IGNOU BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

BEGC-108

British Literature: 18th Century

BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment January 2023

Section A

Write short notes on the following

(i) Political Debates of 17th Century England.

Ans. The 17th century was a tumultuous time in English history, marked by significant political and social changes.

One of the most contentious issues of the time was the role of the monarchy in governing the country, which led to heated debates and conflicts between the supporters of the Crown and the advocates of parliamentary authority.

The political debates of the 17th century were shaped by several factors, including religious tensions, economic struggles, and a growing sense of individualism and democracy.

BEGC 108 Assignment Question

These debates were often conducted through pamphlets, speeches, and parliamentary discussions, and they influenced the course of English politics for centuries to come.

At the heart of the debates was the question of who had the ultimate authority to govern the country. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The supporters of the monarchy argued that the king or queen was the rightful ruler of the country, appointed by God and responsible for ensuring the well-being of their subjects.

They believed that any attempt to limit the monarch’s powers or interfere with their decisions was a threat to the stability of the state and the divine order of things.

On the other side were the advocates of parliamentary authority, who believed that the power to govern should be shared between the king and parliament.

They argued that parliament represented the people’s interests and had the right to limit the monarch’s powers and hold them accountable for their actions.

This view was based on the principle of the “social contract,” which held that rulers were accountable to the people they governed and could be removed if they failed to fulfill their duties.

The debates over the role of the monarchy were closely tied to religious issues, particularly the conflict between the Anglican Church and the dissenting Protestant groups such as the Puritans. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The Anglicans supported the king’s authority and believed that the Church should be closely aligned with the Crown, while the Puritans wanted more religious freedom and greater separation of Church and State.

The economic struggles of the time also played a role in the political debates, as many people were discontented with the rising taxes and economic inequalities.

The rise of the merchant class and the growth of trade and commerce also challenged the traditional hierarchies of power and led to calls for greater representation and democracy.

The political debates of the 17th century culminated in the English Civil War and the eventual overthrow of the monarchy, followed by the establishment of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell.

However, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 did not end the debates over the role of the Crown, and they continued to shape English politics in the following centuries. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

(ii) Satire in New Classical Age.

Ans. ii) The New Classical Age, also known as the Age of Enlightenment, was a period of great intellectual and cultural change that occurred in Europe during the 18th century.

During this time, the use of satire became increasingly popular as a means of critiquing the social and political structures of the day.

Satire was often used to expose the hypocrisy and absurdity of those in power, and to challenge the prevailing ideas of the time.

One of the most famous satirists of the New Classical Age was Jonathan Swift. His most famous work, Gulliver’s Travels, is a scathing critique of 18th-century society, politics, and culture. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The novel is a satire on human nature and society, and uses the character of Lemuel Gulliver to explore different cultures and political systems.

In one of the book’s most famous passages, Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput, where he finds himself a giant among a race of tiny people.

The Lilliputians are obsessed with petty politics and personal vendettas, and Swift uses this to satirize the political climate of his own time.

He uses the absurdity of the Lilliputian political system to comment on the corruption and pettiness of the political class in 18th-century Europe.

Another famous satirist of the New Classical Age was Voltaire. His most famous work, Candide, is a satire on optimism and the idea that everything happens for the best.

The novel follows the adventures of its titular character as he travels the world and experiences various calamities and misfortunes.

Through Candide’s experiences, Voltaire critiques the ideas of philosophers such as Leibniz, who believed that the world was perfect and that everything happened for a reason. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Voltaire’s satire was not limited to philosophy, however. He also used his work to criticize the abuses of power and the hypocrisy of the church.

In Candide, the character of Pangloss represents the church, and Voltaire uses his absurd arguments to highlight the absurdity of some religious beliefs.

Through this satire, Voltaire was able to question the established order and promote a more rational and enlightened society.

Satire was also used in the visual arts during the New Classical Age. The Rococo style of art, which was popular during the 18th century, often used satire to mock the excesses of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie.

The style was characterized by its ornate and decorative qualities, but also by its humorous and ironic depictions of everyday life.

One famous Rococo painter, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, used his work to critique the aristocracy and their excesses. In his painting, The Swing, he depicts a young woman being pushed on a swing by an elderly bishop.

The painting is a satire on the hypocrisy of the church and its involvement in the decadent pleasures of the aristocracy. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

(iii) Features of Restoration Comedy

Ans. iii) Restoration comedy is a type of theatrical genre that emerged during the Restoration period in England in the late 17th century.

This period marked the return of the English monarchy under King Charles II after years of Puritan rule. The genre is known for its witty dialogue, sexual themes, and satirical tone. Here are some of the key features of Restoration comedy:

Witty and Poetic Dialogue: Restoration comedy is characterized by its fast-paced, witty, and poetic dialogue. The language is often playful, filled with puns, innuendos, and double entendres.

Sexual Themes: Restoration comedies are known for their sexual themes, which were a reflection of the libertine lifestyle of the Restoration period. The plays often explored sexual relationships, affairs, and infidelity.

Stock Characters: Restoration comedies often featured stock characters, such as the witty and clever rake, the naive and innocent young lover, and the controlling and domineering older woman. These characters were often exaggerated and stereotypical. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Satirical Tone: Restoration comedy often had a satirical tone, critiquing the social and political structures of the time. The plays often mocked the upper class and their pretensions, as well as the social and moral codes of the day.

Intricate Plots: Restoration comedies had complex plots, filled with twists, turns, and mistaken identities. The plays often featured disguises, secret plots, and hidden agendas, adding to the intrigue and suspense.

Music and Dance: Restoration comedies often featured music and dance, adding to the entertainment value of the plays. The musical interludes were often used to comment on the action of the play and to provide a break from the dialogue.

Role of Women: Restoration comedies often portrayed women as objects of desire and sexual conquest, but they were also given strong and independent roles.

The women in the plays were often clever and witty, challenging the patriarchal norms of the time.

Setting: Restoration comedies were often set in urban and fashionable locations, such as London or Bath. The settings were meant to reflect the fashionable and sophisticated world of the upper class.

(iv) Broad features of literature in the ‘long 18th Century.’

Ans. iv) The long 18th century spans from the late 17th century to the early 19th century, and was a period of significant cultural and literary development in Europe and America. Here are some of the broad features of literature during this period:

Enlightenment Thought: The long 18th century was a period of great intellectual and philosophical change, with the rise of the Enlightenment.

This movement emphasized reason, logic, and scientific inquiry, and had a profound impact on literature, particularly in the areas of satire, parody, and irony.

Rise of the Novel: The novel emerged as a popular literary form during the long 18th century, with writers such as Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding producing some of the most enduring works of the period.

The novel was often used to explore social issues, and to critique the moral and political values of the time. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Poetry: The poetry of the long 18th century was marked by a shift towards a more classical form, with writers such as Alexander Pope and John Dryden using heroic couplets and classical allusions in their works.

The Romantic movement, which emphasized emotion and individualism, also began to emerge towards the end of the period.

Drama: The theatre remained a popular form of entertainment during the long 18th century, with playwrights such as William Congreve and Richard Sheridan producing witty and satirical plays that reflected the social and political issues of the time.

Political and Social Critique: Literature during the long 18th century was often used as a vehicle for political and social critique.

Writers such as Jonathan Swift and Voltaire used satire and parody to challenge the establishment, while others, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, advocated for women’s rights and social justice. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Travel Writing: The period saw a surge in travel writing, with explorers and adventurers such as Captain James Cook and John Lewis Burckhardt documenting their journeys to far-flung lands.

These works often reflected the imperialist values of the time, but also provided a glimpse into the exotic and unknown.

Gothic Fiction: The late 18th century saw the rise of Gothic fiction, a genre characterized by supernatural elements, gloomy and eerie settings, and heightened emotions.

Writers such as Ann Radcliffe and Horace Walpole used Gothic fiction to explore themes of fear, anxiety, and the unknown.

Section B

Q 1. Critical comment on the binarisation of the ‘savage’ and the ‘civilized’ in Defoe’s Crusoe. Does the story also blur this rigid binarisation sometimes ?

Ans. Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe has long been a subject of critical attention due to its representation of colonialism, imperialism, and the relationship between the ‘savage’ and the ‘civilized’.

