By TWILIGHT IN DELHIMehwish Ali KhanLecturerSardar Bahadur Khan Women‟s UniversityEnrolled M.Phil American Studies (Quaid e
TITLETWILIGHT IN Delhi TWILIGHT IN Delhi, the title is symbolical as well as metaphorical,symbolical in a way that it symbolizes the downfall or deterioration not only of Delhi but ways of Delhi as well ,people‟s moral ,religious and social values all were on the verge of death and metaphorical in a way that the title not only refers to the twilight of Delhi but also the Twilight of Mir Nihal ( you can elaborate this theme by emphasizing on the given points)
Publication Ahmed Ali wrote this book in 1939 and published it in 1940 by Hogarth press in London ,it was not an easy job ,he had to convince the English that this book is not against anybody ,as many of the publishers were of the view to eradicate Mir Nihal‟s parts and the parts that contained anti British material. (Elaborate)
Novel is Psychological, Ahmed Ali probes into the mind of his character, bilqueece, when is pregnant says out all her feelings related to her child Asghar,s love for her beloveds is also portrayed psychologically and writer makes us realize that he is over indulged in self love and self pity Historical in a way that it‟s a post colonial novel it portrays some events of post colonialism eg George vi‟s coronation conditions of Delhi in twentieth century Transitional novel in a way that it‟s a novel of change , change in the minds of people, change in the generation change in the culture of delhi Change in the way of living We see family life shifting from the hands of Mir Nihal in the hands of Asghar. Ahmed Ali being a progressive writer uses writing as a tool to correct his society ,he criticizes the society
Plot Story carries a well knit plot,story revolves around one main story that is of Mir Nihal and his family ,there is no subplot in the story though there are some incidents mentioned time n again that also due to Ahmed Ali being nostalgic but Ahmed ali never loses his grip on the story Story has a proper beginning ,middle and ending as mentioned by Aristotle
Literary tools Similes similes are used in abundance give examples Metaphors Mir Nihal‟s character is metaphorical and there are many other examples Symbolism : whole novel is symbolical ,writer through incidents and characters symbolizes different issues like cats symbolize vulgarity ,and dancing girls ,Dogs as uncultered man looking for offal or dirt ,Mir Nihal „s paralysis is symbolical to his being immobile in life and loss of power begum Nihal‟s blindness shows her faliure to see life through her eyes. Realism novel is based on sheer realist view ,writer has portrayed Delhi , muslim life ,individuals feelings and emotions in a pure realist view he has not over done it with his artistic pen nor has he delimited himself in being connected with facts ,he has liberally discussed what he saw around him. This is also one of his progressive characteristics that he portrays what he sees nothing more and nothing less then that
Irony Amed Ali uses irony also abundantly as he is criticizing the society , he uses irony as a tool ,he doesn‟t critisizes directly all the time but uses irony instead e g when he describes Nisar ahmed he says he is an excellent “MOAZZIN” with a deep voice like hazrat bilal and he will directly go to heaven despite of his being a shady business man because his “azan” compensates for it
Humour Ahmed ali,s criticism is not harsh ,its benign it stings but doesn‟t bite ,he satirizes society in a light manner ,unveiling their dark pictures ,it is not wrong if one says that the novel is a mirror to society Language is clear and lucid ,he doesn‟t use difficult vocabulary to show his mastery on language but his grip on the language is visible ,he often translates Urdu proverbs and sentences directly into English language , and he uses some urdu language words to give an Asian effect to his novel
Themes Degeneration of family family of Mir Nihal withers like petals of roses Asghar‟s wife dies Mehro lives an un happy life Habibuddin dies Begum jamal leaves ,destroying the personality of Mir Nihal Mir Nihal becomes paralysed ,gives away his authority Begum Nihal also loses position Hence family is broken
Downfall It is the time when Delhi had lost its grandeur and its position hence its values Ahmed ali portrays only muslim life in Delhi and through muslim life he shows people loosing their religious values social norms .humanity was considered an alien word during that modern period. Characters were shallow and empty from inside( examples of characters and incidents) Relations had lost their values, relations were made only to fulfill social needs ,they were not considered important( asghar and bilqueece‟s relation Mir nihal and begum Nihals relation Loss of religious values could be highlighted by throwing a light on shroud thieves ,merchants, Selling expensive cloth for dead ones .
Social values were lost if one sees ghafoor marriage with a fourteen year old orphan girl ,she responsibility of society , Delhi had lost its cultural values too ,pigeon flying was dying, kite flying had ended too, Joint family system had also lost its importance people had started living in one unit family system Portrayal of Delhi’s culture Twilight in Delhi is sheer portrayal of grandeur of Delhi ,Delhi the city of monarchs the city of poets as well as city of beggars, The things that are highlighted ARE Delhi,s architecture
Females in the novel Females nodoubt hold a subordinate place in Asian homes but they are nevertheless backbones of Asian families,men are emotionally ,physically.morally,financially dependent on their women , this position is partially taken by dancing girls but still it is always a woman mandatory for a man in Asian culture and society.
Females are of two types in the n ovel House wives and dancing girls dancing girls are not only part of Indian culture but also ventilators for men who need an outlet of their emotional and physical needs that is fulfilled by these dancing girls House wives like begum nihal are almost blind to the needs of their husbands or like bilqueece who doesnot identify the need of her husband n indulges in self pity n destroys her self.
Modernism vs Conservatism. Mir Nihal was a strong personlity entirely displaying India as a whole and in its composed form but he also started to break when he started loosing his possessions and asghar was one of themMir Nihal reluctant to change and Asgahr eager to change into the modern British ways of life Asghar changes his way of life entirely ,n that influence of british culture is still seen in the youth of Asia.
ARTISTRY OF THE WRITER Ahmed Ali s mastery on his pen is evident in this novel he pictures colourful and elegant Delhi as it is and he doesn‟t hide anything. Portrays life as it is, simultaneously highlighting the follies of society and penetrating into hearts and minds of his characters, he takes life on a larger scale one can see all the aspects of life in one novel ,starting from birth ,marriage and death,thus making the novel universal in its theme