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BEGE-141: Understanding Prose

BEGE-141: Understanding Prose

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BEGE-141 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Understanding Prose, you have come to the right place. BEGE-141 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAG, BAEGH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BEGE-141 /TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BEGE-141

Assignment Name: Understanding Prose

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Maximum Marks 100

Answer All Questions

Section A


Q.I Write short notes on the following in about 200 words each: 4 x 5 = 20


(i) Simile and metaphor as figures of speech

Ans) Simile and metaphor as figures of speech:


Simile: A simile is a comparison between two words from different groups that is used to describe one of the words. Most of the time, we use words like "like" or "as" to make the comparison. For example, we use similes when we say something is "as sweet as honey" or "as white as snow." But is it a simile to say that Ram is like Shyam? No. Because both Ram and Shyam are male humans, which is the same group.


Metaphor: A metaphor, in a broad sense, is also a comparison. But there isn't a direct comparison here like there is in a simile. Also, words like "like" and "as" are not used to link ideas. The author uses a phrase that describes something by saying something else. We can say, for example, "The road wound its way up the mountain." The word "naked" is used here as a metaphor. Snaked sounds like a winding path. You must have seen that you can't directly compare the snake to the way the road goes. The snake comparison is indirect and implied.


(ii) Descriptive Prose

Ans) Descriptive prose is writing that describes specific scenes, places, or people in a piece of prose writing (not poetry). This kind of writing is beautiful and helps the reader imagine what is going on. When you describe something in writing, you say what it is or how it looks. It can be used to talk about a person, a place, or an event. When someone writes in a descriptive way, we can see things as the writer saw, heard, or imagined them. A storey is told by telling what happens or what happened. It's mostly about things that happen. A good description takes what the writer has seen and turns it into vivid details and its own atmosphere.

The author tries to show what he or she has seen or thought of by describing it. A good description is like a picture painted with words. When you read a good description, you can picture the scene or the person. Most of the time, description is not a separate type of writing. For example, a whole book won't just be descriptions. It is often used to help tell a storey or explain something. Its main job is to describe a feeling or a sense impression.

(iii) Speech as a form of literary expression

Ans) Politicians are usually the ones who give speeches. But not every political speech is good writing. Most of the time, a political speech is just a bunch of empty words meant to get people to vote for the speaker. On a smaller scale, it turns into an oration instead of a speech. What's the difference between a speech and an oration? Only very slightly since both terms are usually used to mean the same thing. But since we are looking at a speech as a literary form, we need to point out the differences between an oration and a speech, especially in terms of their goal, content, and delivery.


Both the content and the way someone says something give a speech literary merit. By "manner," we mean the style or way the subject is shown. A speech has more literary value if it uses language and literary devices well and in a smart way. People who can talk well have a way with words. They are people with eloquence, which means they know how to use correct, expressive, and fluent language to show how they feel. Since a speech is spoken, it's also good to vary your voice and use different tones. A speech can be made more interesting by using literary devices like humour, pathos, irony, metaphors, forceful repetitions, etc.


(iv) Biography as a literary form

Ans) A biography is the storey of a single person, not of a group. It may show more than one character, but they are only shown in relation to the person whose life is being retold. In short, the person is always the centre of attention. A biography has to tell the truth. But a good biography needs to be more than just a list of facts. It must be good writing. Now, we might ask where the literary value of this is. We might be able to tell from the way the author writes. Or in how creatively he or she chooses and uses the facts so that the work makes sense as a whole. Or in the way the writer uses literary tools. But we would like to point out that all of these things affect how well a biography is written. To sum up, a biography needs to be true to history and creative like a work of fiction.

Section B


Q. II Answer the following questions in about 350 words each: 4 x 7.5 = 30


1. Write a character sketch of the mother from the story ‘Mother’.

Ans) The Mother had a hard childhood. Even getting married didn't make her feel better and moving to a new place didn't help either. But she never gave up and did everything she could to take care of her children. Even though she is poor, she makes sure that her children have access to music and books.


The mother thinks that she is the only one who can stop her daughter from living a disrespectful and promiscuous life. She thinks the girl has already started down this path because of how she walks, sits, and sings benna (Antiguan folk songs) in Sunday school. So, she teaches the girl how to be a good housewife to keep her on the right track. In some ways, the mother is wise. Not only does she know how to cook, clean, and run a home, but she also knows how to act around different kinds of people and has a strong sense of social etiquette and decorum. She is happy and respected by her family and the rest of the community because she knows how to do housework and talk to people. Her instructions make it sound like community is a big part of Antiguans' lives and that their social standing in the community is very important.


