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  • Arpita Pal

    Situating Chhenra Tar in the Theatre of the Bengal Famine: A Study of the Structural Elements of the Play


    Arpita Pal, PhD Research Scholar, Department of English, University of Gour Banga, Malda, West Bengal


    The decade of the 1940s saw a renewal of the theatre space with the People's Theatre Movement which embraced Social Realism. The output of this period reflected the political awareness of the authors. They sought to expose colonial exploitation, support freedom movements, social reform and represent the horrors of the famine of 1943 which was a disastrous consequence of the colonial policies during the Second World War. Tulsi Lahiri, an actor, musician and playwright represented the famine and its impact on rural Bengal in his most successful play, Chhenra Tar. This article analyses the development of the plot, themes and characters. It examines the form and structure and explores the use of motifs, symbols, language and music to achieve specific effects in the play. It finally seeks to situate Lahiri as an innovative playwright in his contemporary literary horizon.