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BEGC-106: Popular Literature

BEGC-106: Popular Literature

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for BEGC-106 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Popular Literature, you have come to the right place. BEGC-106 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in BAEGH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BEGC-106/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BEGC-106

Assignment Name: Popular Literature

Year: 2023-24

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Section A

Write short notes in about 100 words each.

Q1i) Kitsch

Ans) Kitsch refers to art, objects, or design that are considered to be in poor taste, overly sentimental, or gaudy. It often involves the use of clichéd and superficial elements to appeal to popular or commercial tastes. Kitsch is characterized by its lack of originality and artistic value, often relying on mass production and imitation. While it is typically associated with art and decorative items, kitsch can also extend to music, literature, and other forms of cultural expression. Some people appreciate kitsch for its nostalgic or campy qualities, while others dismiss it as lacking in genuine artistic merit. It is a term often used to critique what is seen as inauthentic or insincere in the world of aesthetics.

Q1ii) Ekstatis

Ans) "Ekstasis," a term borrowed from ancient Greek, refers to a state of ecstasy or an altered state of consciousness where an individual experiences a profound and often mystical connection with something beyond themselves. It can be a spiritual or transcendent experience, often associated with intense emotions, rapture, or even a sense of divine presence. In literature and art, ekstasis is a recurring theme and motif, illustrating the moments of heightened emotion, spiritual awakening, or profound inspiration. It has been explored in works ranging from the poetry of Rumi to the paintings of the Romantic era, where artists sought to capture these moments of ecstasy and transcendence.

Q1iii) Bildungsroman

Ans) A Bildungsroman is a genre of novel that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood. It is often referred to as a "coming-of-age" novel. The term is of German origin, with "Bildung" meaning education and "Roman" meaning novel. In a Bildungsroman, readers follow the central character's journey as they experience significant personal development, self-discovery, and maturation. This literary subgenre often examines the difficulties, setbacks, and teaching opportunities that the protagonist faces while negotiating the intricacies of the adult world, which ultimately leads to the protagonist's personal development and the gain of wisdom.

Q1iv) Postmodernism

Ans)Postmodernism is a complex and multifaceted cultural, artistic, and intellectual movement that emerged in the mid-20th century. It represents a reaction against the rationalism and order of modernism. Postmodernism is characterized by a rejection of grand narratives, an embrace of eclecticism, and a blurring of boundaries between high and low culture. It often explores themes of fragmentation, irony, pastiche, and the deconstruction of established norms and traditions. The traditional concepts of reality, truth, and identity have all been put to the test by postmodernism, which has had a profound influence on many different fields, including literature, art, architecture, and philosophy.

Section B

Answer the following in about 350 words each.

Q1) Discuss the chess motif as central to the understanding of Through the Looking Glass.

Ans) In Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There," the chess motif plays a central and intricate role. The entire narrative of "Through the Looking-Glass" is framed as a giant chess game, with Alice herself serving as a pawn in the game.

Structural Parallel:

The novel's structure mirrors that of a chessboard. Alice starts at one end of the chessboard, and her goal is to reach the opposite end to become a queen. The book consists of alternating squares, much like the alternating black and white squares on a chessboard. This structural parallel adds a layer of complexity to the narrative, with each chapter corresponding to a specific square on the board.

Chess Pieces as Characters:

Various characters in Wonderland are associated with specific chess pieces. The White Queen, the White King, the Red Queen, and the Red King all resemble chess royalty. The characters function as chess pieces that Alice interacts with, and their movements are dictated by the rules of chess, even though they often display whimsical and irrational behaviour.

Movement and Progress:

The novel's narrative progression is governed by the rules of chess. Alice advances through the ranks and files, encountering different characters and challenges along the way. Her journey from pawn to queen is symbolic of her growth and maturation. It reflects the idea that life itself can be seen as a journey, and our progress is often hindered or helped by the rules are followed and the obstacles are encountered.

Chess Strategies and Logic:

Carroll weaves elements of chess strategy and logic throughout the story. Alice finds herself in puzzling situations that often require a keen sense of logic, much like the problem-solving required in a game of chess. The famous Tweedledum and Tweedledee poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" include a logic problem similar to a chess puzzle, challenging readers to think critically.

Symbolism of the Chessboard:

The chessboard becomes a symbol of the contrasting and often arbitrary nature of Wonderland. In chess, the rules are fixed and rational, but in Wonderland, the rules are constantly changing and absurd. This contrast underscores the surreal and dreamlike quality of Alice's adventures.

