Dystopian Views in V. S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River

  • Dr. A Savitri University College of Engineering, Narasaraopet, Andhra Pradesh.
Keywords: Africa’s colonial rule, Utopian versus dystopian sense, deteriorating economic situations, V. S. Naipaul, , A Bend in the River


V. S. Naipaul’s novel ‘A Bend in the River’ is set on the East Coast of Africa. Salim is the protagonist of the novel. The writer narrates the story through Salim. Salim left his place to set a shop in the interior part of Africa. His desire was to get settled in his life well. But, throughout the novel he looked very unsettled, displeased, disturbed and aloof. His fear did not leave him ever. Africa was under the colonial rule for many years. Africa was in devastating situation when the colonial rule ended. For the first time, the word ‘development’ is heard from the mouth of ‘The President’. The novel has many twists and turns. As the story progresses, one finds the deteriorating situation rather than the development. Eventually, the Protagonist of the novel, Salim, lost his hope and returned to his place disappointedly on the advice of a commissioner. The whole novel brings out the dystopian sense. It starts with the nature of Utopia but as the story progresses, it turns to Dystopia.


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Author Biography

Dr. A Savitri, University College of Engineering, Narasaraopet, Andhra Pradesh.

Dr. A. Savitri has been in the teaching profession since 2000. Currently, she is working at University College of Engineering, Narasaraopet as an Assistant Professor (c). With the passion on writing, she has written a book called ‘Unsung Heriones of Puranas’ and has also published articles in various peer-reviewed journals. She received Doctorate Degree from Dravidian University and also got qualified SLET Exam of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Government.


Primary Source
1. Naipaul. V.S. A Bend in the River. London: Penguin, 1992.

Secondary Source
1. Ashcroft, B., Gareth, G., and Helen T. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London and New York, Routledge, 2002.
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3. Bhabha, Homi. K. “Dissemination: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation.” Nation and Narration. London: Routledge, 1990.
4. Clifford, James. “Diasporas”. Cultural Anthropology. Vol. 9, No. 3, Further Inflections: Toward Ethnographies of the Future (Aug., 1994), pp. 302-338.
5. Varsam, Maria. “Concrete Dystopia: Slavery and Its Others.” Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. Ed. Raffaella Baccolini and Tom Moylan. New York: Routledge, 2003. 203-224. Print.
How to Cite
Savitri, D. A. “Dystopian Views in V. S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 8, no. 1, Feb. 2021, pp. 52-64, https://literaryjournal.in/index.php/clri/article/view/781.
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