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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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Private Sorrows, Indian Remedy

Private Sorrows, Indian Remedy

The Vendor of Sweets*

Chapter:
(p.197) 14 Private Sorrows, Indian Remedy
Source:
R.K. Narayan
Author(s):

Ranga Rao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199470754.003.0014

In this chapter, Ranga Rao discusses The Vendor of Sweets. The story explores the issues arising from the generational gap between Jagan and his son Mali. The protagonist Jagan achieves great success in his sweets business, but fails as a husband and as a father. But he recovers from his private sorrows and moves on. After Vasu, the archetypal recusant of Mahatma, lesser renegades attract Narayan’s attention. Indian politics and society may have turned away from the Mahatma, but the ‘Great Soul’ keeps making his presence felt in Narayan’s novels. As a satyagrahi, Jagan had attempted audaciously to pull down the Union Jack from the Collector’s bungalow. The results of the distancing between Jagan and Mali have been striking in Jagan’s life since; as in his nation’s life. When problems with his son reach a critical point, he turns to engage in a piety project.

Keywords:   generational gap, satyagraha, decline of Gandhism, vanaprasthya, sanyasa, family, piety project

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