SIGNIFICANCE OF SUNDARBAN IN AMITAV GHOSH’S THE HUNGRY TIDE: AN ECOCRITICAL READING

Jintu Hazarika,
M Phil Research Scholar,
Department of English, Gauhati University, Assam, India

Abstract
Amitav Ghosh’s 2004 novel The Hungry Tide is set in the Sundarban, world’s largest mangrove forest area. It is situated on the delta where three rivers- the Brahmaputra, the Ganga, and the Meghna meet in the sea. However, the histories and stories are fictionalised in the novel, The Hungry Tide through its plot, setting, characters, and the narrative which has again opened up ways to many literary as well other interventions in it? Ecocriticism, a relatively new branch of literary theory can be explored in this novel especially when the novelist portrays Sundarban. The aim of this paper is to examine the significance of Sundarban in Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide from an ecocritical lens. The novelist has incorporated two narratives in it simultaneously. The novel, The Hungry Tide gives ample space for the animals and environment of Sundarban. The entire plot of the novel is dominated by the protagonist’s search for the specific kind of dolphins which is known as marine mammals and she eventually discovers them in the water of Sundarban. Also, the novel is enthused with its place attachment which includes places of Sundarban along with Lusibari, Morichjhapi etc. and so on. In the context of place, again the local and global dichotomy come out most prominently in the novel. Furthermore, the rewriting of history of Sundarban is a well instance where postcolonial ecocriticism can be looked at. The nature-culture dichotomy is another pivotal point of the novel in this regard. The basic objective of this research article is to examine the depiction of Sundarban in Amitav Ghosh’s novel, The Hungry Tide from an ecocritical framework.

Key words: Sundarban, ecocriticism, ecofeminism, representation, nature-culture dichotomy

1.Introduction
Amitav Ghosh’s (2004) novel The Hungry Tide is set in the Sundarban, a maze of floating islands covered with mangroves trees which are also known as Sundari trees. The novel can be considered as a relevant instance in Indian writing in English which draws some very pertinent ecological aspects. Sundarban is the world’s largest mangrove forest area which is situated on the delta where three rivers- the Brahmaputra, the Ganga, and the Meghna meet in the sea. The islands of Sundarban are great hubs of various plants and animal life. However, the histories as well as stories are fictionalised in the novel, The Hungry Tide through its plot, setting, characters, and the narrative which have again opened up ways to many literary as well other interventions in it.

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