Vendor Of Sweets Chapter 1 Summary

What is a summary of chapter 1 of "The Vendor of Sweets?"

In the first chapter of R.K. Narayan's tragicomic novel, we meet the main character Jagan. He is a contradictory person. He follows Gandhi and is demonstrably disciplined. He doesn't eat salt, rice, or sugar. However, Jagan earns his living by selling sweets. While he portrays himself as a strict man of principle, by the chapter's end, Jagan is manipulating the store's profits for the day so that he can keep more money for himself.

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The chapter opens with the 55-year-old Jagan telling his cousin, initially referred to as the listener, that "Conquer taste, and you have conquered self." He is telling his cousin how he has given up salt. As a follower of Gandi, he believes one must follow a disciplined and modest life. He tells his cousin that at one point he wouldn't even buy shoes because he couldn't live with the idea that an animal had been killed for his feet. Instead, and much to his family's dismay, he would make trips to remote villages to buy their dead animals and then use the animal's hide to make his own footwear. In addition, he tells his cousin that he has replaced sugar with honey and rice with wheat. His cousin quickly points out that despite his sacrifices, he still expects people to buy the sweets at his shop.

As this point, the author gives the reader a brief description of Jagan's day at his store. Typically he will sit on an old wooden chair in his shop, like a and read, like a "monarch," while...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 957 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 26, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 22, 2020