At the same time, though, the mother's voice is bitter, and she is angry and frustrated with her daughter. She seems to think that none of her advice will help, and that the girl will end up living a bad life no matter what. She even hints over and over that the girl wants to be a "slut" and live with many men. Her worries about the girl are really just a cover for her deeper worries about how dangerous it is to be a woman in traditional Antiguan society. Even though the mother is rude and accusing, the fact that she knows how to make elixirs that cause abortions suggests that she has had sexual encounters with men or at least knows that they can happen.


2. What are the main features of Margaret Laurence’s speech?

Ans) The main features of Margaret Laurence’s speech are as follows:


Conversational Tone: The first thing we notice about "My Final Hour" is that Laurence has changed the way he talks. By saying right away that she is nervous to talk about her beliefs in front of a group of high-ranking candidates who will soon be priests in the church, Laurence immediately gains their trust and makes it clear that she is going to talk to them as individuals and not talk down to them. So, the tone she uses is personal and based on how she feels. She tells her audience about things that happened to her in Africa. She remembers how children in Somaliland and East and West Africa died of thirst and malaria. She also tells them that as a writer, she is committed to the cause of getting rid of nuclear weapons.


Clarity of Expressions: The speech is easy to understand, just like Laurence's thoughts are easy to understand. She knows exactly what she wants to say to her audience and uses clear, easy-to-understand language. She doesn't talk in a way that doesn't make sense. Very methodically, one idea leads to the next.


A Forceful Style: Laurence gives a powerful speech without using any tricks of the rhetorical trade. The power comes from her strong belief that the race to build nuclear weapons must stop. She uses facts and figures from well-known people, such as Dr. Barbara Ward, to show that using nuclear weapons is just not a good idea.


Use of Humour and Pathos: Laurence's speech shows both how funny she is and how sad she is. Her advice to her listeners not to worry if they get dumber as they get older is a little funny. She tells them that this is a "normal" thing to do. She makes fun of the relationship between parents and children by saying, "Now that your children are grown, they are finding out that you aren't nearly as stupid as they thought you were when they were young teenagers." The easy-to-picture description makes a big impression on the minds and hearts of the people who hear it. And this is always the goal of a good speaker: to make people think and feel.


3. What is the theme of Nehru’s ‘Quest of Man’?

Ans) This letter is about philosophical ideas, but it is written in a simple and elegant way. The author makes it easy for the reader to understand a serious topic about how people try to learn more. The paragraphs are linked together so that the letter reads like a storey about the development of human society.


In paragraphs 1–3, the author talks about his current prison and how happy he is to be close to the mountains and greenery. There is no bad feeling about being locked up alone in a prison. On the other hand, the writer has the rare ability to find happiness even in things like the cool night air, trees, and mountains that are far away. In paragraph 4, the author shows his doubts about the value and worth of his writings. Even though he was sceptical, it is to our good fortune that he kept writing these letters, which are still fun to read after more than ninety years. In paragraphs 5 and 6, the writer tries to tell the storey of the world from the beginning of time to the present. He has written about civilizations that have come and gone, but somewhere along the way he forgot to talk about how people try to figure out the world they live in.


In Paragraph 7, the storey of man's long journey to learn about his world is told. When he writes, he feels like he is sitting with his daughter and talking. Lastly, he answers the question of what has helped people learn more about the world around them.


In paragraphs 8 and 9, they talk about how religion and science are both ways to understand the world. Nehru thinks that religion wants to impose its own views, which are based on faith and spiritual beliefs, while science tries to find answers through experimentation and reason. There is no one answer to what man is looking for, because his search has gone in two different directions: one is to understand himself, and the other is to understand Nature. Religion looks at the inside of a person, while science looks at the outside. Both are essential. But Nehru prefers the scientific method because it is logical and open-minded, unlike religion, which is strict and closed-minded. But people misuse science instead of using it to their advantage, almost to the point of destroying the society they have built.


4. Write a detailed note on Aitken’s prose style as seen in the two extracts from Travels by a Lesser line.

Ans) Bill Aitken writes in a simple, elegant way about the places he saw when he travelled all over India. In different parts of India, every town, hill, and stream come to life before our eyes. There is also some beautiful descriptive writing. The description is based on facts and pictures.


You must have noticed that in the excerpts from his travel book, Travels by a Lesser Line, he used simple prose without any fancy words. His travel account has a photographic feel because of the clear way he writes and the way he doesn't try to sound smart. He seems to use a camera more than a pen when he talks about the beautiful temple town of Tiruchendur in the southernmost part of India. This is not an exaggeration. He almost goes into a rhapsody when he talks about how much he loves train travel, especially on the metre gauge and with a steam engine. He calls it "the poetic diction of steam" (rhapsody is an ecstatic or unrestrainedly enthusiastic utterance of feeling).


