Essay

Beau Tibbs By Oliver Goldsmith

Beau Tibbs By Oliver Goldsmith

Beau Tibbs By Oliver Goldsmith
Beau Tibbs By Oliver Goldsmith

Introduction

         The essay “Beau Tibbs” is the most significant collection of essays by Oliver Goldsmith. It is a collection of essays that deal with the character of peculiar persons. It teaches us, peculiar people. It teaches us so many practical lessons for a graceful life.

Goldsmith wants to stress the teaching,

 “The company of fools may,
  at first, make us smile
  but at last, never fails
  of rendering us melancholy.”

          He also throws light the contemporary English Society. Beau Tibs represents the contemporary English Middle class. The meaning of Beau Tibbs is a showy man.

About Oliver Goldsmith

         Oliver Goldsmith was an essayist of The Age of Transition. He wrote both poetry and essays. He contributed to the periodical essays. His essays have extraordinary power, boldness, originality of thoughts, humour, and tenderness. His style is clear and delicate which made him a great essayist. He was one of the most important writers of the Augustan age, otherwise known as the neoclassical age or the age of Reason.

He is noted for his novel, “The Vicar of Wakefield”, his pastoral poem “The Desert Village and his Plays”, “The Good-Natured Man” and “She Stoops to Conquer”, his classic Children’s tale “The History of Little Goody Two Shoes.”

Analysis of The Essay Beau Tibbs

            The essay “Beau Tibbs” has portrayed the character of Mr. Tibbs. The essayist calls him a Beau. This word indicates the inherent character of Mr. Tibbs that he was an elderly man who always remained particular to his dress and also pays unnecessary attention to women. So the word Beau has been used sarcastically to show the levity of his character.

            Mr. Tibbs was a very poor man but he always tried to conceal it from others, though unsuccessfully. This habit of Mr. Tibbs had made him an eccentric and he had developed a very ridiculous nature. Whenever he meets someone, he boasts of his high Contacts. He was equally peculiar in his dress. When the essayist met him, he noticed that

“His looks were pale, thin, and sharp;
 Round his neck, he wore a broad black ribbon
 and in his bosom a buckle studded with glass….
 and his stockings of silk, through newly washed,
 were grown yellow by long service.”

            He was habitual of dressing himself peculiarly and variously, sometimes in torn and at other times in beautiful dress.

            Mr. Tibbs invites the narrator to his house. Tibbs wants to introduce his wife and daughter to the narrator. He informs that his daughter knows the famous country dance and can play the guitar well. He says that he is designing her for his friend’s son. Mr. Tibbs also informs him about his wife. During his talk, he repeatedly asks the narrator to keep all this information secret. He takes the narrator to his house, not through a straight road, but through many dark and winding ways.

            His boastful nature was the greatest weakness of his character. He always tries to impress others that he had very close contacts and familiarity with the Lords and Ladies of high status and often dined with them in the cities and towns privately. He was too proud to admit his poverty and boasted of being on close terms with the aristocracy. He foolishly thought that the people believed whatever he told them about him.

Goldsmith has revealed his character in an extremely humorous but sarcastic manner. When he started talking with Charles, Tibbs told the Lord had granted him the favor of offering five hundred a year and ‘His lordship took me down in his own Chariot yesterday and we had a tete-a tete dinner in the country where we talked of nothing else.

            Then at once, as if suddenly reminded, he tells that he had actually dined in town. He was among the select party to dine at Lady Grograms. But after talking so long about his foolish stories, he suddenly comes to his real self. He asked Charles to give him Half-a-Crown(two shillings). Tibbs does this with everybody he meets and thus earns his acquaintances, he tells. He never repaid the borrowed from his friend and they knew the fact very well.

            Though this character of Goldsmith has imparted a piece of very useful advice to the young people who depended on the mercy of others but always thought themselves very clever, he advised that such hypocrisy is always damaging and we should save ourselves from such evil.

Conclusion

            Thus, Oliver Goldsmith can be said the representative writer of his age. His writings carry almost all the characteristics of the period he belonged to. The essay Beau Tibbs shows the vanity of the middle class of that age through the characters, Beau Tibbs.

