Character Sketch of Homeopathy in the Snake And The Mirror

In Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s short story, “The Snake and the Mirror,” homeopathy emerges as a poignant metaphor, intertwining the physical and symbolic realms. The narrative unfolds as the protagonist, the unseen narrator, grapples with fear, self-perception, and the transformative power of an unexpected encounter. Let’s explore the character sketch of homeopathy in this literary gem, uncovering the layers that make it a subtle yet profound element in the narrative.

Introduction to Homeopathy:

In “The Snake and the Mirror,” homeopathy is personified through a small bottle of homeopathic pills that the narrator keeps in his room. The presence of these pills becomes a catalyst for self-reflection, healing, and a deeper understanding of the narrator’s psyche.

Symbolism of Homeopathy:

  1. Healing through Similars: Homeopathy, as portrayed in the story, embodies the principle of “like cures like.” The tiny pills, similar to the snake’s venom, symbolize a form of healing that mirrors the very source of fear.
  2. Transformational Potency: The homeopathic pills represent a transformative potency, not only addressing physical ailments but also serving as a metaphor for personal and psychological transformation.

Overview – Bullet Points:

  1. Healing through Similars: Homeopathy embodies the principle of “like cures like.”
  2. Transformational Potency: The pills symbolize a transformative potency for physical and psychological healing.

Integration with Fear and Self-Perception:

  1. Fear as a Metaphor: Homeopathy is integrated into the narrative as a metaphor for confronting fear. The snake, a source of dread, becomes the catalyst for the narrator’s journey toward self-awareness.
  2. Mirroring Fear: Homeopathy, through the principle of similars, mirrors the very fear that the narrator grapples with. It suggests that facing one’s fears head-on can lead to healing.

The Power of Reflection:

  1. Symbolic Mirroring: Homeopathy, akin to a mirror, symbolically mirrors the narrator’s fears and insecurities. The pills, like a reflection, prompt him to confront the deeper layers of his psyche.
  2. Reflective Self-Discovery: The use of homeopathy becomes a tool for self-discovery. It prompts the narrator to reflect on his own fears, anxieties, and the ways in which he perceives himself.

Overview – Bullet Points (continued):

  1. Fear as a Metaphor: Homeopathy becomes a metaphor for confronting fear, symbolized by the snake.
  2. Mirroring Fear: Homeopathy mirrors the narrator’s fears, suggesting that facing fear can lead to healing.
  3. Symbolic Mirroring: Homeopathy symbolically mirrors the narrator’s fears and insecurities.
  4. Reflective Self-Discovery: Homeopathy serves as a tool for self-discovery, prompting reflection on fears and self-perception.

Metaphor for Simplicity and Efficacy:

  1. Subtle Simplicity: Homeopathy, portrayed through the unassuming pills, becomes a metaphor for the simplicity of healing. It emphasizes that profound transformations can arise from subtle, gentle remedies.
  2. Efficacy in Small Doses: The narrative suggests that even in small doses, homeopathy can have a powerful impact. The efficacy lies not in grand gestures but in the nuanced application of healing principles.


In “The Snake and the Mirror,” homeopathy transcends its traditional role as a medical practice to become a symbolic force intertwined with the narrator’s journey. The principle of “like cures like” extends beyond physical ailments, serving as a metaphor for facing one’s fears and embracing transformative self-discovery.

Homeopathy, as symbolized by the unassuming pills, mirrors the simplicity and efficacy of the healing process. It underscores the idea that profound changes can emerge from the unlikeliest of sources, challenging preconceived notions of what constitutes powerful healing.

The snake, embodying fear, becomes a mirror for the narrator’s anxieties. Homeopathy, through its symbolic connection with the snake, suggests that healing begins with acknowledging and confronting our deepest fears. The narrative invites readers to consider the transformative potential inherent in facing challenges head-on, mirroring the very source of discomfort.

The reflective nature of homeopathy serves as a tool for the narrator’s self-discovery. It prompts him to question his own perceptions, anxieties, and the narratives he constructs about himself. In this introspective journey, homeopathy becomes more than a remedy; it becomes a catalyst for profound personal growth.

Basheer’s narrative invites readers to contemplate the nuanced interplay between fear, healing, and self-perception. The unassuming bottle of homeopathic pills becomes a powerful metaphor for the subtle yet transformative potential embedded in facing one’s fears and embracing the process of self-discovery.

In conclusion, homeopathy in “The Snake and the Mirror” transcends its medicinal connotations to become a rich metaphor for the complexities of the human psyche. Through its symbolic mirroring of fear and its role in the narrator’s self-discovery, homeopathy becomes a subtle yet profound force in the narrative, inviting readers to reflect on their own fears, healing processes, and the transformative power of self-awareness.

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