Nectar in a Sieve Questions and Answers

Nectar in a Sieve

Another interpretation of the title Nectar in a Sieve may be that in life much of what one values may sift away, yet there is still something left, some hope, for which one must continue to strive....

Latest answer posted March 9, 2017, 6:04 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani has six sons. Arjun is the oldest, followed closely by Thambi. Both boys go to work in the tannery, but are fired when they are involved in the workers' movement. Unable to find other...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2008, 2:58 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani is at first curious as to what is going on when the men who build the tannery arrive. She is amazingly clearsighted, however, and once she sees the effect the tannery has on the village's...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2009, 6:56 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

One event that demonstrates the truth about the quote above is the birth of Rukmani's first son. Before this event, Rukmani had lamented her inability to bear sons for her husband, Nathan. After...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2017, 2:20 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Sometimes, an author will both draw upon and question certain traditions he/she is writing about; in this case, Markandaya is primarily interested in the cultural traditions of India. To 'draw...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2015, 3:09 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The title of this novel by Kamala Markandaya comes from a nineteenth-century poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which speaks specifically about hope. If you put nectar through a sieve, almost nothing...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 6:11 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Western industrialists build a tannery in Rukmani's village, undermining their traditional culture and taking work away from the villagers. Their village becomes filled with smoke and noise, and...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2007, 8:35 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Nathan admits to Rukmani that he is the father of Kunthi's sons. She has been blackmailing him into giving her rice, threatening to tell Rukmani of his infidelity if he does not. Rukmani tells...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2009, 1:23 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

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...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2019, 7:41 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

A dowry is usually an accumulation of goods or money that a family must present to a potential husband in order to secure their daughter a good marriage. Poor families spent years saving these...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2019, 9:23 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani, the main character goes through many struggles in this work, beginning with her marriage to a man from a lower social class than her family.Her first struggle is to get used to the idea of...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2008, 10:01 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Nectar in a Sieve is a novel written by Kamala Markandaya. It is narrated by Rukmani who tells us her life story through a series of flashbacks covering the most impactful parts of her life....

Latest answer posted January 28, 2019, 10:47 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

When Nathan and Rukmani find out that their land will be sold to the tannery, they are shocked and dismayed. Without the land, they have nothing. They decide to go to the city and find help and...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2019, 10:06 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

In Kamala Markandaya’s novel Nectar in a Sieve, religion takes a definite back seat to secular human endeavors. Nature and human progress are the instruments of Rukmani and her family’s doom. The...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2015, 4:12 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

In Indian culture, gender roles were strictly prescribed, especially in rural areas during the mid-1900s when the story took place. A woman's role was to take care of the house, raise the...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2008, 4:21 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The book "Nectar in a Sieve" takes place in India, where the practice of giving dowries is extremely common. A dowry, in Indian culture, is a sum of money attached to a woman of marrying age to be...

Latest answer posted May 22, 2019, 5:26 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The correct answer to this question is "D) India's Independence." Let's examine why: Nectar in a Sieve was published in 1954 and, thus, was written by Kamala Markandaya in the time leading up to...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2017, 3:01 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Kenny has effectively sacrificed his family life to work as a doctor in India. The emotional energy that he would normally expend on his nearest and dearest is instead transferred to the villagers...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2018, 10:53 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani is the main character and narrator in Nectar in a Sieve. She is an Indian woman trained to be a compliant and devoted wife who was married at age 12 in an arranged ceremony to a complete...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2019, 3:21 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

In classic literary fashion, the changes that Rukmani (Ruku) go through throughout the novel are presented in broad sweeping images in the first few chapters, foreshadowing what will come. Ruku...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2016, 3:03 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

To the quiet, unsophisticated lives of Nathan and Rukmani, the coming of the tannery to their small village has the impact of transforming their village into a small town and changing it utterly...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2011, 8:00 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Hello! You asked about 'Nectar In A Sieve' by Kamala Markandaya. Kennington is the English doctor who ministers to the people in Rukmani's village. Rukmani, the narrator and protagonist of the...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2015, 3:11 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani is pregnant and hopes that her newborn will be a boy. This is because she knows that, as a tenant farmer, her husband Nathan will eventually need sons to help him bring in the harvest. One...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2021, 1:58 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

After getting hitched to Nathan, Rukmani enters the marital home, a humble mud hut whose doorway is adorned with a garland of mango leaves. According to local tradition, this is intended to...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2019, 7:23 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

To Hindus, the cow is a sacred animal, so they do not eat beef or touch any part of a slaughtered cow. This is an important consideration with regard to the tannery in the novel because it...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2011, 6:31 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

