The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

by

Amitav Ghosh

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The Hungry Tide: Part 2: Going Ashore Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Fokir manages to steer his boat into the mangroves, and Piya helps him lodge it between trees. Fokir pulls out the sari, rolls it into a rope, and instructs Piya to tie it around her waist. Then, they use the crab fishing line to tie the boat to the trees. Fokir takes Piya inland to an unusually tall mangrove and motions for her to climb it. When they're eight feet up, Fokir gestures for Piya to sit on a branch facing the tree. He sits behind her and uses the sari to tie them to the tree. The wind rumbles, and Piya can barely believe it will get worse.
By tying them to a tree, Fokir places a bet that the natural world has the power to save them, just as other parts of nature have the power to destroy them. This reinforces Fokir's relationship with nature and reminds the reader that many speak of him as having an uncanny connection to the natural world. Though Fokir is certainly afraid, Piya's fear and lack of knowledge as to what to do situates her as an outsider.
Themes
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Kanai makes it over the embankment and slowly walks towards the island's compound. There, he sees people heading for the hospital's cyclone shelter. He notices Tutul and asks about Moyna, who suddenly appears. He tells her that Fokir is still at Garjontola and assures her that he'll be fine, and then passes Horen's message about rescuing Fokir to her. Kanai then heads to the guesthouse to find Nilima.
The cyclone shelter is one way for humans to actually make some progress in the fight for life against nature, and it's telling that Nirmal is the one who suggested it. Because of this, the shelter comes to represent a marriage of theory and practicality, given that Nilima's funding built it.
Themes
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon