Authors: Mohammad Moniruzzaman Miah
Charles Dickens (1802-1870), the quintessential Victorian author and Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhay (1896-1950), one of the luminaries of Bengali literature and an eminent early 20th century writer have dealt with the recurrent social concerns of their times, especially in their novels Great Expectations and The Ballad of the Road (Pather Panchali). Both these novels exhibit domestic and social realities through the portrayal of various characters from the impoverished common class, and come alive particularly with the vibrant and thoroughly growing ordinary child characters like Pip, Apu and others. Their outward life and the layered sensitibity and human emotions in them are simultaneously striking and soul-stirring, and bear testimony to eternal human aspiration for a better life and position in the society. The Ballad of the Road gives its readers an insight into the Bengali rural society of the 1930s whereas Great Expectations takes them back to the pastoral and urban life and society of the 19th century England. The paper discusses how these authors have conveyed their ideology of ‘realism’ offering social commentary and reflecting the values and attitudes of people of the then English and Bengali societies respectively.
reality, struggle, poverty, suffering, aspiration, prospect, disillusion, mystical