Godaan is one of the most popular pieces of literature by Premchand. In this article, we’ll understand the critical appreciation of this novel. It is the most important topic for the English honours students of the first semester. It is especially helpful for the BBMKU and VBU universities.
Critcal Appreciation of Godaan
The novel Godan was composed by Munshi Premchand in 1936 in the Hindi language, but later it was translated into English by Gordon C. Roadarmal in 1968. In this novel, Munshi Premchand has shown the pathetic condition of Indian farmers during British rule as we know that Munshi Premchand has spent his early life in a village. Hence, he has vivid experience of the village. Godaan is an outcome of his village experience. In this work, he defined the relationship between peasants and zamindars and criticized contemporary society.
Premchand presented Hori as the central character of this novel. Hori was a poor peasant who lived in Belari and had close relations with Rai Sahab. There is a point to be noted that Hori wanted to have close relations with him to get some favours of him, so he always used to dance attendance before Rai Sahab to please him, and that thing his wife Dhaniya and son Gobar did not like so they always revolt but Hori make them calm by saying that “one cannot fight with a crocodile while living in the water.” Here Premchand has shown the fear of peasants of zamindars. As Hori was a farmer, so like all the farmers, he also had a dream of having a cow, but he knew that he could not fulfil his plan without a trick, so he tricked Bhola to get his cow. Hori’s family became delighted as the cow entered their house, but their short-term happiness was because Hori’s younger brother Hira poisoned the cow to death.
Hori had lots of debt from Zamindars and also of the money lenders. His son Gobar had an affair with Bhola’s daughter Jhuniya, so he took her to his home and left the house, leaving Jhuniya alone as Hori and Dhaniya were kind-hearted. Hence, they accepted her as their daughter-in-law, but this step created a big problem. The society imposed 100 rupees acceptable on them and cut their crops for the feast. Here Premchand showed a picture of people’s greediness.
Hori’s Life was full of struggles; in fact, all the peasants of British India had the same situation. Hori was a simple farmer who dreamed of having a cow, but he could not fulfil it. He might fulfil his dream if he had no pressure from society. Hori had a supportive wife, Dhaniya, who always stood by him; she served his husband’s lifetime. She indirectly fulfilled her husband’s dream of having a cow. On Hori’s last stage of Life, Dhaniya gave her all money, one rupee, and twenty-five paise to Dattadin as the name of “Godaan.”
The title of this story, “Godan,” is quite suitable for this novel. The central character of the Novel, Hori, was longing for a cow his whole Life. He got it by a trick, but unfortunately, it was poisoned. When Hori died, his wife, Dhaniya, donated one rupee and twenty-five paise to Dattadin as “Godan.” Godaan is considered Premchand’s one of the most famous novels or masterpieces.