Resolves it or live with it (Forty-Five a Month, by R.K. Narayan)

In the short story, “Forty-Five a Month” by R.K. Narayan, he describes a father who struggles to support his family and also tries to find time for his daughter. The father, Venket, spends most of his time at work and only gets forty rupees a month for his hard work. When his daughter, Shante, asks for taking her to the movie, he feels unhappy and sorry for her because he thinks Shante doesn’t  have “any of the amenities and the simple pleasures of life”(4). So he decides to take Shante to the movie no matter what will happen at work. However, when his manager mentions on increment to his wage, he stays at work. He sacrifices the quality time with his daughter for the raise. Venket is a kind of person who lives with problems because he is insecure and not brave enough to move on.

Venket has put up with long work hours and low wages to support his family for a long time. This is not a problem for only today or yesterday. He has stayed with same problem for many years for a small wage, forty rupees a month, “for this petty forty rupees on which you have kept me for years and years.”(6)  When Shante waits for her father at the gate, she even says “I don’t like these people in the office. They are bad people.”(3)  She feels this way because her father always works after office hours. He has felt that he is not treated the right way and is sorry for his daughter. However, he has lived with the problem for many years because he is not brave enough to solve his problem. He can’t quit his job because he hasn’t an alternative choice for making money.  He wants to appeal to the manager for the low wage and the unfair treatment. However, he has to find other way to support his family. “If the manager couldn’t, it would be more honourable to die of starvation.”(6) He knows that he and his family will starve to death if he quit. “If I and my family perish of starvation, may our ghosts come and haunt you all your life-“(6) It seems impossible for him to find another job or start his own business. That’s why he endures long work hours and low wage. He lives with his problem.

The manager is smart enough to read Venket’s mind and raises his wage in the last minutes. Venket decides to quit the job and write a resignation letter but his astute manager gives the increment. If Venket doesn’t give the resignation letter to the manager, he will never give Venket an increment. There is no way for Venket to win the game with the manager. He sees his staffs’ problems and takes advantage of their weakness. As long as Venket stays with his problem, he will be treated in same way by the canny manager.

Venket gives up the time for family, especially his daughter. He is not happy for his long work hours and the way he is treated at work. However, he is not brave

enough to quit his job and find another one. He is a kind of person who lives with own problem and no one can blame him for it, because this is not an issue only for Venket. Many parents in the world have the same problem. Most of time, parents want to give the all the amenities to their children and also have quality times with their children. However, they have to sacrifice one to give another to their children,   because most parents have limited time and money for their children.



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