THE INFLUENCE OF KARMA ON
THE STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL OF POOR PEOPLE
AS SEEN IN DOMINIQUE LAPIERRE’S
THE CITY OF JOY
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Sarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
Wahyu Perwitasari Student Number: 021214025
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA
Ora e t Labora
I de dicat e t his t he s is t o mys e lf , t o my f amily and t o all t he pe ople who have give n t he ir s upport
- s arie -
I would like to express my greatest gratitude to the Lord who has given me patience, strength and ability during the process of writing this thesis. I would like to thank Him for his blessing and his patience for giving me motivation everyday. I realize that I would not have been able to complete this thesis without Him. I also realize that without His motivation through people around me, I would still be lazy to complete my thesis.
I would like to thank Ibu Wigati Y. Modouw, my major sponsor, for her comments and guidance. I thank for her patience guiding me, although it took a long time. I really appreciate the stories that she has told in every consultation. It really motivates me not to give up writing the thesis. I also would like to thank Laurentia Sumarni, my co-sponsor who has given her time to correct and guide me to write this thesis better. I thank her for her careful correction and helpful comments.
Then, I would like to thank all of the PBI lecturers who have shared their experience during my study. I would also thank all of the secretary staff for helping me in dealing with the administration and for their smile while giving me their service.
My deepest gratitude is deliberately given to my beloved babe and mami for not asking about the thesis progress. I realize that beyond the fussiness of mami and
babe, they wish all the best for me. My sincere gratitude also goes to pakde Didik, my uncle and embah who often asked the progress that I made and encouraged me to finish this study.
I would also like to give my greatest gratitude for my motivator, IbuLanny Anggawati for giving me information and motivation through her stories and her
books during SPD class. I thank her for being a great, inspiring, and dedicated teacher for her students.
I would like to thank mbak Tina, mbak Sarie and Rizakti who always shared the ideas with me and helped me to edit my thesis. They had guided me to write a better thesis and they had given me helpful comments for the thesis. I thank Nana, Erlita, mbak Venta, mbak Tutik, mas Widi, mas Herpin, mbak Widya,
mbak Desi, mbak Adis, Andre, Nita, Randy and mas Fajar who were willing to check my thesis and to give questions, suggestion and criticism. I would also thank
Romo Sudiharjo, Ibu Nyoman and Lukas for giving me information and lending me some books that were really useful to complete this study. My deep gratitude also goes to mbak Uni, mbak Shinta, Shinta, Selly, Christian, Binta, Iin, mbak Kristin, Parjo, Nanut, mbak Lisa, Danang, Febri, Lira, Romo Albert, Adi’s aunt, Welly, all PBI students and all PMB friends who indirectly gave me motivation to finish this thesis. I thank them for their encouragement.
My special gratitude is deliberately addressed to Adi jelek for his patience, attention, support, kindness and motivation. I thank him for reminding me not to give up easily when I found trouble during the process of writing this study.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE ... i
APPROVAL PAGE ... ii
BOARD OF EXAMINERS’ PAGE ... iii
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY ... iv
DEDICATION PAGE ... v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ... vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS ... ix
ABSTRACT ... xii
ABSTRAK ... xiv
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1. Background of the Study ... 1
1.2.Objectives of the Study ... 3
1.3.Problem Formulation ... 4
1.4.Benefit of the Study ... 4
1.5.Definition of Terms ... 4
CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 2.1. Theoretical Description ... 6
2.1.1. Theoretical Approach ... 6
2.1.2. Review of Indian Culture ... 7
220.127.116.11. Society ... 7
18.104.22.168.1.1. Karma ... 9
22.214.171.124.1.2. Dharma ... 11
126.96.36.199.1.3. Reincarnation ... 13
188.8.131.52.1.4. Release/Mokhsa ... 14
184.108.40.206.1.5. Caste System ... 15
220.127.116.11.2. The People ... 16
18.104.22.168.3. The Ways of life ... 16
22.214.171.124.3.1. Family ... 16
126.96.36.199.3.2 Languages ... 17
188.8.131.52.3.3. Health ... 18
184.108.40.206.3.4. Village life ... 19
