What personal effects did the astrologer use to attract people towards him?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Each day at midday, the astrologer opened up his packet of professional equipment. This convinced his customers that he was for real. He had all the things a professional astrologer would use. The astrologer had an "abnormal gleam" in his eye. He plays the part well. He is dressed as a holy man and his customers see him as genuine:

The astrologer, who is not given a name, comes across as a type, one of the many street vendors in India, who sit under the shade of a tree or a temporary shed and sell anything from vegetables to newspapers. This astrologer belongs to the same category although, given the nature of his trade, there is a need to dress and behave in a particular manner. He does that effectively by giving the impression of a holy man whose special powers enable him to function as an astrologer.

The astrologer is intelligent. He asks all the right questions. The customers give him the information he needs to appear as one who can predict the future. The reader knows the truth about the astrologer. He is only acting. He really has no special powers, but his keen sense of human nature helps him discover all the information he needs to know about his clients:

The narrator makes it very clear that the astrologer is a charlatan who knows nothing about the future but is a shrewd judge of character. 

The astrologer is defined as one who is prepared. He sorts his professional equipment "in order to create the illusion of spirituality and mystical knowledge." He takes great care of his personal appearance in order to be considered a genuine astrologer:

The care he takes over his personal appearance is yet another aspect of his charisma. The profession of an astrologer presupposes a commitment to religious observance, and that is precisely what this character achieves through his eclectic collection of articles. 

No doubt, the astrologer is convincing for this is how he makes his living. He has a sense of purpose and commitment for his occupation. He goes to great efforts to assure his customers that he is an honest astrologer. "The holy ash and vermillion on his forehead, the turban on his head, and his whiskers, all taken together, give the impression of a man given to a holy life rather than business."

Over all, the astrologer is intuitive and has a great understanding of human nature. This helps him sound convincing.  


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