Summary

A Suitable Boy By Vikram Seth

A Suitable Boy By Vikram Seth | A Suitable Boy Summary & Analysis

A Suitable Boy By Vikram Seth
A Suitable Boy By Vikram Seth

Introduction

            A Suitable Boy is one of the famous Novels of English Literature. So far as ‘A Suitable Boy’ is concerned, it is written by a great Indian Novelist and poet Vikram Seth. It is a story of four families in India in the early 1950s after British occupation has ended and India and Pakistan partition has taken place. Over 1400 pages in length. It is a family saga. Critics praised ‘A suitable Boy’ for its panoramic look into India’s culture norms, as well as its combination of satire and romance. The novel took more than a decade to complete. Due to its length, social scrutiny, and realistic style. A suitable Boy, is often compared to George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

            The novel is, in fact, the idea of arranged marriage that is implied in the title. A great effort is put forth on the part of a family to find a Suitable Boy for their unmarried daughters. The central character of the novel, Lata Mehra question how a woman could marry and live with a man she could not love because she knew nothing about him.

About Vikram Seth

            Vikram Seth is among the most celebrated Indian novelists and poets. He was written several novels and poetry books. He has won several awards such as – Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman’ and Crossword Book Award among his world-famous novel included – A Suitable Boy, An Equal Music, and Two lives. In addition to The Golden gate, Seth has written other works of poetry including – Mapping, The Humble Administrator’s Garder, All You Who Sleep, Tonight, and Three Chinese Poets. His children’s book, Beastly Tales from Here and There consists of 10 stories about animals.

Themes of A Suitable Boy

            A Suitable Boy’s themes include the politics of personal prejudice and forgiveness, conflict amidst social groups and families, changing racial norms, unexpected violence, and inter-generational connectedness. The idea comes from the Indian tradition of arranging marriages for eligible young girls with several points that comprise the ideal math.

            First, the boy must be of the same religion as the girl. This becomes the main hind race between Lata, a  Hindu, and Kabir, a Muslim. The only way they could have married was to elope and marry without their parent’s permission.

            Another consideration is the caste or social standing of the boy and his family. Much of that is based on appearances.

Central Character of A Suitable Boy

            Lata is the central character of the novel. She is the younger daughter of Mrs. Rupa Mehra, a widow. She is first seen at the wedding of her sister Savita to Pran Kapoor. Lata is a student at university. She has a quick mind and is quite an idea of an arranged marriage like that of her sister where the couple knows nothing at all about each other. Her attitude is typical of the young Indian population after the separation of India and British. Although Lata is free to go to the university and shopping with friends unaccompanied, she recognizes that there is still limitations placed on girls that are not placed on boys.

The setting of The Novel

            The novel is set in the early 1950s. This was an eventful period for independence from the Britishers in 1947 and resolved several massive Hindu-Muslim conflicts that resulted in the new country of Pakistan being established. It is set in Brahmpur, India, a fictional town.

Summary Of A Suitable Boy

            A Suitable Boy concerns the fortunes and trials of four elite families over the course of 18 months: the Mehras, The Kapoors, The Chatterji, and The Khans. It especially focuses on the plight of 19-year-old Lata Mehra a talented student at the local Brahmpur University. Throughout the Saga, Lata must decide if she is willing to marry the young Muslim man Kabir Durrani. She loves and thus defies her stern, wealthy Hindu mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra. While arranged marriages have been the norm across India for dozen of generations, in the more secular and learned society led by Jawaharlal Nehru, Lata is starting to feel that she can choose for herself who her husband would be.

            Lata recently saw her sister Savita, marry an up-and-coming professor at the local university. His name is Pran Kapoor and Rupa Mehra blessed the marriage only because Pran comes from a well–respected and wealthy family. Privately, Lata questions whether the two will ever be truly happy as they were forced into a marriage without ever getting to know one another.

Lata knows that Kabir, the Muslim man she loves, isn’t A Suitable Boy according to her mother and that the two will never be allowed to wed, still, she can’t stop feeling a great passion for Kabir. He is incredibly handsome and kind, and he has inherited great intelligence from his father Dr. Durrani, who is highly accomplished in mathematics at the university. Better still, Kabir is also a star on the university cricket team. Lata’s older brother Arun is married to Meenakshi, the daughter of a prosperous Muslim family, but Lata is all to aware that she is not afford the same privileges as a man, for a woman to choose to marry across religious lines is unprecedented.

            Only one day, one of Rupa’s spies reports to her that Kabir and Lata have been walking around Brahmpur University in public. Rupa is scandalized at this news – if word got out that her daughter consorted with Muslims, no prominent Hindu family would want to talk with her. To keep Lata away from Kabir, Rupa hastily plans a trip to Calcutta which is a hundred miles southeast of Brahmpur.

