Thursday, October 13, 2011

10/13/2011 10:07:00 PM - , 1 comment

Magic of Words - In Bed

SUMMARY

The main concern of this powerful personal essay is the migraine headache. The writer Joan Didion describes it in general and her own in particular. She has described’ her physical tension aroused by the pain of migraine in her right temple. She often felt ashamed to check frequently in application form. She had fear of the respect of mankind. In the same time she turns to the human concept toward migraines. She says that people often have misconception about this disease. She comes to the objective point of medical knowledge. It happens not by brain tumor, eyestrain, high blood pressure. Migraine headaches are not imaginary. Migraine is something more than the fancy of a neurotic imagination. It is an essentially hereditary complex of symptoms. Almost any thing can trigger a specific attack of migraine: stress, allergy, fatigue, a flashing light, a fire drill etc. She again talks about personal experience at the point of heredity. She says that her grandmothers’ had migraine. Her father and mother had migraine. From heredity, she turns tq the chemistry of migraine. In the time of severe pain she is fully upset. Physically and mentally she suffers. She says that her husband has this migraine, too. Sufferer hardly can pass days easily.

The writer comes to conclusion by asserting an intellectual response of confronting this disease with tolerance and concentration on the pain for some time like in yoga. The pain dies and she has relief afterwards. We may concentrate our daily household jobs and other activities to divert from the pain of migraine.

Magic of Words - The Six Million Dollar Man

SUMMARY

The American author Harold J. Morowitz is a renown writer who has perfected and accustomed himself on comic, humorous persuasive essays and stories. This is humorous as well as fascinating essay taken from his poplar collection book, “The Wine of Life and Other Essays on Societies, Energy and Living Things” (1979) that is originally appeared in medical magazine “Hospital Practice”. In the essay, the writer talks about the existing price of the chemicals that comprise the human body. The writer tries to revaluate the human body on the recent market price. One day the writer has received a birthday card bearing the message in the caption that the total price of human body is only 97 cents. The writer feels upset and distressed. It is really humorous and ridiculous. He tries to find the real value of human body. Then he began to calculate the price of each and every chemicals of human body according to the current market price that is provided by the bio-chemicals companies. The writer has calculated the price of the dry weight and its ingredients of human body and the chemicals in the following way:
- Hemoglobin - $ 2.95 per gram
- NADP - $ 245.00 per gram
- Purified Tryspin - $ 36.00 per gram - Hyaluronic Acid - $175.00 per gram
- Crystalline Insuline $47.50 per gram - Bilirubin - $ 12.00 per gram
- Acetate Kinase - $ 8,860.00 per gram - Human DNA - $ 798.00 per gram
- Alkaline Phosphatase - $ 225.00 per gram - Collagen - $ 15.00 per gram
- Human Albumin - $ 13.00 per gram - Brradykinin - $ 12,000.00 per gram
- Follicle-Stimulating Harmone - $ 4,800,000 per gram
- Prolactin - $ 157,500,00.00 per gram
- Average value of every gram of dry weight of human body is $ 254.54
- Dry weight of the human body is 168 pounds (76,364 grams with 60% water and 24,436
grams without water)

He became very happy and excited about the fact that human body is worth as six-dollar. Nevertheless, when he calculated every possibility of being a perfect man with the power of thought, speech, reasoning and soul, he felt defeated before the nature. Only God can give humanity, and soul, so science and technology can create only man or human body, but not humanity.

10/13/2011 10:04:00 PM - , 1 comment

Magic of Words - The Gardener

SUMMARY

There are two main characters in this story, they are Helen and Michael. Apart from them, the other minor characters are Mrs. Scarworth and the Gardener. This story is set against the background of the First World War that killed thousands of the British people. This story discloses the fate of the child born out of an unmarried woman. The woman who bore such an illegitimate child should have to face the social scorn and hate, thus she had to live the hateful life. Because of that, the woman had planned various ways to make her sin as real and truthful. It is the worthlessness of the crooked and dishonest society.

According to the story, there was Miss Helen Turrell who told the long and terrible story in her life. She said that she had a lung problem and suffered from it badly; but in fact, she had not such a problem, she said so to save herself from her sin in the society. She exiled into France because in England it was a big problem to sustain herself, sooner or later, the villagers would find the reality. She was pregnant from her illegal and unauthorized relation, so she wanted to give birth to a baby secretly.

She had given the birth to a baby in France, though his father had remained unknown and the baby was named as Michael in a baptism in a local church. In England, Helen had made a truthful story that she had gone to France to care for her Brother’s son. To escape from social criticism and disrespect, she said that Michael was not her son, he was the son of her Brother George. George had served in Indian Army and engaged with the daughter of non-commissioned officer. They gave the birth to a baby but George had died of a fall from the horse. Unfortunately, both George’s father and mother had died. The small baby was taken care by a nurse but her services to the baby is negligence and careless, as a result, the baby had suffered from dysentery (a kind of disease). Helen had brought the baby back to England and mother the baby.

In his school level, Michael was said that Helen was not his mother, instead, she was his aunty. She instructed Michael that he could only call her “mummy” at the bed time. Michael was troubled by the other boys about asking his father and he was unanswered. Michael grew up and finished his secondary level school and joined the University for the training of arms affairs. He applied in armed force and enlisted, but during his bravery in the battle in Belgium, he was killed by an opponent army. Miss Helen was notified about the death of her nephew by the certain authorities and she wished to visit the grave of her nephew.

Helen had decided to visit the grave, and left for the graveyard. On the way she met another woman named as Mrs. Scarworth. Initially she pretended that she wanted to visit the grave of her relatives, but in fact, she lied that she wanted to visit the grave of her dearest person. It was her secret lover. Helen and Mrs. Scarworth were the same kind of women who rushed from the reality and lived in the illusion.

Helen finally reached in the cemetery and confused by seeing the thousand of graves. She could not find the grave of her nephew or son. The officer and the gardener helped in search of her son and nephew’s grave. The gardener said that he knew the grave of her son, that is most wonderful fact. How did the gardener know that she was searching her son’s grave instead of her nephew? We may assume that there might be illegal relation between Helen and the gardener, but it was not confirmed.

10/13/2011 10:02:00 PM - , No comments

Magic of Words - Malini

SUMMARY
Malini is two-act play by Rabindranath Tagore and it is all about love and hatred; religion and dogma of the contemporary Asian society. Malini is the central figure of the play and she is the princess of the palace and lovely daughter of King and Queen. Malini is very different from her early age, who thinks differently. She is different in her thinking as well as attitude than the rest of the members of the royal palace. She opines differently and everyone including King and Queen are surprised due to her feelings. The kingdom is basically rooted on Hindu ideology and doctrine but the princess Malini promotes Buddhism and its ideology. There is the clash between Hinduism and Buddhism in the play. The Brahmins are the Hindu extremist and the Princess Malini is the promoter of Buddhism and its ideology.

