What are the themes of "A Horse and Two Goats"? 

Expert Answers
amymc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let's expand on some of the themes in this story.

A major theme is the obvious clash of cultures as exhibited by the wealthy, white American and the poor Hindu, Muni. The two men do not speak the same language, are not of the same economic status, and do not have the same outlooks on life. Their religions are different; their marriage customs are different. There appear to be almost no similarities here. However, they are, as if by fate, put together in one location for comparison. Thus the story and what the reader learns through this juxtaposition can be illuminated.

The story obviously punctuates the economic differences between not just men, but entire cultures. By watching them both together, the reader can see that the American typifies the life of ease and entitlement that contrasts with the hard work, acceptance and loss that characterizes Muni's life. However, the story does not turn into a judgmental piece but rather shows that Muni's acceptance of his life is more peaceful than the American's attitude. After all, the American cannot stop complaining about the lack of air-conditioning and is irritated that Muni cannot speak English, even though he, himself, can only speak English. The American is not, and probably will not ever be, satisfied.

The story also expresses the theme of knowledge versus wisdom. The American is highly educated but does not seem to truly understand the vastness of the world he lives in. Muni is not educated, but truly understands his own culture, history, religion and humanity in terms of the culmination of experiences in his life. In this manner, the American is seen as not unintelligent, but merely ignorant of the world, while Muni, not necessarily educated in a formal manner, is vastly intelligent.

shanaxx | Student

1.Culture conflict

2.Communication gap

3.scientific advancement

4.language barriers

Clas b/w


Poverty and wealth

Knowledge & ignorance


fahadlok | Student

The major themes Include:

1)Clash of Classes(Both the Wealthy American and the poor Indian Contradict each other's Classes)

2)wealth And poverty(Poor condition of munni)

2)Ignorance(inability of Muni to Understand the foreigners Language)

ayeshabaig1998 | Student

Cultural clash ;same time zone but totally different sides.

Poverty and wealth

Knowledge & ignorance



Social Classes

No Communication

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A Horse and Two Goats

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