Re-reading Tagore’s The Home and the World: A Study of Contesting Modernities
Keywords:Modernity, Nationalism, Freedom, Humanism, Disillusionment
The present paper attempts to focus the model of contesting modernities dealing with conceptual problems rather than the importance of logic and science. The Home and the World (1916), written by Rabindanath Tagore, a fictional autobiographical novel can be read as the model of contesting modernities. In the research article, it is an attempt to explore the textual responses to contesting forms of modernity in abstract ideas about the issues of nation and gender in the context of Swadeshi Bengal in the early decades of twentieth century. After re-reading the text, it can be applied to the larger question of formation of nation and true nationalist and liberty of women. The novel grows out of the anti-partition Swadeshi movement, the issues of the home and the world, the tradition and the modern approach of life. The novel focuses the battle of ideas between western culture and revolution against the western culture in colonial period. Two protagonists of the novel such as Nikhilesh and Sandip in the novel represents two kinds of ideas in the light of the spirit of the Modern age as revealed in Sabuj Patra. From their ideas reveal two types of nationalists’ project. Nationalism always can be viewed as a process of cultural invention. Nikhilesh is a logical man and supports for non-violence. He likes true mental freedom that can be achieved by the projects of nationalism full of humanism. At the other hand, Sandip prefers to aggressive political freedom and power after grabbing over other nations and national resources. Bimala, third protagonist, is ultimately disillusioned to the nationalist project of Sandip about the emancipation of gender. So Modernity, the recreated form of culture can be viewed with humanistic features such as love, co-operation, sympathy, sacrifice etc.
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