How is the astrologer characterized in "An Astrologers Day"?  

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The astrologer is a survivor. He showed his strong temper in stabbing Guru Nayak back at their village and leaving him for dead. We get the impression that the other man is bigger, stronger, and fiercer than the astrologer; yet the astrologer keeps his cool even when he finds himself face to face with the man he thought was dead.

The astrologer comes from a long line of peasant farmers.

He had left his village without any previous thought or plan. If he had continued there he would have carried on the work of his forefathers namely, tilling the land, living, marrying, and ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home. But that was not to be. He had to leave home without telling anyone, and he could not rest till he left it behind a couple of hundred miles. To a villager it is a great deal, as if an ocean flowed between.

Finding himself in a big, noisy, overcrowded city, probably without any money, the protagonist proved his adaptability by becoming an astrologer. He knows nothing about the stars or about fate. He probably became an astrologer by pure chance when he found the discarded "professional equipment" of some other man who had given up the struggle for existence. The protagonist of this story is tough, adaptable, and determined, but he also has brains and talent. He knows how to handle people. He proves this by the way he handles the formidable Guru Nayak.

The astrologer not only managed to survive in the big, strange city, but he got married and fathered a child. Existence for every living creature is a struggle for survival and reproduction. For some it is much easier than for others--but it is a matter of survival for everyone. Survival of the fittest. He may be a little dishonest, but a man in his position cannot afford such luxuries as honesty. He has to bring those few coins home to his wife. Otherwise the whole family starves.

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