The titles of Hemingway’s novels are not mere tags because they are chosen with extensive care and deliberation. They really underline and highlight the spirit of the stories related to the novels. True to this very fact, the title of ‘A Farewell to Arms‘ by Hemingway also was chosen by the author after great effort and much thinking. The author have infact many alternative titles in his mind. Some of these alternatives were: ‘The Grand Tour’, ‘Patriot’s Progress’, ‘Love in War’, ‘Education of the Flesh’ and ‘The Carnal Education’. But none of these could satisfy the fastidious Hemingway, and we are happy for that the title that Hemingway ultimately chose for his novel has virtue besides literal significance and appropriateness.
In his book ‘Love and Death in the American Novel’ Leslie Fieldler has presented a harsh criticism of Hemingway’s female characters calling them as “hopless, and unmitigated bitches”. But this is a very unfair criticism because it is not based on facts. Hemingway has certainly drawn women full of nobility. In his novels, there are a few characters who seem incapable of love but on the other hand, there are also characters who are extremely lofty in their sentiments. As far as Catherine Barkley, the heroine of ‘A Farewell to Arms‘ is concerned, she is a most sensitively drawn woman character in the whole range of western fiction.
The dramatic monologue was one of the most favourite forms of poetry for the Victorian poets . In this type of poetry the entire poem is spoken out at a critical moment of the speaker’s life and the presence of a silent listener offers great insight into the feelings, temperament and character of the speaker .It is indeed ‘a comprehensive soliloquy’ , and Browning’s dramatic monologues are regarded as the best master of this type. Margaret Willy claims this form to be the greatest and most original contribution of Browning to English poetry .Continue reading “Browning’s Dramatic Monologues”
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Chesterton calls Browning “ the greatest of love-poets ” and his poetry the “finest and truest love – poetry in the world”. Though this may sound a hyperbole , yet there is hardly any denying that Robert Browning as a love poet describes the passion of love with utmost sincerity and energy. His great poems are , in some sense or other , intellectual study of love, rhymed passionately. “The Last Ride Together”, “Porphyria ‘ s Lover” and “Fra Lippo Lippi” are three of his celebrated love poem.
Robert Browning’s optimism has led him often been called the most philosophical of all the dramatic poets . Born in an age of skepticism , he was strangely free from its “strange disease of sick hurry . . . divided aims” . And with his “one aim,one business , one desire” , he had an unconditional trust in God . In ‘Pippa Passes’, he says :
” God ‘ s in his heaven
All’s right with the world “
Browning saw the evils of life – failures , frustrations and disappointments as necessary ingredients for the perfection and purification of man . Failures strengthen man and thereby help his spiritual development . So he says in Epilogue to ‘ Asolando ‘ ,”we fall to rise , are battled to fight better / Sleep to wake” . Infact , to show that it is within the power of man ‘ s spirit to pluck the sting out of failure and make of it something better than success – was Browning ‘ s constant endeavour. In other words , while the theory of evolution brought pessimism in most of his contemporaries , he looked scorned at all sorts of pessimistic schools of poetry growing all around him and was considerably elated by the possibility of the perpetual progress oil and his infinite capacity for improvement. Robert Browning’s optimism in ‘The Last Ride Together’ is an instance to this.
The Conch ( Shankha ) belongs to Tagore ‘ s 1916 collection of poems, Balaka ( Wild Gees ) . The poem may be likened to Pancajanya , God Krishna ‘ s conch in the Mahabharata , since the poem is a clarion call to have a spiritual fight from physical and mental inertia to a life of action and participation . According to William Radice , this poem “is a call to a self, a people or even a World that have ignored Krishna ‘ s Words , has let this conch – the symbol of the ideal of fight , since heroes in Indian epic rally their troops by blowing conches – lie neglected in the dust” . As noted by the poet ‘ s biographer Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay , the poem was written from a sense of uncanny trepidation in the poet ‘ s mind about his sense of remorse for not having performed any duty towards the greater humanity .Continue reading “Critical Appreciation of ‘The Conch’ by Rabindranath Tagore.”
Tagore’s 1906 collection of poems, Kheya (“The Ferry”) marks a distinct movement towards his preoccupation with religious themes that reaches its culmination in the poems of Gitanjali (1910) and Gitimalya (1914). In the present volume the poet evaluates the Indians’ general activities of his time in the light of the spiritual achievements of ancient India. With great despair he records the triviality of the basis on which contemporary life of his fellow people rests in comparison to the high spiritual ideal of ancient times. Here he really undertakes a symbolical journey from this sense of spiritual inertness to a newer world of activities. “Arrival” by Rabindranath Tagore is a short lyric from this poetic volume where this spiritual symbolism finds an exquisite rhythmic efflorescence.Continue reading “Critical appreciation of ‘Arrival’ by Rabindranath Tagore”