Dakghar (). by: Tagore of India Item houlicseigueca.tk: Tagore, Rabindranath houlicseigueca.tkpe: application/pdf. Dakghar: Notes Toward. Isolation and Recognition evokes a multi-character read - ing of Rabindranath Tagore's play Dakghar / The Post. Office (). Archival. Tagore. Post office RABINDRA^ATH TAGORE r ' o e.,. f p., c' c c. ' COPYRIGHT,. BY MITCJ3PLL. JSNNEE. BY THE 'MACMILLAH 'qC>5W^.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Sign up for free]|
Rabindranath Tagore's "1'\il'!l (Tize Post Office) is the most popular and the heart of the play is a young boy, through whose imaginative mind Tagore, the. Book Description Dakghar a bengali drama by Rabindranath Tagore (রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুরের ডাকঘর). Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian writer of all forms of literature. Free Books of Indian Literature in English, PDF, ePub, Mobi, Fb2, Azw3, Kindle.
The Curdseller tells the boy that he should become a pundit instead. Amal says "I will never become a pundit. The Curdseller is touched and gives Amal some dai. He then continues on his way and Amal sings the merchant's song after he leaves.
The Watchman passes by and Amal calls him over. The Watchman tells Amal that the boy should not yell to him; he should be scared of him because he can arrest the boy and take him away. Rather than being scared by this, the thought excites Amal.
The boy asks the Watchman about his gong, which is used to announce the time. From this conversation, the Watchman makes a pun about mortality, though Amal does not appear to understand it. If he does understand the joke, then his answer indicates that he wants to die in order to be "free.
The boy is entranced by the idea of becoming a mail carrier for the Raja the local monarch, or ruler , traveling the world and delivering messages. The Watchman sees the Headman the local boss coming their way and he leaves before getting into trouble for stopping to chat.
He promises to return the next day. As the Headman approaches, Amal talks to himself, imagining what it would be like to receive letters from the Raja. Amal cannot read, so he hopes his "Auntie" will read the letters to him. Better yet, he'll save them and read them once he's older and has learned to read himself. Amal then calls out to the Headman. The boy asks the Headman to tell the mail carriers his name and address in case the Raja sends him a letter.
The Headman, who is not very nice, teases Amal about being the Raja's friend. He says to himself that Madhav and his family have gone too far, pretending to be acquainted with royalty just because Madhav has been successful in business. He wants to be sure that they get their "comeuppance" for such audacity. The Headman promises, insincerely, to speak with the Raja and have his letter delivered to Amal.
In reality, he plans to speak to the Raja about Madhav's pretensions. After the Headman goes, a girl walks by and Amal calls her over.
She says her name is Shudha. She is on her way to pick flowers for her father, who sells the garlands she makes from them. Amal wishes he could go with her and says he would pick the best and hardest to reach flowers for her. Shudha says she would love to sit all day like Amal, but she must go before all the best flowers have been picked. Amal makes Shudha promise to return, and he asks her to bring him a flower, promising to pay her once he is grown up and has money of his own.
Shudha agrees, swearing not to forget, and saying, "You will be remembered. Amal asks where they are going and what they are going to play. The boys invite him to come along, but Amal tells them he is not allowed outside because he is ill. Instead, he says he will give the boys all of his toys as long as they promise to come and play outside of his window every morning.
He also asks them to send one of the mail carriers to see him. The boys agree and continue on their way. Although it is early in the day, Amal already feels tired, and the effects of his fever begin to show. Act 3 Madhav says that Amal looks weak from spending all day by the window befriending most of the townspeople.
Madhav says that the Doctor will no longer allow Amal to sit by the window. Amal protests because the Fakir a mystical holy man is coming to see him. As it turns out, the Fakir is really Thakurda in costume. Madhav lets the man in and Thakurda sits on Amal's bed.
Thakurda tells the boy stories of the fantastical Parrot Island. He promises to take Amal there when he is well. Amal asks Madhav about the Curdseller, who has stopped by and left some dai for him. Madhav says the man's niece is getting married so he will be too busy to stop by for a while. Amal replies that the Curdseller promised him that he could marry his niece.
