BA English Notes: The Rebel, Critical Comments

Critical Comments:


The Rebel by D.J. Enright is an amusing poem. The poet has discussed the rebel beautifully. Apparently, the poem has no serious motive, but underlying idea is very deep and impressive. The poet has sensible appreciation for the complex and contradictory, attitude of rebels and non-conformists. Every adolescent action is motivated by self- assertion, exhibitionism and individualism show. The rebel does not agree with the majority in his most of action. He has no sympathy or love with any objects, but he wants to be different from others. So, he is a pseudo rebel. The rebel contradicts society in every action. When the people like short hair, he prefers long hair, and when everyone likes long hair, he loves short hair. He is against them in lessons, clothes, love of cats and dogs, season and talking. He is different student in whole class. If all the class is silent, he speaks, if the class is speaking, he is silent. Sitting in lovers of dogs, he prefers cats, while in the lovers of cats he prefers dogs. There is a great chill but rebel likes more chill, there is scorching heat but the rebel prefers more heat. There is very important meeting and every one interested to join it. On the contrary, the rebel likes to stay at home. When there is no need to speak, he speaks, but if everyone is speaking, he is completely silent. Although, the rebel seem to be awkward in society, yet he is not dangerous to society. He creates colour in life.

Actually, the poet is not only satirizing (criticizing) the rebel but also he making humour of the so called normal people. The so called people remain same and follow the traitor path. The poet is successful in retaining the aesthetic (theatrical) quality of the poem. This rebel is neither vicious nor dangerous for society. He is playing this role perhaps because of sense of inferiority, insecurity or self-exhibition. The rebel is making his journey towards maturity. The tone of the poet is humorous in this poem. The mood is also humorous. The diction is understandable. The syntax is normal. The poet has maintained aesthetic sense in the poem. The central idea of the poem is appealing and impressive. The poem may seem to be witty and humorous on surface level, but at a deeper level it forces the reader to think. 

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