What picture of the contemporary society do you find in Narayan's The Guide?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the picture of society that is offered in Narayan's narrative is seen through Raju's eyes.  Raju is driven towards a specific end as he works through being Rosie's manager.  That end is financial gain, social acceptance, and the conformist social path of a product based end.  This compels him to do some terrible things.  Yet, Raju ends up recognizing the folly of his own path and make a conscious choice to change it in fasting for the villagers.  It is through this that a picture of society is offered, whereby individuals do possess the power to transform what is into what should be.  The pursuit of worldly ends is something that can substituted for a more spiritual notion of the good.  Raju represents this, and in doing so, allows for a social statement to be made about how individuals, and society, itself can seek to achieve more spiritually elevated pursuits.  In this light, the picture of contemporary society offered is a transformative one.