Thursday, September 22, 2011

Heritage of Words - I Have a Dream


13. I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream is one of the best, powerful, and unforgettable speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr., who is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th Century and the leader of the Black Civil Right’s Movement. This speech was delivered in the centenary (100 years) celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation on August 28, 1963 at Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. in front of 200 thousand people, both Black and Whites. Apparently, the crowd was gathered to celebrate/mark the hundred years of emancipation of the Blacks. However, in reality they had gathered to unite and revive the rights of the Blacks stated by the American Constitution. 

The speech creates the significant light of hope among millions of Blacks. He says that there is racial discrimination, separation and injustice among the black and white American people. The blacks are marginalized and dominated by the whites. They are put in the chain of discrimination segregation. They are considered as second class people. However, the American Constitution has stated rights to the Black: they are exiled in their own land.

King Jr. brings the reference of the past and points out that the Emancipation Proclamation had brought a great hope for millions of Blacks. It heralded (new beginning) the end of 250 years and more of Black slavery. But 100 years later, America had failed to keep the promise and the promissory note turned out to be a bad cheque. It was evident from the conditions of the Blacks that had remained unchanged. No, just the Emancipation Proclamation, the American constitution and the Independence Declaration had both failed to pay the promises of equality, happiness and liberty. Blacks were deprived of all Civil Rights and opportunities. They have been facing racial discrimination and injustice everywhere in America. They were still dominated in the different opportunities by the Whites.

King Jr. uses the analogy of the bad cheque to describe these two historic documents. King Martin refuses to believe that the vault of justice in America is bankrupt. He asserts that the blacks have gathered to cash the cheque (i.e. the emancipation proclamation) that America had granted them. He further reminds that Blacks would no longer wait for gradualism (a policy of gradual change in society).

King Jr. emphasizes on the urgency to achieve to achieve their Civil Rights ‘now’. In order to achieve the Black Civil Rights, King appeals to his fellowmen to unite for the struggle to revive the Blacks’ rights. He requested all the people to fight for the rights in a disciplined way rather than destructive way. He further appeals to the entire crowd to go back to their states and continue the struggle raising awareness amongst all and ringing the bell of freedom from every corner of America. At the end, he shares his dreams, his concrete goals with all fellowmen.

1.      Implementation of constitution
2.      Removal of racial discrimination, developing feelings of brotherhood
3.      Man to be judged by his character and not by colour, and abolition of segregation
4.      Laws and liberty for all the Blacks

He uses a musical analogy to express his aspiration, “We will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation in to a beautiful symphony of brotherhood”. His repetition of lines “I have a dream……go back to……Let freedom ring…..now…..etc express the intensity of his feelings and faith on the civil rights movement of Blacks.  

Heritage of Words - The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship


10. The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship

The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship is an interesting story written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In the story, the writer describes the growth of an ordinary boy (the narrator) to an assertive man. The writer here wants to prove that one can not be great in life without courage and determination.

According to the story, a small boy saw a ghost ship in the sea at night in the month of March. The ship was quite big and wonderful. It had no sound and light. It was moving without any control. The surprising thing was that it would disappear when there was light and would appear when there was no light. The boy was surprised with the ship but he thought he might have seen it in the dream.

The boy saw the same ship in the next March and told his mother about it. She didn’t believe him. She said that his mind was rotting. However, she had to send a boatman to confirm whether it was the ship or not. The boatman saw nothing except some fish playing in the water. She became sad and worried about her son. One day, she bought a chair and began to see the sea sitting on it. She remembered her dead husband. She became excited and died. Other four women also died so it was a accursed chair. Finally, the chair was thrown into the sea.

The boy became orphan and he didn’t want to live with anyone’s mercy. As an orphan he lived on stealing fish. He was all alone. Villagers did not help him.

