Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-Online Book Summary |
Rukuís discomfort with the tannery came from the fact it disrupted her traditional lifestyle. Traditional values of family are broken by the tannery: no longer do sons follow in their fatherís footsteps, and daughters are easily led astray. Rukuís encounters in the city also show her discomfort with modern things: female doctors in pants and latrines for example.
This theme is illustrated in Kenny and Rukuís relationship. Although they were friends, the two frequently disagreed with or misunderstood one another. What Kenny saw in Ruku as ignorance and weakness, she saw in her self as signs of strength and simple wisdom. The best example of this is Kennyís insistence that Ruku should ask for help when suffering. To do so for her would be a sign of failure as in her culture strength and grace were gained only through such suffering.
Nature provides constant challenges in the novel. The poor who work the land are most affected by natureís fury as is clearly seen during the flood and drought. Despite natureís ability to harm, Ruku still finds it a beautiful and peaceful thing - in fact, it is one of the reasons that draws her back to her village. Rukuís statement that nature is like a wild animal one has tamed is fitting.
Ruku is the first person narrator of the story. Ruku tells the story as an old woman looking back on the events of her life, so she reflects in addition to simply narrating. Ruku knows only her own thoughts and information given to her by others.
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Sinclair, Meredith. "TheBestNotes on Nectar in a Sieve".
. 09 May 2017