Odia youngster’s book on American symbolism

Jayadev Kar from Balangir is the writer of the book ‘Symbolism in American Literature’. The book is available online for the global audience. The book was published in Germany by the famous Scholars’ Press. The author is an MPhil in English from Gangadhar Meher University. Son of Jyotsnamayee and Niranjan Kar he has completed Post Graduation in English from IGNOU. He is now working as a government lecturer in Balimela in Malkangiri district of Odisha. Kalinga TV chatted with the young writer to know about his published book.

Jayadev Kar

Asked what made him choose symbolism in American literature, Jayadev said, “Nathaniel Hawthorne is a famous American writer who delves deep into the Biblical principle of sin and redemption in his writings. “The Scarlet Letter” is his magnum opus wherein he describes the dual standard of a pastor named Arthur. Delivering sermons and bringing people back to orbit are the two principal works of a pastor but here in this novel the pastor himself violated the divine law and went for debauchery. He seduced a married lady called Hester secretly. When the lady gave birth to a girl child, people took that lady to the church with an accusation of unwedded motherhood. But in the church, the pastor Arthur himself gave the verdict that the lady would wear a scarlet letter “A” for all time to come. The letter “A” stood for Adultery.”

In my book I have made an attempt to shed light on symbols, to decode the symbols and to identify the various interpretations it stands for. The scarlet letter “A” which stood for adultery gradually changed to ability. Because when Hester became old, people gradually forgot her sin and the scarlet letter in her dress also got new meanings,” he added.

Do Indian authors use symbols? The young writer said, “In Indian literature, we also come across instances of use of symbols in many works.  Rabindranath Tagore’s “The Post Office” is a burning example of it. The post office is a symbol of the divine angel as a via media. And coming to Odia literature Santanu Kumar Acharya’s “Nara Kinnara” is full of symbols. In the same vein, Arundhati Roy has used the symbol of “History House” in ‘God of Small Things’. There are several general symbols as well in India. Like owl is regarded as a symbol of ill omen. Buffalo is the symbol of death and so on.

“My area of interest is American literature. These days I am busy writing a book on “History of American Literature. The book will also be available in Odia,” Jayadev said about his area of interest.

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