An astrologers day by rk narayan in english

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The Astrologer

You can change your ad preferences anytime. An Astrologer's Day - R. K Narayan. Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Why not share! Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Anouk Follow. Published in: Education. Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Chapter 8 R. Narayan Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan - is one of the best - known of Indian English writers. He was born and brought up in Madras. He began by contributing items to a city newspaper. When Punch accepted one of his pieces, he embarked in earnest on his career as a novelist and a short story writer.

His writings portray the Indian ethos with remarkable simplicity and humor. He created the fictional world of Malgudi. His novel, The Guide , has been made into a popular film. In addition to his fifteen novels, Narayan has written more than two hundred short stories. He is a prolific writer whose works usually culminate in an ironic twist. He declared, "Only the story matters that are all … if a story is in tune completely with the truth of life, truth as I perceive it, then it will be automatically significant.

In a strange situation, an ironic twist of fate, he runs into the very man he thought he had killed. Narayan as a short story writer 8. Narrate R. Narayan as a short story writer. Explain the style and various techniques used in the story under discussion. Kanthapura written by one of the big three early novelists of Indian English Literature, i.

The novel describes the simple rustic life of a South Indian village, Kanthapura which undergoes a sea change when the whirlwind of Gandhian freedom struggle reaches Kanthapura and the village enthusiastically participates in the movement. The story deals with a day's events in the life of a good for nothing fellow turned into an astrologer to earn his bread and butter. A single day brings in his drastic past back before him but being a smart fellow, he finely deals with it. It is not just a story that is brief - it requires a particular kind of literary construction.

A broad analysis of a short story signifies three characteristic elements: 1. Recognition of the familiar : Vivid details to create the illusion reality and actuality, of course, suggesting undercurrents meaning. A short story is, after all, not transcription of life but a dramatization of life itself. Empathy : Identifying ourselves very sympathetically and closely with the characters and situations so as to feel a part of this actuality - the well worn theme and thus get vivified by being individualized and 3. Readability : The good yarn pleasure tale - being absorbed by the fascination of the tale, we are unable to put it down until we have found out what happened.

Of course, beyond the yarn lies a whole range of meaning to be explored. The traditional notions associated with the short story such as design, continuity, effect, change etc are essential ingredients of a short story. Even without the formal narrative parameters, a story can be exciting and evocative. Due to new fissures and new frictions, new expectations and new equations at every level, personal, family, state, national, international, the modern short story has traversed new grounds both in content and form.

A short story is a voyage of discovery, of self - discovery, of self - realization for the character but more than the character, for the reader. A short story has to have a formal plot or structure and the skill of the author lies in making it appear as natural, as lifelike, and as spontaneous as possible. The artist wants to make incidents or situations appear natural rather than contrived. A well thought out plot R. A story has to have a beginning and should convey a constant sense of movement. Therefore, an ideal structure would make the story interesting and true to life as also build up suspense and arouse the reader's curiosity to know what happens next or how the situation gets resolved at the end.

It should also give meaning to the narrative. A good short story should strive for a unity of effect - a "single effect". That is, a story should be compressed and economical the way a poem is, free from digressions and irrelevancies and marked by its intensity. It should be complete in itself and must have unity and wholeness. A story is meant to be read at one sitting; a novel may take days to read. So the story's effect must be sudden, powerful and revealing whereas a novel can involve readers at a more leisurely pace, slowly illuminating complexities and nuances.

Stories also convey psychological reality. Much of what happens in the modern story happens in the character's minds and in the interior world.


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Therefore, in attempting to reveal the drama of human consciousness, many modern writers have stopped stressing the orderly progression of plots, have played down external action, and have often abandoned photographic realism in favor of a more complex psychological realism. In a short story, there is nothing to follow, nothing to look forward to. The end of the short story is the end. It is marked by a sense of finality, of definiteness, of tautness from beginning to end.

It is self contained. Its compression induces a feeling of expanding into life, an awareness of life expanding into our consciousness, enlarging our consciousness. In this sense a short story imparts the sense of a discovery. Narayan as a short story writer R. He is credited with bringing Indian literature in English to the rest of the world and is regarded as one of the India's greatest Indian English novelists.

The setting for most of Narayan's stories is the fictional town of Malgudi, first introduced in Swami and Friends. His narratives highlight social context and provide a feel for his characters through R. He has been compared to William Faulkner, who also created a fictional town that stood for reality, brought out the humor and energy of ordinary life and displayed compassionate humanism in his writing. Narayan's short story writing style has been compared to that of Guy de Maupassant as they both have an ability to compress the narrative without losing out on elements of the story.

With this book, Narayan created Malgudi, a town that creatively reproduced the social sphere of the country; while it ignored the limits imposed by colonial rule.

Gara Review: Overly sensationalised adaptation of RK Narayan's An Astrologer's Day

Malgudi also grew with the various socio-political changes of British and post-independence India. He also published two collections of short stories: Malgudi Days , a revised edition including the original book and some other stories and Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories, a new collection. Narayan's writing style was simple and unpretentious with a natural element of humor about it.

It focused on ordinary people, reminding the reader of next-door neighbors, cousins and thereby providing a greater ability to relate to the topic. Unlike his national contemporaries, he was able to write about the intricacies of Indian society without having to modify his characteristic simplicity to conform to trends and fashions in fiction writing. He also employed the use of nuanced dialogic prose with gentle Tamil overtones based on the nature of his characters. Critics have considered Narayan to be the Indian Chekhov, due to the similarities in their writings, the simplicity and the gentle beauty and humor in tragic situations.

