Nectar in a Sieve

Irawaddy’s son Character Analysis

An illegitimate child Irawaddy conceives while working as a prostitute. Even though he’s a reminder of her social transgressions, Irawaddy adores him, as do Selvam, Rukmani, and Nathan. The child is albino, which makes him an outcast in the village; however, the family’s love for him highlights their cohesion in the face of outside pressure.
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Irawaddy’s son Character Timeline in Nectar in a Sieve

The timeline below shows where the character Irawaddy’s son appears in Nectar in a Sieve. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 20
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...and gathers flowers to celebrate the birth. She remembers the births of all her own children, which occurred in this hut as well; she’s sorry that Irawaddy’s child is born not... (full context)
Suffering Theme Icon
...Rukmani tends to her during her labor and she soon gives birth to a healthy child. However, while Irawaddy is consumed by exhaustion and delight, Rukmani immediately sees that the baby... (full context)
Rural vs. Urban Poverty Theme Icon
Agriculture vs. Education Theme Icon
...the evening of our lives.” He worries that Irawaddy, who doesn’t seem to notice her child’s affliction, has lost her mind, and says he should have prevented her from prostituting herself.... (full context)
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
...see him for themselves. Some are kind, but all are clearly relieved that their own children haven’t suffered such a fate. To put an end to the unsolicited visits, Nathan decides... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
...garrulous as ever. She wants to gossip about the baby, but Irawaddy simply holds out Sacrabani, refusing to act as if he is abnormal. Kali tactlessly points out his pink eyes... (full context)
Chapter 22
Family Theme Icon
...oppose their parents. Irawaddy is especially grateful for Selvam’s ease with her son. He accepts Sacrabani’s albinism and rarely discusses it, even though the boy is usually ostracized by his peers... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
One day, Sacrabani asks Irawaddy what a bastard is; apparently, another child has levied this insult at him.... (full context)
Chapter 23
Rural vs. Urban Poverty Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Agriculture vs. Education Theme Icon
Irawaddy decides that she and Sacrabani will stay with Selvam rather than starting a new life elsewhere and being a burden... (full context)
Chapter 28
Suffering Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...points out sensibly that he has his own money from begging, but can’t resist his childish eyes. She buys him a toy and even purchases a second one to bring Sacrabani... (full context)
Chapter 30
Family Theme Icon
From the hospital building, still unfinished, Selvam rushes out to embrace her. Soon, Irawaddy and Sacrabani join. Rukmani introduces Puli as her son, explaining that she and Nathan have adopted him. (full context)