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DSE-EG-01

ASSIGNMENT-I

GROUP-A

1.

a) Who is the author of “Language of Paradox”?Cleanth Brooks.
b) In what literary genre is “Language of Paradox” categorized?Literary criticism.
c) What is the central theme explored by Cleanth Brooks in the essay?Paradox in poetry.
d) Define the term “paradox” as discussed by Brooks in the essay.Contradictory elements coexisting.
e) Name one example of a literary work or author that Cleanth Brooks references in “Language of Paradox.”John Donne.
f) What is the significance of paradox in literary analysis, according to Brooks?Deepens understanding, complexity.
g) In which literary movement or period does Cleanth Brooks’s work, “Language of Paradox,” find its place?New Criticism.
h) What is the role of ambiguity in the concept of paradox, as explained by Brooks?Enhances complexity, interpretation.
i) Identify one key aspect of poetic language that Brooks highlights in “Language of Paradox.”Tension, ambiguity.
j) What is the relationship between tension and paradox, according to Cleanth Brooks?Interconnected, heightens impact.

GROUP-B

2.

a) Identify one key concept discussed by Eagleton in “Literature and Ideology” that exemplifies the Marxist approach to literary criticism.

Ans:Eagleton discusses the concept of “literary form” as a key aspect of Marxist literary criticism.
b) Explain Eagleton’s perspective on the relationship between literature and ideology in two sentences.

Ans:Eagleton sees literature as deeply intertwined with ideology, suggesting that literary forms, styles, and genres are shaped by specific social and economic structures, reflecting and perpetuating dominant ideologies.
c) In “Literature and Ideology,” how does Eagleton define ideology, and how does it manifest in literary works according to his analysis?

Ans:Eagleton defines ideology as the ways in which a society represents itself to itself, arguing that literature reflects and shapes ideologies by either reinforcing or challenging existing social norms and structures.
d) Discuss the role of class consciousness as outlined by Eagleton in the context of “Literature and Ideology.”

Ans:In the context of “Literature and Ideology,” Eagleton emphasizes the role of literature in fostering class consciousness by exposing the contradictions inherent in social systems, potentially prompting readers to question prevailing power structures.
e) Identify and briefly explain one example Eagleton provides to illustrate the ideological function of literature.

Ans:Eagleton cites Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” as an example, illustrating how the novel both conforms to and subverts the dominant ideologies of its time, particularly concerning gender and class relations.
f) Examine Eagleton’s stance on the autonomy of literature within the ideological framework. How does he negotiate the balance between literature as an art form and its ideological underpinnings?

Ans:Eagleton acknowledges the relative autonomy of literature but contends that it cannot escape ideological influences. He argues for a nuanced understanding that recognizes literature’s artistic value while scrutinizing its ideological implications
g) Discuss Eagleton’s view on the relationship between literature and social structure, highlighting key points from “Literature and Ideology.”

Ans:Eagleton views literature as both reflecting and challenging social structures. He contends that literature has a dialectical relationship with society, contributing to the ongoing dynamic between cultural products and social conditions.
h) Explain Eagleton’s critique of traditional aesthetic approaches to literature, as discussed in “Literature and Ideology.”

Ans:Eagleton critiques traditional aesthetics for divorcing literature from social and historical contexts, arguing that such approaches ignore the ideological dimensions that shape literary works.
i) In “Literature and Ideology,” Eagleton discusses the concept of literary form. Summarize his perspective on how literary form is shaped by ideology.

Ans:Eagleton explores how literary form is not neutral but ideologically charged, suggesting that it reflects and reinforces social relations, power structures, and cultural norms.
j) How does Eagleton address the notion of ‘universality’ in literature, and what implications does this have for his Marxist literary criticism in “Literature and Ideology”?

Ans:Eagleton questions the notion of ‘universality’ in literature, arguing that it often masks specific cultural and class biases. He advocates for a recognition of the particular historical and social contexts that shape literary works, rejecting the idea of universal aesthetic standards.

