The Language Question in the Indian English Novel


  • Debarati Ghosh Assistant Professor in English, Arambagh Girls’ College, Arambagh, West Bengal



Language, Novel, English


The discourse of nation, nationalism and its derivatives has become inseparable from literature and language. In order to define and give expression to one’s self, one needs a language, a medium. Since the colonial process itself begins in language, language being the colonizer’s gift to the colonised, it remains a fundamental site of debate and struggle for the nationalistic writers. In India, English as a medium of expression of the self has found its place in novels, poetry, songs etc. Initially, the use of English by the Indians remained confined to writing or drafting pamphlets, speeches and articles on the burning issues and problems of the time. It is called the imitative stage. Very soon the natives became deft in using the language as an expression of their literary sensibilities too. Professor Iyengar’s large and detailed book on Indian Writing in English, published in 1962, was a pioneering effort which succeeded in establishing Indian writing in English as a distinct genre. In the African context, Ngugi wa Thiong’o says that “Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world.” In fact, post-colonial writers who write in English have used it as a “cultural vehicle” through which they introduce “world audience” to culturally diverse societies.

Author Biography

Debarati Ghosh, Assistant Professor in English, Arambagh Girls’ College, Arambagh, West Bengal

Debarati Ghosh has had a long teaching experience of 12 years at the Undergraduate level. She has been pursuing her PhD degree on the topic: “Idea of the Nation: A Study of Kamala Markandaya and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s Novels”. She is currently working in Arambagh Girls’ College, Arambagh, West Bengal.


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How to Cite

Ghosh, D. (2022). The Language Question in the Indian English Novel. Research Review Journal of Social Science, 2(2), 01–05.