English Literary Journal
ENGLISH LITERARY ASSOCIATION DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF SRI JAYEWARDENEPURA, SRI LANKA
English Literary Journal
English Literary Journal
English Literary Association Department of English
ÂŠ Department of English First Issue 2014 January/February
Department of English University of Sri Jayewardenepura Nugegoda Sri Lanka
The Deanâ€™s Message It is with great pleasure that I send this message to the first Literary Magazine published by the students of the Department of English of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. At a time when Sri Lanka is striving to promote English among all levels of people throughout the country through numerous programs, a literary magazine of this nature is quite welcome, especially so because this is a web publication and millions of people gain access to reading it. The university students, being the cream of the country have the potential to educate others while they themselves are immersed in education. The magazine will be a good forum for all the university students to share their knowledge, show creativity, engage in mutual critical discussion, and to have relaxed enjoyment. I thank all the members of the committee, the teachers and the students of the Department of English for their commitment and hard work in bringing out this creative work and wish them all the best.
Mr. Lasantha Navarathne Dean Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Sri Jayewardenepura Nugegoda Sri Lanka
The Message of the Head of the Department I am very happy to send this message to the first Literary Magazine published by the students of the Department of English of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. The students of the Department of English, recognizing their own potential and creative imagination, have made a small step which nevertheless will benefit not only the student population, but also the general public at large. Aligning with modern trends and availing themselves of technology, they have started the magazine as a web publication, which I think is a very welcome development. The magazine provides an excellent opportunity for them to showcase their creativity in an educative and entertaining way while at the same time improving their critical thinking and language competence. Since this is a collective endeavor, the magazine also promotes their team work, cooperative learning, other soft skills, and harmony among themselves. I thank all the members of the committee, students of the Department, and all the others who supported this venture in different ways to make it a success.
Dr. Lalith Ananda Head Department of English University of Sri Jayewardenepura Nugegoda Sri Lanka
The Editor’s Message Dear Readers, It is with great pleasure that I’m writing today as the first editor of the English Literary magazine of the Department of English. First of all let me wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that this year will be a good one for all of us. According to the concept of the Head of the Department of English, Dr. Lalith Ananda, we decided to publish a web magazine to encourage the talents of the students of our department. I hope this will continue and be successful day by day. I was actually amazed to see the number of articles we got once we opened up this concept from students of all four years respectively. This was actually a huge step and tiring effort of a whole lot of people, most of them who were behind the screens. I’m indeed very happy to see the efforts of all of you dear brothers and sisters. And I hope this effort will be continual. I expect this had been a success and all of you are free to make comments. Since this was our first attempt I hope all of you would bear with us if there was anything to be criticized. Please do continue to submit your writings to our email address: email@example.com Have a pleasant day! Shehani Karunanayake
The Presidentâ€™s Message Hi everyone. Itâ€™s a pleasure and an honor to address you in such a manner. First I would love to thank you for reading and encouraging our attempt at making history and paving the way for the young creative minds a break through to find their niche. As the president of the ELA .and a part of the student body of the department of English with the encouragement and the blessings of the academic staff of the department. I suggested my committee to publish a journal which would support and encourage the creative students of our department to show their talent to the world. Today it has become a reality even though we are taking baby steps I would love to thank all of you wonderful people those who made it a success. And I hope that you will lend us the same support in future. Shehanie Ratnayake.
Note of Thanks A Special Thank you goes to
The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura Mr. C. L. K. Nawarathna
The Head of the Department of English university of Sri Jayewardenepura Dr. LalithAnanda
Senior Lecturer of the Department of Sinhala and Mass communication Mr. Neranja Bandara
Lecturers of the Department of English Mr. Vihanga Perera and Ms. Deepthi Siriwardene
The Academic staff of the Department of English of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura
The non academic staff of the Department of English
The President and office bearers of the English Literary Association
The Editor and the committee members of the Literary Magazine
The students of the Department of English
Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Headmaster
Smile a While
Department News DEPL 2013 The annual cricket match organized by the students of the Department of English was held on 25 th November 2013. This was the third consecutive year that the cricket match was organized. The first match was won by the then third year batch (2008/2009). The second match was won by the second years. (2009/2010). The third batch which was played recently was won by the third years (2009/2010). As the two officials who organizers of the cricket match for the past two years, we Geeshan Ayeshan and Ishara Madushan, organized the match for the third successive year. The match was titled DEPL 2013. First of all we collected money from all the students in the department. While the money was being collected, we settled the dates for the match with the welfare unit in the university. The date was fixed to the 25th of November. It was a long process but in the end we got the approval of the respective authorities to organize the event. Finally when the date was settled and the money was collected, we purchased the awards. We purchased 7 awards for the match. On the scheduled day we played the match. We also brought a group and a DJ to play the music. The match was won by the third years.
