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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Victorian Age Viva


Q. 1. What are the salient characteristics of the Victorian literature?
Ans. Firstly, the main trend of Victorian literature was neither severely classical
nor strongly romantic. Secondly, there was impact of democracy and science in
Victorian literature. Thirdly, there was the conflict between faith and reason as reflected
in Victorian literature.
Fourthly. there was reaction against intellectualism in the Victorian period. Fifthly, the
decay of faith and the spread of industrialism formed the background of Mid-Victorian
poetry. Carlvle and Ruskin, as representing rebellion against rationalism and emergence
of a new idealism, were the chief authors of this period Sixthly, the new movement PreRaphaelitism and its influence on Victorian poetry Is also the keynote of this period.
This period is deeply affected by the Oxford Movement which also influenced Cardinal
Newman. Finally. the Victorian age is the age of novel.
Q. 2. The Victorian Age has been characterised as the new Age. Discuss.
Ans. The year 1832 was a turning point in both literature and politics, for it
marks the death of Sir Walter Scott and the passing of the Reform Bill. In the same year
died Goethe, Bentham and Crabbe, and two years later, those lifelong friends, Lamb and
Coleridge. A great period of poetry had clearly come to an end. Keats, Shelley, and Byron
had died earlier, and though Wordsworth lived and continued to write until 1850, his
work had long been in the years between Byrons death and 1832 would have failed to
find any indications of the great poets to come These indications, however, were not
long deferred. Tennyson published a thin volume of verse in 1830, and a far more
remarkable volume in 1833. In the same year appeared Brownings Pauline.
Q. 3. What were the changes brought about in the Victorian Age?
Ans. The England of Victoria was very different from the England of past
centuries, and it was conscious that in literature the process of change had only begun.
Democracy, industry, commerce, and science seemed to be hurrying the nation out of its
charted course into an unknown sea. Like every form of activity, literature was directly
affected. the reading public increased by leaps and bounds as education was extended
and books and periodicals were cheapened.
Q. 4. What are the chief classical themes which were attempted by Lord Tennyson in his
poetry?
Ans. The classical poems have in some cases notably in The Death of Oenone,
something of the same defect as the Idyllys of the Kingthe introduction of modern
standards of behaviour into stories which originated among people with quite other
ideas. But in Lucretius we have a genuinely pagan philosophy, and in Ulysses and The
Lotos Eaters Tennyson rises above the limitations of a particular period, and expresses
in perfect verse phases of the human spirit as it exists in all ages. Ulysses embodies the
central craving for action and new experience; The Lotos Eaters, the mood of fatigue
and the yearning for rest.
Q. 5. Examine the chief characteristics of Tennysons poetry.

Ans. First, Tennysons poetry is not so much to be studied as to be read and


appreciated: he is a poet to have open on ones table, and to enjoy as one enjoys his daily
exercise. And second, we should by all means begin to get acquainted with Tennyson in
the days of our youth. Unlike Browning, who is generally appreciated by more mature
minds. Tennyson is for enjoyment, for inspiration, rather than for instruction. Only
youth can fully appreciate him; and youth, unfortunately, except in a few rare, beautiful
cases, is something which does not dwell with us long after our school days. The secrets
of poetry, especially of Tennysons poetry, is to be eternally young, and, like Adam, in
Paradise, to find every morning a new world, fresh, wonderful, inspiring, as if just form
the hands of God. Thirdly, his style is marked by a wonderful combination of simplicity
and ornateness; he is always absolutely clear and is rarely merely plain. Finally, his
lyrical measures have often supreme beauty.
Q. 6. Comment upon Tennysons reputation after his death.
Ans. To his contemporaries he was a demi-god; but younger men strongly
assailed his patent literary mannerisms, his complacent acceptance of the evils of his
time, his flattery of the great, and his somewhat arrogant assumption of the airs of
immortality, consequently, for twenty years after his death his reputation suffered
considerably. Once more reaction has set in, and his detractors have modified their
attitude. He is not a supreme poet; and whether he will maintain the primacy among the
singers of his own generation, as he undoubtedly did during his life-time, remains to be
seen; but after all deductions are made, his high place in the Temple of Fame is assured.
