In English literature perspective, authors from time-to-time composed detailed narratives about pandemics and plagues
Throughout history, scourges have been mass executioners on a scale we can’t envision today, even in the hour of coronavirus. For e.g., mosquito-borne infection Malaria has followed humankind for a number of years and even now almost a large portion of people are casualties consistently.
The plague of ‘Justinian’ struck in the sixth century and killed maybe a large portion of the worldwide populace around then. The Black Death of the fourteenth century may have slaughtered up to 200 million individuals. Smallpox may have caused the demise of 300 million individuals in the twentieth century alone.
In the antiquated world, plague and epidemic were catastrophes which were trailed by records of frightening reports as saw or heard by common people. At the point when the plague spread, no medication could help, and nobody could prevent it from striking; the main methods for getting away from the plague was to maintain a strategic distance from contact with tainted people and polluted articles.
There are different references in the holy books like Quran, Bible etc. The plague was seen as one of God’s punishment for sins. This causal relationship shared among plague and sin is seen likewise in Greek scholarly messages, for example, Homer’s Iliad and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King (429 BCE). Conversely, the Greek historian Thucydides (c.460–395 BCE), in his History of the Peloponnesian War and the Latin artist Lucretius (c.99–55 BCE) in his De Rerum Natura discredited a heavenly source of the ailment. As indicated by these writers, plague didn’t differentiate between the great and the insidious.
In English literature perspective, the authors from time to time composed the detailed narratives about the pandemics and plagues that unfolded throughout the history in particular and alert public about the future prospects of the upcoming pandemics, epidemics and plagues in general. They recount various aspects of pandemics, epidemics and plagues as a source.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400), underscored human conduct and refers to that expanded indecencies, for example, insatiability, covetousness and defilement, prompted disease and consequently to both moral and physical demise.
A Journal of the Plague Uear by Daniel Defoe (1659–1731) is a detailed narrative, point by point account of occasions, tales, and statistics in regards to the Great Plague of London of 1665.
The writers of 1800s have evinced the pandemics and epidemics metaphorically in their works as In Fears in Solitude, Coleridge related British dominion with a spreading contamination, conveying “to distant tribes’ slavery and pangs” “Like a cloud that travels on, / steamed up from Cairo’s swamps of pestilence.”
In PB Shellys Adonais ‘vultures to the conqueror’s banner true...whose wings rain contagion.’
In her powerful 1792 essay, Vindication of the Rights of Women, English essayist Mary Wollstonecraft endorsed that ‘dictators’ are the wellspring of a ‘pernicious sneaking gangrene’ and lead to ‘infection.’
A quarter later, the cholera pandemic started. The expansionist belief is destructive that pours tragedies on humankind. The metaphoric representation of disease in literature alludes to war that sinks the humanity deep down the ocean.
Some known works worth referencing came from the authors who personally witness or endure the pandemics or epidemics in their lifetime are that of Katherine Anne Porter who endure her disease during 1918 influenza (Spanish Flu) and later recorded her experience into her amazing novella Pale Horse, Pale Rider.
The story is straightforwardly about the pandemic that executed a bigger number of individuals in the United States than the nation lost in all the twentieth and twenty-first-century wars, joined. The Waste Land a poem by T.S. Eliot is viewed as one of the most significant poems of the twentieth century. He alongside his better half suffered influenza during the pandemic. His agony spilled out in his poem and among its renowned expression is ‘April is the cruelest month’.
Also, W.B. Yeats additionally catches the feeling of post-World War-I hazard in The Second Coming, a poem came weeks after he watched his pregnant spouse approach demise in the pandemic. William Maxwell’s novel “They Came like Swallows”, reviews his own pregnant mother’s passing in the flu pandemic.
Apocalyptic literature evince that human is always helpless before the calamities nature inflicts upon but it also alerts people for preparation and endurance jointly. The Last Man (1826) by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) was one of the principal prophetically catastrophic books, recounting a future world that had been assaulted by a plague and gives the idea of inoculation. Mary Shelley also links rulers, war, and disease in its masterpiece.
In 1842, the American artist and author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) came with ‘The Masque of the Red Death’, a short story featuring that the issue isn’t that individuals bite the dust from the plague, yet that individuals are tormented by death. Canadian writer Margaret Atwood’s great 2003 novel Oryx and Crake alludes to a time when ‘there was a lot of dismay out there, and insufficient ambulances’ a prediction of our present dilemma of Covid-19. Apocalyptic and post apocalyptic literature thus influences for the globalism to fight the menace like Covid-19 and other similar natural calamities.
English literature is copious and therefore presents enormous evidences those not only bring awareness but also inspire people for readiness to coup up the natural calamities like Covid-19 in a substantiated manner.
English literature throughout history has reflected the lacuna that mankind is the victim of in facing the natural calamities. The chaos and destruction currently Covid-19 is pouring is the result of divided mankind in the globe. This chaos and destruction could be stopped if people around the globe shun their arrogance and reach out to each other globally to fight the menace regardless of their personal interests.
Author is PhD Research Scholar, Department of English Literature and Foreign Languages, SRM University, Delhi-NCR