R. K. Narayan Short Fiction Analysis
R. K. Narayan said that he found English the most rewarding medium to employ for his writing because it came to him very easily: “English is a very adaptable language. And it’s so transparent it can take on the tint of any country.” Critics frequently praise the unaffected standard English with which Narayan captures the Indian sensibility, particularly the South Indian ambience. His unpretentious style, his deliberate avoidance of convoluted expressions and complicated grammatical constructions, his gentle and subtle humor—all this gives his writing an elegant, unforced simplicity that is perfectly suited to the portrayal of ordinary life, of all classes and segments of Indian society—household servants, herdsmen, saints, crooks, merchants, beggars, thieves, hapless students.
Narayan was essentially an old-fashioned storyteller. With Addisonian wit, Twainian humor, and Chekhovian irony, he depicted everyday occurrences, moments of insight; while some of his stories are essentially sketches, quite undramatic, others feature the ironic reversals associated with O. Henry. While Narayan’s characters are imbued with distinctively Indian values, their dilemmas are universal.
Among the nineteen stories in Narayan’s first collection, Malgudi Days, there are two stories, “Old Bones” and “Neighbours’ Help,” that are laced with supernatural elements. This volume includes such memorable...
(The entire section is 1909 words.)
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