THE GUIDE BY R.K. NARAYAN
INTRODUCTION: The winner of Sahitya Academy Award, R.K. Narayan is one of the greatest Indian Writers in English with World fame. His novels have a universal appeal. They have been translated into most of the important languages of the world. Narayan is a simple and pure artist. He is popular as 'crusader scholar' and 'idealist machinery'.
THE GUIDE: R.K. Narayan has produced more than a dozen novels. These work deal with human relationship. 'The Guide' is one of them. It brought a worldwide reputation for the novelist. It was published in 1958 and won Sahitya Academy Award in 1960. It has also been filmed in 1962 with Devanand and Wahida Rahman. 'The Guide' introduces the human relationship and relationship between sex and money in a very attractive manner.
PLOT OF THE GUIDE: To discuss the major themes of family relationship and love and sex, it would be better to trace the story of 'The Guide' in short. Raju, a railway guide' is the hero of the novel. He is employed by Marco as guide. Marco is fond of fresco hunting. He does not pay much attention to his young wife Rosie. Thus Raju falls in love with her and accepts her as his wife. He sets Rosie up as a great dancer and indulges in luxurious living. Rosie gradually loses interest in Raju due to his constant demands of money. Once Raju forges Rosie's signature and is jailed. Rosie leaves Malgudi. After Raju's release from Jail, he takes shelter in a temple situated on the bank of river Sarayu. The simple villagers take him to be a great Mahatma. Without any active manipulation he becomes a wonder-Working Mahatma. Once the locality falls a victim to a terrible drought. The villagers expect Raju to undertake a fast to bring down the rains. He does so. At last he sinks in the river for the welfare of mankind.
FAMILY RELATIONSHIP: R.K. Narayan always gives a remarkable place to human relationship in his works. The family relationship is one of them. In many of his novels he deals with the relationship of sons and parents, grandsons and grand parents and husbands and wives. 'The Guide' is not an exception. Here Narayan introduces the family relationship. Here, when Rosie comes to stay with Raju, his mother objects to this. But Raju is adamant and thus his mother calls her brother for help. There is a terrible scene and the mother leaves the house to live with her brother. In the Story Marco and Rosie have been presented as unsuccessful husband and wife.
ROSIE AND MARCO: Marco and Rosie are husband and wife. In so many ways they differ from each other. Their thinking is also different. This is why their married life is not happy. Marco is a true devotee of ancient art and culture. Rosie does not like this. She feels neglected by Marco. He often forgets his duty as a husband towards his beautiful young wife. Thus Rosie begins to take interest in Raju. She dose not hesitate even in making sexual relationship with him. Though Rosie is a born dancer, she wants to develop her talent of dancing. But Marco does not like it. Here R.K. Narayan is of the view that harmony is an essential thing for the success of married life. Lack of harmony in marital relationship is very dangerous.
ROSIE AND RAJU: When Raju meets Rosie, he is much impressed by her sweet voice and attractive beauty. He falls in love with her at once. He wins her heart and seduces her by flattering and paying her bold compliments. Rosie falls in the trap of Raju. It is because she gets no sympathy from her husband. He does not take care of her. Thus she finds in Raju an instrument for the fulfillment of her ambition. Of becoming a dancer. The dancing is the be-all and end- all of her existence. This relationship was based on selfishness. Thus it does not last long. Raju goes to jail and Rosie leaves Malgudi.
SEX AND MONEY: 'The Guide' is woven through the threads of sex and money. Here Narayan has made the relationship between sex and money as the main motto of the novel. We find that Marco is indifferent towards Rosie and has no sex encounter with her. He remains busy in discovering something unique for earning money. But Rosie does not give more importance to money. Raju's attitude towards sex and money is very complex. Both are superior for him. Sex, beauty and money are inseparable to him. They are like flame and fire.
CONCLUSION: In this way different characters in the novel have different attitudes and liking about love, marriage sex, beauty and money. Various relationships presented by the novelist prove him as a great master in his writings.