The Better Man Character Analysis

1126 Words5 Pages
Anita Nair’s first novel The Better Man, set in a fictitious village called Kaikurussi in Kerala, explores the theme of relationships, loyalty, betrayal and self-fulfilment. It also deals with the caste issues of the times and the sufferings of women during that period. But Nair is more concerned about the suffering and status of women in their families in the early part of the twentieth century. The novel has as its protagonist a retired government employee called Mukundan who has been forced by circumstances to return to his village Kaikurussi, an imaginary village in the northern part of Kerala, from which he had fled when he was eighteen in order to escape the tyranny of his father. Though the novel traces the growth and the eventual redemption of timid Mukundan into a better man with courage and self-confidence, it subtly highlights the idea that the domineering nature of his father and the disharmony in his parents’ marital life are the real reasons for his failure in life. His mother Paru Kutty, who had to suffer humiliation and ill treatment from her husband, could not escape the brutality of her husband as her son failed to rescue her from the cruelty of his father. The only ray of hope and channel of escape for her is her son whose lack of will power destroys all her hopes.…show more content…
Mukundan’s mother is a victim of male cruelty and rejection. Her sufferings are revealed through Mukundan’s thoughts, dreams and hallucinations and they are so vivid and powerful that his very existence is shaken by such haunting thoughts. The inability and indifference of the younger generation, on whom women place their hopes to challenge physical and psychological abuses of the powerful, shatter them. The last words of his suffering mother, “Take me with you, son. I am so unhappy here” (TBM 31) haunt him
Open Document