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! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 !

Arun Joshi is an outstanding Indian English novelist
who has impressed us immensely with his thoughtful
utterances, masterly treatment of existential themes, and
skillful weaving of fictional techniques. He sets his novels
against the background of the changing scenario of the post
independent India. He minutely observes the conflict
between the traditional values and the modern materialistic
approach to life. He notices the chaos and hollowness in the
mind of the contemporary younger generation. With his deep
knowledge of Indian philosophy, he suggests in his novels
an entirely Indian solution to the spiritual crisis of the youth.
Arun Joshi's second novel, The Strange Case of Billy
Biswas seems to be a sequel to his first novel, The Foreigner
which is about a rootless hero who seeks detachment from
the world but, at last, comes to realize the actual meaning of
the theory of detachment as depicted in The Gita. It concerns
itself with the crisis of the self, the problems of identity, and
the quest for fulfillment. In one of his interviews Joshi himself
admitted that he was led to writing to explore that mysterious
underworld, which is the human soul.
Billy Biswas, the
protagonist, measures a long way from New Delhi to Maikala
hills in search of inner peace, his spiritual roots. Arun Joshi
himself says: The novel is about a mystical urge, a
compulsion which makes Billy go awayin number of Indian
legends and religious texts people go away to forests to heal
themselves spiritually. Possibly that's what he is suggesting,
though not consciously.
The novel presents a metaphysical quest of Billy and
deals with a deeper survey of human soul.
Billy's quest is deeper though he is born and brought
up in a fairly wealthy family. He comes from the upper crust
of Indian society.
He is much interested in the exploration
of his inner being. Romi rightly remarks: If life's meaning
lies not in the glossy surfaces of our pretensions but in
those dark mossy labyrinths of the soul that languish forever,
hidden from the dazzling light of the sun, then I do not know
of any man who sought it more doggedly and, having received
a signal abandoned himself so recklessly to its cell. (8)
He is not in harmony with his family members.
Although he lives with them, he is all alone, isolated and
alienated, a stranger in the real sense of the term. He writes
to Tuula Lindgren: It seems, my dear Tuula, that who are
my parents? My wife? My child? At times I look at them
sitting at the dinner table, and for a passing moment, I can
not decide who they are or what accident of Creation has
brought us together. (97)
Billy's awareness of the deeper layers of his personality
makes him an existentialist being, estranged and alienated from
the superficial reality of life. His is the predicament of an
alienated personality who never feels at home in the modern
bourgeois society. His is an attempt to find out viable
alternatives for the most futile cry of man in a smart society.
Romi, the narrator conveys the same at the opening of the
novel. He says: As I grow old, I realize that the most futile cry
of man is his impossible wish to be understood. The attempt
to understand is probably even more futile. If in spite of this I
propose to relate Billy's story, it is not so much because I claim
to have understood him as it is on account of a deep and
unrelieved sense of wonder that in the middle of the twentieth
century, in the heart of Delhi's smart society, there should
have lived a man of such extraordinary obsessions. (7)
He describes Billy as a man of extraordinary obsessions
and that extraordinary sensitivity to the work that used to be
the essence of Billy. He is an unusual person of brilliant
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 37-39
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
Alienation and Identity in Arun Joshi's
The Strange Case of Billy Biswas
The Strange Case of Billy Biswas is the story of a young, rich, American-educated Indian
who ends up in the wilderness of central India living as a semi-naked tribal seeking a
meaning to things above and beyond all that everyday civilization can provide. A key to Joshi's
whole intent can be found in the words he puts into the mouth of his narrator; as he grows old
he realizes that the most futile cry of man is his impossible wish to be understood. Arun Joshi is
a great artist of psychological insight that enables him to see into the life of things. In his
fictional world he tries his level best to delineate the predicament of the modern man who is
confronted by the self and the questions of his existence, which is painfully aware of his
precarious in the fundamental sense that he can not control what he is able to foresee.
*Assistant Professor of English, J.N.T University, Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh)
**Research Scholar, J.N.T University, Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh)
id3050500 pdfMachine by Broadgun Software - a great PDF writer! - a great PDF creator! -
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 38
intellect, profound, sensibility and extraordinary obsessions.
In all respects he is rare, extraordinary and distinguished. He
is one of those rare men who have poise without pose.
Billy has a dislike for an organized life. Though born
and brought up in an aristocratic family, he is filled with
virulent hatred for the systematized civilized life which
aggravates his problem of identity instead of resolving it. He
acquires a sudden interest in his own identity. An evidence
of his dislike for the so-called civilized world can be traced in
his active preparation for his Ph.D. in Anthropology, while
his father does not know about it and is thinking that he is
doing engineering in America. He likes to learn and find out
about the aboriginals of the world. Romi rightly sums up his
impression of Billy: it was around his interest in the primitive
man that his entire life had been organized (14).
Billy's predicament becomes a strange case as he turns
out to be a split personality split between primitive and
civilized. His strange case becomes a universal myth of the
primitive in the heart of man ever alienating him from the
superficial and polished banalities of modern civilization.
He finds modern civilization fast degenerating, as well as norm
less and meaningless. He himself describes: What got me
was the superficiality, the sense of values. I don't think all city
societies are as shallow as ours. I am, of course, talking mainly
of the so-called upper classes. I didn't really get to know the
others. I don't think I have ever met a more pompous, a more
mixed-up lot of people. Artistically they were dry as dust.
Nobody remembered the old songs, or the meaning of the
festivals. All that was left was loud-mouthed women and men
in three-piece suits dreaming their little adulteries.(178-179)
He finds himself misfit in a world like this and is in
search of a place where he may not feel self-estranged,
socially isolated and culturally uprooted. His deep love for
primitivism is an inborn propensity. That is why he chooses
in New York to live in Harlem, a place where the Negroes live,
although he could very well afford to stay in good hotels in
some other area like Manhattan. But his quest for self-
realization summons him to live in Harlem which is the most
human place he could find (9) where he may feel a sense of
belonging in the real sense of a turn.
From his early childhood, Billy's case has been strange.
At the age of fourteen, he goes to Bhubaneswar: The first
thing that hit me about Bhubaneswar was the landscape (123).
He finds something much more insubstantial about the place.
One afternoon, he visits Konark. The sculptures at Konark, it
seems to him, are capable of giving him a solution to his
questions about the problem of his identity. He is led to
understand: What appealed to me were the shades of the
same spirit that I spoke of although I knew then. I know now,
that the time when first learned to build temples. If anyone had
a clue to it, it was only the adivasis who carried about their
knowledge in silence, locked behind their dark inscrutable
faces (124). One night, he happens to go to the tribal people
with his uncle's chauffeur. With deep interest he watches the
tribal dancing, drinking, singing and making love. Extremely
sensitive as he is, he feels a strange sensation: Something
similar happened to me then (124-25). He records the
impressions thus: First a great shock of erotic energy passed
through me, although, mind you, there was nothing particularly
erotic about the whole business except once when a boy and
a girl, their arm round each other, loitered past me giggling and
tumbled into the bush beyond. The shock of erotic energy
was followed by the same feeling of unreality or, as I said, a
reality shaper than any I had ever known. It was a bit like
having taken a dose of a hallucinatory drug, something I
realized many years later when I was in Mexico. I remember
saying to myself, even though I was only fourteen. (125).
Since then, Billy feels restless as some Bhasker does in
The Last Labyrinth after his experience in a cave. Whenever
he listens to folk music or drum-beating, he feels altogether
transported to the world of the primitive which is different
from that of the so-called civilized society. He does not feel
at ease in American society. He chooses to live in Harlem,
which is one of the worse slums of New York City.
Billy comes out very depressed and really shaken up.
He describes his condition that he was so shaken up that the
first thing he wanted to do was to get back home. He comes
back to India and is appointed Professor in Anthropology at
the Delhi University. His mother introduces him to Meena, a
pretty young daughter of a retired civil servant. Verily speaking,
he is much upset by these hallucinations that he had grown
terribly afraid of himself, some part of him. He thought terrible
things might happen unless he did something drastic. What
with being an Indian and having been brought up in a close-
knit family, the only thing he could think of was to get married.
It was like taking out insurance on his normalcy. So, he marries
Meena Chatterji to avert hallucinations, and it is, as he thinks,
like taking out an insurance on his normalcy. He wishes to
behave like a normal man. He wants to develop a sense of
harmony with the surrounding, a sense of belonging. But this
he does not get even after his marriage with Meena Chatterji.
Meena fails to engage his soul, to satisfy his inner urge and
give peace and satisfaction that Billy badly needs. On the
other hand, what he comes to receive from Meena and her kith
and kin is disillusionment and depression. He feels and gets
annoyed at the core of his heart. Once in a picnic party arranged
by Meena, he almost goes mad when he hears one of the boys
passing remarks that all banjaras were thieves and their women
no better than whores.
He feels terribly sick of the so-called upper-class shallow
city societies in Delhi. He tells Romi: I don't think I have ever
met a more pompous, a more mixed-up lot of people artistically,
they were dry as dust. Intellectually, they could no better than
mechanically mouth ideas that the West abandoned a
generation ago (179). In one of his letters, he writes to Tuula
that when he returns from an expedition, it is days before he
can shake off the sounds and smells of the forest. The curious
feeling trails him everywhere that he is a visitor from the
wilderness to the marks of the Big City and not the other way
round. He develops an intense hatred for the so-called civilized
people: I see a roomful of finely dressed men and women
seated on downy sofas and while I am looking at them under
my very nose, they run into a kennel of dogs yawning or
snuggling against each other or holding whisky glasses in
their furred paws. The imagery of dogs with large teeth and
furred paws shows Billy's utter dislike for the elite class and its
character. To him, modern civilization seems to be telling upon
the health and hygiene of the contemporary man. It is monster-
like, devouring all the human qualities of head and heart. Billy
is seen reflecting: I sometimes wonder whether civilization is
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 39
anything more than the making and spending of money. What
else does the civilization man do? And if there are those who
are not busy earning and spending-the so-called thinkers and
philosophers and men like that they are merely hired to find
solution, throw light, as they say, on complications caused by
this making and spending of money. He even expresses a
deep sense of sorrow at the people's sheer money-mindedness
and thereby degradation of their soul.
All this results into Billy's turning an introvert. He
forsakes his responsibilities towards his family, his wife and
his son. He cares only for his responsibilities towards his
soul: I had greater responsibilities towards my soul (186).
He is a pilgrim of the spiritual world.
He is self-centered.
His tortured soul terribly needs application of some balm by
someone who can share his suffering. With a view to getting
the right kind of solace that his injured soul needs, he meets
Rima Kaul, who has loved him passionately since the day
she met him. His trips to Bombay take him closer to her. She,
he is sure, has much of the 'rare degree of empathy' and
'sufficient idea of human suffering' which Meena looks. Billy
himself remarks: I came to like it even more than I liked the
sex part. I felt happy not when I took her but when she said,
'Oh, how misunderstood you are, my poor boy, I know how
you feel. Those who harass you should be put to death
straightway. It was this that I was really looking for(188).
