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MEG-07: Indian English Literature

MEG-07: Indian English Literature

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MEG-07 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Indian English Literature, you have come to the right place. MEG-07 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MEG, PGDWI courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MEG-07 / TMA / 2022-23

Course Code: MEG-07

Assignment Name: Indian English Literature

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt all questions. All questions carry equal marks.


Q 1. Write short note on 4 x 5 = 20


Q 1. a) Forms of Prose

Ans) Prose is verbal or written language that follows the natural flow of speech. It is the most common form of writing, used in both fiction and non-fiction. Prose comes from the Latin “prosa oratio,” meaning “straightforward.” Prose can vary depending according to style and purpose.



  1. Follows natural patterns of speech and communication

  2. Has a grammatical structure with sentences and paragraphs

  3. Uses everyday language

  4. Sentences and thoughts continue across lines.


There are four distinct types of prose that writers use:

1. Nonfictional prose. Prose that is a true story or factual account of events or information is nonfiction. Textbooks, newspaper articles, and instruction manuals all fall into this category. Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, composed entirely of journal excerpts, recounts the young teen’s experience of hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.

2. Fictional prose. A literary work of fiction. This is the most popular type of literary prose, used in novels and short stories, and generally has characters, plot, setting, and dialogue.

3. Heroic prose. A literary work that is either written down or preserved through oral tradition but is meant to be recited. Heroic prose is usually a legend or fable. The twelfth-century Irish tales revolving around the mythical warrior Finn McCool are an example of heroic prose.

4. Prose poetry. Poetry written in prose form. This literary hybrid can sometimes have rhythmic and rhyming patterns. French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote prose poems, including “Be Drunk” which starts off: “And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room.”

Q 1. b) Narrative technique in The Four Daughter

Ans) A critique of the 1992 short storey "The Fourth Daughter" by Bengali author Subdahara Sengupta demands an analysis and denunciation of Hindu and Indian cultures' treatment of women, especially young girls. Sengupta's account of her parents rejecting the fourth daughter born to a wealthy family has particular resonance in light of recent high-profile cases of gang rapes of young women, one of whom died as a result of her injuries, and increased scrutiny of the role gender discrimination has played in fostering the evolution of a culture in which such crimes would occur. This storey about the ironic development of an Indian family also has a racial component in addition to a gender component.


The storey of a baby who is abandoned by her parents because she does not contribute anything to the family is told in "The Fourth Daughter." In a society where men are more highly valued, the birth of yet another daughter is not cause for celebration. The fourth child of Radha and her husband is named "Mini." Radha, a fair-skinned and stunning woman, hates Mini not just because of her gender—who needs another daughter when a son would guarantee a more prosperous future—but also because of her dark complexion, which more clearly shows her father's ancestry than her mother's. The family's maid, her husband-driver, and their son raise Mini and provide the loving, nurturing environment that Mini's affluent parents should have provided. The maid Parvati is in charge of the girl's nutrition, attire, and education.


The Fourth Daughter's ending contains the story's greatest irony. The rejected daughter grows up to be a doctor, over the objections of her biological parents, who insisted that Mini's future should include preparation for the duties of wife and motherhood, while the highly regarded son grows up to be a degenerate gambler, drinker, and womaniser who is unable and unwilling to care for their ageing parents. As is customary for male offspring, Mini assumes the responsibility of taking care of her parents.


Children's books by prolific author Subhadra Sengupta that depict Bengali, Indian, and Hindu cultures are widely available. Her tale of the rejected daughter maturing into the son's role model and inheriting his responsibilities is a reflection of her own upbringing. The sad tale "The Fourth Daughter" explores what happens to girls in a culture that prioritises boys. The fact that it has received such little attention in her country of origin shows how persistent cultural norms that give preference to one type of human are.


Q 1. c) Vikarm Seth’s Prose Style

Ans) Vikram Seth is a talented author who is able to write effectively in a wide variety of genres. His writing is known for being easy to understand and read, as well as for his irony, joyful use of language, and technical mastery. He has established a name for himself in the literary canon of the English language as an Indian author.


The novels of Vikram Seth examine, in a manner that is both satirical and serious, topics such as national legislative issues, the differentiation of standing and class, educational concerns, and interfamily relationships. The novels of Vikram Seth handle the current social situation, as well as social changes and the transformation of society. The socio-social foundation of the novels compels readers to dismantle the genuine authentic foundation on which the nation is built. According to Edward Said's argument, this means that the creators are continuously forming and being moulded by the history of their social orders as well as their involvement with a variety of different measures throughout the entirety of their existence.


