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Nectar in a Sieve

Nectar in a Sieve


by Kamala Markandaya

Analysis: Three Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Rukmani and Nathan must finally give up on their land as their plot is being sold to the tannery. They must leave to the city to find their son Murugan and a new life.

Act II

Rukmani and Nathan are destitute and homeless in Murugan’s city. They discover that there son is nowhere to be found: he has deserted his wife (and by extension, his parents). They have nowhere to turn and are left with no means to either support themselves or return home.


Rukmani and Nathan earn a little money to return to the village. Nathan dies before they get there. Rukmani goes back to the village with Puli, and Selvam and Ira greet them. Her children will have to figure out how to create a new life.

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