The Queen's Transformation:

Alice's transformation into a queen is a central moment in the novel. It symbolizes her journey from childhood to maturity. The chessboard serves as a metaphor for her progression through life's stages and the challenges she encounters on the way.

Q2) Comment on the relationship between Gender and Space in the context of Arije’s school in Funny Boy.

Ans) In Shyam Selvadurai's novel "Funny Boy," the relationship between gender and space, particularly in the context of Arjie's school experiences, is a central theme that underscores the impact of societal norms, expectations, and biases on individuals' lives.

Gendered Spaces:

The novel explores how spaces are often heavily gendered in Sri Lankan society. Arjie's school, like many other institutions, reinforces strict gender roles and expectations. Boys and girls are segregated into separate areas within the school, both physically and socially. This division of spaces reflects the broader patriarchal structure in the society.

Schoolyard Politics:

Arjie's experiences in his all-boys' school provide a microcosm of the broader societal norms related to gender. In the schoolyard, boys engage in hierarchical power struggles to assert their masculinity. This is seen through games like "bride-bride" and the mockery of boys who do not conform to traditional masculine ideals. These gendered dynamics reveal the societal pressure on boys to conform to expected behaviours.

Fluidity in Gender and Space:

Arjie, the novel's protagonist, defies these gender norms and expectations. He is drawn to more traditionally feminine activities and interests, such as playing "bride-bride" with his female cousin and forming close friendships with girls. Arjie's fluidity in navigating these gendered spaces challenges the rigidity of societal expectations, making him a "funny boy."

The "Funny Boy" Identity:

Arjie's nickname, "Funny Boy," encapsulates the tension between gender and space. He is labelled as such because he does not fit neatly into the conventional roles assigned to boys in his society. Arjie's character exemplifies how individuals who challenge these gendered spaces often face ridicule and discrimination.

Suppressed Identities:

The novel also portrays how gendered spaces can suppress individuals' true identities. Arjie's cousin, Shehan, experiences this suppression as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. His desire for love and acceptance leads him to conceal his true self within the restrictive spaces of their society.

Escaping Gendered Spaces:

Arjie's journey throughout the novel is one of self-discovery and resistance. He transcends the confines of gendered spaces by exploring his own identity and desires. This escape from conformity and self-discovery symbolizes the possibility for change and growth within a society marked by rigid gender norms.

Society in Transition:

As "Funny Boy" progresses, it becomes evident that societal norms are evolving. The novel captures the beginnings of change in Sri Lankan society, including the increasing visibility of LGBTQ+ individuals. Arjie's experiences are part of a larger narrative of societal transformation and the breaking down of traditional gendered spaces.

Q3) Comment on the narrative strategy in the Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Ans)Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" is celebrated for its innovative narrative strategy, which has earned it a place as one of the most famous and controversial detective novels in the history of crime fiction.

First-Person Narration:

The novel employs a first-person narrative, with Dr. James Sheppard serving as the narrator. This narrative strategy is common in detective fiction as it allows readers to experience the investigation from the perspective of a central character who often serves as the detective's sidekick. Dr. Sheppard's role in the narrative is to document the events surrounding the murder of Roger Ackroyd in the small village of King's Abbot.

The Unreliable Narrator:

The brilliance of the narrative strategy lies in the fact that Dr. Sheppard is an unreliable narrator. Throughout the novel, he withholds vital information from the reader, creating a sense of mystery and suspense. His narration is subjective and filtered through his own perspective, which is limited and sometimes biased. As a result, readers are guided by his interpretations of events, and they are led to make certain assumptions about the story.

The Big Reveal:

The most significant aspect of the novel's narrative strategy is the shocking twist at the end. Dr. Sheppard's unreliability as a narrator is unveiled when it is revealed that he is the killer's accomplice and has been concealing information about the crime. The murderer's identity, the motive, and the means are kept secret until the very end, and this revelation forces readers to reassess the entire narrative.

The Narrative Puzzle:

Christie constructs the narrative as a puzzle, and Dr. Sheppard's narration is an integral piece. The way the story is presented lulls readers into making certain assumptions and drawing particular conclusions, only to shatter those assumptions with the revelation of the true events. The narrative strategy keeps readers engaged, active in their interpretations, and constantly reevaluating the evidence.

The Legacy of the Novel:

"The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" is considered a masterpiece of the detective genre, in part because of its groundbreaking narrative strategy. It has had a lasting influence on mystery and crime fiction, inspiring other authors to experiment with unreliable narrators and narrative structure. The novel remains a prime example of how storytelling techniques can be used to deceive and captivate readers.