After many years of tirelessly battling to survive on rented land, Nathan and Rukmani learn that their farm is being sold. Having nowhere to go, they journey to the city in a desperate attempt to...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2008, 3:30 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Indian girls at the time of the story were usually married by about the age of fourteen. To begin the process, the bride's parents would first have to choose a go-between, who would search for a...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2008, 7:34 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

One lesson that Rukmani learns is how to adjust to her life of poverty with her new husband. Rukmani, married at 12 years old, without a dowry, is matched up with a very poor farmer. He is of a...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2008, 4:41 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

In Kamala Markandaya's novel Nectar in a Sieve, just as it looked like their crops were recovering from being hit by a severe monsoon season, severe drought hit the land, halting all further...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2015, 3:23 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Nathan and Ruku awaken at the temple to find their money has been stolen. They leave in search of their son Murugan's home, but get lost in the city. A street urchin named Puli helps them find...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2009, 3:09 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The tannery has indeed changed the lives of the four women. Although three of the women lament the changes, Kunthi is positively inclined towards the tannery. She is appreciative of the economic...

Latest answer posted October 28, 2016, 6:13 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani is the main character who experiences conflict in this novel through a variety of experiences. The changes that occur in the book present many challenging, tragic and sad circumstances to...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2009, 7:32 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Nathan works long hours toiling a small plot of land which doesn't belong to him. Nevertheless, as his wife, Rukmani, reflects, theirs was a life of peace and quiet; poverty did not disturb the...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2019, 7:00 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The caste system is presented in the story as an unavoidable feature of Indian social and cultural life. But it's one that people react to in different ways. For her part, Rukmani doesn't want her...

Latest answer posted January 11, 2019, 1:20 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani grew up as the fourth and youngest daughter of a village headman. During her childhood years, her father had been a man of consequence and wealth. As a result of their father's position,...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2016, 7:38 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The setting if "Nectar in a Sieve" is important to the understanding to the story. India's caste system helped define people's roles in life. One could not break out of their caste....

Latest answer posted August 17, 2008, 12:37 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani possesses are very special skill---she knows how to write. Her father felt this was a very important tool for all his children. This skill has a "double-edge" throughout the novel. Rukmani...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2011, 10:22 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Only a few weeks after Kuti dies, a victim of starvation, the grain finally grew ripe "with a bland indifference that mocked (Nathan's and Rukmani's) loss". It was an exceptionally good harvest,...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2009, 1:44 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The protagonist of this novel, Rukmani, has a number of goals at varying stages of her life, and I would argue that some of her goals are realized and some are not. After the birth of her daughter,...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2020, 5:19 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

In the novel, Kennington or Kenny is an English doctor. He eases the suffering of Rukmani's mother on her deathbed and helps Rukmani with her infertility problems. As a result of Kenny's help,...

Latest answer posted September 1, 2015, 9:01 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani doesn't allow the hardships in her life to destroy her. The love she has for her chidren, her friends, and her husband provide her with the strength to never wallow in self-pity. Rukmani...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2007, 11:15 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

A highly important thing to remember alongside the incredibly personal and intimate vision of a Indian woman's life in this novel is the historical setting which forms a backdrop to the world of...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2012, 1:46 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

In "Nectar in a Sieve", one of the major conflicts in the story is the theme of survival, both mentally and physically. For your question, I will speak about the mental challenges Rukmani...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2008, 12:01 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The first thing Rukmani does in an attempt to make money in the city is to set herself up as a reader of letters. In most villages, where the majority of the population cannot read, there is...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2009, 4:50 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

Rukmani's brother says that their father is "no longer of consequence," even though he is the village headman. He says, "There is the Collector, who comes to these villages once a year, and to...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2009, 12:17 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

I would like to add that the tannery is representative of two themes central to the novel - change and colonialism.The tannery completely changes the peasants' way of life. Until its coming they...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2007, 1:51 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

When the men from the city came to the village with their families to build and work at the tannery, the small shops run by the villagers initially did very well. The newcomers had a lot of money,...

Latest answer posted March 24, 2010, 12:23 pm (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The bulk of the chapter is told in the past tense, and comes across as an incident being reported or a story being told. Even though Ruku, the narrator, describes the emotions she felt at the...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2008, 7:03 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

The protagonist is the main character in a story. The plot revolves around the protagonist. In "Nectar in a Sieve" the story centers around Rukmani's life, so she is the main character,...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2008, 4:07 am (UTC)

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Nectar in a Sieve

hmm... that's a hard one to answer, because it really depends on your view of autonomy versus fate. I think that it would be hard to say that Nathan, Rukmani and the other characters are...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2007, 2:29 am (UTC)

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