Remorse and Wealth: A Textual Explication of Tagore’s Poem
In this article, we will make a textual explication of the poems; 8th and 31st by Tagore. Remorse and wealth will be the claim we make through these poems.
1.Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (New Delhi: MAHAVEER PUBLISHERS) 47.
I thought I could outdo everybody in the world in wealth and power, and I amassed in my own treasure-house the money due to my king. When sleep overcame me I lay upon the bed that was for my lord, and on waking up I found I was a prisoner in my own Treasure-house.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (New Delhi: MAHAVEER PUBLISHERS) 24.
Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage off finery, if keeps one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth, if it one of the right of entrance to the great fair of common human life.
This paper makes comparisons and contrasts among above given two references. Both texts are extracted from Rabindranath Tagore’s collection of poetry Gitanjali, from 31st and 8th respectively. It explores the theme of wealth and remorse in the excerpts, focusing on the similarities and differences of views.
The extract from 31st poem presents how a man becomes a victim of his own excessive desire for wealth and power. The first line of stanza facilitates readers to make sure that the persona of the victim makes a treasury-house by collecting a huge amount of wealth. He is implicitly declaring himself to be competing with other people for the sake of making wealth. In this race, he surpasses all of his rivalries and becomes the wealthiest and powerful man in the world. Though he achieves his targeted ambition, finally, he finds himself imprisoned within his own treasure-house. What it implies is that all this treasury could give one is the damnation and downfall. It serves to reach the theme of wealth and remorse after all.
The phrase “the bed that was for my lord” bears a suspicion in readers because the bed on which the speaker lay whole night belongs not to himself but to his king. The phrase must be revealing out the murder of the king.a The speaker may be the nearest relative of the king who dares to assassinate king inside his own palace. The main reason for the murder of the king is to seize an absolute political power and possessions. This claim can be further reinforced by a next phrase “the money due to my king”. He must have been jealous of the king’s property and personality. Similarly, one possible interpretation of the extract may be the speaker is a common person who longs for getting to as equal as king’s status. But he feels caught in his own treasure-house. It is not people of the king, but it is his own overwhelming sense of guilt that imprisoned him. His worldly dreams come true at cost of morality and spirituality. He seems not satisfied with what he gains. On the other hand, the speaker can be a modern person because, by nature, modern people share the same characteristics like he does. This is how the speaker is interpreted to be a representative of a modern human who is doomed to the victim of wealth and power.
The 8th poem resembles the 31st poem to the large extent in terms of its theme which deals with a boy lamenting over a burden of his aristocratic legacy. The phrase; “thy bondage off finery” reinforces this idea that the speaker is from either higher class or the royal family. It does not let him go beyond its premises. He is complaining to his mother for not permitting him to play in the dust. He treats the dust as the healthiest thing of the earth. He has a strong desire to play with dust like common children. Moreover, this desire for dust and common life sounds long repressive for years. The speaker is not happy with worldly or ornamental life. He says it is worthless to live such a life that makes the slave consumption of finery merchandise. Unfortunately, the entrance of the common human life is closed for him. It shows he is confined within monotonous artificial palace where his will and wishes are imprisoned.
Through the speaker, Tagore is portraying how the hell life a member of the royal family has to live. The connection with common people is no more with such life. Those aristocratic values are the great barriers to freedom. It deprives one of sucking of the marrow of life. So, what it teaches its reader is probably to live life with full of happiness and satisfaction that one can obtain doing things as they like. When the speaker reveals his views on life as he says Mother, it is no gain if bondage of finery keeps one away from the dust of the earth and common human life. On the one hand, this statement makes an appreciation of ordinary human lives. It assumes that such lives can have more autonomy and pleasure. This means we can only enjoy freedom by bonding relationship among friends, relatives, and common people but not by piling up a huge heap of money and finery material objects.
Recapitulation: Remorse and Wealth: A Textual Explication of Tagore’s Poem
To sum up, the excerpts share the same common theme of remorse and wealth. Money and materials prosperity does not necessarily bring happiness to a human. Moreover, an assumption normally people make about material wealth and desire as a source of the best way of living culminates into remorse and consequently damnation. In one way or other, the excerpts encourage its reader to pursue happiness and satisfied life with full of freedom. The speaker of the poems subtly conveys this message to the readers. The wealthiest man finds himself a prisoner in his own treasure-house and the boy complains, for his is not allowed to play in the dust, and get tough with common people. This shows they have the harsh feeling of remorse for what lives they live through.