Role of The Tannery in the novel Nectar in a Sieve Essay

Role of The Tannery in the novel Nectar in a Sieve Essay

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What role does the tannery, in Rukmani’s city, have throughout the book? Explain. Also, be sure to discuss what effect it had on the people.

In almost every novel, there is at least one culprit or menace. He or she usually causes problems and in more exciting works, ends up murdering one of the protagonists. Hence, in the erratic novel Nectar in a Sieve, which is set in India during the early 1950’s, there has been a troublemaker, just hidden and extremely indirect in his actions. “What’s his name?” one might ask. The answer: the tannery. This corporation alone forces Rukmani and her husband Nathan off their land, takes away Rukmani’s sons, and ultimately, kills her husband. By being the culprit in the book, the tannery symbolizes many important things such as how the area is changing and those who can’t adapt will flounder such as what happens to Rukmani and Nathan. The tannery shows India’s economic situation as well. The more businesses, the faster India’s economic structure will form, resulting in more political power for the country, but deteriorating the crop life. Lastly, the tannery depicts how farm life in India is slowly fading away and those who can not find other skills will fade away too.
A major corporation opening in a small town is a sign that the tides are changing and if one can not keep up, he will drown. This is certainly the case in Nectar in a Sieve, being that the tannery opens up in Rukmani’s city. At the time, Rukmani and Nathan have no other skills than tilling the fields and when the tannery buys their land, they were left awestruck as to what their next move should be. Rukmani always had a hunch since the start of the book that the tannery would lead to their end. This quote shows that...


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...ry provides stable wages and hope for promotion. This is more secure than working in a farm because even if there is a drought or the crops go bad, workers still earn a constant rupee a day to support their family. The tannery opening up in Rukmani’s small city and the steady rush of workers depicts how farm life in India will decrease in the next century.
Rukmani overcame many hardships in the novel but her fight with the tannery is a loss. The tannery ultimately defeats her and takes away her husband. Alas, readers typically overlook the tannery as being the antagonist in the novel even though it frequently infuriated the lives of Rukmani and Nathan. Everybody has at least one tannery in their life, be it their boss, friend, coworker or even parent. Being able to overcome your mental tannery would grant you success in life, something Rukmani could never achieve.

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