Nectar in the Sieve
Nectar in the Sieve
Set in an India village, Kamala Markandaya's Nectar in a Sieve
is a gripping story of one woman's survival of a checkered life,
one that had no margin for misfortune. Neither does the book
have surprises nor twists, but readers will find a determined,
unrelinquished fighter in a woman who bears an unfailing
faith and rams through impregnable clamor that invades her
life. Nectar in a Sieve is a book that will make you lump in the
throat. The writing is painfully eloquent, taut, and cut-to-theroot. The living conditions, life struggles, poverty, fragility and
abasement of life depicted are beyond imaginations to those
who live in the first world and have never stretch a single
meal portion to three meals. Everyday was a life-and-death
N ECTAR IN THE SIEVE
by Kamala Markandaya
Requirements: All work must pass with a 75% or better.
Each chapter requires a set of answers to the given questions. The answers need to be
written in complete sentences (this means including the questions with in the
Each chapter has vocabulary words that have three requirements. Please read the
directions on the vocabulary page.
There is a required activity to be done once the book is completed.
A Final is required to complete the book requirements.
Please note; all written materials must be:
In Microsoft Word,
Spell and grammar checked
Written in complete sentences (including spelling definitions)
Sent in electronically to your teacher
Please save your work frequently and save a copy for yourself
C HAPTERS 1-8
1. How old was Rukmani when she got married and did
this reflect the cultural rules regarding marriage?
2. What is a dowry?
3. Why did the snake in the garden scare Rukmani?
4. How old was Ira when she got married and how did
her age compare to Rukmani’s?
5. What was unique about the way Rukmani gave birth
to her sons?
6. What caused the rice paddy to not produce any rice
and Rukmani’s family to go hungry?
7. What was the tannery?
Write the definition of each word, follow it by writing the sentence it is used in in the
book, and then create a sentence of your own using the same meaning.
repining pg. 3
intonation pg. 26
vehement pg. 28
taciturn pg. 34
garrulous pg. 35
decorous pg. 38
propitious pg. 39
unfellered pg. 48
dissuade pg. 51
assuagement pg. 60
pretence pg. 68
decreed pg. 76
tawdry pg. 97
unpalatable pg. 97
condemnation pg. 99
covertly pg. 110
acquiescent pg. 111
schism pg. 124
poignancy pg. 139
countenance pg. 145
perfunctory pg. 151
impudent pg. 168
C HAPTERS 9-16
Why was Ira returned to her mother and father?
What was “Deepavali”?
Why wouldn’t Ira’s husband take her back after the doctor
had helped her get pregnant?
What was the cause for Rukmani’s sons departure from the tannery?
Where was their next choice for work?
Why did they choose that place?
What caused the crops to go bad?
How does it relate to other conditions in India that caused crop failure?
Nathan took the last of the rice and gave it to Kunthi, why?
What were the circumstances surrounding Raja’s death?
How where the circumstances surrounding baby Kunti’s death related to Raja’s?
What was Ira doing to try to earn money to buy food for the baby?
C HAPTERS 17-22
1. Why was the family so happy about the harvest that followed Kunti’s
2. What was the result of Irawaddy’s night activity?
3. What job did Selvam give up the farming of the land for?
4. What was the Indian’s philosophy of expressing one’s need for help?
5. What was Kenny’s philosophy when it came to expressing one’s need
6. What was different about Irawaddy’s baby boy?
7. Describe the circumstances around Granny’s death.
8. What problems did Ira’s son encounter once he began to
play with other children?
C HAPTERS 17-22
1. Why did Rukmani and her husband have to leave their land?
2. How many years has the book covered up till now?
3. After Rukmani and her husband decided they would go, where did Ira
and her son live?
4. In what way did the bullock's plight parallel
Rukmani and her husband lives?
5. What happens to Rukmani’s and Nathan’s belongings and money?
6. How did Rukmani and Nathan survive and earn money in the city?
7. What were the circumstances surrounding Nathan’s death?
8. What did Rukmani do after Nathan died?
C HOOSE A PROJECT FROM
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TURN IN INTO YOUR
REMEMBER THAT YOU
CANNOT DO A PROJECT
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PREVIOUSLY DONE FOR
ANOTHER BOOK .