The main character of the story Father’s Help is Swaminathan, who is the prototype Schoolboy, ‘creeping like snail unwilling to school’. Swami-short form of Swaminathan, is a typical school-boy who hates to go to school, fools lazy to do his homework, and plays all sorts of gimmicks to escape School.
On one Monday he decided to escape from school. So he made a false complaint of a bad headache to his parents. His father understood the trick and insisted on his going to school. As a last resort, Swami stated that he would be beaten in the class if he went to school late. He also complained against his teacher Samuel to his father. The teacher was strict. He would beat students severely if they come late. The father is not in any way influenced by his son’s tricks and ultimately sent him to school. He gave a letter to the Headmaster describing the cruel behavior of Samuel.
So Swami was compelled to go to school under duress. He was at a loss to understand if he would give his father’s letter or not to the headmaster. He knew fully well that Samuel was a true gentleman. Swami understood his mistake and he felt repentant.
Swami was late by half an hour when he took his first class. He thought that his teacher Samuel would punish him. But Samuel allowed him to enter into the class. Swami tried variously to tease and excite him. He even missed showing his homework, but the teacher considered him sympathetically.
When all his trials to irritate Samuel were in vain, Swami became dispirited. With a great surprise, he thought another means to excite and waited for the last history class. To make his complaints against Samuel successful he acted obnoxiously in the class. He talked with an abnormally loud voice with his teacher. In spite of several warnings to control the behavior, he showed a frantic effort to irritate his teacher. At the end of the class, his mission was successful and he received eight strokes of the cane on his palm as a punishment.
After the breaking of school Swami ran towards the Headmaster’s room for delivering the letter of his father. But the Headmaster was not there. So he went back home without delivering the letter. His father could not believe his information about the Headmaster’s absence. He scolded him by saying him a liar and coward and also abused him for bringing false allegations against the teacher.
R.K. Narayan sketches the character of Swami as a typical schoolboy and he also reveals the psychology of a little boy perfectly. Swami is the prototype of the Schoolboy of all ages and all countries.