Now we can say that through the essay “Beau Tibbs” Oliver Goldsmith satirized the English society.

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Letter To Chesterfield By Samuel Johnson

Letter To Chesterfield By Samuel Johnson

Letter To Chesterfield By Samuel Johnson
Letter To Chesterfield By Samuel Johnson

Background/Introduction/Reason Behind Writing Letter

            Letter To Chesterfield, Samuel Johnson was a lexicographer which means he was a dictionary writer. Dr. Johnson had been writing his famous dictionary for eight years. A coalition of seven London booksellers had commissioned the project eight years previously. Johnson got only 1575 pounds in return for his hard labor. Dr. Johnson wanted some more money. On the advice of the bookseller, he published the plan of the dictionary and dedicated it to Lord Chesterfield in the hope of getting some monetary help from him. He personally visited the Lord but met with disappointment. The Lord helped him with much less money than Johnson had expected.

            But when Dictionary was published after 13 years, delayed by five years, Lord Chesterfield published an advance review of it in a magazine named The World, Presenting himself as a principal patron of the word.

            This excited Dr. Johnson’s anger and he wrote the letter to his Lordship. This is one of the great letters of all time.

The Letter To Chesterfield

Dr. Johnson wrote the Letter as Follows:

To,

      The Right Honourable the Earl of Chesterfield

       February 7, 1755.

My Lord,

               I have been recently informed by the proprietor of The World that you wrote two papers for the magazine recommending my dictionary to the public.

            This is such a distinguished honor and favor shown by the Great which I am not accustomed to. In other words, no Great man ever showed any favor to me. I, therefore fail to understand how I should receive it and in what terms to acknowledge it.

            When upon some slight encouragement I first visited enamored by the beauty of your residence and was so pleased with the idea of meeting you that I considered myself the conqueror of the world.  But I was so much neglected there that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to center it. Once I addressed you in public, I tried my best to please you with all my oratory, but to no avail. I was ignored and I got nothing.

            My Lord, seven years ago, I waited for you in your outer rooms and I replaced from there empty-handed. There is no use in complaining of these adverse circumstances in which I continued my work during those seven years and been kind to me. Now it has been so much delayed that I am different from it and cannot share this honor with my wife who has died, now I am known to the world and I do not need the favor of anyone.

            In my opinion, there is no harshness in being cynical about a favor that does not bring any benefit. I am unwilling that the public should consider me as a patron, which actually I have done. God alone enables me to complete my work all alone.

            Though, I carry on my work with Little Obligation to any favourer of the learned man. I shall not be disappointed, if I get the least support and encouragement from them, for I have wakened from that Dream of hope of which I once boasted with utmost joy.

Some important point

The name of the Earl of Chesterfield was “Philip Dormer”,

Meaning of Johnson’s statement “Le Vainquer du Vainquer dc la terre” – The Conqueror of the world’s conqueror.

Name of a dictionary written by Johnson – “A Dictionary of the English Language.

Conclusion

            Thus through “Letter to Chesterfield” Samuel Johnson, depicts his feeling toward the honorable Earl of Chesterfield, Phillip Dormer. Johnson’s tone throughout the letter is very cynical and sarcastic. Johnson expresses his frustration to Lord Chesterfield through this letter. This letter is also described as literature’s Declaration of Independence.

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Postcolonialism Literature

Postcolonialism Theory, Themes | Post Colonial Theory

Postcolonialism Literature
Postcolonialism Literature

Introduction

        Postcolonialism means to the time after Colonialism, in which the British Empire dominated many countries. It emerges as a result of Colonialism. It refers to the discourse which deals with “the effect of colonization on culture and societies.” During and sometimes after the colonial period, the colonizer’s thoughts, particularly Western thoughts, have dominated the world’s culture.

            Colonization began during the 15th century and ended during the first half of the 20th century, some of the key concepts and themes that postcolonialism explores include-

  • The representation and construction of the colonizer and the colonized in literature, art, media, and history.
  • The critique and revision of the colonial legacy and its impact on contemporary issues such as globalization, immigration, racism, gender, and human rights.
  • The hybridity and syncretism of cultures and identities in postcolonial societies.
  • The resistance and subversion of colonial discourse and power structures by colonized people.

