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BEGC-103: Indian Writing in English

BEGC-103: Indian Writing in English

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BEGC-103 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Indian Writing in English, you have come to the right place. BEGC-103 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAEGH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BEGC-103/2022-23

Course Code: BEGC-103

Assignment Name: Indian Writing in English

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Maximum Marks: 100


Attempt all questions. All questions carry equal marks.


Q.I) Explain the reference to the context of the following: 4 x 5 = 20


(i) The new poets still quoted

The old poets, but no one spoke

In verse

Of the pregnant woman

Drowned, with perhaps twins in her,

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘A River’ by AK Ramanujan describes the coldness of new poets towards the harsh reality of the things that they romanticize. The poet also expresses his worry about the tradition of new poets replicating the concepts and techniques of established poets and their failure to produce work that is more focused on the present than the past. The speaker's issue with poets is made more apparent in the third stanza of "A River," where he discusses the similarities and differences between "ancient poets" and "new poets."


Both mentioned the flooding while omitting the tragedy that followed. To make matters worse, it's likely that the new poets just replicated what the old ones had done. There was no evolution in terms of style or theme. The speaker states in the fifth and sixth lines of this that it is possible that the deceased mother was going to give birth to twins, increasing the number of lives lost. This is a pretty interesting contrast to the original flooding of the river. The water's purpose is to fertilise the soil and enable the growth of the following crop. As life is generated, it is also destroyed.


The pain and suffering of the people—of the drowning of the pregnant woman who may have had twins growing inside of her but perished before they were born—were never expressed in verse by these poets. For starters, this poem is a welcome attempt to convey the poet's empathy for the afflicted and the grieving. It deftly conveys his compassion for them. Therefore, it is an accurate depiction of the people's unjust suffering at the hands of ruthless and uncontrollable Doomsters, who frequently pour hardships and misery on humanity.


The poem is more about poetry than it is about a river. The poets largely adhere to literary norms rather than writing about the "truth" of the river, about how it changes shape and size, what is exposed when it dries up, and what it carries away during the floods. The modern poets use the older poets' words and continue to write only about a flooded river. Even then, they avoid mentioning the pregnant woman who drowned or the animals that the water carried away.


(ii) Fed on God for years

All her feasts were monotonous

For the only dish was always God

And the rest mere condiments.

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Blood’ by Kamala Das. She discusses the passing of old things, systems, and traditions to make room for new ones in her poem. Her nostalgia for the old house and for the great grandmother who lived there and gave it an enduring character is clearly conveyed in the poem, which is touchingly autobiographical.


The great-grandmother was quite straightforward. She was a devout woman whose sole inspiration came from God. Because God was the only dish she ate at these feasts, they were monotonous. Any meals she prepared for a feast were simply intended to be used as toppings. The poet is trying to convey that the great-grandmother was so focused on God that she found no meaning in celebrations or special dishes. This is an example of the austere and straightforward life that the lady of the house frequently led in the past.


Literally speaking, it represents her family's distant ancestry and ancient blood, of which her great grandmother was a living example. The great grandmother was a devout Christian who had "fed on God for years" and was incredibly proud of the virility of her ancestors' blood. But she was really worried about the old house's potential destruction. The grandma is humorously and detachedly described as having "fed on God for years."


(iii) May the sins of your previous birth

Be burned away tonight, they said

May your suffering decrease

The misfortunes of your next birth, they said

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘Night of the Scorpion’ by Nissim Ezekiel. The poet describes a childhood experience through this poem.


The people hoped that either the scorpion would cease or that the sins of the mother's first delivery would be washed away that night in order to lessen the sufferings of her second birth. In this way, they claimed, the total amount of evil might be balanced in this fantastical world. They referred to the world as being unreal since everything is transient and there is a continuous cycle of births and deaths. They prayed to God specifically that the poison would purify her flesh.


The mother, who was wailing in anguish, was surrounded by them. They believed she had neared her end because of the peacefulness. As additional neighbours entered the house carrying lights and lanterns, the number of insects also increased, and the rain persisted, the situation became exceedingly critical.


