English Paper V (a) Nineteenth Century European Realism Previous Year Question Paper Year 2006 : IInd Year

Q. 1. (a) Is the analysis of the lovers like that of laboratory animals or is Therese Raquin, despite its preface, biassed towards Therese, emphasising her marginalised status as a woman of “African” descent ? Give a reasoned answer.


The use of the macabre adds to the “realism” of Therese Raquin. Do you agree ? Illustrate your answer from the Morgue section and Camille’s “ghost”.

(b) “You are taking insolent advantage of my distress, monsieur. I may be in a pitiful state, but I am not up for sale!”
It felt as though Providence were relentlessly pursuing her, and, fortifying herself with pride, never had she felt such self-esteem nor such disdain for the rest of the world.

(i) Bring out the significance of the phrases : “insolent advantage” and “not up for sale”, while linking them with the wider social critiques in the novel. 5

(ii) Commenting on the context bring out the contrast between “self esteem” and “disdain for the rest of the world.” Do you agree with the writer’s position ? 6


” – It had to be, my dear.
-Were you not happy ? Is it my fault ? But I’ve done everything I could.
-Yes…. you have … you were good, you were.”
(i) Was the second speaker “good” ? Did he do “everything” ? 3
(ii) Was Emma’s tragic end inevitable (“had to be”)? Place your answer in the larger conflicts of the novel.
(iii) “We base our conduct on what we recognise as useful”, Bazarov went on. “In these days the most useful thing we can do is to repudiate and so we repudiate”.
“What ? Not only art, poetry… but also.. I am afraid to say it…
(i) What do you understand by the phrase “repudiate everything”? What is the other speaker hinting at ?
(ii) Place Turgenev’s portrayal of Bazarov in Fathers and Sons in the light of contemporary Russian debates on radiacalism. 7


“Am 1 incapable of love ?” she murmured. “Probably. Only I was wrong to call it an unhappiness. On the contrary, the person most to be pitied is the one who meets with that experience”.

(i) Assess the positions of the two speakers on the issue of love. 4
ii) What contemporary stereotypes is the writer using to place the characters above ? In your opinion has he been fair to them ? 7
Answer :

Q. 2. (a) Write brief notes on :
The representation of the institution of the family from any two French novels in your course.


The special importance of contemporary social and political ideas Russian in the Russian novel. 5

(b) Explain Balzac’s idea that a writer must not only record social events but “also investigate the reasons or the cause of these social effects”. Is this true of the novels in your course ? Support your answer with n brief reference to any incident of any novel from your course.


Write briefly on Zola’s ideas of “determinism” illustrating them from any texts other than Therese Raquin.
Answer :

Q. 3. Critically examine Raskolnikov’s confessions before Sonya and Porfiry. Can Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment be seen as a story of Raskcolnikov’s sin and redemption ?


Can Old Goriot be seen as a novel of Rastignac’s growth ? Does Balzac repose hope in him as a bulwark against consumerist doom ? Give a carefully reasoned answer.
Answer :

Q. 4. (a) In Crime and Punishment it is the supernatural, in Old Goriot it is hyperboles and exaggerations; both Dostoyevsky and Balzac use unrealistic devices to heighten social critique. Do you agree ? Illustrate your answer ? Does this tendency militate against the “realism” of their novels ?


Vautrin and Svidrigailov are used by their rspective authors to explore and define the boudaries of contemporary social morality. In the light of the roles of these two characters compare and contrast the techniques of social critique in Crime and Punishment and Old Godot.
Answer :

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