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M. A. in English 2012-13(RCU New Syllabus):
Model Question Paper
1.6 Basic Core
Introduction to the ‘Study’ of Language and Literature:
Language Skills, Research Skills and Literary Historiography
Duration: 3 Hours Max. Marks: 80
Note :
Attempt all questions
Q. I. Answer the following questions in a word or a phrase or a sentence :
1. What is scanning?
2. What is inferential comprehension?
3. What is an index of a book?
4. What does a thesaurus contain?
5. Name any one of the advantages of being into the canon.
6. What is the difference in the meaning of the word „literature‟ in the expressions „Folk Literature‟ and „Tourist Literature‟?
7. What, according to Wilson, is the Historical Interpretation of Literature?
8. What basic assumption about literary tradition informs the essays of T. S. Eliot and Herald Bloom?
9. Prune the redundant phrase in the following sentence :
Many uneducated citizens who have never attended school continue to vote for better schools.
10.Punctuate the following :
exhausted from answering the reporters questions Congressman Ellis squared her shoulders gritted her teeth and angrily retorted thats none of your business you morons.
(2X10 = 20 Marks)
Q. No. II. Write short notes on any six of the following:
1. Internet as a Research Resource
2. Annotated Bibliography
3. Primary Sources
4. Hazards of Periodization
5. „Extrinsic‟ Approaches to Literary Historiography
6. Western debates around the concept of tradition
7. Reading Poetry
8. Evaluating Sources
(6X5 = 30 Marks)
Q. No. III.
A. Given below are the sentences of a jumbled paragraph.
1) Rearrange the sentences and rewrite them to form a coherent paragraph.
2) Identify the topic sentence of the paragraph and underline it.
3) List the words / phrases in each sentence which served as clues / linkers to help you
arrange the sentences in the order you have chosen.
4) Say whether each of the clues / linkers you have chosen is overt / covert.
1. He flew hours before reaching his target.
2. On the day of execution, Colonel, Paul W. Tibbets took off at a quarter to
three in the morning.
3. The bombing of Hiroshima was executed after meticulous planning.
4. Thus the new nuclear age had begun, not with a bang but with a whimper.
5. But there was no bang or an explosion. Only a brownish-purple mist all
6. Then, the bomb was set to explode 2000 ft. above the town.
(5 Marks)
B. Read the following paragraph carefully and answer the questions set on it.
“It‟s a boy!” - magical words that give happiness to the entire family, to the motherin-law,
and to the mother who gave birth to the baby-boy.
“It‟s only a girl.” – words of dejection and disappointment that makes the entire
family unhappy.
That‟s our mind-set. We do not celebrate girls!
Even in our mythology, only the birth of boys is mentioned. Parvati gave birth to two sons. Sita had her twins; Kunti and Madri produced the Pandavas and Karna; even goddesses never gave birth to daughters! Where have all the daughters gone?
In our society, women who do not produce male children are considered incomplete, inadequate, unluckyand even cursed. A male offspring is a must. Conventional reasons are often cited for the baby-child fixation, like continuing the lineage and the family name, carrying on the family business, inheriting property, supporting parents in their old age, performing the last rites, etc., whether they are
relevant or not in our present day situation. The absence of a son is more keenly felt in rural areas because of such conventions as only the male-child can represent the family at temples, religious ceremonies, and other important social gatherings.