Aitken's account of his travels is also filled with gentle humour. Without being mean, he calls the people from the North who complained about having to pay 25 paise to use the bathroom in bus stations "passengers from the free-peeing North." He also makes fun of the Southern bus driver by calling him "a great gobber who marked each furlong by spitting." These gentle jabs break up the otherwise boring storey of the bus ride to Rameswaram.

Section C


Q. III Answer the following questions in about 600 words each: 5 x 10 = 50


1. Write an appreciation of Gandhi’s art and craft of autobiography.

Ans) Appreciation of Gandhi's Art and Craft of Autobiography Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist. He used nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule, and he later inspired movements for civil rights and freedom all over the world. It tells about Gandhi's life until 1920. He didn't talk about what happened after that because most of the people involved were still alive and most people knew about it. He also thought that the results of his experiments at that time were not yet clear.


Appreciation of Gandhi’s Art and Craft of Autobiography

It has a sense of modesty and tells the truth. He hadn't kept anything secret. He is actually too hard on himself. He didn't want to show how good he was to everyone. He only wanted to tell people about the things he had tried. For Gandhi, truth was the highest principle, which included many other principles. Realizing the Truth is what life is all about. Gandhi was always on the lookout for the Truth. He always tried to get rid of the bad things in himself. He always tried to stay true to the Truth as far as he knew it and use what he knew about the Truth in his daily life. He tried to put the spiritual ideas to use in the real world. In the spirit of science, he did it. Satyagraha means to stay true to the truth. Gandhi called his experiments "Experiments with Truth" or "Experiments in the science of Satyagraha." He also asked people to look at them as examples and do their own experiments in the same way.


Gandhiji said, "Being able to read and write is neither the start nor the end of education." This is just a way for a man or a woman to get an education." Gandhiji says, "By education, I mean bringing out the best in a child or a man in every way: body, mind, and spirit." This is just a way for both men and women to learn more. "This is how Gandhiji summed up what he thought about true education. It is the growth of the whole person, including their physical, mental, and spiritual sides. Education should take care of the whole person, or child. Education should help all parts of a person's personality grow together in a balanced way so that they can reach their full potential and do their best work for society.


Crafts-centric Education for Skilling

Gandhi's ideas about craft-centred education have a lot to do with how we're trying to fix the problems in our education system by giving people more skills. Whatever we want to achieve—learning by doing, work-integrated learning, respect for manual skills, self-reliance through sustainable livelihoods—ideas like these are deeply rooted in Mahatma Gandhi's emphasis on manual and productive work as an important part of basic education. Let's take a look at some of his most important ideas and thoughts that have been used in current efforts to link education with employment and entrepreneurship by helping people get better at what they do.


Mahatma Gandhi said that handicrafts should be taught "not just for production work but for developing the intellect of the pupils." This idea has been put into practise in schools as Socially Useful and Productive Work, according to reports from landmark commissions and policy. Appreciation of Gandhi's Art and Craft of Autobiography, SUPW is usually thought of as a hobby. It could be embroidery, clay modelling, bamboo crafts, leather work, pottery, and many other activities that are socially and culturally relevant, creatively stimulating, and could help people make a living. SUPW can change the way children think about manual work and have a positive effect on their young minds about the dignity of work and labour when it is linked to skill-building and job opportunities.


2. Give a detailed account of Russell’s childhood as seen from his Autobiography.

Ans) Russell’s childhood as seen from his Autobiography


Lonely Childhood: Right from the start, we learn that Bertrand Russell grew up alone. The boy who was raised by himself finds things to do in nature. He liked to think about nature and appreciate it in all its forms. He got up early and watched the sunrise for a long time. The child who lives alone is left on his own. Since he had no one he could talk to, he turned to nature and books to keep him company.


Russell says that he did not feel like he was the only person in the world when he was young, so we shouldn't get the wrong idea about his childhood. He has fond memories of his German and Swiss governesses, and even though he missed his parents sometimes, he was not sad. He remembers everything about moving to Pembroke and his fourth birthday party and gift very well. People love to talk about the time he spent at kindergarten with other kids. At this point, it's clear that the child wants to be with other kids.


