The Vendor of Sweets

by R. K. Narayan

Start Free Trial

Are Jagan's words and deeds consistent in R. K. Narayan's The Vendor of Sweets?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In The Vendor of Sweets by R. K. Narayan, readers learn that Jagan used to be an activist in Gandhi's satyagraha movement. So someone would expect him to adhere to certain spiritual principles and guidelines for living. However, even at the age of nearly sixty, he lives his life as a hypocrite. Jagan says words that have spiritual meanings and his statements make him appear to be connected with his true self. But, in reality, he is a greedy man who worships the flesh and material items of the world.

Jagan is at a stage of life when orthodox Hindus are supposed to enter a new spiritual phase of removing their minds and bodies from worldly things and ideas. He instead has a thirst for profits from his sweets business and simultaneously preaches principles of Ghandi without performing deeds that are consistent with those principles.

The hypocrisy of Jagan’s respect for materialism and his ascetic sense is easily detectable. He even counts his earnings on a daily basis. His earnings are a predominant thought in his mind each day. So there is basically no consistency between his words and deeds. It is not until near the end of the story that we learn about Jagan overcoming his dependency on materialism.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial