Thematic Analysis of Short Stories of Khushwant Singh.
In the story Karma i.e. fate the discomfiture (defeat) of the Anglicised Sir Mohan Lal is skillfully brought out .He is culturally enslaved by the British way of life; travels in first class; looks forward to converse with the English in the Oxford accent. Whereas his uneducated wife Lakshmi, who lives world apart , travels by interclass. Sir Mohan Lal occupies his first class reserve berth but too uncivilized British soldiers call him ‘nigger’ and throw him out of the compartment .The irony of the situation is skillfully presented and also the uncivilized way in which the British treated the Indians in pre-independent India. The title Karma is symbolical. It means you will get the fruits of yours deeds. The author ridicules the slavish imitation of English manners, which has led to snobbery in a class of people in our country.
Kusum is a typical short story of Khushwant Singh. Kusum is a young, good-natured girl of eighteen who suffers from inferiority complex .The theme of love and sex also colours the story. The story revolves round the character of Kusum. She feels herself unattractive. She is not fashionable and does not apply any make-up. She is secluded from others. She has no friends. She is not interested in boys. One day, she is returning from final year degree exams, a hawker makes some indecent gestures towards her. Kusum gets the feeling of love. She starts looking at mirror and applies make-up. The change in the character of Kusum is interesting. The at that time uses foul language to the hawker but later her heart theme of love used in the story has an impact on the character of Kusum .The ending of story is effective.
The Potrait of a Lady is a fine short story which portrays the picture of a lady who is none another than the author’s grandmother. He remembers his grandmother and narrates his memories. This story shows author’s art of characterization which is every excellent. The author describes the grandmother as a beautiful woman in youth. She was loving and caring. She had great love for animals and birds. She is religious and pious. The author has spent his childhood with her and hence, she has taught him a lot many things. She is a strong woman who does not weep when her grandson goes abroad for studies. She is bold enough to accept her death happily. Thus, in this story Singh shows his gentle manner which is free from usual themes like comedy, satire, irony and se Mark of Vishnu
is one of the important stories of Khushwant Singh .The protagonist Gangaram is very religious Hindu Brahmin. He is a servant. He is illiterate. He paints a mark ‘V’ on his forehead as he worships Vishnu. Gangaram worships and gives milk to Kalanag i.e. cobra everyday. He has an irrational fear about Kalanag. He wants to protect his master’s family from the cobra. Hence, he goes on worshiping him. His master’s children go to school and they know the dangers of keeping a cobra in their house. So, they catch it and take it to the school. Later, the Kalanag bites Gangaram on his forehead and he dies. The story has theme of superstition. It is both comic as well as serious.
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