Man of the series:
Geeshan Ayeshana (Third Year)
Ishara Madushan (Third Year)
Shehan Dias (First year)
Woman of the series:
Eshini Senevirathna (First Years)
Best Female Batsman:
Tikiri Rajapaksha (Third Year)
The Glass Window Can penetrate with my eagle vision To see your other side Not so clearly, but I know I see what I see At least what I want to see No colours, no illusions Hallucinations are nowhere I even can easily break the glass The thin, weak fragile glass So that the barrier which bans me Touching what I want to touch For real, that much real Even though I am afraid To break the glass which will Surely wound my hands I will just console myself Saying I see everything Though, the glass has narrowed Seeing each and every side Then I will say, to console my conscience, I see so clearly. But I know my lie Till I break the glass Though I see you You are there, I am here At least Both of us are safe. No blood on hands Neither on yours nor on mine So we all are happy Till the glass remains itself
Niroshan Pathberiya (4th year)
Literature is the Mirror of the People’s Culture Literature is an art, which brings meaning to life, makes us enjoy the fruits of livelihood and explains the reality of it. Literature spreads to such an enormous extent that one could never absorb its whole scope within one’s life time. It moulds one into a peaceful and a harmless man full of humanity. It makes one forget tears and would induce one to embrace laughter. The power of literature is truly magical and amazing that one can never argue and defend it. Literature not only becomes a good friend who wipes off tears and chairs happiness in its place but also echoes the behavioral, psychological and emotional qualities of a man and hence becomes the mirror of the people’s culture. The rich and fruitful Sinhalese literature, the widely spread loads of knowledge in English literature, Russian literature which is also considered as the most realistic and sensitive literature and the highly dramatic and fascinating Greek literature are fruitful harvests of its culture. Literature was not created in one day. For years, the tears of a person, the smile of a human, the sweat of a worker and blood of a soldier, had to be blended together to produce its magnificent output, its rich and famous literature and puff out life into the lifeless culture through literature. So why can’t literature be the mirror of the people’s culture when it is a result of the current situation of a country? How did Russian literature become that realistic? What proved its success? When the mentality of people had been tortured with the immense suffering of war, their only means of happiness lie on literature. How did Sinhalese literature be that fruitful throughout its past? What is the proud factor lying behind it? How did English literature become that wide spread? What does that tell us about the gigantic British Empire that was supposed to be the Empire in which the sun never sets? What made Greek literature that dramatic and fascinating that one could never take his eyes off a Greek theatre that brings life to mythical beings? All these questions have just one clear and obvious answer, it is the culture that created everything but not anything else and all these superb creations are results of it. Then how could we ever deny the fact that literature is the mirror of the people’s culture? Literature is for one and all; Not only for the rich or the dominant but also for the citizens even from the lower rungs of society. Like the children being the mirror of its parents, literature too carries bundles of treasure from a culture and displays it carefully bringing out the essence and taste of the culture that shadows it. The cultural shade gives rise to the rich growth of its literature and makes it reflect the wealth of its proud provider. The result of literature that is nurtured under the control and shield of the bounteous culture, is unimaginable, and grows into such a breathtaking and attractive work of art. The fact is clear that literature is the mirror of the people’s culture. Literature undoubtedly is the mirror of the people’s culture and no one on earth could ever repel it away calling it a fallacy. It is crystal clear that the results of the present culture, whatever it is, either good or bad, is illustrated in the literature of that era. Like the definite relationship of life and blood, breath and lungs and the seeds and the harvest, literature and culture will be together eternally ‘so long as men can live and eyes could see’ proving that literature is the mirror of the people’s culture. Shehani Karunanayake (2nd year)
Once Upon a December
The fire burnt bright and seductive The dancing flames Were a silent call To lose ourselves in its warmth Huddled together In fire lit corner We escaped the unescapable Oblivious to the Chaos of a wintry night Eternal summer was summed up Into a few hours Which we knew Will end too soon But that was enough For two wandering hearts To seek out passion Now itâ€™s just a memory A past long gone Looking back I see myself Getting my heart broken Once upon a December â€Ś..
Shehanie Rathnayake (3rd year)
Romeo and Juliet (Original movie Vs 1996 Movie) “Romeo and Juliet” is one of the greatest tragic romances by William Shakespeare. The plot of this drama is about “star crossed lovers”, who were doomed to separate at the end. Namely they are Romeo and Juliet. The setting of the story is traditional as mentioned in the text in the original movie. But it is totally different in modern version which is directed by Baz Luhrmann in 1996. Further, scenery is correct and accurate in BBC version, according to the description provided within the text of Romeo and Juliet. Still the 1996 version is an entire different story comparing to it. The settings of it take place in Miami, Mexico city and Veracruz. It spreads more modern feel than a traditional feel regarding this touching and moving love story; Romeo and Juliet. When we contrast the original movie and Luhrmann’s movie, it is clear that there are attractive actors and actresses in the modern version. Luhrmann has used modern clothing as well as guns in place of swords. That is a very attractive trend in order to attract the modern viewers to the movie. Since, the guns had become a symbol of adventure those days and through using them the director has become successful in convincing the same feelings as in the BBC movie. On the other hand, the very first fight which takes place in a market place in BBC version, takes place in a fuel station in the modern version. Not like in the traditional one, but here all the fights are taken place with guns and it was very comical when the members of Montague behaved when they came across of Capulet members. They were mocking at some girls and got startled when they saw Capulet which brings us humor. The first and foremost meeting of Romeo and Juliet takes place, when they started to gaze at each other across a beautiful aquarium of fish. That was a very eye-catching moment where we too share their first sight love. But it was when Juliet was occupied in a traditional dance only Romeo and Juliet saw each other for the first time. In that light, it is clear that there are differences which take place in the modern version. And the use of music here in the modern version is more powerful than in the original version in creating a romantic atmosphere. It is significant that Luhrmann has used costumes in order to bring out the characteristics of each. It is clearly visible when Tybalt is dressed as a devil that represents evil and where Juliet is dressed as an angel who is a symbol of purity and innocence. Not only the differences in settings, but also the use of attractive actors and actresses add another attraction to the modern movie. It is very significant that their very first kiss took place behind a circle of people in the BBC original version. But instead of that it takes place here in the modern version inside of their lift at home. Here the director tries to convince the viewers about the risk of that action by letting Juliet’s mother to appear when she just came out of the lift with Romeo. Moreover, in the 1996 movie, the balcony scene is taken place around an outside of a pool instead for a balcony. It is noteworthy that, Romeo was given a tablet of drug before they went to the party and Juliet’s mother was smoking when she was about to conclude her discussion with Juliet. They were never taken place in the BBC version nor in the text itself. Juliet’s mother has made as a more comical character in this modern movie where her behavior brings us humor most of the times. The
Nurse here in the modern version of Romeo and Juliet movie brings out humor as well as in the BBC version through her behavior, actions and through her appearance itself. And also, the police chasing scenery after Romeo which takes place in the modern version never happens in the BBC version. Here the place which was taken by the prince in the BBC version has been taken by the police officer. All the fights are replaced with gun fights and explosions here in the modern version. When discussing about the characters, Luhrmann has taken an African- American actor for the character of Mercutio and made him more comical too. The character of Friar Laurence is also important and all of them are dressed in modern costumes like trousers and shirts where the female wear skirts and blouses and frocks. It is noteworthy that here in the modern version, Juliet wakes up seconds after Romeo drinks poison and he dies knowing that Juliet is alive. Then she decides to suicide herself by shooting herself. And she used a gun instead for a knife when she uttered about her desire to suicide herself if she is unable to live with Romeo. Both the films have used original Shakespearean language and there are only a few changes in the language of Shakespeare which is used in the modern version. That is due to the chronicle changes which take place in the screening of the movies. Prologue has been spoken by a news reader in the modern version where it was traditionally taken place in the BBC version. Luhrmannâ€™s usage of costumes for the songs adds more color to the film and it increases the interest in viewerâ€™s mind. In my opinion, although both the films are based on the world famous love story Romeo and Juliet, BBC version is the typical text itself all by costumes, dialogues, setting and the scenes, where the Luhrmannâ€™s 1996 modern version is a little different in costumes, setting, and the use of guns. 1996 version is more modern in using costumes, arms and music although it has used the same Shakespearean dialogues in it. We feel it more colorful than the BBC version for its attractive actors and actresses. The same story has been created in two different settings by the two directors.
Theja Dilhani Kapuruge (2nd Year)
Suddenly, her plump, blossom face turns into reddish And like a pernicious volcano, about to erupt, Resonance of outrageous, screaming voice drags The eyes of all of them, for a moment, “What is the bloody default, I did?” Our speechless eyes look at each other’s, “I am a fledged bird, not below 19!”Says she, With a serene, rueful and defeated voice, “I am an outcast to your cultural fence, am not?” Her dried eyes fill with innocent water tears, Debased voice pleads mercy from us, from adults, “I did not go for manifold, wealthy warmth But only for his warmth forever”, flushes Tears from her eye dam….. “My tender lips are permitted to kiss only his, But not corrupted from thousands, Lusty, adultery drunken men never come to me, But only innocent heart….. I am not a queen for men, but only for my love, He never pays for me, but we paid for Our oasis of love, is it wrong? I am pure, Pure in thoughts forever…”concludes she, However, I cannot conclude my bickering, Culture or youth feeling for zest for life and love? Dear adults, Today’s adults but yesterday joyful youths, Aren’t your cultural barriers unfair ?
Dishnika Lecamwasam (3rd year)
The Fear The overwhelming gloominess of the impending danger Haunts within me leaving the world of work. The sleep is not a comfort anymore but a thought- provoking time. The chats with others no longer interests me, The danger is stirring within me thinking how to face The surrounding darkness laughing at me, About my fear of getting into danger. I wanted to close my ears and eyes but the mind picture is open always to welcome the malicious wills to bloom 24 hours. The burning within me knows only me, unable to tell to any, remembering the real fear I will get at the revealing end. Only my faith soothes me a little Hoping all will be over with time No new hope no new life Tell me how to face This demon time????
Priyangi De Silva (2nd year)
The Prevailing Education System in Sri Lanka Every nations dream is to achieve a sustainable education system as it will positively contribute for the development of the nation. Much to the merit of our nation, Sri Lanka is gifted with free education up to university. This concept of free education was implemented by C.W.W. Kannangara in 1944 and it has resulted in high literacy rate in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s education structure can be divided into three parts: primary, secondary and the university. Though the education is free, one wonders whether it sufficiently prepares students for the challenges of the working world. After early childhood education children are admitted to schools. As we all know the school is the main center of education. It is the place; we begin our formal education. A child is admitted to a school at the age of 6. He or she will receive the primary education from grade 1 to 5 and at the end they will have to face the scholarship examination. It is an exam which allows students to enter into popular schools. Today it has become a highly competitive exam. The children as well as parents have become part and parcel of this competition. This so called examination has denied the children of their happy childhood. They are forced to attend tuition classes for the purpose of getting qualified for the exam. But it will ultimately result in losing their freedom. The purpose of true education has been corrupted with the educational climate in Sri Lanka After getting through this scholarship examination, they qualify themselves to be admitted to popular schools for the secondary education. From grade 6 to 11, they learn different subjects and at the end of grade 11 they face G.C.E (O/L) examination. The common curriculum comprises nine subjects such as English, first language, mathematics, science and technology etc. Soon after this examination, the students will select a specific field with the intention of facing the G.C.E (A/L) examination sacrificing another 2-3 years of their lives. The four main subject streams available for A/L examination are Mathematics, Biology, commerce and art. It is the most competitive exam as it qualifies the students for the university admission. It is believed that these examinations do not prepare the students for the challenges of the outside world. The current education system in Sri Lanka encourages the students for note taking and memorizing. They memorize the note given by the teacher and reproduce it at the exam. As it is the teacher centered education, teachers are supposed to know everything and the students will regurgitate what they have been taught. In fact “Spoon feeding” is the popular phrase which is used to criticize the existing system. It is pathetic, as it does not instill self education nor develop other essential skills. The university education is the final stage of one’s education. The university is the place, where higher education is provided. It is the ultimate dream of every student who sits for the A/L examination. It is an extremely competitive examination, and to gain entrance to university requires a successful combination of time, memory, effort and commitment. So much so that, only 10% of the students will be qualified for the university education. In my opinion, the current higher education system does not cater the needs of potential employees. It provides a knowledge based education but it lacks practical applicability. It does not prepare the undergraduates for the challenges of the working world. Those who graduated from
universities are equipped with academic qualifications but they lack professional qualifications. They neither have experience nor soft skills such as punctuality, team work, communication, strategic thinking, problem solving etc. The university system does not pay heed to develop the soft skills in undergraduates. As a result, the graduates will have to face numerous difficulties in finding employment. Therefore, the relevant authorities should pay their attention towards this and should take immediate actions to rectify it. Moreover, the university curriculum should be restructured according to the needs of the present society. And also, â€œEnglishâ€? should be made the media of instruction as it opens the doors for many lucrative employments. However, I believe that undergraduates should themselves try to acquire professional qualifications and to improve their soft skills without solely depending on the system. At the outset, it is the high time to look at the glaring deficiencies of the education system from primary education to university and take necessary steps to rectify them. The government should act out to meet some of the problems in the education system noted above in order to serve the purpose of free education system.
