Nectar in a Sieve QW 3: Framed Story

Note: Click here for more information on Quick Writes, the works I respond to, and disclaimers. Also, spoilers ahead.

Date QW Written: December 3, 2014

Prompt: (TBA)


Because the author, Markandaya, wrote the story in a flashback/framed story format, she was more capable of expressing the message of hope and human preserverance to her audience. Through the detachment the format provides for Rukmani in narrating her own story, we are able to see more of her life because Rukmani was able to speak more about the more important moments in her life so far with maturity and greater understanding. When we read the story as a flashback, we understand more of Rukmani’s hope and strength in human spirit because we see how she responds to all of the problems so far in our life and this emphasizes Markandaya’s message of unrelenting hope. 

If the story was written with Rukmani starting as a child, we would never experience the true strength Rukmani encompasses because the story of her life could not possibly be as thoroughly covoered in the same length the framed story format had covered. However, if the story was written in that way, using first person narration could also express Markandaya’s message, although not to the extent of a framed story. For example, in the framed story, we witness Rukmani’s quick transformation from a prestigious daughter of a chief focused on materialism into a determined, optimistic and loving woman who has found her home in the land she farms on. Through first person narration in a non-framed story, we could also experience this transformation through Rukmani’s views and actions as she grows up through moments such as seeing her new home for the first time and witnessing her last son be taken by starvation. Although this format could be effective, Markandaya’s use of a framed story gives a greater degree of reflection and learning for her readers. 

Score: 18

Note: As I type this QW up, I remember how one of my classmates (who earned a 20) compared the use of a framed story style to looking into a pond of water after letting the ripples settle down. It was a very profound thought to me at that point and I just thought you should hear it too. 


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