Nectar In A Sieve Book Review

1467 words - 6 pages

Nectar in a Sieve

Written in the early 1950s by Kamala Markandaya, Nectar in a Sieve reflects a time of intense turbulence in rapidly developing India. Indian independence from Britain after World War II was flourishing, and India suffered some of the worst, cultural, economic, climatic and social shocks an infant nation has ever witnessed. This fictional tale follows the plight of Indian villagers who battle nature, struggle through poverty, endure personal hardships, and encounter the harsh realities of India's industrialization and hence, modernization. The protagonist, Rukmani, and her loving husband heroically cling to their "traditional" way of life - living according to nature, adhering to family, saving face, keeping upright moral conduct. Fate and their trust in nature fuel their higher spirit. Other villager's spirits are not as strong and some fall prey to the physical temptation of survival. What happens in Rukmani's life and village is a microcosm of what is happening to a developing India.

Although there are many characters in the novel, the three main characters who personify the concept of modernization are Rukmani, Nathan, and the Doctor. Rukmani and Nathan represent India while English physician, Kennington (called Kenny) represents the British attitude towards India, a child state. Kenny portrays the notion of "White Man's Burden"; he appears to exhibit compassion for the Indian peasants, yet he continues to fail to understand them and culture. He is angered by the peasants' acceptance of fate. I found the doctor to be a stereotype for Kamala Markandaya to express her opinion. In one quote about building a hospital for the village, Kenny explains his point to Rukmani. "I will repeat it again, you must cry out if you want help. It is no use whatsoever to suffer in silence. Who will succour the drowning man if he dose not clamor for his life?" p.111 The doctor identifies "Indian philosophy" as fatalism. Kenny feels that fatalism is an obstacle to modernization and technology, both being huge areas that can improve conditions for India.

Rukmani exhibits the Hindu concept of Karma. Her struggle is a path to Nirvana through enduring suffering. Her ambition is a modest and not modern one - to live in simple harmony with nature (tradition). Better to feed the soul than to feed the body at the soul's expense. The title of the novel, "Nectar In a Sieve," hints at the book's plot. Nectar, representing hopes and dreams is never contained. Instead, the sweetness strain through a sieve and go do the drain. "The truth is unpalatable," p.97 is repeated twice to Rukmani, first by the men that killed her son Raja, and next by her daughter Ira, who indirectly reveals her prostitution. Through all the hardships she never gives up her faith in nature/tradition or her hope that life will get better.

Summary
The narrator and protagonist, Rukmani, fulfilled an arranged married to Nathan, a poor peasant tenant farmer. ...

Find Another Essay On Nectar in a Sieve Book Review

Celebrating Womanhood in Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve

2270 words - 9 pages Kamala Markandaya was a pen name used by Kamala Purnaiya Taylor. She moved to England in 1948 and settled there after marrying an Englishman. However she still considered herself a true Indian. Her first published novel, Nectar in a Sieve (1954) was a bestseller and cited as an American Library Association Notable Book in 1955. Her other novels include, Some Inner Fury(1955), A Silence of Desire(1960), Possession(1963), A Handful of Rice(1966

Value of Suffering in Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve

1164 words - 5 pages Value of Suffering in Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve   Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve portrays its positive woman characters as ideal sufferers and nurturers. "[T]he cause of her suffering springs mainly from poverty and natural calamity. The women are from the rural sections of society. They are the daughters of the soil and have inherited age-old traditions which they do not question. Their courage lies in meek or at times

Is 'Nectar in a Sieve' a story "without hope"?

3417 words - 14 pages The story 'Nectar in a Sieve' by Kamala Markandaya has a title which is an insinuation to the poem 'Work without Hope' by Samuel Coleridge. The lines in the poem "Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, And Hope without an object cannot live" reflect a similar situation in the story by Kamala Markandaya. The epigraph of the novel also contains the same lines. The title and the epigraph suggest that the author feels that hope is a necessity in

"Change in Nectar in Sieve" by Kamala Markandaya

643 words - 3 pages In Nectar In A Sieve, Kamala Markandaya emphasizes the changes that every character must adapt to. While in some cases characters try to avoid change or feel pity towards themselves, only those who accept and adjust to change persevere. By showing the various choices that one makes, and their outcomes, Markandaya expresses her opinion that since change is inevitable, in order to survive one must have hope and be optimistic about the future.There