Thakurda jokes that the man probably has many nieces. Exasperated with their nonsense, Madhav leaves the room. Amal then asks Thakurda if the Raja has sent him a letter yet, and Thakurda says he heard that it has been sent. They talk about meeting with the Raja and of the art of begging. Amal declares that he will beg the Raja to be made into a mail carrier.
Thakurda then asks Amal why it makes him so unhappy to stay at home. Amal replies that the thought of waiting for the Raja's letter makes it more bearable. Madhav comes back into the room and worries that they will get into trouble because the Headman has written to the Raja.
Madhav states that, according to the Headman, Amal is "saying that the Raja has established his post office only to correspond with you.
Amal starts to feel faint; his eyesight is beginning to fail him and it is hard for him to see. As the three sit there, the Doctor comes in to check on Amal, who says, "All my pain seems to be going away. He thinks the boy has gotten too much air and sun through the window, and that he's had too many visitors. Amal appears to fall asleep, and Madhav asks the Doctor, "This child who is not my own but whom I have loved as my own, will he be taken from me? The Doctor promises to send some medicine.
When the Headman enters, he calls for Amal, but Thakurda tells the man to be quiet because the child is sleeping. Amal then appears to awake and says that he was not actually asleep, that he could hear everything going on around him, and he could even hear his dead parents speaking to him.
The Headman accuses Madhav and his family of being pretentious. He ridicules them and hands Amal a blank page, saying that it is a letter from the Raja. Amal says he doesn't see any writing, but he thinks that this is because his eyes are failing him. Thakurda pretends to read the fake letter, telling Amal that it says the Raja will come to see him, along with the Royal Physician. Amal replies that he can already hear the Raja's Herald announcing the Raja's arrival.
The Headman laughs, believing Amal to be delirious. Soon, however, someone is banging on the door, and the Raja's Herald enters, announcing that the Raja will be arriving at midnight. In the meantime, he has sent his Physician ahead of him. The Physician enters and says that the room must be opened up, that the boy needs fresh air.
Amal tells the Physician that he feels fine. Now everything is open—I can see all the stars, shining on the far side of darkness. Amal says that he will ask to be made a mail carrier. Madhav groans. The Herald tells the family to prepare a meal for the Raja when he arrives, but then the Physician says there is "no need," and he tells everyone to be "calm. I will sit beside his pillow as he drifts off.
Blow out the lamp; let the starlight come in; his sleep has arrived. Why has the room been darkened? What use is starlight? Do not speak. Shudha puts the flowers she brought for Amal into his hand. A young village orphan adopted by his distant aunt and uncle, Amal is new to town and is excited by all that it has to offer.
He is innocent and naive and has a rich imagination. His chief desire is to see the world, which makes being confined to the house even more painful for him. Since Amal is sweet-natured, he does not complain. Instead, he makes the best of his situation by befriending several of the townspeople who pass by his window. Amal is also somewhat prophetic, or at the very least accurate, in his imaginings.
For instance, when Amal asks the Curdseller about his village, the boy imagines what it must be like and the Curdseller admits that his vision of the village is exact. He even goes so far as to ask the boy whether he has been there before.
Amal also accurately predicts where the Village Boys are going and what they are going to do. Amal is well-liked by all who meet him. Madhav, a miserly and greedy man who does not want to adopt a child who will spend his money, loves Amal despite his baser inclinations. Thakurda cares for him so much that he dresses in costume and pretends to be a Fakir. All of the townspeople Amal befriends are touched by him. The Curdseller is touched by the boy's interest in his work.
Shudha laughs at his stories and brings him flowers. The Watchman, who at first threatens the boy, grows to like him and promises to return the following day with the town gossip. Even the Headman, who relentlessly makes fun of Amal, says that Amal "has a good heart. His death is not mourned; it is not even referred to in exact terms.
Through his death, Amal is finally set free from his confinement. Even as he succumbs, Amal is able to see and hear everything.
Auntie Auntie is the unnamed wife of Madhav Dutta and is also Amal's adoptive mother. She is mentioned just a few times in the play, and only by Madhav and Amal. All that is known of her is that she wanted to adopt a son and that she likes to read. She does not actually appear or speak. It is odd that the adoptive mother of a boy who is clearly dying has no interaction with her son in the days leading up to his death. Curdseller The Curdseller is one of the townspeople who befriends Amal. He tells Amal of his village and teaches the boy how to sing the song he uses to sell his dai.
