What is the significance of Nya's fear of getting bitten by a snake in A Long Walk to Water?

Nya’s fear of getting bitten by a snake in A Long Walk to Water is significant as one of the many hazards of obtaining water. Although she does not get bitten, the possibility is something she must always keep in mind in her constant walks to seek water. The hazard of snakes and scorpions becomes more prominent when the villagers decide to dig for water.

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In A Long Walk to Water, numerous sections of the narrative reveal the living conditions in rural Sudan that Nya and her family experience. Author Linda Sue Park constantly conveys the hazards that the girl must try to avoid. One of the most serious hazards is posed by snakes...

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In A Long Walk to Water, numerous sections of the narrative reveal the living conditions in rural Sudan that Nya and her family experience. Author Linda Sue Park constantly conveys the hazards that the girl must try to avoid. One of the most serious hazards is posed by snakes that dwell in the long grass. Nya has learned to avoid the places in which they are most likely to lurk. In addition, there are numerous plants that can harm her. On one occasion, she injures her foot by stepping on a sharp thorn. The process of getting water requires her to walk long distances, hoping to find adequate fresh water in a pond. If no water is clearly visible, she must dig into the earth for even a tiny, precious amount.

One explanation of the hazards of the poisonous snakes as well as scorpions is offered in chapter 11. Their presence becomes a more obvious problem because of their proximity to the location where the advisors suggest there is probably underground water. They comment on the threat of disturbing the animals from their customary habitat, as the commotion may antagonize them. The villagers must take that risk if they hope to improve their living situation.

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