Thekkekara Livea Paul
Reg. No. - 1324153
The purpose of this paper is to prove the thesis statement – “The Unconscious Mind has led either to the rise or the downfall of the Protagonist”. Method employed is Textual Analysis. The methodology used is the Unconscious Framework propounded by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. This is executed by analyzing the lives of the three protagonists of the three different stories and evaluating these characters on the basis of the Unconscious. My primary text is Ghusmat – a Marathi Short Stories Collection written by Kalyan Jadhav. This research will assist in understanding the lives of the Dalit people in Maharashtra. This will be my possible implications from this research. There would be limitations to my research as I have done textual analysis. This method has its advantages and disadvantages. I presume that the disadvantages would cripple my research. Nevertheless, the textual analysis along with the Unconscious Framework is best suitable for this paper.
Keywords: Dalit, Suppression, Unconscious, id, ego, superego, Dalit Literature
The Dalit people were or better to say are exploited by the social and the economic traditions of the nation. This essence is captured in the Dalit Literature. India is now majorly populated by the youth people. They are the citizens who are going to or are transforming the face of our country. They are having many aspirations. The Marathi short story writer Kalyan Jadhav has captured these aspirations of the Dalit youth in Maharashtra and picturized in the stories.
In the wake of natural calamities, our people stand united and help the people in need. But imagine if at this crucial juncture instead of lending a hand of support we discriminate people on the basis of their caste; how demeaning it is to the affected. This is captured in the story “ Hadra”. Even in the face of adversities some see the footprints of Untouchability and do not step forward.
The union between the two persons on the basis of love is a beautiful manifestation of humanity. But the factor of caste comes in between and the two gets separated. Caste factor must never come in between the couple. A curious fact is when people fall in love they do not see the caste factor but when the time comes to move forward in life they see it and makes it a hurdle themselves or by their family.
Dr. Darshana Trivedi points out that Dalit Literature is a journey from main stream literature to marginal literature, from grand narrative to little narrative, from individual identity to group identity, from ideal to real, from vertical literature to spiral literature, from self-justification to self-affirmation. This is the “celebration of difference”.
S.K. Paul claims that society is immovable. The caste structure are based on the economical and the ascriptive nature of the social status which the individual acquires and which could not be improved or changed. Its restrictions have different meanings for different economic and caste groups. They are considered as closely interrelated, almost inseparable, basic processes of social life.
D. Padmarani puts forward the idea that the term ‘DALIT’ encompasses the hapless segment of India : the untouchable communities, Adivasis, nomadic tribes and the suffering masses who were made to lead dehumanized, degraded lives and were denied the basic fundamental rights by the hegemony of the stratified, rigid caste system of Hinduism.
The 3 Stories In A Glance
(1) Hadra –
The story is set in a village bordering the state of Gujarat. The time is set after the Gujarat Earthquake. There was devastation everywhere. Many people died. Thousands were trapped in the debris. Houses were destroyed. Dead bodies were lying everywhere. The Central Reserve Police Force as well as the Maharashtra Reserve Police were helping the people.
At that time, the Sarpanch of the village was giving burial of the bodies handed over to him by Police Forces. But the Commander of the Police Force noticed that he was not doing the same to some of the bodies. He questioned and found out that those uncremated bodies were of the Dalit community.
The Commander got angry and gave him a tight slap. Everyone was looking at them. The commander said that when earthquake occurred, it did not see the caste of the people and when the Reserve Police helped the villagers, even they did not asked the caste of the people while helping. But the Sarpanch denies burial of some people due to their caste. It is shame as well as pity. In the end the Sarpanch realizes his mistake and gives proper burial to the remaining bodies.
(2) Sushma –
The protagonist Sushma loved a fellow student, a Dalit from the same college. But when the time comes to move forward in life Sushma cites the caste factor and also the money factor of her beloved and leaves him. She marries a rich man.
