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Two Long Term Problems: Too Many People, Too Few Trees Moti Nissani

Main Theme
This essay is about two problems that are going to make people’s lives much worse. It is possible they will destroy all life on our planet. These problems are that there are too many people in the world (overpopulation) and that our forests are being destroyed. The problems are linked because when there are too many people, forests get cut down more quickly and trees do not get replaced.

Summary
In 1992, over 1500 of the world’s scientists signed The World Scientists Warning to Humanity, a document reflecting growing concerns about the state of the biosphere. They worried about what is happening to the world. The concern was also concurred by the Royal Society of London and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The biosphere is becoming much polluted. The air and water are becoming poisonous and many types of plants and animals are disappearing. The population of the world is going up because people are living longer than in the past, and too many children are being born. Every hour some10, 000 new members are added to the already huge population that the earth is carrying. Our excesses don’t end there. We have also dirtied space. We clean pollutants up rather than use cheaper and healthier means of prevention.
For the last few hundred years, human population has increased, especially in the Industrialized countries with the improvements in nutrition, sanitation, and health. People there are living longer and have longer fertility rate. Similarly the world population is growing by more than 80 million people. The population of Nepal has increased exponentially from 9 million to 23 million in less than 50 years. Nepal’s population is expected to touch 46 million by 2026. There will be shortage of food and consequently the disappearance of trees. The land, water and air will be polluted. Towns and villages alike will be crowded. Food production and facilities for health will not grow at the ratio of population growth and it may make crime, ethnic conflicts and warfare more common. The world’s resources are being used up and problems caused by pollution, like diseases and changes in the world’s climate are getting worse. The world already has been facing frightening problems like desertification, depletion of nonrenewable resources (e.g., petrol, natural gas, and helium), acid rain, loss of wild species, ozone layer depletion, and the greenhouse effect.
Notwithstanding this, it is possible to stop the growth in population. This has happened in Sweden and Germany. Other countries like China, Thailand and Egypt have lessened their population through the active role played by their governments. Factors such as modernization, literacy, media campaigns and equal economic, educational, and legal opportunities for women, and information about how to avoid having babies (family planning) help reduce population growth. We know now how to control our numbers but we must put this knowledge into practice.
As the population of Nepal grows, forests are cut down to turn the land into farmland. The demand of rich people in the west for beef is also causing forest land to be changed into grassland for cattle farming. Rich people’s demand for wood and paper products is also causing the destruction of forests. When forests are chopped down, the soil is destroyed and this can lead to disastrous flooding. Such is the pitiable condition of earth’s forest cover that it has come down from 40% in the early part of this century to about 25% now. Indeed, the destruction of forests contributes to such things as the greenhouse effect, irreversible loss of many thousands of species of plants and animals, landslides, soil erosion, siltation of rivers and dams, droughts, and weather extremes. Eventually this ongoing deforestation would damage the quality of life on earth, reduce the number of life forms that share the planet with us, and hamper the ability of the biosphere to sustain life.
Deforestation can be reduced if the increase in the number of people is controlled. Education, family planning and changes in the way we use wood are important. The short term remedy would involve massive tree plantings on abandoned deforested land and on unused lands elsewhere. Sometimes, appropriate and economical technology like the use of smokeless stoves in countries like Nepal can reduce the amount of firewood needed, thereby increasing time to study and provide opportunity to practice other more profitable business. However, even though we know what changes we must make, we are not brave or clever enough to make those changes. Moti Nissani ends optimistically by telling us that the problem of overpopulation and deforestation can be solved by the application of wisdom, courage, and compassion.

Board Exam Questions
1. How can we save our forests? (2062)
2. Explain the links between overpopulation and deforestation? (2058)
3. What are the causes, consequences and cures of overpopulation and deforestation? (2061/2066)

Overpopulation has a direct effect on forest cover. The increase in human numbers means increased demand for food and fuel, and thus the process of deforestation will continue till trees will vanish to leave way for farmlands. In the present time cutting down of trees is taking place at an alarming rate because of exponential growth in human population. For example,, in the beginning of the third millennia Nepal had a population of 23 million which by 2026 is expected to double to 46 million. So, millions of Nepalese will have to be fed and sustained. Also, in this century, only 25% of land is covered by forests, and this is causing a host of damages in the form of greenhouse effect, loss of plant and animal species, increase in droughts, and weather extremes.. When trees of Nepal, for example, are cut the topsoil is lost and this leads to flooding in Bangladesh and India, killing people and ruining crops, the source of food. Population pressure in addition to new technologies and affluent lifestyle of some people also exacerbates deforestation. Deforestation also brings other threats like ozone layer depletion, airborne pollution, and acid rain. The eventual outcome of deforestation would damage the quality of life on earth and hamper the ability of the biosphere to sustain life. The destruction of forests can be controlled by investing in family planning efforts through education, moving towards participatory democracies, involving greater efficiency in the use of wood products, recycling, providing financial incentives for preserving forests for sustainable forestry, mass afforestation programme, and switching to eco-friendly technology.

Some Q & A
1. Are most living Nobel Prize winners optimistic about the future of humanity? Why or why not?
The Nobel Prize winners are guardedly optimistic about the future of humanity, because they are of the opinion that there could be imbalance between the natural world and human world if we don’t apply positive attitude towards environment. They warn of the human beings’ increasing possibility of inflicting irreversible damage on the environment and on its resources. They opine that if human beings don’t check their current bad practices, then life on this planet of and of plants could be at risk, and it may also affect the sustainability of life in the manner we know or like. Thus, urgent change in our approach towards the environment, they say, could avoid the inevitable: irreparable degradation of the environment.