But her Billy is mistaken. His passions lead him astray and
his romance with Rima Kaul is degraded into seduction. One
afternoon he takes her to Juhu, hires a room in a third-rate
hotel and like any common rogue he seduces her. But very
soon he is given to understand that his relationship with
Rima is nothing but his degradation. He turns a hypocrite, a
thoroughly corrupt being. Unfortunately, he fails to find a
way out of it. He does not have the guts to break away from
this filth. He points out: The worst of it was that in spite of
this knowledge of my degeneration, I continued to behave
as before, I continued to whine and lie and sham. I found
that I could not stop. I met her three or four times after that.
Each time I would determine to be honest. I agreed to
start living with her as soon as possible. And all the time I
knew that I intended no such thing. (188)
Thus, Billy reaches the climax of hypocrisy in his way
of working. He delves deep into corruption, and affirms: It
gradually dawned on me that a tremendous corrupting force
was working on me. It was as though my soul were taking
revenge on me for having denied for so long that Other Thing
that it had been clamoring for (189). He now rests assured
that no women of this 'phoney society' can satisfy his soul.
Frequent hallucinations and visions of women still haunt
him. He once writes to Tuula: A strange woman keeps
crossing my dreams. I have seen her on the streets of Delhi,
nursing a child in the shade of a tree or hauling stone on a
rich man's house. I have seen. Yes, this woman keeps
crossing my dreams causing in me a fearful disturbance, the
full meaning of which I have yet to understand (225-226).
This time, it is not a hunger for sensual satisfaction. It
is a quest for self-realization, for a union with the missing part
of his soul.
Sitting outside his tent on a particular fateful
night, he hears two clear choices that the price of making such
choices is terrible and that the price of not making them is
even more terrible. Almost always an enigmatic impression of
Billy's life, as Romi, his friend, rightly remarks, is noticeable.
Billy is so much fed up with the so-called civilized world
of greed, avarice, hollowness and hypocrisy and feels so much
drawn towards the primitive in life that he leaves his wife, his
only child and his old parents. Once he gets an opportunity to
take his students on an anthropological expedition to the
Satpura Hills in Madhya Pradesh and gets so much fascinated
by the intense beauty of the hills and their inhabitants,
particularly women with graceful figures and bright eyes. With
the Bhils and their leader Dhunia, he eats, drinks and waits for
the rising of the moon and he could for the first time see
clearly the change entering him. While he sat in the purple
shadows, he had the first terrible premonition that he might
not go back. An enormous search is launched by the policy to
find Billy out. When they fail to find him out, it is presumed
that he has been killed by a tiger prowling in the area.
Billy's fascination for the primitive life, really speaking,
is a search for his identity. It was more or less the same with
me except that I could not figure out what excited or troubled
me unless it was a sudden interest in my own identity. Who
was I? Where had I come from? Where was I going? (122).
With a skilful weight of the details, Joshi manages to
explore the protagonist's psychological instincts. Billy's
enigmatic behavior can be understood in terms of certain
psychological and anthropological facts at work with
reference to Jung's theory of the collective unconscious.
Thus, The Strange Case of Billy Biswas beautifully
presents the theme of man's restlessness in modern materialistic
life and his futile attempt to escape it. It is concerned with the
crisis of contemporary civilization in the upper-class Indian
society in particular and the modern world of industry and
commerce in general.
For the theme of the novel Joshi goes
to Arnold's Thyrsis, It irk'd him to be her, he could not rest
(6). Billy feels an irresistible pull towards the primitive world
and finally he joins the tribe beyond the forest on the Maikala
Hills. But his quest is not over. He intends to reach the height
of divinity. In the words of O.P. Bhatnagar: Billy is a new type
of character in the whole range of Indo-English fiction. He is
not a stereotype of a traditional Indian hero posing wisdom
through philosophical speculations but a character effecting
metaphysical manifestations. He is a rebel. He makes no
cowardly compromises like Sindi nor has pity for himself. Unlike
Sindi he has a strong will and determination He was a man
of conviction capable of turning his vision into reality.
References :
(1) Sujatha Mathai, I'm a Stranger to My Books, The
Times of India, 9th July, 1983. (2) Purabi Banerjee, A Winner's
Secrets, Interview, The Sunday Times, 27th February, 1983.
(3) Arun Joshi, The Strange Case of Billy Biswas (New Delhi: Hind
Pocket Books, 1971) 9. Subsequent page references to this edition
appear in the text. (4) Shivani Vatsa and Rashmi Gaur, A Study of
the Corrupting influence of the Technology: The Strange Case of
Billy Biswas, The Novels of Arun Joshi: A Critical Study, ed. M.K.
Bhatnagar, (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and distributors, 2001)
64. (5) H.M. Prasad, Arun Joshi (New Delhi: Heinemann, 1985)
53. (6) Ibid... p.55. (7) O.P. Mathur The Existential Note in Arun
Joshi's The Strange Case of Billy Biswas and The apprentice, The
Modern Indian English Fiction, (New Delhi: Abhinav Publication,
1993) 139. (8) O.P. Bhatnagar, The Art and Vision of Arun Joshi,
The Fictional World of Arun Joshi, ed. R.K. Dhavan, (New Delhi:
Classical Publishing Company, 1986) 57.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 40
Arthur Miller is a milestone in the history of modern
American drama. He is one of the significant dramatists who
have contributed to bring American drama into the modern
vein. The post second world war dramatic scene was
dominated by the wonderful plays of Miller.
Miller was born in New York on 17th October 1915.His
father was a manufacturer of ladies coats and a well to do
businessman before depression. This hard blow of
depression ceased the income of Miller family. Hence, young
Miller had to work hard to earn his livelihood. He graduated
from a high school in 1932. In order to proceed his further
education he had to serve in an automobile workshop for
two years. Then, He went to The University of Michigan for
the study of dramatic arts to become a professional
Being a keen observer of depression he has depicted
the consequences of that period in his works. He says,
It was a good time to be growing up
It was the depression which made him aware of the
insecurity of mankind in this modern industrial civilization.
Miller was a selective playwright. He wrote only when
he had something new and special to convey. Especially, his
works have proved that he chooses everything very carefully.
Hence, his every play appears unique with his personal
His All My sons is a classy play which established him
as a significant playwright in the American dramatic world. It
was a play which gave him name fame and buck. This play
was awarded the illustrated 'The circle award' by The New-
York drama critics. It is also noted for the various aspects
like the theme of social responsibility and well-knit plot.
Along with this, All My Sons must be appreciated for
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 40-41
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
the apt use of symbols. Miller has used some symbols quite
dexterously. The first and the foremost is the symbol of Apple
tree. This was planted by Kate Keller in memory of her missing
son Larry. She used to look on the apple tree as her son
Larry.One stormy night furious wind damages the Apple tree
badly.Ofcourse, it hurts Joe, but Chris soon makes it clear
that his mother has already witnessed the damage which
that awful wind had done to the apple tree at night. He further
adds that she could not bear that damaged apple tree. She
ran back into the house quickly and wept over the broken
tree in the kitchen. It makes Keller sentimental.
Keller : What's she going to say? May be we
ought to tell her before she sees it.
Chris : She saw it.
Keller : How could she see it? I was the first one up
.She was still in bed.
Chris ; She was out here when it broke.
Keller : When?
Chris : About four in the morning [indicating window
above them]I heard it cracking and I woke up and looked out
she was standing right when it cracked.
Keller ; Did you talk to her?
Chris : No,I-I figured the best thing was to leave her
Keller : [deeply touched]: She cried hard?
Chris : I could hear her right through the floor of my
Keller : [after a slight pause]:What was she doing out
here at that hour?[Chris silent with an undertone of anger
She is dreaming about him again. She is walking around
at night.
Arthur Miller : A Study of Symbols in All My Sons
Lecturer (Department of English), Bhagwantrao Shivaji Patil College, Paratwada, Distt. Amravati (Maharashtra)
Arthur Miller was born in New York on 17th October 1915.His father was a manufacturer
of ladies coats and a well to do businessman before depression. This hard blow of depression
ceased the income of Miller family. Hence, young Miller had to work hard to earn his livelihood.
He graduated from a high school in 1932. In order to proceed his further education he had
to serve in an automobile workshop for two years. Then, He went to The University of Michigan
for the study of dramatic arts to become a professional playwright.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 41
Chris : I guess she is.
Keller : She's getting like just after he died.(slight
pause)What is the meaning of that? (page11)
Here, Frank goes to focus on certain coincidence.
According to Frank this Apple tree was planted as a memorial
to Larry. He points out that Larry was born in August and
this tree was planted to keep Larry's memory alive, has cracked
down to the ground by the awful wind in the very month.
This account of facts shocks Keller. By and all this fell down
apple tree is the symbol of Larry's death. Miller has shown it
very tactfully.
Secondly, day and night are used to symbolize the
pleasant and unpleasant situations respectively. Especially,
happy incidents take place in the morning, whereas, dreadful
scenes are arranged at night.
The play begins in the morning with zest and fun. Every
character enters with a great cheer.
Frank : Every Sunday ought to be like this.
Keller (indicating the sections behind him):want the
Frank : What is the difference, it's all bad news. What's
today's calamity?
Keller : I don't know I don't read the news part
anymore.It's interesting in the want ads.
Frank : Why,you trying to buy something ?
Keller : No,I am just interested. To see what people
want'y'know?For instance,here is a guy is looking for two
newfound dogs. Now what's he wants with two newfound
Frank : That's funny.(page. 2)
These dialogues show light hearted conversation
among the all characters. On the other hand night is utilized
for all tragic events.
First of all apple tree blows down at night sustains the
belief that Larry is dead.
Frank : [noticing tree] Hey,What happened to your tree?
Keller : Ain't that awful? The wind must have got it at
last night. You heard the wind last night, didn't you?
Frank : Yeah,I got a mess in my yard too.[Goes to the
tree].What a pity[turning to Keller] what would Kate say.
Keller : They're all asleep yet .I am just waiting for her
to see it.(page.3and4)
Act two starts in the evening. As the action proceeds
toward night, the color of the movements gradually becomes
red. George's arrival creates number of questions and doubts
in all the members of Keller family, including Annie. Kate
smells impending danger with the arrival of George. Now
George is a lawyer and soon he will be at Kellers home after
his meeting with his father Steve Deever in the prison at
Columbus. Hence, Kate informs Keller at the end of act one.
Kate : Be smart Joe, the boy is coming. Be smart.
She also expresses her anxiety before Chris,
Chris (Impatiently) : Well come on get dressed and
what's Dad sleeping so much for?[He goes to table and pours
a glass of juice].
