Conflict of Values: East and West in Bhabani Bhattacharya's A Dream in Hawaii

Ningombam Oligachanu Devi


Bhabani Bhattacharya's A Dream in Hawaii is anovel that shows the conflicting values of the East and the West. Westerners love aestheticism and spiritualism of the Orientals and are fascinated by it. Spiritualism and human civilization are closely related. Bhattacharya has tried to give this point of view through this novel. Neeloy Mukherjee, turned Swami Yogananda, is a man who left India to teach Indian aestheticism in Hawaii. He settles there but something in him is making him restless and that is his love for Devjani, his former student. His lovefor Devjani is so strong that he comes back to India for her.
The novel represents the clash of values through the characters present in the novel. The characters are the representations of the whole society. Swami Yogananda represents Indian Yogi, Philosophers and Gurus while characters like WaltGregson, Dr. Vincent Swift, the western, wealthy and materialistic persons. Through this novel, Bhattacharya had also tried to point out the various social happenings in the East, basically India and the West. The way the Americans behavetowards Indian living in the West is also discussed in the novel. Though the Americans have the urge to know more about Spiritualism, yet, they tend to mock at them. Walt Gregson, the American, is attracted towards Devjani and Yogananda is often challenged by them. 


Aesthetics; Spiritualism; Orientals; Materialism; Enlightenment; Vedanta; Culture; Kama Sutra; Ashram; Bohemian

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JLCMS [ISSN: 0974-7192 (Print)]