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Literature in English Questions and Answers (Objective and Prose) 2022 is now released for July/August 2022.
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Literature in English Questions and Answers (Objective and Prose) 2022
Second-Class Citizen depicts ordinary Africans who are naturally blacks, and explores, how the fact of their race inhibits them from enjoying a glorious stay in a foreign land. The title of the novel “Second Class Citizen refers to a substandard, inferior, and black citizen in the novel, the fact that there are second-class citizens and first-class citizens makes racism and identity crisis evident in the novel. The former is associated with the British people, who stand the chance of becoming a partaker of everything the society offers, while the latter which is black (Africans to be precise) have their choices limited. They are not allowed to live with their white counterparts, which is a white dominant community. The blacks are forced to live in slums, while menial jobs are meant for them.
For example, Adah and her family make the theme of racial discrimination (Race) prominent in the novel as an issue that she tries to avoid all to no avail. Adah’s first encounter with race relations occurs when they are still at Ashdown Street, when she is served a notice to quit the house.
Adah has refused to send her children to nursery like everyone else in England. Also, they are Ibos, the hated people because they believe in their own ideologies. The landlady is aware that Adah is expecting a third child and the fact that Vicky has cheated death “Adah is expecting a third child and the fact that Vicky has cheated death “Adah and her husband must go” the landlady affirms. Their search for a new accommodation yields no result. Nearly all the vacant spaces they come across bear an inscription. “Sorry, No colored” no them.
Adah’s house hunting is made more difficult because of racism and identity crisis, for she is black, with two children, and pregnant with another. Race relation has taught her a lesson that her color is something she should be ashamed of. She was never aware of this at home in Nigeria, even when in the midst of whites. As racism is beginning to have a serious psychological effect on her, she vows never to measure up with the white folks-but to live a low lifestyle, and also stop looking for accommodation in a clean, desirable neighborhood. She is now learning to suspect anything beautiful and pure because those things are for the white, not the blacks.
Also, the effect of racial discrimination has made Adah a liar and deceiver such that she had to change her Nigerian-born accent so as to sound like a white lady in order to secure accommodation. Both Adah and Francis still have to visit the white landlady to conceal their black colors and identify without result. It is also the effect of racism that makes Francis burns the manuscript of Adah’s first novel. The Bride Price because he feels that Adah is black, and the writing career is meant for the white alone.
The novel is centred on the feminist quest of the heroine, Adah. Feminism is the pursuit by man woman to secure more freedom or welfare for females in a place where men are essentially in control or decide what happens as in our culture or tradition. This novel has many points in the narration where the heroine tries to question a poor treatment of females, assumptions about them or their being taken for granted. On the very first page of the novel, the narrator informs that Adah “arrived when everyone was expecting and predicting a boy.” (p. 7). This indicates that society places more premium on the male than on the female. The narrator further remarks that the failure of Adah’s parents to record her birthday is because “she was such a disappointment to her parents, to her immediate family, to her tribe…” (p. 7). Rather than encourage Adah to take up education, she being older, Boy her younger brother is taken to school. As for the girl, “a year or two would do, as long as she can write her name and count” (p. 9). This is not acceptable to Adah who not only forces herself into Mr Cole’s class, but has to tell lies to obtain the two shillings to afford the cost of the entrance form.
Early in Adah’s life, s has become conscious of the sexes, who is to be relied upon more than the other. She says it is her mother, Ma, who gives such a low opinion of the feminine gender. As the narrator puts it, based on what Adah thinks, “… when in real trouble, she would rather look for a man. Men were so solid, so safe” (p. 12). As it turns out in the novel, however, Adah’s reliance on her husband, Francis, is a catastrophe. Not only does he fail to lead his family, he fails to show support to his wife who is the breadwinner of the family.
Adah is compelled by the mother to choose elderly suitors who in the thinking of her mother would look after wives better. Adah is not moved by this view. She wants young suitors rather than those who “she would have to treat as a master or refer to as ‘Sir’ even behind his back” (p. 20). Modern feminism is not so keen about marriage but Adah’s feminist temper initially saw marriage as an escape route out of homelessness. The home she aspires to have is not one there would be trouble today and fights tomorrow, but a good, quiet atmosphere…” (p. 25). Ironically, her marriage with Francis does not provide such a peaceful air.
In their marriage, Adah diseovers that Francis is an African through and through” (p. 30). Even what concerns Adah is not meant to be known by her. To Francis, “he was the mafe, and he was right to tell her what she was going to do” (p. 30). Only once does he kiss Adah in public, and thereafter Francis remains within his African traditional dictates.
