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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

The Moth and the Mahatma

The Moth and the Mahatma

Waiting for the Mahatma

(p.136) 11 The Moth and the Mahatma
R.K. Narayan

Ranga Rao

Oxford University Press

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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