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Volume 2 Issue 12

June 2015

Quest for a Meaningful Life in Arun Joshi’s The Apprentice
Ms. Punam V. Barabde, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, 
Shri Shivaji Science College, 
Amravati, Maharashtra, India
Today everything conspires towards a philosophy of meaninglessness, boredom and the absurd. The twentieth century especially the post-world war period has been an age of great spiritual stress and strain and has rightly been regarded as ‘The Age of Alienation’. It has shrunk in spirit, languishing in confusion, frustration, distintegration, disillusionment and meaninglessness. Unlike the existentialists or his western counterparts, Arun Joshi never accepts alienation as the ultimate condition of life. It is transitional phase in the protagonist`s quest for self-knowledge. Deeply influenced by the technique of the Upanishads and the Gita, Joshi looks upon man`s life on the earth as ‘apprentice in soul making’ (Sharma 123). His novel The Apprentice attempts to discover the meaning of life. It tries to devise the ways and means for the eliminating the discrepancy between the individual`s pursuits and his fulfillment. The protagonist Ratan Rathor is neither religious nor a saint, but he is humble enough to learn the lesson taught to him by life through problems. Finally he expiates his sins of cowardice, dishonesty and even indirect murder. He learns the lesson of humility.
Alienation; Quest; Expiate; Meaninglessness; Corruption.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.