How is the poem “The professor” a satire to urban thinking?

QuestionsHow is the poem “The professor” a satire to urban thinking?
Riya asked 12 months ago

Nissim Ezekiel’s poem The Professor is a satire to urban thinking process: Discuss.

1 Answers
Jayanta K Maity Staff answered 12 months ago

Nissim Ezekiel’s poem The Professor is, no doubt, a satire to the urban thinking pattern of the Indians. Here the poet has presented the character of a retired professor who represents the upper-middle class mindset of the urban people.

The professor likes to talk a lot about his health, how well-settled his family members are and the way the world is changing. When he met one of his former students on the way, he led all the conversation without giving the student a chance to speak. He was busy talking about himself and had no intention to hear other people.

He stated that his physical condition was fine, with ‘no diabetes, no blood-pressure, no heart attack’. His two sons were well-settled holding positions like bank manager and sales manager and owning cars. The third one was financially not so successful. So he termed him a ‘black ship’. His daughters Sarala and Tarala are married to ‘nice boys’.

As a professor, he is expected to talk about academic concerns or academic achievement of his children. But he seemed more interested in their commercial success. He also believed that girls are born only to get married. That is their greatest achievement. The names of the daughters give an impression that he could not come out of the traditional way of rhyming names.

Again, he likes to talk much about the change in everything. This is another stereotype of the urban people.

Another thing we should note here is the tendency of speaking English, even when one is not good at it. They think it makes them look more knowledgeable or intellectual.

Not to miss, the professor expresses his wish to live for a longer period and ‘score a century’. He also makes a joke on his student’s health.

And finally urban people like to show themselves as humble, even when it looks like hypocrisy. It sounds awkward when the professor says ‘Visit please my humble residence also’, even not mentioning how odd his English sounds.

So, it’s apparent that the poet wanted to convey a message to the urban society in a satirical tone and wished them change the stereotypical though process.

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