Bring out the instances of irony in R.K.Narayan’s Father’s Help

R.K.Narayan’s story, Father’s Help is packed up with irony. It shows how some unforeseen turn of events reverses and frustrates Swami’s hopes and desires. Swami hoped that if he told his father that his class teacher Samuel was very violent especially with boys who went late, he would not send him to school late. With this end in view, he prevaricated against Samuel saying that some days ago he made a boy coming late, stay on his knees for a whole period and that after giving him six strokes with his cane. But, Swami’s hope was not fulfilled. His father decided to send him late to his class as a kind of challenge, he also wrote a letter to the headmaster giving a lurid account of Samuel’s violence with students and recommending his dismissal from service and arrest by the police.

Swami did not deliver his father’s letter to the headmaster immediately on his arrival at school. He thought that if he delivered it at the end of the day, there was a chance that Samuel might do something violent to justify the letter. He provoked Samuel into anger by disobeying and defying him in the class and received eight cuts on his palms from him. Armed with the instances of Samuel’s Violence, he ran to the headmaster’s room with the hope that the headmaster would sack Samuel and hand him over to the police for his flogging boys. But his hope was dashed to the ground when he learned that the headmaster had gone on leave for a week in the afternoon. Swami came back home with the letter hoping he would give it to the headmaster as soon as he was back. But, his hope was frustrated when his father snatched the letter from his hand and tore it up. He also asked him not to come to him for help even if Samuel throttled him.

Thus we see how the turn of events entirely baffled all of Swami’s plans and desires.

Also read: Discuss the character of Swaminathan in Father’s Help