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Archives > 6. How would you sum up Beggarmaster

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3874 comments Mod
Is he ruthless, kind, or a bit of both? Does he redeem himself by his thoughtful acts, the seriousness with which he takes his responsibilities toward his dependents? In a world this cruel, are such simple categories as "good" and "bad" even applicable?

When Beggarmaster draws Shankar, Shankar's mother, and himself, he represents himself as a freak just like the other two. What does this vision he has of himself tell us about him?


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Fennell | 107 comments I saw Beggarmaster as the philosopher of the bunch. He said a lot of poignant things that gave one pause. You expected him to be a thug but he was deeper than that. For instance he said "Freaks, that's what we are -- all of us. ... I mean, every single human being. And who can blame us? What chance do we have,e when our beginnings and endings are so freakish? Birth and death -- what could be more monstrous than that? We like to deceive ourselves and call it wondrous and beautiful and majestic, but it's freakish, let's face it."

I think he saw everyone as interconnected -- not necessarily better than another person. Instead, everyone had their place and fit somewhere. His job was to take care of people and provide protection, clothing, etc. for money. He was very straightforward about this. He also was not cruel unless it was warranted in his mind.


message 3: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1837 comments Mod
I had a different opinion and viewed him as immoral, he deliberately maimed people so they would suit the roles he had in mind and while he may have looked after them he certainly made sure they looked after him first.

He protected Dina and the Tailors but only because they paid him, if they couldn't pay I am sure he would have sent in his thugs.

When he realizes Shankar is his brother he begins to see himself more clearly he could have been that brother.


message 4: by Eadie (new)

Eadie (eadieburke) I agree more with Book. I see him as ruthless and immoral as he is only really interested in the money he is going to make. He did have a better feeling for Shankar but only after he found out that he was his half-brother.


message 5: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1325 comments He was heartless and cruel, but also a realist. I very much like Anna's quote. None of the characters are stereotypically good or evil, which is what makes this such a powerful story.


message 6: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3874 comments Mod
The practice of creating beggars is horrible but the author was able to make Beggarmaster a likeable character. He was a person who was driven by money and the love of money did end up killing him.


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