IGNOU BEGE-105 - Understanding Prose

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IGNOU BEGE-105 Code Details

  • University IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University)
  • Title Understanding Prose
  • Language(s)
  • Code BEGE-105
  • Subject English
  • Degree(s) BA
  • Course Generic Electives (GE)

IGNOU BEGE-105 English Topics Covered

Block 1 - Descriptive Prose

  • Unit 1 - 'Understanding Prose': An Introduction
  • Unit 2 - Descriptive Prose-1
  • Unit 3 - Descriptive Prose-2
  • Unit 4 - Descriptive Prose-3

Block 2 - Narrative Prose

  • Unit 1 - Narrative Prose-1
  • Unit 2 - Narrative Prose-2
  • Unit 3 - Narrative Prose-3

Block 3 - Expository Prose

  • Unit 1 - Expository Prose-1
  • Unit 2 - Expository Prose-2
  • Unit 3 - Expository Prose-3
  • Unit 4 - Expository Prose-4

Block 4 - Forms of Prose: Short Story

  • Unit 1 - Introduction to the Short Story
  • Unit 2 - 'Mother' by Judah Waten
  • Unit 3 - 'Misery' by Anton Chekhov
  • Unit 4 - 'The Other Woman' by Dina Mehta
  • Unit 5 - 'The Legac' by Virginia Woolf

Block 5 - The Novel: The Binding Vine

  • Unit 1 - General Introduction to the Indian English Novel
  • Unit 2 - The Binding Vine by Shashi Deshpande: Plot
  • Unit 3 - Themes
  • Unit 4 - Characterization
  • Unit 5 - Technique

Block 6 - Non-Fictional Prose-I: Essays, Letters, Travelogues

  • Unit 1 - Francis Bacon: "Of Great Place"
  • Unit 2 - Jamaica Kincaid: "On Seeing England for the First Time"
  • Unit 3 - Charles Lamb: "A Dissertation upon Roast Pig"
  • Unit 4 - Jawaharlal Nehru: Letter to Indira Gandhi-'The Quest of Man'
  • Unit 5 - Bill Aitken: Travels by a Lesser Line 'Last Resort in the South' and 'The Poetic Diction of Steam'

Block 7 - Non-Fictional Prose-II: Biography, Autobiography, Diary and Speeches

  • Unit 1 - Boswell's: Life of Johnson
  • Unit 2 - M.K. Gandhi's: An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth
  • Unit 3 - Anne Frank's: The Diary of a Young Girl
  • Unit 4 - Margaret Laurence's: "My Final Hour"
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IGNOU BEGE-105 (July 2022 - January 2023) Assignment Questions

1. Comment on the dominant variety of prose (narrative, expository or descriptive) present in each of the following passages. Write a brief critical appreciation of each passage in about 250 words each: a) ‘To be an immigrant is to live out a tragedy….The clash of cultures….and of generations…..I’m talking about the struggle to assimilate and the need to preserve one’s identity and heritage…I’m taking about the children who don’t know what their identity is. I’m talking about the feelings of alienation engendered by a society where racism is prevalent. I’m talking about the terrific struggle to preserve one’s sanity while striving to achieve the best for one’s family.’ b) When I first met Gabriella, I couldn’t help but notice the sparkles. Her jewelry, sequined purse, and shiny strappy shoes caught my attention, as most doctors that I meet usually don’t wear such items. A well-dressed Caucasian woman with flawless fair skin, long blond hair, and the bluest eyes, she had a bubbly personality. Everything about her was sparkly. She was excited to begin the session; it shone in her eyes. c) In a field in front of the dining hall, I observed a beautiful ceremony. A large group of women, approximately 150 of them, were standing there on the grass in a huge circle, each holding a candle. I stopped and listened from under a nearby tree. They were singing a song in unison, and as each refrain ended two new women from the circle would step into it, move in opposite directions, and stop to hug each and every woman. These are the words they so wonderfully chanted: “dear sister, dear sister, I must let you know. You have loved me all these years, and I love you so.” That was it—such a simple, beautiful sentiment and as I found the way to my vehicle in the parking lot, I realized that I was singing the song as I walked. Merely doing so made me feel closer to my sisters and brothers. It was a powerful refrain. I began driving my car through the heavily wooded area. 2. Trace a connection between the title ‘Misery’, and its sub-title ‘To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief?’ 3. Write a detailed note on the various themes present in the novel The Binding Vine. 4. Issues of race, and colonialism are reflected in Kincaids’ essay “On Seeing England for the First Time.” Elucidate with examples from the text. 5. What are some of the main features of Nehru’s prose style as seen in his letter ‘The Quest of Man? 6. Discuss the main features of Boswell’s biographical art as employed in Life of Johnson. 7. Laurence’s speech “My Final Hour” reflects her commitment to social causes. Discuss with examples from the text. 8. Trace the similarities and differences between a biography and an autobiography.