Isuri Samarasinghe (2nd Year)
What is life? Although it is a simple question, Why is it so hard to answer? Some may say it is full of surprises Which is true in a way Because what we encounter Does not come as we planned The experiences we have with it May be happy , may be sad But the real achievement is To face them happily Because when you go up in the ladder Ultimately you will find happiness So do not worry too much We live for a short period of time So why should we be sad? Be grateful for what you have got Be happy always It will help you To face your problems in a good way That would make your life beautiful
Mahesha Wijerathne (3rd year)
You Feel You Are Blessed Kids grumble about Mamaâ€™s no to chocolates Until they watch babies starving to death.
Students are apathetic to go to school Until they encounter child laborer yearning for education
An youth with hybrid car envies the owner of Lamborghini Until he sees strong hands pulling ladened cart.
A lady quarrels with her husband over a diamond necklace Until she witnesses a couple begging for morsel.
Working few become ruthless to their feeble parents Until they see silent torments of child orphans.
An old man with poor eyesight blames God Until his eyes meet a lad walking with a stick.
You feel you are blessed! You feel you are blessed!
K. R. Fathima Seefa (1st year)
Just thought of including this because I thought it will give a useful message to all of us out there.
Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Head Master Respected Teacher, My son will have to learn. I know that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is far more valuable than five found. Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can. Teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to tick. Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books; but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill –side. In school teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong. Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon. Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through. Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right. Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind. This is a big order; but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son. Abraham Lincoln.
Massacre Listen, cautiously, to what winds murmur Feel the desolate land, the pain-soaked earth That is arrayed with jewels of bones and skulls Grass and mud absorbed, once, streams of blood To root and bloom the saplings of venomous hatred For vampires were thirsty to make them wretched Stop, look around Behold, the repercussions of hunger and thirst Behold the corollary of fanatic extreme If, you ears are willing, they’ll smoothly utter If your eyes are willing, see through the shutter The sorrow, fear, the pain of death When the air inhaled their final breath To fill desires of one head or few Deprived, thousands of their right to live And gained the wish over blood and sculls? Cheeringly enjoying, the guns’ and machetes’ Their jovial feast seasoned with blood While thousands sacrificed for few men’s feast Forsaken Even almighty god’s was pitifully helpless, To raise his mighty bolts and Thor His eyes were just among eyes that watched This horrendous crime, of the greatest animals Their ultimate gain of what they fought for But did they win or did they lose? Even though the whole world is aware Of the souls underneath the earth
Niroshan Pathberiya (4th year)
Loss of Sanctuary I am fledgling and Ruthless time is ripe and Remind me to fly for A long distance........ A prolonged journey but My tender heart becomes As searing leaves because I feel loss of warmth of Our loving nest……. I feel loss of sweet fragrance Of Gardenia flowers…. I feel loss of cool breeze, Quenches our thirst of Pure breathes…….. I feel loss of mountain hooves Which are indelible drops of Water for fire of torments…. I feel loss of greenish Plaines Whose arms are welcome us To densely hug her…….. I feel loss of my affinity For this wonderful cosmos… Nevertheless, these are unintelligible Fairy tales for frogs, in a smoky, dusty well. Dishnika Lecamwasam (3rd year)
Time has Come to Mete Out Severe Punishment for Violence Against Girl Children and Women
Violence against women is a common problem with no answer. Should it remain an unanswered problem forever, or have we got to find some kind of a remedy and put a stitch to the hitch? Why has the world forgotten that she is not only a human being with flesh and blood, but a mother, a sister, a daughter or a wife? As violence against girls and women has increased, let us observe the reasons to such crimes and then eradicate them. Reports illustrate two main causes for violence against women and girls. The highest percentage of it goes to the uncontrollable carnal desires which induce men to make use of any female, even without considering their age. Another percentage of such crimes are, due to burglary or theft. Allow me to make you aware of, the in and out of these two reasons, which stimulates the inactive animal instinct of the human mind and create the man into a beast in seconds, making him a slave of his evil emotions. The first cause, very often could be a result of over consumption of liquor. When people are under liquor, they are unable to control themselves and accept the verdict of the evil mind, forgetting their identity. When liquor is available everywhere, people, specially youngsters, get tempted and try out it for fun, ending up being brainless drunkards with less or no senses. Authorities must take some kind of action and put together these scattered human resources, into a well formed life with meaning, and must not let them behave in any way they want, simply because they are drunk. We must not forget, that electronic and print media have reached to its climax and innovate new items of any nature, to draw the attention of its viewers and will not care about the consequences of it reflecting on the after comers, as their only aim is to discover a fast moving programme. Young men, who very often are the main objective of media, no doubt will be willingly embraced by lustful pictures and will be provoked to commit such crimes. Therefore visual and print media must be more responsible in choosing programmes for their viewers. At the same time women too have a responsibility in their behavior and attire. Women must not provoke men by being exposed too much and by revealing what must be concealed. Women must engage in their day to day activities, without leaving room for men with such ideas to make use of them. Mingling in public places at odd