How should one approach an open ended essay in which the question states: "How does Desai portray the theme of "Nature versus Society" in Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard?"

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard nature plays a very poignant role. "She" is the refuge to which society runs to to find succor, support, and peace. Nature, with its rich, protective, and supple elements, is basically ignored until the moment when individual (Sampath) finally takes the initiative to removeĀ himself from an otherwise venomous and polluted society which rots the individual from the inside out. For your essay, outline the many obstacles that prevented Sampath from finding his voice and from finally liberating himself from oppression. Once he chose to do that, he became part of nature, or the Natural order of things. As a result, he is juxtaposed to the purpose of society versus his own purpose as an individual.

Like a silent and welcoming mother, Nature is always there on the sidelines awaiting with eager motivation the arrival of those who appreciate, remember, and love her. When Sampath finally chooses to lead a path toward individuality, he immediately escapes toward Mother Nature herself to hide him and save himĀ from a life that was no longer worth sacrificing time or efforts for.

The moment Sampath climbs the guava tree he immediately declares the tree as "his home", and he begins a journey where he and nature are finally bound together as nature originally intended humanity to be. In the tree, he sleeps, the muses, he philosophizes, and he gets nourished by his earthly, real mother. Hence, note how Nature is the ultimate source of peace and inspiration in Sampath's life.

However, like Sampath, Nature is in danger of the rest of society. When the alcohol-addicted monkeys" attack the city, the now-formed alliance between Sampath and Nature are put at risk. When Sampath's father and the advertisers greedily look for ways to make money out of Sampath's new-found celebrity as a guru, their invasion of Sampath's new "space" in Nature is also put at risk. In all, Nature and Sampath represent "the individual", which is now uncorrupted and has found a purpose. Meanwhile such "individual" is in constant danger of extinction by the agendas of society as a whole.


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