Malini is isolated from Royal pleasure and happiness and wants to share the pity, sorrows, pain and sufferings of ordinary people as her own. These ideas principally promotes Buddhism doctrine and because of that Hindu extremists such as Brahmins, Kemankar, Supriya are irritated from Malini. The Brahmins strongly suggests the King to banish Malini from the Royal Palace so that the stain in Hindu Religion can be erased, she is labeled and compared as the poisonous snake in the palace. The King and the Queen worry much as they find that their daughter wants to walk in the perilous path in her life. Despite the great request and pleas; Malini decides to banish from the Palace. The Brahmins are always giving the pressure to the King to banish Malini to save the religion and Hindu ideology, so they protest and march against the King in the street. Eventually Malini is banished from the Palace.

The circumstances is reversed when Malini has returned from the banishment. King and Queen are happy from the arrival of Malini who are much anxious before and they follows the footstep of Malini who has brought outer world into the palace. The Brahmins who has raised their hand against Malini are now enchanted and attracted by her mercy, pity and tenderness. They have thought that Malini has understood the essence of Hindu doctrine and gained the divine spirit. They blindly suppose her as the form of Goddess who has descended from the heaven. According to the Brahmins, the divine spirit is existed in the heart of Malini. People are gathering in front of Palace to take the blessing of Malini who understand the real virtue, pity and love of human being. Love, virtue, mercy, pity are the pure source of divine spirit and knowledge and it makes one enlightened.

On the other hand, Supriya and Kemankar are much critical to the King who finally accepts the norms and notions as well as doctrine of Buddhism. They try to revolt against the King, so they secretly plan to make the plot against the King. They blame that the King rejects the Hindu doctrine and turns to Buddhism. On the course of time, all are become the follower of Malini, but Supriya and Kemankar has stayed aloof. Kemankar has fled to another country so that he can assemble armies to fight against the King to protect the religion as the King has deviated from his original religion. Kemankar and Supriya are the true friends from their childhood. Supriya has remained in the country and informed Kemakar about happening in the Kingdom and acted the role of spy. Kemankar tries to control the kingdom by doing armful revolution.

The fame and charm of Malini has been spreading rapidly. Supriya who was very critical to Malini, now influenced and enchanted by the divine spirit of Malini. Supriya then reveals the plan and shows the letter of Kemankar to the King and won the mercy of King. Supriya makes treachery to his friend. Thought, Supriaya urges to the King to forgive Kemankar who has been arrested by the King’s army in the frontier of the Kingdom. Finally Kemankar has been presented in front of King. The King has asked him for his last wish before he faces the death penalty.

In the last scene of the play, Kemankar and Supriya are talking and condemning each other. Kemankar does not tolerate the betray of Supriay, so he gives the big strike (blow) to Supriya who falls down on the ground and dies immediately. The King is enraged by this and stands out to look for his sword to attack Kemankar but Malini urges her father to forgive Kemanakar. This is the ideology of Buddhism. In every sin and mislead, forgive is the best solution to make our lives peaceful.


Q.N.1 What was the revolt against? Against Malini? Against the king? Against Buddhism?
Ans: Kashi is one of the centers, where Hinduism originated and prospered. It is also the place highly dominated by Brahmins. Remarkable things are that the Brahmins enjoy the great privilege in Hindu society. In such condition any blow to the dominant religious dogma may result in disadvantage of all Brahmins. Therefore when Malini comes out with a new concept influenced by Buddhism all the Brahmins get united against her and shouted for her banishment.

Q. N. 2 Why does Malini ask for her own banishment from the place?
Ans: Malini thinks that she is inspired by some divine force in heaven. She thinks she should go out of the place among the common people. It will help her to teach them what is right and what is wrong. The instructions of Malini will help them to attain nirvana. Therefore when the king informs her about Brahmins’ dissentient she takes it positively. She tells her father that they are not asking for her banishment but want her to live with them. So she requests her father to listen to Brahmins demand and banish her from the place.

Q.N.3. Draw a characteristics of Malini.
Ans: Malini is the protagonist of Rabindranath Tagore’s play “Malini”. She is the princess of Kasi, a land where Hinduism originated and prospered and where her new thoughts stirred the conservative Hindus. Although she is a princess, she doesn’t wear dresses of ornaments like a princess. This annoys her mother but Malini thinks her destiny is “to find riches in the property”.

Malini is inspired by a divine force of heaven. She thinks she should leave the place and go among people. It is important because she thinks only by bridging the gap between palace and people, she can preach and rescue them from the troubled life of earth. According to her the whole world is like a ship left by its captain on a stormy see. The ship might destroy if she will not reach. Iin other words she thinks she can help people to achieve nirvana.

However once she goes out, she finds the reality quite different from what she has supposed. She asks help from Supriya in her mission as she lacks words when she is amidst human crowd. This might make the readers think that all her visions are in fact illusions.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean she posses any power at all. In fact she looks so bright than agitating Brahmins takes her as an incarnation of a goddess who has descended on the pious land of Kasi to rescue it from the possible bloodshed.

Malini is taught by Buddhist monks. Accordingly she is very much influenced by its philosophy non- violence and peace. When Supriya tells about how he has informed the king about Kemanker’s plan. Who makes him a captive, she doesn’t like it. She thinks her heart is big enough to greet even the opponent. Not only that when Kemankar kills Supriya, she pleads the king to forgive him. Remarkable thing is that Supriya is very dear to her and king wants her to marry him.

Magic of Words - Oops! How’s That Again

SUMMARY

In our daily life, we make numerous verbal errors. They become the cause of embarrassment, insult and sometimes just laughter. But most of the time we are not serious about it although they seem surprisingly interesting. Rosenblatt in “Oops! How’s that again”, has discussed on such verbal errors in a humorous way. However, at the same time he has provided some reasonable explanations behind such errors. He has categorized the verbal errors into 4 groups. They are slips of tongue, mistranslation, bloopers and spoonerisms.

In slip of tongue we mistakenly tell something else instead of what we intend to or are supposed to tell. On the conscious level, we never mean what we speak and sometimes we regret for it. For example once a businessman Peter Balfour wished Prince Charles “Long life and conjugal happiness with Lady Jane” on the day when he has engaged to lady Diana. Similarly when Chicago's mayor wanted to make his city men feel comfortable, he assured them “The policemen isn’t there to create disorder, the policemen is there to preserve disorder.” Clearly, both the miss speaker didn’t mean what they told.

Mistranslation is different but perhaps the most interesting among all verbal errors. A popular slogan “Come alive with Pepsi” was mistranslated in Germany as “Come alive out of Grave with Pepsi”. Similarly, once the German president, Heinrich Lubke went to receive the president of India at an airport. He wanted to ask “How are you?” to Indian President but asked “Who are you?” instead.

Bloopers are embarrassing errors made in public. Once David Hartman, the anchor of “Good Morning America” infuriated his sponsor General Foods when he announced “We will be right back after this word from General Fools”. Similarly American radio anchor Harry Von Zell called his president “Hoobert Heever”. In fact the president’s name was Herbert Heever. However the bloopers largely consists low life verbal errors and toilet jokes. It is also an interesting fact that bloopers records became great hit programs on American radio and television in 1950s.