Deep-rooted prejudices reinforce our attitudes towards girls. Even now, most Hindus believe that only the male can light the funeral pyre and guide the departing soul to heaven. It is also said that even a king will become a pauper if he has five daughters! Staying with their daughter after her marriage is considered to be below
the dignity of parents. That‟s our mind-set.
The situation may be changing but the change is very slow. The issue of sons or daughters continues to be important in our social structure formulated by men for their own advantage. That is irrespective of socio-economic status or caste or religion, the reaction to the arrival of a girl-child is : “It‟s only a girl” or “Oh! Another Girl, if the earlier one too was a girl.
1. What is the reaction of a mother-in-law to the birth of a girl-child in a family?
2. Though the mother-in-law is a woman, why is she not happy about the birth of a girlchild?
3. What are the conventional reasons given for preferring baby boys?
4. Why is staying with one‟s daughter after her marriage considered not desirable?
5. Why does the issue of sons or daughters continue to be important in our society?
(5 Marks)
Q. No. IV
A. Make notes on the following passage :
Indian English literature began as an interesting by product of an eventful encounter in the late 18th century between a vigorous and enterprising Britain and a stagnant and chaotic India. The first problem that confronts the historian of this literature is to define its nature and scope clearly. The question has been made rather complicated owing to two factors: first, this of writing has, from time to time, been designated variously as
„Indo Anglican literature‟, „Indian Writing in English‟ and „Indo English literature‟;
secondly, the failure to make clear-cut distinction has also led to a confusion between
categories such as „Anglo-Indian literature‟, literature in the Indian languages
translated into English and original composition in English by Indians.
Strictly speaking, Indian English literature may be defined as literature written originally
in English by authors Indian by birth, or nationality. It is clear that neither „Anglo-Indian
literature‟, nor literal translations by others can legitimately form part of this literature.
Kipling, Forster, F.W. Steel, John Masters, Paul, Scott, M.M. Kaye, and many others
have all written about India but their work obviously belongs to British literature.
Similarly translations from the Indian languages into English cannot also form part of
Indian English literature except when they are creative translations by the authors
Another problem which the historian of this literature has to face is that of choosing
from among the various appellations given to it from time to time – viz., „Indo- Anglian
literature‟, „Indian Writing in English‟, „Indo- English literature‟ and „Indian English
literature‟. The Sahitya Akademi has recently accepted „Indian English Literature‟ as
the most suitable appellation for this body of writing. The term emphasizes two
significant ideas: first that this literature constitutes one of the many streams that join
the great ocean called Indian literature, which though written in different languages,
has an unmistakable unity; and secondly, that it is an inevitable product of the
nativization of the English languages to express the Indian sensibility. Nevertheless, by
whatever name Indian English literature is called, it remains a literary phenomenon
worthy of serious scrutiny.
(An excerpt from M. K. Naik, History of Indian English Literature)
(5 Marks)
Imagine that your teacher wants you to familiarize yourself with the history of Indian English
literature. He tells you what books you should look for in the library. This is what he
recommends : “K. R. S. Iyengar‟s Indian Writing in English is the first ever history of Indian
English literature. This comprehensive study was published in 1962 by the London branch of
Asia Publishing House. However for an official history you must read Prof. M. K. Naik‟s A
History of Indian English Literature published by Sahitya Akademi in 1982. Recently a sequel to
this entitled Indian English Literature 1980 – 2000 has come out and this is written by Dr. Naik in
collaboration with Shyamala A. Naraya. The sequel is published by Pencraft International, Delhi
in the first year of the new millennium. For a foreigner‟s account read William Walsh‟s Indian
Writing in English published in 1990 by an England based publishing house Longman Group UK
Limited. In addition there are several survey articles and I would recommend just three. They
are C. D. Narasimhaiah‟s “Indian Writing in English” in Journal of Commonwealth literature in its
July issue of 1969. I‟m sorry I don‟t remember the page numbers. Second one is by John B.
Alphonso-Karkala‟s “Indo-English Literature in the 19th Century” published in the Literary Halfyearly
in 1970. The last one is Meenakshi Mukherjee‟s survey “Indo-Anglian Literature 1947 –
72” published in The Indian P. E. N. in its fourth issue of forty ninth volume. Yes, I remember the
page numbers too. It is 9 through 14.” Present his suggestions in the form of a bibliography.
(5 Marks)
Q. No. IV. Analyse the use of diction, syntax, and imagery in the following passage.
Examine whether they have been integrated into the theme of the passage.
COKETOWN, to which Messrs. Bounderby and Gradgrind now walked, was a triumph of
fact; it had no greater taint of fancy in it than Mrs. Gradgrind herself. Let us strike the
key-note, Coketown, before pursuing our tune.
It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes
had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the
painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which
interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got
uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill-smelling dye, and
vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day
long, and where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like
the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. It contained several large
streets all very like one another, and many small streets still more like one another,
inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours,
with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom
every day was the same as yesterday and to-morrow, and every year the counterpart of
the last and the next. …

You saw nothing in Coketown but what was severely workful. If the members of a
religious persuasion built a chapel there-as the members of eighteen religious
persuasions had done-they made it a pious warehouse of red brick, with sometimes (but
this is only in highly ornamental examples) a bell in a birdcage on the top of it. The
solitary exception was the New Church; a stuccoed edifice with a square steeple over
the door, terminating in four short pinnacles like florid wooden legs. All the public
inscriptions in the town were painted alike, in severe characters of black and white. The
jail might have been the infirmary, the infirmary might have been the jail, the town-hall
might have been either, or both, or anything else, for anything that appeared to the
contrary in the graces of their construction. Fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the material
aspect of the town; fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the immaterial. The M'Choakumchild
school was all fact, and the school of design was all fact, and the relations between
master and man were all fact, and everything was fact between the lying-in hospital and
the cemetery, and what you couldn't state in figures, or show to be purchaseable in the
cheapest market and saleable in the dearest, was not, and never should be, world
without end, Amen.
(10 Marks)

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