Assess the primary importance of issues such as nationalism and politics in The Home and The World.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Tagore uses issues such as nationalism and politics in the novel to bring out the idea that underneath both wide- ranging realities is a personal reality that cannot be denied. The mere title helps to illuminate this.  "The world" can be seen as the realm of social movements and political ascendancy, while "the home" can be seen as the subjective psyche that underscores all else.  The latter is the base of anything the former can achieve.  It might be for this reason why Tagore's story does focus on the Swadeshi movement and the Indian call to Independence.  Yet, it does not lose sight of the individuals that comprise such movements.  The narrative style of each characters speaking their own point of reference underscores this.  For Tagore, nationalism and politics are important. However, they do not exist without the personal motivations of the individuals involved in such activities. Tagore is suggesting that the recognizing the role of the subjective in such activity is critical.  Sandip is charismatic and self- centered.  He has found a political and nationalistic venue to channel these realities, but in the end, his characterization is what is present.  Tagore seems to be suggesting that individuals can place importance on movements rooted in issues such as nationalism and politics.  However, he is also suggesting that individuals should scrutinize the actions of the people involved in such movements, for this is more portable than anything else.  Movements will change, but characterizations and motivations remain.  Tagore seeks to bring out this dichotomy throughout the work.


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