In what way does the postmaster feel out of place in the remote village?

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In the second paragraph of "The Postmaster," Rabindranath Tagore tells the reader:

Our postmaster belonged to Calcutta. He felt like a fish out of water in this remote village.

Calcutta is not only one of the largest cities in India, it is an intellectual and cultural centre, home...

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In the second paragraph of "The Postmaster," Rabindranath Tagore tells the reader:

Our postmaster belonged to Calcutta. He felt like a fish out of water in this remote village.

Calcutta is not only one of the largest cities in India, it is an intellectual and cultural centre, home to many writers, poets, and philosophers including, of course, Tagore himself. The Postmaster would have been surrounded by people and lived with his mother and sister, who also cooked for him—something he now has to do for himself.

The Postmaster has no peer group in the small village of Ulapur. The men who work at the indigo factory are not suitable companions for a respectable, educated man, and in any case, Tagore says, the Calcutta boy is not "adept in the art of associating with others," appearing either proud or ill-at-ease.

The Postmaster also has little work to do, since the village is so small and scarcely needs a post office in any case. Everyone else there is busy which means that they lack both time for friendship and leisure reflection, both of which serve to separate them from the Postmaster.

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The short story "The Postmaster" tells of a young man from the city of Calcutta who arrives at the small village of Ulapur to take up his position of postmaster. He feels out of place in this remote location for several reasons.

First of all, the postmaster comes from the big city of Calcutta. Whether he was well-to-do or not there, he would have lived in a normal house surrounded by many other houses, shops, and offices. In the village, he stays in a thatched shed near a slimy pond surrounded by wild foliage.

In Calcutta he lived with his mother and sister, and he misses them. In the remote village, he has only the orphan girl Ratan, who does odd jobs for him, for company. Additionally, in Calcutta his mother and sister did the cooking, but now he has to cook for himself.

The postmaster from Calcutta does not socialize easily with strangers, and as a result he is lonely. This also makes him feel out of place. Tagore writes:

Nor is a Calcutta boy an adept in the art of associating with others. Among strangers he appears either proud or ill at ease. At any rate, the postmaster had but little company; nor had he much to do.

This brings up another point: the postmaster's boredom causes him to feel out of place. He tries writing verses and eventually resorts to conversing with Ratan and attempting to teach her to read.

After the postmaster's illness, he can't stand to remain in the remote village any longer. When his request for a transfer is rejected, he decides to quit and go home, bringing about the tragic ending of the story in which Ratan feels abandoned.

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The postmaster feels out of place due to the fact that he must interface on a daily basis with strangers. Essentially, the postmaster finds it difficult to relate to the villagers, who possibly represent the kinds of people he has never had to associate with before.

The men employed in the indigo factory had no leisure; moreover, they were hardly desirable companions for decent folk. Nor is a Calcutta boy an adept in the art of associating with others. Among strangers he appears either proud or ill at ease. At any rate, the postmaster had but little company; nor had he much to do.

Perhaps the factory employers come from dissimilar castes; the narrator doesn't say, but the implication is clear. The postmaster considers the workers "hardly desirable companions for decent folk" like himself. In the story, he has "little company" because he finds it difficult to integrate into the fabric of daily life among the villagers. Also, since he has little to occupy him, the postmaster feels ill at ease.

Aside from these difficulties, the postmaster also misses his family. This is another reason he feels out of place: his family isn't with him. They are back in Calcutta.

On some evenings, seated at his desk in the corner of the big empty shed, the postmaster too would call up memories of his own home, of his mother and his sister, of those for whom in his exile his heart was sad,—memories which were always haunting him, but which he could not talk about with the men of the factory...

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The postmaster feels out of place in the remote village's primitive environment, and he feels decidedly uncomfortable in his interactions with the locals.

In the story, we are told that the postmaster is from Calcutta, and his preference for the city life is apparent in his yearning for "tall houses" and "macadamized" roads. It is also apparent that he views the working-class factory workers as beneath his notice; he considers them "hardly desirable companions for decent folk."

The postmaster relies on his young servant girl, Ratan, to run errands for him and to provide his housekeeping needs. However, it is obvious that he merely views her as a means to an end. While Ratan develops an affection for her employer as time progresses, the postmaster remains emotionally detached from his young servant. Perhaps in his very Indian consciousness, the considerations of class and status are of primary importance. Because of his prejudices, the postmaster finds it difficult to assimilate seamlessly into village life; he soon leaves to return to Calcutta when his application for a transfer is rejected.

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