The character of Nak is born into a life of hardship and there are many things that make his life seem anything but lucky. The environment of the country that Nak lives in and depends on is difficult and hostile. Early morning it is freezing cold “the morning cold had pierced his bones” but by mid day the sun is so hot it is hard just to work outside “the sun blazed”, “he knew it meant giddiness and sunstroke”, Nak relies on the land and so the harsh climate does not make it easy.
Nak as a rice farmer relies on the earth and his crops but his environment makes this another hardship, the land is stricken with “drought, want, disaster and death” the fields are completely starved of water “cracks of the parched earth” this must make it extremely difficult to bring in enough food to feed his family which relies on him. We are shown Nak’s frustration at this “angry at the weather capable of such endless torture”
Nak’s poverty makes his living conditions also harsh, the food they eat “frogs with morning rice” is very basic and must be monotonous and boring.
But there is no money for Nak to spend on food, “you’re poor” so they rely on what can be found around his home “land snail or razor clam… he would take these as well” this diet must not be very healthy.
The lack of modern medicine available to Nak must make his life seem very unlucky.
He has to rely on “faith healers and herbalists” without antibiotics, vaccinations or any other the treatments for illness we would take for granted.
Naks treatment from the deputy district officer, the authority, is disrespectful, snobbish and rude, “the deputy district officer raised his fat face to stare at him for a moment” then when spoke to he is insulted “Idiot” him and the others waiting to see the deputy are made to wait an hour outside like unworthy subjects. This behaviour from the government Nak must feel is a last hope for him and his family must be extremely de-motivating and must make Nak feel himself like he is born to suffer, ” you’re at the end of your tether and you turn to the authorities only to be put down”
The final straw for Nak is having to leave is son in a state where he could die any moment, we see the sons good relation ship with his father, “Pa, here’s another one. Pa” and when the snake bit Nak’s son’s hand “he carried his child” this shows how much Nak loved his son. Nak is then faced with an awful decision to make, to stay with his dieing son and face jail “if you don’t go, you simply go to jail” or leave his son, who could die at any moment. For Nak to make this decision is cruel and extremely unlucky, the timing of the government offering the money for families with five or more children and his son suffering a snake bite can only be seen as anything but lucky.
Nak makes the harsh decision to leave his son in a critical condition to receive the money, which itself was very difficult, “can’t you see my boy’s gasping out his life? How can I go? He cried” this shows Nak’s desperation and anger at the events.
When Nak returns he finds his son dead. “one more day and you’d be out of two hundred baht” although we do not find out Naks reaction to this, we know how much Nak cares for his son, and the final death of his son was surely heartbreaking.
In conclusion, there are so many things which make Nak’s life anything but lucky; the environment he lives in, his poverty, hardship, treatment, living conditions, and most importantly the death of his son. All these reasons could easy make you believe the view that Nak was born to suffer.