While Muni describes the statue by referring to it as a subject of legends in his family, the foreigner understands the statue in materialistic terms as a pretty object that can be acquired for a price.
He reduces existence to getting and spending, buying an avatar of the just god to install in his living room. Furthermore, with this piece of gossip, Muni draws an unintentional contrast between himself and the shopkeeper, who are stuck in their tiny village, and the postman, who is able to escape the censure of the other villagers because he must travel for his job.
The Kalki statue is a symbol of tradition, history, cyclical time in that the Hindu legend of Kalki relies on the notion of cyclical time and spirituality, and stands in opposition to the highway, which represents modernity, development, linear time, and materialism. He wants to be rid of his two remaining goats, as they only serve as a reminder of how far he has fallen in the world.
Eventually, the foreigner flags down a passing truck and pays the laborers therein to pry the statue from its pedestal and place it in his car; he also pays them to siphon gas from their truck to restart his engine. Whereas Muni has a shaky grasp of linear time, being unable to recall even his own age, the foreigner seems fixated on marking and saving time, which he views as a scant and valuable resource.
The village consists of less than thirty thatch houses and one majestic brick construction called the Big House.
Thus the story and what the reader learns through this juxtaposition can be illuminated. The foreigner further imposes his view of Muni as a poor man from a poor country who must be desperate to make money off a wealthy foreigner when he assumes that he must be trying to sell the statue to him.
In this way, the foreigner makes an assumption about Muni based on his appearance: Muni is not educated, but truly understands his own culture, history, religion and humanity in terms of the culmination of experiences in his life. In this manner, the American is seen as not unintelligent, but merely ignorant of the world, while Muni, not necessarily educated in a formal manner, is vastly intelligent.
Although the shopkeeper enjoys hearing ill of the postman, who cheated him, he nevertheless refuses to allow Muni who has no money to purchase the items on credit. Active Themes Muni returns home triumphant, informing his wife that he has managed to sell his goats.
Their religions are different; their marriage customs are different. This leads him to worry about what his wife will do when he dies, as they have been married since they were children.
When Muni arrives at his favorite spot, his mood improves and perspective shifts, reflecting his ambitions to see beyond the confines of the suffocating world of his tiny village.
Muni obliviously begins narrating the other avatars of the Hindu God Vishnu and telling of his childhood as a stage actor performing plays based on mythological stories.
The foreigner continues to wait confusedly by the highway, assuming that Muni has gone to fetch help. En route to the highway, Muni reflects on his glory days when a famous, out-of-town butcher would buy his sheep and ponders bitterly that his once large herd began to dwindle due to a pestilence.
Thinking that the foreigner is asking for change, Muni recommends that he visit the village moneylender. The misunderstanding that occurs between Muni and the foreigner exemplifies their conflict of perspective: Muni has never seen so much money in his life.
The story also expresses the theme of knowledge versus wisdom. The fact that Muni is more multifaceted than the materialistic foreigner becomes apparent as he spends much of his time talking about his memories, religion, and spirituality, while the foreigner seems fixated on acquiring the statue as quickly as possible to avoid wasting time.
Although he had beaten her a few times early in their marriage, she developed more authority over him later. Spirituality Both Muni and the Red-Faced Foreigner struggle with preoccupations over possessing material objects.
As usual, he is an object of gentle satire. Muni explains apologetically to the foreigner that he was not allowed to go to school in his youth, as only Brahmins were permitted access to education at that time.
His cocktail guests had better stay on their best behavior. The tale is updated in that the poverty shown, with each day a new search for food, is only too real.
Muni lives in one of these thatch houses, and in more prosperous times owned a flock of 40 sheep and goats, which he would take each day to graze near the highway while he sat, watching them, at the foot of a clay statue of a horse and warrior.
The American is highly educated but does not seem to truly understand the vastness of the world he lives in.
Here the typical suburbanite of The New Yorker goes east. Although women in the story are clearly subordinate to men and men often engage in misogynistic commentary regarding the women in their lives, Narayan gives readers a subtle sense that, despite all this, women have more authority than is apparent at first glance… Cite This Page Choose citation style: Muni is ecstatic that he is finally getting rid of the goats, that served only as a reminder of his impoverished state, and will be able to use the money to open a small shop along the highway.
The similarities between the two types of colonialism—old and new—are not difficult to fathom, as India at… Materialism vs. The story obviously punctuates the economic differences between not just men, but entire cultures. Thinking he is in trouble, Muni states that he knows nothing about a recent murder that took place on the border of Kritam and the adjoining village, Kuppam.
However, even the American tourist is not entirely oblivious to The entire section is words. As Muni walks toward his favorite spot by the highway with his two scraggly goats, he hangs his head, imagining all the negative gossip about him circulating in the village.LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Horse and Two Goats, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Need help on themes in R. K. Narayan's A Horse and Two Goats? Check out our thorough thematic analysis. From the creators of SparkNotes. Discussion of themes and motifs in R. K. Narayan's A Horse and Two Goats. eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of A Horse and Two Goats so you can excel on your essay or test.
A discussion of important themes running throughout A Horse and Two Goats. Great supplemental information for school essays and projects. Essays - largest database of quality sample essays and research papers on Themes A Horse And Two Goats. The main themes of the short story “A Horse and Two Goats” by R.K.
Narayan are cultural differences, and wealth and poverty. These themes are enhanced by the motif of failed communication.
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