knew that Isaac would fall for it because he was so damned educated.
“What Is Intelligence, Anyway?” is an article that was written by Isaac Asimov. Isaac Asimov is a Russian who grew up in America. With being well educated, he received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University. He is known as the writer for all types of readers from specialized to non specialized. Base on his article, Dr. Asimov is considered to be the most intelligent an in the base for his score is 160 while other people is around 100 in the intelligence test. According to the article, he is a prideful man; he always thinks he is highly intelligent, and he expects other people to think so, too. Not only that, he also puts himself on the same level with the people who make up the intelligence tests.
As we are reading through his introduction about how intelligent he is, we think that this man is too proud. But as we continue reading the article, we find that he slowly recognizes his intelligence does not apply on every aspect of his life. Dr. Asimov told the readers about his auto repairman, who he always brings his car to when it has any problem, that his auto repairman would never pass the score of 80 on this intelligence test if he takes it. However, the car is always fixed every time Dr. Asimov brings to the auto repairman. In the middle of the article, Dr. Asimov said that he is an intelligent man wherever he could use his academic training and his verbal talents, but when it comes to do something intricate or hard, working with his hands then he would be a “moron.”
One thing that we like the most about Dr. Asimov is that he is not embarrassing to tell people how he got tricked by an auto repairman who cannot even pass the score of 80 in the intelligence test.
“What is intelligence anyway” is an argumentative essay. In this essay writer Isaac Asimov makes an argument that intelligence is not absolute but is a function of the society.
Intelligence is the subjective matter. A person intelligent in one field may be a loggerhead in another field. It may be possible that a person is intelligent in two or more field but he/she will still be lagging behind the another field. Hence, we can’t term the persons as intelligent in general. For example a good teacher might be a bad student and vice versa. A good administrator may be a bad father. Hence a person is intelligent in administration but bad with family.
Asimov also focuses on the fact that intelligent is the outcome to experience and knowledge. Asimov is intelligent in study and literature but he is not intelligent to maintain his car. His automobile repairman is far intelligent in this field than him. But on the other hand Asimov is far more intelligent in study and literature than his automobile repair man. Hence, we understood that the intelligent is the subjective matter. Any person cannot be intelligent in general. It depends on the particular field of concerned.
• There is no standard definition of “intelligence”. Popular thinking and the best efforts of legislatures, agencies and academics to the contrary, no generally agreed upon definition of intelligence exists. This problem is exacerbated when the newly formed intelligence communities in law enforcement and the private sector are included.
• Developing such a definition is important in order to create realistic expectations in the minds of the decision makers, intelligence is designed to support. This is particularly true in a democracy where the electorate views the notions of secrecy and unaccountable power often linked with intelligence activities with hesitation.
• Two activities, secrecy and covert operations, typically associated with intelligence are not, in fact, necessary to define intelligence. Secrecy, or more accurately, confidentiality, is only necessary to preserve options for the decision maker that the intelligence activity supports. Covert operations, on the other hand, are better viewed as an act of policy than as an intelligence activity.
• Common threads run through many of the earlier attempts to define intelligence, however. These threads, pulled together, result in a good working definition of intelligence:
Intelligence is a process, using primarily unstructured information from all sources and focused externally, that is designed to reduce the level of uncertainty for a decision maker.
Often we define intelligence with respect to human qualities. Thus, as we tend to consider ourselves as the most intelligent species, we compare other species to ourselves. Yet, is this really possible? One scientist suggests that humans tend to ignore any intelligence that is somewhat different than our own: "We willingly accept the idea of intelligence in a life form only if the intelligence displayed is on the same evolutionary wavelength as our own. Technology automatically indicates intelligence. An absence of technology translates into an absence of intelligence."There is no certain basis for the assumption that all intelligence is human-like intelligence. Indeed, there are undeniable trends, such as large brains in mammals and larger neocortical in primates, but to generalize these correlations cannot always be done. Truly, intelligence seems to be relative, in that it evolves to fulfill the needs of the particular species. How, then, can we truly compare the intelligence of a crocodile with that of a whale or that of a human? Evolutionarily speaking, scientists agree that organisms seem to have become more complex behaviorally. Some argue that this is correlated with increased brain size. Changes to the brain have occurred at specific structures.
“Ethics” appears in Linda Pastan’s sixth volume of poetry, Waiting for My Life (1981), a title that hints at the tensions for which the New York-born poet is best known: the challenges of living in that “waiting” place between the magic and the tedium of the ordinary; between the artistic and the domestic life; between the rewards and the losses of aging and death. A kind of “aesthetic ethic” itself emerges from the body of her poems, one proclaiming that simple language and images of the ordinary are especially capable of bearing mystery and of resisting easy answers.
“Ethics” itself embodies this resistance. The poem takes shape first in a memory from school days and is then bridged, through images of frames and fire, to an understanding acquired in the poet’s older years. The question the ethics teacher poses “so many years ago” is unanswerable partly because it is not “real”; the students answer it “halfheartedly,” at best. Having posed a hypothetical fire in a museum, the teacher wants the students to make a clear choice, between saving “a Rembrandt painting / or an old woman who hadn’t many / years left anyhow.” The surprising answer for the poet arrives years later, in a “real museum,” as the poet stands “before a real Rembrandt.”
Literal Comprehension and extensive reading
In Linda Pastan's poem "Ethics," the speaker recounts a moral dilemma that her teacher would ask every fall, which has been haunting her for a long time. The question was "if there were a fire in a museum / which would you save, a Rembrandt painting / or an old woman who hadn't many / years left anyhow?" and the speaker tells us through the theme that ethics and moral values can be only learned from the reflection which comes through experience and maturity. In this poem, imagery, diction, and figures of speech contribute to the development of the theme.
