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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 2023 - January 2024) 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) Aim at independence of mind. There are some men who go in leading strings all their days. They always follow in the paths of others, without being able to give any reason for their opinions. There is a proper mental independence which all should maintain; self-respect and the stability of our character require it. The man who pins his opinions entirely on another’s sleeve can have no respect for his own judgment and is likely to be ever changing. When we consider carefully what appeals to our minds and exercise upon it our own reason, taking into respectful consideration what others say upon it and then come to a conclusion of our own, we act as intelligent beings should act and only then this proper independence of mind is far removed from presumptuous self-confidence, than which there is nothing more severely to be condemned. Presumption is the associate of ignorance; and it is hateful in the extreme to hear some halftaught stripling delivering his opinions with all the authority of an oracle. b) All the rooms were prepared. There were pictures on the walls, painted on the paper, with gold frames complete. Red carpet covered all the floors except the kitchen; red plush chairs in the drawing-room, green in the dining-room; tables, beds with real bed clothes , a cradle, a stove, a dresser with tiny plates and one big jug. But what Kezia liked more than anything, what she liked frightfully, was the lamp. It stood in the middle of the dining-room table, an exquisite little lamp with a white globe. c) It was only on the night of the concert, when we assembled on stage behind drawn curtains, that he gave me the notes to be played. I always hoped he would bring himself to do this earlier and I hovered around him all evening, tuning his sitar and preparing his betel leaves, but he would not speak to me at all. There were always many others around him – his hosts and the organizers of the concert, his friends and well-wishers and disciples – and he spoke and laughed with all of them, but always turned his head away when I came near. I was not hurt: this was his way with me, I was used to it. Only I wished he would tell me what he planned to play before the concert began so that I could prepare myself. 2. ‘On Seeing England for the First Time’ is laced with sarcasm and irony with a thread of pathos running through it’. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer quoting examples from the text. 3. Describe Orwell’s experience of shooting an elephant in Burma in detail. 4. Discuss the character of Gilbert Clandon as he goes from illusion to reality in the short story “The Legacy”. 5. Discuss some of the main features of Margaret Laurence’s speech “My Final Hour”. 6. Write a detailed note on how Gandhi spent his days in Calcutta and in Burma as is seen from his An Autobiography. 7. What do you understand by the stream-of-consciousness novel? Explain with reference to The Binding Vine. 8. Boswell’s Life of Johnson is a piece of art. Discuss

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.
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