South Asian and African Literature Brief Suggestion NU Masters 2020-21

Tree Without Roots

Q.1. When did Waliullah’s literary activities begin?

Ans. when, as a student at Feni High School, he edited a hand-written magazine called, Bhorer Alo.

Q.2. What was the name of the English journal that Waliullah published briefly? 

Ans. Contemporary.

ইউটিউবে ভিডিও লেকচার দেখুনঃ

Summary: Tree Without Roots

Q.3. What is name of the Bengali original of the novel Tree Without Roots?

Ans. Lal Shalu. 

Q.4. What is the meaning of the Bangla title Lal Shalu?

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Ans. The word ‘lal’ in Bangla means ‘red’ and ‘shalu’ means ‘a piece of cloth’. Therefore, the Bangla title Lal Shalu means a piece of red cloth. 

Q.5. Why does the raped and ravaged land yield no more?

Ans. because it is ploughed and reploughed, sown and resown all the year round but it gets almost no nourishment but the silt from floodwater.

Q.6. How does the muezzin appear to the hunter at the Garo Hills?

Ans. with loneliness in his eyes 

Q.7. When and where do the two brothers Taher and Kader see the stranger? 

Ans. by the side of Matiganj Road while fishing 

Q.8. With what does the writer compare Majeed’s entry into Mahabbatpur village?

Ans. with that of a huge tree striking roots deep into the soil of it. 

Q.9. How does the ordinary grave take the shape of a mazar?

Ans. Majeed appears in the village and clears the grave.Its upper surface is covered with the red cloth. 

Q.10. How does the pir’s fame grow?

Ans. Countless tales about the pir’s marvelous powers passed from mouth to mouth from village to village and even from one region to another. 

Q.11. Why did Majeed take a wife?

Ans. For maintaining the household activities, he badly needs a wife. So, he wants a wife to do his household activities.

Q.12. Why did Amena desperately want some blessed water from the pir.

Ans. To conceive.

More Brief

Q.13. What did Majeed say to Khaleque about Khaleques wife?

Ans. He told him that she has coils in her belly. He said that where a woman has coils in her womb, no child is conceived. 

Q.14. How did Amena feel in the Mazar room?

Ans. Amena felt somewhat comfortable as the atmosphere of the Mazar room was quiet. 

Q.15. Why was Rahima concerned about Amena?

Ans. Rahima was concerned about the activities of Majeed. 

Q.16. Why does Majeed call Rahima the pillar of his house?

Ans. She works hard to satisfy Majeed. She speaks gently and obeys the order of Majeed. She always tries to remove the sorrows of Majeed. But she has no child In case, she does not give any blame to Majeed. She loves Jamila like a mother. She teaches her Muslim customs. For this reasons, Majeed metaphorically calls her the pillar of his house.

Q.17. What was Majid’s occupation in Garo Hills?

Ans. In Garo Hills, Majid was a muezzin.

Q.18. What is the central theme of “Tree Without Roots”? 

Ans. The central theme of the novel is the struggle for survival.

The God of Small Things

Q.1. Who are the central figures in the novel The God of Small Things?

Ans. Estha and Rahel..

Q.2. What was the discovery of Pappachi as an entomologist?

Ans. a new moth/ species

Summary: The God of Small Things

Q.3. In what sense is Velutha a social rebel?

Ans. Velutha was never a criminal or a party to evil but he committed what society would call an anti-social act. Society was never kind to him like a true rebel he sought his philosophy in himself and acted never bothering about the consequences.

Q.4. How did Pappachi behave with his wife? 

Ans. Pappachi beat his wife Mammachi every night with a flower vase, even without any cause. 

Q.5. What were Mammachi’s feelings after her husband’s death?

Ans. she cried. This indicates that she was an obedient wife who was crying more because she was used to him than because she loved him.

Q.6. What was the real name of Baby Kochamma? 

Ans. Navomi Ipe.

Q.07. How did ‘Navomi Ipe’ become Baby Kochamma?

Ans. Navomi Ipe was called ‘Baby’ by everybody in her childhood and she became Baby Kochama “when she was old enough to be an aunt”. 

Q.08. What did Baby Kochamma do to attract the attention of Father Mulligan, the young priest?

Ans. In order to attract Father Mulligan’s attention Baby Kochamma would forcibly bathe a poor peasant kid in the public well every Thursday morning so that the young priest might consider her generous and fall in love with her.

Q.10. Who is Chacko in The God Of Small Things?

Ans. Chacko is the son of Pappachi (Bennan Ipe) and Mammachi (Soshamma) 

Q.11. What were Chacko’s favourite items of food?