The speaker in the poem uses images to help to support the theme. For example the statement that "sometimes the woman borrowed my grandmother's face" displays the inability of the children to relate the dilemma to them, something that the speaker has learned later on with time and experience. In this poem, the speaker is an old woman, and she places a high emphasis on the burden of years from which she speaks by saying "old woman, / or nearly so, myself." "I know now that woman / and painting and season are almost one / and all beyond saving by children." clearly states that the poem is not written for the amusement of children but somebody that has reached the speaker's age, thus supporting the idea of the theme that children cannot help or understand her or anybody of her age. In addition, when the speakers describes the kids in the classroom as "restless on hard chairs" and "caring little for picture or old age" we can picture them in our minds sitting, ready to leave the class as soon as possible, unwilling and unable to understand the ethics dilemma or what the speaker is feeling.
The choice of words of the author also contributes to the development of the theme. For example, the use of words like "drafty," "half-heartedly," and "half-imagined" give the reader the idea of how faintly the dilemma was perceived and understood by the children, thus adding to the idea that the children cannot understand the burden the speaker has upon herself. In addition, referring to a Rembrandt as just a "picture" and to the woman as "old age," we can see that these two symbols, which are very important to the speaker and to the poem, are considered trivial by the children, thus contributing to the concept that the children cannot feel what the speaker is feeling. To add to the idea of old age of the woman, and to define the point of view more clearly, the speaker uses "old woman" a number of times.
The speaker uses the metaphors "The colors / within this frame are darker than autumn, / darker even than winter" and "the browns of earth, / though earth's most radiant elements burn / through the canvas." to give us the impression that the painting is not just a simple drawing, but it is something alive, something connected to the earth which is worth saving, thus putting it at the same level of the old woman, and thus making the dilemma more balanced. In addition, the idea of a color "burning through the canvas" puts more emphasis on the painting being something supernatural, thus increasing its status in the poem to be as high as (and maybe even higher than) the old woman. Symbolism is also used at the end of the poem, when the speaker describes the color of the painting as "darker than autumn, / darker even than winter" which adds to the idea that the painting is something that represents old age and death but that is also something natural, like a season. In addition, by saying that "I now know that woman / and painting and season are almost one / and all beyond saving by children" the speaker implies that both the painting and the woman represent something old, wise, and decadent, and are something that ethics say we cannot and should not easily give up, but children are not able to understand that, therefore they cannot save them.
In conclusion, this poem is not just about a lesson of ethics learned in school by a student. Instead, this poem is about the life of an old woman, the view of life children have of old things and old people and of life, and true beauty and importance things of age have, either for being wise and experienced or just for being there for so long. I have to admit that I did not take this poem too seriously at first, but after examining it closely and thinking about it, I have discovered its message and learned to appreciate its deepness.
Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test
Carl Hempel (1905-1997) was a prominent figure in the logical-positivist, or logical empiricist, movement in philosophy that dominated the middle of the 20th century. He is among the many who promoted the hypothetic-deductive model of science. On this model, scientific method begins and ends with hypotheses, or guesses, about what would explain the phenomenon under investigation. Hypotheses are needed to begin research, since we would not know what to observe without some explanatory conjecture. And hypotheses are the end of scientific investigation, since the most we can hope for is a well confirmed hypothesis. Thus Hempel rejects Newton’s methodology by embracing hypotheses. He also rejects Hume inasmuch as he argues that confirming evidence does gives us good reason to accept a hypothesis as true, even if it does not prove it. Like Hume, Hempel argues that the logic of confirmation is formally fallacious, though his argument is different from Hume’s. Hempel argues that observable consequences are deduced from the hypothesis (thus the name, hypothetico-deductive model), and the hypothesis is confirmed if the consequences obtain, disconfirmed if they do not. This logic of confirmation, as Hempel points out, is formally fallacious, but this only shows that confirmation does not constitute logical proof. Nevertheless, he argues, since the hypothesis would have been rejected if disconfirmed, confirmation provides some reason to accept it.
• _ what is the difference between induction and deduction according to Hempel?
• _ Why is it impossible to generate hypotheses by inductive inference?
• _ Why are hypotheses invented rather than inferred?
• _ What is the “narrow inductivist” conception of scientific inquiry? Why is it impossible? To what extent does it resemble Newton’s conception?
• _ Why is science nevertheless “inductive in a wider sense”?
• _ How is the objectivity of science ensured?
• _ Does the historical case of Semmelweis confirm Hempel’s model of science? If so, is Hempel arguing in a circle?
The Wretched Stone
The Wretched Stone begins with a notice reading: "Excerpts from the log of the Rita Ann. Randall Ethan Hope, Captain." We read, then, the captain's record of an extraordinary journey. The captain writes about loading supplies onto the ship at the start of the voyage, and the fine crew that has been assembled by first mate Mr. Howard. He notes that many of the men are avid readers, musicians, and storytellers, and as the voyage is under way, they are able to entertain themselves wonderfully.
The captain records the sighting of an uncharted island and decides to disembark with his crew to look for fruit and fresh water. Then he records their sojourn into the island's interior. He describes lush vegetation that bears no fruit, bitter water, and an overpowering sickly sweet smell. He also describes an object the crew found and brought aboard: a gray rock with one smooth and glowing surface. As the crew sets sail again, the captain describes their fascination with the stone. All they seem to do is sit and stare into it. Soon the captain notes that something is wrong with the crew — they do not speak or play their instruments anymore. He believes they may have contracted some sort of fever from the stone, and he plans to throw it overboard. The next day he wakes to find that the crew members have locked themselves into the hold with the stone. A storm approaches, and the captain is fearful — how will he sail the ship alone? He pounds on the door of the hold until finally it swings open. He is horrified to find that each member of his crew has turned into an ape.
