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Showing posts from August, 2014

Book Review: Coolie by Mulk Raj Anand

Munoo, a 14-year-old orphan, is the hero of Mulk Raj Anand’s great novel Coolie. The plot revolves around him, and accordingly, the storyline is based on humanitarian values like his previous work 'Untouchable'. The story portrays the clever methods and the wits taken up by the hill boy who's forcibly out of his hilly village to earn a livelihood. In the process, he gets exposed to the world's depressing realities. In the quest of identity and some means for sustenance, he takes the ways along with some equally socially and economically downtrodden people to towns and cities of India. The plight of his fate stretches from Shimla to Bombay, but he finds no solace. Often found labouring hard either as a home servant, factory-worker, or rickshaw puller. Everywhere he goes, is being exploited, making his survival a fight to fend for himself. The fight for survival highlights, with unrefined propinquity, the sad providence of the underprivileged people of colo

Book Review: Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand

The novel – Untouchable needs no introduction for an Indian reader because its background is well known to him.   The very title is a telltale.                         Humanism, which is the key concept of his novels like Untouchable and Coolie, reveals man’s essential dignity and nobility. According to this approach to man – man is the creative source of infinite possibilities. Mr. Anand is a humanist who reveals the essential dignity of the underdogs of Indian society. Anand in all his novels emphasizes the fact that nobility and dignity are not the monopoly of the rich. The poor have their greatness, honour as well as the richness. This humanism is the central theme of his novels. His humanism justifies that man is man, be he a sweeper, a prince or a coolie. The novel Untouchable has the confrontation between tradition and modernity. Anand realized that much in the Indian tradition was obsolete and meaningless. Tradition might have its utility when it began as a new

Book Review: Godan by Munshi Premchand

Like many other poor peasants Hori too wants to own a cow in a hope to elevate his puny social status to some height of self-importance. Much opposite to his circumstances, he purchases a cow at a debt of 80 rupees. However, things spiraled out of his control when he tries to cheat his younger brother, Heera, by 10 rupees. This haggle causes a huge fight between Dhaniya (Hori’s wife) and Heera’s wife. Heera poisons the cow and runs away to avoid being caught by the Police. To settle down the cow’s death matter, Hori takes some loan from a moneylender and bribes the police. On the other hand, Gobar (Hori’s son) has an affair with a widow Jhunia. When Jhunia is pregnant with his child, Gobar runs away to the city to escape the wrath of the villagers. But then Jhunia is taken into care by Hori and his family. Because of Jhunia’s issue, the village Panchayat orders Hori to pay a penalty amount for his son’s deeds. Thus, Hori again takes the loan from moneylenders.      As the