2. What leads Nissani to the belief that the world is facing an overpopulation crisis?
There are various negative indicators that lead Nissani to believe there is an overpopulation crisis. Every year 80 million people new mouths are added to the overburdened earth, which means there is more demand for food, and the corresponding damage to the forests. The trees are felled to clear land for farming. There is increase in pollution and pollution-induced diseases. 60000 Americans die each year because of human-induced pollution. What’s more overcrowding has invited crime, conflicts, war, and mass migrations. Many animal species are vanishing or have vanished. Increased population has increased energy use, resource consumption and environmental stress too. Desertification, depletion of natural resources, acid rain, ozone layer depletion, droughts, floods, and weather extremes are other negative markers of overpopulation crisis.

3. What’s wrong, in his view, with a treeless Nepal?
There is bound to be a lot of environmental and human disasters happening in the absence of trees in Nepal. Trees keep the top soil intact, however with their disappearance; the fertile top soil can easily be carried down by rivers, particularly during monsoons, whereby causing landslides and other natural disasters in the mountains and hills and devastating floods and siltation of rivers and dams in the Terai and beyond. Floods kill people as well as ruin standing crops, the source of food. The Koshi carnage is one infamous event in recent history. The bare mountain and hill land become a wasteland too. Many thousands of species of birds and animals could be endangered or lost forever. And, over a long period of time, felling of trees could inflict other environmental repercussions like the greenhouse effect, droughts and whimsical weather patterns.

Raj Kumar Gautam, Lecturer, English Department, Arniko HSS, Biratnagar, Morang, JULY 17, 2013

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Posted: July 13, 2013 in RKG sir notes class-12

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The Lamentation of Old Pensioner - Page 2

The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner W.B.Yeats (1865-1939)

Paraphrase/Explanation

Now that I am an old man I protect myself from the rain under an old and broken
tree.
When I was young I sat near the fire with other young men and discussed love or
politics.
That was before I was changed by time.
While young boys are making weapons to attack the government,
and crazy, bad boys show their anger at human violence.
I think about how time has changed me.
No woman would look at an old man,
But I remember the women I have loved.
I spit into the face of time which has changed me.

Summary: This poem is about an old man who is remembering what he was like as a young man and how things are different now that he is old. He is unhappy because he has become old. He is angry with time for changing him.

Comprehension Questions
1. What is the meaning of the title of the poem?
2. What is the meaning of the line “ere Time transfigured me”?
3. What was he interested in as a young man? Love and politics. Many of his friends listened to him talk about love and politics.
4. What are the young men doing now? Fighting against govts; showing anger against bad human condition.
5. What is the poet thinking about? Thinking about Time that has changed him.
6. What does the speaker remember in the last stanza? Beautiful women of the yore/of the past.
7. Why does he “spit into the face of Time”? Irreversible changes it has brought about in his life.
8. What idea is repeated three times in the poem? Relentlessness of time; power of time to change man.

Essay Questions
1. Write a short story comparing old people to young people?
2. How do you think you will change when you get older?

Group Exercise
1. Make a list of things in the poem that show how the man was when he was young.
2. What do you think he was like as a young man?
3. Make a list of all the things that show how the man is now that he is old. How does the poet feel now that he is an old man?
Board Questions
1. Mention the three things the old man laments about. Why is he sad about them? (2059) Why does the old man want to “spit into the face of time”? (2058)
2. How and why does the old man lament? (2061)
3. What is the speaker lamenting on? (2062)
4. Why does the poet show his anger against time? (2065)
5. Explain the title of the poem “The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner”.
Some Vocabulary
Lamentation: regret/sadness; expression of grief| 2.ere: before| 3.transfigure: change| 4.pikes: long sticks that can be used as weapons|5. Rage: be angry 6.conspiracy: plan- in this case, plan to attack the government| 7.rage their fill: get as angry as possible|8.human tyranny: cruel government| 9. Contemplations: thoughts|10.Beauties: beautiful women.

Summary
The poem Lamentation of the Old Pensioner deals with the theme of time and the bitterness and resentment it can bring in a man’s life, specifically in old age (retirement from active life). Time changes everything including man’s life. Here the poet is lamenting the loss of his young days. This old age has been brought in by time, which marches forward unceasingly.

The poet has aged (become old) and now takes refuge under a tree (symbolically a precarious house), which is old. However, he remembers the days when his friends and well-wishers gathered around him to listen to him talk of politics and love. He seems to have enjoyed good position of influence as he says his chair ‘was nearest to the fire”. He probably was the center of attraction. Now, it’s no more the case because time has changed him.

The poet says that in his old age, young people are planning to fight governments who they think are working against the spirits of people. And there are other young crazy people who are very angry against human violence. But as far as the poet is concerned, he is fighting a losing battle against time which has changed him completely; the way of revolting in his time was quiet and different. He is no more interested in politics and movements of change as was the case in his young days.

The poet also expresses sadness over young beautiful women not looking at his old (wrinkled and ugly) face. He was probably a very romantic man. He now compares himself to a broken tree that is not noticed, cared and given importance. Even so, he has not forgotten (he still remembers them) each of the graceful women who he came across in his young days. His memories of them are fresh. He can do nothing to get back his lost youth hood and vigor. The enemy standing in his way is time so he rages against time by spitting into its face.

Some Analysis
The expression “ere time transfigured me” is used at the end of each stanza with some variation. This refrain (noun a repeated line or number of lines in a poem or song, typically at the end of each verse) helps us to understand the poet’s frustration and sustain the poet’s bitterness. Each time he laments of a certain loss (he laments about three things) he singles out time to have put him in this situation. It also helps to re-establish the atmosphere of his young days against his present sorrowful state. The final refrain is a climactic statement of the poet’s disturbed state. Thus, the refrain helps us to feel the deep anger the poet suffered at the hands of time. [Refrain: This refrain helps to establish the meter of the poem, indicates its tone, and re-establishes the atmosphere of the poem.]