The next entry records that the storm has passed, though both masts and the ship's rudder are lost. The mysterious stone has gone dark. The men are still apes. As the boat drifts and waits for rescue, the captain discovers that playing the violin and reading to the crew has a positive effect. Discovering that the stone has begun to glow again, he covers it up. He soon reports that the men have returned to normal; those among them who knew how to read return most quickly to their natural forms.
The final entries record that the captain and crew have been rescued. The captain decides to burn the boat and sink it and the stone to the bottom of the sea and not to talk about the strange events with anyone. The crew, he reports is back to normal — except for one thing: an unnatural appetite for bananas.
Children will quickly notice The Wretched Stone's unusual structure. Instead of being written like a traditional narrative, the story is laid out in the form of entries into the captain's logbook. Readers experience the drama of the crew's transformation through the confused and terrified eyes of the captain himself. It is fun to look at how Chris Van Allsburg dates the captain's entries and how the tone of the entries changes to reflect the captain's changing circumstances and mood as the stone begins to affect the crew.
The content of the story is unusual, as well. We are never told what the stone is, how it came to be, or why it has such an extraordinary power over those who spend time with it. "Why monkeys?" we ask ourselves. Why it is those crew members that know how to read are more quickly transformed back into humans? The stone could be a metaphor for television in many ways — a glowing object that draws humans to stare at it for hours at a time and shuts down (or just doesn't make use of) creative parts of the brain:
It is a rock, approximately two feet across. It is roughly textured, gray in color, but a portion of it is flat and smooth as glass. From this surface comes a glowing light that is quite beautiful and pleasing to look at.
The crew members first stop reading, playing music, dancing, and working, and then finally become monkeys that simply gather around the stone and stare. The eerie light reflects off the blank faces of the monkeys like the flickering light from a television. When the stone is destroyed, the crew members slowly come back to their senses — those who can read are perhaps more able to quickly begin flexing the creative muscles of their mind again and thus return to their original form. Whether the stone is an exact metaphor for television or simply invented to describe how people can be lured away from the creative activities that bring joy and energy to life, The Wretched Stone provides an excellent forum for discussing these ideas with young people.
Curbing the One Eyed Monster
Fiona C. Jenkins
The richest Americans control American mass media for their personal business. They are extremely rich but conservative. They have started monopoly business by controlling T.V and radio stations for advertisements. They have faced many complaints and protests but they easily neglect them. The only one way to prevent us from it is to throw the television. But some programs are very interesting informative and knowledge giving. They can also entertain us. On the other hand television destroys natural talent and makes a man lazy. It also helps to ruin the original culture. We can do many important works in the time of watching television. We can use our time in arts, culture, literature and music etc. We can be famous by practicing them. Television gives us vulgar culture. It makes the youth corrupted. They leave the real track of life and spend time on fruitless things. T. V addicted people don't understand the real world and life.
The rich are cunning. They do everything to increase their business. They use the T.V for their personal selfishness by advertising. People don't understand the reality and fall victim of it. “Qualitative goods need no advertisement." But people don't think it. The rich have upper hands from general business to education. Adults and youth are never benefited by T.V. they learn vulgar things and take bad habit. So the writer suggests us to throw it away.
This essay may be trying to tell us not to use the television. We should live actively and also should not forget our culture. Even if we live with television we should at least control our senses. We should copy good things and avoid evil things. We should value the real culture, art literature etc. we should not adopt the imported culture and values which can be dangerous for us.
This essay is suggestive to some extent but some of the writer's sayings are not agreeable. Is television really dangerous for us? Can’t we know a new thing in the market by advertisement? Should we stop watching the television? Does anyone look ready to throw away the television set? Can't we learn old cultural things from the television? So, I don't totally agree with the writer.
After reading this essay, I got many good things for life. I have also bought a television set before I read this essay. I also used to spend more time watching television, but now I knew that I should watch the T. V only for benefit for my study. Now, I will see only educative and informative programs. I will not sit idle, I will always use the time for useful work.
Smarter Kids, Brought to You by the letters T and V
Dimitri A Christakis
Christakis writes that the television used to separate the rich from poor in the past but now it separates parents from their children. He claims an average American child spends three to four hours by watching television because it is easily available to him. He also ponders on the advantages and disadvantages of Television. A child who watches television starts viewing his career before than the child who does not. Some programs of T. V. increases the child’s cognitive abilities. It also helps the children to recognize the numbers, letters and shapes. The essayist brings a research report in which 500 hundred children participate to measure their creativity in which the television viewers turned to be more creative than the other. Similarly, the essayist also writes the criticism made against the Television. Many people claim that T. V. makes a child dull but this is not true from the reference which we have discussed before. T. V. makes the children violent. Chris defends this comment against the television because he believes that it depends on the programs that the children watch on television. In his opinion, it can be reduced if we inspire the children to watch the good programs. He believes that the pro- social programs kinder and more tolerant. Pointing out the benefits of T. V, he writes
Christakis believes that television is a new reality whether we like it or not. Our infants and teenagers are equally fascinated by television. The average modern American Child not only spends three to five hours a day watching television but s/he also begins to watch it right from his /her birth. According to Christakis, many parents have misconceptions about their children watching television. Besides there are other myths that are attached to the television and Chriskis tries to clear those myths- TV makes kid dumb: Chris believes just the opposite. According to him, TV shows like 'Seasome Street' and 'Blue Clues' improve children's cognitive abilities.