The novels written by Vikram Seth reveal apprehension about society, and the author foresees the immoral behaviour and illegal activities that have already taken place in society. Because he is the true representative of the society, he never falters in his efforts to expose the authentic truth concerning the society. According to Wole Soyinka, who writes, "A writer records the experience of his society and is the voice of vision of his time," a writer is someone who chronicles the history of their society. He needs to work as a social inner voice. If he does not, something bad might happen. In that case, he should pull back to the position of an after-death specialist.

Q 1. d) Social and Cultural situations in India during Derozio’s time

Ans) Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was born on April 10, 1809, in Calcutta. His father was from Portugal, and his mother was from India. He began writing poems at a young age. Derozio's poems are filled with patriotism, love for the nation, and a desire for freedom and liberty. During the Bengal Renaissance, Derozio wrote his poems. It had an impact on his writing. Changes were occurring in the social, religious, literary, and political spheres. His poetry reflects the spirit of patriotism, the struggle against religious fundamentalism, and the ideal of humanism. Derozio was a pioneering force who contributed to the rise of the Bengal Renaissance and raised public awareness. The effects of British rule in India were felt as a socio-cultural movement. Derozio himself had an impact on this.


It was part of the societal and cultural transformation. Indian and European cultures coexisted in one family, symbolising the assimilation of East and West. Marriage brought two social classes together, one representing the colonisers and the other representing the colonised. This assimilation had an impact on the field of education as well. It produced a class of English-educated Indians. Derozio was one of them. This interaction instilled new knowledge in people's minds "about society, religion, politics, and culture."


India was in a bad way in the early nineteenth century. There was a decline and degradation in every aspect of life: political, economic, social, and religious. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio is regarded as the father of Indian English poetry. Only a small group of British and Indian elites were interested in English-language poetry in India. The Baconian concept of new knowledge as the driving force of human progress is evident in Derozio's address to the students: as your knowledge grows, moral principles will be strengthened, and rectitude of conduct will ensure happiness.



Derozio was opposed to popular superstitions. This superstitious environment compelled Derozio to write against it. He saw superstition as priestly impositions. In The Fakeer of Jung heera, he exposed the unholy deeds of holy characters and the hollowness of saintly men and priests. In his poem Eclipse, he argued that the true reason for the eclipse is known to the Brahmins, but they have sunk people into its superstitious notion.


Q 2. Comment on the structure and techniques used by Anita Desai in Clear Light of the Day. 20

Ans) In her novel Clear Light of Day, Anita Desai employs a narrative technique similar to those used by R.K. Narayan in The Guide and Amitav Ghosh in The Shadow Line. Anita Desai, like these two great Indian novelists, uses memory and flashback as main narrative strategies in her novel Clear Light of Day. This is a novel about memory: about places and people who undergo change and transformation in search of their true identities. According to B. R. Rao, "each novel of Mrs Desai is a masterpiece of technical skill." Desai portrays her characters in Clear Light of Day through various symbols and images, and the language is often very poetic. Desai's characters "associate their emotions and feelings with the buds, flower [sic], petals, birds, animals, and insects around them."


At the start of Clear Light of Day, we see images of singing koels, ants, a rose garden, and a snail on the first two pages. All of these images transport Tara back to her childhood and her bittersweet memories. Desai "steers her storey and unravels the hidden thoughts, feelings, and emotions of her characters" through flashbacks and stream of consciousness.


Desai's novels are well-structured, and Clear Light of Day is no exception. Desai's novels are typically divided into three or four parts, and Clear Light of Day has four unnamed parts. The division is frequently used to convey symbolism and meaning. Desai plays with chronology in the novel, and "there is a constant intermingling of the past and present with a hint of the foreboding future." The first chapter is set in the present day, and we meet the characters as they are now. After many years apart, the two sisters are reunited.


Tara, who is married to a diplomat, has returned to India to attend the wedding of their brother's daughter in Hyderabad. Tara's first stop on her journey is in Old Delhi, where she will visit Bim in their childhood home. The second and third chapters deal with memories of the past, and we are transported back to the years surrounding the partition through Bim and Tara. The siblings' relationships are described here, as well as their relationships with their parents and aunt. Through the characters and their various experiences, the political situation in India before, during, and after partition can be traced. Through a series of events, the third chapter also reveals Aunt Mira's "predicament."

