Unit 8 Humour and Satire
A Few Kind Words for Superstition
Exercise from the Book
Ways with words (Page:74 )
A) Match the following.
|iv. spiritual, nonphysical or mystical
|i. to feel or express strong disapproval of (something)
|vi. set free from blame, guilt, or responsibility; release
|ii. a charm or fetish used by some West African peoples
|iii. natural state
|v. a written record of historical events
B) Find the contextual meanings of the following words from the text and then use them in sentences of your own.
condemn, terror, unbidden, persist, devout, banish, creed, hasten, sober, scorn, yearning, aloof, swarthy, humbler
Condemn: express complete disapproval – I condemn that useless violence in my city.
Terror: extreme fear– The sound of machine guns being fired fills them with terror.
Unbidden: uninvited- They shook their heads to remove the unbidden feelings.
Persist: continue to exist- She rejected his proposal for dating, but he persisted and asked her again.
Devout: totally committed to a cause or belief- She is a devout Hindu.
Banish: send (someone) away from a country or place – He was determined to banish all people of his village.
Creed: a faith-His family creed is Hindu in nature and focuses on love and respect.
Hasten: be quick to do something- One after another we hasten to reach our destination.
Sober: not affected by alcohol/serious/sensible- He was as sober as a policeman.
Aloof: detached- He kept himself aloof from all his friends.
Swarthy: dark-complexioned- The American settlers appeared swarthy in complexion than the native people.
Humbler: modesty in behavior, attitude- The head of our village took a humbler tone.
C) One of the ways to understand words and their meanings is to learn the origin of the word. For example, the word ‘expand’, which means ‘to spread out or extend’, comes from Middle English expanden, derived from the Latin word expandere: ex-(out)+ pandere (to spread). Trace the origins of each of the following words finding such explanations in a dictionary or the Internet. Then make sentences by using each word.
- minatory, placated, cajoled, antedates, proliferated, philter
minatory : Minatory came from derivatives of the Latin verb minari, which means “to threaten.”
Although the plans seemed minatory, the criminals swore that it was joke and not a threat.
placated : a back-formation from placation or else from Latin placatus “, means calm, peaceful
She doesnt need him to placate her.
cajoled : from a French verb, cajoler, meaning persuade (someone) to do something
They expected to cajole him into selling the car.
D) List any five words found in an English dictionary beginning with the prefix ‘super-.’ What common meaning do all of these words share? How do the words in your list change meaning if you eliminate the prefix?
- Supernatural, superfast, supercar, superstar, supercool
Ans: All these words share a common meaning of above or more than normal. If we eliminate the prefix ‘super’, we will lose the meaning ‘more than normal’. Supernatural means beyond reality. Supernatural word becomes natural.
Answer these questions.
a) According to the author, what are the four types of superstition?
Ans: Vain Observances, Divination, or consulting oracles, Idolatry and Improper Worship of the True God are the four types of superstition.
b) Which language is the word ‘superstition’ derived from? What does it mean?
Ans: Superstition comes from the Latin supersisto, meaning to stand in terror of the Deity.
c) How do psychologists understand superstition?
Ans: The psychoanalysts call a superstition a compulsion neurosis.
d) How does superstition differ from religion?
Ans: Religion depends on God but superstition depends on supernatural things.
e) What is the belief of some people in the Middle Europe about sneezing?
Ans: Some peoples of Middle Europe believe that when a man sneezes, his soul, for that moment, is absent from his body, and they hasten to bless him, lest the soul be seized by the Devil.
f) In the author’s view, why are people so fascinated about superstition?
Ans: People are so fascinated about superstition because it is in general linked to man’s yearning to know his fate, and to have some hand in deciding it.
A) What is the key takeaway of this essay? Do you think that this essay is satirical? Why?
Ans: This essay tries to convey the message that we are knowingly or unknowingly following superstition. Most of the people are victim of it in every walk of life. Our society is following it blindly. It will hinder the development process of our society. We live in modern world but our beliefs are superstitious. It is destroying our healthy life. So, it advices us to stop it.
Yes, this essay is satirical because it is satirizes those educated and uneducated people who are the victim of it. It satirizes the tendency of people to follow whatever they listen unknowingly.
B) Can education bring change in the belief of superstition? Present your arguments to support your answer.
Ans: Yes, quality education can bring change in the belief of superstition. Good education will make people aware about the bad impacts of it on their lives. So, this essay is indirectly suggesting us the message that proper education can stop the influence of superstition. We live in modern world but our beliefs are superstitious. It is destroying our healthy life. So, government should make people aware about it by including it in curriculum.
Benefits of Education to stop Superstition
- It increases literacy.
- To know the cause of superstitions.
- To know right thing about superstitions
- Way to overcome them.
A) Write an essay on superstitions that exists in your community in about 250 words.
Ans: Superstitions are human beliefs. It is not based on science or religion. It is a bad practice followed by our ancestors. The main cause of it is our fear for bad results. Our society is following it blindly. It will hinder the development process of our society.
If a black cat or any cat crosses a road then it is considered to be a bad sign. People believe that they will get bad results out of it. They wait any other person to cross the road. Black cat and crow are considered as a sign of bad omen in Hindu culture. If a crow is seen in our house, people start to interpret in different ways.
In the same, widows are considered as witches in our society. People don’t treat them positively. They believe that the woman is the main cause behind her husband’s death. Our laws and constitution are against such practices but they are weak in implementation level. We heard the news about people burning a woman alive in the name of witches. Such news makes us clear that we are still living in the age of superstitions. The strangest thing is that educated people are also victim of it.
Another superstition prevalent in our society is that a married couple must have a son to reach heaven. Educated people are following it blindly. According to the belief, a person can’t reach heaven if he has daughters only.
B) “Superstition is prevalent in every walk of life.” Argue for or against this statement.
Ans: Yes, Superstition is prevalent in every walk of life. We are knowingly or unknowingly following it. Most of the people are victims of it in every walk of life. Our society is following it blindly. It will hinder the development process of our society. We live in modern world but our beliefs are superstitious. It is destroying our healthy life.
If we are walking on a road and a cat crosses a road then it is considered to be a bad sign. We stop there because of the cat. This kind of belief proves that we are following it in every walk of life. In the same way, if a person encounters another person who is carrying an empty vessel is considered as a bad omen. The strangest thing is that educated people are also victim of it. It is destroying our healthy life. So, we need to teach our brother and sister about the bad effects of superstitions to reduce it.