Date of Award

12-19-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Abstract

Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable (1935), Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981), and Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008) are each framed within national terms. Each novelist portrays the nation within narrative, using allegorical devices. Anand, writing during the buildup to Indian independence, Rushdie, reacting to the aftermath of a suspension of democracy in the country, and Adiga, in the economically divisive modern state, each create imagined landscapes that compete with the dominating force of the nation. These novels, from distinct periods in India’s history, each demonstrate an awareness of and a desire to engage with the problem of nation. Each author grapples with the nation’s impact on the individual through the employment of national allegory. This thesis will address how each character is placed outside the experience of his nation because of the terms by which the nation is defined. As a result, each character is unable to live in the way that he desires and creates a new world in his narrative. This narrative world rivals the nation, allowing each character a measure of freedom and agency that has been otherwise denied.

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