Saturday, July 8, 2017

English Department Reading Week 2017

The PG Department of English conducted three day Reading Week Programme on 19, 20 and 21 June 2017. Smt Radhika Sanoj was the chief guest for the inaugural day programme.

  Welcome by the HOD, Dr. Muralkrishnan T.R.

Presidential Address by Principal, Dr. Ajims P Muhammed

Keynote address by the College Managing Committee Secretary, Mr. Abdul Salam

Inaugural Address by the Chief Guest, Smt. Radhika Sanoj, Eminent Malayalam writer


Friday, January 20, 2017

Association Inauguration

The Postgraduate Department of English conducted the association inauguration in 16 January 2017. The chief guest was Dr. Vargheese K.J, Associate Professor, Department of English, Christ College Irinjalakuda.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Waiting for Godot as an absurd drama

The theatre of the absurd is a phenomenon of the fifties. The writers in the Absurd Movement diagnosed humanity’s plight as a purposelessness in an existence out of harmony with its surroundings. Awareness of this lack of purpose in all produces a state of metaphysical anguish which is the central theme of Absurdists. Dramatists belonging to this group did not regard themselves as a school but they all seemed to share certain attitudes towards the predicament of the men in the universe. The theatre of the absurd presents anxiety, despair and a sense of loss at the disappearance of solutions, illusions and purposelessness. The chief practitioners of absurd drama includes Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Ionesco, Edward Albee and Genet.

Waiting for Godot is a representative play of the theatre of the absurd. It is a landmark in modern drama. It is a meditation upon the condition of man imprisoned within the obdurate and inexplicable dimension of time. In this play Beckett expresses his personal view of the human condition through symbolism which has its root in Freudian Psychology, the Christian Myth and Existential Philosophy.
In Waiting for Godot, Beckett deals with the absurdity of man’s existence in this universe. In the very opening scene of the play, we are shown two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, waiting for Godot, that enigmatic figure who will decide their destiny, relieve them of the responsibility of living. They are not too sure whether they really have this appointment, nor whether this is the place or the time that have been agreed. They are dependent on each other and yet want to get away from each other.
Both the tramps cherish thoughts about suicide. But each time they attempt to commit suicide, they fail through sheer incompetence.

In each of the two acts Vladimir and Estragon meet another pair of characters: Pozzo and his slave Lucky. They too are in absurd human situation. The two pairs of characters meet in each act, try to communicate, fail and part: In the second act when Pozzo has gone blind, Lucky has struck dumb. The two tramps remain waiting and Pozzo and Lucky remain wandering. At the end of each of each act a little boy appears, he brings a message from Godot: Godot will not come today, but he will certainly come tomorrow. Thus Beckett presents life as an absurdity, full of odds, where nothing predetermined and logical happens. To Estragon and Vladimir, life is essentially meaningless, hence miserable.

Another feature of an absurd play is the lack of action. By all established canons of drama, a good play must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But this play has no exposition, no middle and no end. The final situation is exactly the same as the opening one and the characters have been neither presented nor explained when the curtains falls. Either nothing or very happens in the play. Waiting endlessly is the central activity of the play.  Estragon’s comment, “Nothing to be done” sums up the entire action of the play. (As the critic Vivian Mercier has said, Waiting for Godot as a play in which “nothing happens twice”) Here the very purpose of the play is to say that nothing happens – nothing really happens in human life. Waiting for Godot is thus a living paradox: a drama of inaction.

In many respects, Waiting for Godot contains existential elements. Although Beckett himself is not aware of any such influence, his writings might be described as a literary exposition of Sartre’s Existentialism. Existential philosophy starts from the rejection of the validity and reality of general concepts. Existentialism emphasizes man’s responsibility for forming his own nature as well as his personal decisions. Writers like Sartre, Heidegger, Karl Jaspers and Gabriel Marsen would argue that there is no predetermined action. They do not postulate an essence as source of action. There is essence prior to one’s action. Thus for the Existentialists, existence comes before essence. (“Existence precedes essence”). The Existentialists regards human life as absurd. The two tramps presented before us are placed in a very unhappy predicament. The condition of the two is indeed hopeless. They even wish for death. Lucky, too, is no exception. Man has to be born and reborn to suffer endlessly. The whole atmosphere of the play helps to prove man’s absurdity in a hopeless and helpless universe.

In an absurd drama, speech is reduced to a minimum, In the theatre of the absurd, rules are broken, conventions are flouted.  As Esslin states, “If a good play relies on witty repartee and pointed dialogue, these often consist of incoherent babblings”. With only one or two exceptions and not taking into account the pompous speech of Lucky and the set speeches of Pozzo, the dialogues are brief and concentrated. Sometimes the dialogues attains a ritualistic quality, at other times it is poetic. Thus the playwright tries to convey the meaninglessness of life through such short, crisp dialogues. The protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon, seem to represent the two voices of single being rather than two genuinely autonomous characters. The dialogue is maintained even though there is nothing to say, it is maintained by the single device of instant forgetfulness. 
It is wrong to assume that the plays of Beckett, Pinter and other absurd dramatists confront their audience with a message of unmitigated gloom and deep despair. True enough, they confront us with the precariousness, the stark comfortlessness of the human condition; they remind us that we know little about our purpose in life and that there is no escape from the ravages of time and death. They hold out no illusion of social progress or compensation for our suffering in an beliefs, these dramatists are messengers of despair. But not for those others who feel that there is a dignity and a liberation in being able to live one’s life without any cheap comforts such as those provided by consoling and unverifiable beliefs.

Thus Waiting for Godot features all the elements of an absurd drama. The whole background reminds of man’s loneliness and alienation. The atmosphere of the play is a blend of wit and humour, farce, pathos and even, occasionally, anguish or the metaphysical angst which is akin to the tragic. Summing up, we may observe what Esslin says about this play. “It is the peculiar richness of a play like Waiting for Godot that it opens vistas on so many different perspectives. It is open to philosophical,religious and psychological interpretations, yet above all it is a poem on time, evanescence, the paradox of change and stability, necessity and absurdity”.


(adapted from the notes of my teachers)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Social Extension: 'Edutain 2016-17'

Department of English conducted an activity oriented workshop for school children titled EDUTAIN for Govt. LP School Vembaloor on 7/12/2016.

Inaugural Address by the Headmistress, Smt. Omana.

The session was conducted by the Postgraduate students. The grooming for these students was done by Ms Sabitha, Assistant professor of the English Department.

We are thankful to the School Head mistress, Smt. Omana and all the other staff members for helping us to conduct this activity.

Extension Programme: Medical Camp

Gramika, the Social Extension programme of MES Asmabi College

Extension work of English department on 8 December 2016

Homoeo Medical Camp in association with 'Theeram' Library and 'Sealand'

Welcome Address: Ms Veenalakshmi

Presidential Address: Dr. Muralikrishnan T.R.

Inaugural Address: Ward Member, Mr. Asokan

Address by the Chief Physician of the Camp: Dr Sreejith

Address by the Representative Programme Associate 'Theeram': Mr. Praveesh (Alumni, Asmabi College)

Team of Teachers

Medical Camp

Medical Camp

Friday, October 7, 2016

Invited talk on Informatics

The Department of English conducted an Invited Talk on Informatics on 4 October 2016. The Resource person was Dr. Sabu M.K., Head, Dept of Computer Applications, MES College Marampally

Journal Club

The Department of English has started a journal club from 3rd October 2016. On the first day three students presented information about three respective articles from different journals.

Each session will discuss about the specific article taken for analysis, the source and the methodology
They are summarized and kept in a special register.