Modern Novel Brief Suggestion NU Masters 2019-20

The Old Man and The Sea Brief Suggestion

Q.1. What is the theme of The Old Man and the Sea? 

Ans. The Old Man and the Sea deals with man’s struggle with the natural world, his noble courage and endurance through the story of an old Cuban fisherman, a young boy and a giant fish (Marlin) far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana.

q.2.. What is the meaning of Santiago? 

Ans. The name Santiago means Saint James, a central figure in the traditions of Spanish (and Latin American) Catholicism, and himself a fisherman.

Q.3. How many days does Santiago fail to catch any fish in the sea? 

Ans. Santiago has been going for the last eighty-four days without being able to catch any fish.

Q.4. Who is Joe DiMaggio? 

Ans. Joe DiMaggio was a great champion player of baseball, a great asset to the Yankees in America.

Q.5. How does Santiago become sure about the marlin getting hooked?

Ans. When Santiago feels a heavy pull upon the line, he becomes sure of the marlin getting hooked. The fish is so heavy that he cannot pull-it in even by an inch, and it begins to tow him in his boat.

Q.6. What do you mean by “the rapier bill”?

Ans. “The rapier bill” refers to the marlin which is like a swordfish. has its upper jaw projecting into a sword-like weapon.

Q.7. What is the choice of the old fisherman? 

Ans. The old fisherman’s choice is to go out to find a fish “beyond all people”. 

Q.8. How does Santiago capture the great Marlin?

Ans. Utterly exhausted in its struggle to survive, the great Marlin at last comes with its interminable length to the side of the skiff and Santiago drives his harpoon into its heart and kills it.

Q.9. What weapons does Santiago use to fight against the sharks?

Ans. Santiago uses his harpoon, knife, the gaff, the two oars, the tiller, the short club etc. to fight against the sharks. 

Q.10. How long is the Marlin and who measures it? 

Ans. One of the fishermen who flock round the old man’s boat, measures the length of the Marlin’s skeleton which is eighteen feet

from nose to tail. 

More Brief

Q.1. What does Santiago dream about?

Ans. Santiago, asleep on his simple bed, dreams as he often does, of when he sailed to Africa on a sailing-ship as a boy and saw lions come down and play like cats on the beach.

Q.2. What does the “sea” in The Old Man and the Sea stand for? 

Ans. The sea in The Old Man and the Sea represents the Universe and Santiago’s isolation in the Universe.

Q.3. How does Santiago kill the Mako shark?

Ans. Santiago hits the Mako shark with his harpoon in just the right place, and the shark, taking the harpoon with him, sinks out of sight.

Q.4. Who is the protagonist of the novel The Old Man and the Sea?

Ans. The protagonist of the novel The Old Man and the Sea is Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman. 

Q.5. What is the most tragic moment of Santiago’s life? 

Ans. The most tragic moment of Santiago’s life comes when on the way of his getting back to his shack he stops for a moment and looking back sees in the reflection of the port lights, the great tail of the great Marlin, a mere skeleton standing up behind the skiff’s stern.

Q.6. What is the “Virgin of Cobre”?

Ans. “The Virgin of Cobre” is a sacred figure worshiped on the island of Cuba.

Q.7. What is Gulf Stream?

Ans. The Gulf Stream is a major sea-current that flows eastwards off the north coast of Cuba.

Lord of the Flies Brief Suggestion

Q.1. What attitude to the beast is shown by Ralph and Jack? 

Ans. Ralph and Jack dismiss the idea of the “beastie” as ridiculous. 

Q.2. What are the three categories of boys on the island?

Ans. The boys of the island fall into three broad categories: ‘the biguns (Ralph, Jack, Piggy and Simon); middle category (Robert and Maurice) and the ‘littluns’ (boys of around six years of age). 

Q.3. What does the pig dance symbolize?

Ans. The pig dance symbolizes the new way of life that is replacing the organized society of Ralph. The primitive ritual allows the boys to forget their real identity and to become killers. 

Q.4.What makes Jack disregard Ralph as the leader of the boys?