Lady Russell: Russell also talks about his paternal grandmother, Lady Russell, with whom he spent his childhood, and his mother's mother, Lady Stanley, whom he didn't meet until he was seven years old. He remembers that Lady Russell had a very "expressive" face that showed how she felt at all times. She got upset when people talked about her being crazy, so Russell didn't find out until later that her son was in an asylum. Russell doesn't seem to have much of a strong reaction to her, other than a general feeling of affection.


Lady Stanley: On the other hand, Russell seems to be awed by how strong Lady Stanley is. He was scared of her sharp tongue, and the shy boy often couldn't say anything when he was with her. The smart little boy tried hard to impress her with his math skills, but she just thought he was being too picky. She was a serious educationist who liked good books. She didn't like that Russell was raised in a weak, "namby-pamby" way. The child who was scared of this woman realises that she, too, could be scared of someone like Gladstone, who is very strong (prime minister of Britain). The child loves the storey about how his grandmother thought a tobacco pouch in the shape of a tortoise was a real tortoise.


The Precocious Child: Russell learned about geometry for the first time when he was 11 years old. This was an exciting discovery, and the boy found out that things that other people found hard seemed easy to him. The doubts and questions he had then shaped the way he worked in the future. From these stories, we can tell that the child spent most of his time with adults. Neither of his grandmothers was close to him. Even though he got a private education at home, there is no evidence that his grandmothers helped him become interested in math.


The Fun-Loving Child: Russell's main interest was math, but he still had fun like other boys his age. The boy's jokes and tricks made him laugh a lot and made other people feel bad. Russell's most memorable moments were when he threw snowballs at the doctor's coachman and rode a wild donkey bare back. These tricks, on the other hand, were done more for fun than to hurt anyone.


So, these are the thoughts of a well-known person looking back at his post. Russell doesn't like to romanticise it, and he doesn't feel nostalgic about it. He is an impartial observer who can now understand his parents' biases and concerns. His tone is calm and matter of fact, and it makes you feel like you're in a different time. It also shows you how complex he is.


3. Attempt pen portraits of both Albert and Victoria as seen in Strachey’s biography Queen Victoria.

Ans) The pen portraits of both Albert and Victoria as seen in Strachey’s biography Queen Victoria are as follows:


Portrait of Albert

We see Albert as a tall, shy, young foreigner who was uncomfortable in a society that he knew didn't like him. The closed-off and snobbish British aristocracy turned him down because he didn't look English and didn't know how to ride horses. But Albert didn't feel scared, and he didn't think much of the English either. He didn't have any friends he could trust, but he could talk to Seymour and Anson, who worked for him, about anything. Albert went through a time of a lot of stress and worry because he had to compete with strong opponents like Lord Melbourne and the Baroness Lehzen.


Up until this point, Albert had always done things his own way. Now, he had to give up more and more of his own will to Victoria's. He tried to talk to her about politics, but she avoided such talks. She also didn't help Albert's intellectual and artistic goals. Albert, on the other hand, didn't like dancing or any of the other things the Queen liked to do for fun. With a friend and ally like Baron Stockmar by his side, he became a well-known person in his own right.


Stockmar helped him feel better about himself by appealing to his "sense of duty and personal pride." The fights kept going on, but Albert was no longer easy to fool. This is clear from the fact that he wouldn't open the door for the "Queen." The reading of the passage gives us this picture of Albert: he seems serious, smart, well-informed, and good. He isn't interested in politics or power for himself, and he doesn't have any ambitions. He is human enough to get down easily, but with the help he needs, he is able to overcome his natural reserve. He likes to walk, play the piano, and paint, and it's hard to imagine how a sensitive man with simple interests could ever get his wife to live the way he does. He didn't win her love until he was patient and firm with her.


Portrait of Victoria

Victoria comes out as a young girl who is full of life and eager to enjoy every moment. This picture is very different from the portraits of Queen Victoria that most people see. Strachey knew how complicated his fascinating subject was and was able to show how she changed over time. She is shown as both a young queen who has gone astray and a woman who is deeply in love. She is also a smart politician who understands how the people of England think and wants to rule them one day. Then, she can't hurt their feelings. Because of this, she can't let Albert have a part in running the country.


Victoria enjoyed the simpler things in life a lot. Her favourite thing to do for fun was to dance all night or look at books of engravings. She didn't like having serious conversations, and she didn't want to learn anything. Strachey writes about her in a slightly ironic way, making her seem like an ordinary person who slowly gains a status that earns her the love and respect of the people who love and respect her.

She is the stronger partner in her marriage. As a monarch, she can afford to do whatever she wants, but Albert has to make changes. She also has the advantage of being in her own country, while Albert is an outsider. Even with all of these things, the marriage works out. And her success is based on one important feeling: love for her husband. The death of Albert was a tragedy that she could never get over.


