In the two visions of consciousness offered by Tagore in The Home and the World, where do his sympathies lie?

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

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For Tagore, his development of both modes of being in the world are realities that he believed began to emerge with the Indian fight for independence in the early 20th Century.  For Tagore, he recognized that there were individuals involved in the Independence movement that embraced the universality of it and the sacrifices needed to preserve it.  At the same time, he understood that there were those whose involvement in the movement were motivated through the embrace of the contingent understandings and constructions of power.  Its acquisition and ability to exercise it was more of a motivational force than anything else.  It is here where I believe that Tagore is able to draw out the difference and his own penchant.  His development of Sandip is one in which one sees the calculating self- interest masked in the facade of universality.  When he escapes, Tagore makes it clear that he is doing so for his own self- interest and no other reason.  At the same time, Nikhil sacrifices himself for people he does not know.  This demonstrates how a universal understanding of what it means to love and care for others in a sense that is not contingent is more difficult, but more rewarding from a moral and ethical point of view.  It is here where I think that Tagore makes it clear that universality, and understanding the implications of it, is far more beneficial than a position of temporality and contingency.  Tagore's affection for Nikhil demonstrates this as well as his own sense of loyalty and preference for which moral approach he prefers.

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pearl7391 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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Rabindranath Tagore, a worshipper of universal humanism, depicts two different streams of Nationalism in his novel "The Home and the World". The first strem is called Moderation that articulates essentially pure patriotism without showing the aggressiveness of the Extremism that is the other stream. Both these streams surely were built on the basis of ideals and the followers were motivated according to their beliefs. In this novel Nikhil is a personification of moderate politics whereas Sandip represents the aggressive Western-type nationalism throughout the novel.

The author's sympathy lies obviously on the side of Nikhil that resembles Tagore himself partly, if not altogether. The author viewed human relationships from the perspective of the everliving values of love, trust and hope and not in terms of dominance,violence and hatred.

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