The novel presents a clear dichotomy between the ‘savage’ and the ‘civilized’, with Crusoe representing the ‘civilized’ European and Friday, his servant, representing the ‘savage’ native. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

However, while the novel initially sets up this rigid binarisation, it also blurs these categories in some instances, and ultimately calls into question the validity of this simplistic dichotomy.

One of the key ways in which the novel presents the binarisation of the ‘savage’ and the ‘civilized’ is through its portrayal of Friday.

Initially, Friday is presented as a primitive ‘savage’, with Crusoe describing him as “a poor, miserable, naked wretch, […] with his face and limbs painted or rather daubed with clay, of which I suppose he had a great plenty” (Defoe 85).

Crusoe’s initial descriptions of Friday emphasize his lack of civilization, and his status as an ‘other’. Friday is not only seen as less civilized than Crusoe, but also less human.

However, as the novel progresses, this rigid dichotomy between the ‘savage’ and the ‘civilized’ begins to blur. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Friday becomes a much more complex character, and we see that he possesses many qualities that Crusoe himself lacks.

For example, Friday is shown to be resourceful, brave, and loyal, and he is even able to teach Crusoe some valuable skills, such as hunting and fishing.

Friday’s willingness to learn from Crusoe, and Crusoe’s willingness to learn from Friday, blurs the line between the ‘savage’ and the ‘civilized’, and suggests that these categories are not fixed or absolute.

Furthermore, the novel also questions the validity of the ‘civilized’ category itself. While Crusoe initially sees himself as the epitome of civilization, his experiences on the island cause him to question his own assumptions about what it means to be ‘civilized’.

Crusoe comes to realize that his own society is not perfect, and that there are many flaws in the way that Europeans behave.

For example, he criticizes the slave trade and the exploitation of native peoples, and recognizes the injustice that has been done in the name of European civilization.

In addition to blurring the categories of ‘savage’ and ‘civilized’, the novel also subverts these categories through its portrayal of the island itself.

The island is initially presented as a barren and uninhabitable wasteland, but as Crusoe begins to explore it, he discovers that it is a rich and diverse ecosystem, filled with resources and potential. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The island is not the ‘savage’ wilderness that Crusoe initially assumes it to be, but rather a complex and dynamic environment that requires careful management and cultivation.

Furthermore, the island is also shown to have its own native inhabitants, who are not presented as ‘savages’ in the same way that Friday is.

While Crusoe initially sees the native people as a threat, he comes to realize that they have their own society and culture, and that they are not fundamentally different from Europeans.

The novel thus challenges the idea that there is a fixed dichotomy between ‘savage’ and ‘civilized’, and suggests that these categories are more fluid and complex than they initially appear.

Q 2. Does Swift help us question the binary between a man and an animal in Gulliver’s Travels? Comment.

Ans. Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels has long been recognized as a work that challenges the boundaries between humanity and animality.

In the novel, the protagonist Lemuel Gulliver travels to several different lands, encountering a variety of different creatures and beings, each of which challenges his preconceptions about what it means to be human.

Throughout the novel, Swift raises a number of questions about the relationship between humans and animals, and ultimately calls into question the validity of this binary. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the key ways in which Swift challenges the binary between humans and animals is through his portrayal of the Yahoos.

The Yahoos are a race of humanoid creatures that Gulliver encounters on his travels, and they are initially presented as savage and bestial, with Gulliver describing them as “the most filthy, noisome, and deformed animals which nature ever produced” (Swift 109).

However, as the novel progresses, Gulliver comes to realize that the Yahoos are not so different from humans after all.

He notes that they have many human-like qualities, such as language, reasoning, and emotions, and he begins to see them as a kind of distorted mirror image of humanity.

Through his portrayal of the Yahoos, Swift raises questions about the nature of humanity and the ways in which humans perceive themselves as distinct from animals. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The Yahoos are initially seen as a separate and inferior species, but as the novel progresses, this distinction becomes increasingly blurred.

Gulliver’s encounters with the Yahoos force him to confront the ways in which humans are often just as violent, irrational, and cruel as animals, and to question the validity of the binary between human and animal.