Chris believes that television is a new reality whether we like it or not. Our infants and teenagers are equally fascinated by television. An average American child starts watching T.V. from his/ her birth. According to Chris, many parents have misconceptions about their children watching television. Besides, there are also other myths that are attached to the television and Chris tries to clear those myths.
1) TV-viewing is bad for our eyes: Christakis does not believe in the as it has been proven that watching television does not cause vision problem.
2) TV makes Kids dump: Christakis believes just the opposite. According to him, TV show like ‘sesame street’ and ‘Blues Clues ‘improve children’s cognitive (connected with mental process of understanding) abilities.
3) TV makes kids violent: Watching violence on television makes children more aggressive. But, pro-social programs make children kinder and more infants.
4) Educational videos make infants smarter: Christakis is against allowing children younger than two to watch any TV programs because it does not bring them any educational benefit. He presents the other reports as evidence.
5) Watching TV makes television makes kids overweight: According to the author watching television does not cause obesity. It is the eating habit while watching TV that causes it. Besides junk food advertisements heighten the temptation.
6) TV help kids get to sleep: The Author believes just the opposite. A study by him and his friend showed that instead of helping the children get to sleep, television disturbs their sleeping pattern.
7) Kids watch too much television: This problem arises because of the parent’s carelessness. Unlike in the pass parents do not watch television with their kids. They allow their children, the value of the best TV programs is enhanced, and the harm of negative programming can be curtailed.
Keeping Errors at Bay
The writer provides multiple examples of mistakes that generally people commit in their day to day life. His main idea is to provide suggestions to avoid the mistakes. We need careful, serious, critical and analytical mind to get rid of these errors. People generally believe whatever others say and that may be one of their mistakes to be wrong. At the same time we keep errors at bay because we do not like to listen other peoples different opinions and think that ours is the most beautiful idea. Following are some of the reasons because of which we become victim of the errors:
fate and death
superstitions, social dogmas, traditions
lack of critical, analytical mind
self centered, unfair judgment
How can we get rid of these?
Observe ourselves, things, matters etc.
confront the other people's logic with reason
know other's psychology
avoid self esteem, superstition, egocentrism
be skeptic on unproved ideas
have deep understanding of the things, matters etc
develop comparative ideas, critical mind
have tolerance on other's ideas
Source: The Mahabharat
Once Pandava brothers were wandering in a forest to hunt a deer, but the deer in their sight disappeared abruptly. In the meantime, they grew thirsty and couldn't move ahead. Yudhisthira, the eldest brother, sent one of his brothers Nakula in search of water. But he didn't come back for a long time. So, he sent all his brothers one after the other gradually but none of them returned with any information of source of water nearby. Therefore, ultimately, Yudhisthira himself set out to fetch water and his brothers. After a short walk, he noticed a beautiful pool on the bank of which were lying all his brothers either unconscious or dead. Though he was in extreme distress and sorrow due to this event, he bent to drink water from the pool since his thirst overpowered his grief. But an unknown voice warned him not to drink water before answering his questions. So, Yudhisthira tactfully answered all the questions asked by the voice i.e. Yama, the God of Justice and Death, whereas his brother had disobeyed him and as such were prostrate on the ground. His philosophical answers pleased the God and he became ready to revive one of his brothers. Yudhisthira utilizing his wisdom abandoned his selfishness and selected, on moral grounds, his step-brother for revival. As a result, the god appeared in front Yudhisthira, highly appreciated him for his patience, righteousness and wisdom and restored all his brothers to life.
From the moral and religious point of view, the story holds tremendous significance. It has conveyed a message that a morally upright person if acts as per the religious and moral principles, can ultimately outstrip all the hurdles and difficulties that arise in his life and lives the life of a respected personality. This story has presented Yudhisthira in this position. Basically, this story intends to teach the readers that human beings should have the power of endurance, wisdom and righteousness to achieve success in every walk of life. These characteristics, in fact, help them to solve any kind of problems in hardships and difficulties. The person who doesn't possess these qualities suffers in life. In this story, Yudhisthira with these qualities became able to save all his four brothers. The philosophical queries of Yama and tactful answers of Yudhisthira also interest the reader’s much. Ydhisthira's answers like mother, giving up pride, anger and desire are all wisdom-based and philosophically correct.
As we read the story thoroughly with concentration, we find that from the moral and religious point of view the story is appreciable. It sounds a charming tale. But when, we as a critical thinker, make attempts to separate wheat from the chaff, it undergoes several drawbacks and shortcomings. If we try to relate this story to the one in (he present context, we come to notice that people don't have much respect on or regard for morality and religion. Modern people are chiefly concerned with material happiness. Similarly, on the other hand, we can raise doubts over the existence of god in this world. Patience, right conduct, wisdom, as well as endurance are not rewarded on this earth. We have a great concern over the answers given by Yudhisthira, which sound quite simple but such philosophical answers are not expected from the direct questions of Yama. From our perspectives, man without desires can never be rich, nor can we lose our anger. Similarly, a man can't abandon pride and ambitioning, on their absence, success will be a mere a dream. As such in all these aspects, we disagree with the writer along with one event in which all the Pandava brothers are restored to life even after the death -this is absolutely impossible in reality.
