A horse and two goats
This is a short story written by R.K. Narayan, who is an Indian novelist that pointed all of his work towards showing how much difference there is between Eastern and Western culture. Narayan is fascinated by the gap which exists between supposed and real understanding, by the element of incomprehension in human relationships. The author finds this "culture clash" utterly amazing, and in this specific story he decided to address the subject by portraying Muni, who is a typical, poor, uneducated Indian farmer, and a wealthy, shallow, educated, white American.
"A Horse and Two Goats" opens with a clear picture of the poverty in which the protagonist Muni lives. Of the thirty houses in the village, only one, the Big House, is made of brick. The others, including Muni's, are made of "bamboo thatch, straw, mud, and other unspecified materials." There is no running water and no electricity, and Muni's wife cooks their typical breakfast of "a handful of millet flour" over a fire in a mud pot. This is reffering to the enormous lifestyle difference between the two main characters. When this two first meet, Narayan makes his first point, the complete lack of ability to comunicate and interact succesfully between this two men, which is a metaphor for the incapacity to interact between the Eastern and Western culture. Unlike many stories about culture clash, the inability to communicate in this story leads only to confusion, not to any real harm. In fact, although each feels vaguely dissatisfied with the conversation, the men do not realize that they are not communicating. "Namaste! How do you do?" the American says in greeting, using his only Indian word. Muni responds with the only...