The Postmaster Questions and Answers
by Rabindranath Tagore

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What is the character of Ratan like in "The Postmaster" by Tagore?  

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the story, Ratan is loyal, diligent, trusting, and compassionate.

As the postmaster's helper, she is often at her employer's beck and call. Yet, Ratan never complains; she never hesitates to put aside what she's doing in order to tend to the postmaster's needs. When he becomes sick, she tends to him lovingly and faithfully.

She at once stepped into the post of mother, called in the village doctor, gave the patient his pills at the proper intervals, sat up all night by his pillow, cooked his gruel for him, and every now and then asked: "Are you feeling a little better, Dada?"

Ratan's unselfish ministrations on behalf of her employer highlight her diligence and faithfulness. When he teaches her how to read, she is so diligent and dedicated in her efforts that she finds herself working with double consonants before long.

Additionally, Ratan's willingness to sit and to listen to the postmaster while he expounds at length about his family is a demonstration of her patience and compassion. In all his monologues, Ratan never fails to enter into the spirit of her employer's reveries. In her heart, his family has become hers.

Last, but not least, Ratan's loyal and trusting character is demonstrated when she asks the postmaster whether he will take her with him when he leaves. When the postmaster doesn't reply in the affirmative, Ratan is heartbroken. She has always trusted in his care for her, and now, she is bewildered by his cruel indifference to her plight. In grief, she summarily refuses the postmaster's offer of financial remuneration. As the story ends, we begin to understand how Ratan's trusting and naive nature has brought her immense grief.

Alas for our foolish human nature! Its fond mistakes are persistent. The dictates of reason take a long time to assert their own sway. The surest proofs meanwhile are disbelieved. False hope is clung to with all one's might and main, till a day comes when it has sucked the heart dry and it forcibly breaks through its bonds and departs. After that comes the misery of awakening, and then once again the longing to get back into the maze of the same mistakes.

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