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The Short Stories

1 Contents

Contents

Preface  

1. The Short Story   

  • A General Introduction   
  • Offshoots  
    • The Sketch   
    • The Yarn and the Tale  
    • Marchen   
    • Parable and Fable  
    • Mixed Modes  
  •     What then is a Short Story?  
  •     Things to Look for When Reading a Story  
    • Point of View    
      • Omniscient Point of View    
      • The Direct Observer’s Point of View    
      • The First Person Point of View    
    • Tone  
    • Plot  
    • Setting  
    • Dialogue  
    • Character  
    • Symbol 
    • Theme  

2. The Short Story in the Indian Context  

  • The Beginnings  
  • The Old and the New    
  • The Urban - Rural Reality  
  • New Subjects and New Issues  
  • The Woman Theme  
  • The Political Theme  
  • Experiments With New Techniques  

3. The Holy Panchayat    Premchand   

  • The Author and his Milieu   
  • The Holy Panchayat  
    •  Introduction   
    •  Detailed Analysis  
      • A Build-up to the Panchayat Proceedings  
      • The Basic Structure  
      • The Realistic Setting in Minute Details  
      • The Panchayat as an Alternative System of Governance  
      • An Idealistic View of Justice  
      • A Doubling of Events  
      • The Role of Conscience  
    • Additional Comments  
      • Element of Chance  
      •  A ‘Change of Heart’Story  
      •  Erosion of Traditional Values  
      •  Forward Looking  
      •  Title and Techniques  
      •  Theme of Friendship and Communal Harmony  

4. The M. C. C.    R K Narayan   

  • Indian - English Writing  
  • The Author and his Milieu   
  • A Word about Swami and Friends  
  • The M.C.C   
    • An Introduction   
    • Detailed Analysis  
      • Events brought Up-to-Date  
      • Disparity between Style and Subject  
      • A Peep into the World of Children   
      •  Undercurrents  
      • Child Psychology  
      •  Naming of a Cricket Team is no Easy Task  
      • Innocence Located in Ignorance  
      •  Humour from Difference in Perspectives  
      •  The Two Letters  
      •  The World from a Child’s Perspective  
      •  A Sudden Inversion   
      •  The Story Deceptively Simple  
      •  Strong Nationalist Overtones  
      •  Narrative Technique  

5. The Card Sharper’s Daughter    Basheer   

  • The Author and his Milieu   
  •  The Sthalam Stories  
  •  The Card Sharper’s Daughter  
    • An Introduction   
    • Detailed Analysis  
      • The First Person Narrator  
      • Characterisation   
      •  The Event as History  
      • Laying the Ground for the Narrative to Unfold   
      • The Plot  

6. Toba Tek Singh    Saadat Hasan Manto   

  • The Author and his Milieu   
  • The New Story  
  • Toba Tek Singh   
    •  An Introduction   
    •  The Theme of Partition   
    •  Detailed Analysis  
      •  Narrative Style  
      •   Madness as Metaphor  
      •   Insane or Sane?  
      •   A Parody of the World Outside  
      •   Breakdown of Language  
      •   The Sense of Place in One’s Identity  
      •   The Trauma of Dislocation   
      •   Arbitrariness of Political Decisions  
      •   Identity of a Person Linked to Place  
      •   The Person Becomes the Place  
      •   The Unresolved Questions  

7. The Quilt    Ismat Chughtai 

  • The Author and her Milieu   
  • The Quilt  
    •  An Introduction   
    •  Detailed Analysis  
      •   Narrative Style  
      •   Position of Women   
      •   Visual Details  
      •   Suggestive Nature of the Details  
      •   The Child Narrator  
      •   The Ending  
      •   The Lihaaf as Metaphor and Symbol 
      •   The Theme of Female Sexuality  
      •   Characters and Style  

8. Squirrel  Ambai 85

  •     The Author and her Milieu   
  •     The Short Story in the Tamil Literary Scene  
  •     Ambai’s Writings  
  •     Squirrel 
    •  An Introduction   
    •  Detailed Analysis  
      •   The Literal Level 
      •   The Metaphorical Level 
      •   Imagery  
      •   The Narrator  
      •   A Retelling of Mythical Allusions  
      •   The Squirrel’s Entry into the Literal and Metaphorical Worlds 
      •   The Past Resurrected/Surreal Techniques  
      •   Plurality of Perspectives  
      •   Role of the Squirrel 
      •   Feminist Concerns  
      •   Resurrection vs Annhilation  
      •   Themes and Style  
      •   Autobiographical Relevance  
      •   What ‘Writing’ Should Involve  

Appendices

 

Appendix I        Some Questions  

Appendix II       Suggested Further Reading  

 

 

 

Prepared by: 
Dr. Neeta Gupta