Furthermore, Swift also challenges the binary between humans and animals through his portrayal of the Houyhnhnms.

The Houyhnhnms are a race of intelligent, rational, and virtuous horses that Gulliver encounters on his travels, and they are presented as a kind of idealized version of humanity.

The Houyhnhnms are characterized by their reason, their lack of emotion, and their adherence to strict social norms, and they are seen as embodying the best qualities of humanity.

Through his portrayal of the Houyhnhnms, Swift questions the very nature of humanity itself, and challenges the idea that humans are fundamentally distinct from animals.

The Houyhnhnms possess many qualities that are traditionally associated with humans, such as language and reason, and they are able to live together in a complex and sophisticated society.

Swift suggests that these qualities are not unique to humans, but rather are shared by many different species, and that the binary between human and animal is therefore not as clear-cut as we might assume.

Finally, Swift also challenges the binary between humans and animals through his portrayal of Gulliver himself. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Throughout the novel, Gulliver undergoes a number of physical and psychological transformations, each of which blurs the boundary between human and animal.

For example, in the land of the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver begins to adopt some of the customs and behaviors of the horses, such as their diet and their mode of speech.

He also becomes increasingly disgusted by his own humanity, seeing it as base and animalistic, and begins to identify more with the rational and virtuous Houyhnhnms.

Through his portrayal of Gulliver, Swift suggests that the binary between human and animal is not fixed or absolute, but rather is something that is constantly in flux.

Gulliver’s transformations suggest that our identity as humans is not something that is inherent or natural, but rather is something that is constructed and contingent, and that can be altered by our experiences and interactions with the world around us.

Q 3. What role and purpose does Mrs. Fainall serve in the play ‘The Way of the World’?

Ans. Mrs. Fainall is a character in William Congreve’s play “The Way of the World.” She is a complex and intriguing character who serves several important roles in the play. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the main roles that Mrs. Fainall serves is as a foil to the play’s protagonist, Mirabell. Mirabell is a witty and charming character who is determined to marry Millamant, a wealthy and independent woman.

Mrs. Fainall, on the other hand, is bitter and disillusioned, having been mistreated by her husband, Fainall, and his family.

While Mirabell is portrayed as a hero who is willing to risk everything for love, Mrs. Fainall is a victim of circumstance who has been trapped in a loveless marriage.

By contrasting these two characters, Congreve highlights the difference between genuine love and the kind of social gamesmanship that often passes for romance in high society. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Another role that Mrs. Fainall serves in the play is as a source of intrigue and scandal. Throughout the play, it becomes clear that Mrs. Fainall is engaged in a secret affair with Mirabell.

This affair adds a layer of tension and suspense to the plot, as the other characters are constantly trying to uncover the truth about their relationship.

Mrs. Fainall is also involved in a scheme to blackmail her own husband, which further complicates the plot and adds to the sense of intrigue and danger.

Mrs. Fainall is also an important symbol of the limitations placed on women in 18th-century society.

Like many other women of her time, she is forced to navigate a complex web of social expectations and rules, and she often finds herself at the mercy of the men in her life. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Her marriage to Fainall is one such example of this, as she has been forced to marry him in order to secure her financial future.

Throughout the play, Mrs. Fainall struggles to assert her own agency and independence, and she is constantly thwarted by the expectations and constraints of her society.

Despite her difficult circumstances, however, Mrs. Fainall is a strong and intelligent character who is able to hold her own against the men around her.

She is quick-witted and resourceful, and she is not afraid to speak her mind, even if it means going against the expectations of her society.

In this way, she serves as a symbol of the resilience and determination of women in the face of patriarchal oppression.

In conclusion, Mrs. Fainall is a complex and multi-dimensional character who serves several important roles in “The Way of the World.” She serves as a foil to the play’s protagonist, Mirabell, as well as a source of intrigue and scandal.

She is also an important symbol of the limitations placed on women in 18th-century society, and of the resilience and determination of women in the face of patriarchal oppression. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Overall, her character adds depth and complexity to the play, and serves as a powerful reminder of the social and cultural forces that shape the lives of men and women alike.

Q 4. What is the setting of the Gray’s poem ‘Elegy Written In a Country’s Churchyard’?

