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Teaching Ideas: Teaching English Literature with the help of technology

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Teaching Ideas: This is a part of series of small presentations on how various forms of Information and Communication Technology can be helpful to the teachers of English Literature in effective teaching
Teaching Poetry with the help of Google Image Search

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Teaching Ideas: Teaching English Literature with the help of technology

  1. 1. Teaching English Literature with the Help of Technology This is a part of series of small presentations on how various forms of Information and Communication Technology can be helpful to the teachers of English Literature in effective teaching Dilip Barad M.K. Bhavnagar University Bhavnagar – Gujarat – India dilipbarad@gmail.com
  2. 2. Teaching Poetry with the help of Google Image Search • Teaching foreign literature poses several problems: – The cultural anonymity – The Social code of conduct – The Religious inconspicuousness – The Mythical aloofness – The difference in shared collective unconsciousness – The Geographical remoteness – The Historical distance
  3. 3. Say for example, • This poem has some such lines which poses some difficulties which even the use of dictionary or command over English language cannot suffice. • This poem is taken from I.A. Richards’s Practical Criticism (1929). Chapter 2: Figurative Language.
  4. 4. • A study of Richards’s Practical Criticism, A Study of Literary Judgmentreveals that Richards is a staunch advocate of a close textual and verbal study and analysis of a work of art. • While studying the poem as per the approach enunciated by New Critics – the verbal analysis of the poem – our students faced some problems in getting to the heart of the meaning of the words in the poem
  5. 5. The Poem Solemn and gray, the immense clouds of even Pass on their towering unperturbed way Through the vast whiteness of the rain-swept heaven The moving pageants of the waning day; Heavy with dreams, desires, prognostications, Brooding with sullen and Titanic crests, They surge, whose mantles’ wise imaginations Trail where Earth’s mute and languorous body rests; While below the Hawthorns smile like milk splashed down From Noon’s blue pitcher over mead and hill; The arrased distance is so dim with flowers It seems itself some coloured cloud made still, O how the clouds this dying daylight crown With the tremendous triumph of tall towers!
  6. 6. While below the Hawthorns smile like milk splashed down From Noon’s blue pitcher over mead and hill • These two lines posed the most difficult situation to the students to get to the core of meaning. • Hawthorn led to think of Nathaniel Hawthorne – the person • Milk splashed did not get attached to the Hawthorn even after dictionary gave the reference to ‘flower’. • Noon led to believe that it is time of the day.
  7. 7. Solemn and gray, the immense clouds of even Pass on their towering unperturbed way Through the vast whiteness of the rain-swept heaven The moving pageants of the waning day • Visual memory: These images help students to visualize these poetic lines
  8. 8. In fact, Hawthorn shrubs full of white flowers give the impression of splashed milk over meadows and hill, when seen from up above the sky, from cloud’s perspective.
  9. 9. Noon’s blue pitcher is reference to Susan Noon’s painting • This was the most difficult image to connect in the poem. • Thanks to Google Image Search to give this image. • The fallen flowers out side blue pitcher is compared with the way white flowers of Hawthorn were visible to the cloud – like splashed milk over mead and hill.
  10. 10. Conclusion • I.A. Richards gave importance to metaphors and simile in understanding figurative language of the poem. • To get to the core meaning of emotive use of language or to understand all four kinds of meaning (Sense, Feeling, Tone,Intention), the reader should have powerful ‘visual memory’. • The socio-cultural-religious-geogrphical-historical-mythical and separated collective unconscious of the Western creative mind and the Indian (Asian) critical mind poses threat to the meaning and misunderstanding of the said poem, in particular and English (foreign) literature, in general. • The basic tools like Google Image Search engines can help teachers and students to solve this problem and enrich poetic experience – the aesthetic delight can be felt in real sense when our visual memory is supported by real images.
  11. 11. Reference • Google, Image. https://www.google.co.in/search?q=hawthorn+flower • Noon, Sue. Blue Pitcher with Flowers. Painting. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/blue-pitcher-with-flowers-sue-noon.html • Richards, I. A. Practical Criticism: a Study of Literary Judgment. Chapter 2. Figurative Language. London: Kegan Paul, 1929.

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