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 Delhi University for 3 years haveassimilated few well-read paragraphs by the lovers of English Literature and also some of the favourites of UGC NTA NET Competitive Exam which will be consisting 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.


16 . As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.

Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis.

Explanation- Fancy getting one morning up and discovering that you have been transformed into an insect. Absurd? Irrelevant as per your existence.
This is what the protagonist Gregor Samsa went through without any prior caution letting him be the study of many psychological interpretations. The fantasy world where Kafka draws out the change that takes place suddenly reminds his readers of the world’s randomness and purposefulness.
It’s not only a physical transformation that the protagonist goes through but also a metaphorical one where it has been presented that the sheer absurdity of life is change. One can’t have the proper control how the world is going to treat him or her. So, It’s better to have died uselessly feeling an alienation towards people around.
Narrated in the Third Person the reading of the passage makes it a picturesque one.

17 . “You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passer-by would think that my rose looked just like you– the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. And he went back to meet the fox. “Goodbye,” he said. “Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Explanation- One of the best aphorisms of French writing comes out from this passage when the fox who teaches an alien from a steroid B612 The Little Prince the concept of longingness which surely creates a bond unique and special. On being told by a geographer that his rose is ephemeral in nature, the prince starts accepting the rose as something very common. The rose whom he had watered, nourished, protected
And kept off the caterpillars so that she could survive. While giving the lessons on how taming the fox would give the prince the feeling of something considering the prince as his own without letting the prince feel that taming in its other sense is thought to be creating bondage only but the fox gives the meaning a different dimension by saying that taming means creating ties, and ties can be so beautiful once they are from the heart, the fox rejuvenated the love which had got secluded because of the separation from the rose.
At last, The fox gives the prince the best advice by asking him to look for beautiful things from the heart instead of from the eyes.

18 . “Good,” Baba said, but his eyes wondered. “Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that?”
“No, Baba Jan,” I said, desperately wishing I did. I didn’t want to disappoint him again.

“When you kill a man, you steal a life,” Baba said. “You steal his wife’s right to a husband; rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?”

“There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir,” Baba said. “A man who takes what’s not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of naan…I spit on such a man. And if I ever cross paths with him, God help him. Do you understand?”

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini.

Explanation- A father’s not only philosophical but practical advice to his son is best reflected here when he does tell his son that no matter what he is being taught theologically but he should remember one thing that there is nothing greater a sin than stealing. He further adds by saying that this sin is not something outwardly but should be dealt inwardly. He correlated the earthly appearance of stealing with the stealing of something greater. Something which goes beyond the human understanding making this passage one of the best philosophically.

19 . “And don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways,” Yossarian continued. “There’s nothing mysterious about it, He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?

“Pain?” Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife pounced upon the word victoriously. “Pain is a useful symptom. Pain is a warning to us of bodily dangers.” “And who created the dangers?” Yossarian demanded “Why couldn’t He have used a doorbell instead to notify us?”

Joseph Hiller, Catch22.

Explanation- The question of the existence of God amidst wars, and struggles of life has always been a favourite topic for writers and Joseph Hiller with her Dark Humour from the mouth of Yossarian delves in the very basicalities of struggle, God, morality and pain. The rhetorical arguments with the tint of paradox and contradictions serve as a purpose to interpret religion either as a tool or as the value of real faith. A passage which definitely brings out the atheistic approach of the characters involved in the dialogue but also shows the individual approach of their thoughts giving the fine example of many men many faiths.

20 . And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.” And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

The Prophet, Khalil Gibran.

Explanation- “Life’s longing for itself”- get the idea that whenever one reads a passage like this he or she is definitely going to understand the mysticism and philosophical aspect of the different versions of life.

Easily put, AL Mustafa when asked about children or parenting imparts his
Knowledge by hitting his audience with the bitter truth that their children are not theirs. Oh! How painful that gets to hear as parents. Right?

But that is what the Narrator warns parents of. To have the attachment yet feel detached. Because children are not property, they are not things , they are not something parents need to own but the stability of the parents whether biologically, emotionally, spiritually, and materialistically helps them to fly and let their wings as big as they can.

Children are the arrows and the parents are the archers so the bending and the stretching would be needed not being stiff and reluctant. Destinies are interwoven but the individuality remains different.

In short, Children are the flowers from the heaven who come to this earth to keep the wheel of humanity continue.