“For them I am a sweeper, sweeper — untouchable! Untouchable! Untouchable! That’s the word! Untouchable! I am an Untouchable!”(pg. 100)
Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. Penguin Books, 2014
This pivotal internal moment shows a conscience mind reacting to the unfortunate reality of society and its ways. The repetition of the word “untouchable” shows this built up anger and outrage, Bakha, a worker, has in him. The workers are regarded in such a negative way, stripped of human rights, and this moment when Bakha say this shows him realizing the true severe meaning of an “untouchable”. Before it was something he knew about in his subconscious and to an extent accepted and at this moment after his encounter with the higher caste man, he has a moment of realization where he feels what it is to be an untouchable.
“What he dreaded was the idea that his reputation should stand on the unfinished. It was not with his past but with his future that it should properly be concerned. Illness and age rose before him like specters with pitiless eyes : how was he to bribe such fates to give him the second chance? He had has the one chance that all men have–he had had the chance of life.”
James, Henry, 1843-1916, and Percy Lubbock. The Middle Years. New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1917, 610.
Dencombe reflects on his purpose in life by realizing a writer will never be fully content and satisfied by his work. He stresses on the possible negative outcomes associated to his work, instead of realizing how much readers have appreciated the work. Dencombe realizes with his illness and age he won’t get a second chance to be remembered for something he is content and satisfied with, just what he has already done. This internal moment highlights a deeper message regarding life, and that is to understand the chance and opportunities life grants.