You are on page 1of 10

The pulley Summary

In the poem, the central idea posited by Herbert is that when God made man, he poured all his blessings on him, including strength, beauty, wisdom, honor and pleasure. However, as in Pandora's box, one element remained. We are told that God "made a stay," that is, He kept "Rest in the bottome." We might, in modern parlance, call this God's ace. God is aware that if He were to bestow this "jewel" (i.e. rest) on Man as well then Man would adore God's gifts instead of God Himself. God has withheld the gift of rest from man knowing fully well that His other treasures would one day result in a spiritual restlessness and fatigue in man who, having tired of His material gifts, would necessarily turn to God in his exhaustion. God, being omniscient and prescient, knows that there is the possibility that even the wicked might not turn to Him, but He knows that eventually mortal man is prone to lethargy; his lassitude, then, would be the leverage He needed to toss man to His breast. In the context of the mechanical operation of a pulley, the kind of leverage and force applied makes the difference for the weight being lifted. Applied to man in this poem, we can say that the withholding of Rest by God is the leverage that will hoist or draw mankind towards God when other means would make that task difficult. However, in the first line of the last stanza, Herbert puns on the word "rest" suggesting that perhaps God will, after all, let man "keep the rest," but such a reading would seem to diminish the force behind the poem's conceit. The importance of rest -and, by association, sleep- is an idea that was certainly uppermost in the minds of Renaissance writers. Many of Shakespeare's plays include references to sleep or the lack of it as a punishment for sins committed. In Macbeth, for example, the central protagonist is said to "lack the season of all natures, sleep" and both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are tormented by the lack of sleep. Even Othello is most disconcerted by the fact that he is unable to sleep peacefully once Iago has poisoned him with the possibility of his wife's infidelity with Cassio. Herbert's Pulley, then, does not present a new concept. In fact, the ideas in the poem are quite commonplace for seventeenth century religious verse. What is distinctly metaphysical about the poem is that a religious notion is conveyed through a secular, scientific image that requires the reader's acquaintance with, and understanding of, some basic laws of physics. Pulleys and hoists are mechanical devices aimed at assisting us with moving heavy loads through a system of ropes and wheels (pulleys) to gain advantage. We should not be surprised at the use of a pulley as a central conceit since the domain of physics and imagery from that discipline would have felt quite comfortable to most of the metaphysical

poets. Written by : Alaa Cali4nia Boy

Essay On Shakespeare

Introductory Note Ben Jonson, after Shakespeare the most eminent writer for the Elizabethan stage, was born in 1573, and died in 1635. He was the founder of the so- called "Comedy of Humours," and throughout the reign of James I was the dominating personality in English letters. A large number of the younger writers were proud to confess themselves his "sons." Besides dramas of a variety of kinds, Jonson wrote much lyrical poetry, some of it of the most exquisite quality. His chief prose work appears in his posthumously published "Explorata, Timber or Discoveries, made upon men and matter", a kind of commonplace book, in which he seems to have entered quotations and translations from his reading, as well as original observations of a miscellaneous character on men and books. The volume has little or no structure or arrangement, but is impressed everywhere with the stamp of his vigorous personality. The following passage on Shakespeare is notable as a personal estimate of this giant by the man who, perhaps, approached him in the field of intellect more closely than any other contemporary. De Shakespeare Nostrat[I]^1 [Footnote 1: "Of our countryman, Shakespeare."] I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honor to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, "Would he had blotted a thousand," which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this but for their ignorance, who chose that circumstance to commend their friend by wherein he most faulted; and to justify mine own candor, for I loved the man, and do honor his memory on this side idolatry as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and free nature; had an excellent fancy, brave notions, and gentle expressions, wherein he flowed with that facility that sometime it was necessary he should be stopped. "Sufflaminandus erat,"^2 as Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too. Many times he fell into those things, could not escape laughter, as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him: "Caesar, thou dost me wrong." He replied: "Caesar did never wrong but with just cause;"^3 and such like, which were ridiculous. But he redeemed his vices with his virtues. There was ever more in him to be praised than to be pardoned.

[Footnote 2: "He should have been clogged."]

