Header Ads

Use of myths in the novel, Kanthapura by Raja Rao

Kanthapura by Raja Rao

(Use of myths)

Use of myths in the novel, Kanthapura by Raja Rao

Q. Write a critical note on the use of myths in Kanthapura.

Answer: Kanthapura, written by Raja Rao, is a novel that tells the story of a small South Indian village named Kanthapura during the Indian independence movement. The novel makes extensive use of myths and legends from Hindu mythology to depict the struggles of the villagers against British colonialism.

The use of myths in Kanthapura highlights the importance of oral traditions and storytelling in Indian culture. Throughout the novel, the villagers gather to listen to stories told by their elders, and these stories play an important role in shaping their understanding of the world. The use of myths reinforces the idea that storytelling is not simply a form of entertainment, but a way of transmitting cultural values and knowledge from one generation to the next.

Furthermore, the use of myths in Kanthapura also serves to challenge Western notions of history and progress. Western historiography often emphasizes the importance of linear, chronological time, and views history as a process of development and progress. In contrast, the use of myths in Kanthapura emphasizes the cyclical nature of time and the idea that history is shaped by a complex web of social, cultural, and spiritual forces. This challenges the idea that history can be understood through a single, universal narrative, and emphasizes the importance of recognizing the diversity of human experience and the complexity of historical processes.

It must be noted that the use of myths in Kanthapura serves several purposes. Firstly, it connects the villagers' struggle against the British with a larger historical and cultural tradition. The use of myths creates a sense of continuity between the past and the present, and reinforces the idea that the villagers' struggle is part of a larger struggle for independence that has been going on for centuries.

Secondly, the use of myths helps to create a sense of community and shared identity among the villagers. By drawing on the same myths and legends, the villagers are able to create a sense of solidarity and shared purpose. The myths serve as a unifying force that brings the villagers together and helps them to overcome their differences.

Thirdly, the use of myths allows Raja Rao to critique the British colonial project in India. By portraying the British as "demons" and "asuras" (demonic beings from Hindu mythology), Raja Rao draws on a traditional Indian cultural trope of good vs. evil to position the British as oppressors and the villagers as victims. This allows Raja Rao to make a powerful political statement about the impact of colonialism on India.

However, the use of myths in Kanthapura has also been criticized for perpetuating certain cultural stereotypes and essentializing Indian culture. Some critics argue that Raja Rao's use of myths reinforces the idea of India as a timeless and unchanging culture, rather than a complex and diverse society that is constantly evolving. Others argue that Raja Rao's use of myths reduces Indian culture to a series of exotic symbols and tropes, rather than a living and dynamic tradition.

In brief, the use of myths in Kanthapura is a powerful literary technique that helps to connect the villagers' struggle against colonialism with a larger cultural tradition. However, it is important to recognize that the use of myths can also perpetuate cultural stereotypes and essentialize Indian culture. Ultimately, the use of myths in Kanthapura serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling to shape our understanding of the world around us.


Read also: 🔎

👉 'Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai: Images of ‘light’ 

👉 'Kanthapura by Raja Rao: Use of myths in the novel  

 👉 ''Harvest' by Jim Crace: Projection of a dystopian future   

👉 'On a Muggy Night in Mumbai by Mahesh Dattani   

👉 'Judith Butler's book, Gender Trouble: Concept of the Performativity of Gender 

👉 'The Second Sex: Simone de Beauvoir’s view on Patriarchy and Feminism 

👉 'Gender and Literature: Body has been a Contested Site in Gender Studies  

👉 'The Pluralities of Masculinities with appropriate examples:Gender and Literature 

👉 'Walt Whitman’s celebration to the ‘self’ and the ‘society’ in his poems  

👉 'Moll Flanders as a Realistic Novel  

👉 'The School for Scandal as a Restoration Comedy or‘Comedy of Manners’  

👉 'The Scarlet Letter' by Nathaniel Hawthorne - Significance of the Title

Post a Comment