Self- A Leitmotif in Arun Joshi’s The City and the River
Arun Joshi is one of the most skilled existentialists in the canon of Indian English literature. His novels are coped with certain existentialist problems and the resultant anger, agony, psychic quest, etc. Human beings, in his fictional world, are challenged by the self and are confronted by the question of his existence. The novelist has also tried to present solutions for the problems arising out of one’s awareness of the lack of the purpose or meaning in life. A realization of the meaningless in life is a prelude to its diagnosis and cure. It is viewed that all his protagonists of his novels basically suffered from their similar crisis of faith resulting into their loss of identity and sense of alienation. They, amidst this crisis, begin a quest for harmony, peace and meaning life. They deliberately begin this to regain their identity. They traced their identity in their land and culture. His fifth novel namely, The City and the River is his last novel. It discusses the existential predicament of its prominent characters. Elements like disintegration, rootlessness, a sense of alienation and existential predicament are presented in The City and the River. This paper attempts to explore those elements.
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