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Abstract 41

A New Historical Reading of U.R. Ananthamurthy’s Samskara

Dr Chandrima Sen, Assistant Professor of English, Bodoland University, Kokrajhar, Assam, India

Ananthamurthy’s Samskara is a classic of all times. It was originally written in Kannada and was later translated into English by one of the most eminent writers A.K. Ramanujan. The basic structure of the novel revolves around the idea of caste. It further appears to be one of the dominating aspects in the novel. The harmonious blend of aversion and desire make a theorising impact on the issue of caste. This paper aims to project how these two aspects contribute a great deal in looking at the phenomenon of caste and religion from the angle of new historicism. The paper attempts to stage history as the background of the novel. It also aims to formulate the hypothesizing link between the dominance of casteism and element of history. Moreover this becomes more protruding with the appearance of characters like Praneshacharya, with whom the novel begins and Naranappa who makes a critique of his own dharma keeping Chandri at the centre. With these few figures Ananthamurthy tries to uncover the fragmented history that lies deep inside the theoretical framework of the novel. The segment of history is central here. Further, it consists of disintegration of identity, inclusiveness, existential reality, individualism and sense of belongingness. The novel deals with issues like death, desire, duty and dilemma. The historical integrity relies on the prospect of ideas, images and stereotypes. This paper intends to study the existence of history in the mind and making of the characters. Within the framework of a new- historical analysis, my paper will also study casteism and subaltern for clarity and strength. It will show that the novel is all about the representation of lower caste people. The concept is God is more in our making, not in the practice of what we have been believing for generations together. So, historiography which has been existing for the ages together can be challenged and in its place we can go for a newer one based on humanity and understanding.

Keywords: new historicism, caste, identity, individualism, subaltern.

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