Sexuality and the Fiction of R. K. Narayan
Abstract: This essay depicts R. K. Narayan as a writer intricately and intensely involved with a changing India by looking at his treatment of sexuality in his fiction. It reveals a writer who is able to represent sexual proclivities in Malgudi subtly as well as comprehensively. The essay argues that in Narayan’s fiction. women increasingly display their dissatisfaction with prevailing sexual norms and attempt to negotiate a new role for themselves where they can respond to the sexual overtures of men they like in their own terms without giving up their quest for self-fulfillment. Orr the other hand, it argues that Narayan sees male sexuality as insidious, disruptive and uncontrollable. In tact, the essay shows that the plots of quite a few of Narayan’s novels depict male sexuality as a fundamentally unsettling phenomenon and suggests that many of his narratives are constructed to reveal it as constituting a threat to the status quo.
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Published in Fall 2008