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The Dark Room

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The Book: Name: The Dark Room

Author: R. K. Narayan

Number of Pages: 214

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Date of Publication: January 1981

Classification: Fiction

Summary: In the quiet town of Malgudi, in the 1930's, there lived Savitri and her husband, Ramani. They lived with their three children, Babu, Kamala, and Sumati. Savitri was raised with certain traditional values that came into internal conflict when she took Ramani, a modern executive, as her husband. Savitri has endured a lot of humiliations from her temperamental husband and she always puts up with his many tantrums. To find solace and escapism, she takes refuge in 'the dark room', a musty, unlit, storeroom in the house. But when Ramani takes on a beautiful new employer, Savitri finds out that her husband has more than a professional interest in the woman. So, at first, she tries to retreat to her dark room. But she realises that hiding in there won't help. So she tries to leave the house. She stayed with a friend in another village. But after staying there for some time, she can't help but think of her husband and their children. What would happen to them? After doing a lot of thinking, she finally decides to go back home. In the end, Ramani has finally stopped seeing Shanta Bai, the other woman, and I guess you could say it's a happy ending. It's now up to you to go and guess the rest. Savitri is very much real. She is basically quite like most people. They treat problems like that. They find ways to escape it. Like booze, drugs, suicide, etc. In ServitorЎЇs case, she stays in the dark room, and finally, leaves her family. As I was reading "The Dark RoomÐŽ±, I felt compassion towards Savitri. I can clearly see that she was a confused woman. It was depicted through the first part of the story wherein her son was ill and she told Babu, her son, not to go to school that day. But Ramani intruded upon them and said that Babu has to go to school and that his illness is merely a headache. Savitri didn't know what to do then. She was concerned for BabuЎЇs health, but at the same time, she didn't want to argue with Ramani. In the end, Babu had gone off to school. As for Ramani, I felt like shouting at him while reading the novel because of his bullying. But he left me amused at one part when he was trying to impress Shanta Bai by making it look as if it's an honour for her to work for the company. After reading the novel, I can now say that I think I know how to handle my problems.



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