Literature-In-English Paper 2, Nov/Dec. 2013  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Main
General Comments

Question 11

Discuss the theme of vanity in ‘The Soul’s Errand’.



The slant of vanity as presented in the poem is the exposition of the society.  The poet chooses the soul which is pure and perfect to give the society the message of their weaknesses. The sections of the society indicted by the poet are: 
(i)   Social institutions: The royalty “court”, the church, the arts, the schools, the judiciary, mystic, circles, etc. All are associated with one weakness or the other thereby presenting them as imperfect.
(ii)   Social classes and gradations: The men of God, men of high condition, spendthrifts, mystics, professionals “skill” lawyers, the honourables, etc.  The poet reveals their shortcomings, imperfections and vainness.
(iii)   Social concepts: Zeal, love, tone, age, honour, beauty, favour, wisdom, law, charity, fortune, nature, justice etc. All these are shown to be pretentious, vain and sometimes completely false.

Few candidates attempted the question and their performance was fair.











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