11. Hosts & Guests

11. Hosts & Guests

1. Development of Instinct of Hospitality & Guestship

Q.NO.1: Explain the development of the instinct of host and guest in the essay “Hosts and Guests.”

Answer: In the essay “Hosts and Guests,” the writer discusses how the two instincts of being host and guest developed in the long course of history. He discusses that a deep sense of personal property is common even to the birds and animals. He gives the examples of birds and animals. A lion never invites another lion to share his lair. The birds never invite other birds to share their nests. Dogs and cats are also not hospitable. Then the write discusses that human beings learnt to be hospitable after a long time of their creation. The cavemen were not hospitable. With the progress of civilization, man became social and hospitality became a routine matter. However, this history of hospitality is not without dark blots in it because man began to use it for personal revenge. He gives so many examples to explain his point. Jael, the wife of Herber, killed her guest Susra who came to her house to get refuge from his enemies. The writer wants to say that this instinct of hospitality was full of pride, egoism and revenge.                                          (Words: 181)

2. The Qualities of a Good Host

Q.NO.2: What are the kinds of hosts according to the writer? OR What are the qualities of a true host? OR Comment on the writer’s statement “I take it that the virtue of hospitality stands between churlishness and mere ostentation.”

Answer: In the essay, “Hosts and Guests,” the writer explains the kinds and qualities of a good host. He explains that virtue of hospitality stands midway between “Churlishness” and mere “Ostentation.” Churlishness means ill-breeding. An ill-bred person can never spend any thing on his friends and relatives. We can give the example of Corins who is one of the characters in one of Shakespeare’ plays “As You like It.” He hates hospitality. The other extreme is “Ostentation.” An ostentatious person wants to win the praise of people. His main purpose is to impress his guests. That’s why, he is ready to spend lavishly. However, the writer does not agree with these two extremes. He says that a true host lies between these two extremes. A true host is a lover of mankind. His heart is full of the milk of human kindness. His aim is not to impress anybody. He is generous to everyone. He never shows narrow-mindedness. He welcomes the strangers and the needy alike. He is free from vanity and churlishness.    (Words: 172)

3. Qualities of a Good Guest

Q.NO.3: What are the qualities of a good guest? OR how many kinds of guest are there according to the writer? OR “We have yet to glance at those two extremes between which the mean is good guestship.”

Answer: In the essay, “Hosts and Guests”, the writer discusses that a good guest stands between two extremes. These two extremes are “Churl” and “Parasite.” The churl is is always ready to accept hospitality. He is not satisfied with what he is offered. The writer gives the example of Dante who during his exile was welcomed as a guest. But after his return, he wrote letters to his hosts and picked holes in what he was served. The parasite is an uninvited guest but he likes to thank his host at the end of the feast. Between, these two extremes, there stands the true guest. Main qualities of a good guest are following. First, he is full of gratitude for his host and for what he is offered. Second, he does not find fault like a churl or a parasite. Third, he is not very articulate. However, when he talks, wisdom is the prominent element of his discussion. In short, a good guest is an ornament and causes the spirit of inspiration everywhere. (Words: 172)