As I went through the story carefully, I came to realize the reality of life. The concept that real happiness of life stands on the platform of right conduct ,wisdom, patience and endurance has now changed my mode of thinking about several aspects of life. I was never convinced earlier that all these qualities would one day be rewarded. But now Yudhisthira's brothers' restoration of life has wiped out all my illusions and on my part, reverence to god has increased a lot. Even I was able to grab some philosophical concepts which have always appeared as my subject of interest. In totality, the secrecy of being a great person in life on moral and religious grounds is vivid to me so far.
The Brave Little Parrot Buddhist Legend
(Rafe Martin’s Adoption)
Once upon a time, Lord Buddha was born as a parrot in the forest. Abruptly, the forest caught fire. All the animals started running away to save their life. The parrot also flew towards the safe place but as he was flying over the forest, he saw his fellow animals (trapped in the fiery forest. So, he decided to do something to save them. As such, he flew to the river, dipped into it, flew back over the forest and sprinkled the drops of water over the forest from its body and feathers. He repeated this activity time and again. In the meantime, the gods above were watching the foolish act of the parrot and laughed at him. One of the gods felt pity on him and disguised himself in to a golden eagle, came to the parrot and told him to stop this activity and save his life. But, the parrot didn't take heed of his absurd advice and rather expected his help in his mission. Being impressed by the parrot, he shed the flow of tears over the forest which could extinguish the fire and thus he gave new life- to the parrot and all other animals of the forest. This is a tale taken from the Buddhist legend. This story recounts how a small parrot saved the life of animals and birds in the forest by his courageous attempt.
Once, the Buddha was born as a parrot, which lived in a forest. One day a storm fell upon his forest home and soon the whole forest was on fire. The little parrot, which was flying towards the safety, saw that many animals were trapped with no chance of escape. He wanted to save the life of the animals. He so flew to the river, dipped himself in to the water, and flew back over the raging fire. Then he released some drop of water over the burning forest shaking his wings. But they disappeared before reaching the ground. He got tired and his whole body was hurt, but he did not stop his work. At that time some of the gods happen to look down. They laughed at the foolish attempt of the bird. But, one of the gods changed himself into a golden eagle came to the parrot and asked him to stop, such hopeless task. But the parrot replied that he needed someone to help rather than advice. Moved by the parrot's statements, the eagle wants to help him. He began to weep and streams of tears fell off his eyes. They were like cold rain upends the fire. The flames died down and the smoke began to clear. A new life come to the ground; the grasses, trees, and the animals got new life. The parrot also got new life feathers of different colors. The animals looked at the parrot flying happily with new life. They were surprised at the wonderful happening.
The story is quite impressive in terms of giving moral lesson to the readers. Its main gist is: 'Courage and patience are the best means to solve any kind of problem'. If the parrot hadn't been so courageous, if he hadn't been so determined and dedicated lo his moral duly, he wouldn't have been able to put out the fire. Similarly, the story teaches us that service lo the fellow in need is the actual service to the God.' If the parrot hadn't helped his friends, all of them would have died. Later, god was quite happy and gave him the new and brighter life.
The story from the religious point of view is well appreciating. It gives a moral lesson which is globally acceptable. But, in the modern world the people have been so busy and selfish that it is almost impossible to get a man like the parrot helping to others selflessly. Courage and patience are not always rewarded and valued on this earth. God's influence is beautifully slated in the story but we have utmost doubt over the god's existence in this modern world. Some evenly are somewhat incredible because extinguishing the fire by means of the eagle's tears is almost unbelievable. The presentation of god as the spectator to its creature's agony is exactly paradox to the meaning of god's existence. In fact, gods are saviors; they are not supposed to be indifferent to human suffering.
As I read this story, it reminded me of one incident that had once taken place in my village. When I was in my village, a hut caught fire. Many people gathered there and they heard a small baby crying inside the burning hut. But nobody was ready to help him. Ultimately, I ventured lo gel in lo the hut and saved the fife of the baby. This story has encouraged and inspired me to get involved in selfless service.
If Not Higher
The story is about the mystery of where the Rabbi of Nemirov goes and what he does during the Penitential Prayers. Everyone in the village seems to wonder where the Rabbi is during this time, but while the Jews of the village are content to assume the Rabbi is in heaven, the Litvak doesn’t believe it. The Litvak tries to pretend that he doesn’t care where the Rabbi of Nemirov goes during the Penitential Prayers or what he is doing, but he secretly wants to discover the secret. The Litvak decides to spy on the Rabbi, hides under the Rabbi’s bed and then follows him when he leaves, all the while believing that he, as a Litvak, is more clever than others and is the only one who could accomplish this goal since Litvaks would never get caught or become tired waiting as others would. The Litvak successfully follows the Rabbi and sees him pretend to be a peasant, chop wood and deliver it to a poor sick Jewish woman. What the Litvak finds is that the Rabbi not only actually does the Penitential Prayers, he also helped out a fellow Jew and said the Prayers for the woman. After seeing this, the Litvak comes to believe in the Rabbi and the Rabbi’s work. Needs to include the all-important “if not higher”. Rabbi of Nemirov used to disappear from every penitential prayer. People used to think that he had ascended the heaven. He was supposed to save them from Satan. But Litvak, one of the Jews, didn't believe this remark of the people and laughed at it. Once, he decided to find the fact about him. So entered the Rabbi's house secretly, watched him throughout the night .When it was nearly the morning, Rabbi changed his dress as a farmer and set out to the forest with an axe and a rope. In the forest, lie collected the firewood and returned back. On his way to his house, he stopped at an old woman's hut. He lent the wood and helped her to kindle the fire. In the meantime, he recited all three portions of penitential prayers. Litvak followed him all the way and was so impressed by him that he became Rabbi's disciple at the end.
The moral of the story could be that one needs to fully understand something before making judgment. In the story the Litvak, and other Lithuanian Jews, rely on a commentary on the Bible, the Talmud rather than the Bible or the teachings of the Rabbi. Because the Litvak only seems to rely on the Talmud, which is someone else’s views on the Bible, the Litvak doesn’t trust in the Rabbi or his practices. Similar to the discussion on the way television brainwashes viewers into believing things that may or not be true, the Talmud is also only commentary, not fact, and can lead people astray. Once the Litvak himself investigates what the Rabbi does, he comes to realize that the Rabbi is indeed working for the greater good of the Jews. 'If Not Higher' teaches us that true worship of god is the true service to the mankind. It strongly rejects the way of praying to the god by reciting the words of prayers but it advises us to help the poor and the needy people instead. The story proves the fact the god and its blessings are received not by means words of the prayers but by means of extending the hands of service.
I think the underlying message in the story is a good one…learn the facts before judging. It also has a good ending, which would be especially positive for Jewish people since it supports what they believe in. I also think that the story keeps your attention since you want to know what the Rabbi of Nemirov is doing when he’s expected to be doing the Penitential Prayers and where he disappears to. It’s nice that the story has a positive ending with both someone in need being helped and also the Litvak’s eyes being opened to the Rabbi’s mission. I also think the story has a comic element to it, with the Litvak’s ultimate confidence in him since he is a Litvak, while he has much less confidence in those that aren’t Litvaks. The Litvak is portrayed as almost cocky in his confidence. Though, the story from moral and religious point of view seems quite impressive and memorable but if it is looked in the present context, it seems unbelievable, since in this modern time, people have become too much selfish and mean. As a result, it is too difficult to impart its moral lesson to them. It doesn’t mean anything to them. Rabbi's ascending to heaven alive can't be accepted in this modern world. Existence of God and heaven is in fact out of question. People like Rabbi who have lived the life for the sake of others can't be found in the world.
I do have some problems with the story. First, I wonder whether the writer was a Litvak? Why only to see themselves as part of that group, not individuals? Also, some of the information is difficult to believe. After the Rabbi dresses as a peasant, he stops in the kitchen and takes an axe under the bed. Why would there be a bed in the kitchen? Regardless of where the bed is, why would an axe be under it when it would generally be stored elsewhere? Also, the thought that no one else has a clue as to where the Rabbi disappears to is odd…the Rabbi leaves his home in the morning and we’re told that everyone else is up and about, how is it that only the Litvak was able to follow him, or even see him walking through the village? Finally, while I like what I perceive to be the moral of the story, if people spent all of their time trying to validate everything they are told, read, or see, what would ever get accomplished? I think that it is important for people to question things, but there must also be trusted sources of information.
I think that I will use the message from this story to help remind myself that sometimes it’s important to dig deeper into things so that I fully understand them before making my own judgment. Always believing what is portrayed on TV, in the newspapers or even what family and friends believe can cause problems. We see it in everyday life where children grow up to have the same political views as their parents, assuming that since their parents voted one way, it was the right thing to do. Without doing research, it is impossible to completely get an accurate understanding of the big picture and one could find oneself fighting for something they don’t actually believe in. As I go through the story, it reminds me of a man who is respectable in my society. He is fifty years old. He never goes to the church and temple and prays to god. But, in the village, he is well known for his kind and selfless help to the people. He donates his property every year little by little for the homeless children and people,
Ahab and Naboth
Source: The Holy Bible
Once Ahab, the king of Israel, desired to own the vineyard of Naboth, a resident of Jezreel, for the king wanted to have it for a garden of herbs and it was also nearby his palace. He became ready to give either a better vineyard or the cost of it depending upon the wish of Naboth. But, contrary to the king's will, Naboth refused to sell or exchange the vineyard extending the reason that the Lord had forbidden him to give the inheritance of his father to others. Being displeased, he, going to his house, lay on his bed and didn't have his meal. His wife, coming to know about the event that took place with the king, consoled him and reminded him of his power as a king.
As such, the queen herself using the power and authority of the king .treacherously conspired and plotted against the innocent Naboth. He was charged of blaspheming the god and the king and was stoned to death. Soon after this event, the king went down to the vineyard to posses it as he was inspired by his wife to do so. But in the meantime, one angel of the Lord ‘Elijah’ appeared before the king with the warning from the Lord that the dogs might lick his blood where they licked the blood of Naboth. He was also warned that his evil work was evidenced by the Lord and so evil might befall him on his position and life.
'Ahab and Naboth' sketches a vivid picture of kingship with a king entertaining near- absolute power. An absolute monarchy, by using any means, has his desires fulfilled. Wishes and necessities of the people don't value much for him before his luxury and comfort. He always thinks about the well-being of himself, not of the welfare of the people. And, similarly conspiracies and treacherous plans are almost common in an absolute rule. All these characteristics of an authoritarian rule and its ruler are clearly visualized in the story. Dictatorship always gives rise to misuse of power. And in this concern, people become the victim of it and they happen to lose their life which is exemplified by the murder of Naboth in the story. This story has presented us the fact undeclared regents of an absolute ruler are found to be ahead in misusing the power bringing the ruler's life in risk and danger. King Ahab's wife has played a vital role in this connection. Exposition of one important fact 'Truth can never be hidden, it is disclosed ultimately 'is another appreciable aspect of this story. Though the king and his wife were fully assured and confident about their secrecy, but the god's all-pervasive existence shattered all their dreams into pieces. It helped to increase the value of truth. The story conveys the message that 'immoral and evil minded persons ultimately have to bow themselves down before truth, since truth is extremely powerful and can't be hidden.