Mother : He's worried. When he is worried he
sleeps.[pauses looks into his eyes].We are dumb Chris .Dad
and I are stupid people. We don't know anything you have
got to protect us.
Chris : You are silly; what's there to be afraid of?
Mother : To his last day in the court Steve never gave
up the idea that Dad made him to do it. If they are going to
open the case again I won't live through it.
Chris : George is a damn fool,mother how can you take
him seriously?
Mother :That family hates us. may be even Annie
Chris : Oh, Now mother.
Mother : You think just because you like everybody
they like you!(page 43)
Joe and Chris fall out on the matter of Joe's guilt of
selling defective cylinder heads, which had been accounted
for the death of twenty one pilots in the army. Chris forces
Joe to accept his guilt, but he denies it.Eventually, angry
Chris takes his car and drive away.
Chris : You even knew they wouldn't hold up in the air.
Keller : I didn't say that.
Chris : But you were going to warn them not to use
Keller : But it don't mean-.
Chris : It means you knew they'd crash.
Keller : It don't mean that.
Chris : Then you thought they'd crash
Keller : I was afraid they may be.
Chris : You were afraid they may be! God in heaven
what kind of a man are you? Kids were hanging in the air by
those heads you knew that'. (Page 75)
Act three begins by two O'clock. As it leans toward
morning the riddle of questions lead to get their solution.
Chris enters from driveway. Now Keller tries his level
best to convince Chris, but Chris's firm stand makes Joe to
commit suicide. Here, Miller has cut the Gordian knot through
the suicide of Joe Keller. In the morning everything becomes
normal.kate requests Chris to forget everything. These
scenes show that Miller has used day and night skillfully to
symbolize the pleasant and unpleasant events in this play.
No doubt Miller has a keen eye of using symbols. It is
one of the special crafts that made him a unique dramatist in
the literary world of America.
References :
(1) All the references to the text are from Arthur Miller's All
My Sons. (2) Robert Hogan, Arthur Miller. (3) Dr.Egbert S.Oliver
, AMERICAN LITERATURE . 1890 -1965, Eurasia Publishing
House(pvt.,)Ltd. New Delhi-110055. (4) Gerald Weales, Modern
American Drama Since World War Second. (5) Robert E. Spiller :
Literary History of the United States. (6) Sujit Mukharji and
D.V.K.Raghvacharyulu :Indian Essays in American Literature.
Popular Prakashan Mumbai. (7) Dr.Bina Vinod Rathi: Opinions
and Critics on World Literature.Vital Publications jaipur (India).
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 42
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 42-43
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
Modernity has affected nearly every walk of life.
Though it has some good elements, but too has some
drawbacks. It has been reflected in modern literature. George
Steiner has made arguments in his book Extraterritorial. In
the foreword he sets forth three interesting and stimulating
observations namely, that (i) the writer, where over he may
belong nationally he is an esperantist; that (ii) he suffers an
unhousedness and that (iii) as a result of the two, the
modern writer has become an extraterritorial figure. All the
three ideals imply the obvious fact of modern writer's plight
caused by not belonging, by a sense of rootlessness the
novelist, the playwright and the poets are not thoroughly
at home in the language of their aesthetic production but
they are displaced and hesitant at the frontier.
It has been the central thrust of this research paper to
show the strong forces of impact of modernity which has
caused the deep sense of alienation and rootlessness. Dilip
Chatre's volume of poems, 'Traveling in a Cage' partially
confirms to Steiner's observations. He does not seem to have
'lost' his identity by merging it totally into mainstream of
modernity. What differentiates him from modern is his sense
of the need to belong to his specific culture and traditions.
His poetry highlights the deep sense of alienation and
rootlessness. His American and African experiences show
the glimpses of his expatriate sensibility.
In the first section of 'Traveling in a Cage' most poems
were written in America. There is an awareness of alienation.
This alienation is not from one's motherland but it is from
one's own self. His self is dead. His alienation from the self
leads him to a sort of a post-mortem on it. He realizes for the
first time that his self is dead to the beauty of nature.
I separate the stars
From my viscera
I remove this planet
Form my narrow.
He reaches the point of nothingness. The detached
view of the self is sustained dispassionately in the second
poem also.
I was reaching the age of forty
In the manner one reaches an empty shelf.
The image of the empty self is clearly suggestive of
emptiness, loneliness and rootlessness.
The poet is well aware of his alienation from his
country. The poet re-enacts and relives the past with a sense
of involvement. He is able to communicate the experience of
his agony and the agony of motherland:
The roots and branches
of my vanished voice.
The third poem in this section makes explicit the poet's
presence in Iowa (North Dubuque street) and feeling of
estrangement from Indian culture. He has come to Dubuque,
a city in fast Iowa on Mississippi, to look for himself and
'learn forgetting'. But the antithetical question that arises in
his mind is
I have just created
Room for myself to be
Have I killed myself
once again.
Homesickness in American stay makes him aware of
his being outsider and not belonging to America.
I am homesick which is stupid of course
Assistant Professor, Arts, Commerce and Science College, Taloda, Dist. - Nandurbar (Maharashtra)
The Element of Rootlessness in the Poetry of Dilip Chitre
The poetry of Dilip Chitre alienation and rootlessness happens to be the general
ailment of the modern man. It is condition of loss of an essential part of the self.
Alienation, as felt by Chitre, is a condition in which the self is placed in a position of
insecurity, anxiety, anguish, loss of identity and loss of authenticity. Through his words
Chitre condemns the urban rootlessness and alienation. Chitre's feeling of not belonging
results from man's dehumanization, his loss of freedom and his estrangement from
other human beings.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 43
Nor is America not beautiful
But I am terrified.
The total experiences in America were wretched and
insignificant. He could not adjust himself with American
culture and traditions. On the contrary it forced him to call
himself 'insect of solitude'.
I become an insect of solitude in the grass.
The sense not belonging and restlessness is more
My senses are beast without forests
My soul is a bird without sky.
The second section subtitled, From Bombay, forms the
core of the book. His Bombay poems, in this section reveals
the similar alienation and restlessness. He puts this reality in
bits in the poem Mumbai.
Like a poem
This city the garbled relic
Of someone's empire
The remaining
Voice now peopled
By estranged millions.
Bombay is a symbol of the modern Indian anarchy
produced by the contact with the west and of man's
estrangement from manmade world. For him Mumbai became
a map and metaphor for the larger world.
Chitre in 'ode to Bombay' depicts with minute details
the dehumanizing forces of urban life which alienated him.
Once I promised you an epic
And now you have robbed me
You have reduced me to a rubble
This concerto ends.
In 'I laugh, I cry' we find the same disparaging attitude
to Bombay. To him Bombay lies 'like vomit.' Such inherent
inability to belong totally to metropolis finds a frank
expression. This inability to belong here is inherent because
of certain autobiographical fact and factors which are
expressed in his poems likes 'The House of Childhood, Father
Returning Home, The Felling of the Banyan Tree' and the
last poem of the Bombay section 'Mahalakshmi.' He
perpetuates his quest for the lost roots in the present. He
perpetuates his quest for the banyan tree that had reared his
ancestors. In 'The felling of the Banyan Tree', Chitre honestly
unravels his quest for the roots, for the members of family
who have given themselves to silence.
Soon after we left Baroda, for Bombay
Where there are no trees except the one
Which grows and seethes in one's dreams
It's aerial roots
Looking for ground to strike.
The image of 'roots' is very significant. Trees have roots
in the earth. Trees have an age old relationship with the
earth. Man is not physically rooted in nature. In a sense he is
rootless. Being a memory poem (the felling) of banyan tree it
carries the sense of uprooted ness. It finds parallels to his
life. Chitre just as banyan tree is uprooted from Baroda and
trying transplant himself in Bombay. But Bombay seems not
a suitable soil for his roots. The anathema attached to cutting
the banyan tree comes true in sense by making the family
uprooted and looking for grounds.
The poet's nostalgia for the past happiness and the
present degrades life are depicted in the feeling of the banyan
tree and the house of my childhood. The tree's roots lay
deeper than the poets.
The element of restlessness and not belonging reoccur
once again in the poem 'Father Returning Home' Chitre has
drawn a pitiable picture of his father. This poem essentially
tries to bring out the modern man's estrangement from a
man-made and crowded world. The poem speaks about the
inner loneliness of the poet's father. It is really a heart
appealing poem about a common man in a cosmopolitan city
where men like him are estranged from a man-made world in
which his own sons and daughters treat him as an alien. The
poem narrates the epic tragedy of a middleclass men who
looks like a word dropped from a long sentence.
Now I can see him getting off the train
Like a word dropped from a long sentence
It is a melancholic picture of the old man who is forced
to return to stale food and painful isolation at home. He has
no choice but to talk himself. He is delinked from the present,
including his family. He only communicate with the buried
past and unborn future.
He will now go to sleep
Listening to the stalic on the radio
Dreaming of his ancestors and grand children
Thinking of nomands entering a
Subcontinent through a narrow pass
The narrow pass is obviously the Khyber pass through
which Aryans came into India about five thousand years
ago. However, they were here no longer wanderer because
they- and many other later invaders - found a safe and rich
home in India and so finally they belong to the land unlike
this modern nomad who is uprooted from Baroda and can
not strike a root in Bombay, 'where there are no trees'. (P.64)
Thus to Chitre alienation and rootlessness happens to
be the general ailment of the modern man. It is condition of
loss of an essential part of the self. Alienation, as felt by
Chitre, is a condition in which the self is placed in a position
of insecurity, anxiety, anguish, loss of identity and loss of
authenticity. Through his words Chitre condemns the urban
rootlessness and alienation. Chitre's feeling of not belonging
results from man's dehumanization, his loss of freedom and
his estrangement from other human beings.
References :
(1) Dilip Chitre : The Traveling in a cage (clearing house
1880 ). (2) Shirish Chindhade : Five Indian poets (2001). (3) Bruce
king : Modern Indian poets in English. (4) Manmohan K. Bhatnager
(ed) - Indian Writings in English vol - I. (5) Saleem Peeradina (ed)
: Contemporary Indian Poetry In English. (6) George Stainer
Foreword Extraterritorial (London Faber and Faber 1972).
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 44
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RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
This novel describes the adolescent awakening of
two sisters named Lalitha and Saroja, belonging to a lower
middle class family of a south Indian village. The problem
that Markandaya has taken isthe struggle between urban
and non-urban elements of life, between pre and post
independence, between old and new, between traditional
eastern and modern western ways.
It was the challenge before post-independence India
to consolidate and preserve the new form of society that still
was in the grip of poverty, ignorance and backwardness.
People had to work hard to make India free of all these evils.
