Tagore Class Reflection

While discussing Fruit-Gathering in class someone brought up cremation in the U.S in regard to the Salem witch trials and how that has shaped our view of cremation. I believe the point of the comparison was that when the “witches” were burned it was a very gruesome way of killing them and depicted the idea of burning to death in a very negative and painful way, which I presume it is. However, there are many cultures in which cremating a loved one is the proper way, and although it may seem gruesome it is simply something they are used to and is typical. I think there was even mention of cultures where women throw themselves onto their husband’s funeral pyre. This conversation reminded me of my thoughts when I first read this. Although the part about her husband burning did not necessarily stick out to me, I had different idea of what would happen in the end. I thought it would be more of an empowering story once it ended with this woman finding peace with herself, instead of a husband, as Tulsidas claimed she would. In the end when she found God it wasn’t was I expected but I think this speaks to the same idea of different cultures having different takes on life. Much like the different perspectives of cremations there are different perspectives on marriage, religion, etc. Although it seems kind of obvious that different places have different cultures, and different perspectives, it’s important to think of these things when reading things like this. Had I not listen to this discussion and thought about the text from another viewpoint I would’ve still had my original thoughts about it and moved on to the next piece. Which means I didn’t really learn much. When reading something like this and deciding what is important, or predicting outcomes, it’s necessary to question why you think those things are important and how that differs from the context it’s presented in. What preconceived notions are you dealing with that might change how you view a specific part?

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