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    Default Summaries from Prose

    Summaries from Prose

    Summaries from Prose


    * Reflections on the Re-Awakening East
    * Pakistan and the Modern World
    * The Day the Dam Broke
    * Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb
    * Act III of the Silver Box
    * The Devoted Friend
    * The World As I See It


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    Reflections on the Re-Awakening East

    Introduction

    The chapter entitled Reflections on the Re-awakening East, has been written by Bertrand Russel. He is the most outstanding writer and thinker of our time. His more popular 3orkds have been notable for their introduction of scientific attitudes into the discussion of politics and sociology.
    Summary

    According to Russel, power has never stayed permanently in the world. Initially at the beginning the East and the Eastern nations had more power then the West but gradually the power slipped out of the hand of the Eastern nations and went into the hands of the Western countries. The West became all powerful and the East lost its power.
    This chapter has been written in the year 1954 so Russel is talking about the conditions of year 1954. When Russel is talking about the conditions of year 1954. When Russel wrote this essay in 1954, he thought that power was once again passing out from the hands of the West and the East was beginning to re-awaken and to gain power, therefore, what we have learnt so far is that power changes from hand to hand. Russel is expressing his thoughts and his opinions as to what the Eastern nations should do on their re-awakening Russel is offering advice to the Eastern awakening.nations as to what should they do in order to prosper and be successful.
    First and foremost Russel advises the Eastern awakening nation not to adopt communism because Russel describes communism as a poison. The next advice that he gave them is to adopt industrialization and mechanization because according to Russel any country that does not accept industrialization will lag behind. He advises the Eastern countries to stay away from war, to struggle for peace.
    The next advice is not to follow the West blindly but to take from the West what is good and to leave out what is bad. After that Russel goes on to declare that Asia has some excellent and major civilizations. These civilizations should never be mixed with each other. Furthur more another excellent advice that Russel gave was that it is definitely agreed that we can’t progress without mechanization yet the fact remains that side by side with mechanization we should not forget poetry, arts, friendship, character-building, all these come side by side. We must see to it that on one hand we progress in science and on the other hand we build our moral value.
    Last but not the least, Russel concludes with the optimistic thought that the Eastern and Asian nations shall contribute to the betterment and the progress of the world and will not imitate the mistakes of the West.


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    Introduction

    After the creation of Pakistan in the year 1950, Mr Liaquat Ali Khan went on an official tour of the United States of America. His mission was to introduce to the Americans the newly formed country of Pakistan, to tell the Americans all about Pakistan and to bring the two countries close together. This chapter Pakistan and the Modern World, actually is the explanation of Liaquat Ali Khan’s speech at the Kansas city, while he was thanking them for the degree bestowed on him..
    Summary

    While Mr.Liaquat Ali Khan was in the United States of America, on this trip the University of Kansas City awarded him an honorary degree for his services rendered to his country.
    As far as the contents of the speech are concerned, these are what that makes the speech all important and interesting. Mr. Liaquat Ali begins by thanking the administration of the University of Kansas City and tells them that he will talk about Pakistan in his speech because his mission is to make the Americans familiar with the history and origin of Pakistan. Mr. Liaquat Ali then goes on to say that there are similarities between the fight for independence that the Muslims waged against the British and the fight that the Americans put up for their independence. Thus there are similarities between fight for Indians and Muslims and Americans.
    After that Liaquat Ali goes on to explain as to why the Muslims wanted a separate homeland and the Muslims of Indian Sub-Continent were not willing to line with Hindus. There are religious, economic and social differences between the Hindus and the Muslims. Further more, Mr. Liaquat Ali goes on to say that many people did not agree to the partition of India. However, later on they realize that the creation of Pakistan has made the Asian Continent more stable, also Mr. Liaquat Ali goes on to explain what advantages the creation of Pakistan has brought about in the region. According to Mr. Liaquat Ali whereas in other countries there is backwardness, inner confusion, discontentment, religious difference but in Pakistan there is no internal struggle, no religions difference and there is democracy in the country. Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan then praises the Pakistani nation and declares that when Pakistan was created there was no proper government, no money and no security, but it was due to the hard work and unity of Pakistani nation that we managed not only to survive but also to progress.
    Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan makes yet another point while introducing Pakistan to the Americans, he declares that even the Pakistani people have duties to fulfill towards their country, the duty of each Pakistani is to guard and protect his freedom and the freedom of his country. After that Mr. Liaquat goes on to make a very very important point. He declares that in order to progress we must have strong faith in our religion and at the same time we must accept scientific technology and progress. Then Mr. Liaquat Ali goes on to suggest that we must stay away from war and we must follow the progress of the West and take from the West what we considered to be good.
    Finally, he requests to the Americans to help Pakistan on the path of progress and the United States could do that be lending its fund of knowledge and progress to backward Pakistani nation. Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan ends the speech on an optimistic and hopeful note wanting Pakistan and United States to be friends for all times to come.