However, those who took participation in the movement for
freedom, not an insignificant number, though at the lower
cadre, belonged to India's villages. Appa was one of them.
So was Appa's idol, Rangu. Both had been fighting for
independence, not like some as Appa said bootlickers, who
had fawned upon the Sahibs for crumbs from their tables.
The British packed; those who had fought for the freedom of
India were rewarded. Sometimes he (Apu) told the villagers
that he fought for the country and at others he said it was
because he had given his all. Amma said, he had lost all
through his own folly. This is a strange attitude. The freedom
fighters who fought for India's liberty, now feel Jittery in the
face of freedom. As an activist Appa participated in the
movement in a very zestful way which his wife called his
The village background is given at the starting, with
Appa, Amma, the two daughters Lalita and Saroja, and
Amma's widowed sister Alamelu. The issue of traditional
versus modern westernized values comes to the forefront in
the portrayal of the two 'virgins' of the story. While the one
chooses modernity out of free will and of free choice, the
other chooses tradition. The two sisters are poles apart from
each other in nature and temperament, both of them spirited
young girls pulsating with life and with a zest for living who
react differently to the lures and temptations of a glamorous
new world. As daughters of same parent, as pupils of the
same school and teachers and as members of same society
both of them share many common values and attitudes. Still
they are different, judged by their responses to certain stimuli.
Saroja's father, an active participant in India's struggle for
independence, has some modern idea's behaviour and is
liberal enough to send one of his daughters to a Christian
school. Consequently, the two sisters grow up with a more
liberal outlook of their class. Education with westernized bias
brings with it a sense of liberation and thus the difference
between Saroja's family and that of Manikam, the milkman.
While one sister finds her way through rebellion and
non-conformity, the other achieves her end through
conformity of social moral. The novel has been written from
the point of view of Saroja, the younger sister, who observes,
bears, sees, thinks, comments on, and tries to judge all that
happens in the novel. It is her impression that constitutes
the staple of the novel.
The main focus of the novel is on the growth-problems
of two adolescents. While the one grows up to accept the
Quest For Harmony Between Urban And Non-Urban Elements
Of Life : A Study Of Kamala Markandaya's Two Virgins
Govt. High School, Palri(Bhiwani) Haryana
The main focus of the novel is on the growth-problems of two adolescents.
While the one grows up to accept the conventional codes of conduct, the other grows
out of its precincts and away from its restraints. Eventually both become the victims of
choices and circumstances in different fashions. While the one moves away from the
village into the city, the other tastes city's benefits and evil and returns to village. While
for Lalitha, the movement is actual, it exists more as a mental pattern for Saroja
because she grows through the experiences of her sister. The stages in their growth
are conditioned by their inherent temperament. Lalitha the elder sister is prettier, braver
and more daring than Saroja. Moreover, she is conscious of her beauty.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 45
conventional codes of conduct, the other grows out of its
precincts and away from its restraints. Eventually both
become the victims of choices and circumstances in different
fashions. While the one moves away from the village into
the city, the other tastes city's benefits and evil and returns
to village. While for Lalitha, the movement is actual, it exists
more as a mental pattern for Saroja because she grows
through the experiences of her sister. The stages in their
growth are conditioned by their inherent temperament. Lalitha
the elder sister is prettier, braver and more daring than Saroja.
Moreover, she is conscious of her beauty.
Besides being beautiful, Lalitha has a desire to be
modern. She is fascinated by a fridge in the house of Miss
Mendoza, the Head-mistress of the school. Unable to keep
her discovery to herself, she confides to her mother that it's
barbaric, not having a fridge. Her mother, who is a simple
lady, tries to convince her child by saying that only film stars
can afford such luxuries. Dissatisfied with the Justification,
she plainly tells her mother that these days fridge is not a
luxury but a necessity. Lalitha develops a desire to become
a film star.
While Saroja develops a rather retiring disposition
which makes her more obedient and well-behaved. But she
has as much interest in sex, shows as predilection for learning
the mysteries of sex life as Lalitha.
But Saroja gains self-consciousness; Lalitha is bound
to lose whatever of it she has. It is Saroja who in the end is
able to comprehend the correct inter-relations within reality.
Through the comprehension of such experiences she is able
to see the traps and steer clear of them. It is hoped that, she
would no longer be cut adrift, in an alien world but rather live
in a milieu which, though not a product of her mind,
Contributes to the development of self-consciousness in a
necessary irreplaceable way. This is Saroja's education, but
not the kind Appa boasted of and Lalitha possessed.
Lalitha is the favourite daughter of her father, and shares
most of his advanced views. Lalitha like Saroja, grows in a
restricting social atmosphere and is sent to Miss. Mendoza's
'Three Kings School', where she learns music and dancing.
Her father feels proud of her talents and had a high praise for
her high class tastes and opinions. She shows her talents in
maypole dancing and other festivities. The family is also
invited to school functions, occasionally. Miss Mendoza,
who teaches at the school, indulges Lalitha to a large extent
and it is her lavish praise and favour showered on Lalitha
that is partly responsible for Lalitha's folly, her straying from
the fold of traditional society.
Lalitha gets irritated under the restraints of her family
and the village society and through the friendship with Miss
Mendoza, she chooses the vanities of so-called modern
life. She then longs for freedom from the constraining
environs of the village and dreams up fantasies of a luxurious
life. Her progression is, therefore, not towards the betterment
of the inner life, but from vanity, flippancy and ambition to
conceit, moral decadence and recklessness. From being a
vain schoolgirl filled with fantasies of herself as pretty, she
grows up to be selfish and contemptuous of her family and
surroundings. In the end, when she leaves her self-sacrificing
parents and affectionate sister, she thinks neither of their
happiness nor of their respectability in the eyes of society,
but only of herself. Thus, she moves towards a negative
freedom which is an escape toward license. The return to
security and conformity, in this novel, is executed on the
part of narrator-heroine Saroja's who vicariously experiences
false freedom, sees the city with all its glitter and sordidness
and returns to the safety of village. Saroja's movement
towards the city can be seen as representational of her
possible escape to a freedom from conformity but she returns
to a state of conformity and to the sense of responsibility to
the family. As for Lalitha, she would either make it for some
insignificant roles in minor films which would be obtained
only after suffering several moral indignities at the hands of
immoral moneybags and conmen or end up as an inmate of a
brothel. This is the ultimate fate which she brings upon
herself in the effort to survive in the modern city with its
meretricious value system in contrast to the traditional village
with its conventional ways of living. Lalitha pays the price
not only with chastity but dignity as well; she escapes into
a cage of existential confusion. She is an example of total
betrayal of traditional values and also of a total lack of sense
of responsibility to herself.
The progress of Lalitha to false modernity begins when
she is given a chance to feature in a documentary of village
life produced and directed by Gupta. The Christian
environment at school adds strength to the individualistic
strain in her. Aunt Alamelu accuses her and her parents about
the way she has been brought up.
Miss Mendoza who is a symbol of Modernity for
Lalitha, praises her beauty and certifies her suitability for a
film career.
Lalitha is invited to city by Mr. Gupta, the film director.
She feels extremely happy at the idea of seeing the city life.
On her return to the village, she expresses her disgust at the
terrible heat in the village. This lure for a luxurious life is
shattered soon. After viewing the premier show of the film
Lalitha returns to the village but only to go back city without
her parents consent. She becomes quite.
A few months later she becomes pregnant with Mr.
Gupta's child. On her return to village she tries to commit
suicide. The traditional Indian society think unwed
motherhood to be worst form of degradation that could
happen to respectable woman and her family Lalitha, at long
last, realizes that Saroja is right because she could keep away
from the colourful temptations.
Lalitha's father visits the city along with his family to
call on Mr. Gupta. Mr. Gupta ignores them and makes it clear
to them that he is not responsible for Lalitha's pregnancy.
Ultimately, Appa, broken-hearted, returns to the village. Lalitha
has to undergo an abortion. Inspite of all these happenings
and bitter experience of life, Lalitha's charm for the city life
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 46
does not grow dim. One day she leaves the house quietly for
Appa with Amma and Saroja makes a vain effort to
search for Lalitha. They got nothing but frustration. Saroja
views the world and society through Lalitha's experience
she matures through it. Her own experience with Gupta's
assistant, Devraj who attempts to take advantage of her youth
and helplessness also helps in her development. She
develops hatred for the city life. She chooses to return to the
security and solidity of village life. While Lalitha moves away
from the traditional life of village, returns to it, and finally
escapes again to the city a symbol of a moral neutrality
and anonymity. In the Indian social context we see girls as
shown in Two Virgins torn between the desire for self-
expression and the need of social obligation in a given
community. In the middle class Indian society, even with
liberal idea's as of Appa's about the need for free intermixing
of girls and boys, no formal sex education given to children,
which results in conflict between the social self and the
biological self. Man is really not infinitely adaptable. The
basic animal need like food, sleep and sex call for satisfaction.
Lalitha makes a rebel through physical escape; but
Markandaya never suggests that she can be happy forever.
Saroja checks her unwholesome, if not harmful, longings
and accepts her principle of conformity for security and
survival. She reposes her faith in the moral value of social
code. Markandaya believes happiness and true fulfillment
can lie only in such an adherence; Markandaya's vision gets
reflected through Saroja's final stand.
Lalitha identifies herself with the city, its atmosphere
and its attitudes. The city breeds discontent and frustration.
But Lalitha opts for the city of her own choices not once but
twice, the second time being for ever. It is her choice Gupta
thinks she had been forced into the city the first time. The
city and the village as in A Handful of Rice (1966) assumes
the form of total contrast between states of existence,
signifying chaos and peace respectively. In the former,
struggle for life and survival of the fittest work while in the
latter everything has an ordered place. The jungle-city
devours; the way in which Lalitha disappears into the flux of
city's terrors at the end shows the monstrous capacity of
city. The city and the village are representative of two eras
as well as two value systems of man's civilization. What
Markandaya seems to suggest through this novel is that
one must be exposed to various experiences of life but one
must have full control over one's senses, must have
discriminating eye in order to imbibe only positive values.
References :
(1) Kamala Markandaya, Two Virgins, (Vikas Publishing
House Pvt. Ltd., 1975)
(2) Alcorn, John. The Nature Novel from Hardy to Lawrence,
(3) Aurobindo, Sri. The Future Evolution of Man. Pondicherry,
(4) Ayengar, K. R. Srinivas. Indian Writing in English, 1984.
(5) Bibby, Cyril. T. H. Huxley on Education, 1971.
(6) Chaddha, Ramesh. Cross-Cultural Interaction in Indian
English Fiction, 1988.
(7) Deol, D. Liberalism and Marxism, 1976.
(8) Ghose, Sisir Kumar. Man and Society, 1977.
(9) Goyal, Dr. Bhagwat S. Culture and Commitment: Aspects
of Indian Literature in English, 1984.
