News & Events
Literature in SSC (Part 1)
SSC has always shown an inclination towards literature when it comes to questions from English. Often, lines from Thomas Gray or Chesterton or Pope creep up surreptitiously in the form of Error Correction or Sentence Improvement.
In this article, let us have a look at such lines. Some are oft repeated and others have the potential to be repeated.
Many a flower is born to blush unseen. – Thomas Gray
(No better sentence than this to highlight the structure of ‘many a’)
If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. – G K Chesterton
(Don’t expect the same line. They can make slight changes without altering the structure. The sentence is, however, tricky)
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. – Alexander Pope
(Pope’s taste for satire is quite unparalleled! And so is his humour and ingenuity. “Rush in”- note the preposition used.)
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot. – Alexander Pope
(The first part is quite familiar. Care should be taken regarding the article used with “little”. The second part portrays the use of a sentence using ‘so’.
Eg. Trump’s team raring to go and so are his opponents. (Courtesy: The National)
The comment on Pope “And so is his humour and ingenuity”)
An honest man’s the noblest work of God. – Alexander Pope
(Man’s = man is; It is ‘an’ honest; the noblest)
The child is father of the man. – William Wordsworth
(It is ‘the child’ and ‘the man’)
The Flower that smells the sweetest is Shy and Lowly. –William Wordsworth
(It is “lowly” and not lovely)
Advice is like snow, the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind. – S T Coleridge
(‘The more…the more’ structure lends the line a musical character. Note the point that the entire sentence is well crafted in present tense.)
Lines such as these abound. But we shall deal with them in the second part.
Postscript: As Professor Siras says in ‘Aligarh’ movie,
“Kavita shabdon mein kahan hoti…Kavita shabdon ke beech mein milti hai” (Poetry is not in words…but in the silence between words)