Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 1 January 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Amitav Ghosh's The Circle Of Reason
A Study of Diaspora

N. Jaishree, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Candidate

An Elder Statesman among Indian Writers in English

We view Amitav Ghosh as an "elder statesman" among Indian writers in English. His work has received wide critical acclaim: winning several prizes and major nominations. His novels deal with interesting themes set against historical backdrops.

Ghosh's roots are in journalism and academic writing, investigations and analysis, a revelation of subterranean connections and patterns. But first and foremost, and overriding all the many ideas that inform his work, are his characters whose lives engage us and take us to some richly imagined places and times.

The Circle of Reason

Ghosh's first novel, The Circle of Reason, follows the fortune of a young weaver, Alu, who is brought up in a Bengal village. After a false accusation that he is a member of a violent extremist group, he flees westwards, first to a fictional Gulf state and later to Algeria.

Elements of the Story

The first section of the novel contains a number of incidental observations on Indian migrations. Balaram's birth year 1924, for example, reminds the narrator of crucial moments in the history of Indian emigration to the West, the Canada's colonial government decided not to admit "eight thousand Indians … after deciding that the ancient purity of Canada could not be endangered by Asiatic immigration."

Ghosh also provides several instances of internal Diasporas in this part of the novel. The people of Lalpukur, for example, had been "vomited out of their native soil" in the carnage connected with the partition of India; within the narrative time of the novel they witness once again the spectacle of people being "dumped hundreds of miles away" because of the civil war that led to the emergence of Bangladesh.

The Story of Alu, the Wanderer, Seeking a Home

Ghosh's diasporic consciousness comes out most clearly in the central section of the novel where Alu has to roam all over the India and the Middle East. Within India, Alu moves first to Calcutta and then to the south, always just managing to elude the police and Das till he finally reaches Mahe, the southernmost part of India's west coast.

Having reached land's end, Alu, still trying to evade arrest by the Indian police, takes the ultimate diasporic move - he leaves the country behind and sails over the Indian ocean to Al-Ghazira.

Hazards of Migration

Alu's journey across the Indian Ocean on a mechanized boat allows Ghosh to depict the risks endured by thousands of Indians who leave their native land in search of a prosperous future. Illegal emigrants hazard their lives voyaging on frail vessels.

Alu's particular boat also bears witness to the wide range of social types who make the dangerous crossing in pursuit of economic security: among the passengers are a professor, a travelling salesman, and a madam and her girls, one of whom is even pregnant.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Linguistic Purism and Language Planning in a Multilingual Context | The Problems of Teaching/Learning Tenses | Language and Literature: An Exposition - Papers Presented in Karunya University International Seminar | Similes in Meghduta - The Absolute Craftsmanship in Language | Culture of the Tamil Society as Portrayed in Ponniyin Selvan | Deconstructing Human Society: An Appreciation of Amitav Ghosh's Sea Of Poppies | Enabling Students to Interpret Literary Texts Independently by Enhancing their Vocabulary | Coping with the Problems of Mixed Ability Students | Displaced Diasporic Identities - A Case Study of Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz | English Language Teaching in Developing Countries Error Analysis and Remedial Teaching Methods - An Overview | Diaspora Literature - A Hybrid or a Hybridized Product? | Anita Desai's Journey To Ithaca - A Manifestation of Vedantic Knowledge | A Study on the Physiological, Psychological and Spiritual Perspectives of Different Selves in a Self with Special Reference to Yann Martel's SELF | Conveniences and Complexities of Computer-Aided Language Learning | The Danger Lurking Within: The African American Woman in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye | Practices and Paradigms of Using Multimedia and Language Laboratory for Teaching Communication Skills to Technical Students | English: A Blessing in Disguise - A Study of Chinua Achebe's Technique of Hybridization | Language Teaching - The Present Day Challenges | Is Literature a Viable Medium for ESL Acquisition? | The Lord of The Rings : Galadriel, The Light Of Middle-Earth | Teaching Reading - A Challenge in Itself | The Silent Way | Translator as Reader: Phenomenology and Text Reception - An Investigation of Indulekha | The Dysfunctional Women in Mary Gordon'sThe Other Side | Utopia and Dystopia, Conflict Between Two Extremes - An Appraisal of Anita Desai's Cry, The Peacock | Reading 'god' Backwards | The Comic Vision in the Stories and Sketches of R.K.Narayan | My Responses to The English Teacher | 'Fall from Grace into Grief': Putting into Perspective the Outrages of Terrorism in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown | Style and Language in M. G. Vassanji's The Assassin's Song | Affirmation of Life in Lloyd C. Douglas' Magnificent Obsession | Effectiveness of Group Investigation Model and Simulation Model in Teaching English | A Mathematical Treatment of Feministic Literature for the Prediction of Social Trends | Multiple Intelligences and Second Language Learning | Amitav Ghosh's The Circle Of Reason - A Study of Diaspora | The Role of Multimedia in Teaching Writing in English | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JANUARY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of January 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

N. Jaishree, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Candidate
Department of English
Sri Eshwar Colllege of Engineering
Kinathukadavu 641 202
Coimbatore District
Tamilnadu, India

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