Kanthapura, a Cultural Study

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Kanthapura as a novel of village or rural sensibility:
Raja rao’s Kanthapura is a tale of atypical south Indian village in the kara area of Mysore. The novel is a saga of village life with a political bias. There is no conventional hero or heroine in it. The village of Kanthapura itself; with its presiding deity Kanchamma, with its live giving river Himavath, with its rustic topography, crops, weeds and diseases, with its characteristics, superstitions and customs is one of the main character. The people of the village with Moorthy as the Gandhi man of the village, under whose leadership the villagers of her non-violent resistance, take up the work of village uplift. In depicting Kanthapura, the novelist has presented to us a real India in microcosm. What happens in Kanthapura is what happens everywhere in India, particularly in rural India. That Kanthapura is novel of village life is evident from its topographical details. The novel opens with a graphic description of the physical features of Kanthapura. In the beautiful valley of the river Himavathy, the village lies curled up like a child on its mother’s lap. As the novel opens we here the grinding and rumbling of carts, indicating the busy agrarian life. The hills, valleys and rivers which form the setting of the village, are most vividly depicted. Raja Rao has an eye for the details of nature’s phenomena which he presents with vividness. It’s said of Thomas Hardy by David Cecil that he could realise the different noises made by the wind when its blows through a hollow a heather and bare stones. Raja Rao, too, is unique in his precise yet poetic depiction of the outdoor rural life. In the month of Vaisakh men of Kanthapura plough the fields. The rains come and skip over the bronze mountain, tiptoe the crags, and leaping into the valley go splashing. The coconuts and the betel nuts and cardamom plants choke with it and hiss back. And there, there it comes over the Bebbur hill and Kanthur hill and begins to...
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