Samskara This Particular Novels Deals Term Paper

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This particular novels deals with the distinction as to what is bad and what is good, and this question could quite likely be the oldest question that humankind has ever had to deal with. It is quite likely that, as soon as the concept of morals became apparent to most of society, the idea of what is good or bad was discussed and argued about. It does not appear that a conclusion satisfactory to all individuals has ever been achieved. Naturally, there are ideals and values that have come into being but not everyone views these in the same way and not everyone sees the same issues as being significant. Even though the present-day is generally believed to be an age dealing with freedom and absolute knowledge, the idea of what is good and what is bad still remains mostly incomprehensible.

The conflict between good and bad has been depicted not only through literature and art, but also in the actions and thoughts of individuals. Sometimes this comes from various questions that have been raised in the lives of individuals, and sometimes it even makes its way into history. This particular novel looks at the question of good and bad and also takes a much deeper look at the paradox between them. The novel is set in India in the early 20th century and the book looks at how significant the line is between the conflicting values that are viewed and defined by society.

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The death of a rebel of an orthodox clan is the backdrop for the novel. When this individual dies none of the individuals that belong to the clan want to come forward to help with the last rites. The individual that died was involved with alcohol, eating meat, and chasing women. He had no children and therefore no family to perform the last rites. Because he was involved in all of these things, he is seen to be terribly bad by the rest of the clan members and therefore they do not wish to become involved with helping to determine what to do with his body. They are afraid that by getting involved with him they may become contaminated somehow, and this contamination is generally seen to be of a spiritual as opposed to a physical nature.

Term Paper on Samskara This Particular Novels Deals With the Assignment

They find the most wise and respected individual in their area and they go to him with this issue, hoping to find a solution for the problem. He searches the scriptures and meditates in a temple looking for what God's verdict might be on how to dispose of the body of the rebel. Meanwhile, the clan works to solve the problem on their own by looking for help both in a neighboring colony and also in a monastery. While all of this is going on the corpse of the dead individual has not been removed and this causes an outbreak of plague. The wise man that they have consulted is angered and frustrated at his own incompetence because he has not been able to make a decision and, on a spur of the moment idea, he has a liaison with one of the lower mistresses. This particular encounter changes him in many ways and marks what he considers to be a turning point within his life.

During the time that the plague is running rampant through the area, the wise man's wife succumbs to it and he decides to leave the area because he cannot face the individuals that have seen him as a learned individual and revered him until the problem came about with the death of the rebel and he could not tell them what was right (or good). He leaves what has always been his native surroundings and as he walks through adjoining villages he thinks about who he really is and determines that he is not a different from some of his friends that he believes belong to a hedonistic tribe. He has been idealistic for almost 40 years and deliberately he had chosen to sacrifice much of what he wants and has tried to remain perfect. He married someone that he really did not love and he denied himself many earthly pleasures.

As he walks and learns more about himself he begins to see that this might have been vain and even hypocritical. He also realizes that he has been very vain to believe that he was above many of his friends because his friends involved themselves with more earthly pleasures. The clan to which the rebel belonged returns to the area and they decide that they are going to cremate the rebel's body but they are unaware that the mistress that the wise man had been involved with as the plague broke out already cremated the body. She had received help from a Muslim individual to do this.

Towards the end of the novel, the wise man returns to the area in a very confused state. This particular confusion helps to show the paradox that is basically the central theme in the novel. There are several questions that are brought up by the book itself and several various aspects highlighted that help to keep with this particular theme. They are in accordance with and also in contrast to many established norms that individuals would expect and accept and they do not offer specific solutions. The book overall appears to confirm that there really is not a specific solution to any problem.

Within the clan that the rebel came from, there are traits involving lust, gluttony, and greed, and these are portrayed very directly and in a manner that is very down-to-earth. By doing this, the author implies that many of these traits are inherent in human beings and they have nothing to do with boundaries based on wealth, upbringing, or any other issues. There are many who pretend to loath the individuals that involved themselves with earthly pleasures because they feel that they are above these things, but in their secret lives the envy these individuals because these individuals are able to involve themselves with delights and pleasures that the higher members would like to enjoy as well.

Some of the paradox and conflict is illustrated by the wise man who goes through a symbolic rebirth by the death of his wife and his self-imposed exile from the area. Part of what the book is attempting to say is that there is somewhat of a dual existence within any individual. There are contrasting natures of good and bad among individuals and among each individual person. In other words, the line that is between good and bad, or good and evil if you will, is not a line that individuals choose to stand on one side of or the other. Rather, this line between good and bad is a line that runs down the middle of every human being.

There are some areas of the novel that make critics and historian question it to some extent because they do not believe that these areas are completely authentic. Many of the ancient scriptures do actually have various provisions for ways to handle last rites of a rebel who has strayed from the duties that he was prescribed, and the critics also point out that it is not possible for vultures to prey on rats that carry the plague, as is indicated in the book. However, these slight concerns are generally trivial and the novel portrays a very serious issue in a very straightforward manner.

It makes those that read the novel think about the social framework that they have and that society as a whole has, and it makes these same individuals reflect on the values and ideals that usually make up the foundation of this type of framework. This is very relevant to today's world because many of these issues are being challenged, questioned, and debated. Once the book has been read, however, it appears as though what is in the book is not actually anything new. Instead, it echoes many of the questions that have been asked in the past and it also appears to be an echo of what will be seen in the future.

The religious and social questions that are faced in the book are things that have been going on for hundreds of years between many individuals in society and also between different societies. This is not something that will be changed overnight and is not something that is likely to resolve itself or fade into the background. Issues regarding good and bad affect almost every aspect of life and they affect every human being. While the book has many important things to say the story that it tells is actually one slant on a very old story indeed.

Death as a backdrop for a story may seem odd but for many religious stories or stories that deal with the social framework of various societies, death is a significant and important backdrop. Much of this comes from the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Samskara This Particular Novels Deals.  (2005, May 19).  Retrieved February 25, 2020, from

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"Samskara This Particular Novels Deals."  May 19, 2005.  Accessed February 25, 2020.