The Frog and the Nightingale by Vikram Seth


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This is a presentation about the poem 'The Frog and the Nightingale' by Vikram Seth. The presentation includes storyline, about the author, allegory (parallelism with real life), lessons drawn, characterisation and the role of satire.

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The Frog and the Nightingale by Vikram Seth

  1. 1. The Frog and the Nightingale BY VIKRAM SETH
  2. 2. About the author • Vikram Seth is an Indian novelist and poet. • He was born on 20 June 1952 to Leila and Prem Seth in Kolkata. He spent part of his childhood in Patna. • He has received several awards including Padma Shri, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award and Crossword Book Award. • He is known for his verse novel The Golden Gate (1986) and his epic novel A Suitable Boy (1993).
  3. 3. Storyline • Once in a bog, a frog sat under a Sumac tree and croaked all night in a loud and unpleasant voice. The other creatures loathed his voice but their complaints, insults and brickbats couldn't stop him from croaking stubbornly and pompously, insensitive to the disturbance he was causing. • Then, one night a nightingale appears at the bog. Her melodious voice captures the admiring attention of the creatures of the Bingle Bog. When she stops, there is thunderous applause. The frog is dumbstruck by the mellifluous song of his rival, the nightingale.
  4. 4. • Next night, when the bird prepares to sing, the plotting frog interrupts and posing as a music critic, says that the technique was fine, but it lacks a certain force. Unassuming and not used to any kind of criticism, she defends herself by saying, "At least its mine". • The heartless frog convinces the nightingale that she was in need of training that only he could provide. The frog capitalized on the nightingale's servile attitude and said that he would charge a modest fee, which would not harm her. • The nightingale soon became famous and the frog grew richer, earning money from her concerts.
  5. 5. • The frog sat and watched with mixed feelings of happiness and bitterness. Happy because he was earning money and jealous because the bird was receiving so much attention. • Meanwhile, the frog makes the nightingale rehearse hard even when it rained and constantly criticized and abused her, ensuring that she became broken in spirit. Exhausted, her voice lost its beauty and the creatures stopped coming to hear her sing. • Morose and depressed, she refused to sing, but the frog goaded her to practice. Scared and unhappy, the nightingale tried, burst a vein, and died.
  6. 6. • The frog, unsympathetic, dismissed her off - calling her 'stupid'. A shrewd judge of character, he summed her up saying that the nightingale was too nervous and prone to influence, hence bringing her own downfall. Now, the frog once more sings at night in his bog - unrivalled.
  7. 7. Allegory • Vikram Seth allegorizes the corrupt face of the modern world where greed, fame and competition outweigh the ethics and values • The poet very cleverly gives us a message of the importance of self-confidence and moral courage in his poem.
  8. 8. Lessons Drawn • The moral is that you must think before you trust someone. The nightingale too was foolish to believe that the frog was a great singer and the frog used its foolishness. • Always have self esteem.
  9. 9. Characterization • The nightingale is simple hearted, innocent and unsuspecting creature. • She is a symbol of innocence. • She is unassuming. • She respects all and thinks that all are like her. That 's why she is easily deceived by the sly and willy frog. • She is also timid and naïve. Nightingale
  10. 10. Characterization • The frog has a boastful and pompous nature. • He also portrays jealousy as the nightingale surpasses him in term of singing and admiration from a crowd who loathed his voice. • He is condescending. • He is also shown to be money minded. Frog
  11. 11. Role of satire • The poem is a satire on the competition that prevails in the present day society. • The frog was too insecure about his position as the owner of Bingle Bog. • And also, another reason to the frog acting so rude is the fact that he knew that the nightingale had the ability to overpower him in the forest. • The poem also explains about the concept of the survival of the fittest where silly and gullible people like the nightingale cannot survive.
  12. 12. DHRUV MISRA X-B