            So Postcolonialism is not only relevant for understanding the past but also for engaging with the present and imagining the future.

Postcolonial Literature

            Postcolonial Literature is a term that refers to a wide range of literary works produced by authors from formerly colonized countries or regions. It is a genre that explores the complex and often contradictory effect of colonialism and its aftermath on the cultures identities and histories of colonized peoples. Postcolonial Literature can be written in English or in other languages such as French, Spanish, Hindi, and many more. It can also follow various literary traditions and genres, such as – realism, modernism, magical realism, postmodernism, satire, allegory poetry, drama, and autobiography.

Postcolonial Literature themes

            Some of the common themes and issues that postcolonial Literature addresses are:

  • Racism
  • Freedom/ Independence
  • The Future
  • Transformation
  • Colonialism
  • Nationalism
  • Identity

Some of the well-known Authors works of Postcolonial Literature are :

  • Jean Rhys’s “Wide Sargasso Sea” which reimagines the story of Jane Eyre from the perspective of Bertha Mason, a Creole woman from Jamaica.
  • Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”, depicts the clash between traditional Igbo society and British Colonialism In Nigeria.
  • Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” which traces the lives of Children born at the moment of India’s independence from Britain.
  • Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” exposes the caste system and political violence.
  • Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” depicts a black woman’s life in rural Georgia.
  • Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” deals with the trauma of Slavery in America.

Three prominent leaders of Postcolonial theory are – Edward W. Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Homi K. Bhabha.

Orientalism

            Orientalism is a literary theory that acquired importance towards the end of the 20th century. This theory was propounded by Edward Said, a modern cultural critic. For many scholars, Said’s book marks the beginning of Postcolonial studies. Said spent his life investigating the imaginary line that divides the East and the West.

            Edward Said explains how the science of Orientalism developed and how the Western Europeans started considering the Orientals as non-human beings. They divided the world into two parts with concepts of ours and theirs. They drew an imaginary geographical line to restrict them. They regarded the Orientals as backward, uncivilized, and violent. They thought it was the duty of the colonizers to educate and civilize them- For them, colonization was a blessing for the Orientals.

            The most important aspect of Orientalism was that the Europeans defined themselves by defining Orientals. For example, they attributed the qualities like laziness, irrationality, uncivilized ness, and crudeness to orientals. By calling them so, they defined themselves as rational, civilized, hardworking, and refined. Said states: “Knowledge gives power, more power requires more knowledge.”

            Edward Said talks about “Structure and Restructures of Orientalism”. They said the people of the East were too naive. They were not clever, witty diplomatic, or sighted like Europeans.

            Finally, we can conclude that Orientalism was the tool that paved the road for Europeans to expand their empires in the Orient and exploit the Oriental pure cultural resources to construct their civilization, language, and culture.

Ideas Introduced by Gayatri Spivak

            Gayatri Spivak is one of the influential critics who related to Postcolonialism, Feminism, Deconstruction, and Marxism. She is a follower of Derrida. Fundamental to Spivak’s theory is the concept of subaltern. The ‘Subaltern’ is a military term that means ‘Of Lower Bank’. She borrowed this term from Italian Marxist, ‘Antonio Gramsci’.

            Spivak uses deconstruction to examine how true it is Constructed. She takes the example of Sati. Sati was a practice among the Hindus in which a woman was burnt alive in the pyre of her dead husband.

            When the British came to India they outlawed this practice. Though it saved a number of lives of women, it also helped the British to secure their rule in India.

            Spivak’s essay ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ addressed how the ‘Subaltern’ woman is constructed. The muteness of women in postcolonial societies is the main issue that her work confronts. Spivak uses the term Subaltern for women, blacks, the colonized, and the working class. She criticizes the harm done to women/ Third World women and non-Europeans. She wants to give voice to the subalterns who can not speak or are silent. She focused on speculation made on window sacrifice.