Q. 7. Justify that Tennyson is a great artist in verse rather than a great poet.
Ans. Tennyson had a great command over craftsmanship. No one can deny the
great care and skill shown in Tennysons work. His method of producing poetry was
slowly to evolve the lines in his mind, commit them to paper, and to revise them till they
were as near perfection as he could make them. Consequently we have a high level of
poetical artistry. No one excels Tennyson in the deft application of sound to sense and in
the subtle and pervading employment of alliteration and vowel-music.
Q. 8. How will you discuss the Victorian Compromise in Tennysons poetry?
Ans. The Victorians were an extremely self-satisfied lot, and they formed a
compromise between the new scientific thought and religious thought. Tennyson
represents this at its best. In this poem In Memoriam, Tennyson resolves this conflict
between religion and science at the cost of science. It is the spiritual history of a man
who is bewildered by such problems, as the existence of evil, the mystery of death and of
life. But it is characteristic of Tennyson and his Victorianism that he does not come to
grips with these problems in a scientific spirit, but towards the end of the poem he
makes wishful compromise between faith and science.
Q. 9. Comment upon the poems which Browning wrote when he was at the height of his
power.
Ans. At the height of his power, Browning produced some of his best works in
Men and Women, which, with exception of the dedicatory One Word More, addiessed to
his wife, consists entirely of dramatic monologues. Here are to be found the famous Fra
Lippo Lippi, An Epistle containing the strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the
Arab physician, Andrea del Sarto, Cleon. Most of them are written in blank verse. The
year 1864, saw the ,publication of his last really great volume, Dramatis Personae, again
a collection of dramatic monologues. To illustrate their quality mention need be made of
only such works as Caliban Upan Setebos, A Death in the Desert, Rabbi Ben Ezra, and

Abt Vogler. In style the poems have much of the rugged, elliptical quality which was on
occasion the poets downfall, but here it is used with a skill and a power which show him
at the very pinnacle of his achievement.
Q. 10. What is dramatic monologue? Discuss Brownings contribution to this art.
Ans. A poem consisting of the words of single character who reveals in his
speech his own nature and the dramatic situation. Unlike the stage soliloquy, in which
place and time, have been previously established and during which the character is
alone, the dramatic monologue itself reveals place, time, and the identities of the
characters. Called a dramatic lyric by Browning, he brought the form to its highest
development, the dramatic monologue discloses the psychology of the speaker at a
significant moment. Though Browning entitles one of his poems Soliloquy of the
Spanish Cloister, it is, in reality, a dramatic monologue, a striking example of the speed
with which he establishes character and situation.
Q. 11. What are the main reasons for Brownings obscurity in style?
Ans. Firstly, the poets thought is often obscure or else so extremely subtle that
language expresses it imperfectly. Secondly, Browning is led from one thing to another
by his own mental associations and forget that the readers associations may be of an
entirely different kind. Thirdly, Browning is careless in his English and frequently clips
his speech, giving us a series of Shorthand ejaculations. Fourthly, his allusions are
often far-fetched, referring to some old scrap of information which the ordinary reader
finds it difficult to trace and understand. Fifthfly, Browning wrote too much and revised
too little. Finally, his field was the individual soul and he sought to express the motives
and principles which govern individual action. He is not an entertaining poet and one
cannot read him after dinner or when settled in a comfortable easy-chair.
Q. 12. Discuss Brownings dramatic element in his works.
Ans. Brownings genius was fundamentally dramatic, his one absorbing interest
was human life, and so wide was his range and so Catholic were his sympathies but
nothing in its tragedy or comedy seemed to come amiss to him. But Browning is not a
dramatist in the sense that Shakespeare is a dramatist. He cannot bring a group of
people together and let the actions and words of his character show the comedy and
tragedy of human life. His dramatic power lies in depicting what he himself calls the
History of a Soul.
