Monday, 21 May 2012

Where do I stay?

In an article published in the Times of India, based on the Bombay court's decision on adults requiring their parents' consent to stay with them, it has been stated that:

The court observed that in the case of daughters, when they get married they become part of the husband's family. "When a daughter gets married and leaves the house of the father to reside with her husband, she ceases to be a member of the father's family and becomes a member of the family of the husband where she has got certain rights under the law. After marriage when she goes to the house of the parents, legally she is only a guest in the house and does not have legal rights to continue there. She can stay there as long as her parents permit her but she cannot force herself on her parents in the house."- "Adult children need parents’ approval to stay with them"

This states that it is only the woman who has to leave the parents' house while the son has complete legal permission to stay with his parents. This brooks the question, why is it only the daughter? Should this not be applicable to children of both sexes? If a daughter, after a certain age, is considered only a guest, should not the case be the same for the son? In an article in Tehelka, called Why Indian Men Are Still Boys, Nisha Susan states, "Unlike Indian women who are trained emotionally and socially by parents and society to gear up for a time when they must leave their parental home and occupy their space in the adult world, and unlike their self-sufficient counterparts in western countries, there are no major markers to end childhood for Indian men." That adult daughters have to go to the "family of the husband" seems only to augment this idea, while the adult son can stay with his "family".

Nisha Susan believes that the son, is always that- a son. He does not have any prior experience (except the very few who do choose to go away from home) of taking care of his own self. She says, "Even marriage does not mark adulthood for Indian men in the same way as it does for Indian women." While she says that this is a stereotype that is generally promoted by parents, it seems that even our legal system endorses this discourse- where the son is allowed to be just that: the son.

I do not want to leave this article with a conclusion. This was just a thought that occurred to me, and I wanted to pen it down. I shall leave it with the thought that, maybe, what is applicable to the man should be applicable to the woman- either both ought to be considered guests, or both children...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

UGC NET December 2009

To get the questions for this paper, click the following link:December 2009 English (paper II)
  1. B- The classical writer who influenced Ben Jonson’s Volpone is Aristophanes
  2. A- Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” was addressed to the American imperial mission in the Philippines
  3. D- Poetry: A magazine of Verse was founded by Harriet Munroe in 1912
  4. B- John Gower was a contemporary of Chaucer
  5. D- The English Mail coach is NOT a work of Sir Walter Scott. It was an essay written by Thomas de Quincey
  6. D- “Provincialising Europe” is a concept propounded by Dipesh Chakravarty
  7. D- Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies was the earliest tract on feminism (1694)
  8. B- (??)
  9. C- Chaucer’s The House of Fame was intended as a parody of Dante’s Divine Comedy
  10. B- Essays of Elia was first published in 1823
  11. B- Orlando is a biographical work by Woolf; The Well of Loneliness is a lesbian story by Radclyffe Hall; The Ballad of the Reading Gaol is a homosexual poem by Wilde and Maurice is a homosexual work by Forester
  12. A- Easter 1916 was based on a major political uprising
  13. D- The Seven Types of Ambiguity by Empson is about an analysis of poetic ambivalence
  14. C- J S Mill is associated with Utilitarianism
  15. C- The Condition of England was the litt of England depicting the vulnerability of the labour classes
  16. C- An Apology for Poetry was written in response to Stephen Gosson’s The School of Abuse
  17. C- Silence! The Court is in Session is a play by Vijay Tendulkar, originally written in Marathi
  18. C- Ascending order in terms of size: Epigram, stanza, sonnet, epic
  19. D- “Fail I alone in words and deeds” is a quote from Robert Browning’s The Last Ride Together
  20. A- (??)
  21. D- Importance of Being Ernest had the subtitle “a trivial comedy for serious people”
  22. C- “In the deserts of the heart/ Let the healing fountain start” was the ending lines for “In Memory of W B Yeats” by W H Auden
  23. C- George Herbert composed “The Temple” (a collection of poems)
  24. B- Ben Jonson wrote Volpone, Epicoene and The Alchemist
  25. C- L’ Allegro’s companion piece is Il Penseroso
  26. A- Jake Barnes The Sun Also Rises; Caddy The Sound and The Fury; Lennie  Of Mice and Men; Tommy Wilhelm Sieze the Day
  27. A- Allen Ginsberg was involved with the American Beat Movement (1950s)
  28. D- Gertrude Stein called the disillusioned intellectuals of the post WWI the Lost Generation (others included Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, T S Eliot, Waldo Pierce…)
  29. B- Hyperbole is a figure of speech that means an extravagant exaggeration
  30. A- “Imagined communities” was coined by Benedict Anderson
  31. C- Greenbladt, Goldberg and Montrose were new historicists
  32. C- The Man With the Blue Guitar by Wallace Stevens was based on The Old Guitarist by Picasso
  33. D- Judith Butler is the author of Gender Trouble
  34. D- Barthes practised the structural analysis of signs
  35. B- Northanger Abbey is a spoof of the gothic novel genre
  36. D- Bertha Mason from Jane Eyre is the madwoman in the attic
  37. D- (??)
  38. A- Moll Flanders (1721); Pamela (1740); Joseph Andrews (1742); Tristam Shandy (1759)
  39. C- (??)
  40. A- Archetype was essentially a Freudian concept
  41. B- Naipaul wrote “Conrad’s Darkness”
  42. B- Magic realism is associated with Marquez
  43. D- (??)
  44. D- (??)
  45. A- Transcendentalism was a philosophical and literary movement during the 19th century involving writers like Emerson, Thoreau and Margaret Fuller
  46. C (??)
  47. A (??)
  48. D (??)
  49. A (??)
  50. C (??)
NOTE: These were answers that I found, and therefore I could not complete all the questions. If you have the answers to questions that have not been solved here, do post them in the comments box.

