Language

Style of language

The language used by R. K. Narayan in the short story “A Horse and Two Goats” is neutral. We also notice the use of Indian words such as “dhobi” (p. 184, l. 17), “pandit” (p. 186, l. 25), “rupee” (p. 187, l. 21), or “puja” (p. 187, l. 31). When the old man talks about the religious myth of the God Vishnu and his reincarnations, the author inserts words connected to the Hindu religion, like “Kali Yuga” (p. 186, l. 17), “Kalki” (p. 186, l. 19), “Ramayana” (p. 186, l. 43), “Mahabharata” (p. 187, l. 1), or “Krishna” (p. 187, l. 1). The use of Indian words and words connected to Hinduism gives the story an authentic feel.

The dialogue between the two main characters highlights their failed communication. Consequently, their exchange takes the form of two separate monologues, as the American and the Indian man cannot understand each other and only talk about what they know: “At this stage the mutual mystification was complete” (p. 187, l. 6). Furthermore, the failed communication between the two men creates a comic effect. ...

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