Tag Archives: family


“‘Is your pain very bad?’ asked Bakha ironically, to make his father conscious of his bad temper.  ‘I will rub your side with oil if you like.’

‘No, no’, said the old man irritably, turning his face to hide the shame which his son’s subtle protest aroused in him.  He had no pain at all in his side, or anywhere, and was merely foxing, being in his old age ineffectual, and excusing himself from work like a child.  ‘No, no,’ he said, ‘you go and attend to the work.  I’ll be all right.’  And he smiled gently.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. Print. 23.


Though not quite Woolf-ian in its representation of consciousness, this bit of dialogue seems similar in intent, giving us glimpses of the inner thoughts of both opponents in the power play it is observing.  Also, its placement right after a series of power struggles between castes and outcastes is likely a deliberate choice by Anand to ironize it, begging the question as to why family members should be fighting when each of them individually has to fight the entire weight of an oppressive class system.

Copying As a Form of Admiration

“So he tried to copy them in everything, to copy them as well as hecould in the exigencies of his peculiarly Indian circumstances” (11).


Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. Print.

This refers to Bakha’s desire to be more than solely a member of the untouchable caste.  By copying the wardrobes of those of higher rank than him, both within Indian and British society, Bakha is showing a sense of admiration and urge to be a part of a different group than his own. From the beginning of the work, his family does not understand his reasoning behind this because although he wears the same attire, he is not reaping any rewards from the act regardless.