(10) Hampton, Christopher. Socialism in a Crippled World.
Middlesex, 1981.
(11) Jha, Rekha. The Novels of Kamala Markandaya and
Ruth Jhabvala, 1990.
(12) Mehta, P. P. Indo-Anglian Fiction: An Assessment,1979.
(13) Naik, M. K. Perspectives on Indian Fiction in English,
(14) Ram Atma. Essays on Indian English Literature, 1984.
(15) Rao, A.V. Krishna and Madhavi Menon. Kamala
Markandaya: A Critical Study of Her Novels, 1995.
(16) Sharma, K. K. Indian English Literature: A Collection
of Critical Essays, 1977.
(17) Singh, Kirpal. Through Different Eyes. Calcutta: A
Writers Workshop, 1984.
(18) Sinha, Sachidanand. Socialism and Power, 1974.
(19) Srivastava, Ramesh K. Six Indian Novelists in English,
(20) William, Hayden Moore. Galaxy of Indian Writings in
English., 1987.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 47
Kamala Das occupies a place of distinction in literary
arena for her bold expression of social behaviour which
otherwise is labelled as taboo. In her poetry she has
attempted to explore different aspects of feminine world. She
has presented modern Indian woman who has passed
through a period of depression, gloom, frustration and
torture. In her poetry, one finds an expression of her self-
humiliation and woman is treated as a toy to play with. Woman
figures in her poetry just like a skeleton of flesh and bones.
She has not only presented the flux of mind and thoughts of
a woman but also has successfully projected the urges,
dreams and desires of Indian woman. Kamala Das also refuses
to be suffocated by the environment. Louise Bernikov has
aptly observed: A woman poet constantly pits herself
against cultural expectation of 'womanhood' and woman's
writing. She gives her imagination and courage to that
struggle, pours energy into it in ways that do not exist for
men. Womenness is sometimes seen as authenticity, the
essence to be distilled in the poems. It is a historical fact that
women have been denied opportunities. They have also
been denied a judicious critical climate.
The subject with which she deals in her poetry is
'woman' and the content is female experience of emotional
shock of an unhappy marriage, humiliation of desireless
surrender in sex and her disgust at the male domination. This
should not be taken as one woman's experience but it is the
representation of whole class of women in society and she
herself expresses it when she affirms:
. I am every
Woman who seeks love. (Summer in Calcutta: 60)
Kamala Das shows her resentment against the
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RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
dominating attitude of man. She gives an account of the
relationship between her grand uncle and grand aunt; she
speaks out about her grand uncle who looked every inch a
king, although he did not have enough money, even to buy
the books that he wished to read. The kind of servility that
he expected from his wife is clear in the following lines:
Besides his chair was a hookah which my grand-aunt
meticulously cleared every morning. (Firestone: 167)
Her poetry also highlights women's spirit of rebellion
against male domination and ego when she identifies love
either with physical relationship or an unfulfilled longing.
Kamala Das pointed out love and lust in alternative voices.
She says that sometimes a woman feels that mere lust is a
mere waste and there is a desire to free herself from this
soul killing subjugation:
Woman is this happiness, this lying buried
Beneath a man? It's time again to come alive.
A world extends a lot beyond his six foot frame. (Iyer:
Women are figured in different roles like wife, beloved,
daughter, sister, grandmother, mother, mistress and
nymphomaniac. This picture of woman persona is really very
complex. In the words of Devendra Kohli, Kamala Das has
more to say about the pathos of a woman emerging from
passive role to the point of discovering and asserting her
individual freedom and identity. (Kohli: 188) Kamala Das
is primarily considered to be a poet of feminine longings.
When we go through her poetry, it reflects her restlessness
as a sensitive woman who is moving in the male dominated
society to champion the cause of woman. She has forcefully
raised the voice against male tyrannies in her poems such as
Woman Perspective In Kamala Das's Poetry
Associate Professor & Head (Department of English), UCK, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (Haryana)
Kamala Das poetry concentrates on her own self-discovery and expressing
the different layers of hypocrisy which got over quoted in today's life and she has been
bitterly criticised for that by the high preachers of social morality. Similarly, her idealistic
ideas of love and domesticity became a cause of rash criticism for which she was not
fully prepared. In nutshell, the poetry of Kamala Das advocates freedom and self-
respect for women. Kamala Das staunchly etches the emotional picture of woman and
succinctly reiterates that she should not be treated as a commodity or a subaltern. She
should be bestowed with respectable position in the society.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 48
A Relationship, Summer in Calcutta, An Introduction,
Marine Drive. In her poem Afterwards she gives voice
to the secret hopes and fears of woman- kind when she says:
Son of my womb,
Ugly in loneliness.
You walk the world's bleary eye
Like a grit, your cleverness
Shall not be your doom
As ours was. (Das: Summer in Calcutta: 55)
In the poetry of Kamala Das the subordination and
humiliation of women forms a prominent motif. For example,
in The Looking Glass, she portrays the stark reality of the
life of women:
Stand nude before the glass with him
So that he sees himself the stronger one
And believes it so, and you so much more
Softer, younger, lovelier.
Dropping towels, and the jerky way he urinates.
(Das: The Descendants: 10)
Apart from other things, the woman bargains for a
dubiously precarious love at the price of complete surrender:
Gift him what makes you woman,
the scent of long hair,
the musk of sweat between the breasts,
The warm shock of menstrual blood,
and all your endless female hungers. (Das: 59)
No doubt, the victimization of woman is evident but
woman does not even realise that she is a victim. It seems
that she blames the need of male to humiliate woman and
wonders why women show a submissive reconciliation with
the female servitude. She feels that the feminine mystique
has always been exploited by man who treats her as slave.
The fact of male dominance has been reflected in her
autobiography My Story:
Beyond the northern rice-fields lived Lazar, the oil-seller
who drove his white cow and the three women of his house
round and round his old mill, to extract oil from the copra and
the sesame while he rested, leaning against a tree, abusing
them in pornographic language which only amused his
victims, for he was always a good provider and they were,
by nature, masochistic.
(Das: My story: 28)
There is no denying the fact that Kamala Das revolts
against the masculine character of our civilization but she
also shows her restlessness towards women's passive
acceptance of servitude as the appointed lot. To quote Specks
(93): Suppression as a legitimate form of self-control has
long been recommended to women. She feels uneasy with
her mother's timidity which helped her create an illusion of
domestic harmony which satisfied the relatives and friends.
Kamala Das exposes her restlessness with the betters of
feminity in her poem The Suicide where she writes:
I must pose
I must pretend,
I must act the role of
A happy woman,
Happy wife. (Descendants: 2)
In the above quoted lines, the mockery of woman's
emotions is evident that even if a woman is not happy as a
wife or as a woman, she must pretend herself to be a happy
wife. Here, the condition of a woman is just like the condition
of a child whom you slap and order him to smile as a response
to it. In such as situation, there is no option, choice or
alternative left for a woman. She must pose, she must
pretend, she must act her positions, the inessential
and accidental, the object, the other. Kamala Das is
not in favour of physical love that her strong husband
showers on her rather she pines for emotional identity which
is not afforded by him.
The poetess Kamala Das hammers hard at her husband
and articulates her intense desire of escaping from his
clutches and attaining 'freedom.' This has been incorporated
in the poem Substitute:
Yet I was thinking, lying beside him,
That I loved, and was much loved.
It is physically thing, he said suddenly,
End it, I cried, end it, and let us be free.
This freedom was our last strange toy. (The
Descendants: 7)
However, this 'freedom' does not provide her 'pride',
'joy', 'a sense of security' and 'a name' but in great dejection
she spells out:
After that love became a swivel-door,
When one went out, another came in.
(The Descendants : 7)
Although she desires 'right' type of man but she never
For long I've waited for the right one
To come, the bright one, the right one to live
In the blue. No. I am still young
And I need that man for construction and
Destruction, Leave me (The Descendants: 14)
In her poetry she perceives that the face of her life was
ugly and wrinkled. Life was only a long day's journey into
night, an endless journey having no destination. She is eager
to know as to whether she is a wife or a woman and she says:
You turn me into a bird of stone
A Granite Dove; you build around me
a shabby drawing room.
She is in search of a tender touch in the world of
emotional frigidity. Iyenger considers this world for her as a
chasm where running fear must pause to look; a sea with
paralyzing waves or like a blast of burning air. She wants to
underscore that what a woman wants is never well-
understood by a man. Reciprocal love is not found but she
always gets lust; warmth in relationship does not find place
when she says:
It's only
To save my face, I flaunt at
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 49
Times, a grand, flamboyant lust.
(Summer in Calcutta: 11)
Kamala Das, in her poems, gives the first person
account of women's sexual encounters, description of the
plight of the socially oppressed women and description of
the private lives of women have thoroughly made the picture
of suffering woman complete. Thus, the protest of the
feminist critic in case of Marvell's poem becomes the staple
content of female speaker's narration in Kamala Das's poetry.
(Bard: 226)
A close examination of the contribution made by Kamala
Das through her poetry is specifically the relationship that
prevailed between man and woman. Her society expected
total surrender and silence on the part of woman. Although
the woman in her culture was reconciled with her inferior
position vis--vis man yet this attitude infuriated her. As a
representative of Indian women she has expressed rebellious
and unconventional attitude towards the treatment received
by her family members and the society. As a woman she has
been intensely conscious of herself; she is found focusing
attention on woman in her different roles as a wife, a mother,
a mistress and even as a prostitute. Some of the critics hold
the opinion that her poems are a mere pouring out of her
emotions. Simultaneously she has confessed that her poems
emerged as a rash of prickly heat. However, her feelings and
emotions are based on actual experiences of life. It would
not be wrong to point out that whatever she has written is in
confessional tone, exposing the raw moods of experience. It
is because of this she can not be dubbed as unfeminine. Her
poetry concentrates on her own self-discovery and
expressing the different layers of hypocrisy which got over
quoted in today's life and she has been bitterly criticised for
that by the high preachers of social morality. Similarly, her
idealistic ideas of love and domesticity became a cause of
rash criticism for which she was not fully prepared. In nutshell,
the poetry of Kamala Das advocates freedom and self-respect
for women. Kamala Das staunchly etches the emotional
picture of woman and succinctly reiterates that she should
not be treated as a commodity or a subaltern. She should be
bestowed with respectable position in the society.
References :
(1) Bernikov Louise, Introduction in Bernikov, The World
Splits Open: Four Centuries of Women Poets in England and America
1551-1950 (New York, 1974).
(2) Das Kamala, Summer in Calcutta, (New Delhi: Rajinder
Paul, 1965).
(3) Das Kamala, The Descendants, (New Delhi: Sterling
Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 1967).
(4) Das Kamala, My Story, (New Delhi: Sterling Publishers
Pvt. Ltd., 1991).
