In "The Postmaster," please explain Tagore's philosophy of life as seen in the conclusion.  

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

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I think that Tagore argues that there is an intrinsic cruelty and resultant suffering that represents part of human relationships at the end of "The Postmaster."  The conclusion is one where the postmaster rejects Ratan's wish to accompany him as he leaves the village.  Little is said between them, and he offers money to her as compensation.  She is left to wander the village in the faint hope of his return, and while he feels an instant of guilt that he has caused another human being unspeakable pain, the postmaster rationalizes it away as the way of the world.  It is this ending where Tagore offers up a sentiment that human metaphysics can be used to justify about everything except the breaking of another person's heart.  Yet, I think that Tagore offers up this ending to try to get people to recognize that this condition of the human predicament can be changed if human beings are a bit more attune to the suffering of others.  Tagore recognizes that his short story presents a hurtful vision of consciousness.  Yet, I believe that he presents this in the hopes of individuals recognizing this in their own lives and taking active steps to change it.  In this, Tagore offers a vision of what is in the hopes of what can be.  In this transformative notion, Tagore ends up rendering a potentially redemptive philosophy of being in the world with the bleak end of his story.


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