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Literature Study GuidesNectar In A Sieve

Nectar in a Sieve | Study Guide

Kamala Markandaya

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Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." Course Hero. 6 Feb. 2018. Web. 1 June 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. (2018, February 6). Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from

In text

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Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." February 6, 2018. Accessed June 1, 2023.


Course Hero, "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide," February 6, 2018, accessed June 1, 2023,


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Kamala Markandaya

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Nectar in a Sieve is narrated in the first person from the main character Rukmani's perspective as she looks back on her life.


Nectar in a Sieve is primarily narrated in the past tense as Rukmani recalls her life, but certain scenes switch to present tense, as if Rukmani relives the events.

About the Title

The term nectar refers to "a delicious fruit drink, thought to be the food of the Greek and Roman gods." The term sieve describes a "device with meshes that allows liquid to pass through while trapping solids in the device." The title Nectar in a Sieve conveys imagery for a powerful idea often touched upon in the novel: enjoy the pleasures of life before they slip away. It also alludes to a line from "Work without Hope" by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve, / And Hope without an object cannot live."


This study guide and infographic for Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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