(5) Firestone Shulamith, The Dialectic of Sex, (New York and
London: Bantam, 1971).
(6) Spacks Patricia Meyer, The Female Imagination, (London:
Allen and Unwin, 1973).
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 50
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 50-51
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
This paper attempts to study the terms and meanings of linguistic and
communicative competence in English. The paper reveals the status of English in
India, and the views of different Commissions and Study Group. It also incorporates
types of competence, components of linguistic and communicative competence,
problems of teaching communicative competence and the suggestions for effective
communicative competence in English.
*Associate Professor & Head, Dept. of English, Arts, Commerce & Science College, Sonai(Maharashtra) Member, Board of
Studies in English Pune university, Member, Faculty of Arts, Fine Arts & Performing Arts, Pune University (Maharashtra)
**Assistant Professor (Department of English), Arts, Commerce & Science College, Sonai (Maharashtra)
English education was introduced in India in the
middle of the 19thcentury. Three Universities were
established one each at Kolkata, Bombay and Madras in
1857.The Senate of the University of Kolkata adopted a
resolution in 1861 that all examinations should be conducted
in English. The teaching of English in the Indian Universities,
however, followed a set of pattern.The then University of
Londonprovided the model.
In 1971,the Kolkata University Commission took note
of the decline in academic standards in all subjects
especially English stressed the importance of the study of
English as part of general education in India. The
Commission considered English indispensible to the higher
education at that time. According to the Commission , some
of the causes of the deterioration in the quality of the
teaching of English were lack of contact with teachers who
spoke English as their mother tongue, unsuitability of the
lecture method and a lack of systematic instruction in
spoken English.
During the 1930's ,the regional languages were made
the medium of instruction which resulted in an alarming
deterioration in the standards of the teaching and learning
of English . The regional medium of instruction at the
University level resulted in an inadequate exposure to the
English language.
Views of Commissions and Study Groups :
A number of Commissions and Study Groups stressed
the need for the rationale English curricula, text books and
examinations :
(1) The Radhakrishnan Commission (1948) English
should be studied in High Schools and in the Universities in
Communicative Competence In English :A Survey
order that we might keep ourselves in touch with the living
stream of ever-growing knowledge".
(2) The Official Language Commission (1956) :
English should be taught as a language of comprehension
rather than as a literary language so as to develop in the
students learning it a faculty of comprehending and writing
in the English language ".
(3) Kothari Commission (1964) emphasized the role
of English as alibrary language ".
English is a language of the latest knowledge in every
field. It is a means of international communication. In the age
of computer and IT, one has got to learn English with the
fastest means of communication; the world has turned to be
a global village. In the changing Indian context of liberalization
and globalization, there is a great need to know English.
Types of Competence :
Learning is something that happens inside the mind
of t he learner. Learni ng i s t he result of planned
instructions in schools and colleges. Language learning
is divided into two categories-informal language learning
and formal language learning. The informal language is
not taught or learnt for grammar but for communication
A child growing up learns to use languagesfunctionally.
The formal learning is very different learning English for
most I ndi ans i nvol ves Second Language (L2)or
ForeignLanguage (FL). Language learning takes place
at two levels- linguistic competence and communicative
Linguistic Competence :
Linguistic competence allows one to form and
interpret words and sentences of one's language.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 51
Major Components :
No. Components Responsibility
1 Phonetics The articulation and perception of
speech sounds.
2 Phonology The patterning of speech sound
3 Morphology Formation of words
4 Syntax Formation of phrases and sentences
5 Semantics Interpretation words and phrases
Communicative Competence :
Communicative competence is a term in linguistics
which refers to a language user's grammatical knowledge of
syntax, morphology, phonology as well as social knowledge.
Chomsky (1965) made a distinction between
'grammatical competence 'and 'performance'. The former is
the linguistic knowledge of the idealized native speaker and
the latter is the actual use of language in concrete situations.
Hymes (1972) was the first anthropologist to point out
that Chomsky's linguistic competence lacks consideration
of the most important linguistic ability of being able to
produce and comprehend utterances which are appropriate
to the context in which they are made.
Canale and Swain (1980) : Defined communicative
competence in the context of second language teaching. Their
views of communicative competence are: a 'synthesis of
knowledge of basic grammatical principles, knowledge of
how language is used in social settings to perform
communicative functions and knowledge of how utterances
and communicative functions can be combined according to
the principles of discourse.
Richards Jack, John Platt and Heidi Weber:Longman
Dictionary of Applied Linguistics Longman (1985) includes
communicative competence as:
(1) Grammar and Vocabulary of the language.
(2) Rules of speaking.
(3) How to use and respond to different types of
speech-acts such as request, apologies, thanks and
(4) How to use language appropriately.
Having investigated the problems of students in
achieving competence in English, we come across are as
follows :
(1) Interference of the learners mother tongue.
(2) Ignorance of rules restriction.
(3) Incomplete application of rules.
(4) Overgeneralization of rules.
(5) False concepts hypothesized.
(6) Ignorance on the part of the learners.
(7) Teacher-fronted class-rooms.
Problems of Teaching Communicative Competence :
(1) Enoromously large classes,
(2) Teaching reading does not take place in large
(3) Teachers are unable to give feedback to students.
(4) Problems in promoting group discussion.
(5) Instead of teaching communicative competence,
teachers involve in preparing students for exams.
(6) Textbooks prepared but rural population neglected.
(7) Students do not bring textbooks to class, no
Suggestions for effective communicative competence in
English :
(1) English should be taught as a medium of
(2) Linguistic competence and language skills LSRW
to be developed.
(3) Remedial teaching.
(4) Need of gradation and analysis of students.
(5) Learner-centered and motivated classes.
(6) Exposure to basic English grammar.
(7) Creation of opportunities for students to develop
speaking and listening skills.
(8) Facial and body language to be used while speaking.
To sum up, today, everyone is aware of the importance
of English in the modern technical era. In order to succeed in
one's life,one has to be acquainted with English very well.
English covers maximum importance in the competitive exams
such as UPSC ,MPSC ,Banking, Management and corporate
sectors, Day by day, along with the linguistic competence ,
the importance of communicative competence in English is
increasing. Undergraduate and post- graduate students
commit many errors in the areas of linguistic and
communicative competence in English.
There is a great need of investigating the problems of
learning communicative competence in English and making
them to achieve the expected linguistic and communicative
competence in English. If the students don't achieve the
target English at undergraduate level, it will be a severe
national loss and need to be seriously taken care of.
References :
(1) Tickoo,M.L.Teaching and Learning English, Hyderabad:
Orient Longman,2003
(2) Seely ,John .The Oxford Guide to Writing and Speaking ,
Oxford : OUP , 1998
(3) Tickoo, M.L.&Subramanian, A.E.Current English for
Language Skills, Chennai: Macmillan,1975.
(4) Littlewoods, William.Foreign and Second Language
Learning. Cambridge: CUP, 1984.
(5) Canale,M.andM.Swain.' Theoretical bases of
communicative approaches to Second language teaching and
testing'. Applied Linguistics 1/1:1 - 47.1980.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 52
Development of literature in English written by the
Indian writers began as an interesting by-product of an
eventful encounter in the late eighteenth century between a
vigorous and enterprising Britain and a stagnant and chaotic
India. By 1857, consolidation of British power under the East
India Company had taken place from 1857 to 1900. English
education took rapid strides and the climate was favourable
for new flowering the creative Indian genius. As a result of
this encounter Indian English literature was expanded and
The term "Indo-Anglian literature', was first used in
1883. When a book published in Calcutta before the title
'Indo-Anglian Literature', and contained "specimen
composition from native students". The earliest contribution
of Indians in English took the form of prose. Raja Ram Mohan
Roy wrote English prose in Precepts of Jesus (1920). The
term Indo Indian is used to denote the original literary creation
in the English language by the Indians.
This way of writing has been enriched by internationally
recognized figures like Toree Dutta Sarojini Naidu. Tagore,
Jawahar Lal Nehru Aurobindo Ghosh and Mahatma Gandhi.
Today a number of eminent Indians such as R.K. Narayan.
Mulkraj Anand, Raja Rao, Manohar Mulgaonkar, Anil Desai,
Kamla Markandaya, Nayanlara Sahgal, Rath Pawar, Jhabvala,
Khushwant Singh, Shobha Dey and Shashi Deshpande etc.
are being widely read even in the west. Several foreign
universities have included Indian writer in their syllabus.
The earliest contribution of the Indians in English was
in the form of prose when Raja Ram Mohan Roy wrote
Precepts of Jesus (1920) and several other tracts and
pamphlets. The prose was followed by a poetry. The novel
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 52-54
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
being a more sophisticated form of literature is of later origin.
Since Bengal was the first region to come in close
contact with the British, the earliest Indian novels came to
be written in Bengali. The first few attempts consist of
sketches of contemporary Bengali Society and really became
established with the historical novel form. It is interesting to
note that the novel emerged at different times, in different
regions of India but almost everywhere the first crop showed
a preoccupation with historical romance. In fact, the full
development of the Indian novel as a whole. Allowing for
certain over simplification of details, may be alived into three
large stages: (1) historical romance (2) Social or political
realism (3) psychological novels showing on introspective
concern with the individual. In most Indian languages
especially in Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Malayalam
the development occurred in this order, although not
A Marathi critic has recently summed up the literary
trend of the thirties in these words:
"If past history was romanticized by the previous
generation of writers, the history of the present was
romanticized by some of these novelists and most readers
lapped it up as realism and politics."1.
The initial vogue of the historical romance was
obviously associated with the awakening of Indian
As a new branch of Indian literature, Indo-Anglian
fiction is still exploratory in form. But the awareness of its
possibilities has made the quest itself vigorous and self
In a country where literatures in fourteen different
Review of Indo-Anglian Literature
Assistant Professor (Department of English), Govt. Ramanand Sanskrit College, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)
The term "Indo-Anglian literature', was first used in 1883. When a book
published in Calcutta before the title 'Indo-Anglian Literature', and contained
"specimen composition from native students". The earliest contribution of Indians in
English took the form of prose. Raja Ram Mohan Roy wrote English prose in Precepts
of Jesus (1920). The term Indo Indian is used to denote the original literary creation
in the English language by the Indians.This way of writing has been enriched by
internationally recognized figures like Toree Dutta Sarojini Naidu. Tagore, Jawahar
Lal Nehru Aurobindo Ghosh and Mahatma Gandhi.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 53
languages exist side by side often quite oblivious of the
experiments and achievements of one another-critical
discussion of literary works in English has a special
significance. Because English is language which even today
reaches across regional barriers it not at all levels of society,
at least at a certain level of education it is here that the Indian
critics can stand on common ground and employ critical
criteria that are accessible to all. It is possible here to analyse
the experiences that have gone into the making of Indian
literature, and grapple with the problem of how a successful
writer can trans-form an experience very narrowly regional in
its validity into literature that is universal in its artistic appeal.
