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Volume 1 Issue 6

November 2014

Poverty and Hunger in Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve
Ms. M. Priya, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, 
Kongunadu Arts and Science College, 
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
Abstract
Standing as stalwart among other Diaspora writers, Kamala Markandaya (1924-2004) holds a unique virtue of narrative techniques and substance. Born in a small Indian village, she engraved herself as the chief exponent of capturing the vibrant spirit and pathetic plights of the rural India through her excellent literary pieces. Having ten novels to her credit, Markandaya wrote many short stories and worked as journalist too. Among her ten novels, her first work Nectar in a Sieve (1954) turns out to be the master piece and the best-selling novel bringing her $100,000 as compliment. The novel primly focuses on the demoralizations and deaths caused by poverty and hunger. The family of Nathan and Rukmani is a simple and a peaceful household representing the rural Indian peasant community. Smooth course of life is destroyed by natural calamities as well as by the industrial exploitations; the family has not only lost its land but also its members due to hunger. Knowing nothing to do, Nathan and Rukmani reach the city where they become beggars and at last the extreme tiredness kills Nathan bringing Rukmani back to the village. Though the characters suffer unendingly, the novel ends with the hope of survival as the characters interpret death as relief but not as suffering.
Keywords
Poverty; Hunger; Kamala Markandaya; Nectar in a Sieve.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.