Nectar in a Sieve Essay
Throughout the novel Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya, money plays an important part in the lives of the protagonist Rukmani, her family, and many others. Money is vital for sustaining the constant basic needs of food and water. Typically, it is rather the lack of money more than anything else that is a problem in the lives of characters. Money is needed for survival, and this is a harsh lesson that is learned by several in the novel.
Money provides the foundation for a stable life in which all needs are fulfilled. For Rukmani, all she wants is for her family to be fed and not have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Rukmani realizes the severity of her situation when a drought sweeps through her village and destroys the harvest. The family must go hungry, barely eating at all. Rukmani must divide the rice she has into portions just to sustain her family for about a month. With no crops, Rukmani and her husband Nathan sell nearly all they have just to pay off half of what they owe to their landlord for the lease. The family soon resorts to eating roots and grass to stay alive. The youngest son, Kuti, is most hurt by the lack of food. He progressively grows weaker, beginning to starve. Many nights, they can hear him moaning in pain from hunger in his sleep. In her desperation, Irawaddy, the eldest child and only daughter, turns to prostitution to provide for her family. With the money she earns, Irawaddy is able to buy for Kuti food to ease his pain. Kuti is able to eat well and get better, but the improvements in his health do not last long. Soon Kuti stops even eating grass, being too hard on his digestive system. Sadly, Kuti does not survive these hard times and dies of starvation. The small amount of money Ira earned temporarily keep the aches of hunger away, but could not save him. Money is a necessity, securing food and provisions for a family. Without it, Rukmani lived constantly with...
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