Wednesday 8 July 2020

The Last Bargain

The Last Bargain
                                          By Rabindra Nath Tagore

Analysis : 

·        The poet, R. N. Tagore is in spiritual search which leads him to freedom and heavenly bliss.
·        Rabindranath Tagore's ‘The Last Bargain’ metaphorically refers to the job hunting which  can provide satisfaction, real happiness and spiritual bliss to the poet.
·        The poet eventually strikes the deal with a child who has nothing to offer him and this made him free highlighting the message that not money, nor power, not even beauty can provide us happiness but innocence, simplicity, passion for work and freedom from materialistic attitude and monetary gains can provide us eternal peace, real happiness, satisfaction and heavenly bliss.
·        The tone of the poem is philosophical as it proclaims the philosophy of life.
·        The theme of the poem reveals the secret that the employment that involves emancipation gives us real joy.
·        It is composed in free verse which is Tagore’s mastery as the lines are unequal and irregular in length, they don’t rhyme as well.

About the poet

Rabindra Nath Tagore is not only first Indian but also the first Asian to win Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 for 'Gitanjali', the collection of hymns in praise of God. He authored Indian national anthem. He also composed ‘Amar sonar Bangla’, national anthem of Bangladesh.
He was prolific dramatist, talented poet, painter, teacher and musician who founded Vishwa Bharti Vidyapeeth. He was honoured with knighthood, title of sir by the British Government, which he returned in protest of Jalianwala Bagh massacre expressing his love for his country. 
Difficult words / expressions

Bargain – exchange
hire – give work
 I – poet
 Stone paved road – road made with stone   
chariot – king’s cart driven by horses
power - authority
nought - nothing
midday - noon
crooked – bent, not straight
lane - narrow street
bag of gold - monetary rewards
pondered - thought deeply
weighed - calculated-compared
 turned away - declined the offer and went away
all a flower - full of flowers
fair maid – beautiful maiden, unmarried girl
smile – symbol of love and beauty
paled – disappeared, fainted, not permanent
melted into tears – changed, felt sad
glistened – shone brightly
broke - lashed striking the shore
waywardly - here and there, without any direction
seemed to know me – poet’s inner self
hire with nothing – work/service is invaluable
thenceforward - from then
bargain struck in – bargain was successful
a free man – without any obligations, boundation

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Poetic Devices

I will hire you with my money – Refrain  
Sword in hand, the King came in his chariot – Repetition
Sword in hand, the King came in his chariot – Assonance
Sword in hand, the King came in his chariot – Imagery
He held my hand and said – Alliteration
He held my hand and said – Consonance
I will hire you with my power  - Alliteration
In the heat of the midday the houses stood with shut doors – Alliteration  
In the heat of the midday the houses stood with shut doors – Repetition 
In the heat of the midday the houses stood with shut doors – Imagery 
An old man came out with his bag of gold – Symbolism  
He pondered and said – Consonance
He weighed his coins one by one – Repetition  
He weighed his coins one by one – Alliteration 
I will hire you with a smile – Symbolism
sun glistened on the sand, and the sea waves lashed waywardly – Alliteration 
The fair maid came out - Imagery 
Her smile paled and melted into tears - Imagery 
The sun glistened on the sand, and the sea waves lashed waywardly - Imagery
A child sat playing with shells - Imagery
He raised his head and seemed to know me and said – Consonance
Thenceforward that bargain struck in child's play made me a free man - Alliteration
He pondered and said, "I will hire you with my money." - Anaphora
He weighed his coins one by one, but I turned away.       - Anaphora

Important Question Answers

Q1. How did the speaker feel after talking to the child on the beach?

Ans. After talking to the child the speaker introspected about his pursuit of happiness and realised that money, power and beauty can’t give him real happiness and contentment. A child is happy in his play because he is free from any obligations and bondations. He realised that there is a small child in him who is innocent, simple and happy. He decided not to seek any gains or rewards for his work of service because these returns would make him a servant or slave to the his employer. The poet also realised that he can be happy when he is free and able to work for his own satisfaction.

Q2. What does the poet want to convey to the readers?

Ans. The poet wants to convey to his readers that money, authority and other monetary gains can't provide us inner peace and real happiness. if you seek true happines and inner satisfaction, you need to be free from worldly desires and materialistic bonds. These attractions are not permanent and would give temporary happiness for real happiness you must free yourselves from such bondages and be simple, innocent and pure like a small child. 

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