Nation as Identity in Amitav Ghosh's The Circle of Reason and The Shadow Lines

Main Article Content

Dr. Rekha Tiwari


Of the contemporary Indian writers of novels in English, Amitav Ghosh happens to be extremely fascinating with his distinctive originality and flair for experimentation. Indeed as a novelist Amitav Ghosh defies categorization because in each new novel he has shifted his perspective and in the process has moved from one genre to another, exploring diverse subjects and forms such as cultural history, science, travel and reportage. In his novels Amitav Ghosh explores the ideas of nationhood and Diasporas, ideas that involve relationships between individuals belonging to the same or to different communities that sometimes transgress and transcend the shadow lines of political borders. The Shadow Lines is simultaneously about each character's personal identity and probably represents Ghosh's most direct confrontation with nationalism and national identity. Both in Political Science and Geography there is a specific definition of a country or a state. The work 'Country', however, bears a specific meaning to a man. A man's entire entity of present, past as well as future is associated with his own country or native land or homeland. In general, the part of land where one is born becomes one's homeland, native land or motherland. Within the parliamentary system it is a rule that a country will keep up the rights of people of that country but when the state is unable to bear the responsibility of a man, his whole entity is at stake. On the background of that crisis Amitav Ghosh writes an invaluable novel The Shadow Lines. The paper sets out to contextualize 'nation', through a close reading of this novel.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Dr. Rekha Tiwari. “Nation As Identity in Amitav Ghosh’s The Circle of Reason and The Shadow Lines”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 2, no. 6, Feb. 2018, pp. 376-85,
Research Articles


Dixon, Robert. "Travelling in the West: The Writing of Amitav Gosh". Ed. Tabish Khair. Amitav Ghosh: A Critical Companion. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003, p. 10.

Ghosh, Amitav. "The Diaspora in Indian Culture". The Imam and the Indian: Prose Pieces. Delhi: Ravi Dayal/Permanent Black, 2002, p. 243/

Ghosh, Amitav. The Circle of Reason. New Delhi: Ravi Dayal/Permanent Black, 1986, pp. 26-27.

Ghosh, Amitav. The Shadow Lines. With Critical Essays by A.N. Kaul, Suvir Kaul, Meenakshi Mukherjee, R.S. Rajan. Ed. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 299.

Ghosh, Amitav. The Shadow Lines. New Delhi: Ravi Dayal Publisher, 1988, p. 78.