It is often said that the achievement of the Indo-Anglian
novelist falls far short of the achievement of the novelist in
some of the regional languages. This may be true, especially
in view of the late development and quantitative disadvantage
of Indo-Anglian writing, but a thorough analysis of the
existing material must precede any such comparative
The Indo-Anglian Fiction owes its origin to the
translations of various fictional works from the Indian
languages into English, especially from Bengali to English.
The great master of the art of fiction like Romesh Chandra
Dutt, Bankim Chandra Chatterji and Rabindranath Tagore,
translated their novels in to English. They gave the initial
momentum to Indo-Anglian novel and left a deep impression
on the mind and art of Indo-Anglian novelists. Romesh
Chandra Dutta wrote six Bengali novels, in which two were
social and rest four were social and rest four were translated
into English by him. The lake of Palms (1902) and The Slave
girl of Agra (1909).
Bankim Chandraji was in fact the father of Bengali
Fiction. He translated his novels in English, which played an
important role in advancing the literary renascence all over
Indian. The Poison Tree appeared in 1884, Kapalkundla was
translated in 1885, The Two Rings (1897) and Raj Mohan's
wife (1904) followed in quick succession.
Above all there was an outstanding writer who
translated his novels into English, whose spell is felt in the
entire modern Indian-Literature and he was Rabindra Nath
Tagore. His influence on the Indo Anglian novelists was
entirely different. The novels of Tagore which were translated
into English are, Gora (1923) The Wreck (1921) and The Home
and The World (1919). Tagore revealed the in most current of
man's mind in his novels. He added depth and significance
to the novel a great leap forward in the development of the
The real beginning of Indo-Anglian Fiction started after
the end of the First World War. Before 1920, most of the
novels were either historical or romantic. But after 1920, the
Indo-Anglia novelists turned to the depiction contemporary
problems of politics and society.
In this phase of Indo-Anglian Fiction, men like R.K.
Narayanan, Mulkraj Anand, Raja Rao and many others came
out, whose contribution to the growth of the Indo-Anglian
novel is of no mean order. R.K. Narayanan, who stands at
front fore of Indian Novelists was horn in 1907 in Madras.
R.K. Narayanan's career as a short story writer began
almost a decade after Anand's with Cyclone and Other Stories
(1943) Dodev and Other Stories (1943), and Malgudi Days
(1943). His subsequent collections are An Astrologer's Day
Law by Road and Other Stories (1956), and A Horse and Two
Goats (1970) Gods, Demons and Others (1964) is a settling of
a well-known ancient Hindu legends.
The Indo-Anglian novel made a diffident appearance
in the nineteen twenties, then gradually gathered confidence
and established it self in the next two decades. The
momentum has yet to sub side, and more novel have been
published in the sixties that ever before. This increase in out
put is difficult to account for especially when there were
hardly half a dozen Indo-Anglian novel until the year 1920.
Perhaps one of the reasons is that the flowering of Indo-
Anglian fiction coincided with the novel's coming of age in
the regional language of India.
The independence movement in India was not merely
a political struggle but an all pervasive emotional experience
for all Indians in the nineteen-twenties and thirties. No Indian
writer, writing in those decades or writing about them, could
avoid reflecting this upsurge in his work. Thus many of the
English novels written in India in the present century also
deal with this national experience-either directly as theme or
indirectly as significant public background to a personal
narrative. This was an experience that was national in nature.
It traversed boundaries of language and community and
since Indo- Anglian novels aim at a pan-Indian readership,
this unifying experience has served to establish Indo-Anglian
writing as an integral part of Indian literature.
It can be seen from the literature of other countries that
a great national experience generally serves as a grand
reservoir of literary material which can assume a significance
beyond mere historical reality. It was an emotional as well as
an ideological experience spread over a much longer period
of time than any other nationalist revolution in world history.
The Gandhian ideology may have been the prime mover, but
also with it there were the leftist, the terrorist, and the
revolutionary parties working towards the same end through
different means. The Gandhian way itself had different
implications for different kinds of people. For some, it was a
philosophy of life, for other an expedient strategy in achieving
The most significant challenge before the Indo-Anglian
novelists is the task of using the English language in a way
that will be distinctively Indian and still remain English.
For a long time 'Indian English' used to be a term of
disapprobation, implying use of English vocabulary2. That
meaning still persists in many quarters, and a number of
cultivated Indians even today refuse to be interested in the
novels Indians write in English for fear that they may have
to contend with specimens of 'Indian English'. But in other
quarters especially among the writers themselves, there
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 54
seems to be an increasing awareness that English is a pliant
language which each writer has to fashion a new to serve
his particular purpose, that for an Indian writer this
fashioning will have to be different from what a British or
American writer does and that the definition of good English
varies not only from century to century but also from place
to place.
In the last thirty years there has been a great deal of
experiments have been successful, and some writers are
perhaps not even aware that they are experimenting, yet the
tendency itself deserves notice because it reflects an
important change of attitude towards the English language.
The few writers who wrote novels in English in the early part
of this century used the language carefully, with stiff
correctness, always conscious that it was a freight tongue.
Perhaps because of this consciousness some of the best
creative talents kept way from it. There may even have been
a kind of shame, a tag of servility, attached to the writing of
creative literature in English in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, in the era of newly awakened
The question of whether there is or should be an Indian
English is not really relevant to a critical discussion of
contemporary Indo-Anglian fiction. As far the question of
should Indians write novels in English, this can not have a
bearing on the novels which have already been written. Even
the debatable future of the English language in India need
not inhibit an examination of the work which is already in
existence. Whatever linguists theories or politicians decide,
the rate of publication of Indian novels in English has not
yet shown any market decline. As K.R. Sriniwasa Iyengar
rightly remarks: "When an Indian writer of fiction uses a
learnt second language like English, he is actually recording
a kind of half-conscious translation (from mother tongue
into English) that has taken place in the mind. Most of our
writers are bi-lingual, some equally proficient in English and
the mother tongue and some more in one than in the other.
The background and the situations are usually Indian but
the characters may often be drawn from bilingual milieus.
The need for expressing the values verities and heart beats
of one culture in the language of another poses its own
problems and there is doubtless the inner urge to render in
English the rhythms idiosyncrasies, images, idioms and
proverbs of the local speech". Because one of the most
outstanding characteristics of Indian writing in English is
that the background is Indian and the language though
foreign has adopted itself to the needs of the Indian. Thus
today Indian English as well as Indian writing in English has
got its own identity with new talents like, Salman Rushdie,
Arundhati Roy, Shobha De, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Arun
Joshi, Khuswant Singh etc. All these writers have arrived
successfully on the Indian scenario of literature. Indo-
Anglian fiction is part of truly Indian fiction and not a tenuous
extension of English fiction.
References :
(1) M.V. Rajadhyaksha, "Marathi Literature", in
contemporary Indian Literature (New Delhi, 1959 2nd end) P. 163
(2) See F. Anstey's Baboo Jabbarjee (London, 1898), Which
is written is style parodying 'Indian English'.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 55
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 55-56
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
Introduction :
If society is to be considered as a cart, it has two wheels
viz. man and woman. These two wheels should move together
and parallel so that the cart of society can run smoothly.
Unfortunately, for a long time, the two wheels of society
were not running parallel. Their movements were unequal
that's why human society could not make desirable progress
but now in emerging India, the picture of Indian woman is
changing rapidly. They are coming forward to meet with their
upliftment. In the changing perspective, women seem to be
ready to face all sorts of challenges whether they are physical
or mental. This wonderful change took place because of
education. Now there is no educational restriction for women.
They have full and perfect liberty to make their life happy,
healthy and prosperous which was not possible in the ancient
days. Goswami Tulsidas said : Dhor, Gawar, Shudra, Pashu,
Nari, Sakal tadna ke adhikari.
(2) Reasons of Woman's Upliftment : In the present
age, there are many reasons of woman's upliftment. Some are
as follows :
(i) Constitutional Reason : This is the most dominant
reason behind the woman's upliftment in India. As we know
that there are four pillars of Indian Constitution Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity and Justice. These four rights have been
provided to all whether they are men or women. Thus, woman
who had been kept and deprived from these rights, could
avail a new opportunity to be ahead for her upliftment, A
new ray of light came in her life so she did not leave any
chance of progress. Presently, woman is using her rights in
same way as they are being used by the man. When woman
finds her rights to be exploited or violated, she readily comes
ahead to protect them. Indian constitution has made woman
powerful equal to man. It is said All human rights and
fundamental freedoms are indivisible and interdependent.
Hence equal attention and urgent consideration should be
given to the implementation, promotion and protection of
civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
(ii) Social Reason : In the present scenario, the social
attitude is also changing. Now, male dominant society has
come ahead to liberate woman. In the changing perspective,
several social movements have aroused to show that without
woman's upliftment, the dream of healthy society, can not be
seen. In the earlier age, social attitude towards woman was a
dual kind but now it is changed. Today, a father is ready to
give the proper education to his daughter. A young and
educated boy hopes that he should be married with a very
much educated girl. A husband wants that his wife should
also be highly qualified so that she should earn money.
Everybody wants to change the lifestyle. Everybody wants
to be seen separate. In this way everybody is directly or
indirectly is in favor of woman's upliftment.
(iii) Political Reason : This is also a most dominant
reason behind the woman's upliftment in emerging India.
Politically, it has proved that in India SC/ST/OBC and woman
have been marginalized. They have been deprived even from
Upliftment of Woman in Emerging India
Assistant Professor (Department of English), Govt. Maharaja Autonomous P.G. College, Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh)
In this research paper, I have tried to focus those elements which were either hidden or
misunderstood. Generally, it is believed that woman is being marginalized, she has been kept
under the slavery of man. I think those days are gone away. Of course, she was exploited,
humiliated and remained under the pressure of man but after India got freedom, she is free to
make her desirable progress. However, she is ignorant even today about her freeness and
rights. It does not mean that she is being kept under the pressure. Father wants that his daughter
should be well educated, Husband wants that his wife should be well educated and Brother
wants that his sister should be well educated. In the ancient days father, brother and husband
did not allow women to be educated but in the present scenario all are positive. All are sincere
and serious towards the woman. We should be optimistic in this concern. Definitely, the attitude
of our society has changed. Woman is coming forward to make her ambitions progress.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 56
the human rights. It is needless to quote the references of so
called religious literature in which woman has been left as a
slave of her husband. She has been treated badly sometimes
by father or brother and other times by her husband. She
was beaten, in case, she opposed them. But now the days
are changed. They have become politically strong.
Reservation policies are being made in their favor. The thirty
percent reservation has been announced for women by the
central government. They are being given preference in the
government services. This woman reservation is declared
for all women whether they belong to SC/ST/OBC or General
Class Categories.