Q. 13. Examine Browning as a poet of Love.
Ans. Browning may well be counted among the three supreme love poets in
English, the other two being Shakespeare and Shelley. Love is one of the most
outstanding theme of his poetry as well a great influence in his life. He is a poet who
loves to analyses, to probe deep into the human mind to present different types of
complex characters. His lovers, too, are many and varied. In My Last Duchess he
presents that jealous type of lover who consumes rather than loves. In Porphyrias
Lover also a similar lover is presented, but he is a very different person indeed from the
cold, calculating Dulce, for he kills his beloved in sheer ecstasy made of love. Thus
Browning presents love in all its complexity, in all its many facets.
Q. 14. Do you agree that in his own day Browning was overrated as a thinker and
underrated as a poet?
Ans. It is an admitted fact that critical appreciation of Brownings poetry was
hampered because the public opinion was prejudiced against him. He was admired by a
few devotees in his own age. Both critics and laymen persistently sneered at him. His

works were not properly assessed or adequately valued in his life-time. While Tennyson
was regarded as a great artist and highly eulogized in his age, Browning met with much
scathing criticism, misunderstanding and even contempt. In his life-time, the Browning
society was formed in order to arouse public interest, and also to remove the cobwebs
surrounding his personality and talent. In spite of the magnitude and Importance of
work, his opponents chose to ridicule him and even suggested that he was a poet at all
but he is a philosopher.
Q. 15. What is Brownings contribution to English Poetry?
Ans. The robustness of Brownings nature, its courage, its abounding joy and
faith in life, make his works a permanent store-house of spiritual energy for the race a
store-house to which for a long time to come it will in certain moods always return. In
an age distracted by doubt and divided in will, he lifted his strong, unfaltering voice
above the perplexities and hesitations of man like a bugle-call to joyous battle in which
the victory is to the brave. But Brownings bequest to posterity has not merely his
euphoric attitude toward life. Twentieth-century poets, who reacted against his
somewhat jauntry optimism, nevertheless were able to profit by his psychological
realism, his audaciously colloquial diction, his deliberately rough rhythms, and his
extension of the domain of poetry to include cacophony and ugliness.
Q. 16. What is Arnolds place in the History of English literature?
Ans. In his own day Arnold was considered more a critic than a poet. But today,
by some ironic cunning of the time-spirit, that reputation has been reversed, and he is
remembered and valued as a poet more than as a critic. That Arnold may be accorded
the title of poet even the most fastidious and exacting lovers of literature will not deny.
But when it comes to the question of assigning him a rank and honouring him with a
place opinions differ, and differ widely. Edith Sitwell dismisses Arnold as an educated
versifier. T.S. Eliot calls him academic. Lafcadio Hearn speaks of Arnolds poetry as
colourless. Saintsbury, while admitting that Arnold has in him a spring of the most real
and rarest poetry, grudges to give him a rank higher than that of Thomas Gray.
Q. 17. What are the drawbacks in Matthew Arnolds poetry?
Ans. Arnold is not among the great poets. The quality of his poetry prevents us
from thinking of Arnold in the same way in which we think of Shelley and Keats
possessors of the pure and profound poetic vein, wearers of the authentic singing robe.
His poetry lacks spontaneity, passion, quiver, music and. other qualities of that
indefinable something by which we apprehend and appreciate great poetry. The
quantity of his poetic output is not large enough to compel our attention and
admiration.
Q. 18. Every poet is the child of his own Age. Discuss this statement with reference to
Matthew Arnolds Age?
Ans. Arnold, like Hamlet, was born in times that were out of joint, and like the
Prince of Denmark, must have many a time mutterred to himselfcursed spite, that
ever I was born to set it right. Too self-involved to be self-less, too individualistic to be
universal, too self conscious to be self-forgetful, too human to be finished stonfic, too
sceptical to be hopeful, too prosaic to be highly poetical, too critical to be superbly
creative, too susceptible to the too pre-occupied with contemporary with contemporary
troubles and troubles. and turmoil to concentrate on which is fundamental and
universalArnold is essentially the poet of his own age affected deeply by the
contending contemporary intellectual and religious ideas, the illogical confusions of

mens minds, and the harassing nature of their practice, the sick hurry and the divided
aims, broken hopes and palsied hearts.