hours, must be avoided in order to evade being a prey to the sadist. In the case of girl children, parents must be responsible in providing them the sufficient security. Though unsatisfied without a longstanding solution, if we step our feet to the next most serious factor behind violence against girls and women, we see two main reasons for robbery. The first is being unable to feed their families; dire necessity compelling them to involve themselves in violence. Another pack gets involved in robbery not induced, by sheer poverty, but planned theft. At this point the police must have a watchful eye and enforce laws that prevent hooligans roaming around. Here again women must be aware of the danger that follows behind the expensive jewelry she carries along with her, especially when she uses public transport. We’ve been discussing about the causes of such crimes and possible preventive methods to practice, as we all know that “prevention is better than cure.” But if we fail in all these attempts and if the crimes did not reduce to a satisfactory amount, then we must take an action that will not promote anymore violence against girls and women, and will not give the feeling to the criminals that trying out preventive methods do not mean that we are safeguarding the criminals. It must only be the initial stage of the solution and we have no other remedy than severe punishment as the last resort. If preventive methods become like water on a lotus leaf, and violence against women and girls seem to have no end, we are compelled to mete out severe punishment for we know that it’s “better late than never.” Shehani Karunanayake (2nd year)
Y.M.B.A My fellow colleagues, we are gathered here For the meeting, hundred and twelfth I’m glad to inform you, our honourable Secretary He’s, rejoicing merrily his sixty first For a star, get your hands together And wish him long life hale and hearty
Our purpose, gentlemen, of today’s gathering Is to promote Dharma with tangible benefits Commenced our program to relinquish desire At the end which we award an exquisite prize Encourage your friends, sons and daughters When they see the prize, they’ll, no doubt, be surprised
Vicious rumours, gentlemen, have infamously woven Around our president, the noble leader That he was drowned in liquor sloshed and washed Calumny, dear members, an erroneous slander To tarnish the prestigious flawless figure I, fellow members, myself was there He just had a half, nothing spare
Our next gathering, we hold next month On the effects of drugs and careless joys Let’s unravel the world our piercing voice And save the souls of our girls and boys And, of course, we can always have a chat With a glass or two, no need to say that
Niroshan Pathberiya (4th year)
Death as a Narrative Choice The aim of this research paper is to problematize the employment of death as a narrative ploy in dealing with the female protagonists in some of the novels by women writers with special reference to the nineteenth century novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, which depicts a nascent feminist consciousness. Chopin, a Modern American Writer, through The Awakening, gives an insight into the role and status of women-their struggle for independence and equal rights, in the United States. An analysis of the novels like The Awakening, The Mill on the Floss, and The House of Mirth by Kate Chopin, George Eliot and Edith Wharton respectively proves that the female protagonists end up facing death at the end of the narrative despite their gradually developed sense of selves, self-discovery and the awakenings or their journeys towards independence. However, the portrayal of death of the female protagonists becomes a controversial issue as far as the emergence of feminism and the women’s writing are concerned for we are compelled to question whether the women writers do not have any other option than death or suicide to end their narratives. The notion of “death “of the female protagonists at the end of the novels is problematic to me as this kind of portrayal seems to suggest that the women’s ultimate solution to their suppression and the lack of freedom in a patriarchal society is death. In my endeavor to problematize the death of these narratives, I also use two novels in which the notion of death is absent as far as the female protagonists are concerned, Their Eyes Were Watching God and Girl with a Pearl Earing by Zora Neale Hurston and Tracy Chevalier respectively. I also problematize the narrative stance taken by some critics with regard to Edna’s death. Both Edna and Lilly Bart in the two novels, The Awakening and The House of Mirth face death at the end of the narratives. These protagonists’ resistance, rebelliousness and strong sense of selves that develop in the middle narrative structure come to nothing at the end of the narrative with their death. Similarly, Edna’s death undervalues her self -discovery, several awakenings- spiritual, sexual, economical and her painstakingly developed sense of self finally proving that women who lack strength and courage to surpass the social conventions become failures. Even elitist Lilly Bart in The House of Mirth transforms from an immoral character to a moral character before she dies due to an overdose. She also begins to earn money for her survival yet the narrative does not allow her to emerge as a strong female character with the pessimistic end in the novel. This same scenario continues in the novel, The Mill on the Floss for Maggie drowns in the river Floss due to the flood at a moment she determines to leave her most loved Stephan Guest, Lucy’s lover. Thus, her death occurs at a time in which she understands her own faults: “Whatever I have done, I repent it bitterly. I want to make amends. I will endure anything. I want to be kept from doing wrong again” (Eliot 497). However, despite this moral awakening experienced by Maggie, the narrative fails to give her the life she intends to have. The authors of the above-mentioned novels make these female characters end up in death at a time they have achieved a self-realization and an awakening. This is quite problematic especially because they were the literary works by women writers in the era of feminism. It is indispensable to examine the narrative stances taken by several critics with regard to the notion of death and suicide in the ending of The Awakening, to problematize the same. As Stephanie Palmieri argues in her essay, “Death is the Only Way Out: Female Suicide in Classic Chick Lit: “the only way for women to truly obtain freedom from men, from biology (children), and from society is through death, most