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Showing posts from April 3, 2022

THE RIGHTS OF ANIMALS - Brigid Brophy (1929-1995)

In the essay The Rights of Animals , the essayist Brigid Brophy urges human beings to treat animals with due respect. She suggests people not exploit animals for any reason. She wittily argues that the responsibility of human beings is to behave decently toward animals. She asserts that our relationship with animals is one of unremitting (continual) exploitation and argues that we are under a moral obligation to respect their rights and spare them pain and terror.   The essayist observed that "the exploitation of the other animal species by the human-animal species is the most unscrupulous, the cruellest, the most nearly universal and the longest-lasting exploitation of one class by another class in the history of the world. And the pattern of mental blind spots that allows us to do it is a pattern very easily adaptable to any other of the (fashionable) tyrannies ... “   Brophy notes that while many political activists include animal rights in their political agenda, others feel t


Characters : James Herriot (A veterinary doctor/narrator) Mr Casling (a 60 years old man/owner of Casling Farm/has 2 sons) Alan and Harold (30 years old sons of Casling) Calf (whose leg is broken and Herriot came for its treatment) In this passage from The Lord God Made Them All, James Herriot, the Yorkshire, England, veterinarian and writer, describes a day when he would have been wise to remain silent. In The Lord God Made Them All , James Herriot includes a series of narratives that recount his veterinary practice from just after World War II until the early 1960s.   Herriot remembers talking with farmers who are not at all well-read. He once made a comment about a cow with a broken leg, since he had read in the newspaper that George Bernard Shaw had broken his leg as well. The farmer ended up believing that Shaw was a friend of Herriot’s, and the veterinarian believes that there was probably an amusing comment at the farmer’s dinner table that evening.  

ROOT CELLAR - Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)

Theodore Roethke’s  Root Cellar  is a motivational poem that spreads the message to live and thrive even through the worst, deadly scenarios in life. One should not lose hope and grow along the way, clearing all the obstacles that may come. To describe this concept, Roethke describes a root cellar/greenhouse where all the plants are on the brink (verge) of dying. Foul odours filled the place, making it impossible for one to breathe. In fact, none can imagine living in that place. However, the plants still fight for the light, struggling for existence.  Roethke begins his poem “Root Cellar” on a very disgusting note. It is set in an old dank (damp) cellar or greenhouse that belonged to the poet’s father. In the beginning, the poet exclaims, “ Nothing would sleep in that cellar ,” stating that the place is too awful for human sharing. The cellar is “ dank as a ditch ,” meaning it is too gloomy for the eyes. Roethke uses such words to evoke the senses of dirt, filth, and absolute disgust

ON WARTS - Lewis Thomas (1913-1993)

Warts are non-cancerous skin growths that develop on different parts of the body and come in various forms. They are caused by viruses. Warts are contagious (spreadable) and very common: Most people will have one at some point in their lives. Although they can affect people of any age, warts are most common among children and teenagers. Warts are wonderful structures. They can appear overnight on any part of the skin, like mushrooms on a damp lawn, full-grown and splendid in the complexity of their architecture. Viewed in stained sections under a microscope, they are the most specialised of cellular arrangements, constructed as though for a purpose. They sit there like turreted (small towers extending above a building) mounds (rises/mounts/hills) of dense, impenetrable (unsolvable) horn, impregnable (secure), designed for defence against the world outside. In a certain sense, warts are both useful and essential, but not for us. As it turns out, the exuberant (excited) cells of a wart a