RK Narayan brought Indian writing in English to western nations. He was helped in the venture by Graham Greene. Narayan’s stories mostly have the fictional town of Malgudi as their geographical reference point. Malgudi could be anywhere in India. It is a microcosm of the huge country. Even today there are readers who believe that Malgudi exists; so realistically did Narayan describe the place. Narayan’s stories were brief, some barely ten pages long, but within this he was able to delineate complicated characters. Narayan’s style was unpretentious and simple but it had an enduring quality that readers found attractive. Many of his stories have been adapted for movies and television. Background/Setting
The story, The Horse and Two Goats is set in Kiritam, a fictional village somewhere in South India. It is no different from any other village in India. Most of the people are poor and barring one big house, the rest of the houses are all huts. There is one grocery shop where all go. The postman comes around only once in ten days. The village was once upon a time along the road that went towards the town. But when the highway was constructed, the village got pushed further inwards losing what little prominence it had. Characters/Characterization
Muni is a typical Indian villager who accepts the vicissitudes of life with only murmurs of complaint. He had been at one time rather well in relative terms being the proud owner of a flock of forty sheep but some disease had killed all of them and now he is left with just two scraggly goats. They forage for leaves when Muni takes them to the road. Muni married his wife when they were children. At one time, he was the dominant partner in the marriage because he was well off but now along with his money he has lost his status at home too. He grudgingly acknowledges that his wife manages to feed him by doing odd jobs at the Big House. But for her, he would have starved to death. Muni is so used to...