Attempt a character sketch of the Astrologer and the Story Evokes Sympathy and Anger

Attempt a character sketch of the Astrologer and the Story Evokes Sympathy and Anger

The character of the astrologer in R.K. Narayan's short story "An Astrologer's Day" is a fascinating and complex one. The story, set in a small Indian town, revolves around the life and profession of this enigmatic individual. Through his actions, thoughts, and interactions, the character of the astrologer evokes a range of emotions, including sympathy and anger, from the readers.

Attempt a character sketch of the Astrologer and the Story Evokes Sympathy and Anger

Character Sketch of the Astrologer:

Name: The astrologer's name remains undisclosed in the story, reflecting his anonymity and the secretive nature of his profession.

Appearance: The astrologer is described as having a disheveled and unkempt appearance. His clothes are old and shabby, and he carries a small bag containing his astrological instruments. His overall appearance is unassuming, and he seems like an ordinary, unremarkable man.

Profession: The astrologer's profession is a central aspect of his character. He claims to possess the ability to predict the future and provides astrological consultations to clients, reading their palms and making predictions based on their birth charts. This profession allows him to earn a meager income and eke out a living.

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Mysterious and Calculative: The astrologer is depicted as a mysterious and calculative character. He maintains a certain level of secrecy regarding his true identity, and his past remains hidden from the readers. He is not one to divulge personal information willingly. This aura of mystery is an essential part of his character, contributing to his appeal and intrigue.

Resourceful and Quick-Witted: The astrologer's resourcefulness and quick wit are evident throughout the story. He skillfully manages to set up his makeshift astrological booth and attract customers. He uses his knowledge of human psychology to convince clients that he possesses genuine astrological powers. His resourcefulness is a key aspect of his character, enabling him to navigate his challenging life.

Practical and Opportunistic: The astrologer's practicality and opportunistic nature are essential traits. He does not hesitate to deceive his clients by providing vague and general predictions that could apply to anyone. He recognizes the economic struggles of his clients and uses their desperation to his advantage, extracting as much money as possible from them. His opportunism, while morally questionable, is a survival mechanism in his world.

Superstitious Beliefs: Interestingly, despite his profession, the astrologer harbors his own superstitious beliefs. He himself is fearful of the very astrological tools he uses to predict the future. This duality in his character—relying on superstition for his livelihood while privately fearing its consequences—adds depth to his portrayal.

A Lonely Existence: The astrologer's life is a lonely one. He leads a solitary existence, with no family or close companions. His loneliness is further emphasized by his nightly routine of having dinner alone and returning to his makeshift stall. This loneliness underscores the hardships and isolation that characterizes his life.

How the Story Evokes Sympathy:

Economic Hardships: The astrologer's economic struggles evoke sympathy from the readers. His shabby appearance and the need to make a living through deceitful means paint a picture of a man who is pushed to the margins of society. His financial woes make it easy for readers to sympathize with his predicament.

Loneliness: The astrologer's solitary existence and his nightly ritual of dining alone highlight the loneliness that defines his life. His isolation from society and lack of personal connections elicit feelings of empathy.

Fear of the Past: The astrologer's fear of his own past, particularly the events that led to him leaving his village and adopting a new identity, generates sympathy. The reasons for his escape and the possibility of a dark history haunt him, contributing to his enigmatic character.

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Desperation of His Clients: The clients who seek the astrologer's services are often depicted as desperate and vulnerable. They come to him with hopes of finding answers or solutions to their problems, and the astrologer's exploitation of their desperation elicits sympathy for their gullibility.

The Struggle for Survival: The astrologer's ability to adapt to a challenging and uncertain life reflects the universal struggle for survival. Readers can sympathize with his efforts to make ends meet, even if it means resorting to deceit.

How the Story Evokes Anger:

Deceptive Practices: The astrologer's deceptive practices and exploitation of the clients' vulnerabilities are morally reprehensible. His willingness to provide vague and false predictions in exchange for money is a cause for anger, as it preys on people's belief in his abilities.

Manipulation: The astrologer's manipulation of his clients' emotions and the deliberate use of psychological tactics to convince them of his legitimacy are infuriating. He knowingly exploits their trust and beliefs for personal gain.

Lack of Empathy: The astrologer's lack of empathy for his clients, as well as his willingness to manipulate their emotions, reflects a callous disregard for their well-being. His actions demonstrate a lack of compassion that can anger readers.

Attempt a character sketch of the Astrologer and the Story Evokes Sympathy and Anger

Superstitious Beliefs: The astrologer's fear of his own tools and superstitious beliefs, despite his profession, can be seen as hypocritical. This contradiction may frustrate readers and provoke a sense of anger at his duplicity.

Economic Disparities: The story highlights the economic disparities and desperation that force individuals like the astrologer into deceitful professions. This larger societal issue, which contributes to his actions, can lead to frustration and anger.


R.K. Narayan's "An Astrologer's Day" presents readers with a compelling character in the form of the astrologer. This character is characterized by mystery, resourcefulness, practicality, and opportunism. The astrologer's life is marked by economic hardships, loneliness, and a fear of his own past. As the story unfolds, it evokes sympathy for the astrologer's struggles and loneliness, as well as anger at his deceptive practices and exploitation of vulnerable clients.

Attempt a character sketch of the Astrologer and the Story Evokes Sympathy and Anger-The complexity of human nature and the moral difficulties present in people who face life's obstacles are reflected in the astrologer's persona. Readers are prompted to consider the moral conundrums and gray areas that frequently typify human action by his presentation.


What is the significance of the astrologer's fear of his own tools in "An Astrologer's Day"?

The astrologer's fear of his own tools, such as the horoscope book, adds depth to his character. It reveals his superstitious beliefs and creates a sense of irony, as he relies on these tools for his livelihood while privately fearing them. This fear underscores the enigmatic nature of his character.

How does the astrologer manipulate his clients in the story?

The astrologer manipulates his clients through psychological tactics. He provides vague and general predictions that can apply to anyone, convincing his clients that he possesses genuine astrological powers. He preys on their trust and vulnerability, exploiting their emotional needs for answers and solutions.

Why does the astrologer's character evoke sympathy from readers?

The astrologer's character evokes sympathy due to his economic hardships, loneliness, and his own fear of the past. Readers can empathize with his struggles to make a living and his isolated existence. His exploitation of clients' desperation may also generate sympathy for their gullibility.

What role does the astrologer's past play in the story?

The astrologer's past is shrouded in mystery, and the story hints at events that led to his escape from his village and the adoption of a new identity. His fear of the past adds depth to his character and contributes to the enigmatic aura that surrounds him.

How does "An Astrologer's Day" explore the theme of morality?

The story delves into the moral complexities of the astrologer's actions. His deceptive practices, manipulation of clients, and exploitation of their vulnerabilities raise ethical questions. The story prompts readers to contemplate the shades of gray in human behavior and the dilemmas individuals face in challenging circumstances.



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