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The Post Office by Rabindranath Tagore
Presentation by
Hardeepsinh R. Gohil
Asst. Professor,
Gujarat College,
Ahmadabad.
The Post Office.
1. Introduction.
2. About the Author.
3. Plot Summary.
4. Characters.
5. Themes.
6. Style.
7. Historical Context.
8. Critical Overviews.
1 English In India.
• The language of hegemony.
• The part of oriental operation.
• Macaulay's Mischievous Minutes.
• The factory of Clerks.
• The privileged section of the society.
• The medium of expression.
• Now a tool for empowerment.
The Beginning of Indian English
Drama.(In Bengal)
• The first modern productions in Bengali- in
Nov. 1795 in the form of Disguise and Love is
the Best Doctor.(Done in collaboration)
• Krishna Mohan Benerji’s The Persecuted or
Dramatic Scenes Illustrative of the Present
State Of Hindu Society in Calcutta.1831.
• 1831 Bengali Theatre/ The Hindoo Theatre
with Julius Caesar.
The Beginning of Indian English
Drama. (In Bengal)
• Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Ratnavali(1858)
an adaptation of Harsha’s Sanskrit drama.
• Sermista (1859), Is This Civilisation (1871),
Nation Builder (1922 posthumously)
• Rookmany Dutt’s Manipura Tragedy (1893)
2 Rabindranath Tagore.
Rabindranath Tagore.(1861-1941)
• The writer of our National Anthem, Jan Gan Man.
• Son of Sharda Devi and Debendranath Tagore.
• Born on 7th May 1861, Calcutta.(The British
Capital of India.
• Started writing at very early age.
• The first short story ever to be written in Bengali
Bhikharini 1877. (The Beggar Woman)
• Wrote Gitanjali in 1912. The Work goes in the
hands of best possible authors of the time such
as Ezra Pound and W B Yeats.
Rabindranath Tagore.
• Giatanjali leads Tagore to be the first Asian Nobel
Laureate.
• He was also knighted by the British Government.
• The work, The Post Office, upon which we will
discuss today, was also written during the same
period (1912).
• In 1919 he resigned his knighthood as an act of
protest, following the Jalianwala Baugh Massacre
at Amritsar.
• The difference of opinion between Gandhi and
Tagore.
Plot Summary of the Play.
• It was written in four days.
• Robinson & Dutta opines that the play
“continues to occupy a special place
in(Tagore’s) reputation, both within Bengal
and in the wider world.”
• Translated and performed in many European
countries by eminent scholars.
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-1)
• A three-act play, begins with Madhav Dutta speaking
with the Doctor about a young boy with a fever. The
Doctor says the boy cannot go outside or he will get
worse.
• The Doctor quotes scripture and proverbs that support
his recommended treatment.
• Madhav also makes Thakurda promise not to allow the
boy to play outside, and not to excite him too much.
• Amal questions the Doctor's orders, but Madhav says
that the Doctor knows best because he is well-read and
is an educated man.
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-1)
• Madhav tells Amal that he can sit and read his
whole life and become a pundit.
• Amal scoffs at the suggestion because he does
not want to sit still, as he is being forced to do
now. Instead, he wants to travel the world and
see all there is to see.
• Madhav laughs at this, tells Amal he has to go
to work, and makes the boy promise not to go
outside while he is gone.
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2)
• Amal sits at the window when the Curd seller passes
by, singing out his wares.
• Amal does not want to buy dai (curds); he wants to
hear about the Curd seller's village and to be taught
the song that the man uses to sell his curds.
• He wants to learn how to sell curds when he grows up.
• The Curdseller tells the boy that he should become a
pundit instead. Amal says "I will never become a
pundit.“
• The simple heartedness of Amal touches the heart of
Curd seller, he feels himself fortunate and offers curd
to Amal.
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2)
• 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.
• From this conversation, the Watchman makes a
pun about mortality, though Amal does not
appear to understand it.
“Amal. But doctor won't let me out.
Watchman. One day the doctor himself may take
you there by the hand.”
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2)
• Amal asks the Watchman about the building across the street, which the Watchman says is
the new post office.
• The boy is entranced by the idea of becoming a mail carrier for the Raja .
• The Watchman sees the Headman coming their way and he leaves.
• As the Headman approaches, Amal talks to himself, imagining what it would be like to
receive letters from the Raja.
• Amal cannot read and asks if his aunty con read it for him.
• The Headman is jealous of Madhav’s progress in the business.
• Makes mockery of the boy and intends to brief the Raja for boasting of Madhav and his
family.
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2)
• 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.
• They converse about the gardens & flowers.
• Shudha agrees, swearing not to forget, and saying,
"You will be remembered.“
• A group of Village Boys wanders by. He gives away all
his toys and asks them to play near his window
everyday.
• He feels tired. Fever starts gripping.
Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-3)
• Madhav says that Amal looks weak from
spending all day by the window befriending most
of the townspeople.
• Amal declares that he will beg the Raja to be
made into a mail carrier.
• 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 …
Tagore’s Opinion.
• Tagore himself explaines the intended meaning of the
play to his friend C.F. Andrews in this way :
Amal represents the man whose soul has received the
call of the open road. But there is the post office in
front of his little window, and Amal waits for the King's
letter to come to him direct from the King's own
physician and that which is death to the world of
hoarded wealth and certified creeds brings him
awakening in the world of spiritual freedom. The only
thing that accompanies him in his awakening is the
flower of love given to him by Shudha. [ Dutta and
Robinson]

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Post office

  • 1. The Post Office by Rabindranath Tagore Presentation by Hardeepsinh R. Gohil Asst. Professor, Gujarat College, Ahmadabad.
