Hunger : an Assessment of Jayant Mahapatra's Use of Symbolism

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Hunger : Jayanta Mahapatra - A Critical Appreciation of the Symbols “Hunger’, according to Jayanta Mahapatra was an expression of his solitude. He writes in this regard: "'Hunger' was written twenty-five years ago. I grew up in Cuttack, close to a temple. There were two rivers close by. The ways of life there were different. I was into religion. My poems today don't have those old images. I've taken the temple out of my system. I had an unhappy childhood. I had an abnormal relationship with my mother. I owe a lot to my father, though. He put me in a missionary school. The school had a British headmaster... I was trampled upon in my childhood. That still remains with me. I'm not deliberately holding on to tensions. I ran away from home thrice. I'm shaped by factors beyond my control. Now I'm at peace with myself, but this wasn't the case ten years ago. Perhaps as a result of that childhood I always feel alone, alone when I'm with my family or part of a crowd. There's a chasm inside which can never be bridged. In 'Hunger' I was writing from experience.”The title of the poem ‘Hunger’ may therefore reflect the poet’s need for company, and spiritual intimacy. He asserts that he had an abnormal relationship with his mother. Therefore, he primarily desires the maternal love that he was deprived of; he searches for a substitute owing to attention-deficit. The Fisherman :The speaker at the outset of the poem asserts that “the flesh was heavy on my back”. He experienced an incredible urge for sexual gratification. He finds himself before a fisherman, who is willing to ‘compromise’ on his daughter. The fishermen puts forward the question ‘carelessly’. The word ‘carelessly’ might point to ‘callously’, and to the fact that he did not put the question across with a sense of propriety. "Will you have her?” was the question as though the girl in question was an item or commodity. Her individuality was relegated, and what she wanted was not of significance.Even a prostitute...
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