220.127.116.11.3.5. City Life ... 19
18.104.22.168. Livelihood ... 20
2.1.3. Criticism ... 22
2.2. Theoretical Framework ... 23
CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY 3.1. The Subject of the Study ... 26
3.2. The Approaches ... 26
3.3. Method of the Study ... 27
CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS 4.1. The Socio-Cultural Background of India during 1960s-1970s as seen in The City of Joy ... 29
4.1.1. The Social-Economical Condition of India ... 29
22.214.171.124. India’s Main Source of Income ... 30
126.96.36.199. India’s Main Cause of Poverty ... 30
188.8.131.52. What Poverty Cause to People ... 34
184.108.40.206.1. Village ... 34
220.127.116.11.2. City ... 36
4.1.2. The Socio-Cultural Condition of India ... 40
18.104.22.168. Races ... 40
22.214.171.124. Languages ... 41
126.96.36.199. Belief ... 42
188.8.131.52. Caste System ... 43
184.108.40.206. Customs ... 44
4.2. The Influence of Karma on the Struggle for Survival of Poor People ... 46
4.2.1 The Influence of Karma on Life ... 48
4.2.2 The Influence of Karma on Custom ... 51
4.2.3. The Influence of Karma on Family ... 61
4.2.4. The Influence of Karma on Social Life ... 64
4.2.5. The Influence of Karma on Human Deed ... 68
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS 5.1. Conclusions ... 71
5.2. Suggestions ... 72
5.2.1. Suggestion for the Next Researchers ... 73
5.2.2. Suggestion for Teaching Implementation ... 73
5.2.3. Suggestion for Teaching Speaking ... 74
BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 75
Appendix A. Lesson plan ... 77
Appendix B Material for teaching speaking using the methods of debate ... 79
Appendix C. Summary of the City of Joy ... 81
Appendix D. Dominique Lapierre’s Biography ... 83
Appendix E. Photos ... 85
Perwitasari, Wahyu(2007). The Influence of Karma on the Struggle for Survival of Poor People as seen in Dominique Lapierre’s The City of Joy. Yogyakarta: English Education Study Program, Department of Language and Arts Education, Faculty of Teachers Training and Education, Sanata Dharma University.
This study analyzed Dominique Lapierre’s novel, The City of Joy. The City of Joy is a novel that portrays the life of the poor in Anand Nagar, Calcutta. The aim of the study was to figure out how karma influenced the poor people especially Hindus in India. Besides, the aims of the study were to show the real condition of these poor people and to show the way poor people struggle for survival. Studying the influence of karma was interesting since these poor Hindu people had to struggle for survival while continuously thinking of a way to get a better karma.
There were two problems that were formulated in order to achieve the aim of the study. The first problem was what the socio-cultural background of India during 1960s-1970s as seen in the City of Joy is and the second problem was how karma influences the struggle for survival of poor people as seen in the City of Joy.
The method employed in this study was library research. The sources used in this study were primary and secondary sources. The primary source was taken from the novel, while the secondary sources were taken from some references which were relevant and supportive. The approach conducted in this study was socio-cultural approach by Rohrberger and Woods. This study also applied a review of Indian culture. They were karma, dharma, reincarnation, mokhsa, caste system and some facts of socio-cultural background of India. In addition, some criticisms to Dominique Lapierre’s work and some sources from internet sites were also used.
The first analysis revealed the socio-cultural background of India during 1960s-1970s as seen in the City of Joy. Agriculture was India’s main source of Hinduism played a vital role. Religious doctrines influenced Indian way of life. Both poor and wealthy Indian did every religious custom and doctrine and religious ceremony to honor gods.
The second analysis showed that karma, one of Hinduism fundamental doctrines, had strong influence to Hindu people. Karma influenced Hindus because they believe that every human action had consequences. Therefore in their struggle for survival, poor Hindu people still did their duties as human to gain good karma. Poor people’s belief toward karma motivated them not to give up in their struggle to survive. Karma made poor people to be loyal to their parents and their family. Besides, karma also caused poor people to be willing to suffer and sacrifice, to do many good deeds to others and to avoid doing sinful behaviors.
