Mythology in Children’s Literature: A Narrative Study on Roopa Pai’s Gita




Mythology, Children's Literature, Narrative Techniques, Breaking the Fourth Wall, Simplification


The function of conveying a culture’s myth to its younger generation is a very delicate process. Myth is a mixture of fact and fantasy and it is the duty of an adult reteller to convey the right ideas in a right manner to the children. Creating mythological retellings for children involves a multi-levelled process: filtering the myth to make it child-appropriate, structuring it in an attractive format and delivering a content relatable for the kids. Roopa Pai, an Indian writer for children, came out with a book titled Gita: For Children (2015), which retells the Bhagvad Gita of the Mahabharata. The Bhagvad Gita, being a book of complex philosophies, is difficult enough to be explained to adults. Hence, it takes a deeper understanding of the source text and also the psyche of children to come out with a work like that. The objective of this paper is to analyse the narrative technique that Pai has followed in Gita: For Children in order to break down a culture’s mythology into a digestible form for the younger generation. The methodology for the study would be a narrative analysis of the primary text. It was identified from the study that Pai constructs a three-layered structure in the text: a) a background insight into the story, where she describes the context and adds additional information on elements seen in the story b) the narration of the story c) explaining the facts of the story with examples relatable for the children. This third structure involves a concept called Applied Mythology. It explains how myth is applicable in the contemporary world. It is also observed that there are three parallel conversations throughout the text: a) the one between Krishna and Arjuna b) the one between Sanjaya and Dritarashtra and c) the one between Pai and her readers. In this third category, Pai uses the technique called ‘breaking the fourth wall’. Here, Pai comes out of her veil as a distant narrator and directly talks to her target audience, the children. While most authors claim it is more difficult to write for children than for adults, this study shall help understand the different narrative strategies that Pai employs in the text to simplify complex philosophies of life for children.

Author Biography

Dr. S. Ramya, SRM IST

Assistant Professor, Department of English and Foreign Languages, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur


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How to Cite

T, R., & S, R. (2022). Mythology in Children’s Literature: A Narrative Study on Roopa Pai’s Gita. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 10(20), 226–237.