Spoonerism an utterly different kind of verbal error is named after and Oxford scholar Archibald Spooner. It is the transposition of initial or other sound of words in a sentence. It seems deliberate. The popular example is the transposition of “Conquering Kings Their Titles Take” as “Kinquering Kongs Their Titles Take”. In another interesting example, Spooner scolded his student “You have hissed all my mystery lectures…….” Instead of “You have missed all my history lectures”.

Although we just laugh at such verbal errors, they are of great importance for linguists and psychologist. According to some linguist, like Victoria Fromkin, brain stores idea in a particular grammatical pattern of a particular language. When we speak, we express our idea on the same pattern, but if the ideas are arranged in wrong way, we make mistakes. Mistranslation can be taken as a result of such attempts too.

According to psychologist, our brain has three stages called sub-conscious, conscious and super conscious. In our sub conscious mind there are many wishes related to primitive needs. But our super conscious mind always forces us not to reveal them. Our conscious mind is a balance between them. But sometimes the latent desires of sub conscious mind tend to come out in front of slips. For example when a nun asked the Irish Bishop “How may lords, my lump?” instead of “How may lumps my lord?” She intended to ask profound theological questions.

There is also another psychological theory, which gives a second reason for such verbal errors. According to the psychiatrist, Richard Yazmajian, there are some incorrect words that exist in associative change with the correct ones. He calls it “Dream Pair” of words. When we speak sometimes incorrect words of dream pair substitute the correct words and we make verbal errors.

10/13/2011 09:54:00 PM - , No comments

Magic of Words - Concrete Cat

SUMMARY

Concrete cat is a concrete poem. A concrete poem is an experimental poem, which verbally deals with visual ideas with an attempt to articulate visual thinking and bring the aesthetic principle of paintings into the poetry. It is mostly written to look at although it uses letters instead of painting brush.

In “Concrete Cat” we can see Dorthi Charles has used black letters and placed it in such a manner that it shows us the picture of a cat on the page. To make the picture more vivid, he has used pointed letters. “A” shows the pointed ears of cat, the capital “Y” is used to show the wide opened eyes of cat as it is approaching food. The stripes, whiskers, mouth, paw and tail also made visible by appropriate arrangement of letters.

The poet has also associated some catness with the concrete cat. For example a mouse is shown upside down. It means the cat has recently killed it, which is cat’s nature. Similarly, the letter “U” is used mouth to suggest that a cat licks its food. There are some litter boxes at the corner, which suggests that the cat is in a storeroom. The food kept near it also suggests that the cat is a domestic one.

The poet has also used a pun in the poem. A pun is a device of figurative language in which a word with two meanings is playfully used in a context. The punning words are spelled and pronounced in the same way. We find the mid stripe on the cat’s body can be read as “stripe”, which means a long extended black line on a cat’s body. At the same time it can also be read as “tripes”, which means the food inside its stomach.

UNDERSTANDING
“Concrete Cat” is an example of a “concrete poem,” a poem made for the eye. The chief concern of such a poem is with the physical appearance of poetry – not primarily with ideas or emotions, not with language as we ordinarily use it, but with the “reduced language” of the word itself as it appears on the page or elsewhere.
The pet may be telling us about a cat, but may be showing its “catness” in action – as far as this can be done by black and white letters on a page. We see that the cat’s tongue is a U, and so on. The pun in the cat’s middle stripe (tripes) is the only place where language aspires toward poetry and become figurative.

“Concrete Cat” is implied poem that indicates the concrete ideas about something. This type of poem is meant to see rather than to read. is a concrete poem by which we mean a poem for the eye not for the ear. However, this type of poem reveals the pun through of words and it is good fun to read and see the concrete poem. The poet here experiences his sight of cat through the letters and he organizes the words in a very skillful way that represent a shape of a cat and different organs of the cat. The letter “A” indicates or creates the shape of pointed ears and U makes the mouth. The white backdrop and black letters here show the real stripe of the cat. This cat concentrates here in front of the readers after killing the mouse. The upside down letter of mouse indicates that the mouse is killed by the cat. The selections of words such as stripe, whisker, paw, tail etc characterize the real cat like a picture but if the poet would use sentences instead of words, his concrete poem would never come to a form of cat.


Some of the letters are capitalized by the poet, such as A to show the pointed ends of the ear; U to show the curved position of its tongue and mouth and Y to show the nose that separates two eyes. The letters of the word “tail” is written by giving more space to show the length of the tail, which is long and slightly bending.

The poet sets the letters of the word “mouse” upside down to indicate that the mouse is dead and it is lying behind the cat. In front of the cat, a mouse can not stand upright. We can assume that the cat is playing with the dead cat by turning it upside down.

The pun can be created by the middle stripe of the cat. As the letters are repeated, each word can create different meaning. It is the play of the words. When we separate the letters from “stripe”, the two words are created, “tripe” and “stripe”. Tripe means the belly of animal to carry the food stuffs and “stripes” means a relatively long band of colour or texture. The cat as the poet describes here are consisted of two basic words stripes and tripe and other letters and words as necessary.

10/13/2011 09:52:00 PM - , No comments

Magic of Words - Unchopping a Tree

SUMMARY 1

“Unchopping a tree” is a pseudodirective essay. W.S.Merwin has coined a new term by adding the prefix “un” to chopping by this he has meant the process of reserving the action of chopping a tree. Merwin has used imperative sentences to give direction to reserve the process of chopping. Our common sense makes us realize its impossibility from the very beginning.

W.S. Merwin instructs us to begin the “unchopping” by joining leaves to their respective twigs and twigs to their respective branches. If the tree has a hollow trunk, the nest of birds, hive of bees and insect and their hoard of nuts and food must be resembled .if there were spider webs on trees before the fall. It must be waved again any damage done to the neighboring trees must also be repaired.

In the second step the tree must be erected on its stump without grinding its base into the ground. While putting the tackle into place no damage to the neighboring trees can be done. If it occurs any of such damage must be corrected later. If any leaf or branch is broken they must be rearranged by putting the tree on the ground.

The last step is to arrange the wooden chips, which fell on the ground during the chopping. After that saw dust and bark of the trees must be fixed. Here one must be careful to use correct adhesive so that natural look of the tree is not distorted.

After giving the instructions, the essayist asks how long such tree can stand. Any blow of wind will be enough to put the tree back on the ground. No one can stop the blowing of the wind so the only thing that you can do is to start the process of unchopping from the beginning if you have to get any success.

By giving a Sisyphus-like task, the essayist intends to make every reader realize that you can hardly undertake and complete such process. Therefore it is unwise to chop a tree because we are not wise enough to unchop it.

SUMMARY 2
“Unchopping a Tree” is an essay written by W.S. Merwin, he has used the work “Unchopping” for the process of reversing the action of “Chopping” or chopping a tree means cutting a tree whereas unchopping a tree means joining the same tree.


The essay shows the fact beautifully that unchopping a tree is not as easy as chopping the trees. A man can chop a tree within a few minutes but the tree takes at least ten years’ time to be grown up. To unchop or join all the parts of a tree, one has to collect the leaves, twigs, sawdust and put them again in their own places. To join all the parts properly one should work very hard like the ants. One should put everything in the original order. Let’s suppose that tree can be joined, but nobody can give its life. The writer says the chopping a tree is very easy but unchopping is out of our imagination. One can use scaffolding and tackle very carefully to be free from the future trouble.

