- 1 Section A
- 2 1. Write short notes in about 100 words each: 4 × 5 = 20
- 3 (i) Narrative
- 4 (ii) New Trends in Fiction Writing
- 5 (iii) Characterisation
- 6 (iv) Theme
- 7 Section B
- 8 Answer the following in about 350 words each: 4 X 20 = 80
- 9 1. Examine the similarities/ points of contrast between Kate Chopin and Edna Pontellier in The Awakening.
- 10 2. Do you think that Things Fall Apart also appeals to readers across national boundaries? Give reasons in support of your answer.
- 11 3. Write a critical note on the significance of songs in Paraja.
- 12 4. Would you agree that Things Fall Apart is just a simple story of the rise and fall of one man? Give reasons for your answer.
|BEGC-134: IGNOU BAG Solved Assignment 2022-2023
|Bachelor Degree Programme
|Reading the Novel
|Bachelor of Arts (General)
|Last Date for Submission of Assignment:
|For June Examination: 31st April
For December Examination: 30th September
1. Write short notes in about 100 words each: 4 × 5 = 20
Ans: A narrative is a way of telling a story or a sequence of events. It can be written, spoken, or visual and can be found in various forms such as novels, films, plays, poems, and oral traditions. A narrative typically has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and is structured around a central conflict or theme. The characters in a narrative are usually well-defined and their actions and motivations drive the story forward. A narrative is often used to convey a message or make a point, and can evoke emotions and create a sense of empathy with the audience. It is an effective way to communicate information and entertain, as well as to explore complex ideas and perspectives.
(ii) New Trends in Fiction Writing
Ans: New trends in fiction writing reflect the changing tastes and perspectives of contemporary readers. Some of the current trends include diverse and inclusive representation, exploring complex themes and issues such as mental health, social justice, and technology, and experimenting with unconventional narrative structures. Many writers are also embracing unconventional storytelling methods such as interactive fiction, augmented reality, and virtual reality to push the boundaries of traditional storytelling. The use of multimedia elements, such as images and audio, is also becoming more popular. Another trend is the rise of self-publishing, which allows writers to bypass traditional publishing channels and reach audiences directly. Despite these new trends, timeless elements such as compelling characters, engaging plots, and vivid descriptions will always remain key to successful fiction writing.
Ans: Characterization is the process of creating and developing characters in fiction. It involves revealing a character’s personality, motivations, and actions through dialogue, actions, thoughts, and appearance. Characterization is a crucial aspect of fiction writing, as it allows readers to understand and connect with the characters and their experiences. There are two main types of characterization: direct and indirect. Direct characterization involves the author explicitly stating a character’s personality traits, while indirect characterization shows a character’s personality through their actions, thoughts, and words. Effective characterization can make a story more compelling, and can help to convey themes and messages. It is important for writers to strike a balance between revealing enough about a character to make them feel real and leaving enough mystery to keep the reader engaged.
Ans: A theme is the central idea or message in a work of fiction, poetry, or drama. It is the underlying subject that the author wishes to explore and communicate to the audience. Themes can range from broad concepts such as love, death, or identity, to more specific and personal issues such as grief, friendship, or social justice. Themes are usually not explicitly stated in a work, but are revealed through the characters, plot, setting, and imagery. They can be implied or abstract, but they shape the way that a story is told and give it depth and meaning. A work can have multiple themes, and the way that these themes are developed and woven together can contribute to the overall impact and effectiveness of a work. Effective use of theme can add depth and complexity to a story, and can leave a lasting impression on the reader.
Answer the following in about 350 words each: 4 X 20 = 80
1. Examine the similarities/ points of contrast between Kate Chopin and Edna Pontellier in The Awakening.
Ans: “The Awakening” is a novel written by Kate Chopin, published in 1899. The novel focuses on the main character Edna Pontellier and her journey of self-discovery and liberation from the societal norms and expectations of her time. Kate Chopin and Edna Pontellier have some similarities and points of contrast that are worth examining.
- Breaking free from societal norms: Both Chopin and Edna were ahead of their time in terms of challenging the norms and expectations of their society. Chopin was a feminist writer who used her writing to explore the lives of women and challenge the limitations placed on them by society. In a similar vein, Edna’s journey of self-discovery and liberation is a reflection of Chopin’s own feminist views.
- Yearning for self-expression: Both Chopin and Edna were drawn to artistic expression as a means of finding their own voice and exploring their individuality. In the novel, Edna is drawn to painting, which becomes a symbol of her artistic expression and desire for self-expression.