Ans. chicken roast, finger chips, sweet corn, chicken soup, parathas, ice-cream, chocolate sauce etc.

Q.12. What was the last blow for Chacko in his life?

Ans. Sophie Mol’s death 

Q.13. What is Chacko’s attitude to life?

Ans. Chacko’s attitude to life may be marked in his exchanges pleasantries with the twins-human beings are prisoners of war belonging to nowhere, sailing unanchored on troubled seas, etc.

Q.14. When did Ammu give birth to the twins, Estha and Rahel?

Ans. In 1962 

Q.15. Why did Ammu divorce her husband?

Ans. When the twins were two years old, Baba, Ammu’s husband, lost his job and he told her he could keep his job if she agreed to sleep with his boss. Ammu vehemently protested, divorced her husband, and came back to her parent’s home at Ayemenem with twins.

Q.16. What made Ammu love Velutha by night?

Ans. Being a young divorcee Ammu became restless and a reckless rage of suicidal tendency was battling inside her. This eventually led her to love by night Velutha the untouchable man her children loved by day.

Q.17. Where did Ammu die?

Ans. Ammu died in a grimy room of the Bharat Lodge (hotel) in Alleppey.

More Brief

Q.19. Is Velutha a tragic hero?

Ans. The way Velutha is put to death by the police is inhuman and he is certainly a martyr in the hands of the protectors of law.

Q.20. What kind of relation did Sophie Mol establish with the twins?

Ans. Sophie Mol was able to establish a strong and intimate friendship with the twins, Estha and Rahel soon after her arrival in Ayemenem.

Q.21. Where did the three children go for a holiday excursion?

Ans. Meenachal river. 

Q.22. Who had been put in charge of the formal education of Estha and Rahel?

Ans. Baby Kochamma 

Q.23. What happened to Rahel after the death of her mother? 

Ans. She drifted from school to school. She was largely neglected and ignored by Chacko and Mammachi.

Q.24. Whom did Rahel marry?

Ans. Larry McCaslin.

Q.25. Why did Rahel’s married life come to an end?

Ans. Larry liked Rahel very much but when they made love he was offended by her eyes which, empty and indifferent, were searching for another, perhaps her twin brother Estha. So they were soon divorced.

Q.26. What is the setting of the novel The God of Small Things?

Ans. Ayemenem 

Q.27. Why did Ammu Choose Velutha as her lover?

Ans. Velutha is untouchable. Ammu is also regarded as untouchable as she has divorced her husband at the age of twenty- seven. So, she chooses Velutha as her lover.

Q.28. Who molested Estha?

Ans. Estha was molested by the Orangedrink Lemondrink man.

Q.29. Why did Baby Kochama convert to Roman Catholicism? 

Ans. To win the heart of Father Mulligan.

Q.30. Who is Pappachi?

Ans. Pappachi, father of Ammu and Chacko, is a famous entomologist.  

Kazi Nazrul Islam

Q.1. When was Nazrul awarded the citizenship of Bangladesh?

 Ans. February, 1976.

Q.2. Where was Nazrul’s body buried?

Ans. Beside a mosque on the campus of the University of Dhaka.

Notes: Kazi Nazrul Islam


Q.3. In which poem of Samyabadi does Nazrul express his mais idea of equality?

Ans. Of Equality and That Happy Land” (originally Samyabad) 

Q.4. What, according to the poet, is the source of truth and wisdom?

Ans. According to the poet, one’s self or soul is the source of truth and wisdom of all ages.

Q.5. Where did the Darling of Arabia receive the message of equality from Allah?

Ans. Heart or soul 

Q.6. How does the poet conclude his poem “Of Equality and That Happy Land”?

Ans. Saying that he is speaking the truth. No temple or house of God is greater than the heart of man.

Q.7. Which poem of Nazrul does reveal his mysticism?

Ans. Among the poems of Samyabadi, the poem “Samyabadi” (Of Equality and That Happy Land) reveals the poet’s mystic mind in the best way.

Manush” (Man)

Q.8. Why was the Mollah at the mosque happy?

Ans. The Mollah at the mosque was overjoyed because of the huge amount of leftovers of meat and bread from the previous day’s offerings, and this would be in his possession.

Q.9. What is Nazrul’s message through the poem, “Manush” (Man)?

Ans. Unless people could be uplifted by the higher ideals of humanism, mere visits to the shrines and worshiping places would be of no use.

 Q.10. Why did the priest/Mollah drive away the hungry traveller at last?

Ans. When the hungry traveller told that he did not say a prayer in his life.

Kandari Hushiar” (Beware My Captain)

Q.11. What is the main theme of Nazrul’s “Kandari Hushiar (Beware My Captain)?

