The Gold Legged Frog

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The GoldLegged Frog
Author: Khamsing Srinawk ? He writes with great sympathy about the struggles of the Thai villagers in tending their rice
crops and trying to live off the land.? However, the penpushing and unfeeling authorities, who control the hard working
peasant farmers, are often the target for his satire.? This story is translated from its original Thai version.
The story is set in Thailand and it is about the lives of the rural Thai villagers.? The writer describes the social problems
these villagers face and suffer.
The story is told in 3rd person.? It is not in chronological order because it contains flashbacks.? The flashback goes back
to the cold events of the morning when the main character was out with two of his children in the dry paddy fields looking
for frogs to eat.? The man kills the snake and takes the children home.? He then tries to get his ill child well but he
doesn?t call a doctor, he calls for faithhealers.? This is an indication of the themes of old Vs new / clash of cultures /
science Vs belief.
Nak is then informed that ?he has to go to the district office in town that very day because the village chief told them the
government was going to hand out money to those with five or more children, and he was one who had just five.??
Although at first Nak refuses to go, he is then informed that if he disobeys the authorities, he will go to prison.? The
village officer tells him that he could go to prison ?for life? if he disobeys.? This shows that he is torn between obeying
the authorities and staying with his dying son.? This draws on the themes: authority, Poverty, community and family life.
A culture clash is shown between the rich and the poor because when he goes to collect his money, he is treated with
very little respect because he is poor.? The deputy district calls him ?idiot? and tells him to ?get out and wait outside.??
Officials feel they are superior to the farmers because they keep them unnecessarily waiting when they could have dealt
with them straight away.? Shows that the rich and poor are treated differently.
The son dies.
The opening paragraph describes the setting, and suggests that something ominous/ bad is going to happen:
The whirlwind sucked brown earth up into the air casting a dark pall over everything.? He recalled
the old people had told him this was the potent of drought, want, disaster, and death, and he was
Notice the words ?brown? and ?dark? which suggest something deathly and bad.? A pall is a death shroud
and a potent symbolises doom.
When Nak is out hunting with his two children, the verbs used to describe their two movements can be
compared to those of the frogs e.g. ?hopped? (line 27) and ?pounce? (30).? This suggests that the poor farmers are
like frogs ? they take each day as it comes.? In the same way as Nak pursues and mistreats the frogs, the richer
people and officials in Thailand mistreat the poor.? The rich people are portrayed as the snake, which bit Nak?s son
and resulted to his death.
Notice that the deputy district officer has a ?fat face.?? The language suggests that he is rich.? This contrast
to the farmers because there mouth ?gets stained from eating roots when the rice has run out? (lines 1045).
?Falling leaves? lines 24 and repeated again in lines 130131 symbolise doom.

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Key Themes
1. Poverty and Wealth ? Represents a clash of culture / a clash between rich and poor
Farmers are poor.
They cannot disobey the authorities otherwise they may be put in jail.
They have lots of children although they cannot afford them ? no concept of birth control: ?the government was
going to hand out money to those with five or more children? (lines 6263).…read more


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