The Vendor of Sweets

by R. K. Narayan

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What is a summary of chapter 4 of The Vendor of Sweets?

Chapter 4 of The Vendor of Sweets focuses on Mali’s plans of traveling to America. Mali becomes distant from his father and secretly plans to study writing in America. Jagan is disappointed with Mali and wonders why he would make such a decision. When Jagan learns that Mali has already planned his trip, he decides to support him financially.

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In chapter 4 of The Vendor of Sweets, Jagan makes peace with Mali’s ambitions of becoming a writer. Jagan remembers Mahatma Gandhi's teachings about the importance of serving people and is happy that Mali is providing a service to others through writing. Despite accepting Mali's decision to become a writer, Jagan is doubtful that Mali has enough life experience to become a writer. In addition, he is curious to know the contents of Mali's writing, as well as the language he uses in his manuscript.

Jagan hardly talks to Mali. The last time they had a conversation was three and half months ago, and it was brief. For this reason, Jagan asks his cousin to talk to Mali and to discern his whereabouts and his progress in writing the novel. Jagan is angered when he learns that Mali frequently goes to the Town Public Library and intends to write his book in America.

Jagan and his cousin discuss American culture and how it will corrupt Mali. The cousin reveals to Jagan that Mali has been saving money for the trip and plans to steal from him. Jagan hesitantly decides to support Mali’s dreams of becoming a writer by allowing him to take whatever funds he needs for his journey.

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