Manifestation of Max Weber’s Theory of Power in R.K. Narayan’s The Dark Room


  • Dr. Annie Thomas Associate Professor and HoD of English, Bhavan’s College of Arts & Commerce, Kakkanad, Cochin – 682 037 ,Kerala.


Sociologist, Power, authority, tradition, society, dominance


      Max Weber is a well-known Sociologist whose theories have impacted different fields of knowledge in the modern era. Weber is one of the few writers who recognize the nature of power in social relations. Weber’s definition of power in society has become an interesting area of study for many researchers. The present paper aims at discovering the power relations in R.K.Narayan’s The Dark Room in the light of Weber’s social theory of power.

      When it comes to the perception of power, the concepts of power and domination are closely related. Weber views power as authority and coercion. According to Weber, authoritative power is the act of exercising power which is seen as legitimate because those who are subject to power do so with consent. Coercive power exists when an individual or group has to use force to get what they want – that means you force someone to do something against their wishes. In traditional domination, the basis of power is age-old traditions, long standing beliefs and practices of a society.

      There is no society without power and no one can live outside the relations of power. This research paper concentrates on the interplay of power between the major characters and the minor characters and how the notion of the traditional power or authority is established through the actions and words of the characters in the novel. This paper also traces how some characters of the novel tries to free themselves from the implementation of traditional authority or power. Since power is inseparable from our lives, it is necessary that it must be analysed.

      Weber has transformed and almost brought a revolution in the sphere of English Studies by writing on the subjects of power, discourse and knowledge giving it distinct shapes that when contemporary trend in language and literature is to be established, one has to depend on Weber.


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Sharan Nagendra Nath. A Critical Study of the Novels of R. K. Narayan. New Delhi: Classical Publishing Company, 1993

Margaret Berry, "R.K. Narayan: Lila and Literature", The Journal of Indian Writing in English, Vol.4, No.2.