Ans.”Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is a poem by Thomas Gray, published in 1751. The poem is known for its nostalgic and reflective tone, as well as its depiction of the rural countryside of 18th-century England.

The setting of the poem is a country churchyard, specifically the graveyard of the parish church in the village of Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire.

Gray was inspired to write the poem during a visit to the churchyard in 1742, where he saw the graves of several ordinary people, as well as the tombs of several prominent local families.

The poem begins by setting the scene in the churchyard at sunset, with the “lowing herd” returning home and the “ploughman homeward plods his weary way.”

This image of rural life is a key theme throughout the poem, as Gray reflects on the lives and deaths of the ordinary people buried in the churchyard.

Gray’s descriptions of the churchyard are vivid and detailed, with references to the “ivy-mantled tower” of the church, the “moping owl” in the trees, and the “narrow cell” of the graves. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

He also describes the “rude forefathers” buried in the churchyard, suggesting that their lives were simple and humble, but nonetheless worthy of respect and admiration.

The poem also contains several allusions to classical literature and mythology, which add to its nostalgic and reflective tone.

For example, Gray references the “curfew tolls the knell of parting day,” a line which alludes to the ancient curfew law requiring people to extinguish their fires and lights at a certain time each night.

He also makes reference to the Greek goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Roman god of death, Pluto.

Despite its melancholy subject matter, the poem is also a celebration of the beauty and tranquility of rural life.

Gray’s descriptions of the churchyard and the surrounding countryside evoke a sense of peace and serenity, and suggest that there is a kind of natural harmony to be found in the rhythms of rural life. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the key themes of the poem is the transience of human life, and the idea that death is the great equalizer.

Gray reflects on the lives and deaths of the people buried in the churchyard, from the humble “cottager” to the “great” and “mighty” figures who are also buried there.

He suggests that death is the final destination for all of us, regardless of our social status or wealth.

Another theme of the poem is the idea of the passage of time, and the way in which the memories and legacies of the dead are gradually forgotten as new generations come and go.

Gray reflects on the idea that the graves of the people buried in the churchyard will one day be forgotten, and that their names and stories will be lost to history.

In conclusion, the setting of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is a rural churchyard in 18th-century England, specifically the graveyard of the parish church in the village of Stoke Poges. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The poem is known for its nostalgic and reflective tone, as well as its celebration of the beauty and tranquility of rural life.

It is a meditation on the transience of human life and the passage of time, and reflects on the lives and deaths of the ordinary people buried in the churchyard, as well as the great and mighty figures who are also buried there.

Section C

Q 1. Critically comment on Crusoe’s Sojourn on the island.

Ans. Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” is a novel that tells the story of a man named Robinson Crusoe, who is stranded on a deserted island for twenty-eight years.

During his sojourn on the island, Crusoe faces many challenges and learns important lessons about survival, self-sufficiency, and the limitations of human knowledge.

One of the most striking aspects of Crusoe’s sojourn on the island is his transformation from a passive and entitled young man into a self-sufficient and resourceful survivor.

When Crusoe is first stranded on the island, he is overwhelmed by fear and despair. He has no idea how to survive in this new and unfamiliar environment, and he feels completely helpless and alone. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

However, over time, Crusoe begins to adapt to his new circumstances. He learns how to build shelter, find food and water, and protect himself from the elements.

He also develops a routine that helps him maintain his physical and mental health, and he becomes increasingly confident in his ability to survive on the island.

Crusoe’s transformation is not just physical, however. He also undergoes a significant spiritual and emotional transformation during his sojourn on the island.

Before his shipwreck, Crusoe is a self-centered and arrogant young man who takes his comfortable life for granted. However, his experience on the island humbles him and forces him to confront his own limitations.

He comes to realize that he is not the master of the world that he once thought he was, and that his knowledge and abilities are limited.

This realization prompts him to become more humble and more grateful for the blessings that he has.

Despite his many challenges, Crusoe’s time on the island is also characterized by moments of great joy and wonder. He spends many hours exploring the island, observing the wildlife, and marveling at the beauty of nature.

