Shaha Sattarova Mrs. Crowbuck Sophomore English October 9, 2009 The Truth about the Truth Truth is perceived as a virtue in our society. Honesty is planted into the human mind and is encouraged to apply it throughout their life. For example, many people from their childhood are thought to be honest no matter how difficult it may be and are granted accolade, for the encouragement of doing it again. Honesty is favored in life by everyone, so people know the facts and build our character on it. People use honesty on our likes and dislikes in life, and by letting others know a part of our lives.
Everyone is entitled the right to be sincere, but there are those who are imposters of candor because honesty is difficult to express rather than lying which requires minimal courage that a number of people do not have. However, truth is a luxury. When one speaks the truth it does not require any effort and it is the honest opinion of an individual who is not petrified of the result of the action. The author, R. K. Narayan, reveals through irony in the short story, “Like the Sun”, that candor ultimately has pleasant and unpleasant consequences.
Sekhar encounters unpleasant consequences as he told the absolute truth to the people around him. The problems arouse when he determined to tell the outmost truth throughout the entire day. The first confrontation was with his wife at breakfast as he commented that her food was inedible. The author Narayan uses imagery “He saw her wince” (252) to portray the outcome of his action. Sekhar told the truth to his wife of him not being fond of her cooking, and displayed her reaction to portray as how deeply she was wounded by his remark. His honesty affected his wife and her hard work and effort that she put to make him breakfast.
Later at work Sekhar is asked to critic his head master’s vocal skills. The headmaster sets up an appeasing atmosphere for the event and began his performance, shortly after the headmaster pleads for Sekhar’s “frank opinion” and asks “Was it good? ” (253), Sekhar inevitably had to say the absolute truth by replying with “No, sir…” (253). The headmaster was content with the created illusion by the people around him have displayed by lies that he is a very talented musician. He expected Sekhar to adore his talent and encouragement from him; on the contrary he delivered discouragement and bestowed the end for his ambition.
With the effects of being the best musical critic around Sekhar’s truth contributed to the end of the head master’s hope of becoming a musician. Narayan uses the simile “Truth is like the sun” (252) to explain the truth and its effects on people. The sun is very bright and people cannot look at it without blinking or getting their eye burned. As the sun, truth is the same it is difficult to take the truth because we live in a world witch has both truth and lies incorporated in it. People in this world encountering both the truth and lies however are generally disguised mostly from truth in their lives.
The bright sun is like the truth, as people come out of the darkness their eyes hurt because of the bright light, as people who experience the truth they get some variety of effects on them but they adapt to them and the consequences make them stronger. The resulting consequences of honesty were negative as Sekhar hurt the individuals around him and definitively left a huge impact on the relationship with them. The author uses irony to convey the reality of truth that it has not only pleasant consequences which people anticipate but also unpleasant ones.
Sekhar’s honesty affected individuals around him and evidently him the most. He also came to conclude that “Truth…requires as much strength to give as to receive” (254) because truth is not always pleasant and takes strength for excepting it and moving on with life. Truth is difficult to tell because people fear to lose the individuals around them by telling the truth that might hurt them and it may affect the person’s life and change them forever. At the end of the day Sekhar on his returning home “His wife served him with a sullen face” (254).
With this he experienced himself the negative consequence of his honesty. She was still upset and circumventing on what had happened earlier at breakfasts and was unable to move on because he had wounded her deeply. The day of his openness to his own wife supplied for it to be sufficient enough to last till the end of the day therefore he will experience his wife’s negative tension for some time. Sekhar thought to himself, “A hundred papers in a day…all night’s sitting up! ” (254) as the headmaster had reconsidered about the extension time for the “test papers” that Sekhar was behind on.
The author again uses irony to contribute to his message that truth has both good and bad consequences. Sekhar being appreciated, relied on and respected by the headmaster was expecting to receive more time for completing the test corrections but ironically the head master reassessed. This reconsideration was effected by Sekhar’s candor and contributed for him to neglect a one night’s sleep. Sekhar learned that truth has both positive and negative reactions and consequences that were bestowed both on him and the people around him.
It is very common for people to believe that honesty is always preceded with a satisfying outcome however; it is evident that truth can also be preceded by dissatisfying result. R. K. Narayan converses this message to his readers with the usage of irony in his short story “Like the Sun”. Indeed truth is like the sun which can be both reliable, and to bright for people to look at directly without getting harmed. However, the exposure to the sun has the effect of toughening ones skin. The truth also as the sun toughens the people who receive. The receiver of truth is not the only one who is affected by it, but the giver too.
Is it any wonder that people choose not to be honest all the time because they weigh the consequences of telling the truth which in Sekhar’s example he damaged his relationship with his wife.. Politicians are known to be liars because they will bend the truth for political advantage. At times they are willing to lie if it’s in the best interest of their political careers, political parties, or supporters. Absolute truth is a very rare commodity. How much of what people hear everyday is the truth? How many lies does the average person tells each day? Where can one go to find the truth?