Mending wall Every year, two neighbors meet to repair the stone wall that divides their property. The narrator is skeptical of this tradition, unable to understand the need for a wall when there is no livestock to be contained on the property, only apples and pine trees. He does not believe that a wall should exist simply for the sake of existing. Moreover, he cannot help but notice that the natural world seems to dislike the wall as much as he does: mysterious gaps appear, boulders fall for no reason. The neighbor, on the other hand, asserts that the wall is crucial to maintaining their relationship, asserting, Good fences make good neighbors. Over the course of the mending, the narrator attempts to convince his neighbor otherwise and accuses him of being old-fashioned for maintaining the tradition so strictly. No matter what the narrator says, though, the neighbor stands his ground, repeating only: Good fences make good neighbors. Analysis This poem is the first work in Frost's second book of poetry, North of Boston, which was published upon his return from England in 1915. While living in England with his family, Frost was exceptionally homesick for the farm in New Hampshire where he had lived with his wife from 1900 to 1909. Despite the eventual failure of the farm, Frost associated his time in New Hampshire with a peaceful, rural sensibility that he instilled in the majority of his subsequent poems. Mending Wall is autobiographical on an even more specific level: a French-Canadian named Napoleon Guay had been Frosts neighbor in New Hampshire, and the two had often walked along their property line and repaired the wall that separated their land. Ironically, the most famous line of the poem (Good fences make good neighbors) was not invented by Frost himself, but was rather a phrase that Guay frequently declared to Frost during their walks. This particular adage was a popular colonial proverb in the middle of the 17th century, but variations of it also appeared in Norway (There must be a fence between good neighbors), Germany (Between neighbors gardens a fence is good), Japan (Build a fence even between intimate friends), and even India (Love your neighbor, but do not throw down the dividing wall). In terms of form, Mending Wall is not structured with stanzas; it is a simple forty-five lines of first-person narrative. Frost does maintain iambic stresses, but he is flexible with the form in order to maintain the conversational feel of the poem. He also shies away from any obvious rhyme patterns and instead relies upon the occasional internal rhyme and the use of assonance in certain ending terms (such as wall, hill, balls, well). In the poem itself, Frost creates two distinct characters who have different ideas about what exactly makes a person a good neighbor. The narrator deplores his neighbors preoccupation with repairing the wall; he views it as old-fashioned and even archaic. After all, he quips, his

apples are not going to invade the property of his neighbors pinecones. Moreover, within a land of such of such freedom and discovery, the narrator asks, are such borders necessary to maintain relationships between people? Despite the narrators skeptical view of the wall, the neighbor maintains his seemingly old-fashioned mentality, responding to each of the narrators disgruntled questions and rationalizations with nothing more than the adage: Good fences make good neighbors. As the narrator points out, the very act of mending the wall seems to be in opposition to nature. Every year, stones are dislodged and gaps suddenly appear, all without explanation. Every year, the two neighbors fill the gaps and replace the fallen boulders, only to have parts of the wall fall over again in the coming months. It seems as if nature is attempting to destroy the barriers that man has created on the land, even as man continues to repair the barriers, simply out of habit and tradition. Ironically, while the narrator seems to begrudge the annual repairing of the wall, Frost subtley points out that the narrator is actually more active than the neighbor. It is the narrator who selects the day for mending and informs his neighbor across the property. Moreover, the narrator himself walks along the wall at other points during the year in order to repair the damage that has been done by local hunters. Despite his skeptical attitude, it seems that the narrator is even more tied to the tradition of wall-mending than his neighbor. Perhaps his skeptical questions and quips can then be read as an attempt to justify his own behavior to himself. While he chooses to present himself as a modern man, far beyond old-fashioned traditions, the narrator is really no different from his neighbor: he too clings to the concept of property and division, of ownership and individuality. Ultimately, the presence of the wall between the properties does ensure a quality relationship between the two neighbors. By maintaining the division between the properties, the narrator and his neighbor are able to maintain their individuality and personal identity as farmers: one of apple trees, and one of pine trees. Moreover, the annual act of mending the wall also provides an opportunity for the two men to interact and communicate with each other, an event that might not otherwise occur in an isolated rural environment. The act of meeting to repair the wall allows the two men to develop their relationship and the overall community far more than if each maintained their isolation on separate properties.