            In Calcutta, Rupa Mehra sets her daughter up with various Hindu boys who she deems worthy of their caste. Lata’s mother digs up are absolute duds. Not all of them are awful. Amit Chatterji, a well-known poet, and the writer gets along well with the worldly and cultured Lata but is probably gay. However, Amit’s father is a prominent judge and his mother is a polished socialite. Lata is also set up with Harsh a Hindu man who really likes her and whom she deems tolerable but slightly bring. He owns a thriving shoe company.

            In the background of Lata’s marital decision is the foreground for the rest of the world politics. There is a great controversy throughout the country when a Mosque is to be built near a Hindu holy site. After several riots, the project is abandoned. Various family members are also caught up in different political happenings, including the movement for equal rights for the Untouchables and the ending of the Zamindar System. Within the Kapoor family, the main conflict is that the youngest son, Maan Kapoor, has fallen in love with an infamous prostitute name Saeeda Bai.

            As the story concludes, Lata Mehra finally makes her decision. She will not marry Kabir. Instead, she marries another Suitable Boy – Someone who is good enough, but not someone she’s in love with Haresh.

Conclusion

            Thus, the novel A Suitable Boy is a Satiral examination of national political issues during the years leading to the post-independence national elections of 1952. The Hindu-Muslim strife case discrimination land reforms, the decline of feudal princes and landlords, and many such prevalent social issues are dealt with in the novel.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

Varsha Singh

A Suitable Boy By Vikram Seth | A Suitable Boy Summary & Analysis Read More »

The Republic By Plato

Plato Republic Summary | The Republic By Plato Summary

The Republic By Plato

Introduction

          The Republic is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC. There has been much debate over when the dialogue might have taken place. It has been said that it may have taken place around the ‘Peloponnesian War’ (460BC). The Republic is Plato’s best known treatise and has been shown over time to be one of the most influential works of philosophy and theory of politics that has ever been written. The book is divided into 10 Books.

            The first book deals with the subject of justice, in the next two book Plato expounds his theory of Ideal State, the fourth and fifth books deal with the relationship between things and ideas, between the sensitive things and ideas, between the sensitive and supersensitive world, book six and seven describe the theory of knowledge, the eight and ninth books about the state and the family and last book examines the idea of the immortality of the soul with the Myth of Er.

About Plato

            Plato is widely considered to be the most fundamental philosopher in the history of the Western Civilization. He was a Greek philosopher born in Athens during the classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the first institution of higher learning on the European continent. He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle. Plato was much influenced by Socrates, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Pythagoreans. Plato’s main contributions are in Philosophy, Mathematics and Science. Plato was the author of more than 60 book, among them The Republic, Allegory of The Cave, The Symposium, Great Dialogues of Plato, Timaeus and Critias, and Apology are world famous.

            Indeed, in his works, Plato sets out most of the major theme western philosophy has focused on, including – Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics and Politics.

Themes of “The Republic”

            The Republic is about Justice means the main theme of this book is Justice. In this dialogue Plato undertakes to show what Justice is and why it is best for each person.

About Title

               The title Republic is derived from Latin being attributed to Cicero, who called it De re publica (On Public Affairs) Or even Derepublica. The Republic is considered an integral part of the utopian literary genre. The second title Peri dikaiou may have been included later.

Summary Of “The Republic”

            The Republic is considered by many academics to be the greatest philosophical text even written, being the most studied book in top Universities. Martin Luther King said The Republic would be the only book he would take to a desert island with the Bible.

            Socrates arrives at the house of Cephalus, where he begins the discussion about old age and parents his own model of happiness and justice. Polemarchus also expresses his opinion on justice and justice as a duty, to do good for friends and evil for enemies. Thrasymachus express his opinion on political justice, arguing that justice is practically the utility of those who are stronger. Socrates intervenes by saying that justice is a virtue of the soul, as Socrates says, thus contradicting Thrasymachus who sees injustice as a virtue.

            Socrates Ideal City depends on education, specialization, and social structures that define family, behavior, and loyalty to the city. Each person will specialize in a specific occupation, an occupation that is chosen for them by the city based on their aptitudes and abilities as children. Education, especially of the guardians who will function as guards or Soldiers as well as ruler, is the key to the success of the city.

“Body exercise, when compulsory does no harm to the body;
 but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”

            Socrates turns to the question of who should rule the city, in support of his claims that a philosopher is the best ruler. Socrates explains that the soul is made of three parts, the rational, the appetitive, and the spirit. Only philosophers are able to truly love knowledge and truth, and only they recognize truth. Socrates presents the allegory of the cave. Imagine, he says, a cave, where men are chained in the dark and think that the shadows they see on the wall are a reality, until one of them escapes into the sunlight and sees the physical world. The freed prisoner later returns and tries to teach the other about the nature of truth.