In the next March again he saw the same ship and talked to the villagers about it. The villagers also thought him to be mad and he was severely beaten. Then, he decided not to talk anyone about it but he tried to show who he was. In the next year, he saw the same ship and followed it rowing a boat. When the light of lighthouse fell upon it, it disappeared and the boy fell in problem. He lit a lantern and saw the ship again. He rowed his boat near to the ship and brought it under control. He found nobody in the ship and brought it at the harbor near his village. He called the villagers and the villager’s were surprised at seeing the ship larger than the village.

Thus, the boy proved himself to be an assertive Youngman. He showed the villagers who he was. It means that if a person works hard to develop his career without losing patience, he can certainly get success in his life.

The story describes the growth of an ordinary boy to an assertive young man. It presents the boy’s inner journey from the innocence to experience and how he gains manhood. The ships stand for the child’s imagination and his encounter with the ship many times indicates his growing vision which finally makes him a strong man with strong voice and confidence. In fact, this story brings out the child’s inner consciousness. The whole story is a psychological study which describes the boy’s attainment of maturity. Thus, the story deals with the mental growth of the child in proportion with his physical growth. Both the growth combined makes him confident about what he says and does.

9/22/2011 03:06:00 PM - , 1 comment

Heritage of Words - A Story


9. A Story

A story is a sort story by Dylan Thomas. The story humorously presents the adult’s world from a boy’s perspective (point of view).

A story is all about a day’s outing by a small boy made with his uncle and his friends, by Charabanc to Porthcawl where they never reached. The boy was staying with his uncle and aunt. There was a great contrast between his uncle and aunt. His uncle was a huge man who used to fill every inch of the hot little house like an old buffalo squeezed into an airing cupboard but on the other hand his aunt whom he prefers to say his uncle’s wife, was small, quiet, and efficient and was like a mouse. She walked quietly like a mouse and got all her work done. The uncle was very big and trumpeting and ate greedily, littering his waistcoat. The aunt was so small that she could hit the uncle on his head only if his uncle lifted her onto a chair and on his arms. The argument between them was quiet common and comic to the boy. Despite the quarrel, the love existed between them. His aunt didn’t like the outing. When they talked about outing she used to be angry. She threatened her husband that she would go to her mother’s house if he went on the outing. However, he did not care for it because it was not new for him.

His uncle and his uncle’s friend used to make an annual all-male outing. That particular year Mr. Benjamin Franklyn was a treasurer who was watched and followed every time by Will Sentry. Will Sentry followed him because he didn’t feel the outing fund safe with Franklyn.

The narrator got a chance to go for the outing with his uncle and his friends who were all noisy, filthy, vulgar, dirty, and drunkards and full of strange behaviors. It was a beautiful August morning as the thirty odd men set out for the trip to Porthcawl missing Old O. Jones behind. The trip was delayed as they drove back to pick old O. Jones. Again Mr. Weazley cried, “I left my teeth” and asked them to go home to take his teeth. However, they did not return saying that his teeth were not necessary in the journey. As they reached the first inn, the Mountain Sheep, they stopped the Charbanc and went inside leaving the boy outside to watch the Charbanc. The master of the public house welcomed them as the wolf welcomes the sheep. Everyone was drunk inside. The boy found them behaving worse than animals.

In the inn, they continued noise and argued each other. The boy had nothing to do so he chased the cows with stone. They, then, left the inn. Then they stopped at different pub houses on the way and were completely pickled. On the way they reached near a river. They liked the cool water of the river. In the river, some of them slipped the stone. It was a better place than Porthcawl. All of them were there and they were drunk. They didn’t have any idea how the world was going on. It was evening. They cancelled the trip to Porthcawl and returned towards home. On the way home, Mr. Weazley coughed and they stopped the Charbanc and drank the remaining cases of beers making a circle.

