The Bachelor of Arts : Novel by R. K. Narayan

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The Bachelor of Arts is the saga of a young mind gradually moving towards maturity. The story illustrates the need of possessing a Bachelor of Arts degree and also portrays the dilemmas associated with it. Rightly named as the Bachelor af Arts the impersonates the journey of the young boy, Chandran. R.K. Narayan's Bachelor of Arts, with its detailed characterization and deftly knitted style therefore stands apart as journey from fantasy to reality.

Rightly named as the Bachelor af Arts the impersonates the journey of the young boy, Chandran. R.K. Narayan's Bachelor of Arts, with its detailed characterization and deftly knitted style therefore stands apart as journey from fantasy to reality.
The Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts is actually the second book of a trilogy that bagan with "Swami and friends and ended with 'The English Teacher'. The story is set in a make-believe south Indian town called Malguri. The time is pre-independence and it captures the spirit of Indians in sufferings of the freedom struggle and also the east-west clash. This is mainly based on the need of possessing a Bachelor of Arts degree and also the quandaries faced by a B.A. The protagonist here is a young boy named Chandran. The boy is from a upper middle class youth of that time period and his progression from a college life to a sweet love life with a girl. Chandran's clamber with cultural societies of college, the teacher 'Gajapathi' who teaches Shakespeare in accented English, struggles with time table, exams interpolated with secret cigarette smoking sessions and also watching films are described so colourfully that anyone can experience of being at that time.

After graduation when he tries to marry that girl, he got rejected by her parents because of his horoscope. It says that he is mangalik and if he marries any non mangalik girl she will die eventually. So this frustrates him a lot and he left in search of some peace in his life which ends in making him a sage. During his adventure he meets many people and get enough respect by simple people. But after days under some compunction he returns home and a job as newsagent. To please his parents he finally got married and the most comical part lies in its ending when he falls in love afresh with his wife.

This book The Bachelor of Arts by R.K. Narayan is published by University of Chicago Press in 1937 in USA edition while in UK edition the publisher is William Heinemann. Some other UK publishers are Vintage, Minerva, and Mandarin.

The bachelor of arts thus weaves the saga of a teenage mind to mellowness. The intelligent and beautiful strokes of reality further makes this story a tale of reality. The very concept of the gradual growing of a boy and then becoming busy with worldly affairs is nicely depicted with utmost tenderness.

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