The poet’s tone: By ‘tone’ one is referring to the attitude or point of view of the poet. In this poem, the tone is that of great anger. He is neither satisfied with his old age, nor has he accepted it quietly, but he is angry with his old age. And, he doesn’t seem to come to terms with this truth. He singles out time for having brought him to this bitter state of loneliness, frustration and negligence. Thus, he spits into the face of time.
Significance/Meaning of the title: The title signifies the extreme regret and disappointment felt by a retired old man. There was a time when he enjoyed good position among his friends and politicians. Also he secured the love of beautiful women, but those are past achievements and have no relevance to his lonely and neglected life of old age as he has none of them. Indeed, he has no one to take care of him.
Shifts in the subject matter: There are, altogether, three stanzas. Poet has made three shifts in the subject matter in three respective stanzas to show the comparison and contrast between his young and old age. The first stanza describes his favorable condition in politics and love. The second stanza describes how the angry young people behave today in contrast to the old man’s youth which was lovely and quite. The last one shows his neglected condition and thus he throws all his anger at Time, which is the main cause of all this loss.
The Speaker/poet laments about: (loss of) political power which he no more commands; his ability to understand and speak about love; women not looking at him as was the case in his young days.
Why anger against time: he does not have the company of friends and well-wishers who used to listen to he talk about love and politics; his lonely and neglected condition. This also agonizes him very much
Summary in one sentence: The poem presents the reminiscences of the poet’s young life which becomes more agonizing when he looks at his present state and contrasts his time of youth with his state in the old age.
What does the poem add to our knowledge of the old man (his character, attitude, circumstances): he was powerful person in the field of politics; he could talk about love; he was admired by beautiful women. The loss of these prowesses (skill or expertise in a particular activity or field) brings frustration, anger and bitterness in his old days. He can’t get all of these now. Thus, he hurls his anger at time that has irreversibly changed him. Character: romantic, revolutionary, influential (in his youth); attitude: bitter (old age); circumstances: he is old and lonely and loveless.
Raj Kumar Gautam; Arniko HSS ( Science ) Biratnagar; Nepal; rgautam78@yahoo.com, July 13, 2013

  1. Circle the correct underlined verbs, and correct the verbs that are wrong.

I would like to be considered for your degree course in Zoology, starting in October next year. I feel I am a good candidate for this course as I 1 have always been interested in natural history and even as a child I 2 have enjoyed studying animals and insects in my garden. Your science faculty has a good reputation and I would very much like to be part of it.

As you 3 already saw in Section A of this application. I have a good academic record and I 4 just received the results of my recent exams, all of which 5 have been excellent.

In addition, your university attracts me because I enjoy sports and I 6 have read in your prospectus about the large number of sports on offer. Last year I 7 have represented my school at badminton and I 8 played in football teams since I was eleven. I 9 have recently joined a basketball team which competes at a national level.

I 10 did not travel abroad much yet, although as a young child I 11 have been to Singapore and Hong Kong with my family. I realize that 12 have not spent much time away from home up to now but I am keen to become more independent.

  1. 1. Correct; 2. Enjoyed; 3. ?
  1. Underline the correct form of the verbs. (This is an example of a memo letter or email letter)

To: Paul Johnson

From: Sunita Soh

Subject: Seminar presentation on Friday

Dear Paul,

1 I’ve just received/I’ve just been receiving your message to us all about the seminar on Friday. 2 I’ve worked/I’ve been working on my presentation for the last week, and 3 have now finished/ now finished it, so I am happy to be one of the first to present. However, 4 I’ve made/I made an appointment to see the university careers advisor immediately after the seminar, so I will need to leave on time.

I’d like some advice about my presentation. At last week’s lecture 5 you’ve said/you said that we should use visual aids as much as possible. 6 I haven’t found/ I didn’t find anything to use. Is it essential? 7 I’ve done/ I did lots of presentations before, and I feel 0K about this one. In my last presentation 8 I used/ I have been using the overhead projector, and I want to do this again – does this count as a visual aid?

One last question: 9 I’ve been / I went to Professor Russell’s lecture yesterday, and 10 have been learning/ learnt quite a lot that is relevant to this course. Is it okay to refer to another course in my presentation? 11 I’ve been wondering/ I wondered about this – maybe it is better to stick to the materials and references 12 you’ve given/ you’ve been giving us. I hope you can let me know.

Thanks for your help.

Sunita

  1. Model Application (block format)

 Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to apply for the post of tour guide advertised on your website. I believe I fulfil all the necessary criteria, and very much hope that you will consider my application.

I have lived in this town all my life, and therefore know all about the places of interest and their history. I have visited the castle and the cathedral may times and I have red many guide books full of interesting historical facts. I therefore feel that I am in a good position to lead visitors around these sites. I have always been interested in history and over the past few years I have regularly participated in activities at the castle and at other sites.

Recently I have been working as a receptionist at a local hotel in the evenings, so I have experience of dealing with overseas visitors, and I enjoy talking to them.

I do hope you will consider me for this post, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Raisha Shrestha

4. COVER LETTER IN BULLETED FORMAT

 

4 Bhrikuti Chowk

Itahari, Sunsari

 

June 23, 2012

 

 

Min Pradhan

Vajuratna Vehicles Pvt Limited

2 Munalpath Road, Sector 400

Biratnagar, Morang

 

Dear Min Pradhan:

 

I am currently interested in obtaining an entry-level marketing/management position you’re your company. Currently I am in the first semester of my senior year at Presidentil Business School, Biratnagar and will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing with a minor in International Business in September, 2014. My interest in the Vajuratna Vehicles Pvt Limited is based on a desire to continue my employment with the Vajuratna Company.

 

As a participant in the Vajuratna College Program, I served as a Merchandising Host during the summers of 2011 and 2012. Specifically, this job has given me an in-depth knowledge of Vajuratna Company, its operations, and its corporate culture. Other qualifications, which I have honed, include the following:

 

  • A team-builder who communicates effectively interpersonally and within groups.

 

  • A highly motivated individual with strong analytical and research skills.

