The Astrologer’s Day
This is only a skeletal analysis of the story. You must fill in all the details (***).
This is a very intricately woven short story.
The overwhelming theme is deception, falsehood, fraud, as all the other aspects of the story point to it.
The setting with its dim light, crowdedness and noise *** create the atmosphere in which deceptioncan operate. The jobs held by the other vendors all seem dishonest – magician, medicine seller, seller of stolen wares, ets – and amidst them the astrologer.
The protagonist, theastrologer, is described as though he wears a disguise,mask to hide his true identity*** . He is not a real astrologer and has no formal training. Actually he is a farmer. But by observing, studying andguessing *** he is able to advise and tell fortune of those who see him. Again this enhances the theme of deception.
The main theme is that of deception ***.
Other themes can be one of escape *** or where the underdog (astrologer) triumps over the aggressor (Guru Nayak) ***.
This can be a possible question.
You must be able to fit the other aspects of the story (i.e.those above) to show how the plot sequence enhances the theme. The main point of the plot are:
• Astrologer meets stranger***
• Stranger challenges the Astrologer to tell his fortune***
• Astrologer astonishes the stranger by telling him precisely what happened***
• Astrologer tells the stranger to return home and not continue his quest***
• Astrologer tell his wife that he is the one thestranger is after and now he has escaped***
The author of the story seems to want to endear the astrologer to his readers.*** Although we learn that he was a ruffian in his youth and had tried to murder the stranger, the author wants the reader to be sympathetic towards him.***
During the challenge the astrologer is seen as a victim and Guru Nayak the aggressor.***
The author alsocreates an escape route for the astrologer – lift the burden off him – by sheer coincidence.***
Coincidence plays an important part in how the astrologer meets his enemy and how he cleverly avoids not only a fight but also a way out for the astrologer.***
By Nancy Chong
A story that focuses on character.
In a Chinatown in Totonto, Canada.
The place isundergoing change. Old buildings are being town down and being replaced by new. The streets are cracked and covered with debris. (An indication that the old traditional ways are fading away and new western ways are being adopted).
Does the setting develop the theme?
When a person migrates to a new community, he/she loses some of his identity. He has to assimilate in the newsetting. In doing so he/she has to sacrifice some of the old ways. There is a sense of something being lost. Pick out examples of tradition in the story:
A very simple plot of a mother taking her daughter to a movie. But very important is the reflections by the girl (the author) about the place, her mother, and perhaps her traditions.
The mother is the main character. She is arepresentative of the old traditions. She seems like a strong personality. She hardly says anything but there is an aura of mystery about her. A comparision can be drawn between her and the Warrior Woman in the movie. Show the similarities between them:
She is portrayed as a powerful figure, but one who is fading, a replica of the past. Though she stand defiantly shecannot avoid the final curtains fall on her. This can be interpreted as: (I) the Chinatown fading away
the mother’s ways are being challenged
the traditional oriental ways are disappearing
The ending is rather ambiguous. There is a sense of loss but a the same time an admiration for the new. How would you interpret the ending? Remember there is...