When reading the book The Road to Salvation, the theme of poverty cannot be left out or ignored by a reader. Dhanpat, although born in Hindu caste made up of relevant people in the society, remains to be poor. The father of Dhanpat earns low income working as a postal employee. This shows the effects of poverty on society in general. The author also emphasizes on determination. Premchand largely reflects on the aspect of hard work. Even though Dhanpat’s father was a low-income earner, Dhanpat does accept the situation. He does not sit back waiting for angels to come down and save them from poverty. Instead, he fights to uplift his family from their misery. Dhanpat strives to learn Urdu and Persian languages, and due to his patience as well as determination, he graduates at the age of eighteen (Premchand 19). His education enables him to teach in schools around the countryside. Dhanpat teaches and strives to earn a degree in his studies. He knows that with a degree, he could get better employment as well as salary.
Marrying and remarrying are also themes in The Road to Salvation. After the death of Dhanpat’s mother, Dhanpat’s father immediately marries another woman when Dhanpat was eight. Dhanpat dislikes his stepmother and leaves home to find a stable career through studies, hoping to become a better person in society. The case of Dhanpat’s father remarrying brings out the theme of polygamy. Besides, The Road to Salvation explores the theme of forceful marriage. Dhanpat’s father forces him to marry at the age of fifteen. This marriage does not last because he was too young to handle family issues. However, he later remarries when he is mature enough. He and his new wife, Balavidhava, then have several children.
Greed and animosity is also evident in Premchand’s work. This is observable through the proud farmers who were filthy rich and made up the core economic bone of the community. The farmers are brought down to mere workers who work in a construction site (Premchand 20). When they are brought down to the mere laborers, the farmers gain the ability to overcome greed and animosity.
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The quarreling of Jhingur and Buddhu may be viewed as a story of vengeance. Judging from their personal success and the level of their material wealth, Jhingur and Buddhu may be driven by personal gain, and therefore, they turn into acts of vengeance, which end up destroying their fortunes (Premchand 24). A primordial thinking propels the characters to contend against each other.
Premchand opens the story by portraying Jhingur as a man focused on accumulating wealth and improving his image and not as a poor farmer. The people judge Jhingur by his level of wealth as it portrays success and power, as viewed by the society. For instance, the Jhingur’s attitude to prosperity can be seen in the following excerpt: “Whenever Jhingur looked at his cane field a sort of intoxication came over him. He had large acres of land that could earn him an easy six hundred rupees” (Premchand 20). Thus, another theme that the character of Jhingur brings forth is the theme of negative competency. The character seems to value wealth over everything else. Instead of focusing on how his work might positively affect his life and the society at large, he focuses on how he can make more money than his fellow farmers can. This portrays his selfish character and his unkindness to the society.
Through this selfish farmer, the belief of personal gain receives high acceptability. This does not account for the level of moderate human condition, but rather for the trivial evidence of personal prosperity. The character soon disappears as a result of his greed and vengeful behavior. Buddhu’s field being burnt down can be described as a wicked act of selfishness. Buddhu is reluctant to bargain with those less providential in the society, and he focuses on his income maximization as well. Like Jhingur before, Buddhu has become greedy and unaware of the looming danger. His greed blinds him from reality.
Thus, the two authors observe different themes in their writing, though the themes have similarities at some point. The book I Won’t Let You Go focuses on themes such as love and nature. The persona experiences his daughter’s love. Alternatively, The Road to Salvation reflects on love as well. Dhanpat’s love for his family drives him to work hard to attain a degree so that his people would have a better life.
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The two authors explore nature from different viewpoints. Tagore defines nature as a mother that looks after the community, but she has great anger that destroys the human race when provoked. In The Road to Salvation, on the other hand, nature expounds the human character as individuals become selfish and greedy to earn wealth and recognition from the community. Both authors explain what will be the results if people take self-centered advantage of nature: they will face the wrath of Mother Nature and will be punished.
The authors, however, differ in thoughts as their writings target different audience. The Road to Salvation is religious based and focuses on the attainment of salvation by men. The author explains how selfishness and greed may lead to doom for the human soul. I Won’t Let You Go bases on the theme of love. The author uses the persona to pass the message of love between parents and their children and that love with action is stronger than love in words.
The authors portray the significance of life and the human race. They discourage wrongful acts that may lead to regret. The audiences have much to learn from the experience of the characters from each book. The authors try to guide the audience: people should learn good neighborhood and take courage even at the worst moments. Tagore and Premchand both portray evils done by men against men, but give the human race hope, exposing the need for love and salvation.
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