In fact, the purpose of the outing was to drink and making merry without the care of the world. Therefore, they stopped at every inn and public house until, by dusk, all the men were pickled. Some were shouting, some laughing, splashing in the water and dancing. None cared for food except Mr. O. Jones. They never reached their destination as everybody decided to stop at an open space for more drinks and merrymaking. The narrator, the small boy, was tired and hungry who fell asleep under his uncle’s waistcoat. The moon was already up. Thus, the story ends abruptly. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Heritage of Words - God’s Grandeur


8. God’s Grandeur

God’s Grandeur is a short religious poem composed by G.M. Hopkins. In this poem, the poet praises the greatness and glory of God in the world.

G.M. Hopkins believes in the existence of God in the world. He says that God is everywhere. The glory and greatness or magnificence of the god is manifested in everything and everywhere. The poet says that the world is charged with the grandeur of God. It flames out like shining from gold tinsel (shook foil) and oozes from the crushed seeds. The God is omnipresent and yet human beings ignore and deny the presence of god’s greatness. Many generations have passed through this world. The poet says, “Generations have trod, have trod, have trod…” which shows the ignorance of human beings towards God.

The poet presents the miserable state of the world and nature. In the running after money, man toils and suffers miseries and unhappiness. However, human beings are living after money and artificiality. Though modern human beings are living in the well equipped world, they are still not satisfied. Their unlimited desires are leading them towards endless destination. A man’s life has become a tale of sorrow and unhappiness because in this material world he finds no peace and contentment (satisfaction). The real peace is in God’s arms. Human beings are busy in trade and material world so they are in the world of miseries and dissatisfaction. They cannot understand the greatness of God and they do not pay attention to the command of God. Everything is affected by human activities. Man is regardless to the soil and the Nature. Man is running away from nature towards the material world.

Nature is never spent. The God blesses everybody with bountiful nature and his greatness, which is evident from the gifts of God. Though humans are destroying nature, it is never spent. The dearest freshness lies in the deep down the Nature. The poet is aesthetically inspired by the grandeur of nature too. Nature is always fresh and new. For sometimes the nature may be bare, but that bareness is soon recovered with the greatness of God. The darkness prevails but the next morning a new brightness arises from the east. Irrespective of men’s behaviors, the God blesses man with life enhancing gifts of the dawn and dusk, the sun, the moon, the fertile land and bountiful nature. God has provided us warmth and love of his breast and wings. The God is always kind for the world and all the creatures. Hopkins presents us with an inspired vision of the beauty of nature infused with the glory of God.
     

Heritage of Words - Travelling Through the Dark


7. Travelling Through the Dark

“Travelling Through the Dark” is a short beautiful poem composed by William Stafford. The poem is about making decision between two realities of life: efficiency and responsibility on one hand and emotion and sentiment on the other. So, it is about dilemma we face in life while making decision. Responsibility is dry and unglamorous virtue whereas emotion is warmer than responsibility. The poet has tried to present the idea that decision made on the basis of responsibility and efficiency is always the best and practical whereas emotional or sentimental decision is impractical which shows human weakness. The poem also deals on the relationship between the nature and human beings and their activities. Because of our own activities we are over exploiting the nature and travelling towards the dark future.

POEM

The poem has been written in the first person narrative. While the poet is travelling alone through the dark he sees a dead deer on the edge of Wilson river road. He stops his car and moves back to see the deer. He later knows that it is a doe and has an unborn fawn in its belly. Now he shows sympathy to the doe. This is one system of life. In one system he has sympathy to the dead doe and in the next system: he feels his responsibility that he has to clear the road throwing the dead doe in the gorges. When the speaker touches the dead doe, he finds that the doe is pregnant and her fawn is waiting inside her womb. The fawn is alive. Though it is alive, it will never be born. He feels his mistake and feels pity on the fawn and becomes sad. He realizes the fate of the fawn inside the dead doe. He now finds a contrast between the doe and his car. His car looks life – life where as the doe is cold and stiff. The poet is in dilemma. He thinks different possible course of actions. The physical action ceases at this point and is replaced by the mental action. He starts thinking about the suitable way out. He finds himself in conflict between the practical and the sentimental decision. At last, the speaker pushes the doe into the gorges and solves the problem. The great tension of the dead doe and the living but never to be born fawn is now solved. On the other hand there are efficiency and responsibility and on the other hand there are emotions warmer than efficiency and responsibility and deeper than good judgment. In this way the poem gives full justice to both sides of the tension.        