*Neco Literature in English.*
Massa is Nii’s wife. She suffers a very serious illness in the first part of the novel and eventually dies by the end of that first part of the novel. Nii loves Massa and goes out of his way to get his wife proper treatment. Meanwhile, Massa is the one that often prevents Nii from doing too much for her. Massa, according to Nii is a pan-Africanist, an idea that all African countries should co-exist. It is perhaps in a bid to promote pan-Africanism that Massa tells Nii not to travel back to Nigeria.
The religious riot that happened in Egba portrayed mama as a courageous and selfless woman. The other religious group known as the Sahm Sect caused the mayhem. While Mama and the Secretary of the Amen Kristi church were having a Bible discussion at the Paleos Family house with their hostess, Mrs. Paleo, suddenly the room is filled with smoke, and immediately their hostess who had gone downstairs to check alerted that the building is on fire.
Through the window, mama saw that people were running from the burning houses and she was able to see the chairman of the Amen Kristi church who had been tied to the steering wheel of the bus that brought them to the neighborhood, with a burning tyre left beside him. Bravely, Mama was able to devise a means for her, the Secretary, and their hostess to escape from the building. Mama also assisted the chairman of her church to break loose from where he was tied. When the soldiers arrived, they fired few gunshots into the air to bring the terrain to normalcy and mama alerted them that a woman is trapped in the burning house. The soldiers and some people gave a hand to rescue the woman. Mama discovered that Ibuk had been slaughtered. The soldiers and the journalists commended mama for her courage. She was taken to the barrack to make a statement of the incidents
The novel is centered on African- American representation of self definition. In the novel, the narrator’s desire to change the course of his story that makes the whites more important than the blacks contributes to the enormous struggles the narrator encountered. No black man is allowed to rise beyond a certain level because of the problem of race and his desire to self-define himself. The protagonist of the novel attributes his invisibility largely to his inability to define himself outside the influence of others. Almost everyone he encounters attempts to tell him who he is, and how he should conduct himself.
At the college for instance, Dr. Bledsoe tells the narrator that he should smile and lie to please the white. The narrator is given an honor to drive one trustee known as Mr. Norton and the narrator is reprimanded for his action at the pub. Also, he is initiated into the brotherhood to become their spoke man, but their selfish aims and objective or too many unreasonable rules makes him back out in the end. At first, the Brotherhood attempts to redefine him by giving him a new name and identity and by having him go through intense instructions to ensure he adapt to the organization’s philosophies. Fortunately, the narrator has to go underground in order to define himself. He does this because he’s not able to finds solution to racial prejudice in his society. His decision to go underground and come back later also portends that the narrator has not relent in his struggle to ameliorate the conditions of his society. This is evident in his enviable conclusion that he said to himself that In going underground I whipped it all except the mind. And the mind has conceived a plan of living must never lose sight of the chaos against which that pattern was concluded. I must come out, I must emerge… And, as I said before a decision has been made, I’m shaking off the old skin and will leave it here in the white. I’m coming out, no less invisible without it, but coming out nevertheless.
Lockwood is a frame-narrator and a wealthy gentleman who comes to spend a year in the country at Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff, as the owner of Thrushcross Grange is Lockwood’s landlord. He meets Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights during his first visit and this reveals an important clue about his character. Lockwood completely misjudges Heathcliff, Not only is Lockwood depicted as a poor judge of the character of others, but he is also not very self aware.
After the heir-rising night spent at Wuthering Heights, Lockwood becomes curious about Heathcliff, and the other inhabitants of the house. Nelly Dean is about eighteen years and he decided to ask her about Heathcliff. Lockwood than sets up the frame story or story within a story when he presses Ellen to talk about Heathcliff. Ellen’s story becomes the second narrative in the novel. Lockwood becomes the audience for Ellen’s story just as the reader is the audience for Bronte’s novel Ellen’s also shares some parts of the story to Zillah and Joseph (servants). Lockwood is the only narrator who does not witness the strange events that have shaped Heathcliff into the man Lockwood meets when he takes up residence at the Grange.
