Friday, December 8, 2006

Introduction

I have chosen the story, which was written by Somerset Maugham, Princess September, which is a short story, and very interesting story about author’s imagination. I would like to give brief introduction about the writer because he is my favorite writer. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) novelist, playwright and short-story writer; has been recognized as a great master of contemporary prose writer. He won fame by novels like Cakes and Ale and Razor’s Edge, plays like The Breadwinner and Caesar’s Wife and a large number of short stories. The story “Princess September” was written while Maugham was staying in a hotel at Bangkok, soon after recovering from an attack of malaria.
The reason behind choosing this story is its simplicity and touchy theme of the story. The story itself is very simple and its language is also simple to understand the entire story. Its story-telling technique is very good. The most powerful reason to choose this story is its theme – a story with a moral theme, freedom is the true secret of happiness. This theme of the story that is touches my heart. Once I read the whole story I feel that the story is so easy to understand its meaning and interpretation and myself would be involved into the story. When I seat to read the story I imbibed with the characters of the story. Of course there are some difficulties to read the story and interpret the right meaning of some difficult words but story is so interesting while reading. When you read the story at first time it seems to be like a fairy tale but story has so much powerful imagination in itself. Every human being has its own fantasy, even child also has a fantasy we cannot escape ourselves far from this fantasy. This short story reveals the fantasy of human mind and human nature. Human nature is very complicated thing to understand. Human tendency is that to possess something which is liked by him. This little story also describes the psychology of human nature as well as human behavior.
Here I would like to quote the famous line of the world’s greatest scientist, Albert Einstein that was published in the local newspapers often, “imagination is more important than knowledge”. These are the words of the great scientist who believes that knowledge is ephemeral but imagination is quite eternal. Everybody wants freedom nobody wants to puppet in the hands of the others is the theme of the whole story. I would also like to mention the brief introduction of this beautiful story. I also have maintained the diary along with this story, while I read the story I found that some words were difficult to understand for me, which I have jotted down into the notebook (i.e. diary) and tried to found out the right meaning.

Brief Introduction of the story

Princess September is a story of a princess of Siam, now a day Siam is known as the Thailand. Princess father, the king of Siam had a strange idea about naming his children. When he had only two daughters, he named them Day and Night, when two more were added, he named them Spring, Autumn, Winter and Summer. Then three more daughters were born. He named them again by the days of the week. When the eighth daughter arrived he named them again by the months, and when the ninth daughter was born, he named the child by September. Thus, she was called the Princess September. She was the last daughter of the king of Siam and thereafter the Queen gave birth only baby boys.
The first eight daughters had bitter mood as their names were changed more than once. Also the king had another habit of giving birthday presents. On one birthday, he gave the present of green parrots in a beautiful golden cage to each of his daughters. When Princess September’s parrot died and she wept bitterly. Then a tiny bird came to her and sang musical songs, she became very happy; but her sisters advised her to cage the bird into a golden cage, which has been gifted by her father. And when the bird was caged, it stopped singing, and did not eat food and drink very well. The little bird was suffocated into the golden cage. The bird wanted to freedom from this beautiful golden cage. Finally princess September made it free, and then she was married to King of Cambodia and lived a happy life with him.

(a) The elements of the fairy tale are found in this story. In this short story ‘Princess September’ by Somerset Maugham, we notice that it contains some elements of fairy tale. Here question arises what is mean by a fairy tale? Fairy tale means something far beyond this world or out of this actual world or supernatural, or belonging to the land of fairies, or non-human. There are five elements that clearly show the fairy-like atmosphere, background and condition. First of all the title of the story, itself like fairy. The word September is the name of the month, a non-human element, and it is used for the name of the princess because she is the ninth daughter, as the month of September is ninth in the year.
(b) The personality of the Princess is more fairies like than an ordinary human being.
(c) The little bird singing and talking to the Princess is also responsible to make story fairy like.
(d) The king of Siam also behaves in a strange manner he has expressed this in naming his daughters after Day and Night, the seasons, the days of the week and the months of the year.The jealousy and envies of the other eight princesses towards September also makes the story a fairy tale.

Moral of the story

The moral of the story is that the writer has described a great moral lesson in the story. One theme of the story is the friendship between the Princess and the bird, and another theme, continued in the end of the story that is on the topic of liberty. The truth about freedom is expressed by the use of symbols of wings, wide blue sky, green rice growing in the fields. On the other hand, denied of freedom, which is symbolized by the use of the golden cage. However the cage is made of golden, but it has no value against the freedom. The theme of true freedom is explained by the words of the bird – “I cannot sing unless I am free, and if cannot sing, I die”. The true melody or the real artistic work can be done in the state of freedom only and this ideal of the freedom is the moral lesson of the story, it is the real and true secret of happiness.

Point of view about the story

As the member of the society I would like to say that do not tame the animals because they are part of the nature. Some people are taming the animals like parrots cats and dogs for their own sake of hobby or status symbol. Some people are beating their animals this would be stopped by the people. Animals are dumb they do not express their desire as we produce by the powerful speech they have also sensation and feeling and they are living creature we all the people as a members of the society we should pity on them and love them. Now the administration also has employed the law against the animals also NGO’s like WWF, PeTA are working on these types of activities. People should also have involved in these activities and save the animals and environment. We should take care of animals as possible as can.
This story also gives the message to the society to prevent the cruelty against the animals there are numbers of NGO’s working now a day for the prevention of cruelty against the dumb animals. Animals are the greatest gift by the nature; we cannot survive without the animals. The best example I would like to give here is the Project Tiger, in which saving the tiger and give emphasis on growing up population of the tiger. The reason behind this activity is that if tiger does not survive we the mankind also does not survived. We have learned in the elementary level in science subject that there is a ‘food chain’ in the Eco system if one affects the other also affects. If there is no tiger at all the number of deer and other animals are increasing and it cause of the imbalance the system of nature. It causes the effect on the environment; the environment also disturbs by this effect.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Conclusion

As I have mentioned the theme of the story in introduction as well as in the section point of view. I realize that when reading a story is quite easy for me but some difficult words that I do not understand which I have mention into a diary along with this paper. This paper has tried to understand the story in its different kind of meanings. I have tried to explain each and every aspects of the story at my point of view, I have also try to maintain the language as simple as possible to read and understand the story at graduate and post-graduate level. But there are some difficulties that I have faced while writing this paper is that the topic I have choose is seems to be quite easy at first sight but when writing a paper on it was quite difficult for me. Here I would like to suggest that if anybody really wants to understand the story or a text, he or she may read the story as many times as possible. This is the exact way to read the story as well as understand the text. I also have tried to give brief introduction of story. I agree that I improve my language and writing style with this selected topic in the field of ELT.