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What is The Exercise Book by Rabindranath Tagore About? A Summary and Review of the Famous Short Story

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summary of the exercise book by rabindranath tagore

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A Brief Summary of The Exercise Book by Rabindranath Tagore: A Classic Short Story of Love and Betrayal

If you are a fan of Rabindranath Tagore and his brilliant short stories, you might want to read The Exercise Book. This story is a poignant and powerful portrayal of a girl-child's life in Bengal, her desire for education, and her fate as a child-bride. But what is The Exercise Book about? In this article, we will give you a brief summary of the story and its themes.

What is The Exercise Book?

The Exercise Book is a short story by Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate and the most celebrated writer of Bengali literature. It was first published in 1893 in the literary magazine Bharati, edited by Tagore himself. The story is narrated from the perspective of Uma, a young girl who loves to read and write. She expresses her thoughts and feelings in an exercise book that she receives from her brother Gobindlal, who is a journalist and a writer. Uma's family does not approve of her interest in education, as they believe that girls should not be literate. They arrange her marriage at the age of nine to Pyarimohan, a friend and literary associate of Gobindlal. Uma's life changes drastically after her marriage, as she has to leave her parents' house and live with her husband and his family. She faces loneliness, neglect, and abuse from her husband, who is unfaithful to her. She also loses her exercise book, which is taken away by her mother-in-law. The story ends with a tragic twist, as Uma discovers that her husband has been having an affair with her sister-in-law Ranjana, whom he had secretly married before marrying Uma. Uma confronts them and kills them both with a knife. She then writes her last words in her exercise book: "I have killed them both".

What are the themes of The Exercise Book?

The Exercise Book is a story that explores the themes of gender discrimination, child marriage, and infidelity. It exposes the oppression and injustice faced by women in Bengal in the late nineteenth century, when they were denied education, freedom, and dignity. It also shows the hypocrisy and corruption of the male-dominated society, where men could have multiple wives and affairs without any consequences. The story also depicts the emotional turmoil and suffering of Uma, who is betrayed by her husband, her brother, and her sister-in-law. She resorts to violence as a way of avenging herself and asserting her identity. The exercise book symbolizes Uma's voice and agency, which are suppressed and silenced by the patriarchal system.


The Exercise Book by Rabindranath Tagore is a short story that will touch your heart with its realistic and tragic portrayal of a girl-child's life in Bengal. It is a masterpiece of Bengali literature that reveals Tagore's genius and sensitivity as a writer. You can read this story online for free from various sources or buy a copy from any bookstore. We hope you enjoy reading The Exercise Book and appreciate its message. b99f773239


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