He also takes great pleasure in the simple pleasures of life, such as reading, writing, and listening to the birds sing. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

These moments of joy and wonder help to balance out the hardships that he faces, and they remind him of the value of life and the beauty of the world.

However, Crusoe’s sojourn on the island is not without its darker side. As he adapts to his new life, he also becomes increasingly isolated and lonely.

He longs for human companionship, but he knows that he is unlikely to ever be rescued from the island. This loneliness takes a toll on his mental health, and he begins to suffer from depression and anxiety.

He also struggles with his faith, and he questions whether he has been abandoned by God.

These darker aspects of Crusoe’s experience on the island serve as a reminder of the limitations of human resilience, and of the importance of social connection and support.

Overall, Crusoe’s sojourn on the island is a complex and multifaceted experience that challenges him in many ways. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

It forces him to confront his own limitations, to adapt to a new and unfamiliar environment, and to question his own beliefs and assumptions.

However, it also offers him moments of joy and wonder, and it teaches him important lessons about the value of self-sufficiency, humility, and gratitude.

Ultimately, Crusoe’s experience on the island is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit, as well as a reminder of the importance of human connection and support.

Q 2. Gulliver’s Travels Book III is a satire against the abuse of science and reason. Critically discuss.

Ans. Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” is a novel that uses the device of travel to critique the social and political structures of 18th century Europe.

In Book III of the novel, Gulliver travels to the island of Laputa, where he encounters a society that is completely obsessed with science and reason.

Through his experiences on Laputa, Swift offers a biting critique of the abuse of science and reason, and raises important questions about the role of these tools in society. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the key themes of Book III is the idea that the pursuit of knowledge can be taken to an absurd extreme.

The people of Laputa are so focused on scientific experimentation that they neglect basic human needs, such as food and shelter.

They spend their time conducting pointless experiments and analyzing meaningless data, all in the name of advancing scientific knowledge.

This focus on knowledge for its own sake leads to a society that is completely detached from reality, and that has no practical application for its scientific discoveries.

Swift also criticizes the notion that science and reason can solve all of society’s problems.

The people of Laputa are so convinced of the power of science that they believe it can be used to control nature and even human behavior.

They create machines that can control the weather, and they experiment with ways to control the thoughts and actions of their citizens.

However, these attempts at control are ultimately futile, and they only serve to create more problems for the people of Laputa.

Another important aspect of Swift’s critique of science and reason is his criticism of the elitism and exclusivity that often accompanies these pursuits.

The people of Laputa are a privileged class of scientists and intellectuals, who look down on the rest of society as inferior and uneducated.

They are so convinced of their own superiority that they are completely disconnected from the needs and desires of the common people.

This elitism leads to a society that is deeply divided, and that lacks any sense of empathy or social cohesion. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Swift also questions the value of scientific knowledge when it is divorced from morality and ethics.

The people of Laputa are so focused on scientific discovery that they are willing to overlook the ethical implications of their research.

They conduct experiments on animals and humans alike, without any concern for the suffering that they cause.

This lack of moral responsibility leads to a society that is deeply flawed and immoral, and that has lost touch with its humanity.

Finally, Swift critiques the idea that science and reason can be used to achieve ultimate knowledge and understanding.

The people of Laputa are so convinced of their own intellectual superiority that they believe they can unlock the secrets of the universe.

However, this belief is ultimately misguided, and it leads to a society that is deeply flawed and incomplete. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The pursuit of ultimate knowledge is a futile and empty pursuit, and it ultimately leads to disappointment and disillusionment.

Book III of “Gulliver’s Travels” is a powerful critique of the abuse of science and reason in 18th century Europe.

Swift uses the device of travel to create a society that is completely obsessed with scientific knowledge, and that is completely divorced from reality and morality.

Through his critique, Swift raises important questions about the role of science and reason in society, and he reminds us of the importance of maintaining a balance between knowledge and morality.

Ultimately, Swift’s satire is a powerful reminder of the dangers of extremism and elitism, and it serves as a warning against the dangers of unchecked intellectual ambition.

Q 3. Critically analyze Gulliver’s Travels Book IV as the critique of English colonialism.

Ans. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is a satirical novel that uses the device of travel to offer a critique of various aspects of 18th century English society, including colonialism.