Conclusion

            Thus, Spivak’s ideas continue to be influential in fields such as – postcolonial studies, feminist theory, and cultural studies.

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Renaissance Period In English Literature 1500 to 1660

Renaissance Period
Renaissance Period

Introduction

   Renaissance Period is one of the most important periods in English literature. So far as the ‘Renaissance Period’ is concerned it began in 1453, but its effect on English life and literature was felt after 1500. For this reason, it is generally accepted that the renaissance period was at the beginning of the 16th century and continued till the Restoration period. It is a clear line between the middle and the modern English literature period.

The word Renaissance is derived from the Italian ‘Renescetia’ means rebirth. The French historian “Jules Michelet” used Renaissance for the first time. Italy was the cradle of the Renaissance. It began in Italy in the 14th Century and ended in the mid-seventeenth century. This period of 160 years is subdivided into two ages according to the ages:-

  • Elizabethan Age (1500 to 1620)
  • The Puritan Age (1620 to 1660)

The Elizabethan Age (1558-1603)

            This age is named after Queen ‘Elizabeth I’ who reigned over England from 1558 to 1603. This is the most glorious age of English literature. With the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, dynastic problems, and political chaos come to an end. Geographical and astronomical discoveries brought unlimited fortune during this period. Renaissance that had started earlier was now very strongly felt in England.

Major writers and Their Major works

Thomas More His famous works are ‘Utopia’ and it was originally written in Latin.

Edmund Spenser – He is called the poet of the poet because after his death many later English poets followed his art of Poetry. His famous work is the Faerie Queen’s and ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’.

Thomas Kyd – He is one of the poets in the ‘group of University Wits’. His famous work is ‘The Spanish Tragedy’.

Sir Philip Sidney – He penned several major works including ‘Astrophel and Stella’, ‘Arcadia’ and ‘The Defense of Poesy’. ‘Advancement of Learning’.

University Wits: – It is the group of a dramatist who wrote and performed in London towards the end of the 16th century. They are called university wits because they were the witty students of ‘Cambridge or Oxford’. Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Lodge, George Peele, and Thomas Kyd.

Christopher Marlowe – ‘Tamburlaine the Great’, ‘Dr. Faustus, ‘The Jew of Malta’ and ‘Edward II’ are his famous work.

William Shakespeare – Shakespeare was known as ‘England’s National Poet’ and ‘Bard of Avon’. He wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets. His famous works are – Henry VI (Part 1, 2, 3), Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Last, Romeo and Julies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, Henry IV (Part 1, 2), Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, Julius Caesar, As you like it, Hamlet Twelfth Night, Othello Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear.

Ben Johnson – He wrote in a time when romanticism was the main mode of expression. He is called a neo-classical ruler of drame. ‘Every Man in his Humour’, ‘Volpone’, ‘The Silent Women’, and ‘The Alchemist’ is his famous work.

John Webster – John Webster wrote ‘The White Devil’ and ‘The Duchess Of Malfi’.

Literary Features of the period

            The Elizabethan Age is regarded as the Golden Age in the history of English Literature. The Renaissance brought Ancient Greek and Roman wisdom to England. The social life of England was marked by a strong national spirit, Humanism, religious broadmindedness, scientific progress, social content, and intellectual progress. All these aspects of social life are reflected in the writing of this period.

Puritan Age

            The Puritan age was named after the Puritan Movement in England in the 17th century. Puritans were a group of English-speaking Protestants who were dissatisfied with the religious reformation movement carried out during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. This age is also known as the ‘Age of Milton’, because the greatest literary figure ‘John Milton’ was a Puritan. This period is remarkable for the decay of drama and the closing of the theatres in 1642 gave a jolt to the development of drama.

            Puritan Poetry also called Jacobean and Caroline poetry during the reigns of James. I and Charles I respectively can be divided into three Pars –

  • Poetry of School of Spencer
  • Poetry of Metaphysical School
  • Poetry of the Cavalier poet

Poetry of School of Spencer

            The Spenserians were followers of Spencer. They considered Spencer as their master. ‘Phineas Fletcher’, ‘Giles Fletcher’, ‘William Browne’, and ‘Drummond’ are the poet of this age.

