Nissim Ezekiel’S “Enterprise”
‘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...
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