A Horse and Two Goats

A long-suffering woman who is childless and impoverished, Muni’s wife must worry each day about obtaining enough food to eat for the couple. It is often she who must go out and perform odd jobs to earn enough money to buy food as Muni, with his negative reputation in the village, is denied food and other items on credit from the local shopkeeper. Although readers may assume that Muni’s wife originally began working outside the home for reasons related to survival, Muni suggests that she now wields greater power over her husband as the primary breadwinner in the family. Muni’s wife reveals that patriarchal norms in Indian society are highly complex and nuanced, as she exerts more influence as the breadwinner in her family despite her ostensibly low status in society as a woman.

Muni’s Wife Quotes in A Horse and Two Goats

The A Horse and Two Goats quotes below are all either spoken by Muni’s Wife or refer to Muni’s Wife. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Perspective  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Viking Press edition of A Horse and Two Goats published in 1970.
A Horse and Two Goats Quotes
He knew that if he obeyed her she would somehow conjure up some food for him in the evening. Only he must be careful not to argue and irritate her… She was sure to go out and work – grind corn in the Big House, sweep or scrub somewhere, and earn enough to buy foodstuff and keep a dinner ready for him in the evening.
Related Characters: Muni, Muni’s Wife
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
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The shopman had said that he was seventy. At seventy, one only waited to be summoned by God. When he was dead what would his wife do? They had lived in each other’s company since they were children… He had thrashed her only a few times in their career, and later she had the upper hand… He avoided looking at anyone [in the village; they all professed to be so high up, and everyone else in the village had more money than he. “I am the poorest fellow in our caste and no wonder that they spurn me, but I won’t look at them either.”
Related Characters: Muni, Muni’s Wife, The Shopkeeper
Page Number: 10-11
Explanation and Analysis:
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Muni’s Wife Character Timeline in A Horse and Two Goats

The timeline below shows where the character Muni’s Wife appears in A Horse and Two Goats. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Horse and Two Goats
Perspective  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Neocolonialism  Theme Icon
Relations Between Men and Women  Theme Icon
...watching them, at the foot of a clay statue of a horse and warrior. Muni’s wife takes care of him by cooking him breakfast and lunch each day: a ball of... (full context)
Perspective  Theme Icon
Relations Between Men and Women  Theme Icon
...morning, he is able to shake down six, and brings them home triumphantly to his wife. Muni’s wife takes care of him each day by waking at dawn to light the... (full context)
Perspective  Theme Icon
Relations Between Men and Women  Theme Icon
Dejected, Muni returns home to inform his wife of the bad news; she exasperatedly orders him out of the house to graze his... (full context)
Perspective  Theme Icon
Relations Between Men and Women  Theme Icon
...surmises that death is close at hand. This leads him to worry about what his wife will do when he dies, as they have been married since they were children. Although... (full context)
Perspective  Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Spirituality  Theme Icon
Linear vs. Cyclical Time  Theme Icon
Muni returns home triumphant, informing his wife that he has managed to sell his goats. The foreigner continues to wait confusedly by... (full context)