The Village by the Sea – Chapter 1

These questions and quotations will guide our analysis of the first chapter of the novel (on Tuesday, June 9th).

What was Lila doing so early at sea?

What’s the family like? What did it use to be like?

What would you say is the significance of Mon Repos?

What are Hari’s worries? What do they foreshadow?

How does this first chapter portray childhood and family life in Thul?

What cultural aspects could you trace in your reading of this first chapter?


““Hah.” Hari laughed, not believing a word. How could the hill and the temple disappear? It had been there all his life and his father’s and grandfather’s as well. Ramu was surely telling a tale “We’ll see,” he said.” (p. 12)

“Change would not come suddenly or quickly to their home and family, but it would come. She had to believe that it would come.” (p.17)

“There was silence then. But the silence was not calm and lovely, it was full of fear and anger and nightmares.” (p.34)


“But again the large woman who had so much money tied in her belt won. ‘Six,’ she said flatly; and without waiting for an answer from the tonga-driver, she climbed in with the basket. The tonga creaked, the horse staggered, but the tonga-driver set his cap at an angle, cracked his whip and set off at a trot up the sandy path along the creek to the highway where the woman would sell the fish to a lorry driver come to collect fish from the villages, or else get into the bus and go to Alibagh bazaar to sell it herself. The other women bickered over what was left, and Hari turned away – there was nothing more to watch.” (p.28)


13 pensamientos en “The Village by the Sea – Chapter 1

  1. NOTES
    Anita Desai
    Born in India. 24 june 1937
    Between many cultures German, English and Indian.
    Author of short novels and children books.
    India was a Great Britain colony and its culture was affected because of that. This was clearly shown when India decided to have English as the mother tongue

    The Village by the Sea
    Women lack of rights in India, Indian indutralisation.
    The story is developed in an Indian town called ‘Thal’.

    • Mati,
      The idea behind this activity was that you could share what was discussed, not what can be taken from the glogster.

  2. The village by the Sea

    By: Anita Desai (24th June of 1937, India)
    2 different cultures: German mother and Bengali father
    mix of cultures that form her identity

    Imperial india –> GB changed the Indian culture
    Symbol present in the story, imageries and a circularity also
    The story is set in a village located in Thal

    Important dates in Indian history:
    1814: establishment of the “british raj”
    1947: Independence of India
    1950: Constitution
    1956: new law that allows states to have their own languages
    18 official languages
    english, main language

    social distribution:
    1. God
    2. people related to God
    3. warriors
    4. peasants
    5. untouchables (criminals, ill people and prostitutes)

    Main philosophical concepts:
    “the dance of shiva”, oneness with nature
    social and natural determination
    circularity: time, life, nature

  3. Notes:

    Village by the sea was written by Anita desai, it is a post colonial literature book.
    Anita desai was born in India, she is the daughter of a german mother and a hindu father. Multicultural, belonging to two cultures.
    Anita often writes about post colonialism, woman’s oprresion in India, abandonment,
    She currently lives in Usa.

    Third space: metaphoric space when two cultures are convined. Proposed by bahbah.

    Post-colonialism deals with imperialism and its impacts in several different countries otherness and difference.

    Religion: Indians believe in more than one god (politesist)
    They carry several rituals, daily such a puja and other in specia scituation such as sati

    India has 18 official languages and several more nonofficial, called dialects (each sector on india talks ot ots own dialect)

    • Can you develop the concepts of otherness and difference further?

      Are cultures combined in the third space? Is that what H. Bhabha suggests?

  4. Anita desai
    born in india 24 june 1937. Born into two cultures (mother german father bengali)

    Languages: German (mother)
    Hindu (school
    English (school)
    She moved to usa.

    Includes lots of images in her writings because it makes her remember her childhood.

    Current topics: women oppresion in India
    Abandonment and discolocation.

    Third space:
    1. People who belong to two cultures but can’t relay only on one.
    2. Metaphorical space (bahbah)
    3. Third space: produced in the articulation of cultural differences.

    1814 british raj, with the coming of the british. Things changed in India. Abolishment of Sati, and royal titles banished.
    1947 independence.
    1950 Constitution
    Abolishment of Cast system
    Religion: politeits (have several GodS) hinduisim and islamism.
    Nature and human are a hole.
    Karma and dharma.