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    The Day the Dam Broke

    Introduction

    The Day the Dam Broke is a fascinating, captivating, remarkable humorous story written by the great American humorist James Groves Thurber. He has written a number of witty and humorous articles.
    In this story, the writer has depicted the mob mentality with great dexterity. He has narrated the experiences of his Aunt Edith Taylor and his own experiences about the “Great Run” of the afternoon in Columbus city. This short story is a good example of Thurber’s sardonic but affectionate view of human behavior.
    “Humour is an emotional chaos recollected in tranquillity.”
    - James Thurber
    Summary

    James Thurber recalls an interesting incident of his early childhood when he lived in Columbus City, situated near the Ohio River in the U.S.A. All of a sudden, on March 12, 1913 a rumour spread that the River Ohio was in flood and the water would rush towards the city as the dam had broken. The people became panicky after hearing the rumour and came out on the High Street. They started running towards the East for safety with out confirming the news about the flood. In calamity ever rumour is believed. Men, Women and children were running helter-skelter towards the East. Normal business was going on in the market, but when the rumour spread about the flood, the people who were busy in selling and buying, started to run in utter confusion for saving their lives. Two thousand people were abruptly in full right. Go East! Go East! The Dam has Broke was the clarion cry, being heard everywhere.
    The writer’s aunt Edith Taylor was in a movie theatre, she wrote:
    “When I reached Grant Avenue, I was so spent that Dr. H.P Mallory passed me, there was a boy behind him on roller-skates and Dr. Mallory mistook the swishing of the skates for the sound of rushing water. He eventually reached the Columbus School for Girls where he collapsed.”
    The panic-stricken people ran out for safety leaving fires burning and food cooking and doors wide open. Some of the people covered the distance 12 miles in order to save their lives. At last the military men riding through the city in motor-lorries announced that the news about the flood was false and that the dam had not broken. At first the announcement added to the confusion and increased the panic, for many stampedes the militiamen were announcing, The Dam has now Broken! Thus setting an official seal of authentication on the calamity. But after repeated announcements the misunderstanding was removed and order was restored. The people heaved a sigh of relief when they heard that the dame had not broken. The people returned to their homes and started their normal business the next day, but they did not joke about the happenings of the previous day. It is rightly said:
    “How much have cost us the evils that never happened.”
    - Jeferson
    Conclusion

    This story is a good study of human behaviour. It shows that men lose all there wit and wisdom in a panic. In fact, this humorous story is also a satire on human follies.
    “The mob has many heads but no brains.”
    - Rivarol
    Through all the funny references Thurber has tried to point out that all of us no matter how serious and sober, behave in one and the same idiotic manner when we are thrown in a trying situation
    “Stuffing the ear with false report.”
    - William Shakespeare
    Thurber has presented, in this story, his sardonic but affectionate view of life. It is a commendable effort to tell something serious through fun and laughter. But in fact the author has tried to study human characters thrown in difficult and trying circumstances because:
    “Man alone suffered so cruelly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter.”
    Nietzche

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    Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb

    Introduction

    Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb is an effective little piece of emotional drama written by Frank Arthur. Frank Arthur is known for his achievements as a civil servant, novelist and scriptwriter.
    It is a rare specimen of a melodrama filled with thrill and suspense. The play is notable for the skilful manipulation of suspense. The story is based on the theme of revenge, crime and punishment.
    “Revenge renders ears deaf.”
    - William Shakespeare
    Summary