Points of Contrast:
- Life experiences: While Chopin and Edna share similar yearnings, their life experiences are different. Chopin was born into a wealthy family and was well-educated, while Edna comes from a more modest background and has limited education.
- Personal freedoms: Chopin lived in a time when women had more freedoms and opportunities than they did in the past. However, she still faced limitations and societal expectations that she challenged through her writing. Edna, on the other hand, is struggling to break free from the restrictive norms and expectations of her time, which are much more stringent.
- Outcome: While Chopin was successful in her writing and became a celebrated author, Edna’s journey ends in tragedy. This can be seen as a reflection of the limitations and obstacles that women faced during Chopin’s time, as well as the limitations that women still face today.
2. Do you think that Things Fall Apart also appeals to readers across national boundaries? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Ans: Yes, I do believe that “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe appeals to readers across national boundaries. There are several reasons for this:
- Universality of themes: The themes explored in the novel, such as cultural conflict, the loss of identity, and the impact of colonialism, are not limited to a specific culture or nation, but are universal in nature. These themes resonate with readers from different backgrounds and cultures, allowing them to connect with the story and its characters on a deep level.
- Cultural and historical significance: “Things Fall Apart” is considered a landmark work in African literature and provides valuable insights into African culture and history. The novel provides a nuanced and complex portrayal of an African society, challenging the stereotypical and colonialist narratives that were prevalent at the time of its publication. This makes the novel of interest to readers who are looking to broaden their understanding of African culture and history.
- Characterization: The complex and nuanced characterization of the characters in the novel, particularly the protagonist Okonkwo, is another reason why the novel appeals to readers across national boundaries. The character development and the intricate relationships between the characters are well-crafted and universal in nature, allowing readers from different cultures to connect with them.
- Writing style: The writing style of Achebe is clear and accessible, making the novel easy to read and understand for readers from different backgrounds. The use of simple, yet powerful language helps to convey the emotional impact of the events and characters in the story, which is relatable to readers from different cultures.
3. Write a critical note on the significance of songs in Paraja.
Ans: “Paraja” is a novel by Gopinath Mohanty, set in the tribal region of Odisha, India. The significance of songs in the novel cannot be overstated as they play a crucial role in shaping the narrative, character development, and themes of the story.
- Cultural expression: The songs in the novel serve as a means of cultural expression for the tribal characters. They reflect the traditional beliefs, customs, and values of the tribal community, and provide a window into their culture and way of life. The songs are an integral part of the characters’ daily lives, and they use them to express their emotions, tell stories, and connect with each other.
- Character development: The songs in the novel also play a key role in character development. Through the songs, we learn about the characters’ backgrounds, personalities, and motivations. The songs reveal the characters’ deepest feelings and desires, and help to build empathy and understanding between the reader and the characters.
- Themes: The songs in “Paraja” also help to reinforce and explore the major themes of the novel, such as cultural conflict, identity, and tradition. The songs serve as a metaphor for the struggle between tradition and modernization, and the impact that this struggle has on the characters and their culture.
- Storytelling: In addition to their significance in character development and themes, the songs in “Paraja” also play a crucial role in storytelling. The songs serve as a bridge between the past and present, linking the characters and their history with their current experiences. They provide a rich tapestry of storytelling that helps to build a vivid and memorable narrative.
4. Would you agree that Things Fall Apart is just a simple story of the rise and fall of one man? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans: No, I wouldn’t agree that Things Fall Apart is just a simple story of the rise and fall of one man. While the novel’s central character, Okonkwo, is an important figure and the events of the story do follow his life, Things Fall Apart is a much more complex and nuanced work than a simple tale of one man’s success and failure.
The novel is set in pre-colonial Nigeria and follows the story of Okonkwo, a member of the Ibo tribe who is known for his strength, bravery, and success as a wrestler and warrior. Over the course of the story, Okonkwo’s life is disrupted by the arrival of Christian missionaries and the subsequent changes brought about by colonial rule. Through the experiences of Okonkwo and those around him, Things Fall Apart presents a nuanced and multi-faceted portrayal of pre-colonial African life, culture, and traditions.
Okonkwo’s rise and fall are significant elements of the story, but they are not the only important aspects of the novel. Things Fall Apart is also a commentary on the effects of colonialism and cultural change on indigenous societies. Through the story of Okonkwo’s life and the experiences of his fellow tribe members, the novel explores the ways in which colonialism and cultural change can both enrich and destroy traditional ways of life.
Additionally, Things Fall Apart is a meditation on the nature of power, identity, and community. The novel raises important questions about the relationship between power and tradition, the role of tradition in shaping personal identity, and the ways in which communities can be disrupted by external forces.
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