The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide Literary Elements


Novel; environmental fiction, literary fiction

Setting and Context

The Sundarbans, in India

Narrator and Point of View

Third-person limited, switching back and forth between focusing on Kanai and Piya

Tone and Mood

Contemplative, hopeful

Protagonist and Antagonist

Piyali Roy and Kanai Dutt are the protagonists of the story, while the government and the natural world are the antagonists.

Major Conflict

People vs. nature is the most prominent conflict, as seen in the struggles of the characters to control the natural world around them. People vs. the government is a secondary conflict as Piya, Fokir, and Nirmal and the refugees navigate a hostile system that doesn't prioritize the lives of the poor.


The cyclone and Fokir’s death


The early mention that some have come to Lusibari from islands evacuated to preserve wildlife foreshadows the novel's major conflict between conservation and human lives.
Kusum's spirit telling Fokir that they will be reunited soon foreshadows Fokir's death.



The whole novel alludes to the Morichjhãpi massacre, a historical event. There are also allusions to the One Thousand and One Nights, the Mahabharata, and the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.




The novel draws parallels between the love triangle between Kusum, Nirmal, and Horen and the one between Piya, Kanai, and Fokir.

Metonymy and Synecdoche