A Tiger for Malgudi
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"A Tiger for Malgudi" Summary

By R.K. Narayan

fiction | 160 pages | Published in NaN


Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

"A Tiger for Malgudi" follows the story of a tiger who escapes from the circus and finds adventure in a small Indian town.


"A Tiger for Malgudi" is a captivating novel by R.K. Narayan, the renowned Indian author best known for his fictional town of Malgudi. This book takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through the life of a circus tiger and the individuals whose lives intertwine with the majestic animal. The narrative is infused with Narayan's signature wit, humor, and insightful commentary on human nature.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the fictitious town of Malgudi, a place that serves as the backdrop for many of Narayan's works. The central character is a tiger named Raja, who is the star attraction of a traveling circus that arrives in Malgudi. The narrative unfolds through the perspectives of various characters whose lives are impacted by the presence of the tiger. As the plot progresses, the reader is introduced to a diverse cast of individuals, each with their own motivations and desires, creating a tapestry of intersecting lives against the backdrop of the circus and the enigmatic Raja.

Main Events

The story begins with the arrival of the circus in Malgudi, creating a stir of excitement in the town. The larger-than-life presence of Raja, the tiger, captures the imagination of both the townspeople and the circus performers. As the narrative unfolds, the reader is introduced to a myriad of events, including the interactions between the circus owner, the animal trainer, the townspeople, and the tiger itself. The plot explores the complexities of human-animal relationships, the dynamics of power and control, and the yearning for freedom and autonomy.

ChapterMain Events
1The circus arrives in Malgudi, sparking curiosity and fascination among the townspeople.
2Introduction of the key characters: the circus owner, the animal trainer, and the enigmatic Raja, the tiger.
3The townspeople's reactions to the presence of the circus and the tiger.
4The evolving dynamics within the circus troupe and the growing tension surrounding Raja.
5Unforeseen events that challenge the status quo and lead to unexpected consequences.
6Culmination of the narrative as the fates of the characters and Raja intertwine in a climactic finale.

Main Characters

The novel features a diverse array of characters, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the narrative:


The majestic tiger who serves as the central enigma of the story. Raja's presence ignites a series of events that impact the lives of those around him.

The Circus Owner

A shrewd and ambitious individual who is determined to maximize profits and maintain control over the circus, including its prized possession, Raja.

The Animal Trainer

A complex character whose relationship with Raja reveals the nuances of human-animal dynamics and the quest for dominance and submission.


A collective representation of the community's reactions to the circus and the tiger, reflecting a spectrum of emotions from awe and admiration to fear and skepticism.

Themes and Insights

Human-Animal Relationships

The novel delves into the intricate dynamics between humans and animals, exploring themes of captivity, freedom, and the ethical considerations surrounding the use of animals for entertainment.

Power and Control

Through the interactions between the circus owner, the animal trainer, and Raja, the narrative explores the multifaceted nature of power dynamics and the pursuit of dominance.

Freedom and Autonomy

The yearning for freedom and the desire to break free from constraints emerge as recurring themes, embodied both by the tiger and the human characters in their respective contexts.

Reader's Takeaway

"A Tiger for Malgudi" offers readers a thought-provoking and immersive experience, inviting contemplation on the complexities of human nature, the allure of the exotic, and the perennial quest for freedom and autonomy. Narayan's masterful storytelling and astute observations make this novel a compelling exploration of the human-animal dynamic within the captivating world of the circus.


In "A Tiger for Malgudi," R.K. Narayan skillfully weaves a tale that transcends the boundaries of a conventional narrative, offering readers a glimpse into the intricacies of human-animal relationships, power dynamics, and the universal yearning for freedom. Set against the backdrop of the enchanting town of Malgudi, this novel continues to enchant and provoke contemplation long after the final page has been turned.

A Tiger for Malgudi FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'A Tiger for Malgudi'?

    The genre of 'A Tiger for Malgudi' is fiction.

  2. Who is the author of 'A Tiger for Malgudi'?

    The author of 'A Tiger for Malgudi' is R.K. Narayan.

  3. What is the setting of 'A Tiger for Malgudi'?

    The story is set in the fictional town of Malgudi in South India.

  4. What is the book 'A Tiger for Malgudi' about?

    The book follows the story of a tiger that escapes from the Malgudi zoo and its interactions with the people of Malgudi.

  5. Is 'A Tiger for Malgudi' suitable for children?

    The book is suitable for older children and young adults, but may contain themes and situations that require parental guidance.