The Postmaster -Summary

2017 Words Oct 8th, 2012 9 Pages
Summary of “The Postmaster”1: Rabindranath Tagore’s short story, “The Postmaster” centers around a young postmaster named Dadababu. Dadababu has been transferred from Calcutta to a small Indian village, Ulapur, for a position as postmaster. He finds himself feeling very lonely and unable to relate to the factory workers around him. Conversation and companionship comes to Dadababu in the form of a young servant girl names Ratan. In an attempt to appease his loneliness Dadababu tells the girl stories about his distant family and even begins teaching her to read. Ratan quickly becomes attached to Dadababu and develops strong, seemingly romantic feelings for him. When Dadababu unexpectedly falls ill Ratan does not leave his bedside. …show more content…
At the age of “about twelve or thirteen,” Ratan has reached the appropriate age for marriage. During the time of Tagore and his writings, child marriage was a prevalent Indian custom. However, as an “orphaned village-girl,” Ratan lacks any type of parental figure and consequently is somewhat naïve regarding its associated customs (42). Generally, the parents of a young Indian girl like Ratan would actively search for the perfect spouse for their daughter. The fathers of the potential couple would meet and discuss the match as well as critical factors such as dowry (the traditional offering of money and goods to made by the prospective bride’s family as an incentive for the marriage). Due to the absence of a caretaker, Ratan does not have anyone to find her a suitable spouse. Rather than pursuing marriage for financial security, Ratan’s desire to marry is almost entirely based on emotion. She expects Dadababu to marry her because she loves him. Ratan’s actions often reveal her feelings of romantic love for Dadababu. However, the postmaster continuously fails to recognize or reciprocate such emotions. When Dadababu asks Ratan to tell him of her family, she is more than happy to oblige. Ratan finds great significance in their nightly chats. She soaks in every tale about Dadababu’s family and believes the stories bring them closer together. She begins to “allude to the postmaster’s family – his mother, sister and brother – as if they were her own” (43). This relates to

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