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Wit, Humour and Satire in R.K. Narayan’s Selected Short Stories in Malgudi Days | Original Article

Chinder Pal*, in Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education | Multidisciplinary Academic Research


R.K. Narayan enjoyed wide popularity not only in India but abroad also particularly in England and U.S.A. In America he is regarded next to Faulkner. He was also included in Writers and Their Works published by The British Council - only Indian to achieve this distinction. Many of his short stories were broadcasted by B.B.C. - a rare distinction. Both University of Leeds and Delhi University honored him with the degree of D. Litt. Moreover he won Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel The Guide (1958) in 1960 and The Indian Government awarded him with Padma Bhushan in 1964 for his achievements. The sole aim of his all writings is to give aesthetic satisfaction. Wit is an acute perception and cleverly appropriate expression of ideas providing amusement and pleasure. It wholly depends upon apt phrasing. So any poet or short-story writer may reveal himself as a wit when he pleases with appropriate phrasing of language. In comparison with wit, humour is less obviously mental in its approach to the weakness, foibles and absurd ideas and actions of people generally. Satire is a literary device which is used to expose a folly or a vice. The main objective of this paper is to show that R. K. Narayan is more a humorist than a satirist. In fact, he is the greatest humorist among the short story writers. His humour is all pervasive and most varied. His comic art has a universal and perennial quality.