The poet's father was a sceptic and a rationalist who attempted to heal the mother using powders, mixes, and herbs. However, he also tried blessings and prayers because the circumstance was so trying. He burned the little toe by pouring some paraffin over it. The priest, who had also arrived at the scene, was also pacifying the poison with religious rites. After twenty hours, the sting finally subsided. After being healed, the mother thanked God for choosing her and sparing her children over her children.


The poem "Night of the Scorpion" by Nissim Ezekiel recounts the poet's own memories of his youth. He was unable to do anything and was forced to watch as his mother was stung by a scorpion. He explains that the scorpion entered because of the intense rain and hid under a bag of rice. Ezekiel describes the time of the sting using alliteration: "Parting with his poison."


The villagers' religious convictions are well expressed in the sentences above. The past and future lives, crimes being forgiven, evil being lessened, and the belief that the poison will "purify" the woman's flesh and spirit are all mentioned. Ezekiel tells how they surrounded his mother and how he could see in their looks "the tranquilly of understanding."


(iv) O Bird of Time, say where do you learn

The changing measures you sing?

In blowing forests and breaking tides

In the happy laughter of new made brides,

Ans) The above lines are taken from ‘The Bird of Time’ by Sarojini Naidu. In this poetry, time is portrayed as a bird, and the speaker asks the bird what it sings when it is joyful and dejected. It appears that the poet's fate is determined by the song the bird sings, and the majority of them are not singing for joy. It's possible to think of the bird as the one who determines her fate.


Time as a bird helps us comprehend this moment's fleeting nature. It almost starts to taste better. Time is a wanderer, unconstrained by our aspirations and desires, just like birds, and we shouldn't expect it to stand still. The pictures of daily life that appear throughout the poem portray time as the boundary around life, yet nothing can hold it back. It nearly seems as though time is a keeper of life; it does not control its quality but sees to its renewal and rejuvenation.


She wonders how the bird acquired the ability to sing in both high and low base pitches. The notes' high and low pitches are compared to life's happy and depressing situations. She makes assumptions about the locations where the bird of time would have studied music. She claims that the turbulent tides or the windy forests could have taught it how to play music. The bird now sings in a melancholy tone as a result of these natural disasters.

According to her, the joyful notes of the song would be inherited from the newlywed brides' joyful laughter, the nests that hold the young children who have just emerged into the world, the dawn that is amazed at a mother's fervent prayer, or the consoling night that absorbs a person's state of desperation.


Sarojini Naidu wrote this poem as a means of expressing her disdain for the course that fate had taken in her life. She claims that despite knowing both happy and sad songs, the bird (fate) has chosen to sing only the sad ones. We might conclude that she had had some upheaval in her life and that she was unable to get past it due to fate.


Q.II) What is novel? Discuss its various aspects. 20

Ans) A novel can be broadly defined as a work of prose fiction that dramatizes life using people and circumstances. It depicts a certain facet of human experiences and cultivates a setting that is frequently captivating and true to life. The ability to appeal to all readers is how to judge a great book. Even if it is fictional or unreal, it is realistic.


The aspects of the novel are as follows:


Theme: A novel's theme serves as its main idea. Every book has a central theme or themes. The story's argument or central concern is its theme. It is neither the storey nor the plot. The author of a novel does not declare, "This is my theme, and I am going to write a storey," though. Instead, a thought enters the mind, sprouts like a seed, and is then weaved into a narrative with a plot and characters.


Plot: The plot serves as the story's structure. There is a start, middle, and end to it. It advances with the aid of the individuals, occasions, and acts. A plot and a subplot are possible in a novel. But they don't function separately. They eventually connect to the main theme in some way.


Characterization: We refer to a character's ability to affect us and stick in our memories as being powerfully characterised. Characters from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist or Thomas Hardy's Tess from Tess of the D’Urberville are both notable. A character develops gradually as the novel goes on, and as we read, we learn more about him or her. We even merge with them, sharing our emotions with them as they experience both success and failure. The success of the art of characterization hinges upon this.


Point-of-View: It refers to a story's presentation. It is the point of view from which the author presents his or her characters that determines how they behave and what happens to them. The storey can be narrated in a variety of ways. A character may recount his or her storey in the first person. It's referred to as first-person narration. Here, it's important to keep in mind that he or she is a fictional character used to tell the tale. The author is thought to be speaking, not the author himself. The first-person narrator describes his experiences identifying with "I." He is the primary eyewitness to his life's events.

