A HERO BY R K NARAYAN: DR. HARESHWAR ROY
The winner of Sahitya Academy Award, R.K. Narayan is one of the greatest writers in English with world fame. He has produced a big body of work. It includes more than a dozen novels and collection of many short stories. Most of his short stories take up an aspect of character or incident that has a topical relevance. They emanated from his own experience. Most of them centre round a small town named Malgudi. They depict truth of life. 'A Hero' is one of them.
'A Hero' is Narayan's well-known short story. It centres round the character of a boy named Swami. He is the protagonist of this story. The story deals with his crisis. This crisis is resolved in an ironical manner. In fact, this story depicts the psychology of that boy who studies in the second standard. The conversation between the father and the son has been presented in a delight manner. In short, it is a typical story that deals with an irony of situation. It is a beautiful portrayal of a child and his psychology.
The story of 'A Hero' is very interesting and entertaining. It deals with the character of Swami, a boy. Being a small boy Swami is timid and afraid of dreams and ghosts. To save himself from fear he used to sleep with his grand mother during night. In his opinion only aged and strong persons can do wonderful things.
This story opens with a lively dialogue between the son and the father. The father is trying to convince the son that courage is everything. Strength and age are not important. The father wants Swami to sleep in the office to prove this proposition. To obey his father he sleeps in the office. He dreams of tigers and devils approaching him in darkness. Under this illusion, he hit upon a shadow. Under peculiar circumstances he catches hold a burglar. In fact, it was an instinctive act against a dangerous situation. This incident is published in the newspaper and Swami is declared as a hero. He is honoured for this great deed that is done unknowingly and accidentally. Thus the title of the play is apt and justified. It has ironical touch too.
Thus 'A Hero' is a fantastic story that deals with a boy and his psychology. It beautifully presents the irony of situation.