Explain in your own words the meaning of this sentence from “An Astrologer's Day”: “He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers.”

In “An Astrologer's Day,” the sentence “He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers” uncovers the protagonist’s real identity as a con artist. In other words, he is not an actual astrologer but merely poses as one. He can read the stars just as well as his oblivious customers can, which means he cannot read stars at all. He merely pretends to in order to swindle them out of their money.

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In the short story “An Astrologer's Day,” the protagonist pretends to be a diviner who reads the stars in order to tell people their fortunes. The statement

He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers

reveals his true identity as a fraud. In other words, he is as familiar with and knowledgeable about astrological signs as his hapless clients are. Like his ignorant customers, he cannot understand the stars but pretends that he knows what they say about peoples’ lives. He then peddles this fake knowledge as truths to willing listeners.

Although author R. K. Narayan never discloses the protagonist’s name, he reveals how the character became an astrologer:

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 escapes from his former community and cannot...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 890 words.)

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