Skip to main content


Showing posts from April 17, 2022

ONCE MORE TO THE LAKE - E. B. White (1898-1985)

ONCE MORE TO THE LAKE Once More to the Lake , a narrative non-fiction essay written by E. B. White and first published in 1941, is a story about how the narrator, who grew up going to a lake in Maine, returns with his son when he is older. This essay is a depiction of the writer’s experience as he visits a lake once again – the lake that he has been fond of since childhood. He describes all the great memories that were made with his family at this lake, specifically mentioning the times with his father. When he arrives back at the lake, he comments on how everything has stayed the same. The essay moves in a non-chronological way, as White weaves in and out of the past and present, following the flow of his mental process, or as what many would call  stream-of-consciousness . By the essay's end, White has come full circle, accepting his own mortality. In his son's image, he no longer sees himself. He is clear that his son's maturation is a sign that White is getting closer t

THE OLD MAN AT THE BRIDGE - Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Ernest Hemingway, born on July 21, 1899, in America, was a novelist, short story writer and journalist . The old man in the story symbolizes the countless civilian victims of war; those who are " without politics ." The old man is going to die at the bridge: displaced, disoriented, alone. The old man symbolically is not a cat, nor a dove, but a goat who was " only taking care of animals .” The story is in the form of a conversation between a soldier and an old man. The writer takes the ordinary detail and transforms it into a powerful story about the tragedy of war. The old man in the story becomes a symbol of countless civilians who perished (is killed) in the war. The story consists of just one brief scene – the conversation between the narrator and the old man at the bridge – and one setting: the pontoon bridge across a river in Spain.  The story is related to a conversation between a soldier and an old man who had to leave his hometown during the Spanish Civil War

JEST AND EARNEST - Annie Dillard (1945)

Jest and Earnest  Jest:  a thing said or done for amusement Earnest:  resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction Writes about nature Observes nature very carefully and explains the purpose of the universe and the position of human beings Writes about an event when she was roaming during the summer Saw many frogs, jumping in the water  It changes its shape and shrinks like the airless ball Water bug attacks the frog She thinks about the purpose of God in making a giant water bug She imagines we are like water bugs because we always strive for food, we try to survive by destroying other's existence The frog also swallowed a fly, and a bug killed a frog. The frog made fly its food and similarly, the bug made the frog its food The frog was treacherous to fly in the same way a bug is treacherous to a frog The writer talks about beauty and cruelty which are created by God She wants to talk about cruelty  Human beings think that there may not be the existence of trod (walk),

THE FLY - William Blake (1757-1827)

  The Fly is a poem written by the English poet William Blake. It was published as part of his collection Songs of Experience in 1794. William Blake  compares his life and death to that of a fly which he happens to kill unintentionally  and finally advises the man to enjoy every day like the fly because no one knows when God will take away our life. The poem has been divided into 5 small stanzas having four lines each. The rhyme scheme is ABCB DEFE. We don’t have any control over our life or death, so thinking about the future and fearing it is something that makes us sad and joyless. Hence we should accept our life, submit to our fate and live as much as we can. In the first stanza, the poet who is sitting outside in summer is thinking about a  little fly , whom his  thoughtless hand  killed. The poet is thus not happy with what he has done. However, his consciousness wakes up after killing the fly. As a Romantic Poet, he is connected to nature. Thus both the summer and the fly have

POPULAR MECHANICS - Raymond Carver (1938-1988)

  Popular Mechanics , a very short story by Raymond Carver . It was included in Carver's 1981 collection called " What We Talk About When We Talk About Love " and later appeared under the title " Little Things " in his 1988 collection , " Where I'm Calling From. ” The story describes an argument between a man and a woman that rapidly escalates into a physical struggle over their baby. The man, woman, and baby don't even have names, which emphasizes their role as universal archetypes (prototypes). They could be anyone; they are everyone. The word "mechanics" shows that this is a story about the process of disagreeing more than it is about the outcome of those disagreements. Nowhere is this more evident than in the final line of the story: " In this manner, the issue was decided. ” Summary : It’s slushy outside and getting dark. Inside, a man is in the bedroom, hurriedly packing his suitcase. A woman says she's glad he's leavi

FAREWELL - Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936)

Farewell by Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), is a romantic lyric expressing a longing for the scenes to feast on even after death. The poem in a way expresses the individual's interest to continue living in the physical world: earth. The speaker of the poem is asking someone, perhaps one of his family members, to leave the balcony open if he dies, because from his balcony he wants to see the little boy eating oranges and hear the reaper (a person or machine that harvests a crop) harvesting the wheat and singing. The speaker's wish shows that this world is a very enjoyable place. Life here is real and we must enjoy it.   The boy eating oranges in the garden and the reaper harvesting wheat refers to common human psychology. A boy is more focused on today. His eating oranges might refer to his adolescence and his interest to fulfil his hunger only.  In the same way, the reaper harvesting wheat signifies the money-minded nature of grown-ups. Both of them do not seem to be consc

GIRL - Jamaica Kincaid

  Jamaica Kincaid (1949) Interlocutor: partner Onslaught: trouble Clothesline: a rope or wire where clothes are hung to dry Fritters: deep-fried meat, vegetable or fruit Hem: the edge of a piece of cloth or clothing which has been turned under and sewn  Dasheen: taro plant ( पिंडालु ) Squat: Sit on one's heels Pepper pot: meat-based stew rich with braised beef and infused with cinnamon, clove and peppers Doukona:  सेवई  Girl  by  Kincaid  features a non-stop monologue of a mother to her daughter, with her daughter only responding a couple of times. The story comprises one single sentence in 650 words and takes the form of of a dialogue between a mother and her daughter. In the story we see the author talking about the things that a young girl should do and learn so that she can be accepted by society. She starts by saying in the beginning that washing cloth is only a task for women, starting on Monday “ Wash the white clothes on Monday ”. Then goes on to talk about doing more chore

THE KISS - Kate Chopin (1850-1904)

Characters Mr Brantain Nathalie (Nattie) Mr Harvy Nathalie’s brother The story was written on September 19, 1894, and first published in Vogue on January 17, 1895. The physical setting is Nathalie’s home, an unspecified location where Nathalie and Brantain meet again, and the location of Nathalie and Brantain’s wedding. The social setting looks at the condition of women during the 19th century and explores Nathalie’s character in light of the feminist movement. The story is told by a third-person narrator, who presents the perspectives of all three characters in turn. The Kiss is a short story written by Kate Chopin . It is about a woman called Nathalie (Nattie) scheming to marry a wealthy man, Brantain. However, she is having an affair with Mr Harvy. Kate Chopin uses different themes such as Money over love, exploitation and acceptance. These themes are represented to show that one can’t always have two things at once. Kate Chopin uses a variety of techniques: imagery, iro