The nuts inside the hollow may not be in right place. As such, one has to lift the trunk vertically above the stump. After fixing the splinters of the both parts properly, one has to use the fixative or any sticky materials. Three different types of fixatives should be used for the core to the trunk. By following all this process very properly, one can erect the tree. But when the tree stands on its own, the first breeze or the motion of the clouds might push the tree over. At this time one can do nothing except watching and waiting.

Thus, the process of unchopping trees is impossible. Though a man tries his best, he cannot give the life for the fallen or chopped trees. The essay had a different meaning from its apparent meaning. It is persuasive essay.

Magic of Words - Keeping Things Whole

SUMMARY

Mark strand is a surrealist. Therefore the image that he creates in his work seems alien or uncommon to us. However he always writes on common theme. Through the present poem also he wants to appeal for universal brotherhood a kind of wholeness against all the usual fragmentation that appears in our life.

The poet tells when he is in a field he finds himself absent there. It happens because he allows his own individual entity to submerge into a bigger entity in the field. By doing so he does not lose anything rather he is recognized as a greater body. According to him it is always the same case with him. Wherever he goes he finds himself absent there.

However, it is the human tendency to make things apart rather than keeping it whole, such attempts can never succeed because the universe is one. He has given an example to prove his point when h walks in a field his body parts the air as it moves forward. But immediately after he moves forward vacuum created by his body is filled with air. Thus he is not able to part things at last. Rather he joins at his back too.

According to the poet everybody has some projects or goals in his life. His mission is to keep things whole.

OUTLINES
Mark Strand is a Canadian-born poet, educated in the US. He has taught at various universities. His poems of alienation treating darkness and doubleness in man, are minimalist in style and affected by surrealism. “Keeping Things Whole,” taken from his Selected Poems (1980), pleads for wholeness against the usual fragmentation6 that goes on in life.

* The poet here in the poem elaborates the various objects to make things whole.

* To keep things whole is to keep something absolute and complete from the possibility of division and fragmentation.

* Fragmentation is necessary to keep something whole. Wholeness is formed due to the unification of fragmentation.

* The poet here claims that fragmentation and movement are interrelated to create the absolute object.

* The poet in the poem moves despite the fragmentation in his life to maintain the journey of life and keep things whole.

* When the poet is in the field, he considers that he is absence of the field. On the other hand, the presence of the poet marks some space on the field and that is missing. But as the poet walks on the field, his bodily movement divides the air and then the air again fill the space to make things whole (here air is whole) that is made by the body of the poet. The poet says that every one has the reason to move, and he has the reason to move to keep things whole.

* As we move the particular space is in the process of being fragmented and whole.

* To keep things whole, the three major things happen. Movement, fragmentation and unification for wholeness.

* The poet walks in field moving so as to make the field and fragmented air whole, thus the entire backdrop will be whole.

Interpretation and the and central idea of the poem.
The poem, “Keeping Things Whole” talks about the wholeness against the usual fragmentation which goes on in life. The course of actions; incidents and happenings of our life are often fragmented. Nothing is absolute in fragmentation and division. So the poet stresses on wholeness. The poet claims that movement in the course of action is the key to keeping things whole or undivided. The poet gives example of field, he says if one presents or stays in the field; he takes some of the space of field, thus the field is fragmented. But as he moves from there, the filed will be whole. Movement is thus necessary to keep things whole. The poet has a distinguished (remarkable, eminent, notable) notion regarding the term “wholeness” and it is essential, according to the poet, to think about the perception of wholeness.


Magic of Words - The Nightmare Life Without Fuel

Synopsis of the Essay
The present essay written by the Russian writer Isaac Asimov basically concerns about the fuel shortage in the present world. He has given us the instances from America about how the fuel shortage directly or indirectly relates to human life and its adverse impacts. The writer kindly advices us to preserve the existing natural resources that gives us the enormous fuel to sustain life. The essay “The Nightmare Life Without Fuel,” originally published in the Time Magazine in 1977, portrays America in the late 1990s, where the existing fuel resources have reduced this developed and rich nation to miserable condition of dark and dirty replica of the pre-industrial 1800s. America is just a small example to show how dwindling fuel resources have been reducing. The central essence of this essay is considerable that the worst condition will be happened if we do not preserve the natural resources of the world.

The writer describes the terrific situation in the urban areas of America where people are wandering here and there for the fuel and energy. People gather in the subways where the bus is already left and bicycles are splashed on the muddy water, which indicates difficulties in life due to shortage of fuel. Coal is difficult to get by digging and nuclear fusion is very risky and then the solar batteries are very costly. The stuff of the decaying city should be the mineral mines to use again.

There are several adverse impacts on human life due to fuel shortage; but the writer says that this kind of shortage would be beneficial to some extent. Automobiles are vanished and become the metal resources; likewise the ration system also be decreased. According to the writer, there is the reports from the newspapers in 1997 that the environment becomes cleaner, crime rates are reduced and the policemen are returned to their beats. The streets are deserted and the legs of the people become superior in the street. People do not consume the expensive electricity; they are deprived from modern facilities. For them open air is the air condition and home made sweaters are popular indoor wear.

The people in the city feel comfort rather than the people in suburbs. Energy crisis is the vital problem for the city dwellers. The nation should find the alternative source of energy to soothe the growing population. The condition outside USA and Europe is even worst and the people do not have sufficient food stuff to eat; only more than one in five has enough food to eat. Rest of people would die of starvation. But the writer states that starvation reduces the world’s population and more than two billion people suffer from brain damage due to less nutritious food. The fuel resources are limited, so it has the great impact on human life. The energy crisis is continued and as a result, the world’s countries would not afford their cost, keep their soldiers for the long time and unable to feed their people properly. Because of fuel shortage, the electricity is not possible, the people will deprive from watching TV, movie and reading books and they will ultimately return to the age of 1800. Then the existing fossil fuel (natural fuel produced by decomposition of organic) will work out.

The agricultural system will be also destroyed, the new technologies will be halted due to fuel crisis and farmer can not produce enough crops to sustain people’s life. As a result more people will die of starvation. The situation will be havoc, to cope with such situation, we had to take step to improve the situation 50 years ago, and then it would have been quite better to cope with fuel crisis.

It is indeed a serious issue to preserve the dwindling natural resources and if we do not think positively, it will devastate our society, and nation which are completely depended on fuel. The general people on the outskirt of the city (suburbs) will die untimely because of fuel shortage. The condition of poor nation will be perilous and the women and children’s mortality rate will increase and those who remain alive also suffer from bad health. But in the case of rich nation, it won’t be serious problem, they can afford their necessities and there will be the wider distinction between poor and rich people.

Finally the writer recommends us the possible solution of the current fuel crisis in the world. He strongly suggests to preserve the natural resources though it is very late. The remaining natural resources will also make us relieve if we seriously ponder about it and do something for the sake of natural resources to tackle the fuel crisis.