Q. 19. What was Matthew Arnolds poetical ideal?
Ans. Arnold had a very high and glorious conception of the essence and destiny
of poetry conception far higher than the customary one. According to him, poetry has
higher uses, higher destinies and higher allegiances than those in general men have
assigned to it. Poetry is not merely the criticism of it is also the interpreter, the consoler
and sustainer of lifefor it is nothing less than the most perfect speech Of man, that in
which he comes nearest to being able to utter the truth. And as to Wordsworth, so to
Arnold poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.
Q. 20. What message does Arnolds poetry convey?
Ans. Arnolds poetry serves a purpose, conveys a message and caries a moral. In
fact, Arnolds whole life-work, his efforts in poetry and his achievements in prose, were
deliberately consecrated to a purposethe purpose being the pointing out of
undesirable things in man and the world and the scattering of the seeds of Sweetness, of
Light, of Culture and Conduct. It is to the eternal glory of Arnold that he had steadfast
singleness of purpose and devoted loyalty to self-created ideals. It is one thing to have
ideals for ones own self; it is another to commend them to others; it is still another
thing to be loyal to them through thick and thin. Arnold had all these three and he dealt
with them in his poetry and illustrated them in his own life.
Q. 21. What are the salient characteristics of the Pre-Raphaelite poetry?
Ans. Firstly, like the Romantics, the Pre-Raphaelites were inspired by the Middle
Agesby their romance, chivalry, superstition, and strange combination of the material
and mystical. Secondly, the Pre-Raphaelites where above all artists. Art was their
religion. They were for the most part as free from any moral or didactic purpose as
Keats, who came closest to them among the Romantics. In poetry, as in painting, they
aimed at perfect form and finish. Thirdly, as was natural in the work of writers who
often were also painters, Pre-Raphaelite poetry was strongly pictorial, rendering in
minute details was seen. They exercised this faculty for observation almost
involuntarily. Rossetti, for instance, tells, he sat in the grass, bowed with sorrow. Finally,
Pre-Raphaelitc poetry is particularly rich in melody. They sought it deliberately, of
course, and sometimes to the loss of any precise meaning.
Q. 22. Discuss Dante Gabriel Rossetti as a Pre-Raphaelite poet.
Ans. With a little more breadth of view and with perhaps more of the humane element
in him, Dante Gabriel Rossetti might have found a place among the very highest. For he
had real genius, and in The Blessed Damozel his gifts are fully displayed: a gift for
description of almost uncanny splendour, a brooding and passionate introspection,
often of a religious nature, and a verbal beauty as studied and melodious as that of
Tennyson, less certain and. decisive perhaps but surpassing that of the older poet, in
unearthly suggestiveness. In his ballads, like Rose Mary and Troy Town, the same
powers are apparent, though in a lesser degree; these have a power of narrative that is
only a very little short of the greatest.
Q. 23. Comment upon Charles Dickens Great Expectation.
Ans. It is the story of the development of the character of Philip Pirip, commonly
known as Pip, a village boy brought up by his termagent sister, the wife of the gentle,
humours, kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery. He is introduced to the house of Miss
Havisham, a lady half-crazed by the desertion of her lover on her bridal night, who in a

spirit of revenge, has brought up the girl Estella, and aspires to become a gentleman.
Money and expectations of more wealth come to him from a mysterious source, which
he believes to be Miss. Havisham. He goes to London, and in his new mode of life
meanly abandons the devoted Joe Gargery, a humble connexion of whom he is now
ashamed. Misfortunes come upon him. His unknown benefactor proves to be an escaped
convict, Abel Magwitch, to whom he, as a boy, had rendered a service; his great
expectations fade away and he is penniless. Estella marries his sulky enemy, Bentley
Drummel, by whom she is cruelly ill-treated. Taught by adversity, Pip returns to Joe
Gargery and honest labour, and is finally reunited to Estella, who has also learnt her
lesson.
