Essay on Existential Rootlessness in The Foreigner: A Critical View

Essay on Existential Rootlessness in The Foreigner: A Critical View

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Arun Joshi is quite an exceptional novelist who stands apart from the rest of the novelists, who has taken up the themes of human predicament in almost all his novels. The overall and outstanding quest in all his novels is for a concrete direction and meaning in one’s life. Joshi has been influenced by existential thinkers like Camus, Sartre and this can be observed in his novels. Existentialism is a modern philosophic movement that deals with ‘man’s’ disillusionment and despair which originated in the philosophical and literary writings of Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Joshi has elaborately handled the struggles of a sensitive soul inching its way facing formidable odds within him and within the social situations around, towards self realization.

According to Lionel Trilling, novel is a perpetual quest for reality and one of the most effective agents of our imagination. The Indian novel in English has now become an integral part of Indian English. In between 1920 and 1950’s the themes in Indian English Novels were mostly depicted on national movements for political independence. After Independence most of the Indian English Novelists shifted their focus from nationalistic zeal to find new themes and portray them. They began to delineate from their works and set about for the individual’s quest for the ‘self’.

One such significant contemporary Indian English novelist is Arun Joshi. Arun Joshi has paved the way to explore and implement new themes in his novels. He takes the readers to unknown and unexplored regions through his novels. He has focused mostly on the deeper layers of man’s being. His novels explore more on the protagonist’s suffering from the same disease, dilemma, discontent and frustrations. ...

... middle of paper ...

...ish Studies in India 3 (1988): 112-122.
3. Bhatnagar, M.K. The Novels of Arun Joshi: A Critical Study. New Delhi: Atlantic
Books, 2001.
4. Iyengar, K. R. Srinivasa. Indian Writing in English. New Delhi: Sterling, 1984.
5. Joshi, Arun. The Foreigner. London: Asia Publishing House, 1968.
6. Gupta, G.S. Balarama (ed.) Studies in Indian Fiction in English. Gulbarga: JIWE
Publications, 1987.
7. Meithei, M. Mani. Arun Josh‟s World of Social Concern. Trans. Judith Marsh.
London: Dale Publishers, 2007.
8. Pandey, Mukteshwar. Mukteshwar. Arun Joshi: The Existentialist Element in His
Novels. Delhi: B.R. Publishing, 2003.
9. Rajan, B. "Indian Virtue," The Journal ofCommonwealth Literature, September, 1965.
10. Rajan, B. Too Long in the West. New Delhi: Jaico Publication,1961.
11. Venkateswara Rao, J. "The Foreigner: An Existential Dilemma." Triveni 64.1-2
(1995): 73-76.

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