Poetry of Metaphysical School

            The term metaphysical may be applied to any poetry, that deals with spiritual or philosophical matters. Among these poets “John Donne” is the most notable. Other Metaphysical poets were – ‘George Hertbert’, Richard Crawshaw’, Henry Vaughan’, Thomas Carew’, ‘Abraham Cowley’, and ‘Andrew Marvell’. The term “Metaphysical Poets” was first used by Samuel Johnson.

Poetry Of The Cavalier Poet

            The Cavalier Poets wrote in the 17th century and supported king Charles I. These poets opposed Metaphysical Poetry. The best known of Cavalier poets are – ‘Robert Herrick’, ‘Richard Lovelace’, ‘Thomas Carew’ and ‘Sir John Suckling’.

Conclusion

            Thus, Renaissance Period ended with the beginning of the Restoration period. It has had a great effect on the development of English Literature. It was an important movement that illuminated the whole of English literature. ‘Paradise Lost’ is the last great triumph of the Renaissance.

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The Challenge of Our Time

The Challenge of Our Time Summary By E. M. Forster

Introduction

“The Challenge of Our Time” is a beautiful and instructive essay nicely written by E. M. Forster, who is known as a great novelist, essaying, philosopher, short story writer, and social reformer of the modern history of English literature. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class differences and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Among his famous novels included,

  • A Passage To India
  • Where Angles Fear to Tread
  •  Howards End
  •  A Room with a View

            Forster also wrote two great volumes of the collective essays ‘Two Cheers For Democracy’ and ‘Abinger Harvest’. The present essay ‘The Challenge of Our Time’ has been extracted from ‘Two Cheers For Democracy’.

Analysis Of The Challenge Of Our Time

            The essay ‘The Challenge of Our Time’ is first given in the form of a talk by Forster in a seminar where writers, artists, and intellectuals assembled to discuss the challenge of the time. The writer and artist were greatly influenced by science and technology in human life. E. M. Forster defended his discussion of these problems by saying that an artist supposed to care for man cannot remain indifferent to such problems.

            E. M. Forster started this essay with a statement that,

            “Temperamentally, I am an individualist.
             Professionally I am a writer and my books
            emphasize the importance of personal
            relationship and the private life,
            for I believe in them.”

            As an individualist, he understands the problem faced by the world. Through this essay, he describes the problem ‘The Struggle of the Spirit to cope with the modern world,’ which according to him is the greatest challenge, faced by mankind.

            After witnessing the terrible period between the two world wars, Forster looks back at the Victorian era which was really a wonderful period. It was a period of generosity and humanism, in which education was given a lot of importance. But the problem with Victorian education was that it did not make people understand their economic position. When money came in the form of fat dividends, people never realized that the poor were being exploited for them to get so much money.

 “The poor have kicked.
 The backward races are
 kicking – and more
 power to their boots.”

            In the modern Age, however, dividends have been reduced to almost nothing. The poor and the backward classes no longer allow themselves to be exploited. Therefore, in order to face this challenge, we must combine the old values with the ‘New Economy’. According to Forster ‘Laissez – Faire’ (Free Trade) will not work in today’s world. In the present day, planning has to be done not merely for the body, but for the spirit.

            Forster feels that every artist has a task to perform while facing the challenge of our time. Artists must be free to voice their views. Their aim must be to provide art for art’s sake and not for moral and social purposes. In other words, Forster says that art is the greatest inspiration for mankind. It frees his mind from the problems caused by the modern age.

The intellectual is definitely closer to humanity than the scientist. This is because the scientist is under a lot of pressure and control. He is isolated by mankind and does not get a chance to come closer to society. Forster says that scientists must respect the individual’s thoughts and feelings, though their scientific inventions for the benefit of society in general. Only when individual feelings are given importance can we face the challenge of our time.

Conclusion

            Thus, at the end of this essay, E. M. Forster says about Scientists,

“It is high time he
 came out of his
 ivory laboratory.
 We want him to plan
 for our bodies. We do
 not want him to plan
 for our minds.”

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