Mending Wall Introduction


"Mending Wall" (1915) is Robert Frost's tribute to one man's notion of being a good neighbor, even as that notion is the opposite of his own. It is the opening poem in Robert Frost's second collection of poetry, North of Boston (1915). Homesick for America, Frost wrote "Mending Wall" while living in England with his wife and four children before World War I. Napoleon Guay had been Frost's neighbor in New Hampshire a few years earlier and inspired the poem, "Mending Wall." Apparently, French-Canadian Guay made an impression on Frost by often repeating the phrase, "Good fences make good neighbors," during the routine repairs on the wall between their farms.

The idea of "good fences" is one of personal boundaries, evoking the American pioneer mentality of staking a claim and taking ownership. With this poem, Frost questions that version of the American dream and hints at another version. After... Robert Frost Born Robert Lee Frost in San Francisco on March 26, 1874, Frost began writing poetry in high school. He married his co-valedictorian, Elinor White, in 1895, after dropping out of Dartmouth College. While trying to establish a career as a poet, Frost worked as a newspaper editor, cobbler, and farmer, and even attended Harvard for a time. Those years were lean for Frost and his family, but in 1906, he took a job as a teacher, which supported him as he composed most of the poems in his first book, A Boy's Will. After a stint living in England and a second book of poetry, North of Boston (1915), which contained "Mending Wall," Frost returned to America where he received critical acclaim for his poetry and four Pulitzer Prizes between 1922 and 1942.

Mending Wall Plot Summary


Preview of Mending Wall Summary: Before analyzing the narrative of "Mending Wall," it is important to look at the structure and language. The poem is not divided into stanzas and its forty-five lines make one solid verse narrated in first-person voice. The speech is colloquial, filled with the natural stops and pauses found in everyday conversation. In addition, Frost uses contractions to emphasize the vernacular rhythms, such as in the first line, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall," and in line 32, "Before I'd built a wall I'd ask to know." By this same token, Frost keeps his syllables short and simple for easy comprehension, as in line 31, "Where there are cows? But here there are no cows." Property The American dream of property ownership undergirds many other aspects of the American dream, including control, privacy, and wealth. In a country where people may own their own land (rather than living at the pleasure of the sovereign or state), property-owning citizens are more secure. To own property means that the owner controls the use of the property, may benefit from the property, may sell the property, and may exclude others from the property. The last of these basic property rights is the one being exercised by the neighbor in "Mending Wall." Knowing that they have a place to call home frees landowners from the basic human worry of having a place to sleep, allowing them to focus on progress, or wealth, or whatever other pursuit they think may bring them happiness. Property also represents a legacy, one that future generations may inherit and use as the foundation of their... The History of the "good Fences" Proverb Robert Frost did not invent the proverb, "Good fences make good neighbours" with his poem "Mending Wall." The saying began long before the poem was published, in communities all around the world. According to Wolfgang Meider in an article in Folklore, translations include

"There must be a fence between good neighbours" in Norwegian; "Between neighbours' gardens a fence is good" in German; "Build a fence even between intimate friends" in Japanese; "Love your neighbour, but do not throw down the dividing wall" in Hindi; and "Love your neighbour, but put up a fence" in Russian. The phrase even relates back to a late medieval Latin proverb, "Bonum est erigere dumos cum vicinis," or "It is good to erect hedges with the neighbours."

