The Lost Child-Mulk Raj Anand

Topics: Short story, Mother, Mulk Raj Anand Pages: 5 (2011 words) Published: May 8, 2012
Critical Analysis

The story ‘The Lost Child’ is very emotional. The author Mulk Raj Anand has brought before us the bustling and fervent movements during the festive season in a village. The setting is a village street where the seasonal fair was going on during spring with groves and flowering mustard field near the street. The story dates back sometime before the contemporary period. There were people riding on horses on roads and others sitting and carried in the bamboo and bullock carts. With only four characters without any names, – the child, the hero, his parents, and unknown man who tried to console the lost and sobbing child - the author has made them immortal in our minds. The nature, character and emotions of all the four are explicit from the precise and brief descriptions of the setting and the incidents. The story is all praise for nature, the gift of god. The author has expressed his aesthetic pleasure in describing the beauty of the flowers, grove and the mustard field with short and appropriate prepositions. The story tells us the psychology of a young child and the inherent love for his parents more than anything in the world which was dormant in his sub-conscious inner mind that found its bursting expression when the child feels that he has missed an lost his parents. The incidents are so cogent that even on the reverse journey of the child with the man who tries to console him with exciting things and in search of his parents, we find the same things in reverse order which earlier excited the child. The child is depicted as so innocent that he feels lonely without his parents amidst so much crowd. The fear is predominant and all his childish awe and excitement which he had earlier on the sight of the sweet burfi, gulmohar garments, the pole with balloons of various bright colours, the music of snake charmer, and the roundabout all vanished without any shadow. The introduction of a stranger to console the child gives the story a positive and optimistic end. The unknown angel tries to please and pacify the child in every manner. The things that both find on the reverse way to find their parents show that the search is in right way and it gives us a hope that the child will soon find his parents. The author has shown without any words that the street of festive activities is a small one. Even without knowing from which direction the lost child came, the unknown gentleman took him in the right way to please the child with various things such as roundabout, snake charmer, balloons, flower garlands and sweets. Though the story is very small, it is bristling with so many expressions and emotions. The story expresses that the utmost strength in the child to explore the happiness in the world things lies in the togetherness with his parents. The child is so excited and tries to console himself that his parents may not like to get what he wants for some reason or other. But when he comes to know that he misses them, there all this excitement is brought to a total emptiness. The child wants only his parents and not anything else. This shows that the comfort of the child in the presence of his parents is incomparable. The child does not seem to know the way to his house. The fear is so predominant that he does not answer to the questions raised by the unknown good man who tries to please him. The author has not given any hint whether the boy is grown up to the extent that he knows the name of his parents, address of his house or even the way to his house. That adds a soft corner for the boy. Without given this hint, the author has made the boy more innocent and earned him more sympathy in the minds on the readers. The story is very interesting and accelerates the heart beat when the child loses the way in the mustard field. Though the story is not ended, the end is suggestive that the child will find out his...
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