ENGLISH PROSE – ESSAYS AND SELECTIONS SMU ASSIGNMENTS
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ENGLISH PROSE – ESSAYS AND SELECTIONS
Q1. Explain why Priestley criticizes students in his time.
Ans: ‘Being a fair minded-man, I begin this piece by admitting that I may have some slight prejudice against students. This is stronger on the negative than on the positive side.’
The author begins the essay with a declaration that his view of students may be biased. He is not in favour of them. It is a kind of criticism. He has no personal prejudice towards them for he regards them as human beings. The author is not afraid of students as many other people are just because they are powerful. The writer has himself been a student, gone through the young age and studied at Cambridge. But he never misused his spirit to trouble, anyone. He had served in the military during the First World War. He had seen life prior to his joining Cambridge. He did not join education for anything else, but with the sole purpose of moving forward in life.
Since the students are receiving higher education and the government is spending so much money on them, they should have a sense of social obligation and think in terms of what they are going to contribute to the society. Their energy is not meant for a wrong purpose. If the public money is spent on them along with time, energy – they must sincerely use them.
The students march every now and again in what Priestley calls ‘idiot processions’. It is a waste of time chanting slogans with banners, talking and laughing with each other with destructive and unlawful elements. Sometimes, even the government and the political parties hire such demonstrations by youth with money to serve their own purpose. Although the government apologizes on their behalf, it is true that these processions can be checked. Such an activity hints to a dark future.
They are not concerned with unemployment or their future because they have never been hungry themselves. Their parents do not fill in them an ambition for future, but support them with money. This is a common story with rich people all over the world. The destruction of public property by youth is an everyday incident more or less, and this shows the dark future of humanity. Besides, a lot of government funds are wasted on that which may be put to better use. The modern offspring of humanity, as a teacher in the junior school pointed out to the author, are prone to destruction and smashing things. This sudden unwelcome development may harm the whole of humanity and destroy the future of civilization completely.
Q2. How are the streamlines constructed in an aeroplane?
Ans: Modern cars and aeroplanes have been constructed in a way that the surface areas of the parts that press against the air are reduced. The streamlined cars are made to cut the air through rather than push it. Older vehicles were designed without any attention to the surface. Older motorcars are bad examples of streamlining.
They also followed the pattern of horse drawn carriages but since the speeds were low, air resistance did not come into question. This problem becomes serious because of the high speeds of travel in today’s world. The author cites a very simple example to illustrate this. When we walk slowly, we don’t feel the air on our face but when we run, we feel a strong wind. This is air pressure and it increases at a very rapid rate.
The author then gives a couple of examples from nature of ways to overcome air-resistance. For example, rabbits flatten their ears while running and birds fold their legs while flying. To achieve streamlining, all sharp angles and projections need to be cut out. The author then explains how to turn a car into a streamlined model. He says that we should bend the front of the radiator and the back of the car so that it has a curved surface. After that, we should tilt the windscreen back, replace the wide mudguards with narrow ones called spats.
We should then fix the spare wheel at the back; and then sink the lamps, doorhandles and other projections into the body of the car. By doing this, the whole surface would be very smooth. The author then explains how aeroplanes are constructed. Streamlines are a very important feature in aeroplanes. So, the aeroplanes are built in a way that the nose is tapered; engines are narrow and the whole machine is built as low as possible.
According to the author, the reason why trains have not been made to adopt streamline principles is less to do with the speed of the locomotives but because of the high expense involved in the alteration and building of new designs. There were some experiments in Germany and America with streamlined trains with one coach. The capacity of the coach was about sixty people and the speed was approximately one hundred miles an hour. An example of such an early train is the German ‘Hamburger’.
Q3. Explain the author’s viewpoint on the problem of disease.
Q4. What is the ‘Rule of the Road’ given in the essay?
Q5. Describe the attire that the author’s friend was wearing.
Q6. Why Mother Teresa was never worried about money for her cause?
Q7. According to Sir Richard Livingstone, what should be the aim of education?
Q8. Preventive medicine is the moral equivalent of war. Comment on the statement.
Q9. Liberty is an accommodation of interests. Examine this statement in light of the incident of the old lady that the essay refers to.
Q10. Describe the reactions of Qadir and his family to the author’s demise.
⇒ These are only samples, the final answers will be prepared as per your assignment questions.
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