Q4) Discuss Science Fiction as a literary genre.

Ans) Science fiction is a captivating and versatile literary genre that explores imaginative scenarios, futuristic concepts, and speculative ideas, often grounded in science and technology. It has become a prominent and influential genre in literature and popular culture.

Exploration of the Future:

One of the defining features of science fiction is its exploration of the future. Authors envision worlds, technologies, and societies that may or may not exist in the present, providing readers with glimpses into potential futures. This imaginative aspect allows science fiction to be both visionary and speculative.

Emphasis on Science and Technology:

Science fiction frequently incorporates scientific principles, theories, and technological advancements. These elements are woven into the narrative, providing a foundation for the fictional world's plausibility. This commitment to scientific accuracy and detail sets science fiction apart from other genres.

Social Commentary:

Many sciences fiction works serve as vehicles for social and political commentary. Authors use futuristic settings and scenarios to reflect on contemporary issues, such as inequality, ethics, environmental concerns, and the impact of technology on society. By exploring these topics in a different context, science fiction can offer unique perspectives and provoke thought.

Diverse Subgenres:

Science fiction encompasses a broad range of subgenres, allowing for a wide variety of stories. These subgenres include space opera, dystopian fiction, cyberpunk, alternate history, and more. Each subgenre has its own themes and conventions, catering to different reader preferences.

Character-Driven Narratives:

While science fiction often focuses on technology and world-building, it does not neglect character development. Engaging characters are central to many science fiction stories, and their journeys add emotional depth and relatability to the genre.

Influences on Popular Culture:

Science fiction has had a profound impact on popular culture. Iconic franchises like "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" have captivated audiences worldwide, while classics like H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" have become cultural touchstones. Science fiction has also heavily influenced film, television, and gaming, shaping the way people imagine the future.

Visionary Authors:

Numerous visionary authors have made significant contributions to the genre. H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and many others have left an indelible mark on the field. Their works continue to be celebrated and studied.

Evolving Themes:

Over time, science fiction has adapted to address evolving societal concerns and technological developments. Recent works often explore themes like artificial intelligence, climate change, and the implications of advanced biotechnology.

Q5) Does the language of cinema convey meaning discuss with reference to Vishal Bharadwaj’s The Blue Umbrella.

Ans) Cinema is a powerful medium for conveying meaning, and it often does so through a combination of visual and auditory elements. Vishal Bhardwaj's film "The Blue Umbrella," based on Ruskin Bond's novella of the same name, is a notable example of how the language of cinema can effectively convey meaning through its storytelling techniques.

Visual Language:

Cinema relies on visual storytelling. In "The Blue Umbrella," the stunning visuals play a crucial role in conveying meaning. Himachal Pradesh's scenic splendour is not merely a background for the film, but a vital component of the storey. Green hills, a picturesque village, and tranquil woodlands make up the film's visual language. These images convey calm and a connection to nature, contrasted with the story's materialistic demands.

Symbolism and Metaphor:

Cinema uses symbolism and metaphor to communicate meaning. A prominent emblem in "The Blue Umbrella," the umbrella. It symbolises the longing for something unreachable and how material possessions can define one. The blue umbrella represents the protagonists' hopes and values, making it a powerful metaphor for the human predicament.

Character Expressions and Body Language:

Expressions and body language are crucial to portraying emotions and character development in film. IN "The Blue Umbrella," characters' facial expressions and gestures reflect their wants, jealousy, and moral issues. The camera's close-ups and concentration on minutiae let viewers identify with the characters.

Musical Score and Sound Design:

Sound is a fundamental aspect of the cinematic language. Vishal Bhardwaj, known for his expertise in both music and filmmaking, uses the film's soundtrack to enhance the emotional impact. The music in "The Blue Umbrella" underscores the emotions of the characters and sets the tone for various scenes. It complements the visual storytelling by evoking the right mood and atmosphere.

Narrative Structure:

The film's narrative structure, including the use of flashbacks and foreshadowing, is a vital aspect of cinematic storytelling. "The Blue Umbrella" employs these techniques to reveal the backstory of the blue umbrella, the characters' motivations, and the moral lessons they learn. The structure enhances the audience's understanding of the story's complexities.

Cinematic Techniques:

Cinematic techniques such as camera angles, framing, and lighting contribute to the storytelling. In "The Blue Umbrella," the use of camera angles emphasizes the power dynamics and emotional dynamics between the characters. Lighting choices create mood and atmosphere, enhancing the storytelling experience.

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