Rukhaya M.K

A Literary Companion

Category: Novel

Review: Jagdish Keshav’s The President Vanishes and Other Stories


Jagdish Keshav’s The President Vanishes and other Stories is a Chinese box collection with four dimensions that outline the pseudo modern existence – myth, instinct, reification and organised crime.A born story teller, he keeps our eyes glued onto the narratives verging on suspense. In “Circa”, in the search for the missing jewels, the quest for answers lies within, and readers also find themselves in a hunt for the missing link, a metaphor for some answer that has always evaded us and lingered onto the mind, as in the end of the story. It symbolizes the irrational fear that is a heavy baggage whose bits and pieces we find strewn on our path.”The March of Asuras” caricaturizes war that is often romanticized in myth and legends, and utilizes a powerful myth to subvert the same. ”The Story of a Lecher: Nayan Lal!” is a pointer to the patriarchal existence that promotes the reification and commodification of women. The inquisitiveness of the men-folk is a peep into their own psyche where the woman is objectified.”The President Vanishes” presents terrorism as the intentionally distorted simulacrum of religion.

I comprehend that “Circa” is in the form of a quest to complete oneself through God. Though instead of completing ourselves, we end up completing God binding him to a construct.…

Novel analysis: Family Relationships in Ngugi wa Thiago’s “Weep Not,Child”


Ngugi wa Thiago’s “Weep Not, Child” exemplifies the place of family in an individual’s life through the eyes of the protagonist. ‘Family’ is the heart and soul of the society in which Njoroge lives.

Njoroge’s family lives in then Mahua Village, has Ngotho as the head .He is the final authority and the one who has the final say in all matters. He has two wives- Njeri and Nyokabi, of whom Njeri is the first wife and elder one. Boro, Kori and Kamau are born of the first wife, while Mwangi and Njoroge are born of the second. Boro was a soldier in the Second World War and is a disillusioned individual. Kori works at the Green Hotel and Kamau is an apprentice to Nganga, the carpenter. Mwangi was killed in the Second World War and Njoroge is the only son of Nyokabi. Hoever, there is a close affinity between the brothers and towards their mother. Njeri was always called ‘our’ or ‘my elder mother’, while Nyokabi was just mother. It was a habit observed and accepted by all.

The husband in the family displays his emotions towards the wives and children unlike Okonkwo in “Things Fall Apart”. Ngotho jokes with his wives and discusses matters with them.…

Literary Analysis: Divorced Unions in Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory”


Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory” is based upon “less than two months spent in Mexico in March and April of 1938,incuding five weeks of grueling, solitary travel in the southern provinces of Tabasco and Chiapas.” John Updike asserts “There is something about the Roman Catholicism which infuses with it Manichaean darkness and tortured literalism .”

There is the conflict between idealism and practicality as echoed here as by the lieutenant and the Priest who are diametric opposites. The Lieutenant aims at an ideal republic devoid of all corrupt institutions such as religion, and does not bother about the means as long as the end is reached. His totalitarian regime practises his own version of socialism to breed a better future for the generations to come in terms of equality and tolerance in the state. Though, his version of idealism remains an unrealizable paradigm. Paradoxically, in his coercive stance, life becomes meaningless as echoed in his act of crushing an insect ruthlessly as he did with human life. The Lieutenant reminds one of The Wisest Fool or Tughlaq in Girish Karnad’s play Tughlaq who adopted impractical means such as the shifting of the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad to achieve his goal, and implements ruthless measures to attain his ultimate vision.…

Metaphysical Overtones in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick


Moby Dick is an epic-novel with epic-dimensions to it. Moby Dick, as simple as it is on the superficial level has multifarious dimensions to it. A reason for the richness of the novel is the different layers of meaning that can be ferreted out from the novel. The metaphysical overtones contribute to this aspect. We may consider the different metaphysical aspects.

Ahab’s Transcendentalism

Ahab’s monomaniacal ambition has transcendental overtones. He does not check his ambitions on the basis whether they are good or evil, but only on the ground that they are entirely his. His monomaniacal tendencies are elevated by Melville who asserts that it is “a crucifixion on his face” and “the nameless overbearing of some mighty woe.” However, the novel can be an indictment of Transcendentalism as well in that it is an indictment of individualism as Ahab’s towering efforts are crushed towards the end.

Apart from making him a transcendentalist, he also makes his protagonist defy the symbolic perception that transmutes the instinctive violence of the white whale to existential frustration. Ahab’s tendency to symbolic thinking leads him to seeing his adversary “that intangible malignity that has been from the beginning. But this tendency also betrays in him in an inflated sense of obligation to give an outlet to “all the general hate and rage felt by his whole race from Adam down.”

At another level, it also symbolizes man’s quest for truth, the ultimate way to reach God.…

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