The main protagonist of the story is the Tiger King of Pratibandapuram. With skilful use of comic representation, the readers are introduced to the King and his many alluring qualities. The narration relies on satire as plot devices to make the story compelling and funny. The utilization of dark humour makes it an interesting read for all ages. It talks of the time when eccentric kings were left unchallenged by the subjects and counsellors for the word of the royal was considered to be the ultimate. The Tiger King in the story also suffers from such eccentricities but his rule is somewhat limited by the British officials who threaten to overtake him at the sign of any weakness. He was greatly qualified in English customs and education but not fit to rule his own people because he had no knowledge of their culture and society. In such circumstances, the egoistic King was left to rule his land in a wayward manner where all he did in the name of King was hunt innocent tigers for his pleasure and achievements. In the end, the prophecy comes true in a surprising turn of events when the King is killed, not by a real tiger but by a wooden toy tiger, which makes a mockery of all his efforts to vanquish a hundred tigers in order to defeat death.
The Tiger King Short Questions and Answers: Solved
1. The story is a satire on the conceit of those in power. How does the author employ the literary device of dramatic irony in the story?
The story the Tiger King is rich in dramatic irony and humorous satire. The most outrageous legend about him that his subjects suspect to be a rumour was that he started speaking tactfully with clear diction when he was a baby of a mere ten days. The astrologer spoke very highly of his skills and attributes as a warrior but also mentioned that he would ultimately fall to his death one day. The infant then challenges the wit of the astrologer by ironically questioning them about how and when he would die. He chides them with a taunt that they should not waste time stating the obvious – that death would come to those who are born, and it was no important mystical announcement.
Most of the incidents in the story are equally shocking and full of satire. The Tiger King grows up to be a tyrant towards all his subjects; people and wildlife included. His reactions to difficult situations are both comical and atrocious making him a larger than life character. In this way, the author adeptly employs the literary device of dramatic irony in the story and exposes the conceit of those in power.
2. What is the author’s indirect comment on subjecting innocent animals to the wilfulness of human beings?
The story The Tiger King is a classic example of how the human race has always abused and tortured nature and wildlife for their own personal agenda or amusement. Ever since the Tiger King came to know of the prophecy related to his death he spent all of his time killing these wild animals in pursuit of victory over death. None of these animals he killed provoked him to do so in any way. He was just a weak and vulnerable man in power who tried to satiate his fear and ego by hunting the tigers in any way he could. When the tigers in his own kingdom got extinct, he was not satisfied. He had to complete the goal of defeating one hundred tigers and he marched on this insane campaign without any care or sensibility.
Through the details of his hunting escapades and his obsession, the author attempts to illustrate the foolishness and cruelty of his behaviour to the readers.
3. How would you describe the behaviour of the Maharaja’s minions towards him? Do you find them truly sincere towards him or are they driven by fear when they obey him? Do we find a similarity in today’s political order?
The courtiers and ministers were threatened and exasperated by the Tiger King’s activities but no one dared to speak up against him as they were all afraid for their lives and their positions at court. They were well aware that the King was not fulfilling any of his duties and was simply pursuing a pointless expedition but they remained subservient under his rule. The people of the court try to obey all his whimsical orders and keep him in good humour but as soon as they fail to do so, they lose their livelihood. The Maharaja’s minions resented him for his obsession but they also trick him and exploit him by feeding his vanity through false praises like the cunning shopkeeper who sold the cheap wooden tiger toy at an exorbitant rate so as to make it look like an expensive gift.
The astrologer spoke of the Tiger King’s death only when he was convinced to speak without fear. Also, the Dewan who appeared to be a faithful servant to his highness never reminded him of his Kingly responsibilities and encouraged him in his destructive agenda by arranging the marriage with the princess who possessed forests with a large tiger population. The Dewan did this selfish act to remain in the King’s good favour and to appease him. Similarly, the hunters killed the last tiger in the forest who was still alive after the King’s attack because they were afraid of his punishment.
The Tiger King Long Questions and Answers: Solved
1. Can you relate instances of game-hunting among the rich and the powerful in the present times that illustrate the callousness of human beings towards wildlife?
Game hunting as a sports entertainment has now been banned and made illegal in many governments but some instances of such activities still prevail, especially in rural communities. Most atrocious cases have been linked to the rich and powerful who can bribe their way out even after committing such criminal offences. In the past, it was a popular event in which the royals would always participate to display their strength and virility. The importance of Game hunting as a popular entertainment activity for those who are capable of such cruelties against animals reflects the inhumane disregard of humans for other living beings.
2. We need a new system for the age of ecology – a system which is embedded in the care of all people and also in the care of the Earth and all life upon it. Discuss.
It is a widely popular opinion that human beings, by all means, do not belong to this beautiful planet Earth, because our history bears witness that ever since we came into life, Mother Nature has not been at peace. Us humans are a highly intelligent and cognitive species but for a very long time, we have been obsessed and concerned by only the development and progress of our race, leaving little room for concern over the welfare of other inhabitants, such as plants and animal life. The human race has used up all resources of limited energy and harmed the environment in the name of civilization just like the Tiger King killed innocent animals to overcome his fear of death. Our selfishness has had catastrophic results upon our natural surroundings and the poor, powerless people of the earth along with the plants and animals have been left to suffer. It is a positive fact that environmental and social issues are garnering strength and support from all communities these days and we should utilize this opportunity to amend the mistakes of the past generations. A new age, where all living beings are allowed to co-exist in a beneficial system is the need of the hour. Such an ecology will ensure a proper food chain and interdependency among humans and animals and plants. It is a time-proven fact that the world could prosper and gain if all should get equal opportunities and rights to live. This system would ensure to maintain a balance in Nature.