In this way general women are also getting advantage
of reservation. Now, their father, brother and husbands are
happy. Not only this, these women can contest any sort of
election. There are many examples to prove the fact that
woman in emerging India is getting progress. In political
field, there are so many women like Mayawati, Shila Dixit,
Jailalita, Sonia Gandhi, Mamta Benerji, Sushma Swaraj etc
who are leading their politics successfully. In India the first
citizen is woman. What is this? This is the changing picture
of woman in emerging India.
(iv) Emotional Reason : Here, one can feel wonder
whether emotional reason is also a reason of woman's
upliftment. Of course, it is. In the earlier age, history is the
evidence; the cows were killed and eaten by man. It is no
necessary to mention who and who killed and ate them. But
it is sure and certain that it happened so. But now, we are
much more emotional up on this matter. We are regretting
upon our past deeds. Now, we call cow 'Gou-Maata'. We
give reverence and worship her. So is the case with woman,
man has compelled her for 'Johar' and 'Sati'. Man has played
with her chastity mercilessly. Now, he has become emotional
upon the woman's matter. It seems that we have admitted our
mistakes that's why we have become positive towards
woman. Of course, it must be so. Now, we call a woman
'Laxmi' or 'Ladli Laxmi', 'Devi', 'Saraswati' etc. Its positive results
are many. The percentage of woman literacy is increasing
day-by-day. We can see the results of annual examinations
whether they are of high school or higher secondary, whether
they are of graduation or post graduation, the number of
successful girls students is greater than that of boys
students. This is the historical change.
(v) Literary Reason : As we know that 'Literature is
the mirror of society'. Literature shows us as we are. In the
field of literature, woman has been exploited badly by the
male dominant society. Most of the writers and poets are
men. They have done injustice towards woman. The male
dominant literature used woman only for man's recreation
and entertainment. Of course, some authors have presented
woman as a respectful human being but often, woman has
been treated badly. To prove this fact it can be said that the
concept of feminism has aroused due to this reason. Now,
woman has understood everything. She has waken up and
stood up against her exploitation. The feministic movements
have shaken out the world of literature. The woman authors
have started to write against their exploitation their sound
can be heard every where. About this, Dr. Desmane Parva
Bhagwanrao Says: In the period of Bhartendu, Poets left
gods-goddesses, and kings. They took, common man for
their literature to describe. Thus, at first, woman who was
always criticized, used and exploited, became the feelings of
What is feministic approach ? Answer is that feministic
approach is a conflict against the male dominant literature.
Feminists are of the opinion that the literature is making
injustice towards the feelings of woman. This is the problem
not only of any particular country but is of the entire world.
This feminism has given a number of feministic or in other
words, it world be better to say that the concept of feminism
has generated the conflict against the literary exploitation of
woman. Today in the entire world, women authors are in
large scale. They are giving preference to woman's upliftment.
In India too, this feministic approach has impressed to literary
persons. Here too, there is a long chain of woman authors. In
this pious mission, men are also supporting them. Male
dominant literature in which female has been criticized or
humiliated, is being operated even by the man.
Indian governments (central and state governments)
are also playing their desirable role in supporting the woman.
The governments have launched a number of schemes in
favor of woman. Here we see an example of governments
support: In the village, for the care of women and newly
born children, a health-worker comes at the centre on every
Tuesday to provide their well wishers a proper guideline
how to care them. At these centers, vaccinations program
are also held time-to time.
Conclusion :
As a conclusion, it can be said that in the present age,
women are not in silent mode. They have understood very
well what they should have to do for their emancipation.
Although, this awareness is not prevailed in throughout the
country, yet the results are positive. In the coming days,
women would surely go ahead in common race of men and
women. We should wait for that moment and we should
support the women who were frequently suppressed.
References :
(1) Hindi Sahitya 'yug' our Privirtian : Dr. Shivkumar
Sharma, P-229.
(2) Hindi Sahitya Ki Mahila Upanyaskar awam Unka Yogdan
: Dr. Desmane Parwati Bhagwanrao : Research Link-92 volx (9)
Nov.11, P-65.
(3) Mrs. Preeti Bharadwaj : Importance of Human Rights
and its Implementation in a civilized society : Research Link 92, Vol
X (9), Nov. 2011, P 127.
(4) Outlook : The weekly Newsmagzines Nov.7 2011.
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 57
Research Link - 96, Vol - XI (1), March - 2012, Page No. 57-58
RNI No. MPHIN-2002-7041, ISSN No.-0973-1628
E nglish Literature
National, Registered,
Recognized &
Referred - Journal :
Objectives of the Paper :
(1) To read 'Lord of the Flies' from philosophical
(2) To analyze and interpret the relevance of
philosophical aspects of 'Lord of the Flies'.
Methodology :
(1) Reading of 'Lord of the Flies' from philosophical
(2) Interpretation of philosophical aspects in 'Lord of
the Flies'.
Overview :
'Lord of the Flies' is a novel with twelve titled chapters.
Each chapter is artistically linked with one another. The plot
is organized by manipulating many symbols. This technique,
in literature, is known as Foreshadow. It can be said that
Golding has described the moral of the book in relation to
the scientific mechanics of society. This is found as a major
theme in the novel. However the concern of the present paper
is to analyze the book with philosophical perspective.
Philosophical Reading :
William Golding has embedded his 'Lord of the Flies'
with his acute philosophy of life. He has presented his
philosophy by introducing the current happenings of his
time. Like- Hitler's Holocaust and blitz of Austria,
Czechoslovakia and Poland; the Japanese rape of Nanjing
and Hidden Holocaust' and Britain's brutal imperialistic
exploits. Golding's philosophy is displayed by introducing
children as leading characters. It is very suggestive that-
'children stray towards savagery when they are without adult
authority'. Such philosophy of Golding makes this piece of
literature worth readable.
Interpretation of Philosophical aspects :
Philosophical reading of 'Lord of the Flies' enables me
to interpret it. As it is stated before, this novel is very rich in
its philosophy. Golding's use of philosophical aspects
becomes the major themes of the novel.
(1) Philosophy of Natural Man :
The philosophy of Natural Man, originated by
Rousseau, has been depicted by Golding with the use of
island as a metaphor. When framing the book on an island,
Golding's purpose is to freely experiment with the characters
and the role they shall take within the book. The study
illustrates the corruption of mankind since the kind of the
Rousseau's Natural Man disappeared due to the
establishment of some sort of social-or, what is the same for
the French philosopher- anti Natural Man.
(2) Philosophy of Existentialism :
Existentialism fits too with the idea of escaping from
routine. A great effort is made to that purpose, but when the
unavoidable frustration appears as a result of that fight make
strength fades away; as the fire in the novel finally
disappears. In addition to this, we shall consider an island as
a symbol of loneliness, of solitude; escaping is sometimes
an impossible task. This existentialism tortures and leads
anyone to void. Some may desire to escape from the island
which bears human condition.
(3) Philosophy of Parallelism :
I would like to trace a parallelism between the situation
William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies' :
A Philosophical Reading
This research paper aims at analyzing William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies'
from philosophical perspective. Lord of the Flies, with its dystopian and speculative
characteristics, established Golding as a solid author with an interest in science fiction
literary genre that was popular in the 1950's. Although the novel depicts realistic
characters and the plot employs popular science fiction, its philosophical features has
to be interpreted. Hence, I undertook the present research paper to give a diplomatic
touch to 'Lord of the Flies'. Key Words : Philosophy, Natural man, Existentialism,
Parallelism, Fascism, Truth, Religion.
Assistant Professor, M.V.P's, Arts, science and Commerce College, Sinnar, Dist. Nasik (Maharashtra)
! Research Link - 96 ! Vol - XI (1) ! March - 2012 ! 58
of the kids when their plane crashed and the so called Natural
Man conceived by Rousseau. The Natural Man was an
idealized savage who lived in harmony with his instincts and
enjoyed communion with nature. Once the social order
appeared, the corruption of his condition begun, and the
consequences of a degraded order derived into a different
kind of savagery; social savagery, a kind of paradoxical
parable. The plot in the novel describes with special care
how the democracy of the shell generated enough envy and
conflicts to finally fracture their attempt to organize them
under a rational thought.
(4) The Fascist philosophy :
We can find an example on Jack's use of fear to achieve
his purposes. Therefore, the group's fear towards an
unknown beast will end up driving the entire group into
Jack's fascist hands. To reinforce his pride Jack hides his
own image behinds a mask; a mask which has something to
do with the fascist imaginary, like the paint on the faces. The
paint institutionalizes the group and makes personal identity
disappear. In all those societies marked by dictatorial there is
uniformity in how people think, dress and react towards certain
(5) The philosophy of Truth :
We can stand a premonition of Simon's death through
the Lord of the Flies message. It can be considered as an
advice of the potential danger implied on the possession of
truth. Ignorance is praised as a condition to enjoy life without
getting in trouble; so Simon in encouraged to leave that
forbidden place and play with the other children. The Lord
of the Flies reveals itself as the main cause which will not
allow them to abandon the island.
(6) The philosophy of Religion :
The arrival of the soldier represents an ideal of
salvation which is only comparable to God's mercy, but I
think the end is not a clear metaphor but a pretext to avoid
the responsibility of solving those questions. Even the
author himself could not be able to solve it; his mail
achievement consists in giving a clear, bright and
representative allegory. Maybe to be a wise is to make the
good question rather than the right answer.
Findings :
(A) The reason to be learned from this book is that we
all hide a tyrant, or an evil, or a dark instinct which must be
sacrificed in favor of living in society.
(B) Human being is social by nature, and so the fatal
conflict could be intrinsic and unavoidable within us.
(C) The Lord of the Flies is not a great question but a
mere explanation of what we are. An explanation of human
history and a pessimist message for those who believe in
Anyway, if pessimism is an obstacle, it is also a
challenge to be faced; and by facing trouble, if you are not
destroyed, you will start believing on this overwhelming
phrase-'whatever does not kill you makes you stronger'.
References :
(1) Baker, James R. "The Decline of Lord of the Flies." In
South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 69, Autumn, 1970
(2) Forster, E.M. "Introduction" Lord of the Flies. New York:
Coward, McCann & Geoghegan Inc., 1962.
(3) Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Capricorn
Books, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1954.
(4) Green Paint: Mysteries of William Golding's Lord of the
Flies, Great war fiction
(5) Johnson, Arnold (1980), Of Earth and Darkness: The
Novels of William Golding, Missouri; University of Missouri press.
(6) Olsen, Kirsten. Understanding The Lord of the Flies: A
Student Casebook to Issues, Sources and Historical Documents.
New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000
(7) Swisher, Clarice, ed. Readings on the Lord of the Flies.
New York: Greenhaven Press, 1997.