Ans. Jack’s contempt for Piggy and his lack of respect for the authority of the conch and Ralph as leader lead him to disregard the

rules and rebel against Ralph. 

Q.5. When does the second mock hunt occur?

Ans. The second mock hunt is held by the boys (Jack and his hunters) in the course of their search for the beast which has been reported by Sam and Eric.

Q.6. What is the significance of the second mock hunt?

Ans. The second mock hunt tends to deteriorate into a primitive ritual in the course of which Robert is roughly handled. It is marked by malice in the boys. 

Q.7. What is Castle Rock?

Ans. Jack and his new tribe (the group of boys that he is going to lead as chief) gather on the other side of the island, cover their faces and bodies with barbaric war paint and plan to build a new camp in the area called Castle Rock.

Q.8.. Where is the climax of the novel, Lord of the Flies?

Ans. The killing of the sow by Jack and his hunting tribe is the climax of the novel, Lord of the Flies, the point at which the powers of destruction, embodied by Jack, triumph over the restraints of Civilization represented by Ralph.

Q.9. When does the third mock hunt take place? 

Ans. The third mock hunt takes place later in the story after Jack has established himself as the chief of a large number of Biguns (Big boys) who have deserted Ralph. Under Jack’s order the tribal dance starts after dinner in the evening.

Q.10. What discovery has Simon made?

Ans. Simon has just come down from the hilltop after his discovery that there was no beast on the mountain top but only the dead body of a parachutist.

Q.11. What irony of fate does Simon suffer?

Ans. Simon’s intention is to rid the boys of their fear of the beast but ironically he himself is taken to be the beast and becomes the victim of their cruelty-he is killed in their frenzy.

Q.12. What does Piggy’s death symbolize?

Ans. Piggy’s death symbolizes the obliteration of intellect and reason from the island.

 Q.13. Why is Ralph alone at the end of the story?

Ans. As a result of Jack’s assuming absolute power and authority on the island, Ralph becomes an outcast. After the death of Simon and Piggy, his strong supporters, he is alone against his enemies. 

Q.14. Who is Lord of the flies?

Ans. Lord of the flies refers to the dead pig’s head swarming with flies.

Q.15. What is a conch?

Ans. A conch is the shell or outer covering of the body of a kind -fish. It is white in colour and partly oblong and partly round in shape.

More Brief 

Q.1. How is Piggy killed?

Ans. Roger pushes a huge boulder down the slope toward Piggy, who,without spectacles, cannot see the source of danger. As a result he and the conch are both crushed beneath the great rock. 

Q.2. Who discovered the conch?

Ans. Ralph, a fair-haired boy just over twelve years old discovered a large conch shell in the lagoon.

Q.3. Who are littluns?.

Ans. The littluns are the younger boys who are treated as almost one character and are often dominated by the older boys. 

Q.4.Who is the Christ-like figure in ‘Lord of the Flies”?

Ans. Simon

Q.5. Which devil in the Bible does the title ‘Lord of the Flies’ refer to?

Ans. The title “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the word Beelzebub, the name of a devil in the Bible.

Q.6. Why does Piggy teach Ralph to blow the conch shell? 

Ans. The conch is the symbol of authority. Piggy teaches Ralph to blow the conch shell so that he can assemble them. It will make Ralph enjoy authority.

Q.7. How did the children make fire on the mountain in Lord of the Flies?

Ans. The children gather a pile of dry and rotten wood. Jack gets the idea of using Piggy’s glasses to magnify the rays of the sun. Soon a flame is kindled as Ralph moves the glasses forward and backward against the sun.

Q.8. What does the pig’s head on the stick signify?

Ans. The pig’s head on a stick is left as a sacrifice in gratitude for a successful hunt. There is a parallel between the way the boys defer to their ‘god’ the Lord of the Flies-and the way that they idolize Jack.

Q.9. What does the destruction of the conch signify?

Ans. The destruction of the conch signifies the end of all civilized behaviour, of democracy and the beginning of despotism and barbarism on the island of the boys. 