Greene considered Narayan to be more similar to Chekhov than any Indian writer. According to Pulitzer Prize winner, Jhumpa Lahiri, Narayan's short stories have the same captivating feeling as his novels, with most of them less than ten pages long, and taking about as many minutes to read. She adds that between the title sentence and the end, Narayan provides the reader something novelists struggle to achieve in hundreds more pages: a complete insight to the lives of his characters. These characteristics and abilities led Lahiri to classify him as belonging to the pantheon of short-story geniuses that include O.

Lahiri also compares him to Guy de Maupassant for their ability to compress the narrative without losing the story and the common themes of middle-class life written with an unyielding and unpitying vision. His attitude, coupled with his perception of life, provided a unique ability to fuse characters and actions and an ability to use ordinary events to create a connection in the mind of the reader. A significant contributor to his writing style was his creation of Malgudi, a stereotypical small town, where the standard norms of superstition and tradition apply.

Narayan's writing style was often compared to that of William Faulkner since both their works brought out the humor and energy of ordinary life while displaying compassionate humanism. The similarities also extended to their juxtaposing of the demands of society against the confusions of individuality. Although their approach to subjects was similar, their methods were different; Faulkner was rhetorical and illustrated his points with immense prose while Narayan was very simple and realistic, capturing the elements all the same.

There are some critics who find fault with Narayan for the ending of his stories in an unconvincing way. Just like O'Henry, he ends some of his stories with a 'sudden reversal of situation. He gave his readers something to look forward with Malgudi and its residents and is considered to be one of the best novelists India has ever produced.

He brought small-town India to his audience in a manner that was both believable and experiential. Malgudi was not just a fictional town in India but one teeming with characters, each with their own idiosyncrasies and attitudes, making the situation as familiar to the reader as if it were their own backyard. The story has a twist in the tale. The otherwise adventure less life of the astrologer suddenly poses a grave problem from his past life and demands alertness to tackle the situation.

The story R. The story also deals with the darker side of human nature with its hypocrisies, shrewdness, revengeful nature and selfishness. The characters in the story are no exception to these qualities of human nature. Finally all is well that ends well with the astrologer coming out with flying colors in his examination of befooling his opponent, saving his life and also saw to it that he does not face the man again in future.

Formats and Editions of An Astrologer's Day and other stories [okomiqot.tk]

The setting of the story is a town, Malgudi which is located in South India, near to Madras. It is not a story of contemporary times but pre - independence times. The story opens at the midday. This is the time when the astrologer opens his business.


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  • The writer describes how he begins his business. He removes all his professional equipment like cowries shells, charts, Palmyra writing etc. He is also dressed typically like an astrologer to attract customers. His forehead is bright with sacred ash and vermilion. His eyes are assumed to have a prophetic light by his customers. He wears a saffron turban. Thus the astrologer presented himself so perfectly that he was consequently a point of attraction for all the people. The writer describes the path along the Town Hall Park where the astrologer sits to lure his prospective customers.

    He carried on his business under a tamarind tree on the Town Hall road. The path was the right place to carry on his business as it was amply crowded with different trades and traders like medicine sellers, hardware and junk, magicians, cloth - sellers etc. Next to him sat a fried groundnut vendor whose gas light enabled him to carry on his business even after sunset. The astrologer was a shrewd person who hardly had any knowledge of astrology. He just made a guess work when people approached him.

    He had to work hard to earn his wages. He had absconded from his native village since he didn't want to continue the traditional occupation of his forefathers i. He never had any plans to return to his native village.

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    He was a mastermind at analyzing human mind and psychology. His customers would finally leave satisfied. He closed his shop for the day when his neighbor, groundnut vendor blew out his light. On the day under description in the story, the groundnut vendor left and the astrologer was packing up his wares when he located a man standing before him.

    He perceived him to be his prospective customer. When the astrologer invited him, he posed a challenge before him and his astrological science. They have a deal between them. The man gave him an anna and asked the astrologer to answer his questions and if he doesn't answer satisfactorily he will have to return the anna with interest. At the same time if the astrologer is able to answer the questions satisfactorily he would give him eight annas. But if the astrologer fails, he would pay double amount i. Thus the deal was finalized between them.

    The astrologer prayed to the heaven. Then suddenly the astrologer denied the challenge and requested the man to let him go. The man said that he will not let him give in. He holds him in his grip thereby making the astrologer shiver. Finally, the astrologer realized that he is trapped and has no chance of moving out. The man turned out to be a criminal by profession. The astrologer shivered and unwillingly accepted the challenge.

    He started telling about some woman but the man was not satisfied and stopped him. He had a single question that whether he would get what he was searching for. The man promised the astrologer that if he is satisfied with his answers, he would pay him a rupee. The astrologer prayed a few incantations before replying. The astrologer began with his prophecies by saying to the man that you were left for dead in the past and a knife has passed once on your chest. The man was excited at this information since he had really faced it.

    After he got wounded, he was thrown into a well nearby to die. A passerby saw him and rescued him and that is how he was saved from dying. The man was waiting to revenge the culprit who had attacked him and was in search of the culprit who had tried to kill him. The only thing which the man wanted to know from the astrologer was if he can find his killer. The astrologer instantly replied that the culprit had died four months ago in a far - off town. The man was disappointed to hear this. The astrologer identified the name of the man before him as Guru Nayak. He told the man that his village was a two days' journey to R.

    He asked him to return to his hometown immediately as his life was in danger if he left his hometown again. The man replied that he left home just to search the culprit who had tried to kill him and was interested in knowing if he had died in a worst way. The astrologer satisfied him by informing that the culprit was crushed under a lorry. The man left after giving the astrologer a handful of coins.

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