Malgudi Days: The Tiger's Claw
By R. K. Narayan
Summary of The Tiger's Claw
Meaning of the Short Story
Important Quotations and Analysis
"After the crowd surged passed us, he sat us on a rock mount, under a margosa tree, and began his tale:" (47).
These two quotes show the meaning of tradition. The first showing more generally how people deal with different cultural things or rituals and the second about the traditions of storytelling and the lesson people take from each story told because every society has someone like the Talkative Man.
"We pushed through the crowd and begged to be shown the right forepaw of the tiger...Yes there were three toes missing, and a deep black scar marked the spot" (52).
This quote is supposed to be the proof in the tale that the Talkative Man told. But the story was a tale and like in a myth you never know what parts are true and what parts are made up for entertainment. Though the a tiger is shown with three toes missing, the nature of people is to be questionable as well as believing.
Connection to Indian Culture/History
The Talkative Man in the story represents the storytellers in India. He serves as entertainment for the crowd but also he teaches the listeners a lesson. The purpose of the storytellers stories are to pass down the culture through their stories and to teach lessons, which the Talkative Man did.
Another indian tradition displayed in the story is when the forest tribes catch cubs they only cut off several of their claws instead of killing them. Many tribes in India practice this tradition which is the reason the Talkative Man's extravagant story is questioned.
Importance/Significance of Tigers in India
"Frequently Asked Questions - Tiger." WWF India. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2013.