A Hero Summary

The poem “A Hero,” a child imagines himself as a hero saving his mother from robbers. The poem explores the nature of heroism and the importance of imagination, suggesting that heroism is not about physical strength or power, but about courage and determination. Read More Class 10 English Summaries.

A Hero Summary

A Hero Summary in English

‘A Hero’ was written by well known English Novelist R.K. Narayan. This is the extract taken by his familiar novel ‘Swami and his friends In this novel Swami was a boy of 11-12 years age. He was so simple, innocent, non – a courageous boy born in a middle-class South Indian family. His family members were his father, mother, granny, and little baby. His father was most disciplined and authoritative.

His mother and granny were more caring, protective, and he was obedient to his father. In this extract, once his father was reading the newspaper and called Swami and narrated the tiger s incident. The brave lad faced the tiger and flew up the tree until some people came and killed the tiger. Swami’s father asked Swami’s opinion about the incident. Swami said that facing the tiger alone means he might be a strong grown up man not a boy at all. Father said that courage is more important, strength and age are not so important. Swami did not agree, so father challenged him to show his courage by sleeping alone in his office- worn. The poor chap Swami was afraid and wished to change the topic, he started talking about the cricket club.

But his father was so determined and commanded .him to sleep alone in his office-room. To avoid this, Swami gave many excuses and he was not ready to sleep alone. Father said it was shame to sleep beside granny, or mother like a baby though he was grown up and studying in the second form. Father looked at his wife ‘ while talking, but she was not ready to take the abuses that she was spoiling her son. So she said that his granny was spoiling him. Swami s father kept quiet. At that time swami silently went towards his bed. Granny called him and asked why he didn’t want to hear a story on that day as usual. Swami wanted to escape from his father,so he threw himself on his bed and pulled the blanket over his face. Seeing this granny told that not to cover his face and asked whether he was really very sleepy. Swami got angry on his granny and pretended to have slept. Father came and made him to get up and asked him to follow.

A Hero Summary image

Granny recommended Swami and questioned Swami s father why did he disturb him. Mother also supported her son and suggested to sleep him in the hall. But father didn’t listen to their words. Swami was not ready to sleep in the office-room, he said it was very dusty and there may be scorpions behind the law books. But father did not agree and ordered him to sleep in the office-room only, otherwise, he would make him laughing stock at school, He was afraid of darkness so he asked permission to have the burning lamp. For this also father; didn’t agree because he wanted Swami to learn not to be afraid of darkness.

Finally, Swami requested to leave the office – room door open. For that father agreed. There was no way to avoid his father. So Swami went to office-room. While he was in the room he hated the news printed in the newspaper about the tiger and wished that the tiger had not spared the boy. As the night advanced and the silence deepened his heartbeat fastened. He remembered the scary devil and ghost stories that he had heard. He was very much afraid to be alone in the room. He could hear all types of sounds like ticking off the clock, rustle of trees, snoring sounds, etc., in the calmness of night very clearly.

Every moment in his thought the devils would come and carry him away. He was full of fear, he didn’t know what to do? He got up and spread his bed under the bench and crouched there. He shut his eyes tight and fell asleep. He was racked with nightmares in his sleep. Nightmares continued ……… a tiger was chasing him, the tiger was at his back, the fear of tiger that it may catch him continued. He groaned in despair.

After some time by much effort he opened his eyes, he touched the wooden leg of the bench assuming that granny was at his side. He sweated with fear. At that time Swami saw something moving, he thought his end had come, why should he wait? As it came nearer, he hugged it and bite it with all his strength like a mortal weapon. The man (burglar) screamed with pain and fell amidst of furniture.

By hearing the cry of a man, father, cook and a servant came. All three of them caught the burglar. This burglar was most notorious housebreakers of the district and he was a challenge for police. Next day congratulations were showered on Swami. His classmates looked at him with great respect. His teachers and headmaster were also proud of him. Swami became a Hero in one night and all were happy. At night father asked where is Swami ? for that mother replied that he already slept in his usual place. Mother also continued her talk and informed that let him sleep where he likes, need not risk his life again. Father mumbled that if Swami was spoiled then there is no blame from his side. Swami heard the whole conversation of his parents and felt relieved that his father was giving him up at last.


The poem’s conclusion suggests that heroism is not about physical strength or power, but about courage and determination. The child in the poem is afraid of the robbers, but he still finds the courage to stand up to them by imagining himself as a hero. The poem also suggests that heroism is not about being perfect, as the child is just a child who is afraid, but is still a hero for finding the courage to do what is right.

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