It was concluded that Hindu people really kept their belief. They had to work many times harder in order to survive; these poor people never stop to do things they
believe as good, including gaining a good karma. Karma influenced poor people because they believe in it. Poor people’s belief in karma motivated them not to give up to fighting for survival, made them loyal to their parents and their family, be willing to suffer and sacrifice themselves, do many kindness and avoid bad things. In addition, this study will also suggest some use of the novel as the material for teaching English especially teaching speaking.
Perwitasari, Wahyu (2007). Pengaruh Karma dalam Perjuangan Orang-Orang Miskin untuk Bertahan Hidup seperti terlihat dalam novel The City of Joy, Dominique Lapierre. Yogyakarta: Program Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris, Jurusan Pendidikan dan Seni, Fakultas keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan, Universitas Sanata Dharma.
Studi ini menganalisis novel, Dominique Lapierre, the City of Joy. The City of Joy adalah sebuah novel yang memperlihatkan kehidupan orang-orang miskin yang tinggal di sebuah perkampungan kumuh bernama Anand Nagar di Kalkuta. Tujuan dari studi ini adalah untuk mencari tahu bagaimana karma bisa mempengaruhi orang-orang miskin tersebut terutama orang-orang Hindu di India. Selain itu studi ini juga bertujuan untuk memperlihatkan kondisi yang sebenarnya dari orang-orang miskin tersebut dan memperlihatkan bagaimana orang-orang miskin ini berjuang untuk bertahan hidup. Mempelajari pengaruh karma ini sangat menarik karena bisa melihat bagaimana umat Hindu miskin di India harus berjuang untuk bertahan hidup tanpa berhenti berfikir bagaimana cara mendapat karma baik.
Ada dua permasalahan yang diformulasikan untuk mencapai tujuan dari studi ini. Masalah yang pertama adalah apa saja latar belakang sosial dan budaya yang ada di India pada kurun waktu 1960an sampai 1970an yang terlihat dalam novel the City of Joy dan masalah yang kedua adalah bagaimana karma mempengaruhi perjuangan orang-orang miskin untuk bertahan hidup seperti yang terlihat dalam the City of Joy.
Metode yang digunakan pada studi ini adalah studi pustaka. Sumber-sumber data yang digunakan dalam studi ini adalah sumber primer dan sekunder. Sumber primer diambil dari novel. Sedangkan sumber sekunder diambil dari sumber yang relevan dan mendukung. Studi ini juga mengunakan review budaya India seperti teori karma, dharma, reinkarnasi, mokhsa, sistem kasta dan fakta-fakta sosial dan budaya India.
Analisis pertama mengungkapkan latar belakang sosial dan budaya India pada kurun waktu 1960an sampai 1970an seperti yang terlihat dalam novel. Sumber utama pendapatan di India berasal dari pertanian. Namun banyaknya bencana menyebabkan rendahnya produksi pertanian. Terkadang produksi pertanian di India tidak cukup untuk seluruh penduduk India. Bencana-bencana yang melanda India merupakan penyebab utama kemiskinan di India terutama bagi petani karena tiga perempat penduduk India merupakan petani. Walaupun banyak penduduk India tinggal ditengah kemiskinan, mereka tidak pernah lupa untuk memuja para dewa karena disana agama terutama agama Hindu memiliki peran yang penting. Ajaran-ajaran agama terutama Ajaran-ajaran agama Hindu di India mempengaruhi cara hidup orang-orangnya. Baik orang miskin ataupun kaya melaksanakan setiap ajaran dan kebiasaan-kebiasaanya serta mengadakan setiap perayaan demi menghormati para dewa.