specifically through suicide” (Palmieri 1). This is a disturbing narrative stance and it is impossible to agree with Palmieri for there are other novels in which the female characters assert independence through their survival rather than facing death or suicide. For instance, in novels like Their Eyes Were Watching God and Girl with a Pearl Earing, the protagonists gain their freedom from the patriarchy despite the constant suppression and they survive. Both these novels prove that death is not the only way for women to achieve freedom, as Palmieri tries to prove, for Janie and Griet, the protagonists of the above novels become socially, economically and sexually independent who can make their choices by challenging the patriarchal ‘gendered identities’ of women at the end of the stories. In Their Eyes wereWatchingGod, Janie becomes a free and an independent woman who develops another self within her. She begins to realize the importance of survival for she tells her friend, Pheoby that: “Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuhtheyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out
about livin’ fuhtheyselves” (Hurston 192). Griet too becomes an independent woman who makes choices in her life at the end of the story: “Pieter would be pleased with the rest of the coins, the debt now settled. I would not cost him anything. A maid came free” (Chevalier 232). Especially Janie is not a mother and thus this novel suggests an alternative for women to be free from children proving that the death is not the only way to have freedom from men, children or society negating Palmieri’s argument. In contrast, Edna does not undergo oppression to the extent that both Janie and Griet do. For instance, Janie undergoes constant oppression from her first two husbands, Logan Killicks and Joe Starks. Starks does not allow Janie to make a speech in front of the community when Tony asks her to make one: “… but mah wife don’t know nothin’ ’bout no speech-makin’. Ah never married her for nothin’ lak dat. She’s uh woman and her place is in de home” (Hurston 43). In such a backdrop, Janie later becomes verbally independent as well by becoming a powerful orator who can relate her whole story to her best friend, Pheoby. Hurston could have very comfortably ended her narrative with Janie’s death for Janie happens to shoot Tea Cake, the man with whom she really experienced a reciprocal love. Despite her psychological dilemma of killing Tea Cake she becomes a strong female character who lives her own way. Thus, it is possible to argue that this kind of narrative trajectory employed by the author proves that death is not the only way to gain freedom. Moreover, Griet, the girl of sixteen engages in a lot of household work for the Vermeer family unlike Edna who neglects them: “He never helped by lying for me, asking me if I had time to spare for him. He gave me instructions in the morning and expected them to be done by the next day” (Chevalier 107-108). Despite such abuse-both physical and sexual as depicted in the novel, Griet does not commit suicide at the end of the novel. Even though the novel is set in the seventeenth century Holland, Chevalier makes a strong feminist statement through the novel that women have alternative ways of living their lives. Palmierifurther emphasizes that Edna’s death is empowering for it is her own choice. Yet, I would argue that it is an act of Edna’s defeat and cowardice for the narrative itself provides enough evidence to prove this through the juxtaposition of Edna and the image of the falling bird: “A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water” (Chevalier 300-301). Mademoiselle Reisz too expresses that Edna should have the ‘courageous soul’ to surpass the conventions of the society. I agree with Brightenbrook for he considers, in his essay, Significance of Edna’s Awakening in Chopin's“The Awakening” Edna’s death as her defeat brought out in the aftermath of her struggle and inability to assimilate to two different female models-Madame Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reiz: “ Faced with a choice which has no acceptable alternatives, Edna admits defeat. Her suicide is the consequence of her inability, or refusal, to assimilate either female role of society” (Brightenbrook 2). In addition, Mary Bird points out in her essay, Reconciling Edna’s Suicide and the Criticism Surrounding Kate Chopin’s The Awakening that: “She ( Edna) is emotionally unequipped to deal with awakening and is unable to live within society according to the ideals she has established for herself, illustrated through her suicide and the events preceding it” (Bird 1). Further Wheeler, in her essay, ‘Kate Chopin: Ironist of Realism’ states that: “Genuine autonomy and personal independence is a creative endeavour, and such a person is both a work of art and artist who achieves that self creation” (Wheeler 63). Viewed from this perspective as well, Edna’s death is a self-destruction and we cannot consider it as empowering merely because she decides her own destiny. To further negate Palmieri’s argument that Edna’s death is a powerful act, I make use of Maida’s essay, The Inevitable End of the Woman who Couldn’t: Edna Pontellier’s Fated Death in The Awakening in which she refers to Edna’s fate: “She had abandoned herself to Fate, and awaited the consequences with indifference” (Maida 12). This also proves that Edna’s failure for she allows her fate to control and define her. All the above evidence proves that Edna lacks strength and courage, which is why she finds refuge in death deliberately or unconsciously to liberate from the social constraints. Courtney Maida, in the above mentioned essay, argues that Edna does not fit into any roles: “She cannot fulfill any of the roles that are presented by Chopin in the novel: mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend, artist, lover to either man, and finally the traditional role of a woman in society. She does not quite fit into any niche, and thus her suicide at the end of the novel is the only way for Edna’s story to
