Hayavadana

by

Girish Karnad

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Boy Character Analysis

Padmini’s son, who appears onstage as a young boy at the very end of the play (where as an infant the character is represented onstage by a wooden doll). The first actor explains that his whole life the boy has been silent, as he grew up in the forest. He also inherits a sense of incompleteness, as he is technically has two fathers, one of whom has the body of his father, Devadatta, and one of whom has the head. When he is introduced he can only clutch his dolls, and does not laugh or cry until he sees Hayavadana. He begins to laugh and sing with the horse, and Hayavadana in turn is able to lose his human voice and become a whole being. Thus, through laughter and joy, these two characters find the completeness for which the rest of the characters had been searching.

Boy Quotes in Hayavadana

The Hayavadana quotes below are all either spoken by Boy or refer to Boy. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford edition of Hayavadana published in 1976.
Act 2 Quotes

What’s there in a song, Hayavadana? The real beauty lies in the child’s laughter—in the innocent joy of that laughter. No tragedy can touch it.

Related Characters: The Bhagavata (speaker), Hayavadana, Boy
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Hayavadana LitChart as a printable PDF.
Hayavadana PDF

Boy Character Timeline in Hayavadana

The timeline below shows where the character Boy appears in Hayavadana. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
...are having. The Bhagavata notes that he hadn’t heard about the feast, or of their son being born. (full context)
Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness Theme Icon
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
Another six months pass, and Padmini and Devadatta are fighting over how to treat their son. Padmini wants to take him to the lake, but Devadatta thinks that it would be... (full context)
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
Padmini sings a lullaby to her son about a rider on a white stallion, and falls asleep. The dolls narrate her dreams,... (full context)
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
...tearing each other’s clothes and scratching each other. This leads Padmini to remark that their son’s dolls have become tattered. She asks Devadatta to travel to buy new ones. (full context)
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
While Devadatta travels to get new dolls, Padmini goes into the forest with her son. She imagines the “witching fair,” making up stories about the activities of the forest. Before... (full context)
Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness Theme Icon
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
...living in the jungle. The Bhagavata tells Kapila that Padmini has given birth to her son, and notices how angry Kapila looks by the way he stands and moves. Kapila says... (full context)
The Mind vs. The Body Theme Icon
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
...sati and burn herself on their funeral pyre. She tells the Bhagavata to take her son to the hunters who live in the forest, and then once he reaches five years... (full context)
Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness Theme Icon
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
The first actor also returns to the stage, this time with a young boy clutching a pair of dolls. The boy does not smile, laugh, or talk. He only... (full context)
Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness Theme Icon
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
Indian Culture and Nationalism Theme Icon
The young boy starts laughing at Hayavadana, startling the Bhagavata and the actors. Hayavadana remarks that he was... (full context)
Identity, Hybridity, and Incompleteness Theme Icon
Metatheatre and Storytelling Theme Icon
The Bhagavata remarks how beautiful the child’s laughter is, though Hayavadana is skeptical of that kind of sentimentality. As the boy and... (full context)