English Literature


Having gone for a syllabus change along with its latest pattern for the Computer Based Test mode, UGC NTA NET asked the aspirants to have a base not only in literature but also in language especially how an aspirant of UGC NTA NET competitive exam tackles one liner questions as well the long paragraphs since it in its new syllabus has been asking questions on comprehensions and paragraphs to analyse the reading and the writing skills of the aspirants going to appear at the exam.

Therefore, I Vineet Pandey, with the experience of 8 NET, 2 JRF and 17 SET and the teaching experience in the Delhi University for 3 years have just assimilated few well-read paragraphs by the lovers of English Literature and also some of the favourites of UGC NTA NET Competitive Exam which will consist of 5 series.
Kindly go through them and thank you for the love, support and the understanding that all of you have provided Vineet Pandey and showered with.


1 . We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us. We have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become.”

– Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time.

Explanation– The Proustian philosophy of enjoying the everyday moments and appreciate life with its greater intensity is what this passage tries to convey by alluding out how the change of the course lets one change the perception also. One doesnot think of the things present before the eyes thus creating a hallucination of what one

“Perceivesand what one achieves.”

The appreciation of existence with the philosophical-psychological inquiry by getting into the root of first identifying with oneself and then distinguishing that self from other individuals by removing any obstacle and therefore creating meanings out of life.

2 . “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.”

— Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Explanation- Remember Shakti Kapoor saying Lolita.
One of the most rhythmic and rhetorical paragraphs which not only introduce the main character but also his indulged and psychological engrossment with a teen girl.
Insane diction, bizarre characterization and the genius of the story-telling will let the readers get in with the flow of Humbert’s mind but also asks one to look into one’s consciousness making the readers create a balance between what is real and where the truth lies.
When one knows the use of the Freudian concept of repressed emotions and the psychosexual development, one will look through not only this passage but also through the other passages of this novel as something masterly accomplished and having no moral or social connection but only the richness and an understanding of the characters sometimes either with sympathy or sometimes the grossness with the protagonist’s actions.

3 . “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Explanation- Pablo Neruda’s most sited lines of all time. Simple diction but an in-depth feeling and mysticism where the narrator has no clue how, when, why and from where he has been in love with the other character whom he addresses in second person. The narrator finds difficulty in defining the ways but he does explain that between these two there remains no disparity rather they are two yet one and still internally represented.
This representation is so intimate that when one closes the eyes, as the result of that the other falls asleep and there remains no physical differences between them too.
The old theme of soul mate providing a metaphysical study of this passage with a hint of dramatic monologue.

4 . “Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

– Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Explanation- Timeless, Directionless and a kind of fate which surrounds oneself with a storm not mentioned geographically but metaphorically and symbolically.
The fate being an inevitable force is not something that one finds outside but inside. To battle with this inevitability one has to find oneself as once one gets out of it, he or she will no longer be what he or she used to be.

“Change is the only constant.”

It’s a metaphysical search which one has to go alone without letting others get into it. Some storms don’t need a cognitive understanding as put easily in Murakami’s own words.

“A story that still has no counterevidence is still worth pursuing for.”

5 . “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

— A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Explanation-The background of the French revolution and the 18thcentury England has very well beensummed up in this passage. Two opposites, two paradoxes making it sound beautifully rhythmic. Two cities Paris and London being mentioned have to go through a historical, political and social turmoil where there was a political uprising for the better future yet ancient degradation morally.
People had gained new hopes but along with this tantalizing hope came a kind of despair which definitely suggested the loss of humanity.

“The best of the time was ahead as tyranny was to meet its fatal end but the worst was also to be seen where a lot of deaths and slaughtering were to be carried out. Advanced advancements occurred while failing to grasp the essence of everything.”