Identify the significance of the themes are raised in The Home and the World.

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

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I think that the greatest significance of the themes in Tagore's work is that the politicization of context can color individual motives.  Tagore's themes help to bring out how individual motives in the political setting can become obscure.  Sandip is able to use the Swadeshi cause in order to advance his own political agenda.  It is through this politicization that Bimala is taken in with Sandip, infatuated with both he and the cause and is unable to fully distinguish between the two.  At the same time, Nikhil is wedded to a larger cause, one that is not as much temporal, but transcendent.  Bimala is not able to see this until it is too late as she is profoundly influenced by that which is "unreal."  For Tagore, temporal politicization is what masks the "real" from the "unreal."  This realization forms the basis of Bimala's characterization at the end of the novel, when she understands which man is a more valid representation of her ideals.  She recognizes this too late.  The ending is ambiguous as to whether redemption is possible.  Yet, the theme that emerges is how the temporal and contextual condition of politics can cloud the individual understanding in distinguishing what is "real" and "unreal."

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