Heritage of Words - Hurried Trip to Avoid a Bad Star


6. Hurried Trip to Avoid a Bad Star

The people of Karnali zone depend economically upon the lowland regions to the south, especially Nepalgunj. Most of the people are farmers. But their farm product is not sufficient to them because it can’t support them. So they have to sell and buy things for their day to day livelihood. According to the writers, the people of Karnali carry different local products such as herbs, sweaters, baskets, blankets and so on to Nepalgunj to sell them there. Some people take Silajit with them and sell it Nepalgunj. After selling their products, they return with cotton cloths, jewelry, pots, spice and distillery equipment to Karnali. Some people go to the lowland regions to get government and private jobs. However, mostly people are uneducated and superstitious. People of Karnali, moreover, combine their farming with trading. They have been struggling for their livelihood.

People of Karnali are conservative and they follow the good star when they leave their homes. Similarly, they are not aware of ecological and environmental degradation. The skeletal looking SAL trees indicate about the exploitation of nature. It shows that they are indifferently cutting down the trees and they are not worried about the jungle and their own future. They are only solving the present problem. It seems that they are not conscious of their future. They don’t know the fatal consequences of the degradation of nature. Actually they are hopeless because they must solve their present problem. 

Heritage of Words - Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies


5. Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies

“Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies” is beautiful song taken from William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, Act I Scene II. The Spirit Ariel sings the song to Ferdinand, a prince of Naples, who mistakenly thinks that his father is drowned into the sea.

Ariel is a spirit who is a very comic and miraculous character. He flies up invisibly and plays music and song. In the given poem, he gives sympathy to Ferdinand, the prince of Naples, who is very sad on the death of his father. The Spirit Ariel tries to make the death meaningful with his melodious description. The Spirit Ariel says that Ferdinand’s father has been drowned into the sea. His body has been lying 30 feet below at the bottom of the sea. His bones have been changed into corals and eyes into pearls due to sea – change process. Nothings of his parts of the body have been destroyed. But his whole body has changed the sea into something valuable and strange. The sea nymphs are hourly ringing the death bell producing song ‘Ding-dong’. At last, the Spirit Ariel asks Ferdinand to listen the sound of the bell.

Thus, William Shakespeare through the song of Spirit Ariel talks about immortality of life. He means to say than life does not die but changes to other forms. So, the death of Ferdinand’s father is meaningful. Death is nothing but just a medium of changing life from one form to another. Life after death is permanent whereas life itself is ephemeral.


Essay on “life and art”

It seems to be difficult to define ‘life’ and ‘art’. Life is mysterious and art is the imitation (copy) of life. So life and art are interrelated parts. Life creates art and art provides delight to life. Without any interest in art is a dead life, so art and life are inseparable.

Art is related to creation and life is related to experience of happiness, sadness, laughter, tears, joy, certainties and uncertainties. But art brings success in life.

Life is transitory. It changes in different phrases in course of time. A small baby of yesterday becomes a young man today and old tomorrow. Eventually, he disappears from the world resting on the lap of death. Life comes across different sweet and sour events. Life is mixture of tears and smiles. Pain and pleasure are the friends of life. In other words, life is full of emotions, feelings, ideas and sentiments.

Art is the creation of life. It is permanent and immortal. Art makes life beautiful and meaningful. Art makes artist immortal. An artist lives in memory of people all the time after his death. Many literary artists show the relation between art and life. Some say that art is for the sake of life where as some say that art is only for art’s sake. However, life is itself the source of art and art is the source of joy. Art is life and life is art. Without art life seems to be meaningless and unattractive. The different forms of art like music, writing, singing, drawing, acting, dancing etc. make our life fruitful.