The Hungry Tide

The Marginalised, Excluded and Silenced Social Groups Within the Text 12th Grade

The quote ‘Silence is Golden’ is extremely subjective in its interpretation and heavily dependent on the context of the situation it is applied to. Is it always right to keep silent, without giving voice to ones innermost thoughts and feelings? Or is it always the better option to speak out, letting words fill the gaps that silence cannot? Or what if one had no choice but to remain silent? In the novel ‘The Hungry Tide’, Amitav Ghosh represents the social class of displaced, uneducated fisherman and other primary sector laborers through the character of Fokir, a young man with almost no actual ‘voice’ throughout the entire course of the novel. This is where we must consider the spectrum that contains the several shades of grey between having a voice and no voice at all. To be ‘silenced’ does not necessarily mean to be robbed of a voice, a concept that is clearly elucidated by Fokir and his vital role in the progression of the plot.

We first hear Fokir’s voice after he rescues Pia from drowning in a river near Canning. The strength and morality of his character are immediately established as we see him risk his own life to pull her out of the tumultuous depths. Part One of the novel, entitled ‘The Ebb: Bhata’, gives us only nine...

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