Tag Archives: class

Strange Reverence

“‘For this man’, he said to himself, ‘I wouldn’t mind being a sweeper all my life. I would do anything for him.'”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin Books, 1935. Print.

Notes: Interesting because Bakha has to do terrible work for people like the Havildar but due to his fame Bakha doesn’t mind. The lower class still manages to revere the upper class, despite the fact that the upper class is the reason they have duties like being a sweeper.


“The toil of the body had built up for him a very fine physique. It seemed to suit him, to give a homogeneity, a wonderful wholeness to his body, so that you could turn round and say: ‘Here is a man.’ And it seemed to give him a nobility, strangely in contrast with his filthy profession and with the sub-human status to which he was condemned from birth” (Anand 20).

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1940.

Notes: Class is an incredibly important aspect of life for Bakha. It is not enough just to be defined as a “man” but his class status greatly affects how he views life. It has been ingrained in his mind that because he is not part of the “nobility” that he is “sub-human.” His humanity is deeply tied to his status. He resents his status and sees it as a form of condemnation.