Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Little Willow by Francis Tower

The Little Willow by Francis Tower
Summary
“The Little Willow” is a story of silent love.  Both Lisby and Simon love each other, but they do not express their love each other. The army officers on leave are always welcomed in courthouse. Three sisters Charlotte, Brenda, and Lisby live in that courthouse. Lisby is the youngest. She is different from her sisters. Her sisters are insincere and hollow.
When Simon Byrne comes to the courthouse for the first time, he stands there on the threshold for some time. Lisby looks at him and realizes that he was his kind of person.  They have common interests. Both Lisby and Byrne love each other, but do not express their love to each other.
When he comes to say goodbye, she gives him a little Willow tree as a gift. Later he is killed in a war prison camp. The war ends and the lovers of Charlotte and Brenda return safely.
Once a guest tells Lisby that, he was with Simon when he died. He tells her that Simon loved he girl who had given her a willow tree. Lisby tells him her secret that Simon was her love.
When she comes to know that Simon loved her she feels very good. She is waiting for this. When her sister tells her that there is no letter for her, she tells her that she has received her letter.
  1. Lisby Avery is different from her sisters. Discuss.
Lisby has genuine emotions of love and sympathies for others and she loves things because of their spiritual values. Discuss.
Compare the characters of Lisby and her two elder sisters.
No doubt, Lisby Avery is difficult from her two elder sisters. She has genuine emotions of love and sympathies for others. She loves things because of their spiritual beauty.
When we read the story carefully, we find that Lisby loves painting, the willow tree, and Simon Byrne because of their spiritual beauty. She loves the picture for its holiness and not for aesthetic reasons. The willow tree has spiritual values too. She has bought the willow tree with her fist term’s salary. Its apparent beauty does not impress her. Actually, she bought it because of the idea in the mind of the Chinese artist.
She loves Simon Byrne because he also appreciates spiritual beauty of things. He is just like her. That is why she thinks: “It almost seems as if he might be my kind of person.”
As for her elder sisters, they do not like things because of their spiritual values. The picture is in the room because of Lisby. Her sisters think; “Lisby would die if we banished the picture.” They do not like the willow tree either. They do not like Simon Byrne because he does not talk much.
They do not have genuine emotions of sympathy either. Brenda is a hypocrite and she can change the tone of her voice just to entrap others. As for Lisby, she has genuine emotions of sympathy. Sometimes, she gives company to a neglected gets just out of sympathy.
Therefore, we can conclude that Lisby Avery is different from her two elder sisters. She has genuine emotions of love and sympathies for others. She loves things because of their spiritual beauty. (272)
  1. Discuss the characters of the three sisters in the light of the Charlotte’s comments: “I feel we rather swamp her, you know – like two arc lamps putting out the moonlight. Now, isn’t that a tribute to our Lis?”
The two elder sisters are charmers but Lisby is not. Discuss.
Discuss the characters of three sisters in comparison and tell clearly whom you like the most and why?
Write a character sketch of Lisby Avery.
Lisby Avery is not a charmer liker her elder sisters. Discuss.
When we have a comparative study of the characters of the three sisters, we find that Lisby Avery is quite different from her elder sisters.
Lisby Avery is not a charmer like her elder sister. She does not try to impress others by her way of speaking. She does not like to play the cello like Brenda. She does not change the tone of her voice just to entrap others. Brenda agrees when Charlotte says, “I feel we rather swamp her, you know – like two arc lamps putting out the moonlight.  Now isn’t that a tribute to our Lis?”
Unlike her sisters, she is a sincere lover. She does not love Simon because of his apparent personality. She loves him because he is her kind of person. The two elder sisters are hollow and superficial. They do not love others sincerely. They do not have any taste for spiritual beauty of things.
Brenda keeps the pictures of all her dead lovers, but she feels no grief for them. She at once forgets her dead lover and starts loving a fresh one.
Charlotte is just like Brenda. She tells her sisters about the death of Simon very casually. However, Lisby takes it so seriously that her legs tremble and she hides her feelings with a great difficulty.
In short, Brenda and Charlotte are “…the types of the seductive women in any age.” However, Lisby is “…like a watching a girl who holds a basket on her hand in the background of El Gore’s Christ in the Temple.”
