- Mar 2017
The tiger had held a reign of terror for nearly five years, in the villages that girt Mempi Forest.
Why do you think Narayan ends this introductory paragraph with a picture of the tiger which contrasts with the characterisation which precedes it?
In a mood of optimism they named him ‘Attila’. What they wanted of a dog was strength, formidableness and fight, and hence he was named after the ‘Scourge of Europe’.The puppy was only a couple of months old; he had square jaws, red eyes, a pug nose and a massive head, and there was every reason to hope that he would do credit to his name. The immediate reason for buying him was a series of house-breakings and thefts in the neighbourhood, and our householders decided to put more trust in a dog than in the police. They searched far and wide and met a dog fancier. He held up a month-old black-and-white puppy and said, ‘Come and fetch him a month hence. In six months he will be something to be feared and respected.’ He spread out before them a pedigree sheet which was stunning. The puppy had running in his veins the choicest and the most ferocious blood.
Consider here how fate plays with human expectations. Here, the name Attila symbolises the roles which the family hopes the dog to live up to. Then, there is hereditary genetics, which should bolster the family's hope.
Also, notice the time shift in the second paragraph. Why does Narayan begin with the naming of the dog and then go back in time?
See Narrative Techniques.