Last Man in Tower Last Man in Tower question

Masterji was a jerk?
Anshuman Singh Anshuman Jun 04, 2012 11:14PM

Do you think the character of the teacher (The Last man in the Tower) was a jerk, opposing the builder's offer just for the heck of it or did he have a point there. Was he fighting for something which signifies a higher potential of humans as a collective?

Masterji a lonely widower with a son who didn't love him. All he had was his social standing amongst his neighbours as a retired teacher. The end of the community would leave him with nothing to live for so he choose to stay and to die.

I think the Teacher was trying to hold onto something familiar after losing his wife and losing touch with his son -- a struggle for something to stay the way it was when he was happy. I think he was driven by loneliness and anger about his loneliness. He was a jerk in many ways. In my view, he also had some sociopolitical reasons to hold out, as well. He was wary and distrustful of the builders. There was a lot going on in that book, including the higher potential that you mentioned.

Good question.

Firstly, it could be because all the memories of his dead daughter and wife were present in the building, and
Secondly, he probably didn't want to be bullied unlike the time he didn't stand up against his brother-in-laws (as you rightly said 'guilt' was preventing him).

The best part in the book is that there are no 'good' or 'bad' characters, its just everyone is right from their own perspective.

M 25x33
Anshuman Singh Hmmm. I guess the judgement on part of the readers may lead to mis-judgement all the time.
Jun 17, 2012 09:59PM · flag

In some ways I think he was a jerk (as we learn when his son reveals how the dying mother had never been happy with him.) But the fact that he dedicated his life to teaching and was so giving in many ways balances that out. His reaction to the money offer was, in my opinion, a knee jerk reaction to the hypocrisy of his neighbours. If they hadn't forged his signature, it would have all turned out differently.

This was one of the things I liked so much about the book; you are genuinely conflicted about Masterji in the end. There are a lot of shades of grey in this book and a fascinating portrait of Mumbai. You understand why pretty much all the characters do what they do.

M 25x33
Anshuman Singh Very much true. I was obsessed about understanding Masterji for what his real being was.
Jun 10, 2012 11:08PM · flag

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