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Karma

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen "Karma" af Khushwant Singh, som optræder i antologien Worlds of English (s. 178). Du kan også finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering.

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “Karma” (1989)
Forfatter: Khushwant Singh
Genre: Short story

Khushwant Singh (1915-2014) var en indisk forfatter, advokat, journalist og politiker. Han blev født i Punjab og læste jura i Delhi, inden han fik arbejde som journalist. Hans journalistiske arbejde inspirerede ham til at begynde sit forfatterskab. 

Selvom den oprindeligt blev skrevet i 1950, blev novellen "Karma" først udgivet i 1989 i novellesamlingen The Collected Stories.

Nedenfor kan du se et kort uddrag fra vores study guide til novellen:

Through its characters, the story depicts the different ways in which people from different social classes are treated in India.

Sir Mohan Lal is a wealthy and well-educated Indian man and, therefore, belongs to the Indian upper-class. He is educated in Britain (p. 181, ll. 24-26) and is a vizier (an official adviser or minister) and a barrister (a lawyer) in India. In British-ruled India, some members of Indian society would study in Britain and return to India to assist in the administration of the land. Note that education in Britain was usually reserved for a few students from the middle and upper class in India.

Mohan Lal is very fond of English culture and tries to imitate the English lifestyle as much as possible. He travels first-class in the hope to converse with officers and Englishmen, wears expensive English clothes, reads The Times, drinks Scotch, and smokes English cigarettes. Lachmi, Sir Mohan Lal’s wife, does not have Mohan Lal’s education: “ ‘I am only a native woman. I can’t understand English and don’t know their ways, so I keep to my zenana interclass.’ ” (p. 179, l. 29-31)

Lachmi has a lower social status than her husband, as she is poorly educated and a woman. She also has poor and illiterate relatives, suggesting that she comes from a lower social class than her husband. The contrast created between her and her husband’s level of education (and their backgrounds) hints at the social differences in British-ruled India.

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Karma

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