Role of The Tannery in the novel Nectar in a Sieve Essay

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Question: What role does the tannery, in Rukmani’s city, have throughout the book? Explain. Also, be sure to discuss what effect it had on the people. In almost every novel, there is at least one culprit or menace. He or she usually causes problems and in more exciting works, ends up murdering one of the protagonists. Hence, in the erratic novel Nectar in a Sieve, which is set in India during the early 1950’s, there has been a troublemaker, just hidden and extremely indirect in his actions. “What’s his name?” one might ask. The answer: the tannery. This corporation alone forces Rukmani and her husband Nathan off their land, takes away Rukmani’s sons, and ultimately, kills her husband. By being the culprit in the book, the tannery…show more content…
As the quote states, Rukmani’s hunch did come true and the tannery buys Rukmani and Nathan’s land. To the affect of this, Nathan and Rukmani decide to reside with their most successful son, or so they would think. Murugan mysteriously disappears and leaves the couple homeless. Living with no roof over his head, and eating miniscule portions, Nathan becomes horribly sick and ends up dying. It is important the reader connects Nathan’s death to the tannery buying his land. This quote shows the harsh conditions Rukmani and Nathan had to deal with to survive. “[Rukmani Narrates] We ate once a day and that was all: when the day for buying cloth to cover ourselves with, or a mat to lie on, or medicines for Nathan while he fevered, there would be nothing (Markandaya 175). All these sufferings and poverty are the effect of Nathan and Rukmani not being able to compensate for the loss of their land which was brought by the tannery. So, the tannery assumes the role of bully in this situation by killing the father of a family. This depicts how the tannery is the indirect murderer in Nectar in a Sieve, making it the antagonist. Although the tannery did murder Nathan and throw a family on the streets, the pioneer business did shed some light on the industrial side of India. For over 80 years, Great Britain colonized India. The novel’s time period is set up just after India gains its
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