Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Criticism - Essay

S. Radhakrishnan (essay date 1939)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: An introduction to Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and Reflections on His Life and Work, edited by S. Radhakrishnan, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. revised edition, 1949, pp. 13-39.

[In the following excerpt, Radhakrishnan discusses the religious basis of Gandhi's politics.]

The greatest fact in the story of man on earth is not his material achievements, the empires he has built and broken, but the growth of his soul from age to age in its search for truth and goodness. Those who take part in this adventure of the soul secure an enduring place in the history of human culture. Time has discredited heroes as easily as it has forgotten everyone else; but the saints remain....

(The entire section is 6073 words.)

John Middleton Murry (essay date 1939)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Challenge of Gandhi," in Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and Reflections on His Life and Work, edited by S. Radhakrishnan, George Allen & Unwin, revised edition, 1949, pp. 424-33.

[Murry is considered one of the most significant English critics of the twentieth century. Anticipating later scholarly opinion, he championed the writings of Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Paul Valéry, D. H. Lawrence, and the poetry of Thomas Hardy through his positions as founding editor of the Adelphi, editor of the Athenaeum, and as a longtime contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. In the following essay, he discusses Hind Swaraj.]

I do not think that any...

(The entire section is 2928 words.)

George Orwell (essay date 1949)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Reflections on Gandhi," in Partisan Review, Vol. VI, No. 1, Winter, 1949, pp. 85-92.

(The entire section is 3639 words.)

E. M. Forster (essay date 1949)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mahatma Gandhi," in Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and Reflections on His Life and Work, edited by S. Radhakrishnan, George Allen & Unwin, revised edition, 1949, pp. 386-88.

[Forster was a prominent English novelist, critic, and essayist whose works reflect his liberal humanism. His most celebrated novel, A Passage to India (1924), is a complex examination of personal relationships amid the conflicts of the modern world. Although some of Forster's critical essays are considered unsophisticated in their literary assessments, his Aspects of the Novel (1927), a discussion of fictional techniques, is regarded as a minor classic in literary criticism. In the following...

(The entire section is 863 words.)

Arthur Koestler (essay date 1969)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Mahatma Gandhi—Yogi and Commissar: A Re-valuation," in The Heel of Achilles: Essays 1968-1973, Hutchinson of London, 1974, pp. 221-54.

[A Hungarian-born English novelist, journalist, and popular philosopher, Koestler was a respected figure in twentieth-century intellectual life. In the following excerpt, which was originally published in 1969, he discusses what he calls the "disastrous aspects of Gandhi's life and philosophy. ']

(The entire section is 11197 words.)

Nirmal Kumar Bose (essay date 1971)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Theory and Practice of Sarnodaya," in The Meanings of Gandhi, edited by Paul F. Power, The University Press of Hawaii, 1971, pp. 79-89.

[In the following excerpt, Bose discusses the development of Gandhi's principle of Sarvodaya and its continuing application in Indian society.]

It was in South Africa that Gandhi first read Ruskin's Unto This Last. The book led to an immediate transformation in his way of life. Later he prepared a paraphrase of the book in Gujarati and published it in Indian Opinion which he had founded in South Africa to help the cause of satyagraha. The Gujarati version bore the title of "Sarvodaya." Literally, the...

(The entire section is 3468 words.)

Glyn Richards (essay date 1982)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Concept of Truth," in his The Philosophy of Gandhi: A Study of His Basic Ideas, Curzon Press, 1982, pp. 1-16.

[In the following excerpt, Richards focuses on truth as the central concept of Gandhi's philosophy.]

The concept of Truth (Satya) is fundamental to the thought of Gandhi. It is not without significance that the sub-title of his autobiography is 'The Story of my experiments with Truth', and his whole life might well be interpreted as an attempt to live in accordance with or an existential quest for Truth. Followers of Gandhi explicitly maintain that he was essentially a practical man with no concern for metaphysics or philosophical speculation, yet...

(The entire section is 5688 words.)

Margaret Chatterjee (essay date 1983)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Impact of Christianity on Gandhi," in Gandhi's Religious Thought, University of Notre Dame Press, 1983, pp. 41-57.

[In the following excerpt, Chatterjee examines the influence of Christianity on Gandhi's religious thought as well as the differences between Christianity and Hinduism .]

Gandhi's first impressions of Christianity were shaped by the aggressive evangelical style of missionaries of a bygone era in his home town. Several decades were to pass before this style was replaced by something more kindly, less arrogantly self-righteous. During his student days in London, Gandhi studied the New Testament and met a number of fine people among Quakers and...

(The entire section is 7643 words.)

Raghavan Iyer (essay date 1986)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: An introduction to The Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. I, edited by Raghavan Iyer, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1986, pp. 1-12.

[In the following excerpt, Iyer presents an overview of Gandhi's teaching.]

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was too modest to be comfortable with the title of 'Mahatma', and too candid to be readily understood by his contemporaries. Throughout his life he saw himself and his ideas distorted or oversimplified by others. Patiently, he kept on affirming and amplifying his ideals so that those who cared might comprehend. Politically, he sought to touch people's hearts so as to awaken their faith both in themselves and in...

(The entire section is 4364 words.)

Mark Juergensmeyer (essay date 1987)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Saint Gandhi," in Saints and Virtues, edited by John Stratton Hawley, University of California Press, 1987, pp. 187-203.

[In the following essay, Juergensmeyer considers Gandhi's lasting public image within the traditional Christian and Indian views of saintliness.]

In a reminiscence entitled "Saint, Patriot and Statesman," Henry S. L. Polak writes that when he first visited Gandhi he felt that he was "in the presence of a moral giant, whose pellucid soul is a clear, still lake, in which one sees Truth clearly mirrored." Writing in the same anthology, Gandhii as We Know Him, published in 1945, the Indian poet Sarojini Naidu unleashes a burst of...

(The entire section is 7060 words.)