How is the defeat of academic excellence and the triumph of the commercial consideration portrayed by Nissim Ezekiel in his poem ‘The Professor’?
In this poem the poet’s purpose was to portray the Indian stereotypical thinking. People here value commercial success more than the academic excellence. When the professor met one of his old students on the way, all he talked about was the outward success story of his sons and daughters and his physical condition. He being a professor people would generally expect some conversation on academic and intellectual topics or at least on his or his children’s academic success story. But, the conversation they had was nowhere near that. Rather he was busy to state that his sons were sales manager and bank manager and owned cars. The other son, not so successful commercially, was termed as a ‘black sheep’.
So, apparently the academic excellence is defeated here. What triumphs is the financial gains. No doubt, this is one of the messages that Nissim wanted to convey satirically and he has been successful here.