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Jenna Myers's picture

As I continue reading The Hungry Tide I find more instances of perception. Each character sees the world in a different way and when two characters cross paths throughout the book you notice these differences between the characters as well as the qualities of each character. Going back to the quote I brought up on Monday:

"a map of the sea floor made by geologists. In the reversed reflief of this map they would see with their own eyes that the Ganga does not come to an end after it flows into the Bay of Bengal. It joins with the Brahmaputra in scouring a long, clearly marked channel along the floor of the bay. The map would reveal to them what is otherwise hidden underwater" (150-151).

There are many ways people can perceive rivers. You can look at the flow of the river, how a river connects to another body of water, what lays beneath the surface, the amount of pollution, etc. Depending on the background of a person or a persons interests they may perceive a river in a different way as oppossed to another. A scientist might look at coral reef and see the environmental dangers causing harm to the reef whereas a poet might write about the beauty of the river. It's not always black and white, but there always is some sort of bias towards how you will react. 

Whenever Ghosh brought up the mangroves throughout the book I thought about the use of them. Are they seen as a good or bad element to the area? "The mangroves were Bengal's defense against the bay, he said- they served as a barrier against nature's fury, absorbing the initial onslaught of cyclonic winds, waves and tidal surges. If not for the tide country, the plains would have been drowned long before: it was the mangroves that kept the hinterland alive" (236). In this case they are seen as a positive thing that keeps the land alive, but does everyone see them in that way? 

Another quote that I was focused on was when they discussed the killings by the tiger. "It happens every week that people are killed by tigers. How about the horror of that? If there were killings on that scale anywhere else on earth it would be called a genocide, and yet here it goes almost unremarked: these killings are never reported, never written about in the papers. And the reason is just that these people are too poor to matter. We all know it, but we choose not to see it. Isn't that a horror too- that we can feel the suffering of an animal, but not of human beings?" (248). How do we decide what's important and how do we decide what stories to share?