I am Tushar Jain, a student of literature. This subject, literature, is one which is susceptible to every clause scripted, every letter sculpted, and is liable to get one enamored by vacuous words like ‘subjective’. To the wholesome degree of which the students believe in the language, there is but a similar degree that coerces them to refute and impugn its likewise liabilities.
Recently, in a class, I had all the inconvenience of a teacher’s dilatory eyes boring into mine, and an arbitrary buffed nail earmarking my attendance in the room; eventually she flicked a question at me,
“How are the characters in the novel connected?”
The sludge of pacing words in a soporific room, filled with irascible impatience and derivative petulance. I couldn’t connect to what she said until a later second and replied in a baritone, ensemble of an answer most suited, “by freedom and perspective.”
“No, by imagination and memory,” she snapped back. This is the kind of strain you’ll see ostensible in a class where an accretion of both, enslaved and free minds saunter. Concisely put, we need to hope fairly for the convictions an authority lays down for us, or else, we are forsaken to the roads less traveled.
On my way home, my way across a flight of stairs, my way about the sun-lit sidewalk – I literally dreamt of what had passed, whether I had been wrong or had the authority misjudged to the convenience of our simpleton mindsets, yet bourgeoning. I came to a conclusion and that is what this article is pretty much about – the subject and object theory.
In life, in books, in writing and in reading, i.e., any form of self-indulging, whenever factual, fictional or prejudiced relations are meant to be taxed, there stands an exclusive ground that gauges each to each without exceptions – the dogged tolerance of a subject and an object.
The subject, by characteristic, is more substantial; this is what obligates two things to be related. The object is the antithesis, the infraction of the above said; it is the juncture by which the same two things are naturally related, are invariably kindred. Subject, more often than not, is consequential of the two while the object is the feeling that is mutual to any two strangers that can be deemed to exist. Both of them subsist at counters, at contention and at contrary moments to each other. While the subject encompasses more substance than the object, only the object is the foundation where the subject is either incipient or deadened.
That is the theory and if it sets in limberly, trying to construe any kind of liaison between members, people, characters, etc. becomes profligately simple and exact. You see, whenever we talk of connecting things in certain, we must pamper merely the sheerness of reality and not obnoxious pigheadedness.
Now, as a paradigm of analysis via the subject and object theory, lets take into account and beckon the above-held circumstance.
The distinction between ‘freedom and perspective’ and ‘imagination and memory’ is appositely what the subject and object theory jostles or throws into place. ‘Freedom and perspective’ are pragmatically correct – where freedom is the subject and perspective is the object, i.e., through dissimilar perspectives of myriad characters or people, one can view the one general reflections on freedom. This is what places them in a common nexus, this is how they connect. Conversely, in the case of ‘imagination and memory’, both of them are barely subjects, vilely innate ones at that.
Now, for a more authentic opus of the theory, we choose human guinea pigs – myself and the teacher, let us suppose. In the class, the teacher and I confronted with deferential, cogent relations of a teacher and a student. However, if we were to encounter histrionically on the street, there is nevertheless another kind of relation – a universal, middling boy and girl kinship that is bound to imply. The former is the subject and the latter is the object. The neutrality and average of either is the relation we bear.
Relations are constructs, moral and social. Their hypothesis is need, and their motive is a circumstance of need. We must constantly be at fault when we endeavor to discern them, for perfect relations like perfect morality or perfect sociality, remain but in gaping, rife spaces of books.