A Kitten Sans Cat Analysis

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Govindan Nair associates Shakespeare with the current issues by announcing that “Shakespeare knew every mystery of the ration shop”. (CS: 74) Likewise, he talks of the mother cat as if he is delivering a soliloquy of the play Hamlet, “A kitten sans cat, that is the question”. (CS: 73) Though the novella has a limited scope for references of cultural sharing, as it is developed on a small-scale and centred on single location; yet Rao succeeds to weave the cultural threads of Indian and European philosophies. Mercanti astonishes the readers by calling Shakespeare ‘the Western sage’. At the point of the discussion of the third level of reality, Mercanti relates the state of consciousness with spiritual awakening. Govindan Nair is already capable to sense pure consciousness, but…show more content…
The detailed linguistic analysis of the text is mainly based on the kind of English (Babu English), lexical items such as compounds, and loan words from other languages used in the narration. Mercanti argues that both the protagonists are office clerks, so the readers are exposed to the kind of English which is usually spoken in government office and popularly known as ‘Babu English. He provides a couple of examples of this variety. Unlike other novels, Rao uses only a few compounds (bilva tree, wada seller, Gandhi-raj, swayamavara rounds); one Sanskrit verse (Aho Aham Namo Mahyam…); and several loan words from Latin (felinus, humanus, clericus etc.), Sanskrit (Kamadhenu, Astavakra Samhita, namaskar, marjaram etc.), and Malayalam (Electchan, Malayalarajyam, poocha, dose etc.). He concludes his discussion by clarifying that despite the scarcity of lexical items and loan transfers, Rao succeeds to create the distinctive flavour and cadences of South Indian native expression which supports ‘the aesthetic simplicity with which the many layers of this humorous politico-spiritual novella are authentically re-created’. (S M:

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