Discuss the presence of the state of nature in "The Postmaster?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the postmaster's rather sudden assignment to the remote village allows him to be closer to a natural setting.  The postmaster comes from an urbane setting where he has been tended to all his life. He tells Ratan of his mother and his sister and how they would care for him.  The postmaster has been placed in this setting where some level of self- sufficiency has been forced upon him.  He is left to his own devices in this setting.  The only assistance he receives is from Ratan.  This is unique in that the natural setting of the rural and remote village can represent how a "state of nature" has been brought to the postmaster.  The natural setting of the village could be where human limits are tested.  The postmaster would fail this test, as he is unable to find some level of peace in the village, seeks to be transferred from it, and demonstrates himself to be nowhere to the mentally strong level of Ratan.  For her part, Ratan is shown to be the type of person who can survive in this natural setting, as she is orphaned in the village both as a state of her being and then by the postmaster, whose laughter at the suggestion that she accompany him back to Calcutta is representative of how weak he is and her strength.  In the end, the state of nature offered by the village is what allows the humans to demonstrate their true nature.