Q.10. How old are the boys marooned on the unnamed island?

Ans. The boys, ranging between six and twelve, are marooned on the unnamed island in the Pacific Ocean.

Q.11. What is Peggy’s attitude to the beast on the island?

Ans. Using his knowledge of science and natural logic, Piggy dismisses the notion of the beast, being a creature of the imagination, but he does so with sympathy for the little boys.

The Scarlet Letter Brief Suggestion

Q.1. What is the setting of the story of The Scarlet Letter? 

Ans. The Scarlet Letter is set in the Puritan Colony of Salem, Massachusetts during the 1640s. Specifically, the action begins in the market-place of Salem on a morning in June, 1642.

Q.2. What promise does Chillingworth exact from Hester?

Ans. Hester promises to keep her husband’s identity a secret.

Q.3. How is Pearl described by the author?

Ans. Pearl is described by the author as wild, defiant, moody, exuberant, undisciplined, perceptive, and perverse.

Q.4. How does Pearl play with the scarlet letter? 

Ans. One afternoon Pearl pelts the spot of the scarlet letter on her mother’s breast with wild flowers, while Hester endures the emotional pain.

Q.5. Why does Dimmesdale cry out while on the scaffold?

Ans. Dimmesdale shrieks out of horror at the thought that his guilt is exposed to the view of the universe.

Q.6. When is Hester untrue to the scarlet letter?

Ans. Hester becomes untrue to the scarlet letter when she lies to Pearl. She cannot bring herself to tell the child about her illegitimacy and says that she wears the letter only for its value as decoration.

Q.7. What rumour has Pearl overheard at a house, visited by Hester?

Ans. Pearl has overheard a rumour at a house visited by Hester that her mother regularly meets a devil in the forest. 

Q.8. What is Dimmesdale’s estimate about Chillingworth?

Ans. According to Dimmesdale, Chillingworth has committed the vilest sin, because he has sought continual revenge in a calculated manner, while the two lovers, though sinners, have no intention to harm anybody.

Q.9. What does Pearl’s washing off of Dimmesdale’s kiss signify?

Ans. Pearl’s washing off of Dimmesdale’s kiss signifies an eventual acceptance of his kiss in the climatic scene of the novel.

Q.10. What is the irony of the situation on the day of the Election Sermon?

Ans. While Hester and her scarlet letter are the centre of attention of one crowd, Dimmesdale with the burden on his chest. ironically is the centre of another group. 

0.11. Where are the four major characters during the final scaffold scene?

Ans. All four major characters, Hester Prynne, Pearl. Arthur Damesdale, and Roger Chillingworth, are on the scaffold.

Q.12. What moral does the narrator of The Scarlet Letter say, is central to the story?

Ans. Hawthorne points to the central moral in specific terms in The Scarlet Letter: “Be true! Be true! Be true!”. The inability of Dimmesdale to be honest is pointed to as the central cause of his ongoing distress.

More Brief

Q.1. What is a scaffold?

Ans. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, it is a raised wooden platform used formerly for the public execution of criminals.

Q.2. What is “The Scarlet Letter”?

Ans. The Scarlet Letter’ is a Romance, an 1850 novel, a work of historical fiction written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The term refers to a scarlet letter “A,” formerly worn by one convicted of adultery,d) ao maiteuil dito yaoi od al W

Q.3. Why does Hester prefer to accept her fate?

Ans. Hester prefers to accept her fate in order to admit the validity of the Puritan ethics and to protect her lover.

Q.4. Who is Pearl in The Scarlet Letter? 

Ans. Pearl is Hester’s illegitimate daughter.

Q.5. Who is Chillingworth?

Ans. Roger Chillingworth is actually Hester’s husband in disguise.

Q.6. Where does Hester spend the last part of her life?

Ans. Several years later Hester returns to Boston, takes up her residence in her 

Q.7. What does the letter ‘A’ stand for in The Scarlet Letter?

Ans. Originally the letter ‘A’ is intended to mark Hester as an adulterer, but eventually the letter comes to stand for “Able.”

