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R.K. NarayanThe Novelist and His Art$
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Ranga Rao

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199470754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199470754.001.0001

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The Moth and the Mahatma

The Moth and the Mahatma

Waiting for the Mahatma

Chapter:
(p.136) 11 The Moth and the Mahatma
Source:
R.K. Narayan
Author(s):

Ranga Rao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199470754.003.0011

In this chapter, Ranga Rao discusses Narayan’s love story Waiting for the Mahatma, that also has the Mahatma as a character. The novel presents the education of another young man, Sriram, this time under Gandhian guidance. Sriram is a post-Independence hero; by age and temperament he is in greater need of self-development; even at the end, a much-changed young man. A typical post-Independence hero suffers from a vice. Sriram’s sloth is contrasted early with the purposeful energy and self-discipline of his grandmother; and later of the Mahatma and of his disciple Bharati. The central interest of the novel is the development of Sriram: from sloth to selfless action, through the mediation and ministration of his beloved, a spirited girl, a favourite disciple of the Mahatma, aptly named Bharati (‘Bharat’ being India).

Keywords:   grandmother, education, post-Independence hero, sloth, selfless action, Gandhianism

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