What does Tagore compare “reason” and “dead habits” to in his poem ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’? Why does he compare them?
In the poem Where the Mind is Without Fear, the poet compares ‘reason’ to a clear stream and ‘dead habits’ to a dry desert.
Reason or logical thinking is the thing that makes a nation progressive. On the other hand, ‘dead habits’ (superstitions) make a nation stagnant. Logical thinking helps us take new decisions and accept changes instead of sticking to some age-old ideas. That is why reason is compared to a clear stream that can wash out any stagnant object on its way.
Dead habits are compared to desert sands because these superstitious beliefs block the way of progressive thoughts, just as a desert can block the way of a clear stream. Dead habits are as choking as the desert for something fresh and progressive.