Akshit posted an Question
June 25, 2020 • 13:27 pm 30 points
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Do provide short summary themes and imp info of the serpent & rope by raja rao

do provide short summary themes and imp info of The Serpent & Rope by Raja Rao

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    "the serpent and the rope" is an autobiographical-style novel by Raja Rao, first published in 1960 and the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1964. The book explores themes of reality, existence, and self-realization. Throughout the novel, protagonist Ramaswamy’s thought process develops in line with Vedantic philosophy. Every incident or conversation that takes place in the life of the narrator is presented in the context of furthering or hindering his progress on his quest for truth and knowledge. The way the narrative is presented is as timeless as India itself, with the familiar blend of fact and fable. The novel tells the story of Rama and particularly his marriage while reflecting on the flavor and tradition of India. The novel also ruminates on themes of East meets West as Rama leaves his native India and moves to Europe. Rama is described as a kind young man who is somewhat frail because of his tubercular lungs. He has been living and studying in France and has married a French woman, Madeleine. Rama plans to finish his thesis on the Albigensian heresy and then to move back to India, bringing Madeleine with him. Early on in the novel, from the moment Rama first references his wife, the reader gets a sense that something is not right in their marriage. Madeleine and Rama have a son together, their first child, but he dies when he is only seven months old. After this tragedy, Rama must return to India because his father is dying as well. Rama stays in India to preside over his father’s cremation in Benares and accompanies his stepmother whom he refers to as “Little Mother” on a pilgrimage of the city’s holy places, after which he must return home to his wife in France. For Rama, this trip intensifies his longing to better understand himself, making him acutely aware of the nagging feeling of incompleteness inside of him. During this trip home, Rama also meets Savithri, a Cambridge student engaged to one of his friends, though she confesses to Rama that she is not in love with the man. When Rama first meets Savithri, his first impression of her is not great; he believes she is too much of a “modern” woman. Although he does not think too highly of her at first, he finds that he cannot get her out of his mind. This further serves to confuse Rama and complicate the situation between him and Madeleine. Rama returns to France and to his wife, though he feels more distant from her than ever. At their first dinner together after his return, Madeleine, sensing the change in her husband, asks him if she has failed his gods somehow. He responds by saying that she has not failed his gods, but she has failed him. Rama thinks of the toe rings in his bag that were given to him by Little Mother to bestow upon Madeleine, but he cannot bring himself to give her the gift, feeling that things are just too far gone. Rama and Madeleine struggle to maintain an air of normalcy, even temporarily reigniting the intimacy in their marriage, but it is short-lived. Savithri, always in Rama’s thoughts, comes back into his life when she visits him and Madeleine in France. Rama then accompanies her to England in order to continue the research for his thesis. The more time they spend together, the more Rama becomes aware of his deep love for her. He recognizes that his feelings for Savithri far surpass his love for his own wife. Rama has a hard time coming to terms with his feelings for Savithri, especially considering that he is married to someone else. At the same time, he feels that his love for Savithri is bringing him closer to understanding his own truth and following a path of integrity. In a climactic symbolic gesture, Rama gives the toe rings from Little Mother to Savithri. Considered an important marriage ritual in India, this bears great significance for the relationship between Rama and Savithri. Rama goes back to France where Madeleine is pregnant. He once again leaves her for India and his sister’s wedding. Rama needs to make an emergency visit to Bangalore for health reasons, and while he is there, he learns that Madeleine gave birth prematurely to a second son who has died. Soon afterward, he learns that Savithri has gotten married. He returns to France to be with Madeleine who has become deeply ingrained in her own Buddhist practice, withdrawing further from Rama. Rama goes to London for lung surgery where he receives a visit from Savithri. They accept that they must part ways and that fate has led them in separate directions. They acknowledge that love is about rejoicing in one another’s happiness. Rama divorces Madeleine after the distance between them grows too big to ignore. He realizes that the answer he has been seeking lies in the journey to seek out his Guru and that all of the trials and tribulations of his life have led him to this realization.


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