 

  • Visionary, creative, and able to see opportunities for process improvement.

 

  • Completed various courses in marketing, management, sales, and international business.

 

  • Proficient with the Vajuratna Company Policies and Guidelines.

 

My enclosed resume will provide further details about my skills and accomplishments. I am confident that my academic background, qualifications, as well as my past experiences with your company will prove to be mutually beneficial for a marketing/management position with Vajuratna Company. I may be reached at my current address, by phone at: (021) 4562665, or by way of e-mail at: rabrai@pbs.edu.

 

 I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

(Signature)

 

Rabin Rai

Enclosures: Resume, References

Write a letter to Rabin Rai intimating him of being selected for service exams and interview at Vajuratna Vehicles Pvt Limited and highlight some of the company’s selection procedure, its vision and its commitment from potential fulltime employees. Use present perfect simple where possible.

5. Fill in the gaps with a verb from the box in the present perfect simple or present perfect continuous. You will use some verbs more than once.

be        do        feel      have     live      pass     study    start    take     travel    want   work

Interviewer:  How long …………………………….. (1 you) here?

Student: I ………………….. (2) in London for the past three years. I come from Nepal originally. I ……………………… (3) at a college here since I arrived.

Interviewer: ……………………………. (4 you) any travelling over the past three years?

Student: Yes, I ………………………… (5) really lucky. I have long holidays so I ………………………… (6) all over Europe. I especially liked Spain.

Interviewer: What is the most interesting thing you ………………………………………… (7) recently?

Student: Well, I ………………………………… (8) to play tennis, and I ………………………………. (9) singing lessons for a few months now too. But the thing that I am most proud of is that I …………………………………….. (10 just) my driving test. It’s the first time I ……………………………………… (11) it so I’m really pleased but I …………………………….. (12 never) so nervous in all my life!

Interviewer: How do you think English will be useful in your life?

Student: I ………………………………. (13) a Hospitality and Tourism course over here, so I need English for my studies and my job. I ……………………………….. (14 always) to work in the tourist industry because I …………………………. (15 always) interested in history and cultural sites, and I ……………………………….. (16 already) as a tour guide in my home town.

 Raj Kumar Gautam, English Faculty, Arniko HSS, Biratnagar 13, rgautam78@yahoo.com, July 8, 2013

Go TO http://www.pramodyadav.com.np/2017/12/Describe-Physical-Appearance-of-yourself.html

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About Love
Summary
‘About Love’ is a story by Anton Chekov. Mr. Chekov is a humorous writer. In this story, he tries to show that love is different in every situation. In his support, he presents three anecdotes to prove that love is always different. It is quite an individual matter and an unanswered mystery. It can’t be generalized. The first loves story is about a cook, Nikanor and his beloved, Pelageya. Alyohin is the narrator of the story. He along with his friends – Ivan and Burkin – is taking breakfast on a rainy day. Nikanor comes to ask them what they would like him to prepare for dinner. Alyohin tells about him. He is a drunkard but he is loved by a beautiful girl Pelageya. She doesn’t want to marry him but only wants to live with him. Alyohin puts a question mark: Why does Pelageya love Nikanor? One statement can’t explain love. Each love story is different, quiet individual. In yet another love Alyohin was university of Moscow student and tells a story about himself. When he was studying at university, he loved a girl and lived with her. Every time he held her in his arms all she did was think about the money that Alyohin was going to give her and what she could buy.
Alyohin tells his own autobiography. When he was at university, he loved a girl who always was in his arms. She used to think about monthly expenditure allowed by him. Bachelors are lonely, so they like to go to restaurants and other places. Alyohin went to a university for higher studies and it was very costly. His father had mortgaged his land to pay for his studies. So instead of becoming an officer or a teacher, he had to go home and had to cultivate his field to pay off the loan. But Alyohin had a dream to be an officer, to talk with intellectuals and to dress himself just like a lawyer. Anyway, being a graduate, he did not enjoy the tough peasant life.
He was elected as a judge in the district court to represent the problem of his village. So, he had to get to the town to participate on the bench of judges. In this way, during his visits, he became intimate friend of a judge, Dmitri Luganovich. Luganovich invited him for dinner where he met his wife Anna Alexeyevna. Anna was extremely beautiful and enchanting lady who already had a six-month old baby. She was only 22 years whereas her husband was over 40 and very stupid in the game of love. Anna and Alyohin fell in love in the first meeting. They became closer and closer with the passage of time. It seemed that they were complementary to each other. But, their status and social limitation deprived them of being life partner. In this way, Anna was disappointed in love and she suffered from nervous prostration. She was advised to shift to Crimea. Fortunately, Luganovich was transferred from the town to the Western Province.
It was the moment of departure. Anna was inside the train as it was about to leave the station. In the mean time, Alyohin came to say goodbye to Anna inside of the train. When their eyes met both of them cried and held onto each other. Alyohin confessed his love by kissing. Anna was leaving the place forever, so they had to separate from each other.
Now, the rain has stopped by the end of the story. The two friends imagined how the lovers felt in the train and how interesting Alyohin’s life would be if he had devoted his life to scholarly pursuit or something that would ease his dull and placid life. Burkin who was acquainted with Anna thought she was beautiful.
All the three love stories show that love is different in each situation.

