Comment on the literary techniques in The Vendor of Sweets.

There are plenty of literary techniques used in The Vendor of Sweets, such as metaphors, rhetorical questions, and personification. The story is filtered through the perspective of the protagonist, Jagan, so most of these techniques are used to help the author illuminate Jagan's thoughts and feelings.

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In chapter 3, Jagan tells the doctor who treated his wife for a brain tumor that perhaps "a nature-cure" would have helped with the treatment. The doctor responds scornfully, telling Jagan, "Nature would sooner see us dead. She has no use for a brain affected by malignant growth." In this quote, there is personification. Nature is personified as a cruel, merciless creature who would rather kill than tolerate an imperfect organism. The doctor here is trying to convince Jagan that the natural remedies he has so much faith in are ineffective.

In chapter 4, Jagan is thinking about his son's prospective career as a writer. Jagan feels anxious, because he is not sure exactly what his son plans to write or if he will be any good. When he thinks about his son's writing, this anxiety is revealed by a succession of rhetorical questions. He asks himself, for example, "What does he really write .... Stories? What sort of stories? Poems? Or did he write philosophy?" This quick succession of rhetorical questions indicates that Jagan knows very little about his son's writing and is anxious, because he doesn't know if his son will be able to make a career as a successful writer.

In chapter 5, Jagan is enthusiastically telling everyone who will listen that his son, Mali, has arrived safely in America. The people he tells fail to be quite as excited as he would like them to be and become fixated on why Mali sent news via a letter rather than a telegram. Jagan becomes frustrated and calls these people "Stupid fellows! Frogs in the well!" This is an example of a metaphor. The people with whom Jagan has become frustrated are, of course, not literally frogs in a well, but Jagan uses this metaphor to articulate how stupid he thinks they are. Frogs in a well are unable to see much and live very confined lives. They don't have much life experience. Jagan considers these people (who aren't as excited about his son's journey to America as he thinks they should be) to have also lived very confined, dull lives, which he takes to be the reason for their supposed stupidity.

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