Q. 24. What are the main defects in Charles Dickens novels?
Ans. Dickens major faults are a tendency to let pathos slop ever into bathos, a
preference for caricature rather than characterization, and an annoying lack of
concerning for either form or economy. He is interested, like an. actor, creating
impressions upon a contemporary audience and too often he moulded his amorphous
serials to suit his whims. He got his reward in an immense popularity during his
lifetime: but he is paying the price in a dying fame among readers to whom his Victorian
characters seen strange, and his Victorian moods outmoded.
Q. 25. Discuss Charles Dickens as a realist.
Ans. Dickens was a realist only in a limited sense. His mind was packed with the
experiences of a trained reporter, and his own realma sufficient wide one, since he
appeared to know everything except the higher classes, which were Thackerays
particular domainhas always been unrivalled. So far as the external features of
manners, surroundings, and the particularity of different classes go, especially in the
humbler walks of life, he was not only ominscient but extremely faithful. His pictures
are crammed with the rich details gathered by an untiring observer. Nothing seems to
have escaped his eye; nothing was beneath his sympathy and his affection.
Q. 26. Examine Dickens interest in Social Reform.
Ans. Though Dickens works embody no systematic social or political theory,
from the first he took himself very seriously as a social reformer. His novels aroused
public interest in many of the evils of his day, among them boarding schools, in
Nicholas Nikleby, the workhouses, in Oliver Twist, the new manufacturing system, in
Hard Times, and the Court of Chancery in Bleak House. Deference to the fastidiousness
of his public excluded the crudest realism from his pictures of poverty, and he seems to
have built his hopes for improvement on the spread of the spirit of benevolence rather
than upon political upheaval or formal legislation. In more ways than one his work
suffered from his preoccupation with social problems. To it can largely be attributed the
poetic justice of the conclusions of may of his novels, the exaggeration of such characters
as the Cradgrinds, and the sentimental pictures of the poorer classes.
Q. 27. Evaluate Charles Dickens homour.
Ans. It is very likely that the reputation of Dickens will be maintained chiefly as a
humorist. His humour is broad, humane and creative. It gives us such real immortals as
Mr. Pickwick, Mrs. Gamp, Mr. Micawber and Sam Wellertypical inhabitants of the
Dickensian sphere, and worthy of a place in any literary brotherhood. Dickens humour
is not very subtle but it goes deep, in expression it is free and vivacious. His satire is apt
to develop into mere burlesque, as it does when he deals with Mr. Stiggins and Bumble.
Q. 28. How will you stun up the chief merits of Charles Dickens novels?

Ans. The novels contain an amazing number of people vividly pictured and
convincing enough to have become a part of our world; , and few authors of any time
have created such a vast panorama of enthr$ling incident. The plots of his novels are apt
to be exceedingly involved on account of the great number of characters and the
intricate nature of their relations, and the plots themselves are often hard to recall, but
they-never care to hold our interest while we read. In such a book as The Tale of Two
Cities the result of Dickens reading of Carlyles French Revolution, he shows that he can
construct a well-built plot and avoid obscurring the main current of the action with a
confusion of minor episodes.
Q. 29. Where does lie the success of Charles Dickens?
Ans. Charles Dickens success as a novelist rests on two causes: one social and the
other literary. Dickens was not merely a storyteller, but a social reformer who used
fiction as a platform for his social appeals, and who proved to he that type of reformer
who could moralise with a smile on his lips. Through social feeling Dickens is linked up
with a whole group of writers and has a place in a great movement of the time.
Q. 30. Discuss Thackerays views on human nature.
Ans. Thackeray used to be called a cynic, because he saw through the shams and
snobbishness of society, and exposed them mercilessly. He was, indeed, very conscious
of the weaknesses, of human nature; but he laid them bare not out of malice but from a
passionate wish to help men to a higher level. He found in life neither the blackness of
Dickens villains, nor the whiteness of his saints; the best of men to Thackeray were
somewhat grey. He was at home amidst the splendour of aristocratic society and his
ideal was the English gentleman; but though he pictured that society with great
brilliance, he was never blinded by its glitter, and he saw its members as women moved
by petty motives but capable of nobility, like the men and women of all ranks. The cynic
sees no good in anything: Thackeray, in spite of his persistent ridicule of mens
weaknesses, saw much good in them and still more possibility of good.
