The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

by

Amitav Ghosh

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The Hungry Tide: Part 2: Negotiations Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Moyna is waiting outside her home when Kanai and Piya arrive in the morning. Piya asks after Tutul, who is in school, and Fokir, who she finally notices squatting sullenly inside. Piya thinks he looks scared, but decides it would make things worse to speak to him directly. Through Kanai, she thanks Moyna for Fokir's protection and pulls out banknotes. Moyna looks expectant, but Piya thinks it's unfair to not give it to Fokir directly. Moyna intercepts Piya's attempt, and Fokir insists it's bad to take money like this.
Fokir's sullenness suggests that even if he's respectful of the manmade world, he's far more comfortable out in nature. Especially when considering that Fokir is essentially caught between his dismissive wife and dangerous tigers, this shows that Fokir would likely rather take on the dangers of the natural world than his wife's unwillingness to see him as a valuable person.
Themes
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Piya asks Kanai if he could pull Fokir into the conversation. Kanai's attempt doesn't go over well; Piya detects a condescending tone in Kanai's speech despite not understanding the words. Piya finally asks Kanai to say that she wants to go back out to track the dolphins at Garjontola on a larger boat for five days. She'd pay about 300 dollars. Moyna gasps and Fokir agrees to arrange for Horen to go with them with his bhotbhoti. Piya agrees.
Kanai's condescension suggests that he, like Moyna, sees Fokir as unworthy of respect, at least in part because of his desire to be out on the water. This shows how Kanai's preconceptions directly influence the tone and the kind of language he uses, which in turn makes Fokir feel attacked and disliked.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Kanai tells Piya that Moyna wants to know why a scientist like her needs Fokir's help. Piya is puzzled at the dismissiveness that this implies, but answers that Fokir's knowledge of the river is really valuable. Moyna makes a play on words that means her life would be easier if he were educated.
Moyna's question shows that she doesn't believe Fokir is capable of anything but catching crabs—she doesn't recognize that he may know more about the natural world, which in turn is valuable for someone like Piya who knows little about it.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon