Nectar In A Sieve

403 Words2 Pages
Nectar In A Sieve, written by Kamala Markandaya, is a powerful novel based on the life of an elderly woman, named Rukmani, and her attempts to find happiness. From the beginning of the novel, one sees that Rukmani and the people around her don’t have an easy life. Each of the characters in this novel have their own ways of handling difficult situations. As the story unfolds, the reader sees that Rukmani is capable of violence, Raja making a mistake that cost him his life, Irawaddy giving in to prostitution, and even strangers acting like savages. Throughout these events, the author is able to portray that when in agony, a person can respond in an unexpected way. As Rukmani starts to reflect on her past, one learns that she is very loving and patient. Even though she has had loss after loss over the years, she has never complained. However, one restless night, Rukmani mistakes Ira for Kunthi, which causes her to practically kill her own daughter. “I slunk after them, disbelieving. It could not be Irawaddy.” (95) Everyone, including Rukmani, couldn’t believe that she was capable of violence. This scene shows that even the most innocent person can’t keep all of their sufferings inside and at some point they will have to let it all out. Furthermore, Markandaya shows the reader that by being in misery, a person can make a decision that could hurt themselves and others as well. For instance, Raja was tempted to steal a calfskin in order to help out his family; consequently, he was killed. In addition to that, Ira also makes a horrible decision. She decides to sell her body. “How can I rest or anyone rest? Can you not hear the child?” (97) Ira didn’t mean to devastate her parents; she felt as if this were the only solution she had to save her little brother and herself from starvation. As one can see, both of these decisions left Rukmani and her family in sorrow.
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