ELECTIVE COURSE IN ENGLISH
UNDERSTANDING PROSE (BEGE-105)
Based on Block 1-7
July 2020 and January 2021
Course Code: BEGE-105/2020-21
Answer all questions
1 Comment on the dominant variety of prose (narrative, expository or descriptive) present in each of the following passages. Write a brief critical appreciation of each passage in about 250 words each: 10×3=30
a) A day or two after my birthday, I was on the school basketball court, shooting hoops. My mother had given me a basketball as a gift, and I was reveling in the fun of this new sport. But as expected (though I did not think about it at the time), another child started to bother me. He came up to me, and without a word, took the basketball out of my hands as I was dribbling. I was so shocked and emotionally tied to that gift that without a moment’s notice, I punched the kid in the face. I knocked him down and he immediately ran away crying. I never asked if he was playfully taking the ball from me, but I had had enough bullying in my day to react strongly to such an action.
Apparently the boy went to the principal and reported my violence. I was called to the principal’s office during my next class, and walked in with my own form of ethics. The boy had been a bully, and he deserved a repercussion. However, the principal and I did not see eye to eye.
From then on, I figured out that I did not need to be bullied. I could take action. I found that my anger and resentment gave me a wild strength, which was unmatched by the usual fighting powers of a calm kid. In a way, I went to the dark side (in reference to Star Wars). I found a way to combat my enemies, but not in the healthiest of avenues.
When I saw him next, I choked him and even dragged him up to a light post, where I banged his head on a metal pole. His girlfriend was watching and was terrified. I do not know exactly what had come over me, but from that time in elementary school where I first used my fists to resolve an issue, I did not look back. I had found a solution that made me feel strong, confident, and able to take on the world.
b) Now mark another big difference between the natural slavery of man to Nature and the unnatural slavery of man to man. Nature is kind to her slaves. If she forces you to eat and drink, she makes eating and drinking so pleasant that when we can afford it we eat and drink too much. We must sleep or go mad: but then sleep is so pleasant that we have great difficulty in getting up in the morning. And firesides and families seem so pleasant to the young that they get married and join building societies to realize their dreams. Thus, instead of renting our natural wants as slavery, we take the greatest pleasure in their satisfaction. We write sentimental songs in praise of them. A tramp can earn his supper by singing Home, Sweet Home.
The slavery of man to man is the very opposite of this. It is hateful to the body and the spirit. Our poets do not praise it; they proclaim that no man is good enough to be another man’s master. The latest of the great Jewish prophets, a gentleman named Marx, spent his life in proving that there is no extremity of selfish cruelty at which the slavery of man to man will stop if it is not stopped by law. You can see for yourself that it produces a state of continual civil war – called the class war between the slaves and their masters, organized as Trade Unions on one side and Employers’ Federation on the other.
c) The Great Sphinx of Giza, commonly referred to as the Sphinx of Giza or just the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the pharaoh Khafre.
Cut from the bedrock, the original shape of the Sphinx has been restored with layers of blocks. It measures 240 ft long from paw to tail, 66 ft high from the base to the top of the head and 62 ft wide at its rear haunches. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the pharaoh Khafre.
The Sphinx is a monolith carved into the bedrock of the plateau, which also served as the quarry for the pyramids and other monuments in the area. The nummulitic limestone of the area consists of layers which offer differing resistance to erosion, mostly caused by wind and windblown sand, leading to the uneven degradation apparent in the Sphinx’s body. The lowest part of the body, including the legs, is solid rock. The body of the lion up to its neck is fashioned from softer layers that have suffered considerable disintegration. The layer in which the head was sculpted is much harder. A number of “dead-end” shafts are known to exist within and below the body of the Great Sphinx, most likely dug by treasure hunters and tomb robbers.
2 “The Other Women” is a humorous account of domestic strife. Do you agree? Give a reasoned answer. 10
3 What are the various themes present in the novel The Binding Vine? Describe each of them in detail. 10
4 In what way does “Of Great Place” reflect Bacon’s idealism? 10
5 How does Bill Aitken express his fascination for the steam engine? Explain with examples from the text. 10
6 Discuss the art and craft of Nehru’s Autobiography. 10
7 Margaret Laurence was committed to the cause of nuclear disarmament. Comment with examples from her speech My Final Hour. 10
8 Outline the horrors of the Holocaust as can be perceived through Anne frank’s diary. 10
ELECTIVE COURSE IN ENGLISH