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. 26 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/>.

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Course Hero. (2018, February 6). Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/

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Course Hero. "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide." February 6, 2018. Accessed September 26, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/.

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Course Hero, "Nectar in a Sieve Study Guide," February 6, 2018, accessed September 26, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Nectar-in-a-Sieve/.

Nectar in a Sieve | Characters

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Character Description
Rukmani Rukmani is a hardworking peasant who remains optimistic about her future despite many hardships. Read More
Nathan Nathan is an impoverished rice farmer who works himself to death trying to support his family. Read More
Irawaddy Irawaddy, also called Ira, is Rukmani's eldest daughter, who becomes a prostitute and gives birth to an albino son. Read More
Kennington Kennington, also called Kenny, is a white, Western doctor who has made it his life's mission to offer help to Indian peasants like Rukmani. Read More
Kunthi Kunthi is a conniving woman who turns to prostitution and blackmail in order to survive. Read More
Ammu Ammu is Rukmani's son Murugan's wife, who abandons him two years before Rukmani tries to find him in the city.
Arjun Arjun is Rukmani's eldest son, dismissed from the tannery for leading a labor strike.
Birla Birla is the doctor Murugan once worked for. She treats Rukmani and Nathan generously when they try to find Murugan in the city.
Biswas Biswas is the oily moneylender who takes advantage of villagers during the famine.
Carter The carter, who drives the bullock cart that takes Rukmani and Nathan from their village to the city, continues to use his bullock even though the animal has a raw and infected shoulder from the yoke.
Das Das, who is Birla's servant, generously offers Rukmani and Nathan a meal and shelter for the night when they are lost in the city.
Das's wife Das's wife, who is Birla's servant, generously offers Rukmani and Nathan a meal and shelter for the night when they are lost in the city.
Durgan Durgan is the milkman, who lives in Rukmani and Nathan's village.
Foreman The foreman is in charge of giving out sacks and collecting rocks at the quarry, where Rukmani and Nathan work when they are stranded in the city.
Hanuman Hanuman is the rice seller who runs out of supplies during the first monsoon.
Janaki Janaki is Rukmani's kind neighbor, who befriends her when she arrives but moves away when the tannery puts the family's market out of business.
Kali Kali, talkative and prone to exaggeration, is one of Rukmani's female neighbors who helps her adjust to village life.
Kannan Kannan is the village tanner who loses his livelihood when the new tannery comes to town.
Kuti Kuti is the youngest of Rukmani's sons, who starves to death at age five.
Murugan Murugan is Rukmani's son who leaves the village to work as a servant in the city. Later he abandons his wife and leaves her and his child to starve.
Old Granny Old Granny is the village matchmaker who gives her last rupee to Rukmani before starving to death.
Old man An old man, who is sleeping in a doorway in the city, tells Rukmani and Nathan they can find food and shelter in the temple.
Overseer The overseer runs the tannery for the white owner.
Padmini Padmini is one of Rukmani's three sisters.
Perumal Perumal is Janaki's husband and the village shopkeeper who the tannery puts out of business.
Puli Puli is the leprous beggar Rukmani adopts after he helps her survive in the city.
Raja Raja is Rukmani's third son, murdered by guards after trying to steal a calfskin from the tannery.
Rukmani's eldest brother Rukmani's eldest brother introduces her, at a young age, to the idea that their father may not be as rich and powerful as she supposes.
Rukmani's father Rukmani's father is a headman, or ruler, in the village where she grows up, though he loses prestige and status by the time she is ready to marry.
Rukmani's mother Rukmani's mother is a kind woman who introduces her to Kennington, which leads to Rukmani being able to bear sons.
Rukmani's son-in-law Rukmani's son-in-law divorces her daughter, Irawaddy, five years into their marriage because she hasn't conceived yet.
Sacrabani Sacrabani is Irawaddy's albino son, conceived during her time as a prostitute.
Shanta Shanta is one of Rukmani's three sisters.
Sivaji Sivaji is the kindhearted money collector who acts on behalf of Nathan's landlord.
Selvam Selvam is Rukmani's fifth son, who vows to care for Irawaddy and her child after Rukmani and Nathan move to the city.
Tannery official #1 Tannery official #1 is cruel and insensitive to Rukmani when he comes to make sure she will not make a claim for compensation after her son Raja is killed by tannery guards for trying to steal a calfskin.
Tannery official #2 Tannery official #2 is kinder and more sensitive to Rukmani when he comes to make sure she will not make a claim for compensation after her son Raja is killed by tannery guards for trying to steal a calfskin.
Thambi Thambi is Rukmani's second son, dismissed from the tannery after helping lead a labor strike.
Thangam Thangam is one of Rukmani's three sisters.
Woman in the grocery store Though many Muslim families move to Rukmani's village, she only ever meets the woman in the grocery store, who smiles at Rukmani.
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