GROUP-C

3.

a) Define and explain Eagleton’s concept of ideology as discussed in “Literature and Ideology.” How does this concept shape his approach to literary criticism within a Marxist framework?

Ans:ja) Eagleton defines ideology in “Literature and Ideology” as the ways a society represents itself. In his Marxist literary criticism, he asserts that literature reflects and shapes ideologies, with literary forms embodying and contesting prevailing social structures.
b) Discuss Eagleton’s perspective on the relationship between literature and ideology. How does he argue that literature participates in the ideological structures of society?

Ans:jb) Eagleton posits literature participates in and critiques ideological structures. He contends that literary forms, styles, and genres are influenced by and contribute to the ideological fabric of society.
c) Examine Eagleton’s critique of formalist and aesthetic approaches to literature in “Literature and Ideology.” How does he advocate for a materialist understanding of literature?

Ans:jc) Eagleton criticizes formalist and aesthetic approaches, advocating a materialist understanding. He insists on situating literature in its socio-historical context, rejecting detached aesthetic analyses.
d) Explore Eagleton’s views on the autonomy of literature. How does he navigate the balance between literature as an autonomous art form and its embeddedness in ideological structures?

Ans:jd) Eagleton acknowledges literature’s autonomy but argues it’s not free from ideology. He navigates this balance by recognizing literature’s artistic value while scrutinizing its ideological implications.
e) Analyze Eagleton’s discussion of the political role of literature. In what ways does he argue that literature can be a site of ideological struggle and transformation?

Ans:je) Eagleton sees literature as a site of ideological struggle and transformation. He contends that literary works can perpetuate or challenge prevailing ideologies, influencing social consciousness.
f) Examine Eagleton’s critique of the concept of “art for art’s sake” in the context of Marxist literary criticism. How does he challenge the idea of literature existing in a realm separate from social and political concerns?

Ans:jf) Eagleton challenges “art for art’s sake,” rejecting literature’s separation from societal concerns. He argues for a holistic approach, asserting that literature is embedded in and shaped by social and political contexts.
g) Discuss Eagleton’s views on the relationship between literature and class struggle. How does he suggest that literature can both reflect and influence the dynamics of social class?

Ans:jg) Eagleton explores literature’s role in class struggle, suggesting it both reflects and influences social class dynamics. He contends that literature can contribute to shaping consciousness and challenging existing power structures.
h) Explain Eagleton’s concept of “formal realism” and its significance in the Marxist analysis of literature. Provide examples from literary works to illustrate this concept.

Ans:jh) “Formal realism,” per Eagleton, involves the artistic transformation of reality. Examples include Dickens’ works, where social issues are realistically depicted within a fictional framework, highlighting societal contradictions.
i) Analyze Eagleton’s argument regarding the cultural and ideological functions of literary language. How does he contend that language contributes to the reproduction of social ideologies within literature?

Ans:ji) Eagleton argues that literary language reproduces social ideologies. He contends that language in literature contributes to the reinforcement or subversion of prevailing ideologies.
j) Discuss Eagleton’s thoughts on the historical specificity of literary forms. How does he emphasize the importance of understanding literature in its historical context for a comprehensive Marxist literary criticism?

Ans:j) Eagleton stresses the historical specificity of literary forms. Understanding literature in its historical context is crucial for a comprehensive Marxist literary criticism, as literary works are shaped by specific socio-economic conditions.

GROUP-D

4.

a) Examine Cleanth Brooks’s concept of paradox as discussed in “The Language of Paradox.” How does he define paradox, and what role does it play in shaping the meaning and impact of literary works? Provide examples to illustrate your points.