    There are three gods that are very important that represent, construction destrucion and reconstruction. (Bhrama, vishnu and shiba)

    Several rituals—-> puja
    In indians family children are considered sacreted because they have a more close relationship with gods and the son is considered more inportant that daughters. (They are the ones who carry out the ritual to the father when he dies)

    Cast system:
    Triangle of hierarchy
    1. GodS
    2. People worshiping god (priests)
    3. Warriors, kings
    4. Marchant’s land owners
    5. Peasants
    6. Untouchables

    The village by the sea: post independence novel.

    • Great job, Juli!

      Here go a couple of corrections I considered essential:
      Hindi (language) Hindu (person whose religion is Hinduism)
      Homi BHABHA
      Nature and human are a Whole.
      three gods: creation (Brahma), preservation (Vishnu), destruction (Shiva)
      Children are “sacred”

  5. The Village By The Sea- Anita Desai

    Narrator: speaks from an innocent point of view

    Born in Imperial India
    German mother, Bengali father
    She is an in-between

    Idea of 3rd space (a metaphorical and imaginery articulation of different cultures)

    Background information on India
    British Colonization starts in 1650
    British Raj in 1814 (severly affects culture)
    Independence and abolishment of the Caste System 1947
    New Constitution 1950

    Religion: circularity. Destruction, creation, preservation. Different gods.

    Postcolonial literature: “The ghost of colonialism”

  6. The Village By The Sea.

    Written by: Anita Desai.
    Her mother was German and her father was Bengali. She was born in India.
    There is a combination of cultures in her life.

    The third space, metaphorically, is the in-between space among different cultures. Its a creation of a culture, a language and a way of seeing the world on a subjective way. Its the articulation of cultures and differences. Represents selfhood and identity.
    It is different from hybridity, in the third space differences are kept. However, in hybridity differences are erased.

    Some important dates, Indian history:
    -Even if the official british colonization was years later. The British started to colonize india in 1650, when they established the first British factory in India.
    -In 1814, the British raj was established. The Wabs, princesses of india, were eliminated. And Sati (widow burning) was abolished.
    -In 1949, india braked bonds with the british, independence. The cast system was abolished.
    -In 1950, India’s constitution was signed.
    -In 1956, another law was included that allowed states to use different languages and be named as their language. (there are 18 official languages in india, and other states had their own dialects).

    The indian legends are related to balance, circularity and the good & evil.
    This idea of circularity is very present in the culture: after destruction, re contraction comes.

    Hinduism has certain beliefs as: human, animals and plants are all the same, be one with nature, incarnation, big families, balance and circularity of time, life and nature.

    In the indian culture women are inferior. The son lives in the father’s house with his wife. Children are considered sacred.

    The three most important gods are, Shiva (destruction), Dahma (creation), Vishmu (preservation).

    Imperialism has an impact on the economy, culture, language and religion of india.

    Macrocosm of a story is the author, the context and the language.
    The context in The Village By The Sea is the endianness (identity), cultural gap, post independence novel and symbolism.

    • Truly clarifying notes! Thanks, Cande!

      Some corrections…
      This idea of circularity is very present in the culture: after destruction, reCREATION comes.
      The three most important gods are, Shiva (destruction), BRAHMa (creation), VishNu (preservation).

  7. The Village By The Sea
    By Anita Desai

    Anita Desai
    -India/24 June,1937
    -Languages: German, Hindu, English (writes in)
    -German mother and Bengali father (2 cultures)

    The Village By The Sea
    -Topics: Women’s opression in India, India rush into modernity, abandoment and discolocation.
    -Language: Imagery, Symbolisim, Dialogue and Reflection.
    -Circulary Structure.
    -The story is set in a village located in Thal.
    -Set in a 3 space (mix of culture). This comtains the idea of coming place. It is the articulation of cuthers differences. No hybraduty. It is the beyond (identity).
    -Philoshical Concept:
    Oneness with nature
    Social and natural determination
    Circularity: time, life, nature.
    -Context (we will work on it)
    4 Aspects: Indianess (identity, who they are?), Cultural gaps/capsules (rituals (puja) and it invites us to learn about the Indian Culture), Post Independence, Symbolism (apperance of Gods and rituals are represented in certain points of the story).

    India (3 space)
    -Imperialism: Great Britain changed the Indian culture. Examples: the economy (industrialization), indian princes (removed), religion, language.
    -1814 British Raj
    -1947 Independence and abolishment of Caste system.
    -1950 Constitution.
    -18 official languages.
    -Religion: Hindusim, Islaism, (polyteysit). Encarnation, nirvana.
    Circularity: preservation (Vishmu)->destruction(Shiva)->creation (Brahma)-> preservation
    -Empire impositions: economy, literature and education.

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