The Fat Frog by P. Lal
In The Fat Frog by P. Lal we have the theme of selfishness, greed, relationships and honesty. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator it becomes clear to the reader from the beginning of the story that Lal might be exploring the theme of selfishness. Not only does the frog eat the dinner made for him and the rat once but he does so three times. What is also interesting about the frog’s selfishness is his lack of honesty. Rather than tell the rat the truth he lies to her blaming a dog for stealing and eating the dinners. It may also be significant that the rat makes the dinner three times. It is as though she is prepared to forgive the frog for his selfishness. Forgive him at least till she can take no more lying.
The theme of greed is further explored when the frog starts to eat other people and animals. He has no concern whatsoever for his actions and is intent on satisfying himself and answering any whim he might have when it comes to his selfishness. At no stage in the story do any of the other characters do anything to the frog that might justify them being eaten. They are all innocent victims of the frog’s greed. Through selfishness the frog has not only eaten others but he has terminated his relationship with the rat. Who throughout the story has done nothing but be nice and helpful to the frog.
There may also be some symbolism in the story which might be important. It is possible that Lal, by using animals, is placing a spotlight on the dynamics of a relationship between a man and a woman with one another. With the frog representing symbolically the male and the rat the female in the relationship. The barber’s razor is also important as it acts as the device that puts an end to the frog’s selfishness and greed. The wide variety of victims may also be significant as it suggests that the frog does not discriminate when it comes to others. He must answer his selfishness and greed in order to feel happy.
The end of the story is interesting as those who have been eaten by the frog get their own back on him thanks to the barber and his razor. Everybody escapes from the frog’s stomach and the frog inevitably loses his life. Which may be the point that Lal is attempting to make. He may be suggesting that those who live a selfish or greedy life do not really live a life at all. For those who are selfish they cannot see past themselves and as such cannot really connect with others. It seems as though justice has been served when the barber kills the frog as the frog has thought of nobody but himself and in reality has been unable to form a relationship with others. In many ways just as the frog has consumed everything in front of him. His life has ultimately been consumed as well by the act of the barber using the razor.