Mending Wall Critical Overview


In the early years of Frost's career, critics positioned Frost as a speaker for America, a connection between nature, art, individual, and nation. His imagery provided every reader with access to the American dream: a life of homespun, real texture and neighborly conversation. In the January 1917 issue of Poetry, Harriet Monroe comments on the natural style of Frost in the context of American history by evoking the country's birth: "His New England is the same old New England of the pilgrim fathersa harsh, austere, velvet-coated-granite earth." Critics shared Monroe's opinion for the next several decades and echoed the patriotic tone, much like G. R. Elliott in the July 1925 issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review: "The Frostian humour is peculiarly important for America. No other of our poets has shown a mood at once so individual and so neighborly. His poetic humour is on the highway toward the richer...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 ON NOT ANSWERING THE TELEPHONE ON NOT ANSWERING THE TELEPHONE

Introduction 'On Answering the Telephone is a very humorous piece that very gently talks of the practical problems of the machines invented by man. This is actually a speech given over the radio. This essay bears some connection to the earlier essay which we have done Spoon feeding wherein we saw W.R.Inge feeling sorry that machines have indeed made the telephone and sees more discomfort with it than advantages. Objectives After reading this unit, you will able to list the merits and demerits of machines

describe what witty writing is state the importance of bringing together the world as one unit explain the significance of the role of youth Introduction to the Essay and the author This essay opens up a very important debate about the merits and demerits of machines in general and the telephone in particular. As we study the essay in greater detail, we will get to know some of the main reasons as to why Plomer considers the telephone as a necessary evil. Besides, we will also get a good picture of want witty writing is all about. This essay is an extract from the talk given by William Charles Plomer in the British Broadcasting Corporation. The essay focuses on the disadvantages of simple equipments that overshadow their advantages. He brings home the dependence of man on machines in a delightful manner. His recollections of his experience with these machines are indeed very funny and we cannot help agreeing with him that sometimes these machines do caused irritation in us. William Plomer (1903-73) was born in Northern Transvaal, South Africa. He was a South African writer, who raised his voice against racism in his first novel, Turbot Wolfe (1925). His anti government sentiments came into conflict with the authorities and so he had to leave the country and settle in England. While in England, he wrote many reviews, gave broadcasts and served as editor in journals. Among his other novels, The Case is Altered (1932) and The Invaders (1934) are well-known. Synopsis Plomer begins the essay by saying that he does not have a telephone and that many people have been surprised at this. The author does not have one because he dislikes the idea of possessing it and is able to manage his daily life without it. But most people are shocked as to why he does not have one. They stare at him wildly and consider nom an eccentric. But for his part, he considers it an irritant and a waste of time. When a call that is expected keeps you waiting it cause unnecessary anxiety and suspense. Some other times, you may have to try a number that is constantly engaged. Speaking from the booth may be an equally horrible experience, as the booth may not be properly ventilated chocking us with cheap cosmetics and smoke. Next he recalls a typical scene when a telephone rings. Very often it rings when we dont want it to. Either when we are asleep or in the middle of a conversation or going out or taking bath. On these occasions, he suggests, that we should not be tempted to pick it up. Whatever may be the nature of the news it would anyway reach us. Equally absurd is the fact that we say Hello to a total stranger. Since our names are printed in the telephone directory, our numbers are available

to everybody. This gives rise to the possibility of unknown people calling us at all odd hours. He strongly believes that it is possibility to manage without telephones as in case of an emergency, we can always use public telephones which are large in number in England. He adds the remarks of an actor who said that if he were to be in lonely island. He would prefer to carry with him a telephone, bury its wires in the sand and derive great pleasures of watching it dead. Telephone alone is not the cause of Plomers anger; he is equally disgusted with the typewriter and cars. When his friends suggested that he use a typewriter to type his letters to them, he decided to buy one. But then, as is always with his, he did not find it exciting to use. Though he learnt to type well, he did not appreciate the formation of letters in the typed format. He preferred the handwritten style to it. He was annoyed that the editors of publishing houses wanted only typed copies of his writing even if he could write neatly. Apart from its appearance, he rejected this machine as he never wanted to oil, or clean or repair it. Further the typewriter also did not like him. It would get jammed if he touched it. As for the cars he developed no liking for them either. He had been taught to drive in a busy city like Johannesburg and got his license at the young age of seventeen. When he visited another part of Africa where there was no motor traffic, driving was comparatively easier. So, he drove very fast and the speedometer broke. Soon driving also irritated him. He got bored and fed up of driving when traffic, especially in England, became heavy and rules strict. William Plomer is not essentially against machines, but he is certainly against mans undue dependence on them. He would not want to feed the typewriter with sheets of papers, he would rather use his legs to walk than lose the use of them by being driven in a car, or be called without prior information on the telephone. He is deadest against the domination of machines over man.

