Dr. Sheelu Singh Bhatia
Abstract: R. K. Narayan is undoubtedly one of the front ranking novelists of pre- independent India. His choice of interesting themes, narrative skill, use of natural and lucid expression and smooth and powerful language have made him an extremely popular novelist, especially among the middle class society which he himself hails from. In R. K. Narayan’s novels, quest for identity, greater reality and self realization seems to be the major theme. He is rich in handling the quest theme through real life situations. His hero usually sets out in quest of self identity in keeping with certain psycho- spiritual assumptions which form the very matrix of his fiction. The central concern in The Vendor of Sweets is the journey in to the self. Narayan presents the quest theme in his own characteristic way. He knows the shadow which falls between the reality and superficial but he would not deny the reality, because of the problematic gap. The novel describes the effect of double alienation. Jagan is not only separated from his Americanized son but also from the orthodox members of his family and community. Narayan’s novels do not attempt a philosophical exposition of life, but his involvement with Indian values and norms is undeniable.
Keywords: THEMES, REALISM, RK NARAYAN, VENDOR OF SWEETS, QUEST FOR IDENTITY, SELF REALIZATION