Desai has stated that her novels are a "private effort to seize the raw material of life's shapelessness, meaninglessness, and the lack of design that drives one to despair." The characters in Clear Light of Day demonstrate how life can be complicated and lacking in structure. Structure is required for herself, the readers, and her characters in order to create a balance between the organised and the unorganised. Through the structure, it is easier to see the meaning of life and to see things in a clear perspective.


Desai uses imagery and symbolism in her novels. She uses nature and history to hint at the novel's direction. She chooses names that hint at the plot. Fire on the Mountain shows this. Nanda Kaul's great-granddaughter is named Raka. The name means full moon. Full moons often signal danger or fear. In one episode, the moon appears on fire, leading Raka to believe she is witnessing a real fire. The novel ends with Raka starting a massive fire in the mountains. Clear Light of Day also uses names to structure and order the storey. Some character names hint at events in the novel and connect their lives. Hyder Ali was an 18th-century Muslim ruler and commander and the Das family's Muslim neighbour. Hyder Ali ruled Mysore from 1722 to 1782. His name evokes the Moghul Empire and Islamic culture in India. Hyder Ali is a great man on a white horse who is superior to his Hindu neighbours. Before fleeing Delhi for Hyderabad, he represents when India still had some of its Islamic magic.


Q 3. In Kanthapura, Raja Rao conveys a purely Indian experience through the foreign medium of the English Language. Comment. 20

Ans) In Kanthapura, Raja Rao expresses a uniquely Indian experience through the foreign medium of English. Raja Rao writes in the preface to his classic Kanthapura, first published in 1938, "We cannot write like the English." We must not. We cannot just write as Indians. Our mode of expression... must be a dialect that will one day be as distinct and colourful as Irish and American. "Only time will justify it."


"Our village—I don't think you've ever heard of it—Kanthapura is its name, and it's in the province of Kara," says the author at the start of Kanthapura. It is high on the Ghats, high up the steep mountains that face the cool Arabian seas, high up the Malabar coast, high up Mangalore and Puttur, and many a cardamom and coffee, rice, and sugarcane centre. Roads, narrow, dusty, rut-covered roads, wind through teak and jack forests, sandal and sal forests, hanging over bellowing gorges and leaping over elephant-haunted valleys, turning now to the left and now to the right..."


It was difficult to tell the storey. "One must convey one's own spirit in a language that is not one's own." English is not a foreign language to us. "It is the language of our intellectual make-up...not our emotional make-up," he says, explaining why he chose English over Kannada or French, both of which he was fluent in.


The plot revolves around an upheaval that will soon have an impact on the lives of a community. The arrival of a person influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's teachings causes chaos. "O, raise the flag high/ Raise the flag high/ This is the Revolutionary flag."

"We said to ourselves, he is one of the Gandhi-men, who say there is no caste, clan, or family, and yet they pray like us and live like us," the grandmother-narrator Achakka says. They also say that one should not marry too young, that widows should be allowed to marry, and that a brahmin may marry a pariah and a pariah may marry a brahmin. So, how does this affect us? We'll be dead before the world becomes polluted."


But her world will also be turned upside down. Raja Rao, who spent decades in France and later taught philosophy at the University of Texas, was always looking for the best way to incorporate the "tempo of Indian life" into his writing in English.


"In India, we think quickly, speak quickly, and move quickly." There must be something in the Indian sun that causes us to rush, tumble, and run... We tell one endless storey. Episode after episode, and when our thoughts stop, so does our breathing, and we move on to the next thought. This was and still is our standard storytelling style.


Surprisingly, many of the images used by Indian fiction writers in English have an Indian flavour. In fact, their inherent Indianness prevents them from speaking metaphorically or obliquely by implication, which is common among Indians. In everyday language, imagery is frequently used for expression, reinforcement, endorsement, illustration, evocation, and objective correlative. Indeed, their minds have a remarkable ability to smoothly shift gears from "the literal to the fanciful" in order to increase the possibility of wider implication.


Indianness as a way of life, as a culture, as a socio-political and economic ethos is far too vast to fit into a concept. Any attempt to conceptualise Indianness in India is hampered by the enormous variety in matters of language, caste, subcastes, creed, sex, superstitions, food, and dress habits. The diversity within the country is far greater than that found among the various European nations. However, beneath the surface of diversity, there are certain features, emotions, taboos, and sentiments that contribute to a unified vision of Indianness.


As a result, the concept of Indianness is limited to the type and style of English used by Indian writers of all hues and levels. It is applied here to a limited body of Indian English writers purely from a linguistic standpoint, namely, collocations, syntactic devices, and literal or idiomatic translations from the mother tongue.