In Book IV, Gulliver travels to the land of the Houyhnhnms, a race of rational horses, and the Yahoos, a race of savage humanoid creatures.

Through his experiences in this land, Swift offers a scathing critique of English colonialism, and raises important questions about the nature of power, domination, and cultural difference. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the key themes of Book IV is the idea that colonialism is a form of domination that is rooted in a sense of cultural superiority.

The Houyhnhnms are a highly rational and civilized society, while the Yahoos are savage and uncivilized. However, as Gulliver comes to realize, the differences between these two groups are not so clear-cut.

In fact, the Houyhnhnms are not as rational as they appear, and the Yahoos are not as savage as they seem.

This realization serves as a powerful critique of the English colonial project, which was built on the assumption of the superiority of European culture.

Swift also critiques the idea that colonialism is justified by the desire to bring civilization to the “savages” of the world.

Throughout Book IV, Gulliver is horrified by the behavior of the Yahoos, whom he sees as primitive and barbaric.

However, as he spends more time with them, he comes to realize that they are not so different from the English colonizers themselves.

In fact, their behavior is often a reaction to the violence and exploitation of the colonizers. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

This realization serves as a powerful critique of the justification of colonialism on the grounds of civilizing the “natives.”

Another important aspect of Swift’s critique of colonialism is his critique of the power dynamics that underpin colonial domination. The Houyhnhnms are a highly rational and civilized society, but they are also deeply hierarchical.

The horses hold all the power in the society, and they use this power to dominate the Yahoos.

This dynamic is reminiscent of the power dynamics that underpin English colonialism, in which the colonizers hold all the power and use it to dominate and exploit the colonized.

Swift’s critique serves as a powerful reminder of the dangers of unchecked power, and the importance of questioning the legitimacy of dominant power structures.

Swift also critiques the idea that colonialism is justified by the desire to spread Christianity to the “heathen” world.

Throughout Book IV, Gulliver encounters various religious figures who espouse a belief in the superiority of Christianity over other religions.

However, Gulliver also comes to realize that many of these figures are motivated not by genuine religious conviction, but by a desire for power and control.

This critique serves as a powerful reminder of the dangers of using religion to justify political power, and the importance of separating genuine religious conviction from political ambition. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

Finally, Swift critiques the idea that colonialism is justified by the desire to acquire wealth and resources.

Throughout Book IV, Gulliver encounters various figures who are obsessed with acquiring wealth and resources, often at the expense of the colonized.

However, Gulliver also comes to realize that this obsession with wealth and resources is often fueled by a desire for power and domination.

This critique serves as a powerful reminder of the dangers of using economic power to justify political domination, and the importance of questioning the legitimacy of economic exploitation.

Q 4. Does the play ‘The Way of the World’ uphold bourgeoisie ideology and mercantile capitalism? Comment.

Ans. William Congreve’s play ‘The Way of the World’ was first performed in 1700 and is considered one of the greatest Restoration comedies.

The play is set in the world of the wealthy bourgeoisie in London, and the characters are all involved in the pursuit of wealth, power, and status.

At the heart of ‘The Way of the World’ is a world in which social status and economic success are closely intertwined. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The play’s characters are all motivated by a desire to maintain or improve their social standing, and much of the humor and drama of the play revolves around their efforts to do so.

At the same time, the play presents a world in which social and economic mobility is possible for those who are willing to work hard and play their cards right.

One of the most important ways in which ‘The Way of the World’ upholds the ideology of the bourgeoisie is through its portrayal of marriage.

Marriage is presented as a transactional relationship in which economic and social considerations take precedence over love and affection.

The play’s central couple, Mirabell and Millamant, are both interested in each other, but their love is constantly overshadowed by their concerns about money, status, and social acceptability.

This portrayal of marriage as a transactional relationship is consistent with the bourgeois worldview, in which economic considerations are often given priority over personal feelings.

Another way in which ‘The Way of the World’ upholds the ideology of the bourgeoisie is through its portrayal of the importance of reputation.

Throughout the play, characters are obsessed with maintaining their reputation, and much of the humor of the play comes from their efforts to do so.