UGC NET June 2009

To get the questions for this paper, click the following link: June 2009 English (paper II)
  1. 1.     D-  Lake School of Poets included Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey
  2. D- “I am the enemy you killed my friend” are lines from Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen
  3. D– Lord of the Flies by Coral Island; Omeros (Derek Walcott) by Odessey; The Great Indian Novel (Shashi Tharoor) by Mahabharat; Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys) by Jane Eyre
  4. D- “This was a man”- Marc Antony to Ceasar
  5. D- Shakespeare sonnet 138- “When my love swears that she is made of truth/ I do believe her, though I know she lies”
  6. C – (??)
  7. B- “Great wits are sure to maddness near allied/ And thin partitions do their bounds divide”- Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden
  8. B- strategic essentialism is a term coined by Spivak
  9. C- Malouf’s An Imaginary Life is the story of Ovid
  10. C- Jabberwoky is a character in Through the Looking Glass  
  11. C  (??)
  12. C (??)
  13.  B- Everyman is a medieval morality play
  14. A- The poets of the Movement are Elizabeth Jennings, John Wain and Philip Larkin
  15. B- Doris Lessing is interested in Sufism
  16. A (??)
  17. A– Norman conquest (1066); Caxton’s printing press (1476); James I ascends throne (1603); Shakespeare’s death (1616)
  18. D- The Muse of History is by Derek Walcott
  19. A– “Do I contradict myself?/ Very well then, I contradict myself” is from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself
  20. A- Verses on the Death of Jonathan Swift was written by Jonathan Swift (1731)
  21. C– Lycidas- Edward King; Adonais- John Keats; In Memoriam- Arthur Hallam; Thyrsis- Arthur Hugh Clough: These are elegies written for the respective people
  22. C- Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrisson is about Whitemess and the Literary imagination
  23. C- “He’s not the brightest man in the world” is an example of litotes (asserting an affirmative by negating the contrary)
  24. D- The term “horizon of expectations” was coined by HR Jauss
  25. D- Mary Seacole, Mary Kingsley, Anthony Trollope and J A  Froude are Victorian Travel writers
  26. C- Marlowe’s Faustus is based on a german narrative
  27. A- W B Yeats, J M Synge and Lady Gregory were part of the Irish Dramatic Movement
  28. A- diaspora first refered to the expulsion of Jews
  29. D- Ben Jonson was not a University Wit (Marlow, Peele and Greene were)
  30. B (??)
  31. D- Prosody is about metrics (rhythm patterns of verse)
  32. D- The Duchess of Malfi (John Webster) was written during the Jacobean Age
  33. C- Understanding poetry (Cleanth Brooks; Robert Warren Penn) was a text referring to New Criticism
  34. C- The Age of Reason/ Augustan Age was during the 18th century
  35. B- Hyperion (Keats), Don Juan (Byron), The Recluse (Wordsworth) and The triumph of life (Shelley) are all incomplete works
  36. A- D H Lawrence calls the novel “the bright book of life”
  37. B– “Ripeness is all” is a quote from King Lear (Edgar tells Gloucester)
  38. D- A K Ramanujan translated Anantamurthy’s Samskara
  39. B- Abel Whittle is a character in The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy)
  40. B- Edmund Spenser’s The Shepherdes Calender praises queen Elizabeth in ‘April’
  41. C- “Margaret are you grieving” is the beginning of a poem by a Victorian poet (G M Hopkins) and does NOT begin a Romantic poem
  42. C- Politics and the English language is an essay written by George Orwell
  43. A- “mind forged manacles” was written by Blake in his poem “London”
  44. C- Mathew Arnold says, “He is not fully recognised at home; he is not recognised at all abroad…” about Wordsworth
  45. C- The Globe theatre was completed in 1599
  46. D (??)
  47. D (??)
  48. D (??)
  49. A (??)
  50. B (??)
NOTE: These were answers that I found, and therefore I could not complete all the questions. If you have the answers to questions that have not been solved here, do post them in the comments box.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Once Again