The Indianness of Raja Rao’s Kanthapura as perceived by his literary critics may be described as literary stylistic perceptions. It may be noted here that there is a perceptible difference between the literary critic’s approach and the linguist’s approach to Indianness.


Q 4. What makes India special for Aurobindo is “spirituality made the leading motive and the determining power of both the inner and the outer life.” Do you agree? Elaborate Aurbindo’s view on Indian Culture. 20

Ans) Sir John Woodroffe wrote a book titled "spirituality as the leading motive and determining power of inner and outer life" Spirituality is not India's monopoly; it may hide in intellectualism or other veils, but it is part of human nature. The difference is between making spirituality the leading motive and determining power of both inner and outer life and suppressing, disguising, or marginalising spirituality in favour of intellect or materialistic vitalism. The former way was once universal ancient wisdom from China to Peru. All other nations have abandoned it and reduced its pervasiveness, as in Europe. Or, as in Asia, they risk abandoning it for economic, commercial, industrial, intellectually utilitarian modern types. India alone has remained faithful to the spiritual motive despite falling light and vigour.


Sri Aurobindo analysed the disgust Archer felt towards India in terms of a fundamental difference between Indian and Western cultures. Similar to Gandhi's discussion of India and the West, Sri Aurobindo wrote that the key issue was a matter of spirituality being ascendant as opposed to subordinate: The difference is between spirituality made the leading motive and the determining power of both the inner and the outer life and spirituality suppressed, allowed only under disguises or brought in as a minor power, its reign denied or put off in favour of the intellect or of a dominant materialistic vitalism.


Also, in the West, “The inner existence is formed and governed by the external powers,” but, in contrast, “India’s constant aim has been on the contrary to find a basis of living in the higher spiritual truth and to live from the inner spirit outward.”


Sri Aurobindo said the West was materialistic and India spiritual. India's spirituality did not preclude material pursuits. Aurobindo's main point is that in India, spirituality is the basis for life, whereas in the West, it is secondary. Sri Aurobindo believed Archer's disgust for Indian culture was due to cultural clashes. The West's religion became one of "earth and terrestrial humanity, intellectual growth, vital efficiency, physical health and enjoyment, rational social order." A mind steeped in that world cannot grasp India's culture: This mind is repelled by Indian culture's unfamiliarity and strangeness, then by its irrational abnormality, total difference, and diametrical opposition of standpoints, and finally by its abundance and plethora of unintelligible forms. It sees supranatural and false forms in these forms.


Sri Aurobindo reversed Western ideas of progress. Archer said, "The vast majority of India's people have beliefs, prejudices, and habits a thousand years behind those of races who live effectively in the real world." Sri Aurobindo said India's lagging behind other countries is not a refusal to become civilised, but a refusal to "bow her knee to the strong reigning idols of rationalism, commercialism, economism, the successful iron gods of the west."

India's social system is built on this conception; her philosophy formulates it; her religion aspirates to spiritual consciousness and its fruits; her art and literature look upward; her Dharma or law of being is based on it. She admits progress, but spiritual progress, not an externally self-unfolding material civilisation. Her high conception of life and desire for the spiritual and eternal are the hallmarks of her civilisation. Her fidelity to this highest ideal, despite human flaws, has made her people a unique nation.


India, true to her spiritual motive, has never attacked Europe physically; her method has always been to infiltrate the world with her ideas, as we see today. But Europe has now physically occupied her, and this conquest must be accompanied by a cultural invasion, which has also made progress. On the other hand, English rule has allowed India to retain her identity and social type; it has awakened her to herself and protected her from the flood that would have submerged and broken her civilisation. Now she must recover, defend her cultural existence against alien penetration, and preserve her distinct spirit, essential principle, and characteristic forms for her own salvation and the human race's welfare.


Aurobindo’s view on Indian Culture

Agreeing with Aurobindo’s view, Indian culture's spiritual goal is the root of its difference from European culture. This aim's turn on its rich and luxuriant forms and rhythms gives it its unique character. Even its similarities with other cultures are marked by originality and greatness. This culture's core thought and passion was spiritual aspiration. It made spirituality the highest aim of life and tried, as much as was possible in the past, to turn life towards spirituality.


But since religion is in the human mind the first native, if imperfect form of the spiritual impulse, the predominance of the spiritual idea, its endeavour to take hold of life, necessitated a casting of thought and action into the religious mould and a persistent filling of every circumstance of life with the religious sense; it demanded a pervadingly religiophilosophic culture.


