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Authors: Vatsa, Shivani
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: Arun Joshi is a contemporary Indo - English novelist who has presented the dehumanising impact of the contemporary technological world order on man and portrayed through his novels, the urgent need of incorporating human values at all levels of individual and collective life. He was born on July 07, 1939 at Benaras, Uttar Pradesh. Joshi completed his formal education from the wellreputed universities of United States. The valuable experience he gained by his close association with anumber of industrial institutions enlightened him on the deadening impact of technology on man which further finds expression in his novels. Joshi's professional life influenced his literary career. Arun Joshi started his literary career in 60's - his first novel The Foreigner came out in 1968. In his literary career of 18 years, Joshi produced 5 novels and a short story collection The Survivor. He has been honoured with Sahitya Academy Award in 1983 for his fourth novel The Last Labyrinth. Joshi's novels emphasise the absurdity and senselessness of contemporary life in which technological domination has reduced man to a marionette caught up in life's chaotic surge with no avenue of escape. His protagonists represent a common man's disenchantment with materialistic aggrandisement. His novels tell us that the revolution in technology has affected man's inner self, the very structure of his personality, as well as the organisation and character of human activity. Technology has resulted in advanced industrial development, which has produced a variety of side- effects that have been n catastrophic for people. The impersonality of social relationship and growing emphasis on materialistic progress only is gradually subordinating human beings to things. Joshi's novels reveal man's inability to adapt to this climate which affects his inner-self and other close relationships and becomes a source of a deepening identity crisis. Joshi has sensitively articulated the feelings of the contemporary human beings caught in the vicious circle of technological development. His novels expose the devastating repercussion of the growing hold of technology on the life of modern man which turns him into a dehumanised robot and exhibit how people facing dehumanisation and automation in the modern society find themselves lonely, dejected and alienated in avalueless society. The analysis of Joshi's novels reveals agradual escalation of the suffocating impact of technology on his protagonists. They feel smothered under the undue pressure of technology and strive for establishing aworld order that will be governed by human values. They struggle with perseverance to overcome the stifling confines of the technological world order. Joshi's characters unequivocally suggest the urgency of incorporating human values in life which alone can ensure the burgeoning of inner peace, happiness and vivacity. Joshi's novels exhibit that the advancement of technology and the gradual application of its knowledge have cumulatively led to individual and social disruption. Joshi finds that the predicament of the present civilisation is because of the slaughter of values and sentiments in atechnologically advanced society. He suggests that the mental anarchy, the dangers of power and corruption, destruction of traditional value system and erosion of the old moral order are due to the advent of unchecked industrialisation and technology. Joshi portrays the in presence of chaos associated with the rise of technology which is mainly due to the breakdown of traditional value-system. His novels state that the reestablishment of human values in the modern society alone can provide peace and tranquillity to the man and can liberate him from the stifling paranoia of his life. Joshi's novels explore man's servility to technology that devoids him of all integrity of thought and decision. The tumult in which modern man finds himself in an inimical society is due to the unchecked growth of technology with no faith in higher and nobler values. The dominance of technological world order generates indirectly a conflict between man's instincts and the demands of society, which often leads to psychotic obsession and disorders. Joshi's novels powerfully project the growing presence of a moral malaise beneath the seemingly rational and technical facade of the contemporary society. The spiritual uprootedness and estrangement ofman from his social environment can be curbed only when the concept of human values is internalised by man at every stage ofhis life. The reassertion ofthe need ofhuman values is a dominant motif in Joshi's fiction. Joshi does not only delineate the dilemma of modern man with profundity, but also suggests a viable alternative for man's tragic crisis. His novels present the quintessence of human values by suggesting, through characters and themes that man cannot realise happiness through materialistic possessions only. The tranquillity and contentment for which he longs can be attained only when the human values become the guiding principles of all his actions.
Other Identifiers: Ph.D
Research Supervisor/ Guide: Gaur, Rashmi
metadata.dc.type: Doctoral Thesis
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (HSS)

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