The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide Part 2: A Killing Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Kanai wakes at three in the morning to excited voices. He finds Horen and Nogen on deck, looking towards shore. They can see what looks like flames. Horen, Kanai, Piya, and Fokir decide to go ashore and see what's going on. The voices sound angrier as they get close, and Kanai suggests they not go—it sounds like an angry mob. When they reach shore, Horen shines his flashlight onto tiger prints leading towards the village. Horen anxiously tracks the animal's movements until they top the embankment and see a group gathered around a mud structure with sharpened bamboo poles, plunging the poles through the structure. People scream, "Kill! Kill!"
The fever pitch of the mob and the presence of tiger prints—and presumably, a real tiger inside the structure—suggests that the power dynamic between man and nature can flip when the natural world enters the manmade realm. The fury suggests that this event has been a long time coming, and shows that people's fear of the natural world can very quickly turn to violence when given the chance.
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Horen explains that the tiger probably heard the buffalo giving birth and had then fallen through the thatch roof of the structure, in with the buffalo. This tiger has killed two people in the village, Horen says, and is now vulnerable in the structure. Piya is shocked to learn that there's a tiger in the structure and decides they need to do something. Kanai and Horen try to lead her away and explain that the tiger is a known killer, but she won't listen. She plunges into the crowd, which Fokir has joined.
When Piya disregards the fact that this tiger has killed two people and presumably killed the water buffalo and her calf, it shows again that her first thought is for the wildlife and not the people who suffer daily because of the wildlife. The fact that Fokir joined the mob suggests that he shares the mob's desire to get back at nature, even as he feels comfortable out in the jungle.
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Piya grabs a man's spear and breaks it in two, and the man falls silent in shock before starting to yell at Piya. Piya feels hopeful when Fokir takes her arm, but he carries her out of the crowd as people begin to throw torches onto the thatch. Piya feels angry and betrayed when Kanai translates Fokir's words: that tigers only go into settlements when they want to die.
Given how locals have described tigers' intelligence, Fokir's statement possibly has some weight and truth behind it—it's unlikely that the tigers that live in such close proximity to humans don't understand that humans pose a major threat when they make up the majority.
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