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The Village by The Sea by Anita Desai

Aimi, Farhanah, Jannah, Kavi, Magdeline, Adian, Arif, Azim, Ilham, Luqman


24TH JUNE 1937 Indian novelist and short story writer Born to German mother, Toni Neme and a Bengali businessman, D. N Mazumdar in Mussoorie, India. German her first language besides Bengali, Urdu and English (Her literary language) Begin to write in Eng, age of 7. First published story at age of 9. Queens Mary Higher Secondary School, Delhi


B.A in English Literature in 1957 from the Miranda House of University of Delhi. 1958 married Ashvin Desai ( Director of software company and author Between Eternities : Ideas of Life and The Cosmos. Four children Book Prize winning novelist, Kiran Desai. During weekends, taken to Thul (near Alibagh) setting of her novel The Village by the Sea

Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Girton College, Cambridge and Clare Hall, Cambridge. Presently, lives in the United States. She is the John E. Burchard Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.


Cry, the Peacock (1963) Voices in the City (1965) Bye-Bye, Blackbird (1971) The Peacock Garden (1974) Where Shall We Go This Summer? (1975) Cat on a Houseboat (1976) Fire on the Mountain (1977) Games at Twilight and Other Stories (1978) Clear Light of Day (1980)

Other Works

Village by the Sea (1982) In Custody (1984) Baumgartner's Bombay (1988) Journey to Ithaca (1996) Fasting, Feasting (1999) Diamond Dust (2000) The Zigzag Way (2004) The Artist of Disappearance: Three Novellas (2011)

1978 - Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize- Fire on the Mountain 1978 - Sahitya Akademi Award (National Academy of Letters Award)- Fire on the Mountain 1980 - Shortlisted, Booker Prize for Fiction - Clear Light of Day 1983 - Guardian Children's Fiction Prize - The Village By The Sea 1984 - Shortlisted, Booker Prize for Fiction - In Custody 1993 - Neil Gunn Prize 1999 - Shortlisted, Booker Prize for Fiction: Fasting, Feasting 2000 - Alberto Moravia Prize for Literature (Italy)
2003 - Benson Medal of Royal Society of Literature



Village by the Sea is set in a small village called Thul, which is 14 kilometres from Bombay. Lila, the eldest child among four siblings, is thirteen years old, yet she already has the outlook and maturity of an adult. Her brother Hari, twelve, the only person with whom she can share her troubles .


Their mother is an invalid and needs constant care and nursing. Nobody knows what exactly is wrong with her but she grows weaker and weaker with every passing day. Their father, who has been out of work for months, is in a permanent drunken stupor, from which he arises occasionally to shout at his family.

What with two younger sisters to take care of as well as their mother, life for Lila and Hari is not easy. Their father is most useful when he is away at the local toddy shop, getting drunk. There is a constant need for money as the family is almost always in debt. Then one day, Hari decides hes had just about enough and leaves for Bombay the Bombay where dreams come true and ambitions grow into reality.

Lila is left alone, to manage her sisters Bela and Kamal and her mother and somehow keep the family strings together. Help comes from an unexpected source, the rich DeSilvas. Meanwhile, Hari is new in the great city of Bombay, and all alone. A kind restaurant proprietor, Jagu, takes pity on him and welcomes him to work in his restaurant.

There, Hari builds a strong friendship with Mr. Panwallah, the lovable watch repairer whose shop is just beside Jagus. Set against the backdrop of a typical Indian fishing village, The Village by the Sea will leave a lasting impression on the mind of the reader.


The introduction of characters; Hari, Lila, Bella, Kamal and their dog, Pinto. The description of their family, their house, their village and the society in Thul. Their mother had a fever and Lila ask her sisters to see Hirabai. Hari joined the villagers to see Bijus boat. People talking about the building of the factory. Villagers were worried but most of the male teenagers especially Raju and his friends were waiting for the factory to apply for jobs.


A man from Alibagh named Adarkar, drawing the villagers attention to join him to stop the building of the factory. Pinto was poisoned and died. This incident make Hari decided to really go to Bombay this time. Adarkars talk and plan make way for him to go to Bambay. He planned to follow the group to Bombay but stayed there while others return to Thul.

Rising Action

When arrived in Bombay, the villagers as well as himself were really amazed with the citys condition. There, they met Sayyid Ali. He was talking in front to persuade people to stop government to build a factory in Thul. When the other had returned to Thul, Hari stayed in Bombay and went to de Silvas house but they were not there. They were on vacation in Thul. A watchman of Seabird brought him to Gowalia Tank, a cheap restaurant where Hari could get food.

Hari then requested to work there in Sri Krishna Eating House with 1 rupee as his salary and free meals. Meanwhile, the de Silvas family arrived in Thul and Lila take the opportunity to ask for Mr Silva to take her mother to the hospital. Mr Silva took care of everything including the payment.

Her mother was in the hospital and their father started to change. Meanwhile, Hari who was doing good in Bombay started to miss his family and wanted to go home.


The rain and storm stopped. Hari return to his village and arrived there on the day before Diwali. Lila, Bella and Kamal were having a good time for now Hari was back once more. On Diwali, Hari went to hospital to see his mother. He met Raju on his way and Raju gave him a lift to Alibagh.