Q&A
The second paragraph of “About Love” is a brief account of a violent love affair between two servants. Is it significant that Alyohin is the source of this anecdote? How does the anecdote contrast with Alyohin’s own story?
The violent love affair between Nikanor and Pelageya has been described in the second paragraph. Nikanor is an irritable, drunkard who doesn’t want to love her from the very core of his heart. He beats her and swears at her every time he is drunk. All that Pelageya can do is hiding upstairs in Alyohin’s floor. But she loves him continuously. To Nikanor, love before marriage is a sin. On the other hand, she wants to live with him ‘just so’. It is significant that Alyohin tells this anecdote because the love affair between Nikanor and Pelageya makes a beautiful, yet disturbing contrast with his own affair with Anna. Alyohin-Anna love is of the intellectual and mature type. They have healthy respect for each other; they talk for long hours and sit silently. They even go to theatre together. But, they conceal their love jealously and timidly. Thus, they are unexpressive lovers. The love between the two servants is very simple and they confess their love openly and frankly but they have their own choices about marriage. Their love is not bound by marital relation at all. It is carnal pleasure, and this seems more so for Pelageya. This physical passion might seem an attraction between these two servants whereas Alyohin’s and Anna’s love is more of a spiritual kind. Both of them reason more and are victims of their own indecision. They couldn’t express their love and their love didn’t provide them satisfaction rather it brought unhappiness, separation and pessimism.

How does the account of the occasion and the setting in which the narrative occur affect our understanding of Alyohin?

Alyohin shares his love story with his two friends, Ivan and Burkin. They are confined to Alyohin’s country house as the weather isn’t good for going outdoors. When Alyohin begins to share his unfinished love anecdote, the sky is gray and the trees are drenched in rain. The weather is such that one could go nowhere but sit back at home to tell or listen to stories. After Alyohin’s love episode is over Chekov comes up with a very beautiful setting: the rain stops and the sun comes out. Outside, there is a fine view of the garden and the river, which was shining in the sunshine like a mirror. Alyohin’s confinement to the country house suggests restricted space he created upon himself by his promises and reason. On the contrary, the setting after Alyohin’s story is finished gives us the impression that Alyohin will finally find freedom and love, and one last opportunity to untie from a hard situation he has put himself into.

Alyohin is said to rush around like a squirrel in a cage and this judgment is echoed in the final paragraph of the story. What is the significance of this repetition?

Alyohin’s comparison to a squirrel in a cage has been made by the Luganoviches and his friends, Ivan and Burkin. He remained a bachelor because he was torn between love and duty. He had lost Anna because of his commitment to his farm that his father had mortgaged to ease his study expenditure. Also, he reasoned as to the nature and consequences of his love. This put him into a disadvantage; he became indecisive and restricted. Thus, the cage symbolizes Alyohin’s unfavourable situations. As a man of high intellect, he also had to think of the complex love situation he had got into because of his unusual love affair with Anna. By observing the limitation of life, they can’t express their love openly. So, love is concealed in their hearts. Similarly, a squirrel is locked in a cage but not on its own volition as is the case with Alyohin. Alyohin is a scholar, a graduate from a Russian university but he has to work in the field like a labour. He is not satisfied with his occupation. So, his condition is just like that of a squirrel’s. He rushes here and there between the district court in the town and his village but he doesn’t get any anywhere. The repetition of the statement signifies his lonely, restless and miserable condition.
More On About Love
Summary

This text is about love. The author tries to show that love is different in every situation. Three stories are told in order to prove that love is always different. Also Alyohin thinks that love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation.

First Love Story (Paragraphs 1& 2): physical and violent love
Alyohin, Burkin and Ivan Ivanych are in a country house eating breakfast. Nikanor, the cook, comes to ask the men what they would like him to prepare for dinner. Alyohin tells a story about Nikanor. Pelageya, who is a beautiful girl, loves Nikanor. But Nikanor drinks a lot of alcohol and beats her. So Pelageya does not want to marry him. She only wants to live with him. But Nikanor thinks that it is wrong for a man and woman to live together if they are not married.

Discussion About Love (Paragraphs 4, 5, and the beginning of 6)
Alyohin says that you can’t understand love. Why does Pelageya love Nikanor? You cannot make one statement to explain love. Each story is different – individual.

Second Love Story (End of Paragraph 6): materialistic love
Alyohin tells a story about himself. When he was studying at university, he loved a girl and lived with her. Every time he held her in his arms all she did was think about the money that Alyohin was going to give her and what she could buy.

Descriptions of Bachelors (Paragraph 7)
Bachelors are lonely, so they can talk to other people. Alyohin is a bachelor and he wants to tell Burkin and Ivan Ivanych a story about himself.

Third Love Story (Paragraph 8 to the end): spiritual love/rational love
Alyohin went to university. But his father had borrowed a lot of money to pay for his studies. So instead of becoming a teacher or working in an office Alyohin had to go home and work hard in the fields to pay off the debts. He did not enjoy working on the farm.
Alyohin was elected to be a judge. Sometimes he had to go into town for a court case. He would lead a very luxurious life and come across educated people. He made many friends too. While he was in town he also met Luganovich, who was another judge. Luganovich invited Alyohin to his house for dinner. At dinner Alyohin meets Luganovich’s wife Anna Alexeyevna, who had had her first baby only six months before. She was young, beautiful, kind intelligent, fascinating woman. Alyohin and Anna Alexeyevna fell in love with each other. Every time that Alyohin went into town he would go to visit Anna. Sometimes they would talk or go to the theatre together.
Then Luganovich and his family had to move. Alyohin went to say goodbye to Anna Alexeyevna inside of the train. They both cried and held onto each other. Alyohin kissed Anna Alexeyevna and told her that he loved her. But because Anna Alexeyevna was leaving they had to separate forever.

Setting of the Story
Before Alyohin starts his intimate love story, the weather outside was not good. The sky was gray and the trees were drenched with rain. It was a kind of weather that the narrator said made people go nowhere or do anything except tell and listen to stories. After Alyohin shares his painful and haunting love story to Ivan and Burkin, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Outside, there was a fine view of the garden and the river, which was shining in the sunshine like a mirror.
The former setting helps us to understand Alyohin’s hopelessness and helplessness as he can’t go out of his farm and can’t do anything to better his poor condition. However, the latter setting where the rain stopped and sun came out hints at the better days in store for Alyohin. It expresses his freedom. Indeed, Alyohin feels very light after having shared his story with two of his friends.