The strong aspect of this story is that realistic events have been presented here coherently and in an interesting manner. The message about the victory of truth over falsity is worth-appreciating. But, plenty of loopholes have somehow weakened the strength of the story so far. Some doubts prevalent in our mind about the credulity of some events displayed have overpowered its powerful aspects.
As such, some questions arise in our mind as how the king's wife could get the authority to use the king's power which led to Naboth's death. Why did an absolute ruler become so upset on Naboth's ignoring his request that he lay down on his bed and didn't have his meal? Why didn't he use his power to encroach Naboth's vineyard forcefully? Similarly, people in absolute rule follow the order of the king without any question. But how Naboth dared to defy the request of the king being aware about the outcome of his refusal? People can't give blind support to falsity. In this democratic world, they even raise voice against the king or other authority for their mistreatment to the people. The King like Ahab and his mischievous wife's autocratic ruling is not possible in this democratic world. Similarly existence of god and god's protection of truth are fully unbelievable aspects of the story. The story has focused on the assumption that fact can never be hidden but if that is so, then immoral people as well as evil-doers could be easily detected and they wouldn't get chance to roam committing treacheries .People would fear god and wouldn't dare to think about these plots.
As I read the story, I came to understand that in absolute rule immoral plots and conspiracies are common. Person holding supreme power uses his power for his benefit only. He /she never thinks about the welfare of the people. He/she doesn't have any fear from any power. This understanding sometimes reminds me the time in Nepal when Rana ruled over the country. During that time, conspiracies, immoral plots, killings, murders were frequent to grab the power and fulfill their desires and wishes. In Nepal's history, Junga Bahdur Rana also came to power by using the same means. Another significant aspect that was imprinted in me is the message that we should always adhere to truth since it can't be hidden from anybody because god always appears as the witness to it. So evil deeds and illicit acts of ours are always liable to penalty ultimately which are always in the sight of the god. I also came to understand that god always makes his presence to show the path of truth to human beings.
Phaedo is a story written by Plato in dialogue form. Phaedo and Echecrates are talking to each other. Echecrates is asking about last moments of Socrates with Phaedo. Phaedo is talking to him about his feeling he had when Socrates was given death penalty.
According to Phaedo, when Socrates was given death penalty, almost all his followers went sad with this event. They cried with extreme sorrow sitting around Socrates. But he looked so happy that he didn't show any sign of unhappiness in his journey to the next world. Rather he advised all his followers not to be sad and not to weep for his death. He told his followers that everyone has to face the death fearlessly. Ultimately, he came to bid good bye to his people. Though his children and wife wept bitterly, it didn't have any effect on him. He convinced others about his pleasant life in the next world. Phaedo was impressed so much that he felt quite pleased to tell about it to others.
The story 'Phaedo' by Plato presents us the fact that death is unavoidable and it is to be faced fearlessly. In other words, the man who is afraid of death dies many times but he who doesn't die once. By presenting the story of Socrates' life story, it inspires the people to die for the sake of truth. Truth is so powerful that we are to be ready to sacrifice everything for its sake. That's why; the story is successful enough to teach the people that death for the noble purpose is better than the life of cowardice.
This story seems to be impressive in terms of encouraging the people to follow the path of truth and having its moral theme. But in many respects, the story doesn't seem to be believable, since now day’s people are living in the world of falsity. They are enjoying their time in it. So this kind of truth as stated in the story is not very pleasant to them. In such situation, it is too difficult to find the people who are ready to die for the sake of truth. In other words, life is so much valuable to them that they can't accept anything at the cost of their life. We may find some people only like Socrates and Gandhi.
As I went through the story, it reminded me of an old man of my village. He used to live with his two sons. Because of his faith on truth and his power to judge the things, he had made an image throughout the village that everyone used to respect him a lot. But finally he ended his life due to the family quarrel. But still people remember him for his conviction to truth and justice as Socrates had.
P' u Sung-Ling
During the Ming Reign in China cricket fighting was a popular pastime for the noblemen at court. Their wishes were fulfilled by the common men who used to supply cricket for them. Though, in the writer's county, Floral Shade, the cricket was not common, yet the magistrate's submission of a mighty warrior cricket to get favor from the superiors ultimately brought the responsibility of supplying the crickets as a royal supplier regularly to the court. Make Good, one of the residents of Floral Shade got the post of Neighborhood Head to accomplish the task in this concern too. But he was nearly bankrupt, since he couldn’t collect the enough taxes from the people and had to make up money from his pocket. Same thing happened in collecting the cricket too. He couldn't fill the quota set by the higher ups and as a result was severely punished. So he desired to die rather than to live such dominated life.
Then his wife consulted a fortuneteller who had recently come to the village to know about their fortune. She was provided with one slip of paper where their fortune was mentioned. In fact there was a picture on the piece of paper which showed where the crickets he was searching were found. As per the hint, he was able to cage a cricket of the required standard. But as that was brought to his house it was killed by his son. His son, to escape from the action resulting from the father's fury, fell into the well .He was found in the position as he was dead. During this moment of grief he managed to get one cricket but which was feeble. Yet he tested it with other crickets in the battle but appeared to be the mightiest one since it defeated all other crickets so far. In this way it was supplied to the court .The noblemen were extremely pleased, As a result he was given an educational degree as an honor. Similarly he acquired one hundred hectares of land, a two story building thousands of sheep and oxen. Even his son regained consciousness.
