Title of Poster / Presentation

The Marxist Stream of Untouchable

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

5-8-2013 10:45 AM

End Date

5-8-2013 12:15 PM

Subjects

Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) -- Criticism and interpretation, Indic authors -- 20th century, Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004). Untouchable, Marxist criticism, Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) -- Political and social views

Abstract

This presentation was given as part of the Panel Presentation Studies in Postcolonial Modernism at Portland State University's Research Symposium. The study investigates Mulk Raj Anand's 1935 novel, Untouchable, through a Marxist lens, following its main character, Bakha, through his trials and tribulations. It argues that through Bakha's religious inquisitions, and frustrations with his experiences as a Hindu outcaste, he comes to realize himself as a class entity, part of the Marxist process of the proletariat's rise to power. Bakha evolves throughout the novel, from being uncritical of his own materialism and egoism, to recognizing his ethics as unrepresentative of his own real desires. Rather they are the ethics of the very class and system that dominate his life. The study employs and expands on a number of scholarly readings of Untouchable to reinforce my argument. These works include contextual works on Marxism, such as Georg Lukács' History and Class Consciousness. The audience will better understand not only the Marxist stream in Untouchable, but also Marxism's importance to, and frequent appearance in, debate of Anglo-Indian intellectuals of the nineteen-thirties, particularly as expressed in progressively driven art forms.

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Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/9421

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May 8th, 10:45 AM May 8th, 12:15 PM

The Marxist Stream of Untouchable

This presentation was given as part of the Panel Presentation Studies in Postcolonial Modernism at Portland State University's Research Symposium. The study investigates Mulk Raj Anand's 1935 novel, Untouchable, through a Marxist lens, following its main character, Bakha, through his trials and tribulations. It argues that through Bakha's religious inquisitions, and frustrations with his experiences as a Hindu outcaste, he comes to realize himself as a class entity, part of the Marxist process of the proletariat's rise to power. Bakha evolves throughout the novel, from being uncritical of his own materialism and egoism, to recognizing his ethics as unrepresentative of his own real desires. Rather they are the ethics of the very class and system that dominate his life. The study employs and expands on a number of scholarly readings of Untouchable to reinforce my argument. These works include contextual works on Marxism, such as Georg Lukács' History and Class Consciousness. The audience will better understand not only the Marxist stream in Untouchable, but also Marxism's importance to, and frequent appearance in, debate of Anglo-Indian intellectuals of the nineteen-thirties, particularly as expressed in progressively driven art forms.