Falling Action

Hari met his father when he reached the hospital. His father had changed. He met with his mother and both were fill with joy. Their family started to be a happy family; his mother was getting well, his father changed to a better person, Lila, Bella and Kamal were happy, he had a plan for the future (using the money he collected he wanted to open a watch shop and be a watch mender when the factory is finished with the building process.



12 years-old The only son of the family He has to be responsible of taking care of the family He leads a hard life as he has to make decisions which the adults have to make


Eldest daughter of the family Elder sister of Hari Give up school to help maintain the house


Younger sisters of Hari and Lila Both are still schooling Both help Lila in managing the house

Bela & Kamal

She fell ill with anemia and getting weaker by day She is unable to take care of the children, protect them from their drunkard father nor provide for the family

The mother

Irresponsible father Drunkard Jobless Waste money on toddy Turn over a new leaf at the end

The father


Thul, a fishing village (Haris and Lilas village) ...standing with other village boys and watching the work on the boat (pg 45) Bombay (Somewhere Haris went and worked there) Dear mother, I am in Bombay. I have a job...(pg 151) Lilas house The hut should have been re-thatched years ago the old palm leaves were dry and tattered and slipping off the beams. The earthen wall were crumbling. The windows gaped, without any shutterssurrounding groves of coconut and banana. (pg 5)

Place Setting

Time setting. Early in the morning Since he had left his home in the morning...(Page 98) Night when Hari reached Rewas, dawn was breaking and the people who had gathered there in the night were getting down...(pg 100)

Time Setting

Social setting. poor people : Lilas family is very poor with six members. But they still try hard for their live. rich people : The rich De Silvas family. They are the one who go to Haris village for a vocation every year. They also help to admit Haris mother to the hospital.

Social Setting


Lila struggles for the survival of their family in the absence of their drunken father and ill mother. As portrayed in the beginning of the novel, the opening scene is described to be an unstable environment. The mother, who has been chronically ill and is bed-ridden. Their father is an alcoholic, which forces Hari and Lila to manage the family. There is much stress on them due to the constant demand of meeting the need of money. Although their father was earning money, he used to spend it to buy alcoholic materials.

Hardships in life

IRRESPONSIBILITY Portrayed by the father forces Lila and her siblings to work and earn for their family A father should be the breadwinner of the family Instead, the father asks his own children to hold the responsibility RESPONSIBILITY Portrayed by Lila and Hari Hari went all the way to Bombay to find better job and earn money for his family

Responsibility towards others

Jagu takes pity on Hari and welcomes him to work in his restaurant (Sri Krishna Eating House) Mr Panwallah (owner of Ding-Dong watch shop, beside Jagus restaurant) instills confidence in Hari and comforts him when he is terribly home sick Mr. Panwallah gives Hari a vivid and inspiring future by teaching him on watch mending

Kindness to Others

Hari went to Bombay all alone. Able to work there without changing and forgetting his family and origin He never spent anything there - not even go to cinema or buy cigarette when he was in Bombay in order to save money. (pg. 226) Thuls people able to adapt to the new development occurs in their village and still maintaining the environment, e.g the hills, still topped by the small white cube of the temple, the sea was still there.

Adaptations to changing environments


It refers to the practice of attaching human traits and characteristics with inanimate objects, phenomena and animals. When she came to the edge of the sea, she lifted the folds of her sari and tucked them up at her waist, then waded out into the waves that came rushing up over her feet and swirling about her ankles in creamy foam. (chapter 1, pg. 1)


Several pairs of eyes peered at him from under the rags they held over their heads to keep off the rain from the leaking roof. (chapter 10, pg. 188)


involves creating a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence. Alliterations are also created when the words all begin with the same letter. The next few days he was kept busy by them, buying their fish on the beach when the fishing fleet came in, and fetching eggs and milk from the village market. (chapter 2, pg. 51)


Then there was an old woman in a widows white sari who brought a bag of flour (chapter 9, pg. 170)

the author uses words and phrases to create mental images for the reader. Imagery of smell Lila could smell the fermented toddy even from a distance it was a smell she had (chapter 1, pg. 7)


Imagery of sight bright butter-yellow allamanda flowers. (chapter 1, pg. 1)

A job. A factory. Many jobs. Many factories. Jobs factories. Factories jobs (pg 13)


Coop-coop-coop (pg 4) to indicate a crow



Definition: The way how people treat each other based on social stratification Sees history as a struggle between socioeconomic classes


Hari is the only man that can be count in his family. Although he still young, he need to work to gain money to support his family Evidence is shown in pg 13 where Hari kept thinking about job all morning.He thinks that he could get a job in the factories.This shown Hari was burden with thought if getting job eventhough he is still young

Responsibility as a man in a family

For example: Hari and his family were treated from his background and his appearance. Evidence in pg 76 when Lila was asking a help for her mother. The man that treated her mother was angry with her because she have no money for her mother medicine

People were treated based in their appearances

Another example is when Hari was at Bombay. He was also treated badly by the Bombay people. We can see the evidence in chapter 7 pg 139 where Hari was scolded by Sahibs assistant because he wanted to meet Mr Sahib. The assistant was rude and didn't believe anything that he said.

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