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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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Sacral Space: No Trespassing!

Sacral Space: No Trespassing!

The Dark Room1

Chapter:
(p.50) 6 Sacral Space: No Trespassing!
Source:
R.K. Narayan
Author(s):

Ranga Rao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199470754.003.0006

The Dark Room jolts the reader like a cross-country detour off the Narayan highway. The central character is no latter-day Chandran fulfilling our expectations after The Bachelor of Arts, but a woman, married for fifteen years—a middle-aged mother with three children at school. The human instinct for individual freedom, no doubt, plays a key role even in this novel; however, more than the spirit of liberty in a milieu of untenable tradition, the family as a ‘matrix’ becomes a dominant feature in The Dark Room. After the delicate weave of family rapport of the first two novels, we witness in The Dark Room a spectacle of ripping domestic discord ending in violence unique in Narayan’s early comedy. Even the novelist seems unable to explain his interest in the theme. This must have been an early testament of the women’s liberation movement.

Keywords:   social and psychological realism, women’s liberation movement, domestic discord, adultery, economic independence, early comedy, Graham Greene, R.K. Narayan’s humanity, rajasic man

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