Theme of Alienation in Modern Literature: The Advent of Existentialism, With Life as Seen Through Indian English Fiction Writers


Edmund Fuller remarks that in our age “man suffers not only from war, persecution, famine and ruin, but from inner problems … a conviction of isolation, randomness, meaninglessness in his way of existence ". The paper will discuss and analyse theme of alienation in modern literature in general and Indo-English literature from different angles. It will be contextualized by referring profusely the works of renowned Indian writers. Alienation forms the subject of many psychological, sociological, literary and philosophical studies. It is a major theme of human condition in the contemporary society. It focuses on acting on ones’ conviction to arrive at personal truth. Existentialism deals with the problems of the meaning and purpose of life on earth, finding the world as hostile in nature. Indian writing in English fiction has been acclaimed around the world for its innovative and radical novel approaches to storytelling which is one of the oldest tradition in India. The multitude of such writing explores India in its various aspects. Apart from the continued literary output by older generation of Indian English writers, we also have newer generation too who explores the contemporary alienation and existentialism felt by the ‘middle class liberal humanist’. Analysis and portrayal of human relationship has been of perennial interests for all who have contributed towards the growth and development of different genres of literature. It has become very essential to explore the essence of ‘India’ in Indian English fiction and its role in uplifting and understanding society within or outside.

Author Information
Reena Mittal, MJPRU, India

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2018
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*

This paper is part of the ACAH2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon