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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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In a World Dominated by Adults

In a World Dominated by Adults

Swami and Friends

Chapter:
(p.29) 4 In a World Dominated by Adults
Source:
R.K. Narayan
Author(s):

Ranga Rao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199470754.003.0004

Ranga Rao furthers his critique by picking up Narayan’s debut novel, Swami and Friends. The very simplicity of the story signals thrifty talent and daring originality of theme. This novel also establishes the character of Malgudi, a small town located in a corner of south India. Swami and Friends also presents a basic plan common to so many of Narayan’s novels, that is, an uprooting followed by a return, a renewal, and a restoration of normalcy. The protagonist, Swami, establishes the sattvic temper, the truth-searching mind, the conscionability, which are the hallmarks of Narayan’s heroes, especially, of the pre-Independence novels. The slim novel is also epochal in the history of the Indian novel in English: one of the three novels—with Anand’s Untouchable and Raja Rao’s Kanthapura—in the 1930s, launching a new phase in the development of the Indian novel in English.

Keywords:   R.K. Narayan’s humanism, Malgudi, Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, sattvic temper, freedom and discipline, televization, conscience

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