Most importantly, Lockwood serves as mediator of all that he hears from Nelly (Ellen’s) Dean. His narration frames the narration of Ellen Dean whose narration in turn frames other narration such as Isabella. Therefore, one of Lockwood’s functions is to distance us from the narration through a series of framing narratives – a key gothic technique to confuse narration
(i) First person point of view:
The first person method of narration is the technique which the novelist employs, where one character tells the story, that is, Nelly (Ellen) Dean.The reader reads the story from the perspective of this narrative. There are three narrative levels in Wuthering Heights. They are divided into Primary, Secondary and Tertiary narrators.
The primary narration shows that the entire novel is a written record of all the incidents narrated to Lockwood by Nelly Dean. He is thus, the primary narrator and the primary narrate (the person to whom the story is told). This method of narration is the first person past written method. Lockwood belongs here.
Nelly (Ellen) Dean is also the secondary narrator who narrates all the incidients to Lockwood. The method of narration is the first person past/present spoken method. Nelly Dean begins telling the story in part of the chapters. In the tertiary narration, some of the incidents are first narrated by the different characters, first to Nelly the Secondary narrator who in turn narrates them to Lockwood, the primary narrator. Heathcliff’s oral accounts, Isabella’s letter which is read out to Lockwood combining the written and oral method. The story is given to the reader in the form of Mr. Lockwood’s diary, but the story is told to him through Nelly Dean.
These narrators can be regarded as unreliable because they have their own perspective on events and other characters, and that can influence the things they include or don’t include in their narration. For instance, Nelly, the narrator is fond of Cathy Linton and Hareton Earnshaw, so her kind of narration favours them. She dislikes Heathcliff so her narration is less favourable towards him.
Symbols provide in-depth understanding of the prose narrative. They include the following:
(a) Wuthering Heights: The title of the novel is symbolic of the incidents in the story “Wuthering” refers to that which is windy or willowy. It represent instability or “unsettled”. This is symbolic of the events or series of conflict in the novel, some of which result to numerous death and a few others resolved in the end.
(b) The Moors: Moors are open areas, wet, wild and infertile. As the play opens. Lockwood fears walking through the moors at night. Catherine and Heathcliff spend much of their childhood rambling on the moors, symbolizing their wild nature. Both of them are buried on the moors because of the wild personality they represent, Moors also symbolize danger, so does the love between Catherine and Heathcliff.
(c) Whether: The serious winds present at the Heights symbolize the hardness and the problem that the inhabitants need to battle with. Wind and rain for instance, are present when Mr. Earnshaw dies and when Heathcliff departs from Wuthering Heights and when Heathcliff dies.
(d) Ghosts: Ghosts in the novel are ambiguous. They portend danger and they also symbolize past events. Their appearance at the Heights helps the character to remember them. Ghost also add an element of mystery and excitement to the story. The appearance of Catherine’s ghost also emphasizes just how much Catherine was in love with Heathcliff.
(e) Suspense and Palimpsest Narration: Emily Bronte creates atmosphere and suspense using her own artistic technique known as palimpsest which involves the use of narratives within narratives, Bronte uses Lockwood and Nelly (Ellen) Dean to narrate the events in the novel. The use of suspense is great which span from the progression of the first generation character and that of the second generation. The reader should be spellbound to know what happens to Heathcliff but are mystified when he turns a new leaf before his eventual demise.
(iii) Elements of Gothic novel in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights:
What makes a work gothic is a combination of at least some of these elements:
1. Ruined buildings which arouse a pleasing sad mood.
2. Extreme land scape like extreme weather.
3. Supernatural manifestation like the presence of ghosts.
4. A passion driven, willful villain hero or villain.
5. Horrifying or terrifying events or threat of this happening.
Some of the elements of Gothic novel invented by Horace Walpole, have also made their way into Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. In true gothic fashion, there is usually love story crossing the boundary between life and death as we have seen in the union between Heathcliff and Catherine and is transgressing from one social class and family tie. Also, Bronte follows Walpole in Portraying the tyrannies of the father and the cruelties of the patriarchal family.
Also, Bronte has incorporated the gothic element of imprisonment and escape, flight, the persecuted hero wooed by a dangerous and a good suitor, ghost, a mysterious foundling necrophilia and revenge. Heathcliff for instance, imprisons Cathy and Ellen, all in a bid to have Cathy married out to Linton.
There is weather which buffeted Wuthering Heights, the traditional Castle and like the conventional Gothic hero-villain. Heathcliff is a mysterious figure who destroys the beautiful women he woos and who asurps inheritance. There is the hint of necrophilia in Heathcliff’s views of Catherine’s corpse and his plan to be buried next to her and a hint of incest in their being raised as brother and sister.
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