Q.1. What kind of serious problems could fuel shortage cause?
Ans: In the essay “The Nightmare Life without Fuel”, Isaac Asimov has tried to foresee into future when human will have to suffer from extreme fuel crisis.

The essayist is an American and has started the essay by mentioning the negative effects of fuel scarcity on American society. According to him, the American life will be changed into a nightmarish life. They will find themselves unable to keep private vehicles and have to travel in crowded public transport. The factories will stop production and they will have to rescue the metal parts from old and demolished buildings. Inside the house, they won’t be able to operate AC’s, heaters of refrigerators. Hardly any Americans will be able to lit lights after supper. In short, they will have to live inside their dark cold and cave like houses. The fuel shortage will put the human settlements in and end in suburbs.

The American government will have to overlook the personal interests of his citizen. They will only allow the railway to use the coal. The remaining energy will be used by agriculture sector. The car factories will start producing agricultural machines. This will grow the agricultural product in America. But the price of food will knowingly kept high. This will discourage the people to buy more food and allow the government to export them, as it will be the only source of national income.

The condition outside America will be more pathetic. There will be widespread starvation, as only one out five people will get sufficient food. About 80% people will suffer from hunger. Around 2 billion will have their brain permanently damaged. Human muscles and beasts of burden will replace the use of machines. They will have to work for longer hours with less leisure time and amusement. Even then, there won’t be any guarantee of food. In short, the whole human race will be doomed to languish in the hell like situation.

Q.2. What specific problem does Asimov focus on in this essay? Why does he consider this issue worth of attention?
Ans: Asimov focuses on the fuel crises in this essay. He considered this issue worth attention because the amount fossil fuel is limited .it couldn’t fulfill the insatiable human demands forever. But human beings are using it ignoring its limitation. This trend might finish and might invite countless troubles for human being. It is also a considerable issue because the time has come when we must look for some alternatives of fossils fuel. If other alternatives to produce energy are found in time, the human will be doomed to live a cursed life in the future.

Q.3. According to the author, what will be the advantages and disadvantages of the fuel crisis?
Ans: Quite surprisingly Isaac Asimov has counted some advantages of fuel crisis. He tells the fuel crisis will make the air cleaner. As the result less people will suffer from cold. Crime rate will come down. The police would be present in their beats and people will be able to walk on the streets in late nights.

However if we look at above advantage carefully, we will find they are actually the result of several disadvantages. The air will become pure not due to our inability to drive vehicles or run factories. So the air will become cleaner only at the cost of human comfort. Similarly, the crime rate will be found low because the police will be unable to patrol on the roads or reach crime scene. Thus they cannot keep record of crime due to fuel crisis. The American will be walking on streets in late nights because they will be compelled to do so. They won’t be able to afford vehicles even at the late nights or in time of emergency.

There are several other disadvantages of fuel crisis too. It will force the human to give up the use of AC’s, heaters, and refrigerators. They will have to languish inside the dark, cold and cave like houses. They must need to work manually as they won’t be able to run machines .in short these disadvantages will force the human to live in a nightmarish hell-like situation.

Q.4. In Asimov’s essay what is happening in the rest of the world as America struggles without fuel?
Ans: The situation outside America is worse as the people are dying out of hunger there. Only one of five people gets enough food. About 80% people outside America and Europe are compelled to live in hunger. The first victims of starvation are innocent children. They can hardly survive once their mothers become dry.

There are some who are getting only that much food which can move their bodies. But it cannot keep their mind feet and there are around 2 billion people whose brains are permanently damaged.

Q.5. What does the author means when he says,” the suburbs are born with auto lived with auto and are dying with auto?
Ans: Asimov has imagined a nightmarish life, which can be turned into reality due to the fuel crisis in “The Nightmare without Fuel”. In the given line he has presented the dependency of America suburbanites on automobiles.

When the cities grew a lot of industries and factories were established in it. To run them they needed extra manpower. But there were not enough space to accommodate them all inside the cities. So these workers settled several kilometers away from the cities. They could do so because their life was supported by their automobiles. They could easily go to their work and come back home in time. Thus the automobiles helped the human to settle in suburbs. As the habitation grew the facilities also grew there. It attracted the rich and professionals to come and colonies were established and the suburbs developed.

But all of the sudden the automobiles, the only medium that has linked them to cities, has stopped working. When the suburbanites cannot afford the price of fuel, they left driving cars and cannot reach office or do the shopping in time. They are cut with mainstream of America. Therefore, they are dying now.

10/13/2011 09:41:00 PM - , No comments

Magic of Words - The Poplar Field

SUMMARY

William Cowper gave up his public career for a life of retirement in rural area and exclusively, devoted his later life in writing poetry. His love towards nature in rural life is also visible in the poem “The Poplar Field”, which is remarkable for his celebration for the rural and nostalgic tone.

The poem is a result of the poet’s second visit to the same landscape, which he had visited 12 years ago. It was the bank of river Ouse, which was filled with tall poplar trees. It provided shade to the poet. There used to blow cool breeze and the melodious song of black birds which had entertained the poet. But now the trees are cut and are fallen on the ground. It cannot provide shade to anyone nor there is cool breeze blowing. The black birds have flown away in search of new shelter and therefore, the poet cannot listen to their sweet songs anymore. By looking this degraded situation of the same landscape, the poet becomes very sad.

The poet thinks that limited years of his life are passing away very quickly. Very soon he will be dead and buried in a grave. But he regrets that he will not be able to see such poplar trees on the bank of the river Ouse again in his life. He not only regrets for himself but the pathetic one of nature also draws his attention towards the “Perishing Pleasure” of human. Life is very short and one must try to fill with joy and pleasure. But their bad luck is their joy and pleasure last for shorter time and for this they themselves are responsible.

ANALYSIS

The poet strongly protests the sinful deeds against the natural resources in the poem. Basically, deforestation is really the great challenge in the world to sustain ecological balance. The poet sentimentally recalls that the cutting down poplar trees cause the adverse impact in human life.

The poem is all about deforestation and destruction of the poplar fields in the bank of the Ouse River in England. That shows that human civilization is the curse for the protection of natural resources. The result of cutting down of the poplar trees, as poet recalls, the shade and the whispering sound of the row of trees are disappeared. The winds no longer play with the leaves of the trees and no reflection of the trees in the river water is seen. He says that he has missed everything in his twelve years of running life. He recalls that it was his favorite place to stay which gave him shade; but regrets that they are laid.

The poet has deep-rooted sympathy upon other creatures in the trees such as blackbird that gets relieve from the hazel in the heat. As the trees are cut, the blackbird has fled to another shelter. Likewise their melodious chirping tone and sweet booming (echoing) song that charmed the poet most has also be gone.

The poet again laments (regrets) that his fleeing (running) years are all in hurry that he couldn’t understand the value of trees and environment in his life. Now he is more conscious about the value of trees and says that he’ll soon die like the trees and the grass will grow on his chest and stone at his head in his grave and says that other trees will arise in that place.

The poet finally says that the trees in the bank is the sight to engage him and considers that human pleasures and ecstasies are decaying. He states that we’re short-lived like the poplar trees but our enjoyments and happiness are less durable than our own lives.

