Ethical Conflict between Pragmatism and Idealism in Arun Joshi’s The Apprentice

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Amit Kumar


Joshi has occupied a great place in Indian writing in English Literature. He deals with the inner conflicting predicament of urban Indian society in all his five novels. The Apprentice is distinct from his other novels in its tone, style and theme. The Apprentice deals with the ethical conflict between pragmatism and idealism which traps its protagonist through his conscious action, decision and the reaction of those decisions based on his root and psyche. The protagonist suffers from his inner conflict of idealism and pragmatism which makes him a split personality in a phoney selfish society. Joshi deals with the psychological problems of modern men which make them unable to adjust to society in thirst for material pleasure and worldly values. Ratan Rathor is the main protagonist and narrator of the novel The Apprentice who is the son of a revolutionary patriot full of idealistic values. He finds his inner self grind between the conflict of pragmatism and idealism which creates a painful predicament of restlessness and suffering. He has two conflicting worlds in his inner self of which one idealism deals with the values of life, peace, humanity, selfless service and of another pragmatism deals with lust for material and sensual pleasure where money has all values for its credit.


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Amit Kumar. “Ethical Conflict Between Pragmatism and Idealism in Arun Joshi’s The Apprentice”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 6, no. 2, June 2021, pp. 93-100, doi:10.53032/TCL.2021.6.2.14.


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