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How Realism Is Brought Out In “Slumdog Millionaire” A Novel by Vikas Swarup Essay


Introduction

“Slumdog Millionaire” is a novel that was written by Vikas Swarup. The novel was later filmed because many people had showed a lot of interest in the book. Swarup in his novel portrays the adventures of Ram Mohammad Thomas, an orphaned and uneducated waiter from one of the biggest slums in Asia.

Ram was found piled up with clothes that had been donated at the Delhi church in Mumbai. He was adopted and raised up by the priest who was later murdered. Ram wins a billion rupees on a quiz show where he answers twelve questions. He later ends up being taken to jail accused of cheating in the concert. Ram meets a lawyer, Smita Shah to whom he explains his fortune in answering the twelve questions.

He says that all questions were based on his own experience in life and that is why he found it easy answering all the twelve questions. Ram portrays how the best man wins with only little luck. All the adventures of Ram are seen to be real as they can be depicted in real life situations.

Some of the aspects making the novel to seem real are its connection to the Indian society and the story fairy tale elements. There are other ways in which realism has been brought out and with this the discussion shall be aimed at proving the reality in the novel (Singh 68).

Discussion

Vikas Swarup has used various styles in his work that make it realistic. His way of organizing his work is also in a way that brings out realism in a very clear and simple way. His descriptions of the characters are also supporting factors to bring out realism in his novel. This realism in the novel is what made it popular and made it to be filmed so that many could access the written work. The ways in which realism is brought out in the novel are as analyzed below (Smith 50).

(I) Realistic fiction

Setting and half truths

Setting of the novel makes it seem real. The story begins in jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is a hostage after he was arrested by the police with accusations of cheating. Ram has never been in school and yet he is a position to answer the twelve questions with prowess.

Although later he explains to the lawyer how daily life experiences played a role in helping him answer the questions. It is not easy to belief that Ram is uneducated and yet he can answer the questions and outdo educated people in the concert. The author reflects Ram’s history which is so amazing. It began when Ram was found in a clothes donation box rolled in the clothes and he was a small baby. The clothes were in the Delhi church (Dammer and Albanese 90). He was adapted then and orphaned until he was a grown up.

He was later employed by a Bollywood star and later he also worked as tour guide at the Taj Mahal. These episodes seem to be half true to be believed as they often happen in real life situation. This makes the story interesting and makes it seem more real than creative. The setting as seen earlier is also depicting real life scenes that people know and thus makes the work of Vikas Swarup seem more real (Connerney 78).

Plot twists and coincidences

The plot of the story is twisted as Ram was a young child and his future life and how he misses education. Ram recounts his entire prior story before going next to another episode.

Also the bad encounters are brought after the good episodes that seem to brighten Ram’s life. For instance, when he is raised up by the priest, he hopes that the priest will help him to get a job. The priest later is murdered and Ram hopes are to avail. When Ram was found rolled in donated clothes in the church, this was a coincidence because maybe the clothes would have been taken to other destinations.

Later it is a coincidence that Ram Mohammad Thomas is a position to answer questions just because he had experienced a life that would make him knowledgeable enough. It is a big coincidence that all the twelve questions in the concert are known by Ram who missed out on formal education. These coincidences and the plot twists on Ram’s life make the story to be perceived as more real rather than creative (Singh 67).

Theme of good versus evil

Whenever Ram opts to meet a better life a catastrophe strikes contrary to his expectations. Ram hopes that he will be helped by the priest who raised him as a young child. The pastor was too good for Ram and he views him as his savior. The worst happens when the priest is murdered by a person who was hired to do so.

This makes Ram’s future doomed and he loses focus. Later when he is working as a waiter, he participates in the concert and answers the twelve questions (Smith 137). He is very happy that he has won large sums of money but to his worry, he is arrested and accused of cheating as the police even accept that such a young and uneducated teenager could not answer the questions (Bruyn, Allardice and Shonar 54).

This good scenes and evil scenes as they are brought out in the novel make it seem more realistic. Some people are good like the priest who adopted Ram and catered for his needs until he was a grown up. The police and the concert organizers are bad people as they deny Ram his right and even cause accusations against him. The person who murdered the priest is also an evil person. The use of good versus evil people in the story also makes it seem more real than imaginary (Daniel 98).

(II) Modern day life in India

Urban myths

Urban myths are part of the devices the author uses. Ram is brought up in a slum and maybe the biggest one in the Asian continent. Clothes are donated to the people in the slum and as they are been dispersed, they find Ram, a small baby enrolled in them. He is then adopted and he grows up under care of the priest who is later murdered by a person who had been paid to do so. Later life gives Ram experiences that make him answer the twelve questions in the concert.

In the modern India, most of the episode in the novel are real as in urban life and more so in the slums. It is believed that in slums cases of murder and also uneducated but experienced teenagers are truly there. Just like in the story, the episodes depict what is really happening in urban centers in India. This makes readers of the story to perceive it as real (Connerney 124).

Narrative style

The author uses first person narrative style to connect to Ram. Ram Mohammad Thomas tells his story in a chronological order from his adoption. Before going to the next episode, Ram recounts his prior episodes to show how the events and his adventures have been coming out. He narrates his story with good episodes coming first and then as time goes by a catastrophe strikes.

This is done orderly for instance, where he answers the twelve questions in the concert and then he feels great having won a lot of money. This is a very good moment for Ram. All of a sudden, Ram is arrested by the police and taken to a jail cell and accused of cheating in the concert. The episodes are narrated in a way that is believable. This makes the adventures of Ram Mohammad Thomas to seem real (Collins 34).

Conclusion

The novel “Slumdog Millionaire” by Vikas Swarup is seen to be more real than imaginative. This is because of the different styles and ways that have been used in the novel. The story is set in Mumbai in India a place that is not imaginative. The tales are half true and this makes it seem real.

Also the author uses first person narrative style where the voice of the narrator is brought out. He also uses urban myths like slums that are there in the modern India. The coincidences in the episodes also make it to seem more real. The author is also using the theme of good and evil to make it realistic. The events are in a chronological order and the bad episodes come after the good episodes.

Works Cited

Bruyn, Pippa, Allardice, David and Joshi, Shonar. Frommer’s India: Casa nova. Mumbai: Frommer’s, 2010.Print.

Collins, Jim. Bring on the books for everybody: How literary culture became popular culture. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.Print.

Connerney, Richard. The upside down tree: India’s changing culture. Washington: Algora Publishing, 2009.Print.

Dammer, Harry and Albanese, Jay. Comparative criminal justice systems. London: Cengage Learning, 2010.Print.

Daniel, John. Mega-schools, technology and teachers: Achieving education for all. London: Taylor & Francis, 2010.

Singh, Sarina. South India. 5 Edn. Melbourne: Lonely Planet, 2009.Print.

Smith, James. You can write a novel. New York: Writer’s Digest Books, 2010.Print

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IvyPanda. 2018. "How Realism Is Brought Out In “Slumdog Millionaire” A Novel by Vikas Swarup." October 11, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/how-realism-is-brought-out-in-slumdog-millionaire-a-novel-by-vikas-swarup/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'How Realism Is Brought Out In “Slumdog Millionaire” A Novel by Vikas Swarup'. 11 October.

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