Her beloved gets heartbroken but he recovers himself studies and becomes a prominent lawyer of the city. Sushma’s marriage with her husband breaks down due to dowry issue and she becomes poor due to paying the legal fees. She shifts to a slum and one day goes to see her beloved but the latter insults her and sends her away. In the end she commits suicide.
(3) Nava Surya –
The protagonist is a small boy who comes from a Dalit background. Her Father works as a factory worker and is a drunkard. He use to spend his money on alcohol and hardly gave his money to his family. He even beat his wife and caused a lot of mental stress in the minds of his son.
One day his teacher tells the story of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, how his childhood was and how he emerged from his poor background. The boy gets encouraged by teacher’s words. He comes back home and sees his father beating the mother. He gets a stick and starts beating his drunkard father. He warns him not to beat his mother and to give his salary to the expenses of the house.
The Unconscious Framework
The great Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and his disciples formed the idea of the Unconscious mind. It is a very important factor in psychoanalysis. Freud developed hierarchical as well as vertical architecture of human consciousness – the unconscious mind, the preconscious mind and the conscious mind.
The Unconscious is that part of the mind which a person is unaware of. In the opinion of the Freud, it is the Unconscious that is the treasure house of true feelings, thoughts as well as the emotions of an individual. According to Freud, human beings are not conscious of all their feelings, urges and desires because most of mental life is unconscious. He compared the mind to an iceberg: only a small portion is visible; the rest is below the waves of the sea. Thus, the mind consists of a small conscious portion and a vast unconscious portion.
Freud’s famous tripartite model of the mind in brief:
id – irrational, instinctual, vital, unconscious (contains our secret desires, darkest wishes, intense fears). Driven to fulfill wishes of pleasure principle.
superego – internal censor but derived from societal control, driven to fulfill demands of morality principle
ego – rational, logical, mostly conscious part of mind. Regulates id and comes to terms with superego. Driven by reality principle, the ego is the battleground for forces of the superego and the id.
Analysis of the Framework in the Short Stories
(1) Hadra –
In this short story, we can see that the Sarpanch did not give a proper burial to those who are Dalits. Deep down his psyche, he has a strong resentment against the community. Therefore, during the aftermath of the tragedy when it is expected from everyone to help each other in crisis, the Sarpanch was discriminating. This was his superego. It was his internal censor but was derived from societal control. No one said him to act accordingly but his Unconscious made him to do that.
(2) Sushma –
We can say that when Sushma loved her beloved she was following her id that is the pleasure principle but when the time came for her to take the relationship forward she was driven by her ego. She became more practical. She realized that marrying a Dalit would make her life miserable. But her fate was different and had a very pathetic ending.
(3) Nava Surya –
The protagonist of the story, a school boy was disturbed because of his family atmosphere. He was angry against his father. Hearing the story of Ambedkar from his teacher, his id became more strong. His secret strong desire of harming his Father came to the fore and he beat his Father. It was not a preplanned attack instead, his Unconscious mind took over his decision making ability and thereby, he did so.
As a result of this study, my thesis statement –
Therefore, we conclude that The Unconscious mind plays a very prominent role in the characters of the stories. There is always a battle between the superego and the id. Sometimes, the ego takes the place. These factors have strongly shaped the direction in which the story has taken shape into.
The concept developed by Sigmund Freud is very valuable in understanding the characters of the story deeply. It gives more clarity to the actions that led to the various events in the story. Thereby, it is strongly recommended that characters of any literary piece be analysed in this framework so that it would lead to better understanding of the characters.
As a result my thesis statement –
“The Unconscious Mind has led either to the rise or the downfall of the Protagonist”.
Gabriele, Griffin. Research Methods for English Studies. Jaipur : Rawat, 2007. Print.
Jadhav, Kalyan. Ghusmat, Jalgaon : Atharva publications, 2012. Print.
“Psychoanalytic theory” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 15 February 2014
Trivedi, Drashana. Dalit Literature. New Delhi : Swarup & Sons, 2007. Print.
“Unconscious Mind” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 31 January 2014.