A book in review

2016 words - 9 pages may choose to let people affect their life. Leadership and management as explained by Covey are quite different. The meaning of leadership is the ability to initially understand by utilizing the first habit of being proactive. The example given in the book provided a clear understanding that we must first realize or visualize where we are going or in that case stated what we are building. You cannot create a successful structure without first

This is a character analyses of rukmani the main character of the book "A nectar in a seieve" by Kamala Markandaya

518 words - 2 pages are able to do this in "A nectar in a sieve" to determine Rukmani's characteristics. Rukmani is protagonist in the book, born to rich but the wealth doesn't last. Her father doesn't have money by the time she is to be wed so she marries a poor farmer tenant. She grows accustomed to her poorness, and makes the best of every situation no matter how bad it seems, and believes that things will get better.Rukmani portrays a strong, devoted, and

A Book Review

701 words - 3 pages there are no alternatives”.1 Overall I don’t feel that the book adequately gives a feel for the society and time period in such a way that someone would gain an understanding of the people or their ways and very little information that may give someone “alternatives”. There are a few exceptions to this namely the chapters discussing philosophy and politics but the book lacks a consistent vision, goal, or flow. The individual chapters mostly don’t

HR Challenges: A Book Review

647 words - 3 pages , which is quite innovative. However, the content of this article is based on real life experiences and will, therefore, contribute building insights to HR professionals in Sri Lanka and in countries having similar socio-cultural, political, and economic background. The article published in chapter two as entitled “Human Resource Development in Organizations: A Review of Current Practices in Sri Lanka” written by Vathsala M. Wickramasinghe

Book Review: A single Shard

990 words - 4 pages name. He could not have thanked them enough and he was finally able to learn what he had wanted to, which was his sole desire for a very long time.I think the theme of this book is never giving up hope. Tree-ear was determined and resolute to accomplish what he was sent for even after the disastrous events he went through. He never once drew back from his laboring duties. He never shirked work and was very obedient. At many times you have to put in

:Book review: A grief observed

927 words - 4 pages Grief, pain, and suffering are the unavoidable truths of human existence. We know that even Jesus had to suffer and experience grief. The book, A Grief Observed written by C.S. Lewis is about the experience of Lewis after his wife’s death. The book was not intended for publication when it was written. It was just a journal Lewis wrote for himself, as we can see in his writing that Lewis is straight forward while he was writing his emotions. He

Silent Spring - A Book Review!

1300 words - 5 pages environment as a whole. Carson tells us that nature is a delicate balance. As she proves in the first several chapters of her book, the soil, water, and plant world all work together to maintain this balance. For millions of years, the world stood ever-changing as it adapted to it's natural environment. The appearance of man brought a species that at one time respected and honored nature as a "God"-like object. As Hunters and Gatherers, we took from

Similar Essays

Nectar In A Sieve Essay

537 words - 2 pages Nectar in a Sieve Nectar in a Sieve is a story if a Hindu family in a rural village in India. The family members are Rukmani (mother), Nathan (father), Ira (daughter), Arjun (son), Thambi (son), Muragan (son), Raja (son), Selvam (son), and Kuti (son) .The family failed to release itself from poverty caused by hardship of nature and economics. This poverty forced the only daughter, Ira, into prostitution and caused their three sons, Arjun, Thambi

Nectar In A Sieve By Kamala Markandaya

1871 words - 7 pages twenty five she settled in England in 1948 she found love and got married(Abdullah). She made England her adopted home but visited her homeland regularly(Sinclair). In 1954 she wrote the book Nectar in a sieve and it was her most popular book she wrote(Abdullah). Kamala got lots of fame and success with the book Nectar in a Sieve(Assisi). The book even became a bestseller here in the United States which granted her more fame(Assisi). With this

Nectar In A Sieve Literary Essay

1157 words - 5 pages The power of the human spirit consists of a powerful concept that deals with resilience and the ability to continue moving on regardless of the odds that one encounters. Nectar in a Sieve, a novel by Kamala Markandaya, takes place in an unknown town in rural India. The story follows the life of Rukmani who is the narrator and main protagonist of the story. Nectar in a Sieve was published in 1954, a couple years after India gained independence

Nectar In A Sieve Literary Essay

832 words - 4 pages The power of the human spirit consists of a powerful concept that deals with resilience and the ability to continue moving on regardless of the odds that one encounters. Nectar in a Sieve, a novel by Kamala Markandaya, takes place in an unknown town in rural India. The story follows the life of Rukmani who is the narrator and main protagonist of the story. Nectar in a Sieve very well portrays the power of the human spirit through the obstacles