A horse and two goats

Topics: Culture, British Empire, R. K. Narayan Pages: 3 (981 words) Published: March 11, 2014
In spite of a world where the divergence of cultures is getting less in the course of time, clash of cultures still appear. In R. K. Narayan’s story ‘A Horse and Two Goats’ (1970) two persons from paradoxical cultures meet which leads to a massive communication gap exemplifying the inevitable differences between cultures. The story sets in India in a small town called Kiritam, the Tamil word for crown. The village is described as a “tiny dot”(p. 184, l. 2) and almost as an isolated dusty desert(p. 185, l. 45). The colours in the village are desert-like and the only thing that colours the surroundings is the warrior’s “multicoloured sash”(p. 184, l. 20). Although the town therefore seems quite outlying, the inhabitants are convinced that this “preferably diamond-studded” (p. 184, l.3) suburb is a part of “the apex of the world.”(p.184, l. 5) which according to Muni is due to the statue of the horse and the said warrior: “The Redeemer will come, in the form of a horse called Kalki, (…) and this hors will come to life then, and that is why this is the most sacred village in the whole world”(p. 186, ll. 19-21). The statue becomes a key role in the meeting between the American and Muni. Although it is described as a statue alike numbers of others in India and is covered with plants growing around it, it becomes the center of the queer conversation between Muni and the American. The conversation is clearly influenced by language barriers and furthermore contrasting beliefs, culture, and premises. While Muni is an old Indian man without many possibilities in life the American is an explorer from New York(p. 185, l. 14) compelled by an urge to experience other cultures such as the Indian way of life. Muni seems to be isolated not only from the surrounding world but from the local society too. He is expelled and keeps himself away from the farms because of an accusation of removing the village headman’s pumpkins. Although Muni’s position in society is stuck he dreams...
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