Discuss the implications that arise from Tagore's short story,  "The Hungry Stones."

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

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I think that one of the strongest and most powerful implications from the short story is how the notion of established truth is a challenge in discerning.  Tagore leaves much in way of ambiguity in the story.  There is little resolution in its ending, and there is even less in terms of whether or not the story is even true.  This is enhanced by the fact that it is a frame story.  Srijut never recognized and fully grasps what is true and what isn't.  There is little in which the reader fully understands why what happens does happen.  Whether or not Srijut's story is even valid or whether it is a lie is never clear.  The implications of this are profound and I think that it is deliberate as to why Tagore does what he does.  On one hand, perhaps it is Tagore's desire to argue a type of "negative capability" intrinsic to human life in that not everything can be resolved and total certainty is impossible.  Within this, individuals must strive to find some level of happiness and be in awe of the narrative whose absolute certainty is elusive.  The other side of this coin would be that Tagore seeks to construct a narrative in which one cannot ascertain full truth, with the only reality being that we are suspended in thought, filled with dread.  Fear becomes the only absolute in this setting, one in which we are forced to succumb to elements larger than us in our daily consciousness.  The implications of what Tagore has created are intense in magnitude and wide ranging.


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