Since we’ve been working in our Literature class on the story “A Horse and Two Goats”, we were asked to write an essay.
- The most important theme in “A Horse and Two Goats”, and in fact the central theme of Narayans work, is the clash of cultures. Do you agree?
In “A Horse and Two Goats” both the main characters have a different way of looking at the world, its significance and its history, but the following essay will analyse if the clash of culturs is the most important theme of the story.
First of all, the clash of cultures can be seen as the horse represents Muni’s past, his ancestors and India’s past but to the American it is just an oject that would look nice for decoration. “and my grandfather himself was this high when he heard his grandfather, whose grandfather…’ the other man interrupted him with, ‘I don’t want to seem to have stopped here for nothing. I will offer you a good price for this,’ he said, indicating the horse”, this quote shows how Muni was trying to explain its history but the foreigner showed no interest in knowing it nor what the statue represented. It also represents the lack of understanding which is another theme since throughout the story, the two characters can’t seem to be able to figure out what the other one’s saying.
Secondly, the clash of cultures can also be interpreted as the clash of the first and third world since Muni is desperate for money while the “red-faced man” has spare money. “… the red faced man took a cigarette and gave it to Muni, who recieved it with surprise, having had no offer of a smoke from anyone for years now. … Nowadays he was not able to find even matches”, this quote shows how the protagonist had lost the luxury of smoking many years ago and how now, he struggled with affording matches. Meanwhile, the American claimed that he was not rich even though he could pay for his business to be sponsored on TV. This clearly shows the different levels of development, which is also a theme: modern and underdeveloped countries.
On the other hand, the stroy deals with other themes as well, such as the disappearance of Indian culture and coloniser vs colonised which can be seen when the statue is taken away and forgotten by the coloniser.
All in all, the clash of cultures is a very important theme since its represented in many different aspects but “A Horse and Two Goats” also revolves around other themes.