Right from the publication of his first major work “The Selfish Gene Theory”, Richard Dawkins is never free of controversy. While Dawkins is impeccable as a scholar and an academic, most of his detractors are from the religious and conservative sections of the population. Over the years, Dawkins’ works on evolutionary biology have drawn equally vociferous applause and protest. The last in the sequence of his seminal works is “The God Delusion”. In this book, Dawkins strings . . . Read More
Kate Chopin in her short yet gripping story The Storm explores a plethora of turbulent emotions of the protagonists in the backdrop of an unexpected storm. Though dubbed a sequel to her earlier work “At the Cadian Ball” (1892) it shares little resemblance to Calixta’s daring. All through, there is an undercurrent of nascent feminism. The tale is more of a reflection of sexually oppressed women of the 19th century under male dominion, woman rediscovering their feminine urge, the right over their bodies and relations they choose to have.
Every literary work is a statement by the author and a statement about the author at the same time. An analysis of the short story cannot be separated from an analysis of the author’s social, temporal and political circumstances. Chopin’s revolutionary tendencies could be attributed to her disillusionment with the American ruling class, in which she was born into (Skaggs). The fact that she lost . . . Read More
The Wound Dresser is an intimate, graphic and deeply moving expression of the act of nursing the sick and dying. The poem is remarkable for its lack of exaggerated portrayals of pain and suffering. Yet, the attention to detail, the depiction of images, etc. are very sophisticated for a poem written in the nineteenth century. In other words, The Wound Dresser is a description of what Walt Whitman deemed significant to the nursing profession at the time of the poem’s composition. He . . . Read More
Uzodinma Iweala’s critically acclaimed novel “Beasts of No Nation” is set a West African country. This unnamed country is in political and civil turmoil. The protagonist in the novel is the child soldier Agu, who is compelled to join the militia amid chaos, fear and uncertainty. Iweala adopts a social-realistic narrative approach in portraying the human condition in a war situation. Though it is a work of fiction, the novel brings to light the harsh political conditions in third world countries.
The character of Agu is a representation of all the . . . Read More
The Samsa family around the fantastic insect is nothing else than mediocrity surrounding genius. Gregor Samsa (pronounced Zamza), the protagonist, has for his parents Flaubertian philistines. They are generally interested in the material side of life and have poor tastes in other regards. About five years back, father Samsa loses all his money, which forces son Samsa to work as a traveling salesman in cloth for one of his father’s creditors. The full responsibility of the family falls on young . . . Read More
The Antigone has been one of the most enduring as well as popular of Greek tragedies. Though the series of events on which the plot is founded — the determination of Antigone to submit her life rather than neglect her customary duties — appeals less forcibly to contemporary than to ancient sentiment, yet the general thrust of the play, the conflict between human law and the ethic of the . . . Read More
There is a widely held consensus that postmodernism is a reaction to modernism and hence concerns itself only with “otherness”, “difference” and “identity”. High modernism is rarely occupied with the experiences of the cultural minorities and nor does it involve critical analyses of their experiences. People in the margin regard the links between their sense of community and postmodernism as very feeble. It is impossible for the group in the margin to consciously associate its discourse with the other dominating group that does not seem keen to associate. Though postmodernism still has the potential to be an effective liberating space for the subjugated, it is seldom used for this end (McGuigan 98).
One key aspect of the visual aesthetic of the black community is that of the body. The notions . . . Read More
The main focus of the story is on the moral dilemmas confronting the young boy Sarty, who is torn apart between his loyalty to his violent and anti-social father and the tendency to abide by the norms of the society at large. But, around that scaffold, Faulkner builds his statements depicting serious discords within the American society. These aspects of the story are easy to miss if we pay attention only to the central theme of the story. There is also a tendency on part of a reader not to delve into uncomfortable issues and concepts. The remainder of the essay is an attempt to bring to the reader’s notice those apparently peripheral and implicit messages about the social realities of this era in American history. Though the story was set in the last decades of the 19th century, Faulkner wrote it following the Great Depression. So bringing to awareness the oppressive labor . . . Read More
The Suicide Note poem, written by Janice Mirikitani, is about a young Asian-American female college student who commits suicide by jumping out of her dormitory window. The last words, thoughts and feelings were recorded in the suicide note she leaves behind. This note, written in the form of a poem, allows the reader to see what induces an individual to take his/her own life. The poem describes the line of thinking of a despaired college girl, who relentlessly feels that she is not good enough. Mirikitani presents the poem in the form of a suicide note written by the poor girl to her parents. This was a heartbreaking incident that should never have happened in the first place. So, what is it that pushed this girl student over the edge? Whose fault is it? Where to place the blame? This essay aims to look into these angles and offer an analysis.
This suicidal girl has a perfectionist streak in her, which compels her to be highly critical of herself. She also seems to . . . Read More