Ans:Cleanth Brooks defines paradox in “The Language of Paradox” as the coexistence of contradictory elements within a poem. Paradox, according to Brooks, is a fundamental aspect of poetry, contributing to its complexity and richness. It forces readers to reconcile opposing ideas, leading to a deeper understanding of the poem’s meaning. For example, in John Donne’s “Batter My Heart,” the paradoxical notion of being violently subdued for spiritual liberation heightens the emotional and intellectual impact, emphasizing the speaker’s intense struggle with faith.
b) Discuss the influence of New Criticism on Cleanth Brooks’s approach to literary analysis, particularly in the essay “The Language of Paradox.” How does his perspective differ from other critical approaches,

Ans:Cleanth Brooks, as a key figure in New Criticism, emphasizes close reading and textual analysis in “The Language of Paradox.” Unlike other critical approaches that may consider external factors, such as historical context or authorial intent, New Criticism focuses solely on the text’s intrinsic qualities. Brooks’s methodology involves exploring the nuances of language, structure, and paradox within the poem itself. This inward focus aims to uncover the poem’s inherent complexities and multiple meanings, challenging readers to engage with the text on its own terms.
and what are the implications of his methodology?
c) Analyze Brooks’s argument regarding the tension between unity and disunity in poetic language. How does this tension contribute to the complexity and richness of meaning in literary works, and what are the implications for the reader’s interpretation?


Ans:Brooks argues that the tension between unity and disunity in poetic language contributes to a poem’s complexity. This tension, often manifested through paradoxical elements, challenges conventional expectations and creates a dynamic interplay of meanings. It adds layers of interpretation, inviting readers to navigate the conflicting forces within the text. For instance, in T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” the tension between Prufrock’s desire for connection and his fear of rejection enhances the poem’s psychological depth, enriching the reader’s interpretation.
d) Explore the significance of ambiguity and tension in language, as discussed by Cleanth Brooks. How does the use of ambiguity contribute to the aesthetic experience of literature, and how does it challenge conventional interpretations?

Ans:Ambiguity, according to Brooks, is crucial for the aesthetic experience of literature. It allows for multiple interpretations and engages readers in active interpretation. Tension, arising from paradoxes and conflicting elements, challenges conventional readings and encourages a more profound engagement with the text. In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death,” the ambiguity surrounding Death’s character and the tension between life and afterlife contribute to the poem’s enduring allure, prompting readers to grapple with its enigmatic nature.

In summary, Cleanth Brooks’s concept of paradox, rooted in New Criticism, highlights the importance of inherent tensions, ambiguities, and paradoxes within a poem. These elements, far from being obstacles, enrich the aesthetic experience, making literature a dynamic and thought-provoking art form. Brooks’s approach invites readers to delve into the intricate layers of language, discovering meaning through the careful examination of a text’s internal dynamics.

ASSIGNMENT-II

GROUP-A

1.

a) Who is the author of “The Second Sex” and what is her central thesis in Volume 1, Introduction?Simone de Beauvoir; Women defined by men.
b) What is the primary focus of the introduction, “Facts and Myths,” in “The Second Sex”?Critique of women’s historical portrayal.
c) In “Facts and Myths,” what does Simone de Beauvoir argue about the cultural construction offemininity?Socially constructed, not inherent.
d) According to Beauvoir in Volume 1, how are women often portrayed in myths and cultural narratives?Objects, defined in relation to men.
e) What term does Beauvoir use to describe the historical and social subjugation of women in “Facts andMyths”?Immanence, limiting women’s transcendence.
f) In the introduction, what does Beauvoir suggest about the relationship between biology and women’sdestiny?Biology not destiny, but used to justify.
g) What role does myth play in shaping societal perceptions of women, according to “Facts and Myths”in “The Second Sex”?Perpetuates stereotypes, limits possibilities.
h) What critique does Beauvoir present regarding the concept of the “eternal feminine” in herintroduction?Reinforces passive, secondary roles.
i) In “Facts and Myths,” what distinction does Beauvoir make between “absolute” and “relative” freedomfor women?Absolute denied, relative constrained by patriarchy.
j) What is the significance of the title “Facts and Myths” in the context of Volume 1 of “The SecondSex”?Debunking stereotypes, unveiling societal constructs.

GROUP-B

2.

a) Define Structuralism in the context of linguistics.

