How is the title of "The Postmaster" appropriate?

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

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I think that the title of the short story is appropriate.   It is through the postmaster's eyes that the reader first experiences Ulapur.  The ending is one where we see reality through his eyes.  The postmaster's rationalization of how he treated Ratan is something that we, ourselves, do when we have to rationalize the pain we have caused another.  Along these lines, the title of the story is appropriate because the postmaster represents the force of history.  If it is true that "history is written by the winners," the narratives of the postmaster are the ones that history remembers.  The orphans' narratives, embodied by Ratan, are forgotten because they are easy to ignore.  The ending in which Ratan wanders around the village waiting for her "dadababu" to return is not something that will be immediately embraced.  I think that the title is appropriate as Tagore is making a statement on how the world is.  It sees reality through the lens of the postmaster and not in Ratan's frame of reference.  The ending of the story is a painful one and this affirms the condition that Tagore sees in consciousness.  It is for this reason why the title, focusing on "the postmaster," is appropriate.

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