end” (Maida 1). I would problematize Maida’s stance for merely for the fact that Edna behaves her own way we cannot generalize that she does not fit into any roles. To support the argument I would also point out some of the roles she performs very well. For instance, she becomes a good friend to Madam Ratignolle despite their ideological discrepancy for she is compelled to leave her lover, Robert to help Ratignolle in her childbirth. She also becomes friendly with Mademoiselle Reiz to the extent that she reveals her love for Robert to her for the first time. Apart from that, she becomes a true lover to Robert and she does not need the company of anybody than his: “There was no human being whom she wanted near her except Robert” (Chopin 300). Also Maida’s essay consists of rather contradictory viewpoints, which are problematic to me. Her own essay gives evidence to prove that Edna loves Robert disrupting her own narrative stance that she does not fulfill the role of lover: “The sentiment which she entertained for Robert in no way resembled that which she felt for her husband, or had ever felt, or ever expected to feel” (Maida 7). Further, a careful reading of her essay demonstrates that she refers to Edna as a good mother: “She is a person as well as being a mother, and retaining her identity as an individual does not indicate that she is a bad mother or incapable of loving her children”(Maida 7) deconstructing her own argument that Edna does not play the role of mother. Further, Hurston’s and Chevalier’s novels too negate Maida’s argument. As far as Sandra Gilbert’s essay, "The Second Coming of Aphrodite: Kate Chopin's Fantasy of Desire." is concerned, her stance is problematic to me. She engages in making a myth for she identifies The Awakening as a “female fiction… to propose a feminist and matriarchal myth of Aphrodite/Venus as an alternative to the masculinist and patriarchal myth of Jesus” (Gilbert 44). Despite being a feminist critic, she creates a myth by identifying Edna as the Venus, the goddess of love. Gilbert reconstructs the slight implication of the regal woman by Chopin as a myth and what is especially problematic to me is that, it is constructed in accordance with patriarchal ideologies. For instance, she attempts to interpret Edna’s party as the ‘Last Supper’ of Jesus whereas she states that: “Edna's last swim is not a suicide-that is, a death-at all, or, if it is a death, it is a death associated with a resurrection, apagan, female Good Friday that promises a Venusian Easter” (Gilbert 17). Another poignant aspect that is problematic to me is the fact that how is it possible to identify Edna as the Aphrodite for she engages in gambling, going for races and neglecting children. This interpretation of Aphrodite is ironical and seems to reaffirm that the female freedom is a fantasy, especially for the nineteenth century women and only through their imagination, this kind of freedom and independence is possible. Therefore, I believe that Chopin’s intention, as Gilbert points out, is not to construct such mythical theology but rather to portray how women are defeated when they lack strength and courage to surpass the social conventions. Viewed from this perspective, Gilbert’s standpoint is an ironical interpretation of the novel. As Mary Bird points out in her essay, Reconciling Edna’s Suicide and the Criticism Surrounding Kate Chopin’s The Awakening Chopin’s purpose is: “to critique society while also critiquing Edna’s move away from societal standards” (Bird 1). However, Bird’s reference to Edna’s removal of clothes is problematic for me since she states citing Wolkenfeld( 246) that: “ Her act of stripping off her clothes is not a gesture of self-liberation but rather a “regression to. . . infancy. . . her experience of rebirth is. . . backward to the womb” (Bird 1). Bird also presents a contradictory viewpoint for she admits, in her essay, that: “Madame Ratignolle’s childbirth is the first event prompting Edna’s suicide. Edna observed “with an inward agony, with a flaming, outspoken revolt against the ways of Nature, *witnessing+ the scene of torture” (Bird 1). Therefore, one can argue that she might not choose to be reborn since she herself is frustrated with Madame Ratignolle’s childbirth and it might cause the same torture to another woman. Wheeler’s essay, ‘Kate Chopin: Ironist of Realism’ too supports this view for she affirms that: “any simple account of Edna’s death as symbolic of rebirth is misleading” (Wheeler 53). I would also argue that her death is also the aftermath of her obsessive love towards Robert. Chopin uses irony in her narrative to portray what happens to individuals when they have the “illusion that sexual and romantic love can ‘be everything’, that ‘nothing else in the world is of any consequence’ ” (Wheeler 61). This is true since Edna is highly worried over Robert’s departure. In addition, as WaicheeDimock argues in her essay, Rightful Subjectivity Edna is a slave and her death is liberating: “Edna can only kill herself because, given their constructions of enslavement, death is the only free world”
(Dimock 47). This is an uncomfortable narrative stance for in the first place Edna is not a slave to begin with and she has a quadroon to attend to children whereas she gradually neglects all her household duties towards the end of the narrative. Dimock herself refers to Edna’s rights revealing that: “she transforms herself from a performer of duties to a claimant of rights” (Dimock 32). Even at the very beginning of the narrative Mr. Pontellier refers to Edna’s lack of caring of her children: “He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children” (Chopin 12). By the time, she commits suicide she is not under any sign of slavery for she becomes an independent woman who lives her own way in her own ‘pigeon house’. Therefore, we cannot admit that death is the only free world for Edna as Dimock attempts to prove. This reaffirms that Edna is a failure whose death portrays her defeat. As explained throughout the answer Edna’s as well as the female protagonists’ death in the above mentioned novels are problematic since they are confronted with death as soon as they have an awakening or self realization. I would like to question whether is it adequate to have a self-discovery when the narrative kills them at the time of their self-realization and independence. Chopin makes both Madam Ratignolle and Mademoiselle Reisz survive in the novel which is tantamount to a warning for the womankind not to seek for extreme independence which would be catastrophic at some point. Most of the nineteenth century novels by women writers deal with feminist issues with the emergence of feminist movement that consequently paved the way for women’s suffrage. In such a backdrop, what is expected of women writers, as I believe, is the depiction of strong female protagonists with alternative life styles who can survive in any circumstance. The women writers mentioned-above have adapted the death of the protagonists to end their narratives comfortably. However, this might cause a conflict for a feminist reader who would question whether such narratives could be identified as feminist novels.
