Tag Archives: R. K. Narayan

Thematic Humor

“The compartment built to seat ‘8 passengers; 4 British Troops, or 6 Indian Troops’ now carried only nine.”

I laughed when I read this.  It’s humorous, and it also succinctly demonstrates an aspect of social inequality right in the opening paragraphs.  It really sets up a major theme of the story, which deals with different perceptions of societal inequality and bullying.

Narayan, R.K. “Fellow-Feeling.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print. p.40

A Father Investigates

“Swami help up the envelope and said, ‘I will give this to the headmaster as soon as he is back…’ Father snatched it from his hand, tore it up and thrust it into the wastepaper basket under his table. He muttered, ‘Don’t come to me for help even if Samuel throttles you. You deserve your Samuel.’” (72)

Narayan, R.K. “Father’s Help.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.

The most interesting part about this passage is understanding what Swami truly deserves. When Swami speaks the truth towards Samuel, he receives no punishment. However, when Swami intentionally disobeys Samuel for the sake of getting rid of him, Swami receives strong a beating for it. In addition, his father probably knew that Swami was not stating the whole truth. Father might have suspected that because Swami arrived home with the letter, he was disobeying him. Given that, the only reason why Swami would even think of disobeying his father is if Samuel was not as bad as he was told, which the case was. As a result, Father gets rid of the letter to prevent Samuel from being punished without reason. So, in the end, no matter how Samuel is, Father perceives him as the best teacher for Swami.

Free Heart

“‘Death alone can help that dog,’ cried the ribbon-seller, looking after it with a sigh. ‘What can we do with a creature who returns to his doom with such a free heart?'”

 

Narayan, R.K. “The Blond Dog.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print. pp 39

 

I find this passage extremely interesting where the ribbon-seller wants the dog so badly to live freely just as the dog’s heart as. It reminds us that all people return to “their doom” or their death at the end and not everyone deserves to do so so early. Why do those who do so many great things and are so free suffer the most?

Attila, the humanized dog

“But as time passed our Attila exhibited a love of humanity which was sometimes disconcerting. The Scourge of Europe—could he ever have been like this? They put it down to his age. What child could help loving all creatures? In their zeal to establish this fact, they went to the extent of delving into the ancient history to find out what the Scourge of Europe was like when he was a child.”

Narayan, R.K. “Attila.” Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print. pp 98.

It is both interesting and ironic that Narayan personifies the dog so much in this chapter as though he were human, yet at the same time he also never forgets to remind you that it is just a dog, and is incapable to actually communicate with humans or to be understood completely by them; as though their was some sort of gap between consciousness that cannot be breached as they try to figure out Attila. However, complicating things further, the reader is given access to Attila’s mind/thoughts.

K.R Narayan mocks human’s resignation

“Venkat Roa watched the child for a moment. “I don’t know if it’s going to be possible for me to take her out at all-you see, they are giving me an increment-” he wailed.”

N. K Narayan. Forty-Five a Month in Malgudi Days. Penguins Classic, 2006. 90

I had a hard time choosing a passage because there are a lot of moments that are funny in this book where Narayan brilliantly mocks his characters’s resignation in a simple but very efficient way. Here, the father who was ready to quit his job, gives out for a pay rise and giving this justification to his wife, he starts wailing. I think Narayan shows in a very simple but cynic way, that human’s will can be wiped out easily and it’s very comic to me.

Man and Wife

“This violent alternating between hope and despair soon wrecked his nerves and balance. At home he hardly spoke to anyone. His head was always bowed in thought. He quarrelled with his wife if she refused to give him his rupee a week for the puzzles. She was of a mild disposition and was incapable of a sustained quarrel, with the result that he always got what he wanted, though it meant a slight sacrifice in household expenses” (93-93)

Narayan, R.T. Malgudi Days. New York: Penguin Group. 2006. Print. pp.93-94.

This passage was interesting because it shows the difference between man and wife. It depicted how the wife always had to give up something of her own so that Rama Rao could be satisfied. It shows how the wife has to go out of her way to provide him with rupees so he can do the puzzle to win a prize. It depicts how addiction and selfishness brings discomfort to the family other than himself.