Village By The Sea

Topics: Research

This sample paper on Village By The Sea offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.

“The Village BY The Sea” is a humane story, offering an insight into daily life in India. This book is about the relentless struggle of two Indian fishing-village teens, 13 years old Lila and her brother 12 years Hari to earn their poverty stricken family a living.

Their father is a useless drunkard, while their mother is an ailing health, there’re also younger sister to take care of.

As a last resort to solve the financial crisis Hari leaves his village and runs off to Bombay to earn money, leaving Lila alone to manage things. How Hari learns to survive in the city and how Lila gently manages the house, throws the question upon us at what we are doing today with all our great blessings.

Hari and Lila’s outstanding will to survive against the hardships of life and their desire to break all the odds of their dismal family led them to take the decision to change their sorrowful conditions.

They’re no more pessimistic solemn kids on the contrary they became determined and willing to fight against the negative power that works against them, that power resembles their drunken father, who sold everything they own, the cow, their boat as well as the money they’ve in order to pay his debts “When Lila’s Father still owned a boat and went to sea to fish, her mother used to bring flowers to this sacred rock.

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.but he no longer fished, he had sold his boat to pay his debts, her mother was too ill and weak to get out of her bed.”. These conditions frustrated his children and made them unable to enjoy their childhood, they became as Hari stated “shriveled adult keeping up with the other adults in a hard world”.

Village By The Sea Summary

To start with Hari, Hari is a person who is introduced at the beginning of the novel as a reserved taciturn child, who doesn’t like to talk but rather to think. “He never did talk much and always preferred to think things out very slowly and carefully before he did”. He is a caring brother despite his young age yet the reader gets the feeling that he is a responsible adult. He knows his limited means yet he never gave up the dream of improving his life. At a certain moment in his life he is presented as a pessimistic, hopeless child due to his utter poverty, that’s not allowing him to lead a normal life like the rest of the villagers in Thul.

Hari is a sensitive person; he cares about his sisters and his mother to the extent that the reader feels he is the father of the family. He is the breadwinner and he exerts all the efforts he has in order to support his family we find how he struggles hard to catch fish with this miserable torn net, catching the tiny crabs which are “to small to have any meat on them”. Hari was the only child in the village who doesn’t own a fishing boat or a cow, neither a farm, he also didn’t finish his education as he had to leave the school in order to get money for the family. He is the one who takes his sisters to school then goes to dig the dry field and “pull up roots” in order to “prepare the single small field for a winter crop of vegetables”. His hut needs to be “re-thatched years ago…the earthen walls were crumbling, the windows gaped, without any shutters.” Moreover, they were almost starving to death , their hut the only hut in the village were you can hardly see any “smoke to be curling up from under the cocking pot”. Nevertheless, he was thinking of something bigger. He is having a dream in mind which is to change the course of his life, he is having this stamina to work all day long in order to survive.

On hearing about the construction of a new factory, Hari became hopeful that this could bring him luck. He dreamt of working in this factory although he doesn’t have the skill to join it. However, he insisted on working saying “A job, a factory, many jobs, many factories, jobs – factories”. All what he was thinking of is “Could he work in a factory and earn money”. Hari suffers from poverty, misery and need. “There was nothing to eat with the chapattis but a pinch of salt and few green chilies Lila had picked from a bush near her hut”. He couldn’t afford to buy his sisters “sweets” as he has “no money”. This feeling towards his reckless father is quite obvious “May be a poisonous snake will bite him”, then “he would die… he said it with hope”, as he believes that his father is absolutely responsible for this kind of life he and his sisters are living in, “He doesn’t look after us,Hari said spitting out the end of a very sharp chapatti, we look after ourselves, don’t we?”