10/13/2011 09:37:00 PM - , 5 comments

Magic of Words - The Three Day Blow

SUMMARY

‘The Three Day Blow’ is a dramatic story by the most influential author Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961). He had won the Nobel Prize in 1954 for his book “The Old Man and the Sea” (1952). Nick is the main character of the story. There is the other character named as Bill who was the sincere friend of Nick.


The rain stopped as Nick walked into the road that went up through the orchard. But the fall wind was blowing. The road came to the orchard on to the top of the hill. There was a cottage which belongs to Bill and his father. Nick went to the cottage. Bill came out and welcomed him and let him inside the room.


Bill and Nick viewed the natural beauty. They talked about the weather and the blowing wind. Bill said that the wind would blow like that for three days. They went inside the cottage. They drank wine sitting by the fire. They talked about the games especially the baseball game, books, swimming, and their fathers. Once Nick fell in love with girl named Marge (Marjorie). They had planned to marry also but unfortunately their relationship broke down because of the bad attitude of her woman who disliked Nick and spread rumors that Nick had already got engaged. Perhaps they would never see each other again. Nostalgias made Nick sad and upset and felt isolated.


But again he thought that what had happened in the past might have been good. This feeling made him happy. Bill and Nick started to talk as previously. Carrying guns they went out for hunting delightfully.



What did Nick and Bill talk about?

Ans: Nick and Bill talked about four things: Baseball, Writers, Their Fathers and about Nick’s beloved. When they met at Bill’s house, they sat in front of fire and drank Irish Whisky. They started their conversation like any normal young men. They talked about their favorite game, which was baseball. But they were not satisfied with their team, Card, performed. Then they talked about their favorite novelist Walpole and Chesterton. Out of them the former was a better human whereas the latter was a better writer. They reconfirmed the age-old belief that one is remembered either for his work or for his behavior. After that they talked about their father. Nick’s father was a doctor, whereas Bill’s father was a painter. They both found their father better person. However, they also accepted that Nick’s father has missed a lot of things by not drinking wine.

The last topic they talked on was about the beloved of Nick, Marjorie. They had quarreled and busted up recently. The event had disturbed Nick mentally. In spite of Bill’s several attempts he was not able to forget her. During the talk he realized that there was possibility for their reunion. That realization made him feel better and filled a new energy in Nick. After that they went out for hunting

Describe the connection between mental ordeal of Nick and the title of the story.
Ans: There is a clear analogy between the tile “The Three Day Blow” and the mental ordeal Nick goes through. The movements start from his mental conflict, grow with suffering and culminate with a sense of reconciliation.

When a storm comes, everything in nature is taken by surprise and before giving enough time a lot of damage is done. Similarly, Nick and Marjorie quarrel and before they can handle the situation, they get separated. It disturbs Nick mentally. On the second day of storm, when the leaves of the tree are blown away, it looks pathetic. The condition of Nick is also same. He suffers a lot due to his separation from Marjorie, who is blown away like a leaf in the storm from Nick’s life. The suffering goes as the time passes. On the third day, when the storm is over, there comes a new chance for new creation in the nature. Similarly, at the last of the story we find Nick hopeful about his reunion with his beloved. This sense gives him mental peace.


The story is presented in a sequence of approximately seven scenes. Can you find them?

Ans: The seven scenes excluding the opening and exposition could be as following

Scene 1: Nick and Bill meet outside the cottage of latter.

Scene 2: They sit near fire drinking and talking

Scene 3: Nick brings a chunk through the kitchen

Scene 4: They put the chunk on the fire

Scene 5: Nick looks at the mirror while coming with water from kitchen

Scene 6: They again sit near fire, drink and talk about Marjorie (Nick’s Beloved)

Scene 7: They come out of cottage for hunting with their shotguns.

Describe “The Three Day Blow” as a dramatic story.
Ans: “The Three Day Blow” can be called a dramatic story for a couple of reasons. They are the maximum of use of dialogues and the scenic division in the story. Actually the elements like plot, character, setting and theme are shared by other genres of literature as well. We can find the use of dialogues and actions are minimal in fictions. They rely on narrations most of the time. Therefore the story “The Three Day Blow” by Ernest Hemingway seems quite close to a drama.

10/13/2011 09:33:00 PM - , 2 comments

Magic of Words - A Worn Path

SUMMARY

A black old woman named as Phoenix Jackson is the central character of the story. It was the month of December and she was walking slowly with a cane (stick). She covered her head with a red rag (torn-out cloth). She was speaking to herself as she was tapping her way; it is a kind of soliloquy (speaking oneself) in the story. She talked and addressed the wild animals, insects, birds, trees and bushes. She even addressed the fearful wild animal to go out from her way. As she crossed the pinewoods, she reached in the stream (river) and crossed the bridge and became over-confident that she had not become so much old and had plenty of energy inside her.

After that she had taken a short rest. But in the same time, she visualized a flash of dream when a small boy offered her a cake. She moved her hand in the air. She crossed the way by creeping under the barbed (cutting and pointed) wire. On the way she considered the scarecrow as a ghost and she shouted due to fear and drank water in the spout (tap). Meanwhile, a dog came to attack her and she started to run away but fell into the ditch and unable to come out from it. A white hunter came there and rescued her. She was so much thankful to him because of his unselfish help. She was excited and appreciated him. He had two dogs. They were began to fight and the man went to separate them, but at the same time, a nickel (five cent coin) fell on the ground from his pocket. She silently grabbed it. The white man requested the woman to go back to the home and dominated her as Granny, but the woman was constant in her determination. She did not like that man and his suggestion at all.

Finally, she arrived on the street of the city where she saw lights flashing everywhere and people were walking in the street with attractive gifts in their hands. On the meantime, her shoelace untied so she requested a lady to tie her shoelaces. The lady was a charming lady who helped her in a pleasant way and honored her as Grandma. Ultimately, she reached in a large building which was the big hospital. The nurse and the attendant started to talk with the woman, it seemed that they knew the woman very well. The nurse asked her about her grandson and his illness. But the mother didn’t know anything and forgot everything. She was looked like a wanderer. Finally the woman recalled that she had the grandson who was very sick. The nurse gave her a bottle of medicine. It was the cheerful time of Christmas, so the attendant gave her a nickel. The old woman was thinking to buy a paper wind-mill for her grandson.