Ans. Hindu-Muslim unity.

Q.12. In what sense is “Kandari Hushiar” (Beware My Captain) an allegorical poem?

Ans. Allegorically the long struggle for India’s freedom from the British colonial rule has been compared to a journey by boat over a turbulent ocean with the Congress leaders as the captain and boatmen and the passengers the Indians irrespective of caste, creed or colour

Q.13. What does the storm symbolize?

Ans. The storm symbolizes the Hindu-Muslim communal riots that were interrupting the freedom struggle of India.

Q.14. Who, according to the poet, sang the victory of life?

 Ans. The heroic martyrs.


Q.1. Point out some of the words that refer to end or destruction.

Ans. All the natural calamities, pestilence, death, grave-yard, Israfil’s bugle, shooting star and so on refer to end or destruction

Q.2. Who is the king of truth?

Ans. Judhisti 

Q.3. Flute plays an important role in the poem ‘The Rebel’. Mention two of the prominent flute players mentioned in the poem?

Ans. Orpheus from Greek Literature and Shyam or Sri Krishna, from Bengali tradition.

Q.4. How does the rebel bring peace and harmony by killing warriors? 

Ans. Like Parshurama did by killing Kshatriya.

Q.5. Why does the poet compare him with the plough of Balarama? 

Ans. Balarama fought with plough in the battle and was invincible. The poet will also uproot all misery from earth like Balarama effortlessly.

Q.6. How does the poet address the readers in his poem “Man”? 

Ans. as “comrades”.

Q.7. What do you mean by “tender flute’ in one hand and war bugle’ in the other?

Ans. The flute represents creation and the war bugle represents destruction. So, the image suggests that idea of creation and destruction.

Q.8. What is the basic principle of Nazrul’s sense of equality? 

Ans. Love for mankind.

Q.9. What does the “Thunder in the Sky” symbolize?

Ans. The threat of the British Imperialist rulers.

Things Fall Apart

Q.1. How widely was Okonkwo well-known?

Ans. He was well-known throughout the nine villages and even beyond.

Q.2. Who was Okoye?

Ans. Okoye was a neighbour of Unoka, 

Summary: Things Fall Apart

Q.3. What did Okonkwo do with Ikemefuna?

Ans. Okonkwo handed Ikemefuna to his senior most wife, and told her to look after him. 

Q.4. What was the Feast of the New Yam for? Or, What was the objective of the feast of the New Yam? 

Ans. To honour the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of the clan. 

Q.5. Where and how was Ikemefuna killed? 

Ans. When the group of men reached a forest outside Umuofia, of them struck Ikemefuna with his matchet, then Ikemefuna cried out. “My father, they have killed me”, and as he ran towards Okonkwo, Okonkwo cut him down with his machete.

Q.6. How was Okonkwo received in Mbanta? 

Ans. Well-received 

Q.7. What did Okonkwo wonder about Nwoye, his son?

Ans. Okonkwo was called “Roaring Flame”. He wondered how a flaming fire like himself could beget a woman-like son like Nwoye. 

Q.8. Who was Akunna?

Ans. Akunna was one of the great men of a neighbouring village. 

Q.9. How does Okonkwo die?

Ans. Commits suicide by hanging.

Q.10. What is the setting of Things Fall Apart?

Ans. The novel is set in lower Nigerian villages, Iguedo and Mbanta in particular in the 1890s.

Q.11. What was the Oracle called in Things Fall Apart? 

Ans. Agbala.

Q.12. Does Achebe borrow the title of his novel from? 

Ans. “The Second Coming” by W.B Yeats.

Q.13. What special musical skill did Unoka have?

Ans. He was a great flute player.

Q.14. Why was the wrestler Amalinze nicknamed ‘the cat’? 

Ans. because his back would never touch the earth, that is, he was never defeated.

More Brief

Q.1. What is the source of the title of the novel ‘Things Fall Apart’?

Ans. The Second Coming” by W.B Yeats.

Q.2. Why did people laugh at Unoka?

Ans. Because he was poor, a “loafer,” and borrowed money without paying it back.

Q.3. Who was Amalinze?

Ans. Amalinze was a great wrestler. He had been unbeaten for seven years.

Q.4. What is the Yam festival?

Ans. It is the festival of the feast held every year before the harvest time to honour the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of the clan.

Q.5. When was the feast of the New Yam held every year in Umuofia?

Ans. Every year before the harvest began.

Q.6. What is Surrealism?

Ans. Artistic attempt to bridge together reality and the imagination.

Petals of Blood

Q.1. What do you know about the Mau Mau revolt? 