The story The Cricket conveys a message that patience, endurance and optimism ultimately carry good luck resulting in to success in a man's life. Make Good though fell in difficulties, endured all these and remained patient and didn't forget his duty which gave him unexpected position and wealth. The story has sketched a clear picture of the then China when it was ruled by an authoritarian ruler. Make good without his fault gets penalty which is in fact one of the specialties of an authoritarian rule. All the state affairs are constrained by nobles, governors and magistrates who flatter higher authorities and secure the position. The Magistrate to ensure continuous favor punished the Make good an innocent one. At some places Make good has been presented as a person who was supposed to be born to face the evil days only, On the other hand the story also shows that sometimes human beings ensure their good fortune by learning the fortune from the fortune teller. In the story Make Good has also given a place to the supernatural elements and their effective practice and positive result out of them. Make good could make his life bright due to the presence of his son's spirit on the soul of the cricket. Cricket's befooling the rooster is also due to the same reason. This has also given a glimpse of the scenario of the court under an absolute rule in which nobles and other courtiers spend their time in trifles specifically in watching the games like cricket fighting and so on since they have luxurious and comfortable life. They don't make concern over the hardships of the people since nobody could dare to raise voice for their wellbeing.
The story has several shortcomings that we find as we go through the story thoroughly. The authoritarian rule as shown in the story doesn't have any possible existence in the world as the world has almost been ruled through the democratic system regardless of some countries. Magistrate is presented as an innocent citizen facing the inhuman treatment in terms of punishment without any protest. But people of this era as governed by democratic principles if face this situation would react bitterly and compel the authorities to guarantee their rights to prevent the mistreatment to the innocent ones. Similarly we can put question mark over the fortune telling as to whether their prediction would be translated into reality. If so that no people would face hardships sufferings and troubles in their life. They would ensure their brighter life visiting the fortune teller in the beginning of the life. Presence of Make-good's son's spirit on the cricket is the matter of illusion for us. One question arises as to how Make-good’s son could regain consciousness after a year.
As I went through the story, I came to understand that in absolute rule, people experience injustice, inhuman and evil treatment from the superiors. And they always become the victims of mistreatmet.1 also realized that patience and .endurance are rewarded on this earth as Make good was rewarded. Sometimes fortune tellers are also found to be strongest elements to bring success in our life. The story has made me realize the fact that our life might undergo plenty of obstacles and disturbances, sorrows and hardships but we shouldn't lose our hope, one day we will achieve what we have expected so far.
The Library Card
The narrator in the story once happened to read in the newspaper 'Commercial Appeal' a bitter criticism on H.L. Mencken, a White man who was also an editor of an American Newspaper. From this, he developed his keen interest of knowing the reason why he was severely attacked, though he was white, since during that time only the blacks were the victims of hate and exploitation: As such, he wanted to read something about him. But, being Black, he didn't have any access to the library. Yet he somehow managed to get the books from the library by using the library card of his boss. He, by reading the books of Mencken, came to understand the reality of his life as well as the life of the blacks. He realized that Mencken was criticized because of his hardest words over everything American and appreciation of everything European .Even he discovered that words could be used as weapons. His knowledge about the unjust treatment and exploitation of blacks from the Whites made him feel that he was gradually being distant from the Whites. He managed to study several other books also. His study of one novel helped him to understand his boss whereas the next one made him realize his mother's suffering. At the end of the story he is found to be in dilemma since neither he along with other blacks could revolt against the whites nor could stay adjusting himself among them. So he simply wondered how long he could .endure this situation, though he seemed to be committed and determined to free the blacks from the clutch of the whites i.e. such unjust society.
The story basically deals with color and social discrimination between the Blacks and the Whites prevalent during the time after the civil war in USA.lt presents the miserable and penurious condition of the blacks who were extremely conditioned and exploited by the Whites. Similarly, they were deprived of using public places like public library, Playgrounds and public parks. This story also delineates the importance of education in human life. The fact that educated people can only understand their life is proved here wrong. It is also vivid that uneducated and ignorant people act at the position of animals conditioned by human beings. They don't understand the injustice done to then from others. Same thing happened to the black people in southern part of USA. The narrator, only after reading the books, realized that the blacks were treated inhumanly and discriminated on the basis of color of the skin. Though, he formed extreme dislike for the Whites, yet he was in confusion on what steps to be taken free themselves from the Whites. So he didn't find any options ultimately and wondered how long he could endure it. This shows how pitiable the blacks were that they even couldn't think of fighting for their rights and freedom.
The exposure of the miserable condition of the blacks is in fact heart-touching where as focus made on the importance of education in human life is worth-appreciating. But, as we try to find its meaning at deeper level, we might get disappointed since we find plenty of drawbacks and shortcomings here. As such, several questions arise in our mind .If Blacks were not given even basic education, how could Wright read about Mencken? How it was it possible that the forged note couldn't be recognized by the librarian? How didn't the librarian suspect him since he went to the library frequently afterwards? How can we believe that blacks were not given education in the country where higher secondary education was compulsory for all? Being the greatest democratic country, it is incredible that injustice and discrimination had existed there. If blacks were not allowed to enter the library, how Wright got entry even for taking the books for others?
As I read the story, it reminded me of the Nepalese society under Rana rule. During that time, the common people were deprived of getting education freely. Only education had been managed for the children of Rana family. The courtiers and supporters were given the best opportunity and honor. Rests of the others were compelled to bear exploitation and injustice. Even like-the blacks, they didn't have any options to living suppressed and dominated. Any voice of protest could take them to their death. Due to the people's ignorance, they could rule over the country for 104 years, same to the Blacks who were conditioned by the Whites for several years.