Which characters do you like the most in the novel Samskara

Which characters do you like the most in the novel Samskara

U.R. Ananthamurthy's classic work "Samskara" was first written in Kannada and then translated into a number of other languages. The book is renowned for its intricate character development and examination of issues pertaining to customs, advancement, and societal transformation in an Indian community.

Which characters do you like the most in the novel Samskara


Praneshacharya is the central character of "Samskara." Praneshacharya is an interesting character because of his internal turmoil and development during the book. He firmly believes in the integrity of caste and tradition at the start of the story and follows these rules to the letter. But when he must decide whether to carry out the funeral rituals for Naranappa, a fellow Brahmin who disobeyed custom and lived a sinful life, his entire world is upended.

Praneshacharya is a complicated and likeable character because of his internal conflict and his attempt to balance his unshakable faith with the village's shifting moral standards. He stands for the conflict between tradition and modernity, a concept that many people in rapidly changing countries can relate to. His narrative arc demonstrates the human ability to evolve and adapt while illuminating the inner battle of a man divided between his convictions and his conscience.

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As the novel progresses, Praneshacharya's character undergoes a significant transformation. He becomes more compassionate and open-minded, ultimately making a decision that challenges the orthodoxy of his community. This evolution showcases the power of individual choice and the capacity for personal growth, which is a universal and timeless theme.

Praneshacharya is a character that elicits both fascination and sympathy for several reasons.

1. Intellectual Depth: Praneshacharya's character is intellectually profound. He is well-versed in scriptures, rituals, and religious philosophy. His knowledge of Sanskrit and ancient texts is impeccable. This intellectual depth makes him an interesting character to follow because he serves as a window into the world of traditional Indian scholarship and religious thought. His inner conflicts and moral dilemmas are shaped by his profound understanding of the scriptures, and this depth of knowledge is an aspect that I find appealing.

2. Moral Dilemmas: Praneshacharya's character is a study in moral dilemmas. The novel's central conflict arises when he encounters the dead body of Naranappa, a man from his own community who has defied caste norms and indulged in "impure" behavior. Praneshacharya is faced with a profound moral dilemma as he grapples with the question of whether to perform the last rites for Naranappa, who has transgressed the boundaries of caste and tradition. His internal struggle and quest for moral clarity make for a compelling character arc.

3. Search for Identity: Praneshacharya's character undergoes a transformative journey in the novel. As he grapples with the moral dilemma, he begins to question his own identity, beliefs, and the rigid structures of his society. This exploration of self-identity and the breaking down of preconceived notions is a theme that resonates with readers. Praneshacharya's journey raises universal questions about the nature of tradition and individuality, making him a character worth admiring for his willingness to self-reflect.

4. Representation of Tradition and Change: Praneshacharya represents the tension between tradition and change that is at the heart of the novel. His character embodies the conflict between the old ways of his community and the encroaching modernity. This struggle to adapt or resist change is a relatable aspect of his character, as it reflects a broader human experience.


Chandri, a young and attractive woman in the village, is another character who stands out in "Samskara." Her character is an enigmatic and powerful presence in the novel for several reasons.

I. Symbolism and Ambiguity: Chandri is a symbol of sensuality, temptation, and change in the novel. She is associated with the disruption of traditional norms, and her presence creates ambiguity and tension in the narrative. As a symbol, she represents the forces of modernity and change that challenge the established order in the Brahmin community. Chandri's character, with her mysterious allure, adds depth and complexity to the story.

II. Catalyst for Conflict: Chandri's interactions with Praneshacharya and other male characters in the novel serve as a catalyst for the moral and ethical conflicts that unfold. Her presence shakes the foundations of the village and exposes the hypocrisy and vulnerability of its residents. She becomes a source of temptation and a trigger for self-examination and change in the characters around her.

III. Exploration of Gender Roles: Chandri's character allows the novel to delve into the complex dynamics of gender roles and expectations in the Brahmin community. Her independence, sensuality, and the reactions she elicits from the men in the village shed light on the limitations and constraints placed on women in a traditional society. Chandri's character, therefore, becomes a vehicle for examining gender issues within the narrative.

IV. Reflection of the Changing World: Chandri represents the changing world outside the insular village. Her character reflects the broader societal transformations taking place in India during the mid-20th century. 

Which characters do you like the most in the novel Samskara-The tension between her character and the traditional Brahmin community mirrors the clash between tradition and modernity in the country.

3. Naranappa:

Naranappa is a character who is both admired and despised by different characters in the novel. He represents the embodiment of rebellion against tradition and caste norms. Naranappa's character is likable for his defiance and rejection of societal constraints. He lives life on his own terms, even though his actions are considered sinful and scandalous by the orthodox community.

Naranappa's presence in the story is crucial in driving the plot and challenging Praneshacharya's beliefs. His character serves as a catalyst for the moral crisis that Praneshacharya faces. While some may find Naranappa's actions objectionable, his character adds depth to the narrative by forcing the other characters to confront their own beliefs and moral values.

4. The Villagers:

The villagers in "Samskara" collectively form a character in their own right. They represent the conservative and traditional society that Praneshacharya and the other characters belong to. What makes the villagers interesting is their group mentality and the way they respond to the challenges presented by Naranappa's death and Praneshacharya's moral dilemma.

The villagers are a reflection of the larger social context in which the story is set. They uphold the caste system and traditional values, but they also demonstrate the fear and uncertainty that arise when those values are questioned. Their character collectively highlights the social and cultural dynamics of the time and place in which the novel is set.

Which characters do you like the most in the novel Samskara-In "Samskara," the characters are not meant to be entirely likable or unlikable; rather, they are meant to be complex and multidimensional, reflecting the diversity of human experiences and beliefs. The characters in the novel are not static but evolve and change as the story unfolds, which adds to their depth and relatability.


The characters of Praneshacharya and Chandri in "Samskara" by U.R. Ananthamurthy are not only central to the narrative but also emblematic of the novel's exploration of complex themes such as tradition, change, morality, and identity. Praneshacharya is a figure who sheds light on the realm of traditional Indian study and the difficulties involved in moral decision-making because of his depth of knowledge, moral quandaries, and transforming journey. His persona captures the conflict between following customs and the difficulties of adjusting to a changing environment—a concept that appeals to readers everywhere.

Chandri, on the other hand, is a character shrouded in ambiguity and symbolism. She represents sensuality and temptation and serves as a catalyst for the moral and ethical conflicts that unfold in the story. Her character adds depth and complexity to the narrative by challenging traditional gender roles and reflecting the changing world outside the village. Chandri's presence underscores the tension between established norms and the forces of modernity, a theme that is relevant not only in the context of the novel but also in the broader societal transformations of mid-20th century India.

Praneshacharya and Chandri, two characters in "Samskara," offer insight into the complexities of human nature, customs, and the conflict between the ancient and the new. Their struggles and experiences are representative of the larger human experience, which makes them interesting and thought-provoking characters in the book. 

Which characters do you like the most in the novel Samskara-The novel's ongoing popularity stems from its ability to explore deep and universal topics via the lens of these characters, prompting readers to reflect on the intricacies of tradition, morality, and societal change as it relates to their own lives.


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