Analisis yang kedua menunjukkan bahwa karma, salah satu ajaran dasar agama Hindu, mempunyai pengaruh kuat terhadap orang-orang Hindu di India. Karma mempengaruhi umat Hindu karena mereka parcaya bahwa setiap tindakan
manusia memiliki konsekuensi-konsekuensinya. Karena itu dalam perjuangan mereka untuk bertahan hidup, mereka tetap melakukan tugas-tugas mereka sebagai manusia supaya mendapatkan karma baik. Kepercayaan orang-orang miskin tersebut pada karma memotivasi mereka supaya mereka tidak menyerah dalam berjuang untuk bertahan hidup. Karma membuat orang-orang miskin ini berbakti pada orang tua dan keluarga mereka. Karma juga membuat orang-orang miskin ini rela menderita dan mengorbankan diri mereka, melakukan banyak kebaikan terhadap orang lain dan menghindari hal-hal yang buruk.
Sebagai penutup dapat disimpulkan bahwa orang-orang Hindu selalu memegang teguh kepercayaannya. Mereka harus berjuang supaya bisa bertahan hidup, orang-orang miskin ini tidak pernah berhenti melakukan segala hal yang mereka percaya termasuk untuk mendapatkan karma baik. Karma dapat mempengaruhi orang-orag miskin ini karena mereka mempercayainya. Kepercayaan mereka terhadap karma tersebut memotivasi mereka untuk tidak menyerah untuk bejuang bertahan hidup, membuat mereka berbakti pada pada orang tua dan keluarga, rela menderita dan mengorbankan diri mereka, melakukan banyak hal baik dan menghindari tindakan yang tidak baik. Selain itu, studi ini menyarankan penggunaan novel ini sebagai materi pengajaran Bahasa Inggris terutama pengajaran berbicara.
1 CHAPTER 1
There are five parts in this chapter. The first part is background of the study, the second part is objectives of the study, the third part is problem formulation, the fourth part describes benefit of the study and the last part of this chapter is definition of terms. The background of the study explains the reasons of choosing the City of Joy as the subject of the study. The objectives of the study aim to describe the reasons why this study is conducted. The benefit of the study presents the expected benefits of the study, and the definition of terms clarifies the important terms used in this study.
1.1Background of the Study
Poverty is one of issues which usually happen in the third world. This poverty issue often appears in some authors’ works. One of the authors who interested in writing about poverty is Dominique Lapierre. In his work, Lapierre tries to reveal the life of poor people in one of the third world countries, India. In his novel, he has succeeded to portray the life of the poor who live in a slum in different way. Lapierre shows not only the bad sides of India and the people but also the good sides. A friend of Ronald Segal, the author of The Crisis of India, criticizes the people in India as a dirty and submissive lot. He says those people have no flame or fight in them. The rich are ravenous corrupt, while the poor have no will to survive (Segal, 1965: 13-14). However, Lapierre has a different opinion from Segal’s friend. In his book, The City of Joy, Dominique Lapierre shows the readers the uniqueness of India and the
The City of Joy is a novel which tells about people who live in a slum area called Anand Nagar. Anand Nagar is located in the capital city of West Bengal, Calcutta. Like other slums in Calcutta, people in Anand Nagar have to live without facilities such as ventilations, toilets, drains and permanent houses. Most of the people live in a room for ten to twelve people while the other live on pavements. People in Anand Nagar are newcomers from villages near Calcutta. Although they come from different places, they have the same hope which is to make a better life. They have no hope if they still stay in their hometown because disasters often strike their villages. Cyclone, long dry season, flood, earthquake are some disasters that cause exodus of many villagers from villages to big cities. In the new place, life is also not easy for them because once again they have to face the poverty. Therefore if they still want to survive, they have to struggle in this new place.
which has the biggest followers in India is Hinduism. Since Hinduism has the biggest followers, Hinduism gives the biggest influence to the law, the culture and the tradition, and also to the people thinking. One of Hinduism doctrines which has influenced people thinking is karma.
