The novels of Mulk Raj Anand within their complex of thematic structure and techniques invite immense possibilities of explorations and insights. Apart from the countless number of studies undertaken on Mulk Raj Anand, the thematic aspects of his novels, even in their traditional classification offer multiple interpretations and insights. Man and society form a variegated fabric of life. Within the complicated structure of society lie the joys and sorrows of man. Mulk Raj Anand with his exposure to various social theories and philosophies has incessantly attempted to present a just and righteous vision of life. His novels deal with socio-economic aspects of life. As a progressive writer ...view middle of the document...
The thematic design of a novel depends largely on the author's concerns of life. The human concerns which engaged Mulk Raj Anand intensely were deeply related to discrimination, orthodoxy, social disparity, untouchability and the highhandedness of the powerful and the rich. The themes of his novels depicts these concerns in an intensely artistic and realistic manner. Mulk Raj Anand weaves the plots of his novels to reveal the stark reality of life and also generates a positive view point. To Mulk Raj Anand, the world in general and India in particular, was fraught with social injustice. He focused acutely on the wide and deep divide between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. His themes dwell upon the subtle aspects of discriminations which underline his strong preference for humanism. It is this enlargement of feelings, heart and mind which govern his thematic pattern.
Mulk Raj Anand is, no doubt the pioneer in this field and has dealt with themes of poverty, hunser and suffering of Indian masses in a number of his novels and short stories. However, Bhabani Bhattacharya, R.K.Narayan, Kamla Markandaya are other novelists whose novels centre round the Indian masses, but hulk Raj Anand has attained a universal significance in this regard. Mulk Raj Anand is a committed writer with a social purpose. In the words of Saros Cowasjee:
"Anand is deeply concerned with social problems and that he is conunitted to the eradication of the evils which infest modern society. Is this a deplorable aim of an artist ? Is Untouchable a propaganda because it reveals the exploitation of the poor by the rich ? Propaganda is a term given currency by the bou-rgeois critic/ and loosely used in India to caption any work where the author's intention in plain.
The present paper deals with the main thematic aspects of his major novels namely Untouchable, The Coolie, Two Leaves and a Bud, The Big Heart,The Lal Singh Trilogy, The Road, The Private Life of An Indian Prince, Lament On the Death of A Master of Arts, four autobiographical novels - Seven Summers, Morning Face, Confession of A Lover and The Bubble. The themes of his major novels are untouchability, hunger, poverty and suffering of Indian masses. In order to have a thematic appreciation it is necessary to be familiar with his major novels, such as Untouchable, Coolie, Two Leaves And A Bud, The Big Heart, The Road, The Private Life of An Indian Prince and his other novels.
In his novels – Untouchable, Coolie, The Road, Two Leaves and A Bud and the The Big Heart – Mulk Raj Anand emerges as the champion of the underdogs and a crusader against social distinctions and man-made barriers which divide humanity. He vehemently condemns the insensibility, self centredness and lack of human sympathy and understanding in the upper strata of society for the poor and the exploited. He is both a realist and humanist whose fundamental aim is to establish the fundamental oneness of mankind.