He also gives Amal free dai on more than one occasion. He tells the boy that his questions and excitement "have shown me the joy in selling dai. Although it is clear to modern readers that the Doctor is ignorant, the characters treat the Doctor as wise and learned, following his every order. The Doctor's nonsense is most evident when he makes the claim that "the greater the suffering, the happier the outcome.
His fear is greater than his desire to care for his patient, and he leaves Madhav's house as soon as he sees the Headman approaching. He does not finish his examination and promises to send medicine instead. Furthermore, the Doctor does not take any responsibility for Amal's health.
When it is clear the boy's illness is getting worse, the Doctor says that his orders have not been followed, though, in fact, they have been.
Where Amal is a dreamer, Madhav is the opposite, a businessman. Although Madhav did not want to adopt a child for fear that he would spend all of his hard-earned money, he has done so for the sake of his wife. Madhav has grown to love Amal so much that he no longer cares if the boy spends his money.
He says, "Before, I was addicted to making money…. But now my reward is the knowledge that whatever I earn will be his. He often leaves Amal alone in order to go to work, despite the fact the boy is sick and bored by his enforced confinement. Madhav's practicality is shown in several ways; he wants Amal to become a pundit and laughs at the boy's ambitions to become a traveler. He sees the tall hills that Amal wants to climb as "forbidding," and he feels they appear that way because they are not meant to be traversed.
Amal, however, sees them as "the earth … raising up her hands … and calling us. While Madhav indicates that he wants money or favors from the Raja, Amal is oblivious to this, and the boy only wants to ask the Raja to make him a mail carrier.
Madhav takes everything at face value. He fears for Amal's life and asks for reassurances from the Doctor. Yet, he does not really see or acknowledge the fact that Amal is declining before his very eyes.
Even as Amal dies, Madhav refuses to accept the truth of what is happening. Instead, he asks Thakurda why he is "so hushed. Most of the townspeople are afraid of him. Both the Watchman and the Doctor head in the opposite direction as soon as they see him coming. Even Madhav begs the Headman to be kind to them. The Watchman says that the Headman's "entire job seems to be trouble-making, for everyone. However, the Headman's plan backfires, and instead of being upset, the Raja decides to visit the boy and to send the Royal Physician to care for him.
The only people who are not afraid of the Headman are Thakurda and the Royal Physician; in the last act, both indicate that the Headman should leave the house. Thakurda also defies the Headman by pretending to read the fake letter he has brought to Amal.
Raja The Raja, like Amal's Auntie, does not appear or speak during the play; however, references to him drive much of the plot. Amal wants to work as a mail carrier for the Raja, and he also hopes to receive a letter from him someday. His hopes cause the Headman to complain to the Raja, but this only results in the monarch's plans to visit Amal. Though Amal dies and the story ends before the Raja appears, his emissaries stand beside Amal's deathbed.
Royal Physician The Royal Physician is likely more talented than the town Doctor, and he immediately contradicts the Doctor's orders, demanding that the room be opened up to allow the fresh air in. He also talks to Amal about meeting the Raja.
The Physician wants the Headman to leave before the Raja arrives, but he relents when the innocent boy says that the Headman is his friend. The Physician knows that Amal is dying, and he is kind to the boy, telling everyone to be "calm.
Blow out the lamp; let the starlight come in. Shudha Shudha is one of the townspeople whom Amal befriends. She picks flowers and makes them into garlands that her father then sells. Although Shudha would like to stay and talk to Amal, she must go to do her work. She likes Amal and the two children tease each other and flirt with one another. She promises to return and to bring Amal flowers even though he cannot pay her for them. Although Shudha arrives after Amal has died, she still wants to give him the flowers as she has promised.
She also wants the doctor to whisper into Amal's ear that "Shudha has not forgotten you. At Madhav's request he promises not to excite Amal or allow him to play outside. For this reason, he dresses as a Fakir and tells the boy stories of his mystical travels while Amal lies in bed. Although he seems somewhat silly, Thakurda has more sense than Madhav. Unlike Madhav, he knows that the Raja cannot be mad at a small child's imaginings, and he knows that Amal is dying.