Karma is “deeds” or “actions” in the sense of the consequences of human acts. Karma is useful in identifying people actions which deserve of moral merit and those which do not (1992: 677). People who do good deeds will get good karma or reward from their actions and people who do bad things will get bad karma or punishment. Poor Indian believes that what they get and face in the present is part of their karma. This is interesting because in every action people commonly think about karma. After reading the City of Joy, readers can realize that karma also influences Hindu people’s struggle for survival in Calcutta.
Therefore, the influence of karma on the struggle for survival of poor people will be chosen to be the topic of the study. This topic is worth discussing since these poor Hindu people have to struggle for survival while continuously thinking of a way to get a better karma despite that the latter case, in reality, require a lot of sacrifice. For those people, their belief in the law of karma always remains them to be careful with their act. No matter how hard their life, they try to avoid bad deeds which result bad karma.
1.2. Objectives of the Study
1.3 Problem Formulation
1).What is the socio-cultural background of India during 1960s - 1970s as seen in The City of Joy?
2). How does karma influence the struggle for survival of poor people as seen in The City of Joy?
1.4 Benefit of the Study
People usually complain about their misfortune because of many reasons. For example, some people think that they do not have enough money to buy things such as clothes, shoes, cosmetics, etc. They think that their houses are not as big as their neighbors or their cars are not as expensive as their friends. Most people do not realize that they are lucky enough because they have permanent houses, they can eat three times a day, and they wear clean clothes. Hence, by studying The City of Joy novel, it is hoped that the readers will realize that there are many people who live in poverty. Those people do not give up although they face so many difficulties in their life. By reading this paper, it is expected that the story of those people inspires readers not to give up while facing problems. It is better to fight and struggle than give up and do nothing.
1.5. Definition of Terms
There are two important terms used in the study that the writer would like to clarify in this part. The first is Karma and the second is Struggle for survival.
human destiny. In a practical and moral sense, karma is the consequences from the actions. If the action is right, it will bring a good karma, but if the action is wrong it will bring a bad karma. If someone has made a good karma in his/her past life, he/she will earn reward in the next life.
2. Struggle for Survival
6 CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter discusses the review of related literature. It consists of two parts. The first part is theoretical description. The second part is theoretical framework. Theoretical description is divided into three parts; the first part is theoretical approach, the second part is review of Indian culture, and the third part is criticism. Then, review of Indian culture is divided into society and livelihood.
2.1. Theoretical Description
2.1.1 Theoretical Approach
approach. The psychological approach pays attention to the psychological situation in the novel in order to understand the character’s goal and intention.
In this study, the writer applies the socio-cultural approach because the writer wants to reveal the socio-cultural background of Hindu people in India before discussing the second problem. Rohrberger and Woods (1971: 1-9) state that literature is not created in an emptiness and that literature embodies ideas significant to the culture that produce it. The writer realizes that it is impossible to understand the City of Joy novel in order to find the influence of karma on the poor people in
India without knowing the socio-cultural backgrounds of Indian especially Hindu people.
2.1.2. Review of Indian Culture
In this part the writer would like to explain the socio-cultural background of India. It is necessary to explain it so the readers can clearly understand the real condition and the culture of India in 1960s-1970s because those years are the setting of time of the novel. By knowing the real condition and the culture, it is hoped that the readers can imagine the situation in which there are so many people from villages who trapped in the cycle of poverty. The explanation of the Indian culture is going to be used to support analysis in chapter four. This chapter consists of two parts; the first part is society and livelihood.
220.127.116.11.1. The Religion
Crane (1971: 73) explains that religion plays a vital role in the India way of life. As a secular state, India’s constitution guarantees religious tolerance. India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. About 85% of the Indian were Hindus, 10% were Moslems, the next religious groups were Christians and Sikhs, and 1% was Jains and Buddhists. In the analysis later, the writer will focus on Hinduism. Hinduism is one of several things which causes India becomes one of the unique countries in the world.
Segal (1965: 15-16) states that Hinduism is a religion of vast contemporary devotion which never left India at all except in the blood of emigrant communities. Hinduism is the flow of India’s life. The character of the bazaar, the division of rural labor, the government of village and state, no less than intricate formalities of birth and marriage and death, are all aspect of Hinduism. Hinduism conditions the relationship of the individual to his society, prescribing his multitude of rights and obligations; it qualifies his relationship to his wife, to his parents, to his children and to himself.
