2009-10 AM Fictions of India - Expert Group on Protagonists/Characters
Expert Group on Protagonists/Characters
What is his main goal? Does he follow the spiritual journey just to disguise himself for the Great Game?
It is difficult to say what his “main goal” actually is because everyone can read the story in a different way. Important here is how someone would interpret the importance of the Spiritual Journey or Kim’s participation in the Great Game. It is not obvious what seems to be more important for him(self).
Group: Similarities and Contrasts in Kim and Untouchable
- is not in a caste and therefore behaves freely
- is a part of colonialism as he is a native born English and takes part in the Great Game.
- got his power through birth (being English and therefore being independent of the caste system)
- uses his talents for his own purpose
- is open-minded towards: Mohammedans, Hindus, Buddhists
- is trying to life like a British - his whole life is influenced by colonialism as he admires the British and their lifestyle and tries to imitate them - is predominantly powerful in his job which nevertheless does not influence other parts of his life - works for the sake of his family - is open-minded towards: Mohammedans, Hindus, Christians - sweeper, lowest of the low- castes (p.89); is conscious of his position but not satisfied - father Lakha, abuses him (12), respects him not least because of his tyranny (83) - mother is dead (12)- burden of looking after the family on him (13) - friends:Chota, Ram Charan - had been working in the barracks of the British regiment; Bristish had treated him as human (9f.) - wants to be educated (talk to the sahibs; 38) - he is not allowed to go to school due to his caste (39) - he also believes in Untouchability (52) - cannot overstep the barriers between the castes (65) - ambivalent love towards his sister (64) → brother-sister: would do everything to protect his sister like a brother → husband's love - spirit of resignation due to centuries of outcaste ancestors (66) - begs for bread (71) - dislikes his home/town and flees into his own created English harmony (78) - he feels self-pity (83) -B. starts to feel unequal to his friends because of the insults (97) - does not have a girlfriend; feels attracted to other girls (Ram Charan's sister, 88) - likes to play hockey - he has mood-swings because of his insecurity and lack of self-confidence - he blames himself for everything that goes wrong (116)
- First person narrator of the book
- finds himself in the centre of public attention from birth on
- desperately longing to “mean something” during his life
- goes through several distinctive phases or 'incarnations' throughout the book
--> his life is a microcosm of India's history
- are Kim and Bakha passive or active acting towards the national change?
- is their way of acting determined by the caste system?
- how does Kim feel about christianity? → no clear hints in the book
Mulk Raj Anand "Untouchable" (Group: Impersonal narration and the ideology of the text: the representation of India and of Bakha's consciousness)
Different possible solutions for Bakhas future or his escape from his untouchability:
1.)Christianity because when leaving Colonel Hutchinson he considers Jesus as good → does he take it as a serious option?
2.)technical innovation because Bakha listens carefully to the academics' talk, after Gandhi’s speech, who are discussing a drainage system. Considering this, Bakha is excited to speak about this technical innovation to his father.
3.)Humanity because the topic evolves in the form of Gandhi (see point Humanity) with whom Bakha sympathizes