Wednesday 28 February 2024

Summer of Beautiful White Horse

The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

                                                          By William Saroyan

Analysis :

The story ‘The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse’ written by William Saroyan is a beautiful tale with the idea that a man could be the father of his son’s flesh but not of his soul.

It is an account of a family which is known for its honesty but their sons stole a horse just to fulfil their desire to ride a horse as they were poor and couldn’t buy one.

The story narrates small acts of smartness, courage, cleverness and innocence of Mourad in order to live his dream to ride a horse.

The story conveys the message that we can pass on our genes to the next generation but not the character which is to be built, developed and maintained.



The story is about two Armenian boys of the Garoghlanian family, a tribe whose hallmarks are trust, righteousness and honesty. Mourad is the cousin of Aram, who is the narrator. Aram was very fond of horses and always longed to ride one. They were poor so it wasn't possible to possess or buy one. One morning Mourad managed to steal a horse from a farmer named John Byro. He invited Aram too, to ride with him. Aram first hesitated as no member of the Garoghlanian family could ever be a thief. He admired the horse so much that he leaped on its back and began riding. The experience was wonderful.

The narrator mentioned an incident of Mourad's uncle, Khosrove, who was very furious and short tempered and had a bad habit of saying, "It is no harm; pay no attention to it." Even when his own house was on fire, he repeated the same sentence. They enjoyed riding the horse. After that, Mourad asked the narrator to get down as he wanted to ride alone. Narrator’s cousin, Mourad had a way with horses due to which they followed Mourad's all commands. Moreover, when it was Aram's turn, the horse wasn't interested. When Aram started kicking into the horse, it started snorting, running and leaping over vines and thus Aram fell on the ground.

Both the cousins decided to bring the horse and hide it somewhere as everybody was up. Mourad did not tell Aram the truth about since when he was riding the horse as he did not want him to become a liar. Mourad hid the house in the barn of a deserted vineyard. The next day when Uncle Khosrove was at Aram's place, John Byro came over and expressed his grief of losing his beautiful horse. Soon, the farmer was very much annoyed by Khosrove's behaviour and left haughtily. Due to this the narrator discovered that Mourad was in possession of the horse for a month and pleaded to keep it until he learns to ride. The plea wasn't accepted by Mourad as he thought that it would take Aram a year to learn to ride and they couldn't keep it for such a long time.

For some weeks things went as usual, Mourad relished horse riding, on Aram's turn, horse threw him off and ran away. One morning when the cousins ran into John Byro, he inspected the house along with the cousins closely but turned down his thoughts according to which it was his horse as the members of Garoghlanian family were known for their honesty,

The next morning they returned the horse, and kept it back into John Byro's farm. Even the dogs didn't bark at Mourad as he had a way with them, too.


Important Question Answers

Q1. Did the boys return the horse because they were conscience-stricken or because they were afraid?

Ans. The boys returned the horse because they were afraid to be caught and defamed. Mourad was in possession of the horse for a pretty long time and if they did not return the horse, they might get defamed as thieves. The boys did not want any member of their family to be called as thieves and that too because of their innocent dream. Hence, their conscience also pricked them and they returned the horse.

Q2. A suspicious man would believe his eyes instead of his heart...". Justify this statement.

Ans. Over the course of the chapter, John Byro is seen as very much protective towards his horse. He is greatly affected, when he loses the horse. The farmer, when he encounters the cousins along with the house, becomes very suspicious. He closely inspects the features of the horse and finds them to be exactly same as his horse. Any man with that kind of suspicion would believe his eyes not what his heart says. It is only due to the reputation of the Gauoghlarian family that he believes that the horse is the twin of the one John Byro used to have.

Q3. William Saroyan brings out the truth of the contemporary world that a man could be the father of his son's flesh and not of his spirit. Discuss.

Ans. William Saroyan, the author of the chapter, "The summer of the beautiful white house" beautifully justifies the fact that "A man could be the father of his son's flesh and not of his spirit". Even though Zorab was the biological father of Mourad, there weren't many things that were similar in their character. Mourad was a crazy fellow, he had followed the crazy streak in their family from Uncle Khosrove. Mourad's real father, Zorab was a completely practical man but Uncle Khosrove was a crazy fellow just like Mourad's character & behaviour.

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