R. K. Narayan’s The Guide as a Lesson of Life


  • Mrs. Sangeeta Mondal




Ambition, Crime, Imprisonment, Lesson, Welfare, Sacrifice, Saviour.


Narayan through his precepts and examples tried to teach his readers like a prophetic novelist and suggested that the novel can be interpreted as a lesson of life for it teaches us how to be successful in life but at the same time teaches us how to avoid the various pitfalls which might come in the long run. Raju’s life is exemplary as it can be both of guiding and misguiding and solely depends on the follower which path he/she would like to follow. This novel is a classic statement on the improvement of human conduct— on ambition and human restraint as Raju becomes symbolic both of selfish individualism and the saviour of mankind. The theme of the quest for spiritual fulfilment, is one of the leading themes of the novel, because in Hindu cosmology, the path to spiritual illumination requires mentoring from a ‘guru’ or guide. Narayan wanted to guide the readers through Raju that man does not experience real pleasure or happiness in restful rusty position but in suffering and striving for ideals—for the welfare of others in which lies the essence and dignity of life. It is a search for the true identity and authentic self that Narayan wants to establish through the character of Raju.


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Author Biography

Mrs. Sangeeta Mondal

Assistant Professor, English

Basirhat College

Basirhat, West Bengal, India


Narayan, R.K. The Guide. Indian Thought Publications, 1999.

Iyengar, Srinivasa. Indian Writings in English. New Delhi, 1994.

Kumar, A.Phaniraja. R.K. Narayan’s ‘The Guide’ a story of poly-guide.




How to Cite

Mondal, M. S. . (2021). R. K. Narayan’s The Guide as a Lesson of Life. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 9(10), 74–85. https://doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v9i10.11197