According to Paul L. Reddit (1995: 474) the term karma does not appear in
the Hindu scriptures. The word karma in a Sanskrit term refers to “action”, “deed” or “work”. It also means the result of one’s deeds and the law of consequences of human acts, or more generally as the chain of the causes and effects that connect deeds to each other. The law of karma also explains why there are phenomena as premature death, child prodigies, and difference of socio-economic status. Someone usually has different socio-economic status because karma determines the caste into which someone is born.
Lemaitre (1959: 73) explains that the idea of karma is the fundamental doctrine of Hinduism which follows the principle of causality that influences human destiny. According to him every act and thought produces their effect, either good or bad. Human has to face the consequences either in this life or in another. Punishment does not come immediately but human cannot avoid it. The sum of these effects causes the karma of each human being during the succession of his life. It is impossible to escape from the law of karma or retribution for actions. The present life of being is determined by the preceding one and the present life also determines the next. Based on those doctrines above, human being should think or do carefully.
new karma because new karma will cause rebirth. The law of karma also admits the idea of collective karma. The meaning of collective karma is one’s karma can affect others (a family, a people or any kind of human group).
According to Zaehner (1983: 4) Karma is action according to which any action is the effect of a cause and is its turn the cause of an effect. Zaehner also explains that karma is the technical term for a religious rite. According to Veda belief, every sacred act produces its appropriate result or fruit. The rite, with inevitability of the law of cause and effect, produces the result such as an abundance of sons or wealth, the destruction of an enemy or the joys of paradise. However, the rite which is incorrectly done will bring catastrophe. Karma means not only a sacrificial act but also an act in general. For instance, the appropriate acts for a Brahman are sacrifice and the study of the Veda, but the appropriate act for a kshatriya is the waging of war, that of a vaisya are to cultivate the soil, to trade, and
to make money, while the appropriate act for sudra is the service of the other caste. Therefore, karma means the act appropriate to the four great classes and then action in general, “good” action and “bad” action. Since every action produces an effect or “Touit” in the temporal world, there will no end to the round of birth, death and rebirth unless the chain of cause and effect can be broken.
an integral part of her husband’s karma in which the chaste wife can release her husband from the sin.
Ronald Segal (1965: 37) mentions that karma cannot be separated by dharma. Karma and dharma (duty) are the twins’ essentials. Karma states if Hindus are born in particular caste because of his deeds in the previous life, while dharma states that human should accept his condition without protesting. A man’s duty does not merely pursue his dharma or his duty but he must do his duty without desire or ambition. By the law of karma, every human being act has a positive or negative value.
Segal (1965: 19) also mentions that the doctrine of dharma or duty is one thing that makes the Indian refugee survive during the transition from village to city. Since the essence of virtue and the hope of reward-either in a better birth after death, best of all, in a final state of union with God-lie in absolute acceptance of one’s condition and absolute obedience to the rules of conduct with that condition requires, poverty becomes a preparation and not despair.
While according to Lemaitre (1959: 76) dharma is the fundamental idea and closely linked with karma. Dharma is also equally important with karma. Dharma is a law of moral order, a law of a religious merit and also the pure notion of
Dharma, according to Zimmer, (1958: 40-41) comprises the whole
contexts of religious and moral duties. Dharma shows the way of life of the people, the rituals and numerous social regulations of three upper castes, brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya. Brahman receives the highest place and honor in this system, not the king (ksatriya). Brahman is the one whom all society derives its order. The king (ksatriya) is the administrator of that order, while agriculturists and merchants (vaisya) supply the materials that “give embodiment to the form”. The ksatriyas commonly ask advices from brahman when they want to make a decision such as a ritual ceremony and war. The sudras are those who contribute the necessary physical labor. Indian society creates a caste system in order to give the rules for each class. Dharma is the doctrine of the duties and rights of each in ideal society, as such the mirror of all moral action.
