” Where is the headmaster ? “
” Why do you want him ? “
” My father has sent a letter for him.”
” He has taken the afternoon off, and won’t come for a week. You can give the letter to the assistant headmaster. He will be here now.”
” Who is he ? “
” Your teacher, Samuel. He will be here in a second.”
Swaminathan fled from the place. As soon as Swami went home with the letter, father remarked : ” I knew you wouldn’t deliver it, you coward.”
This dialogue displays a unique type of ending that is used in Malgudi Days. That is, the stories play with the readers expectations. Each story is typically resolved with a subversion of the character’s wants or wishes.
‘Peter furious; Hugh not, of course, his match in any way…he was really unselfish, and as for saying, as Peter did, that he had no heart, no brain, nothing but the manners and breeding of an English gentleman, that was only her dear Peter at his worst; and he could be intolerable; he could be impossible…But Peter – however beautiful the day might be…Peter never saw a thing of all that. He would put on his spectacles, if she told him to; he would look. It was the state of the world that interested him…How he scolded her! How they argued!’
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway. (Harcourt Inc., 2005) p. 6-7
Peter seems like a huge drag and Hugh the one that got away. It’s almost as if she was afraid of her affection for Hugh and is just outright afraid (sometimes) of Peter. It shows how desperate she was to marry ‘right’ rather than ‘the right one’.