A Long Way Home


Saroo Brierley

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The Homeless Man Character Analysis

The homeless man twice saves Saroo from drowning in the Hooghly River. Saroo learns absolutely nothing about this man, why he was watching Saroo, and why he chose to save him. He does wonder if the man is Hindu and therefore will be rewarded karmically for helping Saroo. Saroo “thanks” the homeless man from the Howrah Bridge when he returns to Kolkata as an adult.

The Homeless Man Quotes in A Long Way Home

The A Long Way Home quotes below are all either spoken by The Homeless Man or refer to The Homeless Man. 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:
Family Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Long Way Home published in 2013.
13. Returning Quotes

But like the teenager who later took me to the police station, he had given me another chance to live. He hadn't profited from his act in any way...and I had never thanked him.

Related Characters: Saroo Brierley (speaker), The Teenager, The Homeless Man
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Homeless Man Character Timeline in A Long Way Home

The timeline below shows where the character The Homeless Man appears in A Long Way Home. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. Survival
Family Theme Icon
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
...fills his lungs. Suddenly, someone pulls Saroo out. Saroo sees that it was an old homeless man . (full context)
Human Kindness Theme Icon
Destiny, Chance, and Luck Theme Icon
Saroo again finds himself surprised by the river the next day, and the same homeless man saves him. A crowd gathers, insisting that the gods spared Saroo. Embarrassed, Saroo runs away... (full context)
13. Returning
Survival, Poverty, and Childhood Theme Icon
Human Kindness Theme Icon
...see them, and also observes the place where he almost drowned. He thinks of the homeless man who saved him, as well as the teenager who took him to the police. Saroo... (full context)