The third person narrator, on the other hand, offers an omniscient point of view. He is the agent who describes and directs actions, intentions, and ideas. He is also the one who knows all that will happen in the storey. Either omniscient or constrained third-person perspectives are possible. In limited point of view, the narrator delivers the storey in the third person but only focuses on what one character experiences or feels. In omniscient point of view, the narrator knows everything.


Style: The idiom "style is the man" is well-known. It implies that every writer has an own style. Style refers to the language and expression the author uses to communicate his or her storey. So, diction, or word choice, sentence structure, grammar, and the use of metaphorical language all affect style. The language used reveals the individuals, circumstances, and occurrences. Because the language used must fit the character, an author must be careful when selecting it.


Q.III) Analyze the story and title of A Tiger for Malgudi. 20

Ans) A Tiger for Malgudi by R.K. Narayan appears to have a basic and easy title: A tiger is needed for the town of Malgudi. But the question of why is what draws readers' attention to the title and keeps them reading. The deeper meaning of the title begins to become clearer as the book goes on.


We are aware that Malgudi is a made-up town, a fabrication of the author, and that it could stand in for any town in the world. But the Introduction to this book has R.K. Narayan's own response to this query. He claims that he chose a tiger as the main character of his book to demonstrate that fiction writers might choose to focus on characters other than humans. His main character is not a typical animal; rather, he is a spiritually developed tiger with human senses who can think and feel like people.


In a poetic approach, a book's theme is expressed in the title. It contributes to the overall feeling of the literary piece. Vasu is referred to as a "man-eater" metaphorically in Narayan's earlier book, The Man-Eater of Malgudi, because he puts the lives of the residents of Malgudi in peril. In Narayan's subsequent book, A Tiger for Malgudi, Raja the tiger exhibits more human behaviour than people do after being influenced by the Master. In an effort to go from a lower to a higher plane of existence, he listens to the Master's lectures on The Bhagavat Gita. Raja here represents a soul seeking perfection.


By giving the book its current title, Narayan appears to be implying that the residents of Malgudi require a role model like Raja the tiger in order to mimic and thereby better themselves. Additionally, when the Master and the tiger are leaving Malgudi, they come across a throng that is rioting and fighting bloodily. The crowd rapidly disperses and puts their differences with one another aside when they see the tiger.


The Master then screams out to them:

“If I find you fighting again, I’ll be back to stop it. Take care; you should not need a tiger to keep the peace.” (p. 156)

A similar circumstance occurs elsewhere, and the Master says:

“What our country needs most is a tiger for every village and town to keep people disciplined” (p.155).


Thus, each novel must have a title that is appropriate. Study material for this relationship between the title and the main body of the work is its cyclic, co-evolutionary structure. Examining this relationship reveals the author's goals. Narayan may be implying by using the title that the people of Malgudi require a tiger like Raja to discipline them and put an end to their pointless fights.


Q.IV) Discuss the style and themes of the poems of Nissim Ezekiel with special reference to the poems prescribed in your course. 20

Ans) The style and themes of the poems of Nissim Ezekiel with special reference to the poem – Night of the Scorpion is as follows:



The poem's captivating storytelling and description are enhanced powerful by the use of free verse. Compared to Ezekiel's formal poetry, this poem is much more laid-back and open-worked, with a fresh quality of natural colloquialism in diction and tone:


I remember the night my mother

Was stung by a scorpion. Ten hours

Of steady rain had driven him

To crawl beneath a sack of rice.


The dramatic casualness of the recalled crisis and the lengthy paragraph that departs abruptly from the poem's three-line climax both give "Night of the Scorpion" a fresh feel and look, as well as a feeling of lucid and unhurried passage through time. However, the poet can only partially break free of past tendencies. When we listen closely, we can make out the regular iambic lines insisting on their own rhythm hidden under the free verse arras.


The metrical pulse appears and makes many unpleasant intruders into the relaxed flow of the recently loosening sound:


They clicked their tongues.

With every movement that the scorpion made

His poison moved in mother’s blood, they said.




I watched the holy man perform his rites

To tame the poison with an incantation.


