The English Teacher

 

Minor Characters

 

Gopal:

Summary:

Gopal, a mathematics teacher, is really little more than an example of what Krishna will later claim the British education system has done to Indians, that is created a nation of ‘morons’ who are excellent cogs in the machine but with little personality or individuality.

 

Quotations:

Page No

Quotation

Explanation

3

‘He was an agreeable friend who never contradicted and listened patiently for hours and without showing any signs of understanding.’

 

 

4

‘Symbols, if they entered his brain at all, entered only as mathematical symbols.’

 

 

 

 

Sastri:

Summary:

Sastri is the logic professor who is also responsible for building and selling houses in the Lawley Extension. A contrast to Gopal he is clearly an individual with originality and flair, but Krishna seems disappointed that he has become little more than a businessman.

 

Quotations:

Page No

Quotation

Explanation

52

Sastri is ‘a strange combination of things, at one end ‘undistributed middle’, ‘definition of knowledge’, ‘syllogism’ and at the other he had the spirit of a pioneer.’

 

 

 

 

The Mystic:

Summary:

Although we may be suspicious at points about the authenticity of the mystic’s claim that he is receiving messages from Susila, there is no real evidence that he is trying to take advantage of Krishna as he gains nothing from their interactions. As such the mystic appears to be another teacher / father figure (also nameless) who helps Krishna realise, perhaps, the importance of spirituality.

 

Quotations:

Page No

Quotation

Explanation

103

‘He had such good cheer in his face that it melted all strangeness out of the situation.’ This smile was ‘A permanent background against which all his gestures occurred, something like the melodies of a veena string.’

 

 

105

‘It is better to carry a staff, there are a lot of cobras about. Though I’ve never killed one in my life. When I see a snake I usually cry for help.’

 

 

106

The mystic comments that ‘I felt that the old sin of my undergraduate days of writing prose poems was returning.’ A past time to which Krishna has devoted considerable energy.

 

 

 

 

Krishna’s Mother and the maid:

Summary:

Both of these women are essentially similar and generally positive figures that exemplify the values of familial love that Krishna comes to develop throughout the course of the novel.

 

Quotations:

Page No

Quotation

Explanation

25

‘She was unsparing and violent when she met slovenliness’

 

 

30

‘She held out her arms and the baby vanished in her embrace.’ ‘She devoured [Susila and Leela] with a look.’

 

 

37

‘She [the maid] picked up Leela in her arm and fondled her.’