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 have 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 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.


21 . 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 that 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.

22 . Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
the good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
so are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare.

Explanation- A funeral speech so powerful that it turned its audience into a mob which was ready to kill the conspirators of Caesar’s death.

On being given the reason of his being ambitious for the assassination of Caesar, Anthony came to address the audience and with certain beautiful phrases, repetition and to the point affirmations engulfed with pure emotions delivered one of the most memorable speeches ever.

The emphasis laid on Caesar being ambitious and Brutus honourable revealed so much to the audience. By bringing out the positive attributes of his friend like being compassionate, refusing the crown twice, being loyal to Rome even if he had all the opportunity to go against and even the just and faithful friendship that they shared engrave so much pity and pathos that one can’t help but love not only Caesar but also Anthony for having believed in the goodness of Caesar.

The last two lines truly show the love, respect and affection that Anthony has for his friend.

23 . “Basil, my dear boy, puts everything that is charming in him into his work. The consequence is that he has nothing left for life but his prejudices, his principles, and his common sense. The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.”

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde.

Explanation- Have you ever come across a quotation saying?

“There is no such book as moral or immoral.
Books are either well written or badly written.”
This is Oscar Wilde even going for the relationship between the art and the artist. In the words of Lord Henry, it’s very well depicted how art serves as a mirror. The demarcation of an artist from his or her life is quite visible here.

The passage overall states the fact that an artist can’t take the two roads. If his works are aesthetic, he would be declining materialistically.

Good artists live in the works they create and the bad artists live the works they want to create. The good artists go for life for art’s sake whereas the others go for art for art’s sake.

24 . “The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.
That is their mystery and their magic.”

The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy.

Explanation- Whether the god of small things comes under a great story or not or can be reread thousand times even if the plot is very simple in all its complexities, the reference and metaphor that Arundhati Roy took of “Kathakali”

Showing where and how the story is going to unfold is mesmerising to intellect. Blending the concept of Kathakali with the use of prolepses, Analepses and Paralepses, the passage beautifully defines not only the classical Dance form of Kathakali but also the story- Where it begins, it ends.

An escape for Rahel where she builds an allusion and finds herself peaceful.

The stories which are considered to be classics have no mysteries with them. People can correlate with them every time they come to hear it. This Is the magic that only they can create by unfolding the every veil and aspect of their story. Bringing out the “Rasa” as the Kathakali dancers have to bring forth in their story-telling.

25 . India is constipated with a lot of’ humbug. Take religion. For the Hindu, it means little besides caste and cow-protection. For the Muslim, circumcision and kosher meat. For the Sikh, long hair and hatred of the Muslim. For the Christian, Hinduism with a sola topee. For the Parsi, fire-worship and feeding vultures. Ethics, which should be the kernel of a religious code, has been carefully removed.

Take philosophy, about which there is so much hoo-ha. It is just muddle headedness masquerading as mysticism. And Yoga, particularly Yoga, that excellent earner of dollars! Stand on your head. Sit cross-legged and tickle your navel with your nose. Have perfect control over the senses. Make women come till they cry “Enough!” and you can say “Next, please” without opening your eyes. And all the mumbo-jumbo of reincarnation. Man into ox into ape into beetle into eight million four hundred thousand kinds of animate things. Proof? We do not go in for such pedestrian pastimes as proof! That is Western. We are of the mysterious East. No proof, just faith. No reason; just faith.

Train to Pakistan, Khushwant Singh.

Explanation- The religious behaviour and how people go for the preconceived dogmas of religion and how through this they have various and different notions and preconceptions which are also get reflected in their appearance, thoughts, and the way of living.

Having divulged the differences between all the religious behaviours, he makes a point by saying that the core or the basic belief should be “ETHICS” in all these but somewhere it has been intentionally removed.

The best part about this passage is that it explains things in their funnier ways yet striking the truth so well. Take for the instance the way the concept of incarnation has been brought forward by saying from animals to chimpanzees

To insects to divinity that too uncountable. The East asks for no evidences because the east is too involved with only faith.

Where the co-existence of multiple religious societies should have been the strength, it has turned out to be manipulations in the hands of leaders.