Hinduism fulfilled this purpose and, unlike creedal religions, knew it. It gave itself no name because it set no sectarian limits; it claimed no universal adhesion, asserted no sole infallible dogma, set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation; it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition of God-ward human endeavour.


An immense many-sided many staged spiritual self-building and self-finding, so it called itself the eternal religion, sanatana dharma. Only by appreciating the true sense and spirit of Indian religion can we understand Indian culture.

Q 5. Mulk Raj Anand’s novel portrays Indian social problems realistically. Discuss with reference to the novel Untouchable. 20

Ans) Mulk Raj Anand is proud to be an Indian English author with a nearly four-decade-long career. He possesses a remarkable talent for realistically capturing the depressing and miserable situation of the lower classes. His books are full of empathetic feelings for the people and places he has personal experience with. He is an outspoken realist who harbours a profound, sensitive fear of Indian society in all of its manifestations. His books provide a realistic depiction of rural India while providing accurate documentation of current social structures. His novels demonstrate his commitment to society and his love of people, especially those who are marginalised, oppressed, and subalterns who suffer at the hands of colonial rulers and the so-called upper class of traditional Hindu society.


The social issues in India are realistically portrayed in Mulk Raj Anand's book. His accurate description and realistic portrayal of the dominant orthodox Hindu society are extremely helpful in fostering constructive social change. The characters he selects for his major novels reflect the people in his life, and his major novels demonstrate his fundamental concern for the oppressed. He was a gifted artist who painted the lives of impoverished Indians in a moving and realistic way while also incorporating political and moral commitment. The sufferings of Bakha are portrayed in the book Untouchable to illustrate these. There is no sympathy for Bakha.


The only person who can help him and save the situation is Mohammadan Tongawala. He does not understand why Muslims and Sahibs do not mind being touched. Numerous Hindus from low castes have converted to Christianity, and the cruel and rigid nature of the Hindus makes this the most likely explanation. When Bakha visits the temple to clean the courtyard, another embarrassing incident takes place. His desire to learn more about the god of the caged snake climbs the temple steps leading to the holy area inside the temple. Polluted, polluted, polluted! is shouted, which he hears.


The crowd responds to the priest's call because they believe the untouchable has desecrated the temple. Bakha realises the priest is covering up inappropriate behaviour toward Sohini. Sohini tells him another storey. Mulk Raj Anand's book portrays India's social issues realistically. The priest accuses Bakha's siblings of defiling him and the temple grounds to win crowd sympathy and sexually assault Bakha's sister. Bakha feels helpless and distraught.


When he considers pandit Kalinath's action, he wants to retaliate, but when he realises, he is powerless, he wishes his sister weren’t so pretty. Bakha's third insult hurts. Mulk Raj Anand's book portrays India's social issues realistically. Bakha defiles her home when he visits the silversmith colony to collect food for the family. Bakha begs for forgiveness and food, which is thrown at him like trash. Bakha's collection of an upper-caste woman's thrown chapatti is tragic. Bakha only has two chapattis and is not sure if he should tell his dad.


His father calls him a worthless scoundrel. Rakha, his younger son, must bring him something tasty from the barracks. His day is being ruined by embarrassing flashbacks. Once his younger brother brings food, they all eat from the same basket. Bakha stops eating when something sticky touches his hand because he fears it may be contaminated with saliva. He tells his father he attended Ram Charan's sister's wedding because he wanted to marry her.


Gulabo, Ram Charan's mother, thought it was beneath them because they were washermen and thought themselves better than Bakha even among outcastes. The novel is based on one day's worth of events, so the tragedy occurs in the morning. Trauma and humiliation seem never-ending for Bakha, who represents outcast Hindus. Mulk Raj Anand's book portrays India's social issues realistically. Bakha receives a hockey stick and tea from Havildar Charat Singh. Bakha thanks Charat Singh and leaves the barracks cheerfully.


On the way, Bakha meets the two sons of the military Babu who are interested in hockey. The younger son suffers harm when a stone from Bakha's friend Ram Charan's hand strikes him in the head during a game. Bakha grabs him in his strong arms and carries him quickly to his house. Bakha anticipates that his mother will be grateful for his kind and humanitarian deed, so he is taken aback by her response. Instead of saying "thank you," she accuses him of coming into her house and defiling it. Bakha feels discouraged and let down. He takes the kid and departs. The demonstration in Bakha against caste exploitation will not spark a revolution to solve this social issue. He is a special person. In his own neighbourhood, he is unpopular.

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