Alyohin’s Character
Alyohin was a bachelor whose character borders on the tragic side of life. He is the central character of the story alongside Anna Alexeyevna who happens to be his love interest. He lived alone on a farm in Sofyina, in Russia. He was a kind man as he gave a very good treatment to his servants and peasants who had tended his farm. Alyohin was a university graduate but because his father had mortgaged the property to fund his studies, he was compelled to tend to the farm to pay off the debts instead of taking up a vocation that fitted his study. Because he was “a bookish fellow” he took to farming after much intense disgust for it. He was elected honorary justice of the peace and came to the town certain times of the year. While in town, he felt he was in the company of educated people like doctors and lawyers. This proves that he was sophisticated and cared for fine taste and fine people. He was also a warm and influential man as the Luganovich’s were very affected by his character and studiousness. Even their two children were very delighted to meet him during his visits. The Luganoviches and his friends, Ivan and Burkin compare him to a squirrel in a cage because he used his knowledge very seldom. He was committed to fulfilling his promise and duty to father. To the Luganovich household, he was a “noble fellow”. His various activities with Anna show that he was eager to please her and make her feel happy. He used to help her with parcels when he was at her house.
However, he was a failure when it came to love. His love with Anna failed because he reasoned more than committing himself to loving her. He reasoned that his love for Anna would affect her married life, her children’s, and the whole household’s. He timidly and jealously concealed his love. He was the victim of his own indecision. It took him separation from her to realise this truth. He later tells his friend that love should be realized from what is higher or else one should not reason at all. He seems to offer candid dissection of love as was prevalent in Russia. He feels that love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation.
Thus, Alyohin with all his fine attributes is a tragic character.

Memorable quotes:
1. “Love is a great mystery. Everything else that has been written or said about love is not a solution, but only a statement of questions that have remained unanswered. The explanation that would fit one case does not apply to a dozen others, and the very best thing, to my mind, would be to explain every case separately without attempting to generalize. Each case should be individualized, as the doctors say.” Alyohin: About Love. Page 14.

2. When we are in love, we never stop asking ourselves whether it is honorable or dishonorable, sensible or stupid, what this love will lead to, and so on. If that is a good thing or not, I don’t know, but that it is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation, of that I am certain.” Alyohin: About Love. Page 15

3. I realized how needless and petty and deceptive was all that had hindered us from loving each other. I realized that when you love you must either, in your reasoning about that love, start from what is higher, more important than happiness or unhappiness, sin or virtue in their usual meaning, or you must not reason at all” Alyohin: About Love. Page 23

Some possible questions:
-Why did Alyohin and Anna try to conceal their love? (3)
-What was the cause of Anna’s sickness? What was the result of it? (3)
-What thing of Anna would make Alyohin feel new and extraordinary every time they met? (3)
-Why did Anna visit her mother or sister’s house later on? (3)
-What comments does the narrator make about bachelors? (3)
-Describe the love story as Anna would tell her fellow patients at Crimea. (10)
-Is it justified that Alyohin should remain a bachelor in spite of his high learning and rich love experience? (10)
-Provide a character sketch of Dmitri Luganovich. (10)

-Discuss how the three love stories are the same and how they are different?
-Discuss how the stories prove the idea that love is different in every situation.
-In your own words tell the love story of Alyohin and Anna Alexeyevna
-Alyohin compared to a squirrel in a cage. What is the significance of this comparison in the story?
-What kinds of love does Chekov discuss in About Love?
-What is the significance of the setting of the story? What are its implications on Alyohin?
-Alyohin says love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation. Explain this in the light of his relationship with Anna Alexeyevna.
-How did Alyohin define love?
“About Love” is a timeless story of forbidden love which the famous Russian storywriter and dramatist Anton Pavlovich Chekhov describes with consummate artistry. The story mostly set in the Russian countryside of Sofyino has the theme of love being different in every situation. Other themes in the story are lack of communication and alienation. The present story shows different kind of love.

Raj Kumar Gautam, English Faculty, Arniko HSS, Biratnagar, rgautam78@yahoo.com. Ashar 22, 2068

About Love
Summary
‘About Love’ is a story by Anton Chekov. Mr. Chekov is a humorous writer. In this story, he tries to show that love is different in every situation. In his support, he presents three anecdotes to prove that love is always different. It is quite an individual matter and an unanswered mystery. It can’t be generalized.

The first loves story is about a cook, Nikanor and his beloved, Pelageya. (Alyohin is the narrator of the story. He along with his friends – Ivan and Burkin – is taking breakfast on a rainy day). Nikanor comes to ask them what they would like him to prepare for dinner. Alyohin tells about him. He is a drunkard but he is loved by girl Pelageya. She doesn’t want to marry him but only wants to live with him. Alyohin puts a question mark: Why does Pelageya love Nikanor? One statement can’t explain love. Each love story is different, quite individual. In yet another love Alyohin was university of Moscow student and tells his own story. When he was studying at university, he loved a girl and lived with her. Every time he held her in his arms all she did was think about the money that he was going to give her and what she could buy

Bachelors are lonely, so they like to go to restaurants and other places and tell their stories to strangers (cities) or to guests (country). Alyohin went to a university for higher studies and it was very costly. His father had mortgaged his land to pay for his studies. So instead of becoming an officer or a teacher, he had to go home and had to cultivate his field to pay off the loan. But Alyohin had a dream to be an officer, to talk with intellectuals and to dress himself just like a lawyer. Anyway, being a graduate, he did not enjoy the tough peasant life.