For this reason, he sits "hushed," his "palms pressed together" as he holds a vigil for the boy. Finally, Thakurda grows impatient with Madhav's obliviousness to the situation, snapping, "Be quiet, unbeliever! The boys invite him to join them and, when he says that he cannot, they encourage him to disobey.
Despite this, the boys are wary when Amal offers them his toys. They want to know if he will regret giving them away, if they can really keep the toys, and that no one will punish Amal for giving them away. When Amal dispels their doubts, they agree to come and play with the toys outside of Amal's window each morning.
Watchman The Watchman is one of the passersby whom Amal speaks with. Although the Watchman tries to frighten Amal by threatening to arrest him, Amal thinks that this would be a great adventure.
If Amal does understand the joke, then his answer indicates that he wants to die in order to be "free. However, death is constantly referenced. Madhav, particularly, talks around the subject.
In the opening act, the Doctor tells Madhav that if the boy "is fated for long life, then he shall have it. Even when Amal is clearly dying before everyone's eyes, the word is not uttered. Madhav refuses to understand what is happening. The Royal Physician says the boy is going to sleep. Thakurda sits in reverent silence and demands the same of Madhav. No one cries or mourns. The playwright seems to be asking: what is there to mourn if suffering has ended and freedom has been granted?
Perhaps death is never directly mentioned to underscore the theme. Death is conventionally viewed as an end to life, rather than a beginning in some unknown realm. Therefore, relying upon the term would undermine the play's message of death as freedom. For this reason, the word sleep becomes more appropriate, and it is indeed used throughout as a euphemism for death. To sleep is to be in a state that is not living but is certainly not death.
It opens up the possibility for dreams or an alternative state of being. Besides the wordplay that underscores this theme, there are several concrete instances in the play that address death as a form of freedom. First and foremost, when the Watchman and Amal obliquely discuss mortality, the Watchman describes time as going "onwards," and though no one no knows where it is going, everyone "will go there one day. At the very least, then, death can be seen as freedom from the body and its constraints.
Some of Amal's final words also indicate that death is a beginning and not an ending; he says, "Now everything is open—I can see all the stars, shining on the far side of darkness. Madhav is a member of a tenuous middle class. He has done well for himself in business, but he is not rich enough to live a life of leisure.
He has enough to provide for an adopted son and for his medical care, albeit not the best care available. This is shown by the Doctor's treatments, which are derived from religious proverbs. Madhav is afraid of the Headman's power to make the Raja displeased with him and his family. He wants to ingratiate himself with the Headman; he is polite to him and asks for his mercy.
Yet, when it is clear that the Raja is not displeased, Madhav wishes to take full advantage of the monarch's visit, asking Amal to beg the Raja for a gift. Other class structures are explored via Amal's interactions with the passersby. The Curdseller, the Watchman, and Shudha are all in the midst of taking care of their daily business, and they view Amal's enforced leisure as a privilege and not a punishment. Because Amal is privileged to become a learned man, both Madhav and the Curdseller encourage him to do so.
Yet, Amal sees this fate as a form of imprisonment. Thus, in an interesting inversion of class power, Amal sees freedom in the daily tasks of people passing outside his window where the townspeople only see themselves as attending to their daily drudgery.
What would their conversation be like? Try to mimic the style of the play and write a brief dialogue depicting Amal and the Raja when they first meet.
Study Indian society in and the early twenty-first century. Conduct a class presentation comparing and contrasting the two eras, and be sure to use visual aids. Critics have cited The Post Office as being representative of Tagore's overarching themes and subject matter.
Read several of Tagore's other plays and poetry. In an essay, discuss the respective themes and subject matter of each work, and provide an analysis of whether or not you agree that The Post Office is representative of Tagore's other works.
In two separate instances during the play, Amal references the tale of the "seven champak-flower brothers. Does the tale relate to the play in any way? Discuss why or why not. The figure of the Headman also illustrates class structure. He is a town bully with connections to the Raja, and almost everyone—from the Watchman to the Doctor—is afraid of him.