I think this remark of the writer throws ample light on the character of Lisby. I like Lisby for her good qualities of character. (280)
  1. Why Lisby does falls in love with Simon Byrne?
How do Lisby and Simon get attracted to each other?
What is the reason behind the love of Lisby and Simon?
Lisby loves Simon Byrne not for his physical appearance, but for his inner qualities. When Simon comes for the first time, she sees extraordinary delight on his face. Therefore, she at once senses his inner qualities. She comes to know that he is her kind of person.
Later she gives a little start when Simon appreciates the picture and tells her, “The picture has been loved by people who are dead…” She thinks, “It almost seems as if he might be my kind of person.” She starts loving him passionately. When he listens to Brenda playing spellbound, she feels jealous. She does not want him impressed by Brenda. He appreciates the willow tree that nobody else has appreciated. She thinks that he is a person one can talk to him.
The things that make Lisby laugh make him laugh too.  Sometimes he catches her eyes and they go off a silent fit of laughter. He hums the same tunes as are liked by her.
Therefore, we can conclude that Lisby falls in love with Simon because he is his kind of person. They have same likes and dislikes. (188)
  1. What are the symbolic meanings of the picture and the willow tree?
What is the significance of the picture and the willow tree?
The picture and the willow tree have great symbolic meanings and significance in the story “The Little Willow”. The picture represents the characters of Lisby and Simon. The willow tree represents not only their characters, but also the nature of love between them.
Her two elder sisters are hollow and do not like the picture and the willow tree. Lisby and Simon like them because of their spiritual values. Lisby thinks about Simon, “It almost seems as if he might be my kind of person.” Therefore, it means that both Simon and Lisby are impressed by the spiritual value of things. It throws light on their characters.
The little willow tree represents not only their characters but also the nature of love between them. Lisby loves Simon because he is a man of ideas. He is a man who can look beyond the surface of things. He is not impressed by the physical appearance of things, but only by their spiritual beauty. He is ‘cool’ just like the Willow tree. It does not broadcast its beauty just like Lisby and Simon.
Lisby gives the little willow tree to Simon on his departure. Therefore, it is a token of unexpected love between them.
Its breaking represents the death of physical love. It also symbolizes the strength of love that consoles and comforts lovers when they are in some kind of difficulty.
Therefore, we can conclude that the picture and the willow tree have great symbolic meaning and significance in the story. (250)
  1. “The Little Willow” is a story of silent love. Discuss.
No doubt, “The Little Willow” is a story of silent love. When we read the story carefully, we find that both Lisby and Simon love each other very passionately, but they do not express their love to each other.
This love is so silent that Simon is not sure about Lisby’s love until his death. When he comes for the last time to say good-bye, he tries to express his love, but does not. Its reason is that he is not sure about Lisby’s love.
Similar is the case with Lisby. She is not sure about Simon’s love. She thinks that he is in love with her sister Brenda. It was after his death she comes to know that Simon loved her and not her sister. Therefore, this is silent love.
They both fall in love with each other on first sight. When Lisby sees Simon for the first time, she thinks about Simon, “It almost seems as if he might be my kind of person.” However, she does not express it to him. She starts loving him passionately. When he listens to Brenda playing the cello spellbound, she feels jealous and does not want him impressed by Brenda.
Simon appreciates the willow tree that nobody else has appreciated. She thinks that he is a person one can talk to him. The things that make Lisby laugh make him laugh too. Sometimes, he catches her eyes and they go off into a silent fit of laughter. He hums the same turns as are liked by her.
Therefore, they love each other. However, it is silent love and nobody knows about it. Lisby’s elder sisters do not know about it either. Even Lisby and Simon themselves are not sure about it. (290)

4 comments:

  1. add notes of poem with important question answer and stanza and also essays and novel of b.a and plz write blog of all books of b.a i mean only b.a english which 4 books of notes include

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  2. no no dears its not good to post this notes just post the english literature notes

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  4. How the two elder sisters represent the moral decline of woman in English society? can u tell me?

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