The Technique of Double Narration of R. K. Narayan’s the Guide
V. S. Sankara Rao Chinnam

R. K. Narayan is one of the three important Indian novelists in English. Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao are the other two important novelists. Narayan’s novels deal with the life of average middle class man is very important. He looks at common life with a sense of realist humour. He criticizes with gentle irony the middle class hypocrisy. He looks at life with a curious interest. He is detached observe of our ordinary interest. The Guide attempts at reviving the ethnic cultures, traditions, beliefs and languages. He writes about a cross- section of the Indian society. His characters are drawn from a wide variety of situations. They are not rich, they are also not poor. They came from the typical middle class situations. They are also resourceful. They have enough common sense; they are keen observers of life. Their qualities are unfailing, strenuous hard work. They have a teeming sense of life. They are always hopeful participants in life. They are all born optimists. Narayan has employed a double narrative techniques, he uses the narrative techniques with purpose. He uses flash-back narrative technique. This makes Raju estimate his own personality. In this narration of past life, Raju shows enough honesty and sincerity. He portrays himself with great boldness. The Guide is one of Narayan’s most interesting and popular works and is told in a series of flashbacks. In this novel Raju is the narrator of his past and points out his feelings from memory. Through flash black, Raju continues with the story of his past. The laying of the railway track finally completes and a railway station is established at Malgudi. The reminiscence of Raju makes the novel more realistic. The flashback technique arouses the curiosity and the interest of the reader. It also proves Narayan’s skill as a born story teller. Narayan uses the interesting technique of a varied narrative perspective. The story shifts back and forth between first and third person narrative; at times it is Raju, the main character speaking, and at other times the story is told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator. The author also utilizes cinematic elements and flashback techniques.

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