The Village by the Sea by Anita Desai is a poignant and heart-wrenching tale about a poor Indian village and the struggles of one particular family living there. The story follows the lives of Lila and Hari, two young siblings who are forced to grow up quickly and take on adult responsibilities when their parents become incapacitated.
Lila, the older sister, is a strong and determined young woman who takes on the role of caregiver for her family. She works tirelessly to provide for her siblings and keep the household running, despite the many challenges they face. Lila is kind and compassionate, always putting the needs of her family before her own. She is a true hero of the story, and her strength and resilience in the face of adversity are truly inspiring.
Hari, the younger brother, is a bright and ambitious boy who dreams of a better life for himself and his family. Despite his youth, he takes on a number of odd jobs to contribute to the household income, and is always looking for ways to improve their circumstances. However, Hari's dreams are often met with disappointment and setbacks, as the harsh realities of life in the village often stand in the way of his ambitions.
Their parents, Mahesh and Lila, are both struggling with their own physical and emotional ailments. Mahesh is a fisherman who has been left disabled after a severe storm, and Lila is a sickly woman who is unable to care for her children as she would like. Both parents are loving and supportive of their children, but their illness and inability to work often leave Lila and Hari to fend for themselves.
The village itself is a character in the story, with its own unique culture and way of life. It is a harsh and unforgiving place, where the people are constantly struggling to survive in the face of natural disasters, poverty, and illness. Despite these challenges, the villagers are a close-knit community, and they support and look out for one another in times of need.
Overall, The Village by the Sea is a powerful and moving story that is sure to leave a lasting impact on readers. The characters are well-developed and relatable, and their struggles and triumphs are both heart-wrenching and inspiring. It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the resilience of the human heart.
"Echo" is a poem written by Christina Rossetti, a Victorian poet known for her religious and devotional works. The poem explores the theme of loss and the enduring power of memory through the metaphor of an echo.
In the opening lines of the poem, Rossetti introduces the idea of an echo as a voice that repeats the words of others, but "dies away" when the sound that caused it has ceased. This serves as a metaphor for the way that memories and emotions can linger long after the events or people that sparked them are gone.
The speaker of the poem laments the loss of a loved one, saying that their absence feels like a "silent desert" and a "vacant nest." They wonder if their loved one can still hear them, even though they are no longer physically present. This longing for connection and the fear of being forgotten is a common theme in Rossetti's poetry, and it is evident in the speaker's words.
As the poem progresses, the speaker reflects on the way that echoes can be both comforting and unsettling. On the one hand, hearing an echo can feel like a reassuring presence, a reminder that someone or something has been there before. On the other hand, an echo can also be a source of loneliness and longing, as it is a reminder of what is no longer present.
In the final stanza, the speaker speaks directly to the echo, asking it to "whisper low" the words of their loved one, as if they were still there. This serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of memory and the ways in which it can continue to shape our thoughts and feelings long after the people and events that inspired them are gone.
Overall, "Echo" is a beautifully crafted poem that explores the theme of loss and the enduring power of memory through the metaphor of an echo. Rossetti's use of language and imagery is evocative and moving, and the poem speaks to the universal human experience of loss and the desire to hold onto the people and memories that we hold dear.