            The philosopher is the best ruler because he understands that the objects of the physical world are copies, imitations, of the ideal forms in the world of ideas. The philosopher, because he understands the forms, has a greater understanding of everything. Consequently, the guardians must be educated in philosophy, as well as mathematics and logic. Only the best of the guardians will become philosopher kings. Socrates describes four kinds of cities, and the four kinds of people are equivalent to the cities, ending with the worst, the tyrant.

            The last book discusses poetry and imitation. The poet, and art in general, imitates sensitive objects, so they generate an illusion based on hidden passions that contaminate the soul and make them bad citizens. Therefore, such artists would be banned in the ideal city, but the dithyrambs and epics must be preserved. Finally, he exposes the Myth of Er, in Pamphylia, who was found dead after a battle but was resurrected at the funeral home because he had been ordered by supreme Judges to be the messenger of the future. The purity of the soul can be obtained only after it has freed itself from the limitations of the human body, deserving only then the reward after death.

Conclusion

            To sum up, we can say that The Republic is mostly an elaboration of the ideal state, the beautiful city, Kallipolis. In this work, Plato attempted to design an ideal society and government that were free of injustice and conflict. Plato also discusses the meaning of justice and soul. The Republic describes a way through which a just and philosophical governance can create happiness.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

Plato Republic Summary | The Republic By Plato Summary Read More »

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal By William Wordsworth

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal
A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal By William Wordsworth

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal Poem

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

Introduction

            A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal is one of the five Lucy poems written by the great romantic poet William Wordsworth. It was first published in the volume Lyrical Ballads that Wordsworth co-authored with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This volume was written in 1798 and published in 1800. This is a poem about Wordsworth’s deep love for his beloved and his reaction to her sudden and untimely death.

            Wordsworth had experienced some harsh realities of life like the French Revolution, the War between France and England, etc., hence this poem holds the spirit of Escapism from city life to the elemental nature which, for the poet, is an ideal place. Through this poem, Wordsworth describes an appreciation of life beyond death.

About William Wordsworth

          William Wordsworth was one of the founders of English Romanticism. He was born in Cockermouth, Cumbria on April 7, 1770. P. B. Shell another great poet of romanticism called him Poet of Nature. Wordsworth along with Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads in 1798 in which he defined poetry as,

“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling.”

            Imagination, Nature, Subjectivity, and Humanism are the basic theme of Wordsworth’s poetry. During his long poetic career, he wrote a large number of poems among which – Tintern Abbey, The Daffodils, The Solitary Reaper, Lucy Poems, and Lyrical Ballads are well known. Like all great romantic poetry, his poetry is a record of his inner experiences.

Structure Of The Poem

            A Slumber did my Spirit seal is a short two-stanza poem made up of two quatrains, or sets of four lines. The rhyme scheme of this beautiful poem is ABAB CDCD which gives it an even more enchanting touch. The second and fourth line of each stanza contains six syllables, while the first and third contains eight.

The Theme of the Poem

            In the poem, A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, the poet expresses his views after the death of his beloved. He is deeply grieved and troubled by the death of his beloved. He is deeply grieved and troubled by the depth of his beloved. He has gone numb but in his numbness, he realizes that he needs to move on and accept his fate. He realizes that death is inevitable and he needs to accept the fact that his beloved is no more.

            He shows the readers understand that even after death, his beloved or all our beloved dead people are alive as a part of nature. They are free from worldly affairs and are immortal.

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal Poem Analysis

            In the first stanza, the poet says that he has put to rest his conscience and thus has no Human Fears. Human fears mean the fear of losing property, belongings, and life. Now having given up all such things that give birth to human fears he has now attained peace in nature. The poet talks about Lucy who is according to the poet, beyond the prison of life and has attained death.

            She does not feel the earthly time and earthly years have become timeless for her. Thus she is immortal now and it is Lucy because of whom the poet has attained fearlessness from earthly fears.

            In the second stanza, Wordsworth says that being immortal, she has no movement or energy. She neither does hear something nor sees. She has become part of the earth and is rolling with it as it turns from day to night and vice versa.

            Lucy is in her grave, covered with soil, and is under the shade of the trees. Thus the poet considers her to be in the lap of nature which is an ideal place. By narrating the story of the immortal Lucy, he appreciates the fearlessness of death which is not the root cause of human sorrows and worries.

Conclusion

            Thus, through the poem A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal Wordsworth desires that he should attain the same peace as Lucy after becoming part of nature. Wordsworth describes becoming a part of nature and for becoming, so death is a must.