This emphasis on reputation is consistent with the bourgeois worldview, in which one’s reputation is seen as a key indicator of one’s social and economic standing.

Moreover, the play’s characters are also portrayed as being motivated by a desire for material possessions. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

This is especially evident in the character of Lady Wishfort, who is obsessed with her own appearance and with acquiring valuable possessions.

Lady Wishfort is an example of the way in which the bourgeoisie prioritizes material possessions and outward appearances over personal relationships and inner qualities.

‘The Way of the World’ also upholds the ideology of mercantile capitalism through its portrayal of the importance of financial speculation and trade.

The play is set in a world in which the pursuit of wealth is seen as a legitimate and even admirable pursuit, and characters are constantly engaged in financial speculation and trade.

The character of Fainall, for example, is involved in a variety of financial schemes and is motivated by a desire for financial gain.

This portrayal of financial speculation and trade is consistent with the mercantilist worldview, in which the pursuit of wealth is seen as a legitimate and desirable pursuit.

‘The Way of the World’ upholds the ideology of the bourgeoisie and mercantile capitalism through its portrayal of marriage as a transactional relationship, its emphasis on reputation, its portrayal of material possessions as an indicator of social and economic standing, and its portrayal of financial speculation and trade as a legitimate pursuit.

While the play may be seen as a critique of the excesses of the bourgeoisie and the limitations of social and economic mobility, it ultimately reinforces the worldview of the wealthy merchant class in 18th century England.

Q 5. Analyze the pastoral elements in Gray’s Elegy.

Ans. Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is a poem that has been celebrated for its evocation of the pastoral.

The pastoral is a literary genre that celebrates the simple life of rural communities, often depicting idyllic scenes of shepherds, animals, and nature.

The poem opens with a description of the setting – a country churchyard at the close of day. This setting is immediately pastoral in nature, evoking images of rural communities and peaceful landscapes.

Gray describes the “lowing herd winding slowly o’er the lea” and the “ploughman homeward plods his weary way,” painting a picture of a rural community at the end of the day. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

The use of natural imagery to describe the scene creates a pastoral tone, suggesting a connection between humanity and the natural world.

Gray’s description of the churchyard itself also reflects pastoral elements. The graveyard is described as a “narrow cell” where the “rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.” This image evokes a sense of simplicity and closeness to nature.

The use of the word “hamlet” further emphasizes the rural nature of the setting, reinforcing the pastoral tone of the poem.

The poem goes on to explore the lives of the “rude forefathers” who are buried in the churchyard. Gray celebrates their simple lives and the “unlettered muse” that inspired their poetry.

This is a common theme in pastoral literature – a celebration of the simplicity and innocence of rural communities. Gray portrays the lives of these simple folk as being just as valuable and worthy of celebration as those of the more privileged classes.

Throughout the poem, Gray uses imagery of nature to reinforce the pastoral tone. He describes the “daisy,” “violets,” and “primrose” that grow in the churchyard, painting a picture of a natural landscape that is alive with color and life.

He also describes the “pensive” owl, which hoots mournfully in the distance. This imagery of nature creates a sense of the timeless and the eternal, reinforcing the idea that the lives of the simple folk who are buried in the churchyard are just as significant and enduring as those of the more privileged classes.

The theme of death is also an important element of the pastoral in Gray’s poem. The idea of death is often used in pastoral literature as a reminder of the transience of human life and the eternal nature of nature.

In the “Elegy,” Gray uses death as a way of celebrating the lives of the simple folk who are buried in the churchyard. He portrays death as a peaceful and natural process, describing it as “Nature’s final day of reckoning.”

This idea of death as a natural and inevitable part of life is a common theme in pastoral literature. BEGC 108 Solved Free Assignment 2023

One of the most powerful pastoral elements in Gray’s poem is the use of the image of the “curfew.” The curfew is a bell that rings at the end of the day to signal the time to go to bed.

In the poem, Gray describes the sound of the curfew as a reminder of the passing of time and the fleeting nature of human life.

He writes, “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, / The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea, / The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, / And leaves the world to darkness and to me.”

The image of the curfew tolling is a powerful representation of the pastoral theme of the passing of time and the fleeting nature of human life.

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