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Use of myth in R.K.Narayan's man eater of Malgudi

Author: 
Dr. Jyoti Syal
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

To R. K. Narayan was born on 10th August, 1906 in Madras in a working class south Indian family. R.K. Narayan is widely considered to be one of India's greatest English language novelists. The most attractive feature of Narayan's personality is that he is a pure Indian both in spirit and thought, despite his preference for English language over his mother tongue for the expression of his creative urge. Deeply rooted in religion and family, he is understandably indiffrent to literary fashions of the West. All his works take place in the village of Malgudi, the typical Indian village. In The Man Eater of Malgudi, published in 1961, R.K.Narayan makes a conscious use of mythical technique. He goes to the ancient myths and legends, juxtaposes them with the facets of modern life and in this way brings out the similarities and contrasts between the past and the present. The novel presents a clear use of Narayan's experiment with the form of fiction, 'experiment in the employment of the Ravana and Bhasmasur myth'. It is clear that Narayan's employment of the Ravana and Bhasmasura myth in this novel is exlpicit. Narayan's concern with myth is related to the creation of Vasu as a constant human phenomenon, as a form of evil present in every human society, especially in urban developing societies like that of Malgudi. Vasu is modern equivalent of Ravana. The reference of the Ramayana is related to the myth of Ravana in a complex way. The present research is an attempt to prove that the use of myth, suggested and gathered up in bits here and there, is important for one valid reason. Even the simpler realities of life, however bold and uninteresting, they may appear to less discerning eyes, shows that eternity looks through the common place and meager chunks of life.

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