    It was a stormy winter’s evening of 1955. A heavily wrapped lady entered the waiting room of a country railway junction, followed by a porter who lighted the fire for her, as it was very cold. Soon a male passenger also entered the waiting room and came near the fire in order to warm himself. The porter told them that they had to wait for 20 minutes for the arrival of the train, bound for Stainthorpe. After the departure of the porter the two passengers were left alone. They were strangers to each other, but soon they started a conversation to while away the time.
    The man told the woman of two half-minute meetings, which had the most profound effect on his life. The first meeting took place in June 1953 in Korea. He was severely wounded and wanted to die. He fainted and when he regained consciousness, he saw a young Korean girl bending over him. She smiled at him and her smile gave him the courage to live. He smile made him realize what his daughter would have been like if she had lived. She was killed along with her mother in a road accident. They were overrun by a car, which was being driven recklessly by Mrs. Judy Oakentubb. She was held guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to 18-month imprisonment but according to him it was a plain deliberate heartless murder. So, he was going to Stainthorpe in order to avenge the murder of his wife and daughter.
    The woman told the man that his wife and daughter were killed in the accident. It was not a murder. But he did not agree. He said that she was drunk and was driving the car very fast to reach the coast from Stainthorpe. She led a bet with one of her companies to cover the long distance within 15 minutes while it could be covered in half an hour. She drove recklessly and killed his wife and daughter. So, it was a deliberate murder.
    By chance he read the name of Mrs. Oakentubb, written on the label of the suitcase, which belonged to the lady who was conversing with him. He was sure that the lady, who was standing before him, was Mrs. Judy Oakentubb. He pulled a revolver from his pocket and pointed at her. Mrs. Judy Oakentubb recoiled and told him that she had been in perpetual agony ever since the accident took place. She posed herself as a repentant lady over the tragic accident. She instead of asking for her life implored for her death that according to her was a mean of escaping from the mental torture. Believing in her statement, he decided to leave her and give her no punishment, as living with a sense of self-reproachment was an ideal punishment for the lady. He says:
    “Yes! You are right! It would be a greater punishment to live.”
    He pocketed his revolver and walked out leaving her sobbing. As soon as he left the room, she came to her real self. She expressed her hatred for the man observing her from outside. He opened the door suddenly, raised the revolver and shot her dead. It is rightly said:
    “Often a clever culprit is caught by the trap of his own blunders.”
    Conclusion

    Those who cause tragedies in thee lives of others inevitably meet the tragic end. Beyond any shadow of doubt an evildoer is the engineer of his own catastrophe.


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    Act III of the Silver Box

    Introduction

    John Galsworthy is a famous novelist and playwright whose works contains a great deal of criticism of British society, particularly of the values of the well-to-do professional class. Like all the writers of the time, John Galsworthy is a satirist and at bests an ironist.
    The Silver Box is a powerful and bitter play. Through the character of James Jones, Galsworthy criticizes the British society in which the rich are favoured by law and injustice is done to the poor.
    “Law grinds the poor, and richmen rule the law.”
    - Oliver Goldsmith
    Summary







    Mr. Barthwick was a member of the British Parliament. He posed himself as a social reformer who seemed to have great sympathy and compassion for the poor and Dow-trodden people. In a drunken state his dissolute son, Jack Barthwick, stole a lady’s purse. He returned home very late at night. James Jones, a poor and jobless person, happened to pass near the house of Mr. Barthwick. He saw Jack Barthwick trying to find the keyhole on the wrong side of the door. He helped Jack in unlocking the door of his house. As Jack had nothing to give him, so he invited him to have a drink. Jones entered the house with Jack. He drank whisky excessively and under the influence of whisky he stole a sliver cigarette box and the same purse, stolen by the jack. In the morning Thomas Marlowe, Butler to Barthwick, found the silver box missing. He communicated the loss to Mr. Barthwick who sent him to the police station to lodge the report of the theft.
    The police acted promptly and arrested Jones along with his innocent wife who was employed as a charwoman in the house of Mr. Barthwick. Jones became violent and resisted the police when they arrested his wife who did not commit any crime. The police took her into custody because they suspected that she might have stolen the silver box or helped her husband in entering the house of Mr. Barthwick. Owing to the scoundrel Mrs. Jones lost her job and had to vacate the house in which she lived with her three children.
    Jones was aried in the court of law for stealing the silver cigarette box and making an assault on the police. He was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour. He protested against this injustice, for Jack who committed the identical crime, was not punished. He says to Magistrate:
    “Call this justice? What about him? He got drunk! He took the purse. But its his money got him off-Justice!”
    Mrs. Jones was also tried for stealing the silver box and helping her husband in obtaining access to the house of Mr. Barthwick. But the charges leveled against her could not be proved and she was acquitted. At the end of the trial she looked at Mr. Barthwick with a silent request for re-employment but he made a gesture of refusal and hurried out of the court. Thus the poor family was ruined completely.
    Conclusion

