The Guide Themes

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What's In a Name?

With the exception of James J. Malone, the American journalist, none of the characters' last names are mentioned in the narrative. It can be surmised that Malone's entire name is used in an effort to reinforce his position as an outsider. In America as well as in other Western nations, a person's name is a signifier of who one is in society and where one comes from. However, by not revealing the surnames of the Indian characters in the novel, the author is subverting the notion that the name makes the (wo)man. In addition, there are several characters who remain unnamed altogether. For example, Raju's maternal uncle, Raju's parents and even the lawyer are never called by name. This would reinforce the view that it is sufficient for the author that the characters know their own names and secondary that the reader does not...

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This section contains 1,067 words
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Buy The Guide Study Guide
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