Transformation of Raju/Title/Bildungsroman

The title of a novel or a short story or any other piece of literary composition is like the signboard of a shop. Just as the signboard indicates the contents of a shop, so also the title must refer to the subject matter of the work concerned. The title The Guide is quite apt and suggestive, for its deal with the life and career of Raju, popularly known as ‘Railway Raju’ who is a tourist guide and the novel shows that he is a ‘guide’ in a number of other matters also. Raju is a true guide. It his “karma” to be a guide. Whatever the place or time, he assumes the role of a guide.

Railway Guide: Raju begins his career as a stall-keeper. Soon he acquires tit-bits of knowledge by going through old journals, magazines, etc. which he stocks. He is intelligent, observant, and a shrewd judge of human character. Those who come to his stall are pleased with his manners as well as with the information he provides them regarding Malgudi and its scene and beautiful places. He is always ready to help and arranges their board, lodging, taxis, etc. His fame spreads and the tourists who come to Malgudi inquire for ‘Railway Raju’. Raju learns and earns. He never says no and is never caught. He uses the knowledge he gains with the tourists to further his career. He becomes so proficient that he becomes a model guide and finally becomes a personal guide to Marco and Rosie.

Guide of a single family: soon there is a slight change in Raju’s role. From the tourist guide he becomes the guide to one single family. This change takes place as soon as Marco and Rosie come to Malgudi. Marco is immensely pleased with him and engages him as a whole time guide. But Raju flatters with Rosie and shows his excessive affection for Rosie. When Marco feels the attraction of Rosie for Raju then he leaves her alone with Raju.

Dancing guide: the next role which Raju plays is that of a manager of a rising dancer. It is he...

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