The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

by

Amitav Ghosh

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Sir Daniel Hamilton Character Analysis

Sir Daniel Hamilton, or "S'Daniel," was a Scotsman who made his fortune selling tickets for ship passages in British India at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1903, he bought land in the Sundarbans and developed an "ideal society" there based on cooperatives. He called for Indians to settle there, regardless of religion or social caste. He even issued his own currency. The settlement was successful, though it dissolved after his death in 1939. People still celebrate him and his work by treating him like a venerated ancestor during festivals.

Sir Daniel Hamilton Quotes in The Hungry Tide

The The Hungry Tide quotes below are all either spoken by Sir Daniel Hamilton or refer to Sir Daniel Hamilton. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Language Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of The Hungry Tide published in 2006.
Part 1: S'Daniel Quotes

"It is common knowledge that almost every island in the tide country has been inhabited at some time or another. But to look at them you would never know: the specialty of mangroves is that they do not merely recolonize land; they erase time. Every generation creates its own population of ghosts."

Related Characters: Nirmal Bose (speaker), Kanai Dutt, Sir Daniel Hamilton
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

"What he wanted was to build a new society, a new kind of country. It would be a country run by cooperatives, he said. Here people wouldn't exploit each other and everyone would have a share in the land.

Related Characters: Nirmal Bose (speaker), Kanai Dutt, Sir Daniel Hamilton
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Nirmal and Nilima Quotes

It shamed them to think that this man—a foreigner, a burra sahib, a rich capitalist—had taken it upon himself to address the issue of rural poverty when they themselves, despite all their radical talk, had scarcely any knowledge of life outside the city.

Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sir Daniel Hamilton Character Timeline in The Hungry Tide

The timeline below shows where the character Sir Daniel Hamilton appears in The Hungry Tide. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Lusibari
Language Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
...House. Upon explaining this, Nirmal had told Kanai to listen closely to the story of Sir Daniel Hamilton. (full context)
Part 1: S'Daniel
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
...like in deserts, people often see mirages in the Sundarbans. This is what happened to Sir Daniel Hamilton—he saw value in the mud. Nirmal says that Sir Daniel was educated in Scotland,... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
The Human Cost of Environmental Conservation Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
Sir Daniel gave free land to every person willing to come to the tide country to work.... (full context)
Language Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
Nirmal handed young Kanai a banknote, signed by Sir Daniel himself. Nirmal explained that what Sir Daniel wanted was to build a society where nobody... (full context)
Part 1: Nirmal and Nilima
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
...and Nilima went for a visit and were astonished by what they saw—major reverence for Sir Daniel , who addressed local poverty far more effectively than even radical Nirmal had imagined possible.... (full context)
Part 2: Habits
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
The Human Cost of Environmental Conservation Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
...insists there's nothing they can do—the settlers are squatters on government property. Nirmal argues that Sir Daniel Hamilton did exactly the same thing on Gosaba and asks if these settlers' dreams are... (full context)