Ans:In linguistics, Structuralism analyzes language as a system of interrelated elements, focusing on their relational structures rather than individual elements.
b) Explain the basic premise of Structuralism in anthropology.

Ans:In anthropology, Structuralism posits that cultural phenomena, like myths or kinship systems, can be understood by examining the underlying structures that organize them, emphasizing binary oppositions.
c) Identify one key figure associated with the development of Structuralism in the field of literary theory.

Ans:Claude Lévi-Strauss is a key figure in the development of Structuralism in literary theory and anthropology.
d) Describe the role of binary oppositions in Structuralist analysis.

Ans:Binary oppositions, such as good/evil or nature/culture, are fundamental in Structuralist analysis, revealing underlying structures and meanings.
e) Explain how Structuralism seeks to uncover underlying structures in cultural phenomena.

Ans:Structuralism seeks to uncover the deep structures of cultural phenomena by analyzing the relationships between elements and identifying recurring patterns.
f) Discuss the significance of Ferdinand de Saussure in the formation of Structuralist thought.

Ans:Ferdinand de Saussure, a linguist, laid the foundation for Structuralism with his focus on the arbitrary nature of linguistic signs and the importance of their relational structure.
g) Provide an example of how Structuralism has been applied in the analysis of a cultural text or artifact.

Ans:In the analysis of a cultural text, Structuralism might examine the binary oppositions within a narrative, revealing the underlying structures that convey meaning.
h) What is the relationship between signifier and signified in Structuralist semiotics?

Ans:In Structuralist semiotics, the signifier (the sound/image) and the signified (the concept it represents) are connected arbitrarily, emphasizing their relationship within a system.
i) Examine how Structuralism influenced the study of mythology and folklore.

Ans:Structuralism influenced the study of mythology and folklore by analyzing recurring patterns and structures in myths across different cultures, emphasizing common underlying elements.
j) Discuss the criticism or limitations often attributed to Structuralist approaches in academic disciplines.

Ans:Criticisms of Structuralism include its tendency to oversimplify complex phenomena, downplay historical and contextual factors, and its structural determinism, which some argue limits agency and individual creativity.

 

GROUP-C

3.

a) Explain Saussure’s concept of the linguistic sign. How does he differentiate between the signifier and the signified, and why is this differentiation crucial for understanding language?

Ans:Saussure’s linguistic sign consists of the signifier (the form of the word) and the signified (the concept it represents). Differentiating them is crucial as it highlights the arbitrary nature of the sign, emphasizing that meanings are not inherent in words.
b) Discuss the notion of arbitrariness in linguistic signs as proposed by Saussure. Provide examples to illustrate the arbitrariness of the relationship between the signifier and the signified.

Ans:Arbitrariness in linguistic signs means no inherent connection between form and meaning. For example, there’s no logical reason a cat is called “cat.” The relationship is arbitrary, showcasing the flexibility of language.
c) Analyze Saussure’s view on the linear nature of the linguistic sign. How does the linear arrangement of signs contribute to the structure and function of language according to Saussure?

Ans:Saussure’s linear view posits that signs are arranged sequentially, forming a chain. This arrangement is essential for language’s structural and functional aspects, creating meaning through the order of signs.
d) Examine the role of difference in Saussure’s theory of language. How does the concept of difference shape the meaning of linguistic signs in the structural system of language?

Ans:Difference in Saussure’s theory emphasizes distinctions between signs. Meaning arises from contrasts, shaping the structural system of language and contributing to semiotic relationships.
e) Discuss the concept of langue and parole in Saussurean linguistics. How do these concepts help in understanding the synchronic and diachronic dimensions of language?

Ans:Langue refers to the underlying structure of a language, while parole is individual speech acts. Understanding both provides insights into language’s synchronic (structural) and diachronic (historical) dimensions.
f) Explain Saussure’s idea of the sign as a negative entity. How does the absence of an absolute connection between the signifier and the signified contribute to the flexibility and adaptability of language?

