(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

"An Astrologer's Day" has a deceptively simple plot, although the full significance of the story becomes evident only after a second or even...

(The entire section is 949 words.)


(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

The story begins with a description of the place and environment in which the astrologer meets his clients and does his work. He begins his work every day at midday in a public place under a large tree that is close to a public park in his town. The place chosen for his work is generally full of people who pass by or gather there, such as customers attracted by vendors of nuts, sweetmeats, and other snacks. It is a place poorly lighted in the evening, and because the astrologer has no light of his own, he must depend on what light comes from the flickering lamps kept by neighboring vendors; a dully lighted, murky place is best for his purpose. He is not an astrologer by profession but was led into it by circumstances that forced him to leave his village, where, if he had stayed, he would have settled down to a life of tilling the land.

He has a practical knowledge of the common problems of most people: “marriage, money, and the tangles of human ties.” His sharp eyes, used to scanning for customers, make people believe he has an unusual ability to tell people’s fortunes.

“An Astrologer’s Day” opens as its title character arrives at his workplace, at midday, and as usual spreads his charts and other fortune-telling props before him, though no one comes seeking his aid for many hours. Later, with nightfall approaching, he begins preparing to go home when, all of a sudden, he beholds a man standing in front of him. In the exchange of...

(The entire section is 591 words.)