Seven of the forty-eight lines are in pentameter and fifteen are fairly regular tetrameters. Now that Ezekiel is mature enough, the standard iambic metre only exists as an undercurrent. An intriguing juxtaposition between a personal crisis and satirical social observation exists in the poem "Night of the Scorpion." In the poem's final words, a typical Indian mother expresses happiness at the fact that her children were saved, bringing the poem to a happy conclusion.


My mother only said

Thank God the scorpion picked on me

And spared my children.

Nissim Ezekiel



On the surface, it appears to be a storey centred on a poets' personal childhood event. His mother was stung by a scorpion one rainy night in a village when he was a child, and the poem describes that incident. The scorpion was forced "to crawl beneath a sack of rice" by the 10 hours of nonstop rain, where he stung the mother of the character.


On a deeper level, nevertheless, it is a very serious critique of Indian subcontinental life today. The clash of values between the deep, widespread traditional superstition of the illiterate rural folk and the half-baked, urban educated, rational element, represented by the persona's father, and the muted tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic attitude of the persona himself, appears to be one of the poem's most potent themes. The final three lines' concentrated emotion express the strong, emotional topic of maternal affection and the willingness to suffer and make sacrifices for one's offspring, which is so closely associated with our nation's folklore. It is framed in the persona-mind, narrator's retained long after the commotion of the scorpion sting and painkiller interventions were finished.


Q.V) Critically analyze the story Swimming Lessons by Rohinton Mistry. 20

Ans) Through the use of parallel stories, imagery, and strong language, the storey focuses on a number of aspects that are frequently observed in the life of a new immigrant. The narrator of "Swimming Lessons," Kersi Boyce, explains his life in Canada and makes connections to his history and parents, who still reside in Bombay. The narrator meets an elderly guy who is disabled and lives in his building at the start of the storey, and he is reminded of his own grandfather, who is also disabled. Both of the elderly individuals are bedridden and struggle to pass the time. The curious Portuguese woman across the hall is often telling people about the residents of the building anything they want to hear. She tells the narrator that the elderly man was being cared for by his daughter.


The narrator focuses on the sick guy in Toronto and his grandfather in Bombay while the tale jumps back and forth in time and space. Grandpa used to receive excellent care from his mother as well, but things got problematic and he had to be transported to the hospital, he recalls. He can still clearly recall the smallest details of his Grandpa's condition as well as the struggle his mother faced while caring for his Grandpa on her alone. The narrator contributed as well, but he didn't visit the hospital as frequently as he ought to have. Grandpa eventually passed away in the hospital.


His parent's responses to his letters in Bombay are interspersed with the story's Toronto-based narration; these responses are conveyed throughout in italics, making them a subtext tacked on to the main narrative. In addition to taking swimming lessons and composing a book of stories about his life in India, Kersi lives alone in Toronto and finds the surrounding suburbia and its chlorinated pool to be equally strange environments. Mistry deftly interjects commentary on and criticism of his own work throughout this tale. The dialogue between Kersi and his proud but uninformed parents over the book's focus, content, and omissions serves as an interwoven subtext on both the novella and the entire collection. Thus, Mistry combines two distinct short storey traditions: the traditional, semi-autobiographical method that focuses on interconnected tales of childhood and the more contemporary self-reflexive mode, where the purpose of the storey is to remark on itself.


First off, the way the narrative jumps back and forth in the protagonist's thoughts makes it interesting. Mistry does a good job of illustrating the challenges an immigrant confronts when settling into a new urban setting. True signs of culture shock and apprehension about being rejected by a new community can be seen when Kersi's everyday interactions bring up memories or ideas related to her native country. One such occurrence occurs just before his first swimming lesson, when he is starting to second-guess his decision to enrol in the class:


‘It was hopeless. My first swimming lesson. The water terrified me. When did that happen, I wonder, I used to love splashing at Chaupatty, carried about by the waves. And this was only a swimming pool. Where did all that terror come from? I’m trying to remember.’


The transition Kersi is attempting to make from a comfortable environment to a strange one where everything is more dreaded is described in the aforementioned remark. It's noteworthy to note that he frequently describes the Chaupatty Sea as filthy and unpleasant to swim in throughout the narrative. But right now, his dread is so intense that he would rather swim in a dangerous, unclean environment than in a clean, safe one.

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