  • 2. The Post Office. 1. Introduction. 2. About the Author. 3. Plot Summary. 4. Characters. 5. Themes. 6. Style. 7. Historical Context. 8. Critical Overviews.
  • 3. 1 English In India. • The language of hegemony. • The part of oriental operation. • Macaulay's Mischievous Minutes. • The factory of Clerks. • The privileged section of the society. • The medium of expression. • Now a tool for empowerment.
  • 4. The Beginning of Indian English Drama.(In Bengal) • The first modern productions in Bengali- in Nov. 1795 in the form of Disguise and Love is the Best Doctor.(Done in collaboration) • Krishna Mohan Benerji’s The Persecuted or Dramatic Scenes Illustrative of the Present State Of Hindu Society in Calcutta.1831. • 1831 Bengali Theatre/ The Hindoo Theatre with Julius Caesar.
  • 5. The Beginning of Indian English Drama. (In Bengal) • Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Ratnavali(1858) an adaptation of Harsha’s Sanskrit drama. • Sermista (1859), Is This Civilisation (1871), Nation Builder (1922 posthumously) • Rookmany Dutt’s Manipura Tragedy (1893)
  • 7. Rabindranath Tagore.(1861-1941) • The writer of our National Anthem, Jan Gan Man. • Son of Sharda Devi and Debendranath Tagore. • Born on 7th May 1861, Calcutta.(The British Capital of India. • Started writing at very early age. • The first short story ever to be written in Bengali Bhikharini 1877. (The Beggar Woman) • Wrote Gitanjali in 1912. The Work goes in the hands of best possible authors of the time such as Ezra Pound and W B Yeats.
  • 8. Rabindranath Tagore. • Giatanjali leads Tagore to be the first Asian Nobel Laureate. • He was also knighted by the British Government. • The work, The Post Office, upon which we will discuss today, was also written during the same period (1912). • In 1919 he resigned his knighthood as an act of protest, following the Jalianwala Baugh Massacre at Amritsar. • The difference of opinion between Gandhi and Tagore.
  • 9. Plot Summary of the Play. • It was written in four days. • Robinson & Dutta opines that the play “continues to occupy a special place in(Tagore’s) reputation, both within Bengal and in the wider world.” • Translated and performed in many European countries by eminent scholars.
  • 10. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-1) • A three-act play, begins with Madhav Dutta speaking with the Doctor about a young boy with a fever. The Doctor says the boy cannot go outside or he will get worse. • The Doctor quotes scripture and proverbs that support his recommended treatment. • Madhav also makes Thakurda promise not to allow the boy to play outside, and not to excite him too much. • Amal questions the Doctor's orders, but Madhav says that the Doctor knows best because he is well-read and is an educated man.
  • 11. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-1) • Madhav tells Amal that he can sit and read his whole life and become a pundit. • Amal scoffs at the suggestion because he does not want to sit still, as he is being forced to do now. Instead, he wants to travel the world and see all there is to see. • Madhav laughs at this, tells Amal he has to go to work, and makes the boy promise not to go outside while he is gone.
  • 12. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2) • Amal sits at the window when the Curd seller passes by, singing out his wares. • Amal does not want to buy dai (curds); he wants to hear about the Curd seller's village and to be taught the song that the man uses to sell his curds. • He wants to learn how to sell curds when he grows up. • The Curdseller tells the boy that he should become a pundit instead. Amal says "I will never become a pundit.“ • The simple heartedness of Amal touches the heart of Curd seller, he feels himself fortunate and offers curd to Amal.
  • 13. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2) • 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. • From this conversation, the Watchman makes a pun about mortality, though Amal does not appear to understand it. “Amal. But doctor won't let me out. Watchman. One day the doctor himself may take you there by the hand.”
  • 14. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2) • Amal asks the Watchman about the building across the street, which the Watchman says is the new post office. • The boy is entranced by the idea of becoming a mail carrier for the Raja . • The Watchman sees the Headman coming their way and he leaves. • As the Headman approaches, Amal talks to himself, imagining what it would be like to receive letters from the Raja. • Amal cannot read and asks if his aunty con read it for him. • The Headman is jealous of Madhav’s progress in the business. • Makes mockery of the boy and intends to brief the Raja for boasting of Madhav and his family.
  • 15. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-2) • 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. • They converse about the gardens & flowers. • Shudha agrees, swearing not to forget, and saying, "You will be remembered.“ • A group of Village Boys wanders by. He gives away all his toys and asks them to play near his window everyday. • He feels tired. Fever starts gripping.
  • 16. Plot Summary of the Play.(Act-3) • Madhav says that Amal looks weak from spending all day by the window befriending most of the townspeople. • Amal declares that he will beg the Raja to be made into a mail carrier. • 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 …
  • 17. Tagore’s Opinion. • Tagore himself explaines the intended meaning of the play to his friend C.F. Andrews in this way : Amal represents the man whose soul has received the call of the open road. But there is the post office in front of his little window, and Amal waits for the King's letter to come to him direct from the King's own physician and that which is death to the world of hoarded wealth and certified creeds brings him awakening in the world of spiritual freedom. The only thing that accompanies him in his awakening is the flower of love given to him by Shudha. [ Dutta and Robinson]