Freud and Tagore: Understanding Life and Death in the Pandemic

Ms. Mahua Chatterjee

Today, as death surrounds us and we struggle to find light in the darkness, the writings of Sigmund Freud and Rabindranath Tagore soothe our minds.


Despite misery, death and churning of the estranged heart,
Peace and bliss prevails, hopes galore

                                             Rabindranath Tagore, Geetabitan, 1903  [1]

The end of Civilization: this is how the pandemic is being perceived. People not only fear their own death but also the end of the world.  Physical distancing induces more panic leaving people with hopelessness. The most severe pandemic in history was the Spanish influenza (1918–1920) causing the tragic death of 20 million people.  A hundred years later with Covid-19, the fear of death, craving for life, striving to understand life under the shadow of a pandemic are still the same. 

In this atmosphere two persons from different parts of the globe continue to influence us, giving us a ray of hope – Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Indian poet/Nobel l