|Name||The English Teacher|
Krishna has spent a routine and repetitive existence akin to a cow as an English lecturer and instructor at Albert Mission College. But he also contributes significantly to preserving Indian culture. When Leela, his daughter with Susila, moves in with him, his life is changed.
English Summary – “The English Teacher”
The English Teacher by Narayan was released in 1945, seven years following The Dark Room. He was probably incapable of prolonged artistic effort during this time due to the devastating blow of losing his wife Rajam, and could only produce brief stories & sketches.
This book, The English Teacher, is autobiographical. This work was written in large part as a result of Narayan’s personal suffering. It tells an unconventional love story. It describes Krishna’s home life as an English teacher at Malgudi’s Albert Mission College. Despite being thirty years old, he finds life is boring without his wife and infant daughter. After a few months, they come, along with his mother. Over several months, Krishna & Sushila, his wife, live in harmony. Their home isn’t perfect, though, so one unfortunate day they go house hunting. Unfortunate circumstances lead to Susila being stung by a flea, contracting typhoid, and eventually passing away.
Krishna is dealt a shocking blow by Susila’s passing. He is extremely upset & loses all interest in both life and his college work. His young daughter Leela, who now takes up most of his time and attention, is his main source of solace. He regularly ambles about a lotus pond where he encounters a Sanyasi who has the ability to speak with the dead. He serves as a conduit for Krishna’s communication with the ghost of his beloved deceased Susila. Krishna is overjoyed and begins to show renewed interest in life.
Krishna now encounters the principal of a brand-new children’s school. His educational views having greatly inspired him, he resigned from his position at the college to work for the new organisation. For the first time ever, he is able to speak with his deceased wife’s ghost directly that very night. An unfathomable delight fills his spirit at this.
In Narayan’s imagined world, establishing human ties is difficult. In fact, the tremendous lovelessness of that culture often surprises you, something that Narayan’s sense of humour and absurdity do a good job of hiding. The father is particularly distant and frequently cold, and romantic love, when it does exist, either results in a loss of self-control (The Bachelor of Arts, Mr. Sampath, The Guide, Talkative Man), or is so plagued by anxiety and fear that its inability (as in A Painter of Signs) comes as nearly a relief to the protagonists.
This is what makes the opening of The English Teacher so extraordinary, in which Krishna, the narrator, recalls the satisfaction of unexpectedly falling in love with his wife. Here, happiness is honoured through the numerous small nuances of family life, such as little arguments, shopping trips, poetry readings, fussiness over the birth of the first child, and house hunting.
The euphoric state of Krishna’s existence, which essentially derives in this most clearly autobiographical of Narayan’s novels from the peace and joy marriage brought to Narayan’s own life, was noted by Elizabeth Bowen among the numerous reviews of the book. Until his marriage, Narayan appears to have been like Krishna, who, at the start of the novel, is leading a largely unsatisfying life as a teacher of English literature, trying to explain the poems of Southey to dimwitted students at a missionary college. Narayan’s novels are still unpublished, and the future appears to be a depressing blank.
While still in the midst of the hard process of growing up and discovering a career for himself, Narayan’s six years of marriage to Rajam appear to have brought him back to that “pleasure about nothing in particular” of his youth.
About The Author
One of R.K. Narayan’s greatest books.
Conclusion – “The English Teacher”
The chamber fills with the aroma of jasmine, and Krishna senses the presence of his wife by inhaling the fragrance. The denouement is very detailed. He brought a jasmine garland from his college departure party because Susila loved jasmine flowers. The wreath is pulled into her bun by him.