Explain who Kenny is, and what role he plays in Rukmani's life? Describe an effect nature has on the lives of the villagers?

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Kenny is presumably an English doctor. In the novel, he is Rukmani's benefactor, mentor, and friend.

Not only does he help Rukmani with her infertility problem, but he also provides advice and material help when needed. On one occasion, he takes pity on Rukmani when he sees her suckling her three-year-old son. When asked why she is still nursing her son, Rukmani tells Kenny that she and her husband had to sell their goat to make ends meet.

Thereafter, Kenny would bring a little cow's milk for Rukmani when he visited. Sometimes, he would send the milk with one of the village children. On another occasion, he provides a recommendation for Rukmani's third son, Murugan, so that the latter can get hired as a servant in a town two day's away.

Meanwhile, Rukmani's other sons, Arjun and Thambi, leave for Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to work in the tea plantations. Rukmani is grieved and believes that she will never see them again. Knowing her sorrow, Kenny takes the time to give her news about Murugan, her third son. He tells Rukmani that Murugan's employer is pleased with him and that all is going well.

Kenny assures Rukmani that Murugan will be well looked after and that he will be writing to her soon. So, Kenny acts as a mentor, benefactor, and friend to Rukmani.

As for nature, Rukmani describes it as a wild animal. She maintains that nature can be trained to work for you, so long as you are vigilant. If you relax your vigilance, nature will destroy you.

In the story, a terrible monsoon storm destroys all of the crops and demolishes many of the mud houses and corrugated-iron shacks. Meanwhile, many animals die in the storm, and their bodies lie cluttered on the roadside.

Alternating droughts and monsoon storms cause much devastation and suffering in Rukmani's village.

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brandih eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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1.) Kennington ("Kenny") is the white doctor in town who provides modern medical care for the poor people of the village. Kenny cares for Rukmani's mother in her last days and then addresses Rukmani's infertility problem. Rukmani is forever grateful, and Kenny becomes a friend of the family. When he visits, he sometimes brings milk or food. He helps one son secure a job as a servant in a distant city and offers another son a job as an assistant in a new hospital that is being built.

2.) Rukmani faces the adversities of natural disaster when a monsoon destroys much of their home and floods the rice paddies on which their livelihood depends. She watches as her children either suffer cruel fates or leave the village to make their own lives. She and Nathan lose their land, and in the end, she is a widow.

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