Individual Oral Presentation Essay
Topic: An Analysis of “the free radio” as various symbols and the messages it symbolises in the story “The Free Radio”.
For my Individual Oral Presentation I have chosen the short story “The Free Radio” in the book “East West” by Salman Rushdie. The various stories in East West are largely similar in their extravagant and far fetched plots however “The Free Radio” reflects a true occurrence in Indian History. A symbol is something such as an , , written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. For example, a red octagon may stand for "STOP". In “The Free Radio”, the importance and focus on the free radio from the protagonist and narrator results in readers being able to observe the various symbols which the free radio adopts and thus allows readers to see beyond its literal meaning to its intended symbolism for better understanding of the text and the messages in which it holds.
Young, handsome Ramani- the protagonist of the story was unfortunate enough to fall in love with the “Thief’s Widow” The introduction of the decision Ramani made to “Rob himself of his manhood” comes hand in hand with the introduction of the Free Radio. Firstly, To Ramani the Radio directly represents a symbol of achievement and loss. It represents a memorandum to the pain he has suffered, the manhood he has lost however it more importantly signifies the widow’s hand in marriage which he has gained.
One can also see that the “free radio” symbolises is important as an object of escapism for Ramani in order to forget the pain and anguish of the nasbandi as he counts on the radio to “compensate” him for the operation. As the narrator aptly mentions “ Ram had poured into the idea of the free radio all his worries and regrets about what he had done … if the dream were to die he would be forced to face the full gravity of his crime against his own body.” The radio provides Ramani an outlet to believe in, we see this in his actions of mimicking radio broadcasts with his hand cupped to his ear etc.