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 27; the 27th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'Once Again'.
The scorching sun swelters
Once again.
The shadows consume
Once again.
The crowd engulfs
Once again.
The world devours
Once again.

Born of high breed
Howling for a dead mother
Confused and pathless
Yet, there was a dawn
Once again.

Taken into home and hearth
Tender human hands caressed
Allowed to run and play and bark
Petted and fattened and loved

In the streets
Once again.
Lost and lonely
Once again.
Blind with helplessness
Once again.
Without family or friend
Once again.
Confused and betrayed
Once again.
Pining and whining
Once again.
Tired of wandering
Once again.
Silent and still
Forever more.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

The Hunger Games: A Gladiatorial conquest?

NOTE: I wanted to share something about a book I had read of late, and compare it to a movie that I have always loved. I shall also say that there is a spoiler alert, since I do mention events in The Hunger Games that might ruin your read if you haven’t yet managed to lay your hands on it! So, if you have read the book, or if you don’t mind the spoilers read on…
For a short preview, you might want to watch The Hunger Games Trailer and the Gladiator- the trailer.

The Hunger Games, a book by Suzzane Collins, tells the story of a seventeen year old girl named Katniss Everdeen. Katniss lives in a world where there is an anarchic rule by the Capitol over twelve districts. The districts had originally rebelled and this led to the Capitol reinforcing their rigid authority by introducing something called the hunger games. Here, two children from each district between the age of 12 and 18 (one boy and one girl) are chosen to compete each other in an arena until only one survives while the rest of the country watches the televised version. Katniss, a girl from District 12, which supplies coal to the Capitol, offers to participate in the hunger games in her sister, Primrose Everdeen’s, stead.
Through the three novels that Suzzane Collins spins, we see an act of rebellion against the reign of President Snow and the Capitol. What is interesting about this novel is the comparison between a future that Collins creates and a Roman past. After reading the books, I happened to watch the movie Gladiator (2000) by Ridley Scott and I was struck by the similarities. It is true that Collins herself has acknowledged the influence of Roman history in writing her book- Roman senators, the idea of the arena and the weak pitched against each other or other natural forces (in the gladiatorial games it would be other animals, while in the hunger games it was also weather and other natural phenomena), and the people watching the entertainment.
The gladiatorial games were for the entertainment of the masses. However, in the movie, Maximus (a Roman general who becomes a slave and is compelled to enter the arena) proves that he will not obey the command of his emperor. He, at every possible chance, throws dirt at the face of Commodus’ reign. Maximus, through three vivid instances (his three games in the Colloseum), defies the crown causing Commodus to retch with anxiety and eventually leads to his death in the extraordinary finale between him and the erstwhile general. Similarly, Katniss, through three different instances (the three novels), defies President Snow leading to his overthrow in the end.
It is fascinating to see the similarities between the appearances of the commentator and the senators in the film and the gamemakers in the novel. The clothes are similar: the gamemakers wear purple robes, while the senators don white. The people of the Capitol are said to dress ‘differently’- with plastic surgery and plenty of makeup.  This is akin to commentator Cassius in Gladiator. - Cassius - Ceasar Flickerman
It was really curious to see that only the people from the Capitol were named after Romans: Cinna, Portia, Caesar, Cato, Octavia, Flavia, Plutarch, Seneca etc. While Katniss, Prim and Gale and elements of nature in them. Even Rue (meaning compassion) and Thresh (related to the agricultural ‘threshing of the corn’) have more ‘humane’ names. This could be percieved as a nature-culture shift.
Finally, there is an amazing similarity between Haymitch Abernathy who trains Katniss and Antonious Proximo, a gladiator trainer who buys Maximus. Both men primarily look out for themselves, and yet they accomplish so much more for their chosen candidate. Both of them have a rather antagonistic and yet protective approach to the people who go into the arena.
I found a lot of similarities between the story and the movie. And for those who love the arena, both the book as well as the movie are a must read/see.