He wishes to leave the village one day, he regards it as a prison that ties him, he never hides his feeling towards his village or his life saying “When he thought of all his troubles, his drunken father, Mr. De Silva’s insult, the lake of work and money. Hari wished he too could soar up into the sky and disappear instead of being tied to the earth here”. Hari dreamt of escaping from Thul. He has tried every possible opportunity there, he worked as a farmer, fisherman, coconut collector, and much more, he even served Mr. De Silva for few pennies. That sense of despair which overwhelmed Hari, never allowed him to feel the blessings that he has, this feeling which he started to realize after going to Bombay.

Hari regarded Bombay as a land of dreams. He thought that his dreams could be attained there. When he was talking to the watchman, he was enthralled by this city, “city of lights and gleams”. He wanted to run away thinking that he may change his fortune there. Hari thought of Bombay as an outlet, everything he wishes for could be accomplished “He would have to go to Bombay. Bombay was a great city, a rich city, a city crowded with people who had jobs, earned money and made fortunes.He had to get there somehow.How?” . Bombay to him was a shun from his desolation “Debt, debt, debt”, “father always in debts because of toddy”. “He would get away, He would go to Rewas, to Bombay, and never come back to this sad house, his frightened sisters, his ill mother… He could leave them and run, run as far away as he could go”.

Nevertheless, when he reached Bombay, all these aspirations were shattered, Hari was devastated to discover that the streets of Bombay are not paved with gold as he had anticipated. He comes to know that Bombay is not “a white castle made of sand, or salt, blinding against the hot blue sky”. On closer inspection, he now sees it as a dirty, smelly and noisy as if the traffic in the world had met on the streets of Bombay… hooting and screeching and grinding and roaring past”. Hari has to walk slowly and carefully down to pavement to avoid “all the filth that was scattered on it, it is in piles” Hari’s experience in Bombay made him realize how he ungratefully undermined his village and his family. He now comes to know how valuable they’re. He acknowledged that although he works and earns money that could provide him a worthy living, yet he now becomes confident that he cannot stay in this place for good.

His nostalgia for his home and his village gave him the power to work harder in order to ensure a better living for his family. Moreover, he is now confident that he would go someday to Thul. Hari finds himself struggling more in Bombay “He would had fallen ill from lack of sleep if he hadn’t one night got up and gone to sit on the pavement because it was a degree cooler..than the eating house”.He was disappointed to find that he is living among the orphans in Mr. Jagu’s restaurant and feels now blessed that he is having a family who as he said “one was a drunkard and the other an invalid-and a home , a proper home not just a place on a railway platform”. However, the hardships that faced Hari in Bombay never thwarted him, on the contrary it strengthened and encouraged him to be better as well as showed his persistent nature as a man. His journey to Bombay was indispensable , it has revealed so many facts for him ,among which is the importance of having a family – not just a close family but a bigger family presented in Thul itself, the only place which he felt could embrace him and endure him. Hari’s feeling of belonging never flourished except in Bombay, he realized that he can’t live neither without his sisters and father and mother ,nor without the villagers or the nature who were true companions to him “He thought of the sails one saw along the horizon, lights of the boats by night …He thought of the crows picking up the crabs…and gulls swooping along….the herons standing stock still on a stone ….How he longed for them all”. It’s this place that he belongs to not the city as he discovered that he doesn’t want to be “a city boy”.

Hari now is a mature boy, a capable one, a boy who can change circumstances around him in order to live. He knows now that he can’t “soar up into the sky” because “we are here on earth ,we can’t leave it. We must live here somewhere”. He is now able to cope with his new life and find himself a way out of poverty and starvation , he is as Mr. Sayyid Ali has described him “You are going to give up your traditional way of living and learn a new way to suit the new environment that the factory will create at Thul so as to survive. Yes, you will survive”. This is true, Hari has learned how to survive and the credit is given to this journey and the people whom he met Mr. Panwallah and Jagu who taught him how to be practical and ambitious as well as confident.

Finally, Anita Desai managed to create a fabulous picture of a devastated boy who has succeeded due to his strong will and determination to conquer the toughest possible situations and to get not only one but two jobs and many friends.

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Village By The Sea. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Village By The Sea
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