The Hungry Tide

by Amitav Ghosh

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What is symbolic about the GPS monitor in The Hungry Tide?

The GPS monitor in The Hungry Tide represents the possibility of establishing a new relationship between science and the earth. The GPS monitor allows for a greater understanding of the environment, as information about it can be read from the monitor. Furthermore, it reminds everyone that they all inhabit the same planet.

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The motif of the GPS monitor helps to illustrate one of many potential relationships between humanity and the environment. Far from being a threat to the environment, the GPS monitor and the technology on which it is based are a useful instrument for improving humankind's understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

That's certainly how it appears to Piya. As a scientist, she inevitably uses the latest technological advances as part of her work. For her, technology is something that can be used to bring us closer to the world around us. In addition, it can also give people a better sense of where they are in the world—literally, in the case of GPS monitors.

As Piya's every move is tracked by a GPS monitor, she feels a greater connection with the world around her, especially the many different bodies of water she examines through her binoculars (another example of technology establishing a connection between humans and their surrounding environment).

Piya uses the GPS monitor to communicate with the environment, reading off the data that it provides. At the same time, on a human level, the GPS monitor acts as a constant reminder that, whatever the vast differences there may be between us, we all occupy the same earth.

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