English Literature

Krishna’s Attitude towards Education
    The novel The English Teacher by R. K. Narayan deals with many aspects of human existence. The writer discusses these aspects through an English Teacher who teaches in a missionary school named Albert Mission College in Malgudi, the fictional village of R. K. Narayan where almost all of his stories take place.   The story talks about an unending bond between a husband and a wife namely Krishnan and Susila. Krishnan the main protagonist of the novel struggles to find a way to reach Susila and communicate with her after her untimely death. With this determination in mind Krishnan goes in search of spiritual enlightenment which he seeks from the beginning of the novel and which he ultimately achieves through self-development. In this story of an unending bond between two souls R. K. Narayan also deals with certain subthemes like family relationships, mysticism and spiritualism, tradition, culture, education, love. And education in particular plays a substantial part in the story. Narayan was critical about the British education system which prevailed in India at that time; through Krishnan he criticizes the whole education system.    
    We find Krishnan at the school hostel living as a bachelor even though he was a married   man, this lack of confidence in himself makes him evade from accepting responsibilities, here the writer points out the way how British education system has moulded them into dreamers with naïve characteristics not even giving the basic knowledge on how to live in the society, as the writer points out, only “mugging up” Milton, Carlyle, and Shakespeare, beyond this literature knowledge there’s nothing for the development of the character, that’s why Krishnan says at the beginning “… I was constantly nagged by the feeling that I was doing the wrong work.”(5; ch.1) The naïve quality of this education system is best highlighted by the example of Gopal the colleague of Krishna who is sharp as a knife-edge...