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Shvoong Home>Books>Classic Literature>Summary of Nissim Ezekiel’S “Enterprise” Review

Summary of Nissim Ezekiel’S “Enterprise”

Book Review   by:akso6o175     Original Author: Andy Kester Sawian
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          ‘Enterprise’ is an allegory of human condition on this planet and of the frequent efforts, failure and frustrations to which man is subject by the very nature of earthly life. The poet describes a spiritual pilgrimage where each pilgrim faces difficulties and disillusionment along the way. Thus, in the ‘Enterprise’ a group of people undertake a journey moved by noble aspirations, but it all ends in failures and frustrations as is usually the case with human attempts at some noble achievement. The pilgrimage becomes a weary trek, by the time the goal is reached. The goal is alluring but the process of reaching it empties the victory of its glamour and glory. A number of people, including the poet decide to go on a pilgrimage. They are city dwellers and the journey they undertake is to some romantic, primitive hinterland. They start with hope, courage and determination, with their minds full of noble ideas and ideals. They are out to make some heroic effort, which will lead to some noble achievements. Their minds are exalted and they are not afraid of any dangers and difficulties. This stage of the journey symbolizes the stage of innocence that man enjoys in his boyhood and early youth, when he is entirely unconscious of the frustrations and failures which life brings at every stage.
          But this innocence is lost and in the next stage of the journey the pilgrims face dangers and difficulties. They continue on their onward journey of exploration. The objects and forces of nature are out to frustrate human endeavor like the oppressive heat of the sun. The group of travelers is able to put up very well with the dangers and difficulties for sometime and continue to journey in hope. They note down the goods being bought and sold by the peasants and observe the ways of serpents and goats. They pass through three cities where a sage had taught, but does not care to find out what he had taught. But soon there are distractions and diversions. The difficulties and dangers posed by man’s physical environment are not as damaging as those that result from his own insufficiency.
          Soon there are differences of opinion among the travelers and they began to quarrel over petty matters. They had to cross a piece of wasteland a ‘desert patch’, and they could not agree as to the best way of doing so. One of their friends-rather proud of him stylish prose-was so angry that he left their company. The shadow of discord fell on their enterprise, and it has continued to grow. Bickering over petty matters, needless quarrels over trifles, hatred of, and hostility to, those who hold different opinions, is ingrained in human nature, and thus man carries the seeds of his failure and frustration within his own self. So do these pilgrims who, despite their quarrel, continue their onward journey.
          But none the less, they are divided into groups, each group attacking the other. Engrossed in their quarrel, they lose their ways and forget noble aspirations which had motivated their enterprise. Their goal and their purpose were forgotten and their idealism is all gone. Some of them decide to leave the group. Frustration and difficulties overwhelm the human spirit and many do not have the courage to face the realities of life. They seek relief in escape and withdrawal. Many of us are such introverts. Some try to pray and seek Divine assistance and blessings, forgetting that God help those who help themselves. Their leader feels that he smelt the sea and he feels that they have reached a dead end, and must go back. Their pilgrimage must end.
          Still they persist, though their journey has lost all its’ significance. They are dirty and shabby for they have been deprived of such common needs as soap, are broken in spirit and bent down physically. Such is the ultimate end of all human enterprises; this is the essential truth of human life. Absorbed in their pretty quarrels and tried and exhausted, frustrated and at bay, the travelers do not even hear the thunder and even if they do so, they ignore their significance. The thunder is symbolic of spiritual regeneration and fertility but they do not care for it. The extreme hopelessness of man at the end of life’s journey is thus stressed.
          The pilgrims even come to doubt the very worth and significance of the journey. It seems to them to have been meaningless and futile. All their noble aspirations are forgotten, there is sorrow and suffering on every face, and they are conscious of the fact that their actions have neither been great nor even. Efforts to escape from the realities of human existence are futile. We must accept the limitations of our lot and do our best within those limitations. Heroism means the acceptance of our lot in life and the doing of our best in the service of God and humanity. Therefore the poem concludes on a note of exultation and optimism when the pilgrims realize that it is not by undertaking long hazardous journeys but by doing the right deeds that everyone can receive God’s grace.
Published: April 28, 2011   
Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5
  1. Answer   Question  :    its really helpful and lucid!!!!!!!!!!!!!thanx a lot. View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    why do you think the poet calls it a pilgrimage ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    I can think of two reasons. Firstly the author wants to instill a spiritual feeling in the poem and in the mind of the readers. Secondly the poem revolves around a group of people in search of wisdom. A pilgramage depicts - search for wisdom and understanding better than any other destination. Sunday, November 24, 2013
  1. Answer  :    because its about the voyage of the life of every man wherein man seeks muse,walks through the hurdles,belittles himself,again stands and completes the cycle of his journey. He gets to know the realities of life. He is spiritually emboldened and learns to appease the troublesome situations tactfully to reconcile with his life. Wednesday, October 16, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    WHAT IS MEANING OF THE FIRST STANZA View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    i want line by line analysis ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    wana ns Tuesday, November 20, 2012
  1. Answer   Question  :    what message does the poet Nissim Ezekiel wants to give in the poem "Enterprize" View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the significance of this enterprise ? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    can i get extra information about enterprise poem View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    i want to know that early life of nissim ezekie View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    i want line by line analysis ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    All collection of the poems of Nissim Ezekiel Monday, April 02, 2012
  1. Answer   Question  :    i want text of the poem View All
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  1. 5. shubham

    appreciation

    The material was really helpful and excellent just that there are a couple of small mistakes. Rectify them.

    0 Rating Saturday, February 15, 2014
  2. 4. Nishant

    Excellent analysis

    Hi, this helped me a lot, thank you for such a detailed analysis.

    0 Rating Friday, May 10, 2013
  3. 3.

    Amazing

    My friend, your summary is amazing and covers every single detail. It is the best summary online. Well done.

    1 Rating Wednesday, April 24, 2013
  4. 2. Rambabu SL

    nice

    Explanation is so nice thanks

    1 Rating Wednesday, July 25, 2012
  5. 1.

    Really Good!

    Thanks a ton! :) It was really really helpful! Explained the utter basics, which was needed!

    1 Rating Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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