Describe phoenix Jackson and the journey she undertook to the town.
Ans: Phoenix Jackson is the protagonist of the story. She is an Afro-American lady. The way she walks suggests that she is very old .She needs a cane to walk. Her long skirt made of sugar sack tells she must be very poor. Her skin is yellow and there are wrinkles on her face. But in spite of all these under privileges, she has a strong determination to continue the journey.
               Phoenix Jackson makes biannual visit to Natchez to get a soothing medicine for her grandson, which she receives as charity. Having swallowed lye, he has suffered without healing for years. Phoenix Jackson has made such journey many times and her path seems to be a worn path now.
              The story opens on a chilly December morning. Phoenix Jackson is making her way to the town slowly but surely through the pine woods tapping her umbrella cane on the ground in front of her. Her shoes are untied. While she taps along she also warns the animals to keep out of her ways. When she crosses the wood up and down the hill, due to her poor eyesight, her skirt is caught in the thorns. But quite patiently she frees herself from thorns. After that she has to traverse (cross) a stream by walking on a narrow log. Then she takes rest under a tree. She dreams a boy bringing a slice of cake. She tries to grab but her hand is in air. She leaves the place and walks along the trial. In the way she finds a fence. As she could not climb over it, she crosses it by crawling under it like a baby. When she crosses the field, she mistakes a scarecrow as a ghost and when she finds that it is just a scarecrow she dances in joy. When she reaches the wagon track, she meets a black dog with a lolling tongue. She tries to hit that dog but the attempt knocks her off balance and she falls into a ditch. As she cannot come out of it by herself, she simply waits for someone to come to rescue her. Soon after a while a hunter comes and takes her out of the ditch. When she complains that a dog has knocked her down, the hunter goes to chase that dog away but in the process a nickel falls upon his pocket. Phoenix takes that coin. When hunter comes he points his gun on her and asks if she is afraid but he can’t scare her and gets so impressed that he desires to give her a dime in reward. He tries to discourage the lady to go to town but he cannot.
          When she reaches town she finds it decorated in beautiful way as it is the Christmas time. Then she reaches the clinic, she forgets the reason that takes her there. But a nurse recognizes her and remembers her case and gives her the medicine after making normal enquiry. When she leaves, the attendant gives her a nickel as a Christmas gift after she comes out of the hospital. She finds she has got ten cents with her. She decides to buy a paper windmill for her grandson with that.

Trace the various obstacles old Phoenix comes up.
Ans: There are numerous obstacles that old phoenix has to overcome between valley and wagon track. But she overcomes each of them with her strong will- power. First of all it is very cold day and she is very old. Her old age and the unfavorable weather are the first obstacles in her long journey but she ignores that with her indomitable spirit. Second, she has to walk through the woods up and down a hill which is haunted by wild animals. She keeps the animals away by poking her cane into bush. Next obstacle is a thorny bush, which catches her skirt. Quite patiently she frees herself from that thorny bush.  Another obstacle is to transverse a stream by a narrow log. She crosses it slowly by closing here eyes and holding her cane firmly in front of her. After that the fence comes in her way as she is very old she cannot cross it by climbing over it. She crawls under it like a baby. The last obstacle that comes before the wagon track is a Scarecrow. First she thinks it is a ghost but she finds it a scarecrow.  In this way she overcomes all the obstacles that come in her way.

What is the meaning of episode in which Phoenix steals the nickel? Does the act offend our sense of honesty? Explain.
Ans: When phoenix Jackson falls into a ditch  she wait for someone  to come and  rescue her after sometime  a hunter comes and helps  her to come out. She complains that she is knocked by the dog. The hunter goes to chase that dog. In the process a nickel falls from his pocket when she sees it she takes it stealthy at the same time the bird flies and it makes her think that the god is watching her. It shows that she confesses her sin to the god and her act is forgiven at once. We can say this because we see the hunter coming back and expressing his desire to reward the lady with a dime. It can be taken as an attempt of writer to make her realize that what she takes is only half of the award she is worthy of.
           Therefore the act of phoenix doesn’t offend our senses of honesty. Rather her pathetic condition arouses sympathy in our heart. It was Christmas time and she needs some gift for her grandson. Any person would do the same if s/he were in her place.

How does Phoenix describe her situation to the white man who helps her up?
Ans: Phoenix describes that her situation is similar to a June bug. A June bug is an insect. When it is turned upside down, it cannot turn back to its normal position by itself. It needs help from someone to do so. If the people do not arrive in time, it will die. The situation of Phoenix Jackson is also same. She is too weak to come out of ditch by herself. Therefore, she simply waits for someone to come and lift her up from the ditch.

Why is Phoenix taking the long trip to town?
Ans: Phoenix has only one relative left with her who is her grandson. Once he has swallowed a solution named lye. It damaged his throat and made it painful for him to drink or eat anything. According to doctors, it couldn’t be cured. However they gave a kind of soothing medicine, which could be used to soften his throat. The medicine helps him to eat and drink.
Phoenix is going to fetch the same medicine, which she gets free from a clinic in Natchez. She makes such visit twice a year.

How does old Phoenix plan to do with the money she has got during the day? Why?
Ans: Phoenix Jackson plans to buy a paper windmill for her grandson. According to her it will be a good thing for him because the child has never seen such a wonderful thing in his life. It was also the Christmas time and it is a tradition to give gifts during this time to one’s near and dears. Since she has only one relative, she also decided to take a Christmas gift for him from the town. Besides, she has only ten cents and she cannot buy anything more valuable than a paper windmill with that sum of money.

Magic of Words - Speaking of Children

UNDERSTANDING AND SYNOPSIS OF ESSAY

‘Speaking of Children’ is an essay written by Barbara Holland which shows
the numerous problems of those parents who have got more than one child. One child is inevitable for all parents but more than one is a headache in various way and the essayist tires to address such kind of problems in this essay. The precious moment, happiness and the family bliss are somewhere lost when the parents have more than one child.

Having plural children are not only problematic to the parents only but for the children themselves because they are deprived from the fundamental and natural right and some are even deprived from the balance diet. For the sole desires, interest and happiness as well as privacy and peacefulness, many parents are facing critical problems. The parents should have to fulfill the each and every demands of the children and these all are almost impossible if thy have the plural children. Apart from that, having more than one child creates social, economic problems. The parents can manage good environment in the house if they have one child. You can brainwash the mind of the children. It may not create problem for you. But plural children nourish a counter-culture trend in the family.

According to the essayist’s opinion, it’s very essential to a healthy marriage that the wife should manage some quiet private time to chat with the husband, preferably when he gets home from work. They need peace and privacy just for half an hour. But in such a private and peaceful moment also your children are disturbing you. Sometimes they quarrel, sometimes they break off something and sometimes they interrupt the peaceful conversation between the couple.


OUTLINE OF ESSAY

  1. Problems of having more than a child in a family. One child is outnumbered and easy to manage. 
  2. Plural children weaken the pleasure and peace in the family. The family life can be disturbed by the plural children and the situation can be very worst. 
  3. Mutual understanding, co-operation, love and harmony are almost impossible.
  4. The parents become tired and they can unable to control the family and destructive situation comes in final. The children make the house untidy and dirty, break things and produce unwanted noise.
  5. The consequences of having plural children cause the adverse impact in the family. The family status decrease day by day regarding social, economic and cultural factors.
  6. One child is appendage (addition, attachment) in a family. But more than one is the way of life or the adverse way of life.
  7. The peace and privacy in family is possible when the parents have one child, likewise the joy and jovial family life is there. The parents do not get an hour to talk separately. 
  8. One child leads the parents to live in easy way but more than one makes them difficult to live with all their problems and difficulties.
  9. One child is easy for upbringing, educating and feeding. The child grows up in the perfect environment and gets all the facilities or can live by his all child-right.
  10. The writer also addresses the child-spacing; at least two children are manageable in the family. But her serious concern is for a single child. The writer faces the serious problems in the family because of the plural children.
  11. The family expenditure rises highly if the parents have more than one child and the parents should face the economic crisis.

