Summary Of Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate

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Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flower on the window- panes, which vanish with the warmth. (Soren Kierkgaard) Vikram Seth’s first novel, The Golden Gate(1986) is a survey of contemporary love relationships in an urban society and the search for harmony with or without love relationships when situations are adverse. Love and survival are the central themes in Vikram Seth’s novels. The present chapter focuses on TGG, which is a novel written in verse form with rigid sonnet parameter. This is a very daring work, considering the fact that poetry is usually written in free verse today and drama has been written in blank verse, but the said novel has been written in iambic tetrameter.…show more content…
It so happened that Vikram Seth was awfully busy with his economic demographic research on China at Stanford University, hence mentally fatigued with the work of drudgery. So, for the sake of change, one day he went to the Standford bookshop and came across Pushkin’s novel in verse Eugene Onegin, translated into English by Charles Johnston. Seth says that he “was struck by something so unique and beautiful, at once profound and light”. Thus he was stimulated and inspired to write poetic novel, to be set in San Francisco. This is how TGG came into being. It paved the way for Indians to write about other spaces, rather than about India and Indians. The novel is made of a sequence of five hundred and ninety four sonnets in iambic tetrameter over thirteen chapters, and follows the fourteen line stanza pattern of Eugene Onegin with the acknowledgements, dedication and contents, all in perfect octosyllabic sonnets. The lines from Eugene Onegin are written as
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