The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai

Topics: Father, Culture, Mother Pages: 6 (1632 words) Published: September 23, 2013
Essay Draft

Essay Question: How does the text, The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai mirror its society’s values?

What to include:
Define the cultural values and ideas of this society.
Theme as a cultural representation of values and ideas
Characterisation – characters as a stereotype of values and ideas Hari, his father (role of fathers in society)
Setting – city and village – as representation (symbols) of values and ideas

(Author and the title of the book must be included in the first sentence). The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai is a novel that explores… Is a story that reveals (central character Hari)
Anita Desai writes a compelling story about the shift … through the novel, the…


Resistance to change (father resisted to change – moved away – Hari) - who? How?

Conflict within society p110

Sustainability – to survive – must adapt change

Society changes – changes in rural and city life/what changes?

Daily life changed, therefore traditions and culture changes.

Important Pages

Pg. 67 – characterisation
Pg. 133 – Bombay – theme city life vs. rural
Pg. 184 – Bombay street scape
Pg. 186 – Jagus city life
Pg. 187 – Family conditions (rich and poor)
Pg. 194 – Illusion of Bombay – promise of city life
Pg. 210 – evidence of change – adaption

Essay Model

Essay Question: How does the text, The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai mirror its society’s values?

‘Desai explores and defines the cultural shifts/changes… Map/inclusive
Short, grabs attention


Man vs. Self: Hari has a lot of internal conflict due to his struggle of whether or not he goes to Bombay to earn more money and leaves his family who could die potentially, or stay at home and keep struggling with the lack of money and food.

Man vs. Society: Hari’s struggle with poverty that comes with living in a tiny village with little to no job opportunities, and the fact that he cant follow a traditional and go out with his dad on his boat and fish because his dad sold there boat for alcohol money.

Man vs. Man: Hari has a lot of conflict with his father who has forced him (Hari) into becoming the man of the house because Hari’s dad would go out and drink at the toddy, spending all his money and selling the best income of food and money they had for alcohol money. Hari despises his dad because he missed out on a lot of things that a father should teach his son but he was too drunk most of the time to teach him.

Man vs. Nature: Hari has a lot of struggle with nature as a source of food and income. He rarely catches any fish due to having no boat to go out to sea and catch with, and he only has a net that he can no nearly nothing with. The crops that he grows aren’t very satisfying either and are hard to grow and take care of.


Hari: Hari is a very mature character considering he is only 12. He has this large responsibility that has been forced on him by his father who disregarded his family and cared more about drinking. To Hari Bombay is an illusion because for all he knows, he’ll never be able to make it a reality. He thinks that if he goes there he will be able to make more money so he can support his family and so he can have more freedom and excitement. He wants to be rich like a lot of his idols and he wants to be a big success and be able to afford gold and silver and a large amount of food like others in his village can. Hari leads a hard life, as he has to make all the decisions that should be taken care by adults, his father in particular. Hari’s Dad: Hari’s dad is known mostly as a drunkard. He has a very little amount of respect for his fatherly duties and his family, and wastes all of his money and time on drinking and buying toddy. He doesn’t care about his wife and kids at all until the last part of the book. He used to be a fisherman and he has a lost a lot of job opportunities due to him...
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