This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Mythic And Symbolic Study Of Raja Rao’s The Serpent And The Rope

3564 words - 15 pages

Raja Rao is one of the greatest of Indian novelists writing in English language. Only two others Mulk Raj Anand and R.K.Narayan could come near him as Uma Parameswaran suggests this in her rigorous study titled A Study of Representative Indo-English Novelists, “Among the novelists one could narrow down the choice to Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao....Yet, in the final analysis Raja Rao comes out several steps ahead of Anand” (141). He hailed from a traditional South Indian Brahmin family and after having matriculated from Hyderabad, he went over to Aligarh for higher education and earned his graduate degree. Thenceforth, he proceeded to France on a scholarship awarded to him by government and ...view middle of the document...

“The Serpent and the Rope is the most mature of Raja Rao’s works. It took ten years in shaping itself . . .” (Raziada 164). Similarly C.D.Narasimhaiah has appreciated this novel saying, “Let me at once admit that I have, ever since, I first read The Serpent and the Rope in 1962 considered Raja Rao the most significant Indian writer in English and a major novelist of our age” (68). For this novel he won the Sahitya Akadami Award in 1966 and Padam Bhusan was awarded to him in 1969 by the President of India. World attention at once focused on it and it won enormous critical and literary appreciation and it is still praised for its magnificent creative undertone and achievement.
The Serpent and the Rope is a complex and multifarious work of art and hence can be studied at various levels. On narrative ground, it is named as an account of Ramaswamy’s quest for self realization and transcendence which enables a man to distinguish between ‘illusion’ and ‘reality.’ This self realization can be acquired through Vedantic Philosophy according to which dualism is ‘illusion’ and the conviction in ‘non-dualism’ is true enlightenment [Gyan]. Ramaswamy calls himself as a holy vagabond as he wanders in search of this enlightenment. He also realizes that in this spiritual pursuit, a Guru’s role is of utter significance and the mode which he adopts for realization of this is not a complete detachment rather he tries to acquire this by remaining an integral part of world and for him marriage, the union of two souls, assists a man to acquire this salvation. He believes in the detached Karmic journey of a man. The novel is embedded with highly metaphysical and sublime thoughts. Harish Raizada suggests:
In The Serpent and the Rope, he has extended the scope of the novel by giving it new subject matter, the quest for metaphysical wisdom or meditation on the nature of existence from Indian point of view [. . .] based on the tradition of philosophic India of Vedas, Upanishadas, Brahm Sutra, the Gita, Yagnyavalkya, Sankara, Madhva and their descendents who left hearth and riverside fields and wandered to distant mountains and hermitage to see God face to face. (164)
As the subject matter of the novel is philosophical, it requires an intellectual and sophisticated narrator and Ramaswamy is an apt protagonist for this possessing great knowledge of different cultures, philosophies and religions. Through his character, Raja Rao has successfully interwoven Vedantic vision and wisdom of age old Indian scriptures by adopting the mythic and archetypal pattern of narration. The very theme of novel is the knowledge of the ‘self,’ so a straightforward and descriptive narrative technique would have been inappropriate to explore the philosophical thoughts and meditation which transcends the limitations of time and space to carry universal appeal which may be yardstick to the whole modern generation. In order to serve this purpose, Raja Rao has employed the mythic and...

Find Another Essay On A Mythic and Symbolic Study of Raja Rao’s The Serpent and the Rope

Superman; the mythic representation of cultural reality shifts in truth, justice and the American way

2196 words - 9 pages The mythology of Superman is a paradigm that embodies the cultural reality of the era; constructed around an archetype of ideology, fantasies of human spiritual ambiguity, a religious messiah, and a semiotic representation of modernity. In further study, Superman can be identified to have specifically changed to adhere to American culture in three distinctive periods; midst the Great Depression and WWII, post WWII and finally the socially

Mythic Elements in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

1181 words - 5 pages The Arthurian legends of old are seeped in mythical elements and weaved together with artful skill. The origin of Arthur and his knights bloomed in Britain, though their existence is uncertain and unconfirmed. Multiple authors have written their own versions of Arthur and his knights’ endeavors, many of them containing similarities between them. However, when looking at these stories, there is a question hiding among them. What is more important

Cultural Conflict in The Plumed Serpent and House Made of Dawn

3121 words - 12 pages by two authors of widely differing backgrounds. These points of agreement surface as a result of the strains between cultures, and they gain strength and value in that they are products of two perspectives: the dominant European culture and the oppressed native culture. In this way the two books refer to each other often and sympathetically.   In The Plumed Serpent, a sophisticated middle-aged Irish woman struggles to reconcile her

A Critical outline of the main features of Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism And Marxism

1397 words - 6 pages Sociology, the study of society; has been adapted by many sociologists so as to put across their own theories. The most important Sociologists of the early 19th century were Emile Durkeim, Karl Marx and Max Weber; a common factor with all these men is that they were all influenced by the world in which they lived.I intend to, throughout this essay, explain these three different theories, evaluate them and also critically outline their main

