R.K. Narayan’s Attitude Towards the ENGLISH Language: a Postcolonial Posture, a Utilitarian Gesture
M. Maniruzraman and M. Mamunur Rahman
Abstract: This paper intends to examine R.K. Narayan’s attitude towards the English language as reflected in his essays. Narayan (1906-2001) was born and grew up in a period when English, education was already institutionalised in the Indian Sub-continent. Like other Indian writers in English, such as Raja Rao and Mulk Raj Anand, he received English education and used to write in English from the beginning of his literary career up to the end. However, he is seen to have used the English language through his fiction to scrutinize colonialism and depict the Indian society continually under change due to the colonial rule. A part of this endeavor seems to be evident in Narayan’s attitude towards the English language. Narayan’s position in this regard is deemed quite ambivalent and complex – he is aware that English is the language of the colonist, yet he is found to have accepted it for .practical reasons. That is, his attitude towards the English language appears to have resulted from and shaped by the reality prevailing in the postcolonial setting.
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Published in Fall 2008