Alyohin tells his own autobiography. He was elected as a judge in the district court to represent the problem of his village. So, he had to get to the town to participate on the bench of judges. In this way, during his visits, he became intimate friend of a judge, Dmitri Luganovich. Luganovich invited him to dinner where he met his wife Anna Alexeyevna. Anna was extremely beautiful and enchanting lady who already had a six-month old baby. She was only 22 years whereas her husband was over 40 and very stupid in the game of love. Anna and Alyohin fell in love in the first meeting. They became closer and closer with time. They seemed to complement each other. But, their status and social limitation deprived them of being life partners. In this way, Anna was disappointed in love and she suffered from nervous prostration. She was advised to shift to Crimea. Fortunately, Luganovich was transferred from the town to the Western Province.

It was the moment of departure. Anna was inside the train as it was about to leave the station. In the mean time, Alyohin came to say goodbye to Anna inside of the train. When their eyes met both of them cried and held onto each other. Alyohin confessed his love and kissed her. He realized the weakness of his love: too much reasoning. Anna was leaving the place forever, so they had to separate from each other.
Now, the rain has stopped by the end of the story. The two friends imagined how the lovers felt in the train and how interesting Alyohin’s life would be if he had devoted his life to scholarly pursuit or something that would ease his dull and placid life. Burkin who was acquainted with Anna thought she was beautiful.
All the three love stories show that love is different in each situation.

Q&A
The second paragraph of “About Love” is a brief account of a violent love affair between two servants. Is it significant that Alyohin is the source of this anecdote? How does the anecdote contrast with Alyohin’s own story?
The violent love affair between Nikanor and Pelageya has been described in the second paragraph. Nikanor is an irritable, drunkard who doesn’t want to love her from the very core of his heart. He beats her and swears at her every time he is drunk. All that Pelageya can do is hide upstairs in Alyohin’s floor. But she loves him continuously. To Nikanor, love before marriage is a sin. On the other hand, she wants to live with him ‘just so’. It is significant that Alyohin tells this anecdote because the love affair between Nikanor and Pelageya makes a beautiful, yet disturbing contrast with his own affair with Anna. Alyohin-Anna love is of the intellectual and mature type. They have healthy respect for each other; they talk for long hours and sit silently. They even go to theatre together. But, they conceal their love jealously and timidly. Thus, they are unexpressive lovers. The love between the two servants is very simple and they confess their love openly and frankly but they have their own choices about marriage. Their love is not bound by marital relation at all. It is carnal pleasure, and this seems more so for Pelageya. This physical passion might seem an attraction between these two servants whereas Alyohin’s and Anna’s love is more of a spiritual kind. Both of them reason more and are victims of their own indecision. They couldn’t express their love and their love didn’t provide them satisfaction rather it brought unhappiness, separation and pessimism.

How does the account of the occasion and the setting in which the narrative occur affect our understanding of Alyohin?

Alyohin shares his love story with his two friends, Ivan and Burkin. They are confined to Alyohin’s country house as the weather isn’t good for going outdoors. When Alyohin begins to share his unfinished love anecdote, the sky is gray and the trees are drenched in rain. The weather is such that one could go nowhere but sit back at home to tell or listen to stories. After Alyohin’s love episode is over Chekov comes up with a very beautiful setting: the rain stops and the sun comes out. Outside, there is a fine view of the garden and the river, which was shining in the sunshine like a mirror. Alyohin’s confinement to the country house suggests restricted space he created upon himself by his promises and reason. On the contrary, the setting after Alyohin’s story is finished gives us the impression that Alyohin will finally find freedom and love, and one last opportunity to untie from a hard situation he has put himself into.

Alyohin is said to rush around like a squirrel in a cage and this judgment is echoed in the final paragraph of the story. What is the significance of this repetition?

Alyohin’s comparison to a squirrel in a cage has been made by the Luganoviches and his friends, Ivan and Burkin. He remained a bachelor because he was torn between love and duty. He had lost Anna because of his commitment to his farm that his father had mortgaged to ease his study expenditure. Also, he reasoned as to the nature and consequences of his love. This put him into a disadvantage; he became indecisive and restricted. Thus, the cage symbolizes Alyohin’s unfavourable situations. As a man of high intellect, he also had to think of the complex love situation he had got into because of his unusual love affair with Anna. By observing the limitation of life, they can’t express their love openly. So, love is concealed in their hearts. Similarly, a squirrel is locked in a cage but not on its own volition as is the case with Alyohin. Alyohin is a scholar, a graduate from a Russian university but he has to work in the field like a labour. He is not satisfied with his occupation. So, his condition is just like that of a squirrel’s. He rushes here and there between the district court in the town and his village but he doesn’t get any anywhere. The repetition of the statement signifies his lonely, restless and miserable condition.

More on About Love Anton Chekov

Summary

This text is about love. The author tries to show that love is different in every situation. Three stories are told in order to prove that love is always different. Also Alyohin thinks that love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation.

First Love Story (Paragraphs 1& 2): physical and violent love
Alyohin, Burkin and Ivan Ivanych are in a country house eating breakfast. Nikanor, the cook, comes to ask the men what they would like him to prepare for dinner. Alyohin tells a story about Nikanor. Pelageya, who is a beautiful girl, loves Nikanor. But Nikanor drinks a lot of alcohol and beats her. So Pelageya does not want to marry him. She only wants to live with him. But Nikanor thinks that it is wrong for a man and woman to live together if they are not married.

Discussion About Love (Paragraphs 4, 5, and the beginning of 6)
Alyohin says that you can’t understand love. Why does Pelageya love Nikanor? You cannot make one statement to explain love. Each story is different – individual.

Second Love Story (End of Paragraph 6): materialistic love
Alyohin tells a story about himself. When he was studying at university, he loved a girl and lived with her. Every time he held her in his arms all she did was think about the money that Alyohin was going to give her and what she could buy.

Descriptions of Bachelors (Paragraph 7)
Bachelors are lonely, so they can talk to other people. Alyohin is a bachelor and he wants to tell Burkin and Ivan Ivanych a story about himself.