Q. 31. How far was thackeray against the Romantic movement?
Ans. Thackeray was in the main a reactionary against the Romantic movement.
Like Fielding, he began by satire and burlesque of his contemporaries, parodying the
sentimental affections and pretentiousness of Lytton. He was by training and
disposition a child of the Augustan age. He shows no acquaintance with any of the poets
who led the Romantic movement, except Scott and Byron, whose departure from the
18th century tradition he ridiculed. But he was deeply read in Addison, Steele,
Goldsmith, Swift and Fielding; and, though he interpreted them somewhat mistakenly
in his English Humorists, he was with them in sympathy, and learned in their school his
clear, urbane, and unpretentious style.
Q. 32. What are the chief woman novelists of the Victorian ear?
Ans. The chief women-novelists of the Victorian era are The Bronte Sisters,
Elizabeth Cleghorn Caskell, George Eliot, Mrs. Henry Wood and Mrs. Oliphant.
Q. 33. What is the importance of The Bronte Sisters in the history of the novel?
Ans. The Bronte Sisters were the pioneers in fiction of that aspect of the
romantic movement which concerned itself with the bearing of the human soul. In the
place of the detached observation of society or group of people, such as we find in Jane
Austen and the earlier novelists, the Brontes painted the sufferings of an individual
personality, and presented a new conception of the heroine as a woman of vital strength
and passionate feelings. Their works are as much the products of the imagination and

emotion as of the intellect, and in their more powerful passages they border on poetry.
In their concern with the human soul they were to be followed by George Eliot and
Meredith.
Q. 34. Discuss George Eliot as a psychological novelist.
Ans. The general character of George Eliots novels may be described in the
authors own term, as psychological realism, this means that Eliot sought to do in her
novels what Browning attempted in her poetry; that is to represent the inner struggle of
a soul, and to reveal the motive, impulses, and hereditary influence which govern
human action. Browning generally stops when he tells his story, and either lets you draw
your own conclusion or else gives you his in a few striking lines. But George Eliot is not
content until she has minutely explained the motives of her characters and the moral
lesson to be learned from them. It is the development of a soul, the slow growth or
decline of moral power, which chiefly interests her. Her heroes and heroines differ
radically from those of Dickens and Thackeray in this respect.
Q. 35. Evaluate George Meredith as the psychological novelist.
Ans. Meredith has all the subtleties of George Eliot with a keener intellectual
vision behind. A casual reading of any of his novels suggests a comparison and contrast
with George Eliot. Like her, he is a realist and a psychologist; but while George Eliot
uses tragedy to teach a moral lesson, Meredith depends upon comedy, making vice not
terrible but ridiculous. He constructs a type-man as a hero, and makes this type express
his purpose and meaning.
Q. 36. Discuss the characters of Thomas Hardy?
Ans. His characters are mostly ordinary men and women living close to the soil.
The individuality of some is sacrificed to Hardys view of life but while he is, by more
modern standards not really deep in his psychological analysis, characters like Jude and
Sue, Tess Henchard, and Eustacia Vye show considerable subtlety, of interpretation.
Such figures as Gabriel Oak (Far From the Madding Crowd) and Diggory Venn (The
Return of the Native) are finely realized, country type blending with the countryside to
which they belong, while the minor rustics, who are briefly sketched but readily
visualized, are a frequent source of pithy humour, and act as a chorus commenting on
actions of the chief protagonists.
Q. 37. Evaluate Hardys view of life.
Ans. His attitude is almost one of despair. He does indeed see and present the
humorous and attractive sides of his country people, but his prevailing mood is one of
melancholy, inspired by uselessness of their efforts to steer their lives against currents of
circumstances which they do not understand and which are far stronger than they.
Nature, which he describes sometimes with a terrifying impressiveness is the spectator
of human tragedy, or not infrequently conspires with unseen forces that guide the
universe to lead poor, passionate, but not very intelligent men and women to suffering
and disaster. The movement of Hardys plots is often compared with that of the Greek
tragedies and some of these plots do move something of the same impressive
inevitability, but not even in Aeschylus and Sophocles are the gods so cruel.
