Character Sketch of Chandu in the The Barber Trade union

Chandu, the protagonist of Mulk Raj Anand’s short story “The Barber Trade Union,” is a complex and endearing character who undergoes a significant transformation throughout the narrative. Here’s a sketch of his key traits:

Beneath the Stereotypes:

  • Victim of Caste System: Belonging to a lower caste, Chandu experiences discrimination and prejudice from the privileged village society. This shapes his self-perception and fuels his resentment.
  • Defiant and Mischievous: Chandu rebels against his limitations through playful defiance and pranks. He enjoys challenging authority and demonstrating his cleverness, showcasing a spark of independent thinking.

Hidden Potential:

  • Sharp Mind and Curiosity: Despite his lack of formal education, Chandu exhibits a sharp mind and keen curiosity. He readily absorbs information, learns new skills, and enjoys engaging in thought-provoking discussions.
  • Leadership Qualities: Chandu possesses natural leadership qualities. He rallies his peers, organizes initiatives, and inspires them to stand up for themselves, revealing a potential for social impact.

The Catalyst for Change:

  • Awakening to Injustice: When the village barbers refuse to serve him and his family, Chandu experiences a deeper understanding of the injustices of the caste system. This fuels his determination to challenge the status quo.
  • Embracing Self-Reliance: Inspired by an article about a strike, Chandu leads his fellow barbers in a strike against their unfair treatment. This initiative marks a turning point in his journey, pushing him towards self-reliance and empowerment.

Triumph and Growth:

  • Demonstration of Skill and Confidence: Chandu’s success in attracting customers due to his innovative haircuts and friendly demeanor challenges the village’s preconceived notions about his caste. This public validation bolsters his confidence and proves his worth.
  • Embracing Responsibility: Though initially motivated by personal resentment, Chandu’s strike evolves into a broader fight for justice and fair treatment for his community. This demonstrates his newfound sense of responsibility and social awareness.

Still on the Journey:

  • Incomplete Transformation: While Chandu achieves initial success, the story ends with him leaving the village to seek further education and opportunities. This suggests that his journey towards overcoming prejudice and building a better future for himself and his community is ongoing.

In Conclusion:

Chandu is a dynamic and relatable character who embodies the struggles and aspirations of individuals facing social injustice. His journey in “The Barber Trade Union” is a testament to the power of self-belief, defiance, and collective action in fighting for equality and forging a brighter future.

Scroll to Top