Anupam Mishra is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Reading Comprehension For the CAT The Genre Series Module 11 Session 3 "Of Patriotism" A Course By: Anupam Mishra
Structure & flow of Sessions. Reading the Passage Para-wise Summary Central Idea Word- meanings No specific Questions to be solved (Shall have a separate course for that)
Some Quips about the Passage O Passage part of: Anarchism and Other Essays O Was a writer, Lecturer, Anarchist and Political Activist. O Contributed largely for the development of Anarchist Political Philosophy in Europe and North America. O Founded Anarchist Journal named Mother Earth. O Was considered as a freethinkingrebel woman in her times. O "The most violent element in society is ignorance." Author Emma Goldman
The Passage (part 1) What is patriotism? is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivety, we would watch the fleeting clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not run so swiftly? Is it the place where we would listen to the music of the birds, and long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant lands? Or the place where we would sit at mother's knee, enraptured by wonderful tales of great deeds and conquests? In short, is it love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous, and playful childhood? If that were patriotism, few American men of today could be called upon to be patriotic, since the place of play has been turned into factory, mill, and mine, while deafening sounds of machinery have replaced the music of the birds. Nor can we longer hear the tales of great deeds, for the stories our mothers tell today are but those of sorrow, tears, and grief.
The Passage (part 2) What, then, is patriotism? Gustave Herve, a great anti-patriot, justly calls patriotism a superstition- one far more injurious, brutal, and inhumane than religion. The superstition of religion originated in man's inability to explain natural phenomena. That is, when primitive man heard thunder or saw the lightning, he could not account for either, and therefore concluded that back of them must be a force greater than himself. Similarly he saw a supernatural force in the rain, and in the various other changes in nature. Patriotism, on the other hand, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.
The Passage (part 3) Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others. The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like manner, f c urse, with the result that, from early infancy, the mind of the child is poisoned with blood-curdling stories about the Germans, the French, the Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached manhood, he is thoroughly saturated with the belief that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend HIS country against the attack or invasion of any foreigner
Para-Summaries Paragraph -1 O The author has extensively used a combination of rhetoric & poetry in this paragraph to tell exactly what patriotism is not. She paints an extremely alluring & vivid picture indicating what an ideal patriotism should be like. But ends the para in an ominous tone. Paragraph 2 O She goes on to regard Patriotism as a superstition & compares it with religion. Explains the genesis of Religion as a superstition. And talks of the effects of Patriotism toward the end.
Para-Summaries Paragraph-3 O Starts with pointing out the fundamental negatives of Patriotism. And then goes on to describe in great detail what it means to be patriotic. Through this description she brings out the absurdity of the idea/concept. Also describes how men are manipulated to believe this since childhood
Central Idea of Passage P1: The author has extensively used a combination of rhetoric & poetry in this paragraph to tell exacfly what patriotism is not. P2: She goes on to regard Patriotism as a superstition & compares it with religion. Explains the genesis of Religion as a superstition. P3 Starts with pointing out the fundamental negatives of Patriotism. And then goes on to describe in great detail what it means to be patriotic. The passage is themed on bringing out the absurdity of the current conception of Patriotism. And how it is mainly based on conceit, arrogance & egotism.
Word-meanings (Contextual) O Fleeting O Naivety O Enraptured O Inhumane O Conceit O Blood-curdling Sudden, Rapid Lack of experience Delight, give joyto Cruel, Harsh Excessive pride in oneself Causing Terror