Nationalism In Rabindranath Tagore's The Home And The World

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Nationalism In The Home and the World The hungry self of the Nation shall burst in a violence of fury from its shameless feeding. For it has made the world its food. And licking it, crunching it and swallowing it in big morsels, it swells and swells. Till in the midst of its unholy feast descends the sudden shaft of heaven piercing its heart of grossness. - Rabindranath Tagore , The Sunset Of The Century In Tagore’s novel, The Home And The World, there is a strong criticism of nationalism by taking the view point of the three main characters: Nikhil, Bimala and Sandip. Each have a separate idea about nationalism and the characters build according to those notions. The use of multiple atmakathas or first narratives the author provides…show more content…
While sticking to the main theme of Nationalism, the novel goes beyond it and explores the varying themes of Love, Modernity, Role of women, Morality and the concept of the inside home and the outside world. The author’s use of paradoxes like home/world, love/politics, and tradition/modernity make the novel seem almost allegorical. Rabindranath Tagore himself lived through the tumultuous times that led up to India’s independence and the novel ‘The home and the world’ was a way of him voicing his own thoughts disguised in the form of literature and it can be said that Tagore uses his real life experiences and opinions to form this novel. Swadeshi literally means “of our own country”. It was a nationalist movement where foreign goods were to be boycotted and there was promotion of buying domestic goods. Initially, it started as a non-violent and peaceful movement but it soon turned out ugly and violent. Even though the whole novel revolves around the Swadeshi Movement, Tagore does not support it but instead he gives the readers two radically contrasting approaches of nationalism by Nikhil and Sandip. Sandip is a passionate man who will do anything in order to get India its freedom and doesn’t care about what it takes to achieve that. He has a maternal view…show more content…
Nikhil is a supporter of education for women and even helps Bimala in learning English by appointing a tutor for her. Even though his sister-in-law, the Bara Rani, constantly accuses his wife of having too many privileges and criticizes her modernity, he still supports Bimala. He is a modern man who wants his wife to be educated and free. He doesn’t believe in the traditional notions of marriage. He wants Bimala to interact with the outside world and come out of the purdah of her home. The author creates a clear division between the concept of ‘home’ and the ‘world’. Home represents the domestication of women in India and their lives being spent in service of their household. In his novel, Tagore promotes the idea of women coming out of their homes and interacting with the outside world. In Review of Rabindranath Tagore: Ghare Bairey [The Home and The World | by Mohammad Qayum [February 13, 2007] , it is said that Tagore dismantles the age-old role model of Sita – the all-sacrificing and faithful wife of Rama and provides an alternative for Indian women in the form of Goddess Durga who is strong and independent. It is important to remember that women played an active role in the freedom struggle and they should not be bound by their domestic duties. They should be free to do what they want. The social spaces and gender roles should not be stereotyped. In the character of Bimala we see how once she meets Sandip and relates to

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