Seth Prabha Dayal: Character Analysis in The Novel Coolie

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      The novel includes two most significant characters—Prem Babu and Seth Prabha Dayal. These two characters bear highly esteemed sense of human values. Seth Prabha Dayal is deceived by his dishonest co-partner Ganpat and hence, his life is ruined whereas there is nothing wrong with Prem Babu since he is a doctor by profession and Seth Prabha Dayal is a businessman. They are simple, straight-forward gentle and handsome.

      Seth Prabha Dayal came from the hills as a coolie, and by sheer hard work has risen to become the part-owner of a pickle factory. He has struggled in life and is able to see the woes of Munoo and so, he is kind to workmen and to Munoo. Prabha Dayal is very fair and straight-forward in his business dealings. There is no flaw in character except the excessive sense of humility and servility that hampers him to take any action against Ganpat. As a factory owner he lacks natural dignity and he easily bows and falls at the feet of Ganpat and Todar Mals.

      Prabha Dayal, as a child ran away from his village and worked as an ordinary coolie in the bazar of Daulatpur. But his hard labour made him the owner of the pickle factory. He does not have any issue so he loves Munoo as his own son. He was a very humble and honest person. He suffers a great shock after the deceitful acts of Ganpat. He has a rare gift of compromising with circumstances. He is so mild that he does not show any sign of resentment when he is treated cruelly by Ganpat and Todar Mals. Perhaps he believes in Gandhian thought of simplicity, truth and non-violence. Second, he is a Wordsworthian character in his simplicity and integrity. He has simplicity and no malice for others, so, he followed by his wife left for hills from where they had come. He who had earlier said, ‘I wish I were a coolie still, and not in business’, at the time when his partner cheated him. In fact, he has no grudge at all against anyone and ‘It is good’ he says to himself. This is the gift of his character.

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