Representation of Social Problems in the Novels of Mulk Raj Anand


  • Dr. Nidhi . B. (P.G.) College, Panipat (Haryana)


Anand, Untouchable, Coolie, Bakha, Lakha, Munoo, Bhangi, Bhangis, caste Hindus, exploitation, poverty


The present paper is an attempt to highlight the "contemporary" social problems of Indian society
as represented in English literature especially in the novels of Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004), one of
the grand trio-Mulk Raj Anand, R.K.Narayan and Raja Rao-of Indo-Anglian fiction. In novel after
novel-in Untouchable (1935), Coolie (1936), Two Leaves and a Bud (1937), The Village (1937),
Across the Black Waters (1940), and The Sword and the Sickle (1942)-he takes up the problems of
low class men and women and tries to go deep into their hearts and minds to "uncover the empty
graves of their hopes and ambitions". Anand's novels are divided into two categories-social and
autobiographical. In his social novels, Anand, the most dynamic writer in the history of Indian
English literature, raises his voice against the social issues of poor and downtrodden low class
people in pre-independent India through the main characters like Bakha and Lakha in
Untouchable (1935); and Munoo in Coolie (1936). In his novels, he is deeply concerned with the
social problems like untouchability, poverty, hunger, exploitation, superstition and the position of
women in Indian Society which constitute the social structure of the country. In Untouchable
(1935), for instance, he narrates a single day event in the life of Bakha, an eighteen years old
Bhangi. He is the son of Lakha, the sweeper, the cleaner of the latrines. Through the characters of
Lakha and Bakha, Anand attacks on the caste-system prevailing in Indian Society. Bhangis were
once treated as worse than animals by caste Hindus. In Coolie (1936), Munoo, another character, an
orphaned village-boy from Kangra hills, who sets out in search of livelihood, is exploited by the
forces of Industrialisation, Capitalism, Communalism, and Colonialism. Hence Anand's novels are
all steeped in Indian sensibility and frankly reek of the smoke and stench of rural Punjab. Soaked in
local colour and custom they freely employ the vernacular idiom to enter the skin of non-English
speaking Punjabi characters whether seen in his native milieu or transported to an alien cultural
setting across the black waters. This linguistic East-West encounter is skilfully handled by Anand
for its comic potential and also to enrich theme and characters with bold strokes of realism

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How to Cite

Dr. Nidhi. (2016). Representation of Social Problems in the Novels of Mulk Raj Anand. BRICS JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, 6(4), 274-275. Retrieved from