Q.8. What is the significance of Pearl in ‘The Scarlet Letter”? 

Ans. Pearl functions in the story of The Scarlet Letter on three levels as a real child, as a continuing symbol of Hester and Dimmesdale’s adultery, and as an allegorical figure sent to torment the sinners.

Q.9. Why is Chillingworth called a ‘leech”?

Ans. In ancient times doctors used leeches to draw out bad blood from the human body and similarly Chillingworth is also trying to bring out the secret from Dimmesdale of his adultery with Hester.

Q.10. What is the effect of. Dimmesdale’s confession on Chillingworth?

Ans. Frustrated by Dimmesdale’s confession and death, Chillingworth withers away and dies within a year.

Brave New World Brief Suggestion

Q.1. What is the theme of Brave New World?

Ans. In Brave New World the author questions the values of 1931 London, using satire and irony to portray a futuristic world in which many of the contemporary trends in British and American society have been taken to extremes.

Q.2. What is the setting of Brave New World?

Ans. Brave New World is set in the fictional year of A.F. 632. In this fictional world A.F. stands for “After Ford”, which translates to 632 years after the invention of the first Model T. car by Henry Ford, the American industrialist.

Q.3. What does the World State refer to?

Ans. The World State refers to a fictional state as envisioned by Huxley in Brave New World. 

Q.4. What kind of world do you find in Brave New World?

Ans. The World State in Huxley’s Brave New World is a world without emotion, religion, or moral values, and human nature is moulded by scientific and technological means in order to fit a perfect caste system within society.

Q.5. When and where does the story of Brave New World take place? 

Ans. The story of Brave New World takes place in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre in the year A. F. (After Ford) 632.

Q.6. Who is the ‘God’ of the World State society? 

And.The ‘God’ of the World State society is a man named Mustapha Mond, or better known as his “Fordship ”. 

Q.7. What is the function of Soma?

Ans. Soma drives away the normal pain and the senility of the people by providing them with sensations of a visionary world. In fact, Soma inspires the people of the World State towards promiscuous sexual activities.

Q.8. Who is Lenina Crowne?

Ans. Lenina Crowne is a vaccination worker at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. She is an object of desire for a number of major and minor characters, including Bernard Mars and John the Savage.

Q.9.Who is Linda?

Ans. Linda is John’s mother, and a perfect Beta-minus. While visiting the New Mexico Savage Reservation, she becomes pregnant with the Director’s son. 

Q.10. What kind of man is Mustapha Mond?

Ans. Mustapha Mond, the World Controller is a consummate hypocrite, a liar and a fraud, for if Ford, according to him, claimed that history is bunk, Mond certainly knows and uses a lot of bunk to establish his sovereignty.

Q.11. How does John the Savage die?

Ans. John the Savage gets caught up with the crowd, gets exhausted by a long-drawn frenzy of sensuality and taking Soma lies sleeping in the heather. Next day he commits suicide out of guilty conscience. 

More Brief

Q.1. How did Linda die?

Ans. Linda, overdosed with Soma, died with her son by her side.

Q.2. What is Alpha-plus? 

Ans. Alpha-plus is one of the castes in the story of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Q.3. Who is Mustapha Mond?

Ans. Mustapha Mond is the resident World controller for Western Europe, one of the ten controllers (the most powerful people) of the World State as envisioned by Huxley in Brave New World. 

Q.4. Why is Henry Ford an idol of World State? because during the 1900s, Ford was famous for his technical Ans. As portrayed by Huxley, Ford is the idol of the World State advances in industrial production.

Q.5. How does Mustapha Mond begin his lecture to the students?

Ans. Mustapha Mond begins his speech to the students with reference to Ford’s famous statement that “history is bunk”.

Q.6. What kind of novel is Brave New World?

 Ans. Huxley’s Brave New World is a dystopian or anti-utopian novel or a novel of ideas which is an ironic commentary on contemporary values.

Q.7. What is Soma in Huxley’s Brave New World?

