Jamie Jacobs 11N
A Horse and Two Goats, R.K. Narayan
AS Levels English
In the short story, A Horse and Two Goats we see that Narayan narrates in such a way that is non-judgmental and gentle in its humour. The critical aspects of the author’s style and tone help him achieve this sense of humour. The style Narayan uses for this story is used to focus on the theme of a culture clash. The culture clash is between Muni (the main character) and the American, Muni representing the Indian culture and the American representing the Western culture. Narayan uses the third person narrative point of view, giving the narrator the power to only unfold the story, but not reveal the character’s feelings or innermost thoughts. This point of view reports everything that is happening, but is not a part of the story. The use of this narrative point of view allows us to feel as though the story is unfolding before us, and makes us aware of each character and the comical nature of the conversation. Without the narrator and his translations, the reader wouldn’t be aware of the miscommunication and humour. This style also emphasises on the irony of the dialogue between the American and Muni; showing the miscommunication in a gentle way, without anger or frustration. The story is also written in direct speech: “‘I am not a millionaire, but a modest businessman. My trade is coffee’” (p. 246), except for when Muni describes his memories, indirect speech is used for these parts of the story to shorten his narratives. Irony is shown throughout the story, but more so in the end when both men get what they want, well more the one than the other, even though neither of them has understood the other. The tone Narayan uses in the story is detached and light. He uses this style of making the story humorous in a gentle way, allowing the reader to have a response of warmth and empathy. The tone could also be ironic, as the entire story contains irony. The way Muni is constantly...
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