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What literary technique(s) does RK Narayan use in the story "The Guide"?

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ufc1 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 9, 2008 at 11:06 AM via web

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What literary technique(s) does RK Narayan use in the story "The Guide"?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 11, 2008 at 7:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Narayan uses the interesting technique of a varied narrative perspective.  The story shifts back and forth between first and third person narrative; at times it is Raju, the main character speaking, and at other times the story is told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator.  The author also utilizes cinematic elements such as flashbacks and jump cuts. 

Another technique Narayan uses is imagery and symbolism which is rooted in Indian culture but has universal appeal.  An example of this style, taken from the enotes link listed below, takes place at the end of the story, where Raju is drowning, his eyes riveted towards the mountains as a brilliant sun rises and villagers look on.  By juxtaposing the simple background of the Indian village at sunrise with the suicide scene, Narayan effectively communicates Raju's death as an incarnation of hope, consistent with the Indian belief in death and rebirth.

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