Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. LitCharts From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Download this LitChart! Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. A concise biography of R. Visual theme-tracking, too. Brief Biography of R. Narayan R.
Narayan was born to a large, well-educated family in South India. His father was a school headmaster who constantly traveled, so Narayan spent much of his childhood in the care of his grandmother; she schooled him in mythology, arithmetic, classical music, and Indian languages the family mostly conversed in English. With the support of his family, Narayan wrote several novels about a fictional Indian town, commenting on issues such as the abuse of students in schools and the imbalance of power between men and women in marriage.
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Though these works were rejected by many publishers, English novelist Graham Greene helped Narayan find publication in Europe. At 29, the author married and took a job as a journalist to support his new family; his wife died of typhoid five years later, however, sending him into a deep depression.
Around this time Narayan produced the autobiographical fiction The English Teacher. To solve this problem, he started his own publishing house, Indian Thought Publications, which still exists and is operated by his granddaughter.
An Astrologer's Day
Narayan also began to adapt his writing to suit a more creative, less introspective style, but still made commentary on sociopolitical issues and the irony of Indian life. Narayan died in However people still come to the astrologer looking for information that might help them with their lives. Which may suggest that each customer is somewhat desperate. Desperate enough to believe what the astrologer is telling them.
When the reality is the astrologer is formulating an opinion based on the information each customer gives him. Symbolically it may also be important that for most of the story the astrologer is in the dark. This in many ways mirrors how the astrologer feels when it comes to Guru. He like the street was in the dark about what happened Guru. It is not by chance that the astrologer knows Guru by name. However what is not clear to the reader is at what point the astrologer began to recognise Guru.
What is also interesting is the advice that the astrologer gives to Guru.
An astrologers' day
It is entirely defensive. That being the astrologer is attempting to put as much distance between himself and Guru. If anything the astrologer is protecting himself and ensuring that he does not see Guru again.
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Which in all likelihood will be the case as Guru believes everything that the astrologer has said to him. Narayan may also be exploring the theme of guilt. The astrologer has spent his time in the city believing that he has killed Guru and the weight of this on his conscious forced the astrologer to abandon his village.
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If anything it was the guilt that the astrologer felt along with the fear of going to prison for murder that drove the astrologer out of his village. It is also interesting that the astrologer has the appearance of an astrologer or someone who might know what the stars have in store for an individual. This could be important as it is most likely that the astrologer has changed his appearance and his persona when he arrived in the city. The young man that he had been was no longer.
The innocence of his childhood was lost after the incident with Guru. The astrologer in order to make a living and to succeed in the city had to change who he was. Something that he successfully managed to do. So successful is the astrologer at changing his appearance that not even Guru was able to recognise him.
The astrologer addresses him by his name, Guru Nayak. That impresses Guru Nayak and he tells the astrologer that he is out to seek out the man who stabbed him so that he can take the revenge.
An Astrologer's Day Characters
The astrologer then informs him that the man who stabbed him had died having been crushed under a lorry four months earlier and that Nayak's life was not safe so he should return to his village immediately and warns him not to travel in that direction again. Satisfied with the answer, Nayak gives him some coins and leaves feeling happy at the thought that the man he wanted to kill is already dead. The astrologer comes home and tells his wife that a big load was off his mind that day because he had discovered that the man he thought he had murdered years back in his native village and because of whom he had left home, was in fact alive.
He also realizes that Nayak had given him less money than he had promised. Though it is the story of a particular incident in the life of an astrologer, the major part of the story describes a day in the life of an astrologer in India who sits on the pavement to read palms to tell the future of men. The man has spread before him his Professional equipment which consists of cowry shells , Palmyra writing and mystic charts which he can not read. To add to that is his saffron-colored turban and his tilak which are enough to invite the trust of a common man who generally frequents this type of narrow road described in the story.
An Astrologer's Day Summary & Study Guide Description
Till the time the reader encounters Guru Nayak, the description given of the astrologer is that of any roadside astrologer in a town. The man transacts his business purely on his wits and the ignorance of his clients. Moreover, what leads the reader to believe that this is the story of an astrologer is the fact that the author has not given him a name- he is simply referred to as The astrologer.
The title suggests that the reader is going to read about the life of an astrologer and that is what he learns about and in that respect, it is acclaimed as an appropriate title to the story.