Rabindranath Tagore

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What is a character sketch of Mani from the story "The Lost Jewels" by Rabindranath Tagore? Please base it on the statement, "Mani did not understand Bhusan, it is true."

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In "The Lost Jewels," Mani is the beautiful wife of Bhusan Saha, a modern and well-educated businessman. Though the reader does not have any direct experience of Mani in the text, we can infer much about her character through the narrator's story:

  • Mani does not reciprocate her husband's love. It is noted in the text that she viewed her husband as a "machine" from which she obtained her fine clothes and jewels. But she did not show gratitude for such presents: as the narrator comments, she did not "oil" the wheels of this machine. This idea is further reinforced by the line, "she got her caresses without asking," which implies that she does not display any affection towards him, even when he displays it towards her.
  • Mani is materialistic and all of her attentions and interests were focused on her jewels. When her husband turned to her for financial help, for example, she refused him and fled the house, taking her jewels with her.
  • This act also shows that Mani is not easily swayed by the emotions of others. Despite her husband's desperate appeal, she "set her face hard" and did not even respond to him verbally.
  • Mani would rather receive than give. According to the narrator, "in her hands, nothing was lost." This means that Mani saved up every item she ever received but she avoided sharing these items with others, even as part of a religious "vow" or as an act of charity. This also suggests that she was self-centered.
  • Mani is not keen on socializing with others. The narrator notes that she was not especially talkative and did not have many relationships with other people, like her neighbors.
  • Mani is not wasteful with her resources. The narrator describes her as an "efficient" worker, and notes that she does not employ any more servants than necessary. In Mani's mind, this was wasteful and akin to "playing pickpocket with her own money."
  • Mani seeks advice when she feels it is necessary. After the incident with her husband, she calls on her counselor for advice on what to do next. That she has a counselor suggests that she is not trusting of everyone around her and that she is a cautious person. That she heeds his advice also shows she is open to the opinions of others.

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