10/13/2011 09:23:00 PM - , 1 comment

Magic of Words - Look At A Tea Cup

SYNOPSIS AND UNDERSTANDING OF ESSAY
Look at a Teacup, written by Patricia Hampl, is a complicated and quite motivating essay which shows the distinction between the traditional norms, notions and dogmas with the new ideology of modern world. There is generation gap between the old and new.
The writer is the speaker of the essay who says that her mother had bought a teacup in 1939. The highly decorated but plain looking cup is the major concern of the essay. Numerous ideas are connected and concerned with the tea cup, so it is the memento of entire events of the past. The speaker gives the specific emphasis to the teacup and its elation to art and architecture of the Mid-Twentieth century. The writer further associates the tea cups with the historic events, esp. in the time of Hitler and during the Second World War.  Then, the speaker praises the tea cup, its charm and pictures of flowers that are painted in the teacup. The every discussion between the speaker and her mother are concerned around the teacup, it is the focal point of their discussion.  As the writer’s mother was from Czechoslovakia, she bought the teacup in 1939, the same year she got married and the Second World War also began. The teacup reminds the mother as her own native country and the history of her native land. The outer and inner descriptions of teacup are highly praised by the writer. The teacup is considered as the golden one with its pale water-green colour. There is also a band of gold on the inner circle of the saucer (plate), It is shiny and there are thin bands of gold around the edges of the saucer and cup on the borders of the cup and its saucer light sides of gold are outlines. The combination of colour and flower inside and outside the teacup are very attractive. The flowers inside the teacup are seemed as if it is live and animated. 
The essay gives the minute details about the tragedy caused by the war. When she describes the destructive war, she becomes sad and upset. They both have the contrasting opinion and ideas about the world and war. Apart from that they have also different opinion about the family and work. The daughter gives emphasis on work whereas the mother insists that the family is the most important thing in the world.
            The major subject they discuss in the essay is the issue of marriage. The mother has the conventional opinion about the marriage but the speaker disagrees from her opinion. The mother often worries about the marriage of her daughter but the daughter shows reluctance about the marriage and stand firmly in the statement. The speaker might have detested the marriage as she had seen the forceful love attempts between her father and mother. The speaker once found her father pulled her mother’s back and hugged her and kissed her forcefully in the kitchen. The event detests her from the marriage. She wants the mutual understanding in marriage, but such type of unusual, self-centered and inappropriate steps form strong hate on the tradition form of marriage.
When the mother got married, the condition of the entire Europe was devastating. Firing, bombing and mass killing made her fearful that she would die. She escaped from her home country as it was destroyed by the war; likewise the factory of teacup was also destroyed. Everything destroyed by the Second World War but the tiny teacup she bought in the year of her marriage was remained unbroken. The sky becomes cloudy from smoke of fire of bombs. So the teacup is the unchared (not burned) finger from the mid-century bonfire.  
The essay also shows the relation between the men and women. The women during the Second World War were maltreated and highly dominated. The writer said that the roses were fallen from the sky to destroy the life of women. Roses were thrown as bomb to women; it means the condition and plight of women were very low and miserable. The essay here shows the contradiction between the old traditions as represented by mother and the modern value and thinking as represented by the speaker (daughter). The opinion and beliefs on women have been drastically (radically, severely) changed nowadays and they are treated as equal to men in most part of the world.     
This essay even claims that the writing can be the way of finding various details and perspective of people, discovering implication in apparently minor events, and of making associations between seemingly disparate (unequal) elements. The mother has escaped the magnitude of history by retreating (withdrawing, moving back) into pragmatism (practicality, common sense, way of thinking result and way of evaluating theories). But Hampl has the positive ideas to escape history by fighting it. She slightly refuses to carry on old traditions like marrying and bearing children. There is the contrast between the old tradition and the new generation.


Describe the teacup and saucer.
Ans: The teacup and saucers were brought by Patricia Hampl’s mother in 1939. The cups were made in Czechoslovakia and each has a stamp ‘Czechoslovakia’ on the bottom. Each cup was made of finest china clay. The cup is water green in colour, which the essayist tells is even hard imagine. There are golden lines on cups’ edges on base and on the edges and inner circle of the saucer. There isn’t any other decoration outside the cups.
But the inner decorations make the cups special and supreme example of Czech art. There are flowers falling inside the cup. Those flowers do not seem pasted. They appear as if someone has shaken a bundle of flower and all the flowers are cut in motion. No two flowers are of same kind or colour. Neither any two of them are falling from same altitude. There is a golden circle inside the cups, which shine beneath the falling flowers. In short the cups and saucers are extremely beautiful, delicate and definite.


Mention the difference between the mother and the daughter.
Ans: Patricia Hampl and her daughter are different in their ideas. For mother “family” is most important thing in the life of a woman. It is a place where she can find food, shelter, protection and love. These things include every need of women in a traditional patriarchal society. To start a family, one must marry, which is a sacred in situation of her.
Patricia Hampl is a modern feminist so she is aware about the pathetic condition of a woman in the society. She thinks to rescue women from that condition. Work should be considered as the most important thing. Work can make them independent, whereas family makes them dependent. Unlike her mother, she doesn’t have any regard for the age old, norms, value and tradition. She regards marriage a tragic end. It is bond in which only a woman loses her individuality. She is aware how the woman of her mother’s generation fell on beds paired with their husband and couldn’t stand again in their lives. Therefore she has refused to fall. She doesn’t think marriage was important in her mother’s time as well. According to her, the only benefit they got was a license to set physical relation, but she thinks one does not necessarily need to marry to establish physical relations. One can have sexual satisfaction before marriage as well and the marriage must not be taken as a license for sexual gratification.
The mother is introvert and in shy even to express her love for her husband. She is submissive in nature and always suppresses her wishes. It was not only the case of essayist’s mother but of every woman of that generation. To prove that she has recalled an event when her mother was assigned to write an essay on Hitler at high school, although nobody in the class liked that. They completed an assignment without any complain.
The mother like all traditional women kills her valuable time in thinking about minor things but the daughter is bold enough to express her idea and fulfill her wishes. Unlike the traditional women of her mother’s time, she doesn’t want to kill her time in nonsense gossips. In fact through this essay, she appeals every woman to come out of their usual role and uplift their status themselves.


Explain the cup is a detail, a small uncharred finger from the mid century bonfire.
Ans:  The mid century bonfire is the reference to the Second World War. It was the most devastating war that the human civilization had ever seen. About 55 million people were killed besides living many more million homeless, crippled and wounded. Almost all the countries of Europe had to bear unprecedented loss of life and property in the awful fire of war. One of such countries, which burnt in the conflagration of war, was Czechoslovakia. Patricia Hampl has a set of teacup, which was made in Czechoslovakia safe with her. She considered it is a part of Czechoslovakia since the country itself was burnt in fire of World War II. She regards it an uncharred finger. It is not only the concrete example superior Czech art but also reminds us the destruction of the Second World War, the falling bodies soldiers, falling bombs, crumbling countries. Thus she thinks it a detail, which could provide enough information to rewrite the history.