Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-Online Book Summary |
6. “it seemed to me that a new peace came to us then, freed at last from the necessity for lies and concealment and deceit, with the fear of betrayal lifted from us, and with the power we ourselves had given her wrested finally from Kunthi.” (p.90)
After Ruku and Nathan confess their secrets to each other, they are able to stop Kunthi’s blackmail and emotional hold over them. Instead of breaking them apart, the truth makes their relationship stronger. Theirs is clearly a marriage based on true partnership and love.
7. “’Limited, yes,’ I agree. ‘Yet not wholly without understanding. Our ways are not your ways.’” (p. 111)
Ruku and Kenny develop a friendship over the years but still have difficulty understanding one another. Kenny does not understand Ruku’s reluctance to stand up and fight against injustice. He sees her as ignorant; she proves to be the wiser by recognizing that their cultures have different ways of handling hardship and that her limited knowledge of the world does not make her stupid.
8. “I held him, this child begotten in the street of an unknown man in a moment of easy desire, while the brightness of the future broke and fell about me like so many pieces of coloured glass. I did not want his mother to see. . .” (p.119)
Ruku hoped the birth of Ira’s child could be joyful despite his unknown father and Ira’s work as a prostitute; however, those hopes are dimmed when she sees the baby is albino. At first Ruku sees this as a sign of punishment, a further misfortune brought on Ira. Ira’s love for her child soon changes Ruku’s opinion and the family adapts yet again.
9. “In our lives there is no margin for misfortune.” (p. 136)
This illustrates the delicate balance between survival and death Ruku and her family must keep everyday. As the novel shows, they are vulnerable to every hardship whether manmade (like the tannery) or natural (like the drought).
10. “’Would you hold me when my time is come? I am at peace. Do not grieve.’ ‘If I grieve,’ I said ‘ it is not for you, but for myself, beloved, for how shall I endure without you, who are my love and my life?’ ‘You are not alone,’ he said ‘I live in my children.’” (p.187)
Nathan’s dying words to his wife; this demonstrates the strong bond between them and again illustrates the theme of hope - even in death there is hope for the future as lives on in their children.
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Sinclair, Meredith. "TheBestNotes on Nectar in a Sieve".
. 12 May 2008