Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Mark of Vishnu” by Khushwant Singh is told from the point of view of a first-person narrator, who is also one of the main characters.

The narrator is part of a collective character. Throughout the story, the narrator refers to himself by the first-person plural “we”. He rarely singles himself out as an “I” among the “we”. This could be an attempt for the narrator to refuse to acknowledge his part in Gunga Ram’s death, as we do not know, for example, which of the boys taunts Gunga Ram by showing him the tin and telling him the snake is there (p. 3, ll. 20-22) or which of them came up with the idea not to damage the hood: “ ‘Don’t damage the hood,’ yelled one of us” (p. 3, l. 1).

The account largely reflects the worldview of th...

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