IGNOU BEGE-105 (July 2021 - January 2022) Assignment Questions

1. Comment on the dominant variety of prose (narrative, expository or descriptive) present in each of the following passages. Write a brief critical appreciation of each passage in about 250 words each: a) Culture today must have a wider mass basis, and language, which is one of the embodiments of that culture, must also have that basis. This approach to the masses is not merely a question of simple words and phrases. It is equally a matter of idea and of the inner content of those words and phrases. Language which is to make appeal to the masses must deal with the problems of those masses, with their joys and sorrows, their hopes and aspirations. It must represent and mirror the life of the people as a whole and not that of a small group at the top. Then only will it have its roots in the soil and find sustenance from it. This applies to all our Indian languages. I know that in all of them these ideas are finding utterance, and they are looking more and more towards the masses. This process must be accelerated, and our writers should deliberately aim at encouraging it. It is also desirable, I think, for our languages to cultivate contacts with foreign literatures by means of translations of both the old classics and modern books. This will put us in touch with cultural and literary and social movements in other countries and will strengthen our own languages by the infusion of fresh ideas. b) Sleep slowly came over him, and so deep was his rest that people were already moving about in the streets when he awoke. He rose quickly and hurried down to the river and hurried back again and, seated by the central pillar, began once more to meditate. People came and people went; they banged the bell and touched the Bull and took the flowers, and still did Moorthy enter deeper and deeper into meditation; and it was only Waterfall Venkamma who roused him with her loud laughter; ‘Ah, the cat has begun to take to asceticism,’ says she, ‘only to commit more sins. Hi son! When did you begin to lie to your neighbours? As though it were not enough to have polluted our village with your pariahs! Now you want to pollute us with your gilded purity! c) On most of the isles where vegetation is found at all, it is more ungrateful than the blankness of Atacama. Tangled thickets of wiry bushes, without fruit and without a name, springing up among deep fissures of calcined rock, and treacherously masking them; or a parched growth of distorted cactus trees. In many places the coast is rockbound, or more properly, clinker-bound; trumbled masses of blackish or greenish stuff like the dross of an iron-furnace, forming dark clefts and caves here and there, into which a ceaseless sea pours a fury of foam; overhanging them with a swirl of gray, haggard mist, amidst which sail screaming flights of unearthly birds heightening the dismal din. 2. Trace elements of humour and irony in the story ‘The Other Woman’. Give examples and quotes from the story and illustrate these. 3. Discuss The Binding Vine as a stream of consciousness novel. 4. Comment on the prose style of the essay “Of Great Place”. 5. Examine the essay “A Dissertation upon Roast Pig” in the light of the distinctive features of Lamb’s style and personality. 6. Examine diary writing as a literary form of prose with reference to Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. 7. Comment on main features of Laurence’s speech “My Final Hour.” 8. Aitken’s prose style make his Travels by a Lesser Line both informative and interesting to the reader. Comment
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