Justify the title of the story, "The Postmaster", written by Rabindranath Tagore.

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

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I think that the title of the work is relevant.  Although, I feel it is relevant for different reasons that traditionally held.  Tagore’s work forces the reader to examine the moral and ethical standing of the postmaster.  At the start of the work, the reader understands, to a certain extent, the difficulties endured with this cosmopolitan postmaster being transferred to this village where he is, literally, foreign to its way of life.  Yet, Tagore plays off of this and forces us to really change our understanding of the postmaster through his depiction of Ratan.  In my mind, the reason why the title is justified is because when we understand more of Ratan, we end up viewing the postmaster differently than when we did at the outset of the work.  Whereas we had sympathy for the postmaster at the start, we end up having more respect for Ratan .  She proves to be stronger, more durable, and a heck of lot more loyal than the postmaster.  She may be “just an orphan,” but she possesses more redemptive qualities than the postmaster, who comes across as kind of a jerk by the end of the story.  Hence, the title is something that is almost reflexive in that it shows us, in an odd way, how our perceptions have changed over the course of reading the story.

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