Ã¢‘€‘œQuest for the Primitive Self: A Study of Arun JoshiÃ¢‘€‘™s The Strange Case of Billy BiswasÃ¢‘€‘
Keywords:civilization , primitive, identity, existentialism, alienation, tribals, hallucination
The tug-of-war between the civilized world and the primitive one is reflected as an interesting study by many authors. Joshi’s second novel, The Strange Case of Billy Biswas, depicts the story of the protagonist who is pulled by the unknown and mysterious world of the tribal society. Billy’s strange quest leads him to leave his much advantageous position as the sole inheritor of a wealthy family and go to live a primeval life among a Bhil community. This paper looks at the root of Billy’s quest, which is found inherent in his nature right from his childhood days. His life in America and his education there offer him no solace. The pull of the primitive world comes in between his marital life too and destroys it. The study attempts at understanding Billy’s quest for individualism and self-identity at the cost of leaving everything materialistic. Finally, this paper attempts to depict the clashes between the civilized world and the primitive one while exploring Billy’s negotiations with both.
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