The English Teacher

 

Major Themes

 

Gender Roles

Summary:

Accepted gender roles are clearly entrenched in this work with women happily consigned to housewifely duties while men accomplish more serious enterprises. Although Susila frequently defeats Krishna in arguments and makes his panic seem foolish in comparison to her calmness acting, thus, as an important teacher for him she is given none of the status and didactic authority of the Headmaster. Having said this Narayan does at least not dismiss housewifely duties, realizing they are a burden and, in fact, a skill.

 

Quotations:

Page No

Quotation

Explanation

25

Krishna’s mother says ‘It takes a whole lifetime [to keep their house tidy] but  don’t grudge it.’

 

 

27

Susila brings four trunks for her sarees when she comes to live with Krishna and he complains ‘Women never understood the importance of traveling light. Why should they? As long as there were men to bear all the anxieties.’

 

 

36

Susila as a housewife is called a ‘technician’ because of her precision at managing the budget and the larder

 

 

51

She is angered by the implication that she will not be able to keep up with the men walking when they are house hunting in Lowley Extension and so walks even though she is ‘flushed’

 

 

57

Krishna says of Susila ‘I am sure that this is thinking of a very grand kitchen garden in the back yard.’

 

 

60

Leela plays ‘home-keeping’ with her friend when her parents are out house hunting.