Author's Devices:

Irony:

- "Deep secret life" - mocks Susila's religious means but later, Krishna changes his mindset because he could contact her spiritually.
- Despite being a "father figure" at school, he isn't much of a father at home.
Language:
- It is written in third person singular ("The child" or "That girl"). This shows his distance from his daughter at the opening of the story.
- Present tense after Susila's death keeps her memory alive.
- Uncomplicated direct style after Susila's death: "Children have taught me to speak plainly"
Contrasts:
- Academic World vs. Domestic World
- Hurried panic at railway station (Frantic use of punctuation and persistent dialogue) vs. Susila's calm and composed actions ("sitting serenly" or "merely smiled").
- Setting: Hostel and College depict a stifled academic world when compared with his rented house, which exudes energy due to Leela and Susila's presence.
- East vs. West - To rid the mother/wife of the "evil eye" Krishna does not trust the Eastern Traditions despite the fact that he can spiritually access Susila through the medium.
- Traditions - Krishna's mother applies the vermilion dot to Susila's head to protect her, but ironically it doesn't.
Themes:
Philosophy - Death is the ultimate reality - "nothing else will worry or interest me hereafter".
- Krishna tells a student not to be anxious (about academic concerns) since "they are trash, the problem of living and dying is
crushing us"
- His philosophy shuns "life's illusions" and leave bare the "truths and facts".
- Finds comfort in the "law of life" meaning the moment the umbilical cord is cut, we are alone until death.
- Narayans philosophical viewpoint underpins two events: 1) Susila's recovery and 2) the headmaster's deathdate.


to be continued....