To what extent would you agree that style would be valued more highly than plot in the work you have chosen to explore?
R.K. Narayan is one such modern writer whose novels are set in the colonial and post-colonial periods of India. In his works, he created the imaginary town of Malgudi, which was in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India, where realistic characters in a typically Indian setting lived amid unpredictable events. The book ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’ written by Narayan begins in latter part of the colonial era, in the 1940’s, when the Quit India movement is taking place. Though a greater part of this book is set in Malgudi and its surrounding villages, some scenes take place in other parts of the country like Delhi. Style in literature is the result of a successful blending of form with content. In ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’ it is the content which is the main attraction. The form of the book is basic, and the language is simple, straightforward and informal throughout the book. The book is divided into five parts, and this division is purely based on the events. R. K. Narayan does not go back in time by using tools such as flashbacks. Nor does he change the place and setting abruptly as the novel progresses, except when the events take the protagonist to another place. Hence, the novel is coherent and continuous in both time and geography. The plot of this book is its highlight. Beautiful in its simplicity and gentle narration, this book is a slow meandering of events. There are two simultaneous stories being told in this book. The main story is that of Sriram, the protagonist. Sriram, a lonely adolescent, is an orphan who has lived with his Granny since childhood. His mother had died while giving birth to him, and his father was killed fighting for the British in Mesopotamia. The grandmother received a monthly military pension for the boy ever since. She saved every paisa in an account set up for Sriram, and now that he is twenty years-old, she...
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