Chamila De Silva (4th year)
Sun to Shine
Where’s the sun To see the fun Is it hidden the other side? We are in the dark Knowing not what to do It is the darkness that surrounds Almost everything that we do. Sun, you were so bright To burn us sometimes But the power of your light Empowers the whole sight. The day is you The life is you It is you The sun is you. Why pain us more To see the rays of you So elegant to the core To say gloom to no How to think of a life Without the shine of thyn Is what puzzles me In all these weary miles. If only you can peep Into our sorey lives With the rhyme and rhythm To dance us to the tune. It’s you who soothes The buds to bloom To dispel the gloom So to welcome noon We miss dear sun The art of getting fun Why not shine with light To make us ever bright. It is the only hope We all could cling Without the sun We all won’t win.
Priyangi De Silva (2nd year)
You and Me.
For me you say I'm so emotional For you I say You're too reasonable For me moon and the sky means a lot To where I can Float my spirit But for you, It's nothing miraculous, But another phenomena Where it gives night the Day and Day the night I know the world would'nt whirl Unless for reasons, But remember your soul Would cry Unless for emotions, It's like the Augustans and Romantics Trying to Undo the other Forgetting one cannot exist without The Other, So Let's try to make it A New Era Where it would be AugRomantic For its reasons cannot be without emotions As, Heart cannot be without the mind. Navoda Herath (2nd Year)
Buddhism- AVital Force in the World Colorful Wesak celebrations are held all over the and three events of the life of lord Buddha are the main issues for the Buddhists and there are vast sill campaigns organized by the different organizations, and offerings are made to the Buddha to remember these events. Professor Anada Guruge in his excellent study of Buddhist philosophy states that Buddha was a great intellectual force and he converted a large number to Buddhism in the teeth of the opposition of other religious leaders. Due to the garb of ignorance Jainism upheld the ideal of self torture which they practiced for years to gain salvation of life. Buddha realized that self mortification is a fruitless effort and he sought the middle path to achieve his goal. Buddha however gained his enlightenment under the papal tree and thus he became an Enlightened One as he destroyed all the fetters and he realized that ignorance, clinging is the main root for the cycle of birth, decay, sickness, old age and death. Actually what caused me writing this article is not to praise the current Buddhist organizations of Sri Lanka but to open the readerâ€™s eye to the prevailing situation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Being a Buddhist country and the current situation of this country makes me weep but to no avail. Because there are numerous Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka which make upside down the theories of Buddhism. And the poor devotees follow these institutions without understanding the theory; yes of course I should call them as institutions. People are blind to the prevailing situation.â€? Once I read an article long ago which says that a monk is giving Nirvana to people for 50 lacks or more. Does this evoke sarcasm? No, never, this is the pathetic situation of Sri Lanka. I mentioned here that it was long ago that I read the article but to our greatest sympathy, the authority has not launched actions to change this system. Authority people are mere puppets who dance according to the beat of these people. So in my article I would like to share some valuable theories of Buddhism with the intention of reawakening people. Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy who has studied and mastered the religions in the world had stated Lord Buddha is a mystic and a great intellectual force who has served the mankind and the gods in the celestial world for nearly 45 tears for the good of the beings in the world and beyond. Dr. D.T Susuki in his studies of Theravada Buddhism states that though Buddhism is a monastic religion it is missionary in character. There is no doubt about it as he sent his retinue of monks in all directions to save mankind from the misery of the world. Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy brought by an English mother became the commissioner of geology in Ceylon and his great survey and studies in Buddhist art and sculpture are evaluated today by the art critic and perhaps to my knowledge his monumental work is medieval arts of Ceylon which he has studied with infinite patience. The turning point of the history of Ceylon is due to the message of Buddhism. We know that we are gifted with the message of Buddhism brought by Rev. Mahinda and once King Devananpiyatissa embraced the new religion, his subjects clung to the same religion as king did. This point is really important to think about because if the authority takes a new beginning and launch it, the rest of the Sri Lankan people will embrace the religion. I believe that the reader is aware that a Bhikkuni order was established in Ceylon by queen Anula and her retinue when the reverend Sangamiththa came to Ceylon but even then it did not last long. Now those who enter this order are mere yellow robe ones who observe the ten principle virtues taught by Buddha. As the scholar Martin Wickramasinghe stated that certain attempts have been done to translate Dhammapada in to Sinhalese by scholarly monks which can be surmised as the handbook of the Buddhists. The Buddhist studies in Pali are far more excellent and it is a book which stands as the corner
stone to discipline the mind. Buddha never encouraged the ritual worship but he encouraged the practical side of the doctrine. So the time has come to stop sighing at the devastation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, now itâ€™s time to put a step forward. P. M. Chathurika Senanayake (2nd year)
Smile A while Q. How do you get a mouse to smile? A. Say cheese!! A few old couples used to get together to talk about life and to have a good time. One day one of the men, Harry, started talking about this fantastic restaurant he went to the other night with his wife. “Really?”, one of the men said, what’s it called? After thinking for a few seconds the Harry said, “what are those good smelling flowers called again?” “Do you mean a rose? the first man questioned. “Yes that’s it,” he exclaimed. Looking over at his wife he said, “Rose what’s that restaurant we went to the other night?”
Patient: Doctor! I have a serious problem. I can never remember what I just said. Doctor: When did you first notice this problem? Patient: What problem? One afternoon, a wealthy man was riding in the back of his limousine when he saw two men eating grass by the road side. He ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. "Why are you eating grass?" he asked one man. "We don't have any money for food." the poor man replied. "Oh, come along with me then." "But sir, I have a wife with two children!" "Bring them along! And you, come with us too!", he said to the other man. "But sir, I have a wife and three children!" the second man answered. "Bring them as well!" the wealthy man said. They all climbed into the limo and once underway, one of the poor fellows says, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you." The man replied, "My pleasure, the grass in my back yard is about two feet tall. A penguin walked into a bar and asked the barman: excuse me have you seen my brother? The barman replied: what does he look like?