Symbolic and Ironic References in The Story of an Hour

820 words - 4 pages life of freedom for her, only to later be devastated by his reappearance causing her to die of the joy that kills, or so it was proclaimed. In “The Story of an Hour” there are various ironic and symbolic references that can be found, all of them having a significant impact on Louise Mallard’s exotic view of her husband’s death. Louise Mallard is first labeled as a woman with heart problems, more of a soft hearted woman who is incapable to take

Character and Symbolic Analysis of The Princess Bride

1904 words - 8 pages Narrative Analyzed: The Princess Bride (film) Provenance: The Princess Bride was written in 1973 by William Goldman and later adapted into a film in 1987. Genre of the Narrative: The book is written as a satire in that it pokes fun at many themes and ideas in literature. The film follows suit with witty jokes and memorable quotes. 1. Principal Settings: The story begins on a beautiful and secluded farm in the country of Florin where

Symbolic and Ironic References in The Story of an Hour

1510 words - 7 pages . Louis Mallard was informed of her husband’s death. Feeling oppressed by her husband [the normality living as a wife in the 1900’s] Brently Mallard caused a twist to her reaction of the news. Instead of Lois grieving her husband’s death he wonders the thoughts of her new freedom. The deeper into her thoughts the more trapped she becomes in her own mind. The objects and spring time help her confront her guilt. When she is pulled away from the window

The Interpretation of the Catcher in Rye, including a characterisation of Holden, and many symbolic aspects of the book

1038 words - 4 pages Adolescence is the most awkward time in one's life. Teens are on the brink of adulthood, but not yet fully emotionally developed. They experiment with dangerous substances such as drinking, smoking and sex in order to test their boundaries as individuals in society. Most of one's early life is spent being protected from the "real world" but inevitably the "real world" works its way into one's consciousness. Everyone experiences a day when they

Tipping the Christian Rope

1398 words - 6 pages Gays and Lesbians are forever engulfed in the battle of Religion vs. our “lifestyle”. We subject ourselves to everything, including exorcisms to assist our becoming “normal again” or at least tip back into that closet. When it was my turn to come out, or should I say – be “outed”, family and some friends outright disowned me. In one hour, I went from being a God-fearing youth leader that was an example for the children I worked with, to an evil

The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism

1302 words - 5 pages The Social Action Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Max Weber believed that individuals were the key to society. He developed social action theory, the purpose of which was to find out why individuals function in certain ways. He thought that every social action performed by an individual had a meaning attached to it. Social actions are the result of conscious thought processes that take into consideration the

Mythic Heros. A personal essay on the thoughts of Sinbad the sailor

558 words - 2 pages returned with new riches from the island where he was stranded (and of course, kept them for himself). This leads me to believe that maybe his crew didn't die in the shipwrecks or some other accident after all.         Sinbad was a mythic hero; a hero for everyone with a love for adventure. But now, I tend to think that Sinbad the sailor may not have been the great adventure that he has been made out to be. Maybe there is more to the

Similar Essays

Unraveling The Role Of A Serpent

1200 words - 5 pages "The serpent [is the] subtlest beast of all the field” -John Milton Serpent- Old French from Latin serpent- “creeping”, from the verb serpere. (Oxford) From across the globe, there have been different civilizations, cultures, religions, for as long as humanity has existed. Many religions share common beliefs, such as deities, animals, or a superior being of creation, but each culture is unique. One animal that is common in most religions and

The Rope Of Broken Promises Essay

1517 words - 6 pages A thirteen year old boy stands with his back facing the crowd. He is scrawny and offers a promising victory over the rope. They cheer him on, coach yells at him “Come on, scout! You got this!” Little did the crowd know his upper strength fails, his lack of coordination falls six feet through the ground, and his hope was already diminishing as the seconds trickled by. He sighs, places his hands on the worn-out rope and begins the long journey up

The Innocent Flower And The Serpent Under It: The Shifting Psyches Of Macbeth And Lady Macbeth

1280 words - 5 pages In order for a relationship to survive, the two people in the relationship must sustain an equilibrium, but should one person exercise more power over the other, the relationship will fail. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s marriage suffers immensely when Lady Macbeth tilts the equilibrium by manipulating her husband into killing the king of Scotland. “Macbeth, usually dated 1606, is the story of a Scotch nobleman, related

Heart Of Darkness Joseph Conrad:As A Journey Of Individuation, A Meeting With The Anima, An Encounter With The Shadow,And A Descent Into The Mythic Underworld

5887 words - 24 pages to the dark continent (North Africa in 1920 and to Kenya and Uganda in 1925) and the tale told by Marlow in Heart of Darkness published in 1902. Jung himself in Memories, Dreams, Reflections concludes that his dreams while he was in Africa "seemed to say that they considered ... the African journey not as something real, but rather as a symptomatic or symbolic act" (272) and it is this sense of the symbolic in Jung's travels to Africa that can be