The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

by

Amitav Ghosh

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The Hungry Tide: Part 2: Landfall Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Fokir struggles to row against the current and finally, Piya motions and asks if he has another set of oars. He pulls a set out from the bottom of the boat. Piya rows for hours and finally asks, "Lusibari?" Fokir points to a faraway sliver of land and they arrive by nightfall. He leads her to a door, says, "Mashima," and then turns to leave. Suddenly the generator kicks on and the lights come on, blinding Piya. When she opens her eyes again, Fokir is gone. She panics, wondering how she'll ever find and pay Fokir.
Some of Piya's panic comes from the fact that she's been in an environment where the natural world takes precedence, while Lusibari is a place that attempts to seem as though humans are the one in charge. Her discomfort suggests that while people like Fokir may exist more easily in an in-between place, the struggle between man and nature is still fraught.
Themes
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Piya yells for Fokir and an old woman comes out of the house. Piya hastily introduces herself to the woman, whom she assumes is Nilima. Kanai comes downstairs just as Piya begins to explain how she got to Lusibari. He seems very pleased to see her, and Piya gives a short account of what happened after they parted ways at the train station. She says the man she's been with is Fokir. Nilima explains that Fokir's wife, Moyna, has been worried sick, and she seems impressed that Fokir and Piya were able to communicate about the dolphins. Nilima invites Piya to stay in the guesthouse, and Piya accepts. Kanai leads her upstairs, shows her around, and comments about feeling lonely by himself. Piya ignores this, and Kanai returns to Nirmal's study.
Kanai's interest in Piya comes across as a desire to conquer her and impose his own ways of thinking and acting on her. In this way of thinking, Kanai doesn't actually want to communicate with her; he wants her to confirm his own thoughts and desires. Nilima's surprise that Piya and Fokir could communicate suggests that Fokir may come across very differently to those in Lusibari, and possibly indicates that in their eyes, he's uncomfortably connected to the natural world.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon