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Character of Ratan in "The Postmaster" by Rabindranath Tagore

Categories: Character

Ratan is a contrast character to postmaster. She is very happy to be in company of him. She does all household work with utmost care for a little food. She waits eagerly for his call at the door. When he talks about his family she takes much interest and a sense of belongingness crops up in her. During his sickness, she takes the place of his mother and nurses him very affectionately. She cannot bear the news of the departure of postmaster.

She urges him to take her with him. When her plea is rejected, she weeps and runs away as she has no philosophy to console herself. She lingers near the post office with the aspiration of returning back of the postmaster.

Introduction to postman

We are introduced to the new postmaster of the village that is Ulapur. As the postmaster is born and brought up in Calcutta,his life style is completely different to the rural settings. Without having any idea of the rural way of life, he accepts the job.

He comes to the village for his first posting, then he is landed into troubles. His office is housed in a dark thatched hut with unhygienic surroundings. He is not having a suitable company with whom he can spend his leisure time. The employees of the indigo company, neither have time nor intellect to suit the new postmaster. Open space with trees ached him as he preferred tall buildings all around.

The postmaster comes to a remote village from the city.

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He does not have enough work to keep himself busy. An orphan girl, Ratan provides companionship to the postmaster. To do household work, he appoints Ratan. The postmaster gave ratan a purpose and routine in her life, he gave her work . The relationship between the postmaster and ratan grows through the course of the story . It emerges from the need of both of them to have a companion. Ratan was initially just a domestic help for the postmaster and later a student whom he started teaching to pass time. After he started teaching her she became closer to him ,he became her only relative and the only person she interacted with she felt she was a part of his family and took for granted that he would always be there for her.

He had nothing much to do and missed his family she became a companion to him. One evening the postmaster tells Ratan that he is going to teach her to read. She grows closer to him and sees him as her only relative. She grows dependent on him. He tries to teach her to while away his spare time. He talks to her just to know her family background. When the postmaster falls sick, she became his nurse and mother too. Ratan takes care of him and he recovers, he remembers his family members to be with him to take care. He doesn’t care to thank her for her caring attitude.

In the end though it all vanished and Ratan was left in misery it was all one-sided. The postmaster left her as if she did not exist. Ratan is heartbroken ,when he has to leave without her . She longs for him to come back , “wandering about the post office with tears streaming from her eyes ” Within no time, he decides to go back to his native place to be amongst his close people. He fails to understand the emotional attachment of Ratan towards him when she wishes to accompany him. It becomes a joke for him. When he sets the sail, for a fraction of second, he feels sad for Ratan, later, he consoles himself philosophically. By this, we can deduce he is self centered.

Tagore’s work Postmaster reflects Indian society in another way. It is the story of a poor girl who dot not have any relatives to took care of her. we will feel bad at the end of the story as she is left as alone in that village where she do not have any relatives. the women are considered inferior as they must always be dependent on men. They can not live without the help of a man. So it is necessary that the women should gain equal status in the society that they should have the ability to live alone and face the difficulties alone by themselves.

Both stories give us a clear idea about the status of women in the indian society. Very true, both the characters are having extreme attitude towards life, relationship, caring others. The relationship is complex as there is no parallel ideas to match with.

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Character of Ratan in "The Postmaster" by Rabindranath Tagore. (2016, Oct 09). Retrieved from

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