Hiriyana (1956: 37) mentions that dharma is one of great importance in the history of Indian thought. Dharma is considered as the law to act. There are two classes of dharma which are explained by Hiriyana. The first class is described as common or general. This class defines the virtues like self-control, kindness and truth speaking which are equally obligatory on all. The second class is described as specific. Each caste in India (Brahman, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sudra) has it own specific duties to perform. Everyone conducts his life correctly as long as he follows the rules of his caste.
meaning is “order”. In ideology of dharma, dharma applies to individuals and its best meaning is “duty”. The two meanings are related each other. When a society is properly ordered, people do their duty. When people do their duty, society is properly ordered. Social order lies in varna dharma, for Individual who refuses to do the duties, he will get the law of karma. Law of karma according to Stern is the core of Hinduism. Mahatma Gandhi called it as “impossible of evasion” or an “inexorable law”. “Whatever man sows, that’s shall he reap”, God does not determine our own fate: to make choice, to sow as we will.
Another belief in Hinduism which cannot be separated from karma is reincarnation. Reincarnation is removal or rebirth of the soul, which is believed as a reality. Based on Lemaitre’s explanation (1959: 74) the law of karma automatically postulates the law of reincarnation as a necessity, because human being must pay the consequences of his actions. Lemaitre also explains that the life of an individual is only one in an unending sequence which has no end. Every human being will born in the next live to face the preceding karma as a human, an animal or as another creature depend on their karma. The chain of succeeding existences is known as samsara. Human can stop samsara and can bring karma to an end by offering to the godhead every action, thought and word, and individual desires and aspirations must disappear for ever in the face of the supreme Will.
Brahman has sown badly will be born as someone whose caste lower than a brahman
and the sudra who has sown well will be reborn as more than a sudra. People who have sown perfectly well will not be reborn but will attain moksha.
18.104.22.168.1.4. Release / Mokhsa
Mokhsa is the liberation from the cycle of rebirth and re-death, oneness
God (1993: 57). Hinduism claims that the soul is not born and does not die. It passes from the body until it becomes pure enough. Hinduism teaches how human being can become Brahman. Human being can become one with Brahman through the proper disciplined of mind and body (1971: 225). This disciplined is called yoga. The Bhagavad-Gita (as cited in The World Book Encyclopedia, 1971: 225) describes
three ways of reaching Brahman:
a) The way of works, or action and the performance of good deeds. b) The way of thought, or philosophy and meditation
c) The way of faith and devotion to one God.
Lemaitre (1959: 77) explains that the aim of Hindus is to help man to release from the universe, to liberation from samsara through the certainty of his identity as an individual with the God. If human being wants to break the fatal chain of transmigration, he has to extinguish all desires in the self because the desire contains the seed and the root of existence. Human being can obtain moksa or release if he has been freed in his own lifetime.
(action) and the third is bhakti (devotion). The majority of the economically poor Hindus approach God through traditional simple method using the ways of devotion (bhakti) and of performances (karma) rather than the path of pure knowledge (jnana). It is because bhakti and karma are easier to do for the poor, bhakti means people have to do ritual obligation and karma means people have to do their dharma in order to gain moksa.
22.214.171.124.1.5. Caste System
Solange Lemaitre (1959: 107) mentions that caste is the reward for merit before it becomes the automatic consequence of birth. In the caste system lies the basis if an hierarchic organization with its great organized and administrative bodies which represent in four castes the whole of the Indian people. Those four castes are Brahmans, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. They stand at the top of the social
hierarchy and have many privileges.
1. The Brahman is the first caste. It possesses the spiritual authority. The Brahman’s duties are to teach the Veda and everything that is in any way of a
priestly nature. People who come from other castes show great respect to them. 2. The Ksatriya is the warrior caste whose duties are to defend the right, to protect
the weak and to use force whenever it is legitimately justified. The role of ksatriya class, representing the nobility, lies in embodying honor by remaining faithful to one’s word until death.