The Headman wields his power like a bully, and those who are beneath him in social status must suffer this. Yet, those who are above him in status remain unaffected, and thus the Royal Physician is free to insult him by asking him to leave Madhav's house. Thakurda, who, as a wanderer, exists outside of social rules, is also unafraid of the Headman. STYLE Foreshadowing Foreshadowing, or indicating that an event is about to take place, is used throughout the play, especially in reference to Amal's impending death.
As the play opens, Madhav voices his fears that Amal will not survive. When Amal interacts with the townspeople, several notice that he does not look well. Shudha says that "to look at you reminds me of the fading morning star. In yet another instance, Amal unwittingly foreshadows his death by poignantly asking Shudha, "You won't forget me? Amal's exchange with the Watchman about time and death and being "free" are all meant to foreshadow his coming death.
In a more straightforward form of foreshadowing, as the play progresses, both the Doctor and Madhav comment that Amal's illness appears to be worsening. Allusion In literary terms, an allusion is an indirect reference to something outside the work in hand, adding a layer of meaning and complexity.
Often, allusions refer to other literary works, works of art, or historical events. They imbue the fictional work in which they appear with a more concrete sense of reality, and they enhance the work's theme or tone by association. Allusions can be overt, simply mentioning a work or event, or they can be subtle, mentioning a character in the work or hinting at an obscure fact related to the item being alluded to.
Allusions often require that the reader is already knowledgeable with the works or events that are referred to in order for them to be effective. There are three straightforward allusions in The Post Office. The first is to Ayurveda, an ancient Hindu medicinal practice that the doctor quotes as his source for his treatments in the beginning of the play.
The second allusion is to the Ramayana, which Amal says his Auntie is always reading. The Ramayana is an ancient Hindu epic that is believed to have been written by Valmiki. It is comparable culturally to Homer's epic The Odyssey. The third is to the "seven champak-flower brothers," a fairy tale that is mentioned twice in the play.
Furthermore, there is also a secondary allusion to the champak-flower brothers; Amal asks Shudha to "be Parul," one of the characters in the tale. Tagore was educated in England and was the first Bengali author to write in Western forms such as the short story. This sort of cross-cultural interaction is why Indian literature is inextricably linked to its colonial context.
Initially a collection of warring nation-states, India was not unified until it was under British rule, which began in the mids. The country was first governed by the British East India Company. By the mids, after being subjugated racially and economically for an entire century, Indian citizens began movements toward independence.
The Sepoy Rebellion of was the first such significant demonstration. Though the rebellion was not successful, some improvements were made, including the passage of the Government of India Act of , which transferred power of rule from the British East India Company to the British Crown. Indians were also given minor governmental control on a local level. Great Britain planted cotton in India to the point where land for cultivating rice was usurped and India's food stores were endangered.
Indians were also employed as cheap labor. Thus, in the Indian National Congress was formed to communicate Indian interests to Britain and to promote India's independence. Indian citizens hoped that by participating in the war, they would gain increased governmental control.
This did not turn out to be the case, and the British secured even greater powers through the Rowlatt Acts in Protests led to the Amritsar massacre, in which British troops fired on Indian protestors, killing four hundred people. Tagore resigned his knighthood as an act of political protest following this event. The national outrage following the massacre further fueled India's drive for independence.
The country was predominantly led by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru who fought not only for India's independence but for India as a Hindu nation. A smaller faction of Muslim Indians was led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah , and they ultimately wished to create a separate Muslim nation. The British government succeeded in delaying the move for independence by playing the two factions off of one another. Yet, under the increased costs of governing the region, the British Parliament drafted a new Indian constitution in that granted the colony greater political freedom.
This led the Hindu faction to demand their independence in , and Britain responded by disbanding the Indian National Congress and imprisoning Gandhi and Nehru. India was on the cusp of widespread rioting, and Gandhi was released in as a means to stave off such an event.
Political unrest continued until , when the ruling British party was replaced by the Labour party , which was more amenable to India's demands. The party announced its intentions to grant India's independence, and on August 15, , this became a reality. The country was divided into India and Pakistan, the latter conceived as a Muslim nation. The Hindu Religion Hinduism is integral to India's national identity, socially and culturally. Indeed, one of the core tenets of the Hindu religion is reincarnation, the idea that one's soul lives in many physical bodies during its journey.
This tenet coincides with Tagore's exploration of death in the play. The caste system which posits that enlightened souls are born into higher castes while unenlightened souls are born in lower castes is a rigid class system that is also a part of Hindu teachings.
Tagore opposed this belief system, and this can be seen in the class structures that are explored in the play. Today: In India, the average life span is sixty-nine years, and while the aforementioned diseases are still present, they are no longer as deadly. For instance, a vaccine for malaria has been developed. Today: Having gained independence in , India is now a federal republic. The philosophy is several thousand years old. Today: Ayurvedic medicine is still utilized in India, though this is often in tandem with modern or Western medicinal practices.
However, roughly two-thirds of people living in rural India still rely on Ayurveda as their primary mode of treatment. The third largest religion in the world, Hinduism has no clear founder or easily defined practice. Instead, it is an amalgamation of spiritual beliefs formed from 4, to 2, bce. Hinduism is predominantly henotheistic, which means that it worships a single god who is also manifested in the form of several smaller deities.
The main god, Brahma, is the creator of the universe. He is constantly creating, and one great aspect of his personality is Vishnu or Krishna , who protects these creations. His other aspect is Shiva, a destructive being with sexual undertones. Dharma, which is the balance of all things, is maintained by the tenuous balance between the three deities, particularly by Vishnu.
There are an infinite number of interpretations of these fundamentals. Other fundamental beliefs include Karma, which influences reincarnation.
All of the good or bad that a person does in one life is reflected by their status in the next life. There are also two Hindu factions: the pravritti, who embrace the world, and the nivritti, who renounce it. The former's religious goals are Dharma, virtue or righteousness; artha, material wealth; and kama, pleasure. The latter's goals are moksa, freedom from samsara continued reincarnation , which can only be achieved by reaching enlightenment. Written in and first performed in , the play was an immediate success; it was translated into English, performed internationally, and published in English, all within a few years of its original release in Bengali.
Yeats called the The Post Office a "masterpiece," and that Mahatma Gandhi wrote that he was "enraptured" by a performance of the play.
Dutta and Robinson also note that "Tagore's insight into death is perhaps at its deepest" in the The Post Office. The play is generally considered a shining example of Tagore's work, and Dutta and Robinson state in their general introduction to Rabindranath Tagore that the play is the first selection in their collection because it "seems to distil the thoughts and feelings that mattered most of all to its author into a vessel of timeless and universal appeal.
Through this lens, he finds that the play demonstrates that "however much social customs … try to segregate us from our real nature, the attempts are doomed to failure. Desai, writing in Perspectives on Indian Drama in English, wishes to avoid allegorical interpretations in his essay. Instead, Desai observes that "structurally, The Post Office is amazingly simple. It is rightly considered by nearly all of Tagore's critics to be his best.
In this essay, she explores the symbolism in The Post Office. Although The Post Office is a simple play, it is deceptively so. The play is roughly twenty-five pages long, consists of three brief acts each containing only one scene , and tells the straightforward story of a boy who is sick and then dies.
Beneath this framework lies a carefully wrought meditation on death. The play's simplicity, in some ways, stems from its vagueness. Amal's exact age and illness remain a mystery, as do his aunt's name, his uncle's profession, the town in which he lives, the village from whence he came, the illness that killed his parents, and the time period in which the play takes place.
This deliberate lack of detail gives the play a universal feeling and appeal, but it also heightens its symbolic import. The play's diction, or language, is also exceedingly simple.
This is followed by the knocking and the state Physician arrives. On the simplest level, the post office receives and gives letters, which contain information. It was the most popular medium of communication before the invention of the modern electronic media.
There have been several poems anxiously awaiting the postman. A man who is looking wistfully towards a post office is a man longing for some information from somebody. Communication is itself a kind of ventilation. Thus, the symbol of post office gives a concrete base to the theme of freedom from all kinds of bondage - physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual, which is the leitmotif of this play.
But the post office is not just an ordinary one nor is its postmaster an ordinary one. The postmaster is nobody else but God sending divine messages which are delivered through this Post Office. The man who plays a part in this work hopes to make his life meaningful.
On the whole we understand that the King stands for God and the post office might be the whole universe, and nature, with her seasons. The letter is the message of eternity, the message calling us to reach God.
The Blank Slip of paper symbolizes the message of God.