‘Rajmohan’s Wife is about transgression’. Would you agree? Discuss this statement in the light of Bankim’s understanding of transgression?
Yeah, Rajmohan’s wife is about transgression. And We are not arguing that Bankim does away with conservative didacticism – his didacticism is apparent from the outcome of the transgression. It is not a banal belief in the right and wrong that is socially defined – rather, it is a realisation of the impossible co-existence of desire with duty.
Bankim was to actually show the consequences of transgression. It may be argued that Matangini suffers even though she is not physically unfaithful to her husband. But she suffers because she has felt and articulated desire. To go back into a prelapsarian world (the age of innocence; before the fall of Adam and Eve) is shown as impossible i.e. to say that they can all return to live the way they used to before their loss of innocence would not be credible.
Nagendranath can never recover his love for Kunda, nor can Govindlal recover his love for Bhramar. No amount of repression of desire can actually lead them back into the earlier age of innocence. The fact of immediacy and life however, cannot be overlooked.