    The dramatist concludes that it is the poor people who always suffer and pass through mental and physical torture and they are the one, who face these adversities with patience and endurance. While the opulent make use of their resources and enjoy a trouble free life even after committing the most abhorrent crimes.
    “How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly.”
    - Elizabeth Gaskell



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    The Devoted Friend

    Introduction

    The Devoted Friend is an interesting short story of two friends having different temperaments and different conceptions of devoted friendship written by Oscar Wilde. He was one of the most eminent and elegant writers of the 19th century. The story is both tender and profound in its treatment of the comically one-sided friendship between poor Hans and the rich Miller.
    Summary

    The storty is narrated by a songbird to a water rat and a duck. There are two characters in the story little Hans and Hugh the miller.
    Little Hans was a simple, innocent, kind-hearted and sincere fellow. He was a hard working gardener and earned his living by selling the fruits and flowers into the market of the town. Hugh the miller was a rich but clever and selfish man. He always claimed that he was a devoted friend of little Hans.
    In the summer season, the miller would go to the garden of Hans and bring plenty of flowers and fruit without making him any payment. He never gave anything to Hans. Hugh the miller repeatedly exploited Hans. Sometimes, he sent Hans to Market with a heavy sack of flour. Sometimes, he asked Hans to drive his flock of sheep to the mountains for grazing. He would also ask Hans to work on his flourmill or do some work of repair in his barn.
    In return, he merely made a promise to give his invalid and damaged wheelbarrow to Hans, free of cost. The miller called it an act of great generosity. Unfortunately, the promise was never materialized.
    It is so happened that on a rough and stormy night, Hugh the miller sent little Hans to bring the doctor because the miller’s little son hand been seriously injured. As usual, little Hans showed compliance and left for the doctor’s home as he could never think of displeasing the miller. When poor Hans was returning with the doctor, the strom grew more fierce and he lost his way in the dangerous rocky region. He stranded on the moor and fell into a deep pool of water, where he was drowned. In this way, the innocent fellow lost his life for the sake miller.
    Moral

    The story suggests that friendship is a noble and respectable bond based on bilateral love and cooperation. Mutual interest is the essence of true friendship.


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    The World As I See It

    Introduction

    The World as I See It is an interesting essay in which Albert Einstein has expressed his personal views about the purpose and ideals of life; democracy and dictatorship; war and peace; mystery and religion.
    Albert Einstein is one of the most famous scientists and the greatest mathematical physicist of the current century. However, in this chapter, he gives us his views not about science but about the world as he sees and understands it.
    Summary

    There are several things that Einstein mentions in this connection. Firstly, Einstein tries to find out the purpose of the existence of human beings and giving an answer. He feels that we human beings are created for each other and we are dependent on each other.
    Einstein goes on to declare that he does not believe in class differences. Einstein also declares that he believes in simple living and a simple way of life. Next, he expresses his opinion regarding freedom. Einstein declares that he definitely believes in freedom but he does not believe in unlimited freedom because according to Einstein unlimited freedom is not possible, freedom has to be limited.
    Further, Einstein goes on to talk about his ideas and goals in life. These are for three in number truth, goodness and beauty. Einstein says that friendship should be made only with like-minded people. Einstein at time prefers to be alone so that he can think well. Einstein now moves to another factor and that is the system of Government. According to Einstein democracy if practiced correctly, is the best for of Government for any country. While talking about Governments, he goes on to declare that he is totally against war and he has always favoured peace.
    He goes on to say that he loves to solve the mysteries of the Universe. As such he was fond of solving all mysteries. In the end, Einstein is very grateful for the fact that he is still living and that he is trying to contribute in solving the mysteries of this Universe.
    “This life which seems so fair, is like a bubble blown up in air.”
    Conclusion

    After the study of this thought-provoking essay, we come to the conclusion that Einstein is really a great man. He has profound love for humanity. He is a genius and has philosophical bend of mind. In short, we can say that Einstein is a man of keen observation, great wisdom, deep insight and profound knowledge.


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