What is the summary of "to the Indian who died in Africa" by T.S.eliot?I dont want the line by line summary but just a little idea about That poem and its theme
This poem deals with the idea enshrined in the Bhagwad Gita that it is sufficient to do one's action regardless of reward. Action in itself is significant whether we know its usefulness or not, it is possible we may know it only after death when God will deliver judgement on our actions, whether right or wrong.
Addressing the dead Indian, the poet says a man's destination is his own country, village, home, family. He is sisitting at his door in the evening & watching his grsndson playing with his friend in the dust. In other words, his destination lies in enjoying the charms of life connected with his own homeland.
If his destiny leads him away from his homeland then its memories continue to haunt him & crop up when he sits in convesation with foreigners, alien to each other. All these foreigners, haunted by memories of homeland, forge strange kinship.
Wherever man's destiny may lead him, the adopted land cannot be his destination, i.e. where he yearns to be. The land where a man dies bravely, struggling with his destiny, is his homeland. This fact needs to be remembered by his village, his family.
The poet, in emphatic terms, tells the dead Indian that Africa was neither his homeland nor was it theirs(Whitemen's--The colonisers who went to Africa for a "cause"). He died & was buried in the same graveyard as others'. Those who return home should carry with them the story of his "action" which was useful, even though its usefulness was not known, and its reward would be known only on the "Judgement Day".
Wherever a man may be, there is one place he yearns to be and the place is his home, his native place. He longs for his home and hearth, for the food cooked by his wife. He wishes to sit at his door peacefully enjoying the sunset and watch his grandchildren playing in the dust with the grandchildren of his neighbour. These feelings are of a soldier after the war is over.
The soldier at the end of his career has luckily survived the war in spite of receiving many scars on the battlefield. He has memories of the war and of the foreign soldiers he met during the war who were like his fighting away from their homeland. Thesememories come to him when conversing with people.
A soldier is not destined to remain in his native land or die there. His destiny may take him away from his native place to a foreign land. If a country is home to one man, it is exile to another. The country where the soldier dies fighting becomes his home land, while his own country becomes a foreign land.
Addressing the dead Indian soldier ,the poet says that Africa, where he and the other soldiers had come to fight, belonged to neither of them,but as they died in the soil ofAfrica fighting for their motherland ,Africa becomes their native or motherland.
Men living in foreign, passing days measurably and reminiscing their old days in the homeland, make them feel sad, at a time, when they are together with fellows from their own country, feel happy. Being out of home, this bond among the own country's people gives them the feeling of being home. This is the implicit idea of the poem.