A Hero

By R K Naryan

Marayan – Born 1906 (Madras).Context • R.K. Died 2001 • An Indian man and writing in English • He looked at human relationships & ironies of daily life in India • He often concerned himself with the tensions between traditions + modernity • A hero comes from a collection of short stories called Malgudi Days .

• • • .Lines 1-26 • • “For Swami events took an unexpected turn”. “How could a boy fight a tiger?”. Also even though he‟s scared of his father he has the guts to talk back to his father and doesn‟t meekly accept everything said. “ The fight the boy had with the tiger and his flight up a tree. where he stayed for half a day till some people came that way and killed the tiger”. He comes across as being more sensible than his father and not easily gullible. Also has this tale been exaggerated? “Father looked at Swami fixedly”.This tells us that Swami wasn‟t expecting this.This tells us Swami‟s character as well. It also takes us right into the story and the characters are introduced as the story goes along.This tells us of his fathers behavior or characteristics because he comes across as being stern and overbearing.This is the catalyst of Swami‟s problem. “ You think you are wiser than the newspaper?‟ Father sneered”This tells us that his father blindly accepts everything said in the newspaper and also tells us that he doesn‟t respect his sons opinions.

• “A frightful proposition”.Tells us how narrow minded his father is because that fact is not effective. • “Swami disputed the theory”.shows that he‟s timid and slightly scared.Shows that his father pulled this tone quite often and also shows how well Swami knows his father.Portrays Swami as a bold and more practical.The reason why his father started the conversation. • “Let me see if you can sleep alone tonight in my office room”.Shows the tone of command in his father voice.Lines 11-26 • “Strength and age are not important”. . Also what he says makes more sense. It was a order from the head of the family and he was meant to obey it. • “He knew his father‟s tenacity at such moments”. • “You must sleep alone hereafter”.

“I hardly know anything about the boy” – the mother is also quite distant and dismissive. doesn‟t seem to have a very close relationship with her too. tell her so. .Lines 28-35 • “From the first of next month I‟ll sleep alone Father” – here shows one of Swami‟s characteristics. She doesn‟t believe that she has anything to do with it. and don‟t look at me” – she blames Granny. • “If you mean that your mother is spoiling him. he is opportunistic – accepts praise for his bravery • • • “it is disgraceful sleeping beside granny or mother like a baby” – the father is quite cruel and tries to find a way to humiliate swami “why do you look at me while you say it?” – the mother is quite defensive for her side. She doesn‟t have a great deal to do with Swami.

are you really very sleepy?” – Granny‟s characteristic is that she does the wrong things at the wrong times and this causes humor. but that good lady saw nothing”/ “Don‟t cover your face. • .Lines 37-43 • “Swami rose silently and tiptoed away to his bed in the passage” – it shows that swami is cunning and attempts to outwit his father by pretending to sleep “Swami made wild gesticulations to silence his granny.

but more like he‟s explaining. trying to teach his child an important lesson. . • • “All right” (consents to leaving the door open) – this shows that he is ready to make some minor allowances if it will make Swami happy and shows that he does not have the iron grip he seems to have. He doesn‟t sound like he‟s preaching. because it sounds affectionate and caring • “You must learn not to be afraid of darkness.Lines 50 – 75 Presentation of Father – Positive • “Little fellow” – this shows Father in a good light. It is only a question of habit” – this makes Father sound less commanding and arrogant and more of a good parent.

He doesn‟t seem to care how his son feels.negative • “I will make you the laughing stock of your school” – this makes Father seem cruel and horrid and uncaring. but ordering .Presentation of Father . • “Come with me” – this shows Father‟s commanding tone and shows that he is not requesting. and what others will think of him.

and tries to defend him. • “He threw a look of appeal at his mother and she said. . I think‟” – this shows that Swami clearly has more influence with Mother than with Father.Reactions of Mother and Granny • “Granny pleaded. It also shows that she is not very successful. but it again doesn‟t work. „Why do you take him into the office room? He can sleep in the hall. „Why do you disturb him?‟” – this shows that Granny dotes on Swami and defends him. She also feels sorry for him.

Although he is too scared to stand up directly to him. This raises the tension of the piece. and followed his father into the office room” – this shows Swami‟s submission.Swami’s reactions • “Hesitated for a moment. • “but a monster …” – the ellipsis at the end of the paragraph shows the trail of Swami‟s thoughts and shows his pondering over the different things he wishes had happen. • “Swami felt cut off from humanity” – this short sentence is particularly effective in showing how Swami feels. he tries to get the support of his mother to get him out of the situation • “Can I have a lamp burning in the room?” “Will you atleast leave the door open?” – this shows that Swami tries very hard to negotiate with his father to better his position. • “His heart beat faster” – this again increases tension and terror . he subtly tries to get his way too. after a moment‟s hesitation. He follows his Father‟s orders. but not so meekly • “Threw a look of appeal at his mother” – he doesn‟t take the orders lying down.

.Lines 75-100 These lines consist of the Rising Terror and the Climax of the story.

the clicking of the clock. who spat out blood because the devil near the river's edge slapped his cheek when he was returning home late one night‟ Lines 75-77: It is successful in creating humour.. It is building up to the climax • „Every moment he expected the devils to come up to carry him away. there was the instance of his old friend in the fourth class who suddenly disappeared and was said to have been carried off by a ghost to Siam or Nepal .‟ Lines 76-77: Highlights the increasing terror..‟ Lines 79-82: Once again. humor is created because.• And what about poor Munisami's father. rustle of trees. • „Through the stillness all kinds of noises reached his ears. . Reader is amused by Swami‟s wild imagination and naiveness. snoring sounds and some vague night insects humming. this is such a ridiculous proposition.

he has overcome his fear. • „he could hear its claws scratch the ground . • „As it came nearer he crawled out from under the bench... • „used his teeth on it like a mortal weapon…‟ Line 99-100: This is the climax of the story.• „A tiger was chasing him. good for emphasis and used for a dramatic effect. scratch. The reader wonders what happens next..‟ Line 91: The Terror is rising.‟ Lines 88-89: Ellipses Builds tension. .. Ellipses build tension towards the end. and then a light thud . His feet stuck to the ground.What will happen next? • „Swami groaned in despair. Reader asks the question. hugged it with all his might‟ Line 98-99: Its shows decisiveness of Swami now. Desperate times have called for desperate measures. scratch.‟ Lines 86-87: Variation in sentence structure. Reader is made to wonder what is rustling. builds curiosity. • „And now what was this rustling?‟ Line 95: Rhetorical question..

All right molly coddle and spoil him as much as you like.‟ – Tensions dissolve it‟s a contrast to swami‟s fears. His classmates looked at him with respect. „Swami following the whole conversation from under the blanket. He won. . „Congratulations were showered on Swami next day.He‟s showered with compliments. felt tremendously relieved to hear that his father was giving him up.‟ – Irony.‟ . In a moment Father. „Where is he sleeping? In his usual place ‟ – After all that Swami gets what he wants in the end. He ends up sleeping with his grandmother. not too happy with the end result. Only don‟t blame me afterwards…‟ . and his teacher patted his back.Less confident in speech. cook and a servant came in carrying light.‘‟Aiyo something has bitten me‟ went forth an agonised thundering cry and was followed by a heavy tumbling and falling amidst furniture. very opportunistic.