Introduction & Overview of The Good Shopkeeper by Samrat Upadhyay

Samrat Upadhyay
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The Good Shopkeeper Summary & Study Guide Description

The Good Shopkeeper Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on The Good Shopkeeper by Samrat Upadhyay.

Samrat Upadhyay's short story has won many distinctions. It was honored by being published in Best American Short Stories (1999) and is often singled out by book reviewers as an excellent example of Upadhyay's best writing.

The story focuses on Pramod, who is both a young husband and a new father. At the moment that the story begins, Pramod is troubled by the recent loss of his job. Although he is a good accountant and an excellent and respected employee, the large company has replaced him with another accountant who has computer skills. The modern world has, in other words, pushed Pramod to the side. Pramod is humiliated by this experience as he must present himself to his well-financed brother-in-law and plead for help. As time passes and Pramod cannot find a job, he tumbles into a depressive state. The only escape from his worries is an affair with a nondescript woman, whom Pramod meets while sitting in a park. The woman constantly reminds Pramod that he worries too much about life and that he should take life as it comes. Later, when Pramod demonstrates that he wants to beat up everyone who has humiliated him, this same woman brings Pramod back to his senses.

In part, this story is about the false importance people attach to material things and to the artificial significance that prestigious jobs may temporarily bring them. The tumble down into obscurity can happen with one simple decision made by a large, non-caring corporation; at least that is what happens in this story. One lesson implied here may be that people must learn to be self-reliant and create their sense of self-worth from within. Although life appears to be filled with complexities, it is in simplicity that one often finds the answers.

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This section contains 296 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Good Shopkeeper from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.