4. ‘On Seeing England for the First Time’ is laced with sarcasm and irony with a thread of pathos running through it. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer quoting examples from the text.

Ans) Style is how a writer presents his or her theme. It involves using language and literary devices in a smart way. The main point of all of Jamaica Kincaid's writings, including this one, is to show how the colonised people are at a disadvantage in life because they are forced to live an English life that is different from their own culture. When Kincaid talks about how angry she is that the English took over her home country, Antigua, she sometimes says things in a sarcastic way and sometimes in an ironic way.


But both her sarcasm and her irony are filled with a rare amount of sadness. Sarcasm is when someone says something that doesn't mean what it seems to mean and is meant to be funny. In other words, sarcasm is a bitter sneer, or a satirical comment made out of scorn or contempt. When the author says that everything in Antigua was marked "Made in England," she says it in a sarcastic way that the only things that weren't made in England were "the sea, the sky, and the air we breathed."


Kincaid also uses irony to show how she feels about things. Irony is also when someone says the opposite of what they are thinking, which is often done to make people laugh. In the essay, the author says something ironic when she compares her situation to that of the English people. She says, "As I strolled to the theatre in the evening, my fine dresses didn't rustle." This is ironic, because she didn't have fine dresses, take evening walks, or go to the theatre. In her own words: "I didn't have a night out, I didn't go to the theatre, and my dresses were made of cheap cotton that would fall apart after a few washes."


In literature, pathos means something that makes you feel sorry or sad. In paragraph three, the sentence "Draw a map of England" sums up how important it was for the Antiguans to know everything about England. Her comment makes people feel sorry for the people of Antigua, who are ruled by the English: "I did not know then that this statement was part of a process that would lead to my erasure—not my physical erasure, but my erasure all the same." I didn't know at the time that this statement was meant to make me feel scared and small whenever I heard the word "England"—scared because I wasn't from England, and small because it was a powerful place.

5. Describe Orwell’s experience of shooting an elephant in Burma in detail.

Ans) Beyond the heroism he gives himself, whether he is aware of it or not, Orwell makes the Burmese, the people he says he is on the side of, look like bad people. His repeated descriptions of them as yellow-faced, sneering, devilish, and "evil-spirited little beasts" come from a long history of racially insensitive and inaccurate caricatures of people of colour and are still very problematic to this day. Aside from this, Orwell often talks about bad things. He thinks their talk against Europe is pointless, small, and bitter, and when he says the Burmese wanted the elephant killed, he says it in a way that sounds like he is morally better than them.


Orwell cannot claim to have a morality the Burmese lack, because Orwell does not live in the circumstances of the Burmese. It's easy for a coloniser to say that the elephant needs justice when he or she doesn't depend on the elephant for food that night. Even with Orwell's own morals, he does end up shooting the elephant, which is "like destroying a big, expensive piece of machinery." "Not only did Orwell kill the elephant to protect his reputation, but he also took away someone else's source of food. The owner was furious, but he had no way to get even with the white man.


Even though the oppressed suffer the most under imperialism, Orwell decides to look at things from a white-based point of view and make himself out to be a victim of this cruel system. He says, "When the white man turns tyrant, he destroys his own freedom...for it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trial." ". He says that the white man's fear of being laughed at by the colonised is like a loss of freedom, like what people feel when they become poor or slaves, which often happens in imperialism.


Self-victimization may seem silly and illogical, since a coloniser could have avoided any hardship while a colonised person has no control over his or her situation, but Eurocentric values can make even the smallest forms of retribution seem like an attack on a white person's self. A group of Burmese people laughing at an officer is like "wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, scared faces of long-term convicts, and the scarred buttocks of men who have been flogged with bamboos." To the coloniser, who sees himself as the centre of the world, the answer is yes. Complete economic control and political power aren't enough for a coloniser to feel like he or she is in charge. The coloniser also needs to feel respected and important in order to keep the fragile sense of control they desperately want. Then, this unquenchable need to look like the boss justifies any action, no matter how cruel it is.


Even in a text that says it doesn't believe in these socioeconomic and imperialist ideas, they are still there. Orwell's ignorance and inability to see the truth about colonial control show how far away he is from the lower classes as a powerful, upper-class white coloniser. Eurocentrism is still a strong way of thinking for many people who think that the European way of thinking and living is the standard. In the end, it never mattered if Orwell shot the elephant or not. What mattered was why he did it. He shot it to keep his power over the economically disadvantaged and to keep his status as a "winner" in the designated market and colonial systems.

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