Q. 38. Evaluate the Victorian Novel.
Ans. In the novels of Thackeray and Dickens the various qualities of the
domestic novel yet are gathered together and carried a stage forward. Dickens was a
social reformer, and did much to idealize the England of his day, and to depict the life of
the lower and middle classes with imagination and humour. As a satirist and an

observer of manners Thackeray easily excels his contemporaries. With the Bronte sisters
the romantic impulse was fully felt in the novel, to which they gave new intensity of
passion, greater depth of intuitive sympath and a profound interest in the struggle of the
individual soul. In this they were followed by George Eliot, who showed a closeness of
application to the mental processes of her characters that was carried further in the
work of Meredith, and has led to the psychological novels of the present day.
Q. 39. Comment upon Carlyle as a prose writer.
Ans. As a writer of a prose, Carlyle is forceful and original rather than a model.
He was fond of epithets, allusions, metaphors, and picturesque expressions, and he used
exclamations and inversions with frequency. These are all means of securing emphasis,
and they result in a style that sometimes lacks clearance or ease but is never wanting in
vigour and earnestness. He was a great artist, a master of irony, grim humour, of pathos,
eloquence and vivid portraiture. Like some other nineteenth century writers, he gives to
prose all the qualities of poetry except regular rhythm, and he makes the words and
sentences astonishingly representative of his striking personality.
Q. 40. Narrate John Ruskins teaching in his works.
Ans. There is a good deal in Ruskins forty volumes which is absurd or farfetched, but no one can refuse admiration to the lofty and passionate usefulness that
animates every page. He looked out on England where factory smoke and noisy railways
where destroying its meadows and woods and where greed of grain and deadening
labour were eating up the vital powers of its men and women. It was to this world that
he preached the beauty that is to be found in nature or in the creations of mans
imagination, and the duty that calls on each man to help make the life of all happier and
better.
Q. 41. Discuss that Ruskin was a great artist of literature.
Ans. Ruskin himself often deplored the fact that people read him more for his
style than for his creed. Many of his views, which he argued with power and sincerity,
are now self-evident, so rapid sometimes of the progress of human ideas, but his prose
style, an art as delicate and beautiful as any of those he spent his life in supporting, will
long remain a delectable study. For its like we must return to the prose of Milton and
Clarendon, and refine and sweeten the manner of these early masters to reproduce the
effect that Ruskin achieves. In its less ornate passage Ruskins diction is marked by a
sweet and enforced simplicity, but his paues abound in purple passages, which are
marked by sentences of immense length, carefully punctuated by a gorgeous march of
image and epithet, and by a sumptuous rhythm that sometimes grows into actual blank
verse capable of scansion.
Q. 42. Account for the rise of Essay in the Victorian Age.
Ans. We have to note the expansion of this literary type into the treatise-in-little.
This method was made popular by Macaulay and continued by Carlyle, Symonds, Pater
and many others. Of the miscellaneous essayist, both Dickens, in some parts of The
Uncommercial Travellers, and Thackeray, in the Roundabout Papers successfully
practised the shorter Addisonian type: and this again was enlarged and made more
pretentious by Ruskin, Pater, and Stevenson. Victorian essay is quite different from the
Baconian essay. Bacons essays are dispersed meditations of coming home to mens
bosoms or business. But the essays in the hands of Ruskin and Walter Pater became
impersonal. In fact, they are like the lyric for the expression of individuality.
Q. 43. Discuss Mathew Arnolds Essays on Criticism.

Ans. Essays on Criticism contains the best of his critical work, which is marked
by wide reading, and careful thought. His judgment, usually admirably sane and
measured, is sometimes distorted a little by his views on life and politics. Nevertheless,
he ranks as one of the great English literary critics. As in the poetry, he shows himself to
be the apostle of sanity and culture.
Q. 44. Interpret Mathew Arnolds famous remark that Poetry is a Criticism of Life.
Ans. It means that poetry is more than a matter of externals; more than the
utterances of certain moods; it is an expression of the moral and intellectual attitude of
the literary artist. The grand power of poetry, as Arnold puts it, is its interpretative
power.