            So, William Wordsworth conveys the message that Death is Inevitable. Nobody is beyond the reach of death.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal By William Wordsworth Read More »

Glory At Twilight

Glory At Twilight Summary | Glory At Twilight By Bhabani Bhattacharya

Glory At Twilight
Glory At Twilight By Bhabani Bhattacharya

Introduction

            Glory At Twilight is a famous short story written by an Indian writer Bhabani Bhattacharya. It is the story of Satyajit an honest and hard-working man. The Author depicts the harsh reality of how failure is faster and more powerful than success. It can take years to build on an honest reputation and gain prosperity, but failure never gives a warning before it strikes and takes down those years of hard work. The story explains how difficult it is to adjust to failure after being a glorious achiever.

About Bhabani Bhattacharya

            Bhabani Bhattacharya was a famous Indian writer, who wrote social realist fiction. He was born in Bhagalpur, part of the Bengal Presidency in British India. He gained a Bachelor’s degree from Patna University and a doctorate from the University of London. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award in 1967. Among his famous literary works included –

  • So Many Hungers!
  • Music for Mohini
  • He Who Rides a Tiger
  • A Goddess Name Gold
  • Shadow from Ladakh
  • A Dream is Hawaii

Analysis Of Story

            The story begins with the description of a slow-moving, narrow–gauge Indian train. Satyajit the protagonist of this story was a passenger on that train. He was tall thin and nearly forty years old man. He wore smart glasses to hide the hated glare in his eyes. With the sudden collapse of his bank, all his private property was gone overnight. He had lost all his equities, the house on Tagore street, and two cars. Therefore he had to travel on that wretched train. His wife was away with her parents in Delhi. She was unaware of the extent of his ruin.

If the success had come fast failure had come faster.”

            Satyajit received the news of the birth of his child. Satyajit sold off his diamond ring to send his wife money for the name-giving ceremony. He was born in a humble village. Satyajit had struggled hard to attain that height. He was appointed as a clerk in a bank. It was all about a forged cheque for Rs. 2000/-. The man who presented the cheque looked frightened. His hand shook because the cheque was a forged one. The man was caught by Satyajit. He admitted that he had committed forgery because his wife was suffering from Tuberculosis. He had to forge the cheque to collect money to buy medicine. By detecting this case the clerk became an accountant.

            Just before his journey, he received a letter, which was about the wedding of his Srinath Uncle’s fifth daughter Beena. That was to take place on the 20th of that month. Satyajit was presented in the marriage of the other daughters.

            Srinath was Satyajit’s neighbor in Shantipur village. There was no blood relation between them. Satyajit made up his mind to go to Santipur to attend the marriage ceremony. He would also avail himself the chance to take at his ancestral house and fishpond. He liked to give them to his wife as his last gift. So he intimated to Uncle Srinath that he would attend the marriage.

            At the platform, the crowd came rushing toward Satyajit as he stepped down from the train. They welcomed him with a small girl garlanding him. Satyajit was given a warm welcome. He was called the Glory of the Motherland. In the village, a group of ladies came forward to wash his feet. But Srinath wanted Beena to wash his feet. He smiled, and touched her hair in the gesture of blessing and wished that groom to be worthy of Beena. Other daughters Kamini, Damini, and Sahashi sit near him fanning with palm-leaf fans.

            Satyajit was praised by Beena’s mother who said that her daughter would have still been unmarried has he not helped them.

            Satyajit has Rs. 200 in total. He decided to give Rs. 101/-. He wanted to save Rs. 50/- to buy a perambulator for his newborn son.

            Satyajit went around the village meeting the elders through the rest of the day. He fondly visited his house and let out to a tenant. The groom’s party arrived in ox carts. Satyajit wanted to give Rs. 101/-. Srinath requested him to give Rs 2001/- towards cash dowry. Satyajit wanted to tell about his misery to Srinath but he could not get a chance to tell it.

Srinath wanted if someone in the village would advance a loan. Srinath came back and said that Harish, the moneylender would give the but he needed security, as he was doubtful of the repayment. Groom’s father would break off the marriage unless cash was paid before the ceremony started. Satyajit decided to give Rs. 151/-.

            Srinath told that Harish was willing to pay against the security of his house and fishpond. Srinath came with folded hands before Satyajit in order to overcome the daughter’s crises. Satyajit agreed to the condition and the problem was solved. The villagers hated the moneylender Harish for his activities. The story presents the greatness of Satyajit.

Conclusion

            Thus, Bhabani Bhattacharya on one hand depicted the glory Satyajit used to cherish earlier and his situation after his economic downfall. On another hand, it was also the case of the dowry system, which should be tackled with ironed hand. This shows the greed, lust, and wantonness of our society. So now we can say that The Glory At Twilight is the best work of Bhabani Bhattacharya.  

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized English Literature Notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

Glory At Twilight Summary | Glory At Twilight By Bhabani Bhattacharya Read More »