A Comical Subversion: ENGLISH, AUGUST
Literary realism attempts to illustrate life in texts without romanticizing ordinary experiences. Upamanyu Chatterjee's work English, August presents the people of rural India. The protagonist of the novel, Agastya, is a civil servant and he encounters the people of Madna. I propose that in the novel’s postcolonial setting of rural India, the nation replicates the imperial power. The bureaucratic system in India poses as a mimicry of the imperialist rule; a masquerade of colonial modernity in India. This paper also examines the impact of colonialism on the individual's psyche. The characters face anxiety over self in various instances as bureaucrats and individuals. This paper seeks to explain the modernist method of writing in critiquing the colonial modernity in India and the objective reality that the realist writings tend to produce. My paper claims that the novel in the style of bildungsroman is a comical subversive critique generated against the narratives of the nation.
Keywords: colonial modernity, postcolonial writing, literary realism, bildungsroman, bureaucratic memoir, nation.
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