Justify the title of the story "The Homecoming" by Rabindranath Tagore.

The title of Rabindranath Tagore's short story "The Homecoming" applies to Phatik Chakravorti's struggle to find a home where he feels loved. Phatik is on the move throughout the story, and running away leads to his death. Just before he dies, Phatik is visited by his mother, who makes a rare display of affection toward him. Phatik implies that this love from his mother represents the idea of home he desires.

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The title "The Homecoming" is appropriate because Phatik has several different crossroads in the story that involve coming home—both symbolically and literally.

The first homecoming Phatik experiences is at the beginning of the story. His younger, favored brother was injured in a scuffle and ran home to tattle to their...

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The title "The Homecoming" is appropriate because Phatik has several different crossroads in the story that involve coming home—both symbolically and literally.

The first homecoming Phatik experiences is at the beginning of the story. His younger, favored brother was injured in a scuffle and ran home to tattle to their mother. Phatik delays returning home because he knows that he'll face an unjust punishment. 

When he finally goes home, however, he has the opportunity to go to another home. His uncle Bhishamber offers to take him to Calcutta, where he'll be educated and live with his cousins. Phatik is very excited to go—and even makes peace with his brother Makhan for the first time when he gives him his treasured goods.

That homecoming was another disappointment. Though Phatik was excited to go to Calcutta, he quickly learns that his aunt resents him and he's out of place there. Despite his attempts to please her, he's never able to. He also dislikes the city of Calcutta itself and misses his life in the country. When he asks whether he can go home, his uncle says, "Wait till the holidays come."

When two police officers return him to his uncle's home after he runs away, it's his third homecoming. This one is even worse, as he's ill from his escape. It's implied that Phatik is dying. 

The final potential homecoming is Phatik's impending death. He waits for his mother, looking disappointed when she isn't there (despite his negative hallucinations about her beating him). She finally comes, but the doctor says his condition is critical. Tagore writes, "Phatik very slowly turned his head and, without seeing anybody, said: "Mother, the holidays have come." It's the first time his mother has shown him affection in a long time, calling him her darling and throwing herself onto his bed.

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As many readers must understand, titles of poems, stories and novels are never afterthoughts.  They are integral clues into the concepts in the work. This story is no exception; it defines the idea of a home and its importance.

Basically, Phatik is an boy who enjoys popularity among his friends and a vast expanse of land in which to play and grow.  He has a family and a home.   Unfortunately, Phatik does not realize what he has until it is gone.  He is rude to his mother, antagonizes his brother and continually tries to maintain his "regal dignity" among his friends.  Only when it is too late, and Phatik has been sent to live with his uncle and his family, does he realize the value of his home.

One aspect of the title refers to the physical ideal of a home.  This includes the geography, the physical structure, the family members and the culture.  Phatik, once he moves to Calcutta, understands how much he misses his rural village. He longs to return home and is promised this homecoming at the holidays.  

Tagore describes Phatik in Calcutta as "a stray dog that has lost his master."  Suddenly he is unwelcome and unloved.  He does poorly in school, has no friends, and nothing to do but dream of home.  Ironically, it is when Phatik becomes critically ill that he decides to physically go home.  However, his illness gets the better of him, and he can only suffer in his uncle's home dreaming of his own.  

At the sight of his mother from his deathbed, he utters, "Mother, the holidays have come."  This ambiguous line is significant because it represents being reunited with his mother, who obviously loves him, and it represents death - the other homecoming.

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