Third Love Story (Paragraph 8 to the end): spiritual love/rational love
Alyohin went to university. But his father had borrowed a lot of money to pay for his studies. So instead of becoming a teacher or working in an office Alyohin had to go home and work hard in the fields to pay off the debts. He did not enjoy working on the farm.
Alyohin was elected to be a judge. Sometimes he had to go into town for a court case. He would lead a very luxurious life and come across educated people. He made many friends too. While he was in town he also met Luganovich, who was another judge. Luganovich invited Alyohin to his house for dinner. At dinner Alyohin meets Luganovich’s wife Anna Alexeyevna, who had had her first baby only six months before. She was young, beautiful, kind intelligent, fascinating woman. Alyohin and Anna Alexeyevna fell in love with each other. Every time that Alyohin went into town he would go to visit Anna. Sometimes they would talk or go to the theatre together.
Then Luganovich and his family had to move. Alyohin went to say goodbye to Anna Alexeyevna inside of the train. They both cried and held onto each other. Alyohin kissed Anna Alexeyevna and told her that he loved her. But because Anna Alexeyevna was leaving they had to separate forever.

Setting of the Story
Before Alyohin starts his intimate love story, the weather outside was not good. The sky was gray and the trees were drenched with rain. It was a kind of weather that the narrator said made people go nowhere or do anything except tell and listen to stories. After Alyohin shares his painful and haunting love story to Ivan and Burkin, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Outside, there was a fine view of the garden and the river, which was shining in the sunshine like a mirror.
The former setting helps us to understand Alyohin’s hopelessness and helplessness as he can’t go out of his farm and can’t do anything to better his poor condition. However, the latter setting where the rain stopped and sun came out hints at the better days in store for Alyohin. It expresses his freedom. Indeed, Alyohin feels very light after having shared his story with two of his friends.

Alyohin’s Character
Alyohin was a bachelor whose character borders on the tragic side of life. He is the central character of the story alongside Anna Alexeyevna who happens to be his love interest. He lived alone on a farm in Sofyina, in Russia. He was a kind man as he gave a very good treatment to his servants and peasants who had tended his farm. Alyohin was a university graduate but because his father had mortgaged the property to fund his studies, he was compelled to tend to the farm to pay off the debts instead of taking up a vocation that fitted his study. Because he was “a bookish fellow” he took to farming after much intense disgust for it. He was elected honorary justice of the peace and came to the town certain times of the year. While in town, he felt he was in the company of educated people like doctors and lawyers. This proves that he was sophisticated and cared for fine taste and fine people. He was also a warm and influential man as the Luganovich’s were very affected by his character and studiousness. Even their two children were very delighted to meet him during his visits. The Luganoviches and his friends, Ivan and Burkin compare him to a squirrel in a cage because he used his knowledge very seldom. He was committed to fulfilling his promise and duty to father. To the Luganovich household, he was a “noble fellow”. His various activities with Anna show that he was eager to please her and make her feel happy. He used to help her with parcels when he was at her house.
However, he was a failure when it came to love. His love with Anna failed because he reasoned more than committing himself to loving her. He reasoned that his love for Anna would affect her married life, her children’s, and the whole household’s. He timidly and jealously concealed his love. He was the victim of his own indecision. It took him separation from her to realise this truth. He later tells his friend that love should be realized from what is higher or else one should not reason at all. He seems to offer candid dissection of love as was prevalent in Russia. He feels that love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation.
Thus, Alyohin with all his fine attributes is a tragic character.

Memorable quotes:
1. “Love is a great mystery. Everything else that has been written or said about love is not a solution, but only a statement of questions that have remained unanswered. The explanation that would fit one case does not apply to a dozen others, and the very best thing, to my mind, would be to explain every case separately without attempting to generalize. Each case should be individualized, as the doctors say.” Alyohin: About Love. Page 14.

2. When we are in love, we never stop asking ourselves whether it is honorable or dishonorable, sensible or stupid, what this love will lead to, and so on. If that is a good thing or not, I don’t know, but that it is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation, of that I am certain.” Alyohin: About Love. Page 15

3. I realized how needless and petty and deceptive was all that had hindered us from loving each other. I realized that when you love you must either, in your reasoning about that love, start from what is higher, more important than happiness or unhappiness, sin or virtue in their usual meaning, or you must not reason at all” Alyohin: About Love. Page 23

Some possible questions:
-Why did Alyohin and Anna try to conceal their love? (3)
-What was the cause of Anna’s sickness? What was the result of it? (3)
-What thing of Anna would make Alyohin feel new and extraordinary every time they met? (3)
-Why did Anna visit her mother or sister’s house later on? (3)
-What comments does the narrator make about bachelors? (3)
-Describe the love story as Anna would tell her fellow patients at Crimea. (10)
-Is it justified that Alyohin should remain a bachelor in spite of his high learning and rich love experience? (10)
-Provide a character sketch of Dmitri Luganovich. (10)

-Discuss how the three love stories are the same and how they are different?
-Discuss how the stories prove the idea that love is different in every situation.
-In your own words tell the love story of Alyohin and Anna Alexeyevna
-Alyohin compared to a squirrel in a cage. What is the significance of this comparison in the story?
-What kinds of love does Chekov discuss in About Love?
-What is the significance of the setting of the story? What are its implications on Alyohin?
-Alyohin says love is a hindrance and a source of dissatisfaction and irritation. Explain this in the light of his relationship with Anna Alexeyevna.
-How did Alyohin define love?
“About Love” is a timeless story of forbidden love which the famous Russian storywriter and dramatist Anton Pavlovich Chekhov describes with consummate artistry. The story mostly set in the Russian countryside of Sofyino has the theme of love being different in every situation. Other themes in the story are lack of communication and alienation. The present story shows different kind of love.

Raj Kumar Gautam, English Faculty, Arniko HSS, Biratnagar, rgautam78@yahoo.com. Ashar 22, 2070

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Posted: July 5, 2013 in NOTES OF TEACHERS, RKG sir notes class-12

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