The Mystic Masseur

Analyse two post-colonial characters in Naipaul's, Mystic Masseur.

Analyse two post colonial characters in mystic maseur

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Ganesh Ramsumair is the protagonist of the novel. He was born in the country of Trinidad, where he lives throughout the narrative. Ganesh is Hindu of India heritage. The novel does not give exposition regarding Ganesh’s childhood or upbringing, but he appears to come from a financially stable background, relative to the generally impoverished country of Trinidad. Ganesh attends college and studies to be a teacher, but he quickly becomes disinterested in the teaching profession.

After Ganesh quits the teaching profession and returns to his hometown of Fourways, he marries Leela, the daughter of local shop owner Ramlogan. Ganesh decides to become a masseur and a spiritualist. He reads many books and begins attempting to write his own books. He eventually becomes well known as a religious healer and as the writer of his autobiography, The Years of Guilt. Ganesh uses his clout in the community to become a prominent Trinidadian statesman.

Ramlogan is a shop owner in the Trinidad town of Fourways. When he first appears in the novel, he is desperate for his daughter, Leela, to marry Ganesh, and he contrives various ways to encourage the union. Eventually, Ganesh and Leela do marry, but Ramlogan grows angry with Ganesh after Ganesh manipulates Ramlogan into giving him an inordinately large dowry for the marriage.

From that point forward, Ramlogan remains a consistent antagonist in the novel, disapproving of all of Ganesh’s decisions and attempting to sabotage him multiple times. Ramlogan sees Ganesh’s spiritualist pursuits as frivolous and likely to lead to penury. By the end of the novel, Ganesh appears to have been able to cut Ramlogan out of his life almost entirely.