TU || Flax Golden Tales || Four Levels of Interpretation || Lesson 13

Level: B.A/ B.B.S || Lesson 13 A 1996 Commencement Speech (Salman Rushdie, India 1947)

Words Meaning

Commencement = A ceremony to get degree

Reverentially = With respect

Boycotted = Rejected

Divine = Godly

Unfortunately = Unluckily

Graduation = Bachelor

Hasten = Hurry

Demonstration = Show

Cautionary = Warning

Anonymous = Unknown

Vicissitude = Change

Supplication = Request

Clutch = Hold

Admin = permit

Instantly = Immediately

Appalled = Frightened

Stubborn = Obstinate

Accommodation = Settlement

Conjure = To do magic

Assured = Convinced

Threat = Warn

Participate = Take part

Scared = Frightened

Unleash = To control an animal

Inevitable = Unavoidable

Vengeance = Revenge

Worship = Pray

Defiance = Change

Marvelous = Wonderful

Defy = Refuse to obey law

Myth = Fiction

Embroider = Decorate

Impudently = Foolishly

Petrified = Changed

Inquisitive = Willing to know

Tormented = To give trouble

Arrogant = Proud

Astonished = Surprised

Ceremony = Occasion

Summary

“A 1996 Commencement Speech” is the written form of the speech delivered by the Indian writer Salman Rushdie. He delivered this speech in 1996 during the graduation ceremony of Brad College, England. When he was given chance to deliver speech, he starts his speech with bitter experience he had experienced at Cambridge University in 1968.

A few days before of his graduation, someone scattered gravy-and-onion sauce in his room. But he was accused for this and he wasn’t allowed to receive graduation or bachelor’s degree. He paid for that loss then he was allowed to attend the ceremony. At the ceremony he wore brown shoes then he was forced to wear black shoes. He had to follow officials for many days for his degree of Bachelor of Arts. But now he feels sorry for what he did to get his bachelor’s degree. He realizes that he shouldn’t have obeyed them, he shouldn’t have worn black shoes; he shouldn’t have knelt in front of the V.C. of the university; he shouldn’t have paid for the loss. He realized it was his great mistake to do so.

He says that Gods didn’t make this world but this world is made by human beings. We shouldn’t be blind believers of God. He suggests his audiences to be guided by the better nature not by those who demand to be obeyed and worshipped.

Four Levels of Interpretation

  1. Literal Comprehension:

“A 1996 Commencement Speech” is the written form of the speech delivered by the Indian writer Salman Rushdie. He delivered this speech in 1996 during the graduation ceremony of Brad College, England. When he was given chance to deliver speech, he starts his speech with bitter experience he had experienced at Cambridge University in 1968.

A few days before of his graduation, someone scattered gravy-and-onion sauce in his room. But he was accused for this and he wasn’t allowed to receive graduation or bachelor’s degree. He paid for that loss then he was allowed to attend the ceremony. At the ceremony he wore brown shoes then he was forced to wear black shoes. He had to follow officials for many days for his degree of Bachelor of Arts. But now he feels sorry for what he did to get his bachelor’s degree. He realizes that he shouldn’t have obeyed them, he shouldn’t have worn black shoes; he shouldn’t have knelt in front of the V.C. of the university; he shouldn’t have paid for the loss. He realized it was his great mistake to do so.

While delivering speech at Brad College, he says that he is happy and says that open refusal to obey is essential aspect of freedom. He suggests audiences that they should go against all types of Gods who demand to be obeyed and control our thoughts. He asks audiences to observe the activities of Greek Gods who never did well for Greek people. He adds that God weakened due to show off their power but human beings became stronger though they are destroyed by the Gods.

He says that Gods didn’t make this world but this world is made by human beings. We shouldn’t be blind believers of God. He suggests his audiences to be guided by the better nature not by those who demand to be obeyed and worshipped.

  1. Interpretation:

The writer wants to suggest us that we shouldn’t obey those people who don’t understand other’s troubles. The traditional concept of getting education should be avoided. He remembers the days of his student life when he was at Cambridge University where he knelt before V.C. of university and followed the officers though he didn’t like it. He rejects such types of obedience towards seniors as well as Gods because Gods also try to get respect from us and they control our thought and life. Such types of control from seniors and Gods isn’t god. He says that the education which we acquire at colleges and universities should provide us self-respect, freedom and identity in place of obedience towards seniors and Gods.

  1. Critical Thinking:

To some extent I agree with Salman Rushdie because he says that education should develop self-respect, identity and sense of individuality in students and students should be guided by better natures not by those who demand to be obeyed and worshipped but it is difficult to agree with him when says that we should go against the people who demand to be obeyed and worshipped if nobody obeys seniors and don’t give them respect, there will be difficult to maintain law and order in the society. He also convinces his audiences that we should not have faith in Gods but I don’t agree with him because we are Hindus and Hindus believe in Gods. Religion has much to do in our lives. People fear to do criminal activities. He says the world is made by men and women but he didn’t tell us who made first man and woman.

  1. Assimilation:

The speech given by Salman Rushdie changed by thought about obedience. I learnt that I shouldn’t obey those who want to be obeyed but don’t’ understand others problems. Similarly, I also knew that Greek God never did welfare of Greek people. When I turned back to history of religion, I also found that the Gods of our religion also spent their life in comforts and pleasures. Their life wasn’t ideal.

Possible question

  1. Apply four level of meaning to “A 1996 Commencement Speech” given by Salman Rushdie.

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Hemant Chaudhary is an student 19 years old. He is interested in Hacking, Blogging,coding. He like to Visit new Places and make new Friends. He used to Learn His web works From Friends and Currently is is CEO and Founder of Meropaper and meroreview.com