Write a critical note on the plot construction in Untouchable
Untouchable has no story interest; it is just an impassioned plea for a social cause. And it is this singleness of purpose i.e. exposing the evil of untouchability and analysing its various aspects-social, moral, psychological, religion-based, etc.-that provides structural unity to the plot. The plot of Untouchable can, unmistakably be hailed as one of the most compact and coherent plots in Indian English fiction. This view finds confirmation in the fact that getting convinced of the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, Anand reduced the size of his manuscript to almost half of the original, keeping out extraneous details. In his well-known essay On the Genesis of Untouchable, Anand observes:
In retrospect, I feel that, under the tutelage of the Mahatma, who did not pretend to be an artist, I was able to exorcise all those self-conscious literary elements which I had woven into the narrative in anticipation of what the critics might approve. He thought that the paragraphs of high-sounding words, in which I had tried to unite the miscellaneous elements, in what was essentially a walk through the small town of my hero, must go. Also. the old man suggested the removal of my deliberate attempts at melodramatic contrasts of the comic and tragic motifs, through which the spontaneous feelings, moods and lurking chaos in the soul of Bakha,’had been somewhat suppressed.