The Verger By W. Somerset Maugham

W(illiam) Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) is an English author. An expert storyteller, he wrote with irony and, frequently, cynicism. His first success was the humorous play Lady Frederick (1907), followed by The Circle (1921) and others. His masterpiece, the partly autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage, appeared in 1915. Other novels include The Moon and Sixpence (1919), based on the life of Gauguin, and the satirical Cakes and Ale (1930). He also wrote many well-known short stories (e.g. Miss Thompson) and literary essays. The Verger is a short story about a long-serving verger, Albert Edward Foreman, who is sacked / fired by the new vicar of his church because he doesnt know how to read or

write. Sadly walking the streets of London vainly looking for a comforting cigarette, Foreman has a brilliant idea to set up a business of his own selling tobacco and sweets. His first shop is so successful that he buys ten more in ten years, all of which are financial successes. Foremans bank manager, inviting him to invest his fortune, is stunned / flabbergasted / astonished to learn that his client is illiterate. He wonders what a brilliant career Foreman might have had if he had known how to read and write. Foreman ironically indicates that literacy, far from helping him, would have hindered him, keeping him in a dead-end job as a modest verger. Hence, the whole story is fraught with irony since neither the Church of England nor the British school system will help Foreman make a success of his life. On the contrary, it is only his personal skills at running a business and making money that will save him. No wonder the story takes place in three highly symbolic settings: a church, the streets of London and a bank! As a matter of fact, Mr. Albert Edward Foreman is offered to go back to school by the new vicar of St Peters Church. But as he is quite old (l. 11: youve been verger of this church for sixteen years) he doesnt feel like going back to school with young students. So he turns this offer down. Furthermore, he doesnt think highly of formal education: I think a lot of young fellows waste a lot of time reading when they might be doing something useful. (l. 12). This is a first hint indicating that the story is an open criticism of school as the only way of success. Maughams irony goes even as far as to suggest that the unfortunate verger wont be saved by God or the Church but by a despicable habit smoking: Edward was a non-smoker, but with a certain latitude; that is to say, when he was tired he enjoyed a cigarette. It occurred to him now that one would comfort him (l. 40-41)! Here again irony looms large. Actually, opposite views clash before the eyes of the reader. On the one hand, the new vicar thinks that being illiterate can be dangerous (the risk of some accident might happen owing to your lamentable ignorance) and the bank manager also believes that illiteracy and business success are totally incompatible (Do you mean to say that youve built up this important business and amassed a fortune of thirty thousand pounds without being able to read or write?). On the other hand, Forman is convinced that you can get by in modern life without reading skills (I seem to manage very well without). Yet another point of view is held by Foremans wife who strongly believes that working in a church is far superior to working in a shop (His wife said it was a dreadful come-down after being verger at St. Peters). Of course, the whole story shows who the author sides with, since it unfolds in a way that convinces the reader that Foreman views do hold water. Indeed, after an amazing discovery (his illiteracy) followed by a tense meeting (hes offered to go back to school)

that highlights his refusal to learn, he is dismissed. But his lonely walk in the streets of London leads him to have a bright idea (opening a shop) that brings about expansion and the unexpected offer to invest. Hence the conclusion of the story can only be ironic it is not how much you learn that counts, but rather how well you make use of the little you know. However, it is clear that another lesson can be learnt from this story one is better off being gentlemanly than being snob. Indeed, if a church as prestigious as St. Peter cannot employ an illiterate verger, it is a mere question of snobbery. In contrast, the illiterate verger shows himself very polite and discreet when handing down his resignation constantly using terms such as sir or my lord with a little smile on his aristocratic features. He manages to hide his true feelings of sadness and turns out to be not only a successful manager but a very fine gentleman as well. His last words are just another statement of exquisite humility. Instead of making an exaggerate claim (such as Oh, I would have been the richest man in Britain), he provides a modest but truthful answer to the bank managers question (Id be verger of St. Peters).