Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-Online Book Summary |
The antagonist of a story is the force that provides an obstacle for the protagonist. The antagonist does not always have to be a single character or even a character at all. In this story, no one character serves as the antagonist. Rather the forces of change and nature provide Ruku with hardships to overcome. Flooding rains, drought conditions, starvation and death all conspire to challenge Rukuís strength. Ruku must also face the disruption of her traditional way of life (by the opening of the tannery) and learn to adapt to new situations (such as life in the city or her illegitimate grandchild). The tannery proves to be the source of much of Rukuís hardship and ultimately costs her family their land. Kunthi and her attempts to blackmail both Ruku and Nathan are also part of the antagonistic force in the novel.
The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist to resolve the conflict. The end of Part I brings the climax of the novel - after years of struggling against nature and the tannery, Ruku and Nathan lose the battle and their land. Unable to pay the land dues, they are forced to leave the only way of life theyíve ever known. This greatest change brings Ruku her greatest challenge yet; because Nathan is old and unable to get employment elsewhere, they must travel to the city to find and live with their son Murugan.
The outcome, resolution, or denouement occurs when with their son Murugan gone and no way to live in the city, Ruku and Nathan decide to return to the village. Before they can earn the money to do so, Nathan dies. Ruku carries his memory back to the village to her remaining children, taking the orphan Puli with her and still carrying her hopes for the future of her children.
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Sinclair, Meredith. "TheBestNotes on Nectar in a Sieve".
. 09 May 2017