Ans. The Mau Mau revolt or Mau Mau uprising was an armed resistance against the British colonizers led by Dedan Kimathi between 1952 to 1960.

Q.2. Who is Godfrey Munira?

Ans. Godfrey Munira is a school teacher of Ilmorog.

Summary: Petals of Blood

0.3. Who is Abdulla?

Ans. Abdulla is an ex-Mau Mau fighter who now runs a shop for survival.

Q.4. Who is Joseph?

Ans. Joseph is the adopted brother of Abdulla.

Q.5. Who is Wanja?

Ans. Wanja is the granddaughter of Nyakinyua. After working as a barmaid in the town she has returned to her grandmother Ilmorog. 

Q.6. What is Wanja’s new job? 

Ans. Wanja’s new job at Ilmorog is as a barmaid.

Q.7. What do you know about Wanja’s first love? 

Ans. Wanja’s first love is with one of her high school friends. However, once she was seen with him and was severely beaten by her father.

Q.8. What do you know about Kamwane Cultural Organization?

Ans. Kamwane Cultural Organization or KCO is a government sponsored cultural organization which arranges a tea party Gatunda to make people take oath in favour of the government

Q.9. Why is the feast called Abdulla’s feast?

Ans. Because Abdulla kills an antelope with his catapult and in this arranges meat for the feast. 

Q.10. What is the name of the festival that follows harvest? 

Ans. The circumcision festival is held after the harvest.

Q.11. Why does Karega return to Ilmorog again?

Ans. as he is fired from the factory in the town. 

Q.12. How does Wanja receive Abdulla’s proposal of marriage?

Ans. Wanja rejects Abdulla’s marriage proposal.

More Brief

Q.1. What information does the girl give to Karega in his prison? 

Ans. The girl informs him that the workers at Ilmorog are all united and arranging a massive strike. 

Q.2. What is Munira’s attitude toward the love affair of Wanja and Karega?

Ans. jealous 

Q.3. Who are the Samaritans?

Ans. A Samaritan is a charitable person. Munira, Abdulla and Karega are called Good Samaritans because they have taken measures to help the people of Ilmorog in a time of drought.

Q.4. Who is Mwathi?

Ans. Mwathi is the town’s prophet and medicine man. 

Q.5. What is the consequence of Wanja’s love with Kimeria?

Ans. Wanja got pregnant by Kimeria who refused to take her.

Q.6. Why does Munira develop a relationship with Julia?

Ans. with an intention to make Wanja jealous.

Q.7. Which government project brings development  Ilmorog?

Ans.The Trans-African Highway 

Q.8. How is Ilmorog modernized?

Ans. Ilmorog is modernized with the building of the Trans-Africa road that connects it with the rest of the world. 

Q.9. Who sets fire to Wanja’s brothel?

Ans. Munira sets the fire at Wanja’s brothel out of his jealousy. 

Q.10. What is the background of the novel ‘Petals of Blood”?

Ans. Kenyan independence after the Mau Mau revolution.

Must Watch and justify yourself-12 Brief

a)Why is Amena Begum punished?

Ans. She wanted to get some water blessed by the new pir so that she could conceive.Majeed took it as an insult.So,he punished her.

b)Why does Majeed call Rahima the pillar of the house?

Ans. Majeed considers his first wife an ideal housewife. Through she has no child. In that case,she does not give any blame to Majeed.She loves Jamila like a mother. She teaches her Muslim customs.50, Majeed calls Rahima as the pillar of the house.

c) What was the political ideology of Velutha?

Ans. Ammu-Velutha love relationship operates on a qualitatively different ideological and political plane.

d)Why was Mollah happy in the ‘Man’?

Ans. Because of the huge amount of leftovers of meat and bread from the previous days offerings and this would be in his possession.

e)Who is the captain in the poem ‘Beware My Captain’?

Ans. The Captain whom the poet warms refers to the National Congress of India.

f) What is the source of the title ‘Things Falls Apart’?

Ans. From The Second Coming.

g) What was the Mau Mau Revolt?

Ans. Armed resistance against the British colonizers led by Dedan Kimathi.

h)How was Abdullah’s donkey killed?

Ans. A plane crash in the nearby field causes the death of Abdullah’s donkey.

I. What is the setting of the novel Things Falls Apart’?

Ans. In lower Nigerian villages Iguedo and Mbanta. 

j) How did Pappachi treat his wife? 

Ans. He beats his wife every night with a flower vase, even without any cause.

k) what will make the Rebel pacified?

Ans. When he would find the sky and the air free of the piteous groans of the oppressed.

I)What is Entomology?

Ans. The scientific study of insects.


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