Ans. Soma is the product of six years’ research-cuphoric, narcotic pleasantly hallucinogenic. It has all the advantages of

alcohol with no side effects.

Q.8. What is the motto of the World State?

Ans. The motto of the World State is community, identity and stability. The World State basically manufactures individuals for the purpose of a ‘stabilized society’. 

Q.9. Why and how does John undergo penance?

Ans. John has a guilty conscience over the way Linda (his mother) died and whips himself doing penance.

Nausea Brief Suggestion

Q.1. What makes Roquentin worry about life and the world?

Ans. Losing his interest in his historical research, Roquentin is worried to see his relation with the outside world. Whether holding a stone or looking at a glass of beer, he feels confronted by the bare existence of things, resulting in his nausea.

Q.2. What, according to Roquentin, is the possible cause of nausea?

Ans. In his utter perplexity Roquentin discovers that the physical characteristics of objects and people are just a comforting facade to mask the “nothingness” of existence and the realization of this truth-existence precedes essence causes his nausea.

Q.3. When does Roquentin feel nauseous?

Ans. When Roquentin finds that he can no longer recognize people but only sees hands, eyelids, hair, cheeks, dirty skin, and

“enormous nostrils”, he feels nauseous.

Q.4. Who is Anny?

Ans. Anny is an English actress with whom Roquentin was in a love relationship for three years. 

Q.5. What is the belief of the Self-Taught Man?

Ans. The Man believes that all rational behaviour Can be explained by man’s love for his fellow men and that as a socialist he loves every man and woman in the world.

Q.6. Why does Sartre use the theme of ‘contingency”? 

Ans. Sartre uses the theme of ‘contingency to criticise humanism’s emphasis on a rational world with human existence as its focus and purpose.

Q.7: What is Phenomenology?

Ans. Phenomenology, a branch of philosophy which deals with consciousness, thought and experience, arose as a sort of reaction to Hegelian idealism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Q.8. What is bad faith?

Ans. “Bad faith” according to Sartre, is a kind of pretension, lie or self-deception that emerges from an attempt to escape from freedom and responsibility.

Q.9. What kind of novel is Nausea?

Ans. Nausea (La Nausee, 1938) is a philosophical novel of Jean- Paul Sartre. It is a seminal text of the existential movement that emerged in France during 1940s and 1950s.

Q.10. Who is the self-taught man?

Ans. The Self-Taught Man, whom Roquentin meets at the Bouville library, is trying during his free time to read all the books there in alphabetical order.

More Brief

Q.1. What is Sarte’s concept of ethics?

Ans. Sartre believes in the essential freedom and responsibility of the individual. In his moral philosophy ethics are always first and foremost a matter of subjective individual conscience.

Q.2. Who is Antoine Roquentin?

Ans. Antoine Roquentin is not only the protagonist but also the narrator of Nausea, writing down his observations in diary format.

 Q.3. What is ‘existentialism ‘?

 Ans. Existentialism is a philosophical concept according to which man’s existence precedes his essence, i.e. the body is more important than the soul. 

Q.4. How does the novel ‘Nausea’ open?

Ans. Nausea opens with an “Editor’s Note” claiming that the following pages, presented in a diary format, were found among the papers of Antoine Roquentin.

Q.5. Why does Roquentin ridicule the Self-Taught Man?

Ans. Roquentin ridicules the Self-Taught Man for loving symbols and labels that are just essences and do not really exist.

Q.6. What is the belief of the existentialists about man’s existence?

Ans. Existentialists believe that man is essentially miserable, lonely and the desire for happiness is a myth. As there is no escape of man from suffering, he should be free to choose his action.

Q.7. Who is the narrator of the novel Nausea?

Ans. Antoine Roquentin, the protagonist, is the narrator in the novel Nausea.

Q.8. What is the cause of Roquentin’s uneasy feeling of Nausea?

Ans. In his utter perplexity, Roquentin discovers that the physical characteristics of objects and people are just a comforting façade to mask the “nothingness” of existence and the realization of this truth-existence precedes essence- causes his nausea.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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