Ans:Saussure sees signs as negative entities due to the lack of absolute connections. This absence allows for adaptability and evolution in language, as meanings can change without fixed relationships.
g) Explore Saussure’s distinction between language and speech. How does this distinction contribute to his broader understanding of the structure and dynamics of linguistic systems?

Ans:Saussure’s language-speech distinction separates the underlying structure (language) from individual expressions (speech). This differentiation contributes to understanding broader linguistic systems.
h) Analyze Saussure’s views on the social nature of language. How does language serve as a social institution, and in what ways does it influence individual speech acts?

Ans:Saussure views language as a social institution, shaping individual speech acts. It reflects societal norms and influences communication within a community.
i) Discuss the concept of synchrony and diachrony in Saussure’s linguistic theory. How do these temporal dimensions contribute to our understanding of language evolution and stability?

Ans:Synchrony focuses on the language’s current state, while diachrony studies its historical evolution. Both dimensions contribute to understanding language’s stability and change over time.
j) Examine the influence of Saussure’s structuralist ideas on later developments in linguistics. How did his theories pave the way for structural linguistics and the study of language as a system with internal relationships?

Ans:Saussure’s structuralist ideas laid the foundation for structural linguistics, emphasizing the study of language as a system with internal relationships. His influence is evident in subsequent linguistic developments, shaping the field’s theoretical framework.

 

GROUP-D

4.

a) Explain the foundational principles of feminist criticism. Discuss how feminist literary theory emerged and evolved over time, highlighting key historical moments and influential figures in its development.

Ans:Feminist literary criticism emerged in the mid-20th century as a response to the pervasive gender inequalities in literature. Its foundational principles involve critiquing and challenging traditional patriarchal structures, exploring how gender influences literary representation, and advocating for women’s voices and perspectives. Notable figures in its development include Virginia Woolf, who examined women’s roles in literature in “A Room of One’s Own” (1929), and Simone de Beauvoir, whose work “The Second Sex” (1949) delved into the social construction of gender. The 1960s and 1970s saw the formalization of feminist literary theory with the works of Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, and others.
b) Critically analyze the ways in which feminist criticism challenges traditional gender norms in literature. Provide specific examples from literary works to illustrate how feminist theorists deconstruct and question gender roles.

Ans:Feminist criticism challenges traditional gender norms by scrutinizing portrayals of women in literature, questioning stereotypical roles, and exploring power dynamics. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” for example, the female protagonist’s descent into madness is a critique of the oppressive domestic roles assigned to women. Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando” challenges gender conventions through its protagonist’s transformation across centuries and genders. By deconstructing and questioning gender roles, feminist theorists aim to dismantle ingrained societal expectations.
c) Discuss the intersectionality within feminist criticism. How does feminist theory engage with issues of race, class, and sexuality? Provide examples from literary texts that reflect the intersectional approach of feminist critics.

Ans:Intersectionality within feminist criticism acknowledges that gender oppression intersects with other forms of discrimination such as race, class, and sexuality. Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term to emphasize the interconnected nature of social identities. Audre Lorde’s work, like “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name,” explores the intersections of race and sexuality. Toni Morrison’s novels, such as “Beloved,” address the impact of slavery on African American women. Intersectional feminist theory recognizes that women’s experiences vary based on multiple factors, enriching the understanding of oppression.
d) Examine the concept of the “male gaze” in feminist literary theory. How does the male gaze operate in literature, and what impact does it have on the portrayal of female characters? Provide examples to support your analysis.

Ans:The concept of the “male gaze,” introduced by Laura Mulvey, refers to the depiction of women from a heterosexual male perspective in literature and film. It objectifies women, emphasizing their physical appearance and reinforcing power imbalances. In literature, this is evident in works like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” where Daisy Buchanan is primarily seen through the lens of the male protagonist, perpetuating stereotypes. The impact of the male gaze includes the reduction of female characters to mere objects of desire, limiting their agency and reinforcing traditional gender roles. Feminist critics, such as Mulvey, argue for a shift in perspective to challenge and subvert the male gaze, allowing for more authentic and empowering portrayals of women.

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