4. The duty of the Sudra caste is to serve the three others but the sudras have never been slaves. Their class forms the main body of the population and includes every kind of worker: servant, gardeners, shepherds, artisans, workmen, and etc. Sudra caste is not allowed to learn to Veda.
5. The Pariahs are those that belong to no caste at all. Usually they are called “untouchables” or “outcast” since they are not bound by the strict rules which every caste must observe; the pariahs have much greater freedom in spit of the prohibitions which affect them in other matters.
Hutton (1963: 47) mentions that each caste has its own rules and sanctions to keep the member discipline. He also said that in sankrit term caste means varna. Renou (1962: 52) mentions that the important in Indian society is a gradation of society into four classes. At the top of this hierarchy are Brahmins, who exercise spiritual power, then ksatriyas, who wield secular power; after that the vaisyas or Artisans, cultivators, etc, who represent the economic aspect. Apart from
these three groups are the sudras, somewhat like serfs who never the less maintain certain rights. Below these castes is untouchable.
126.96.36.199.2. The People
The people of India belong to all the major racial groups of people. Most of the major races are represented in India (1971: 98). Ronald Segal (1965: 17) mentions that each racial group of people in India is different in size, in shape and in characters.
The ways of life will be divided into five parts. The first part is family, the second part is languages, the third part is health, the fourth part is village life and the last part is city life.
Segal (1965: 135) points out that India’s family is patriarchal. It means that all members of the family economically dependent on the father. Traditionally, the father receives respect and obedience from his wife and children and the father also controls and manages his family. Segal also mentions that son is more important in India because the son will rescue a man from hell. A man without son cannot hold a funeral rite for salvation. Sons are also wage-earners. A son will support his parents in their old age and brings a dowry from his marriage into his house. While a girl in India belongs to her husband after her marriage. She also has to give dowry to her husband. Thus, a son is religiously and economically more useful than daughter in India.
India 1980 (1980: 11) states that a number of languages and dialects are
spoken in India such as Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sinoti, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Hindi and English are the official language of India. Besides, Hindi is also used for communication between states (1980: 22). Many different languages often cause a problem. People from different parts of the country cannot understand each other. Differences in writing among the languages also present another problem. The language most widely spoken has different alphabets, one way is called Hindi and the other way is called Urdu. Hindi is the official language of India. Since 1965, English is not an official language anymore but English is an associate language. About half of the Indian people speak Hindi. Only about 2 % speak English. Usually English served as a common language among most educated Indians. Generally, other Indo-Aryans languages including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, and Urdu are spoken mainly in the northern part of the country. The Dravidian languages, Tamil, Telugu, Malayan, and Kannada are spoken in four southern states (1971: 98).
Indian has a high mortality rate, partly because of poor diet and living conditions. There are many diseases in India such as cholera, malaria and smallpox but India has tried many things to control those diseases. Inadequate sanitation and nutrition become major public health problems in India (1971: 103).
Besides, nearly 90 out of every one lakh people die of tuberculosis every year in the post-independence period (after 1947). About 25.40 crore people (1 crore = 10 million) had been tuberculin tested and 24.75 crore people vaccinated until September 1979. Other diseases such as leprosy, sexually transmitted diseases, trachoma, cancer and goiter are also some diseases that infect Indians (1980: 99-102).
188.8.131.52.3.4 Village life
The major citizens of India are villagers. During 1960s-1970s over 80% of people lived in villages. Most of those people or more than 550,000 villagers were farmers. Most of the villages had only about 500 people (1971: 99)
Ronald Segal in his book The Crisis of India (1965: 17) writes that each village consists of different part based on the caste group. The life of Hindus in a village is influenced by inflexible caste rules of how, where, when, and with whom to eat, drink, wash, and work. These village divisions are vital because each caste has its living principle of social behavior.
184.108.40.206.3.5. City Life
country (1971: 99). The religion and poverty of India are her two primary materials, out of which the whole structure of her society has been built.
India is vast but crowded country. Segal (1965: 19) mentions that the poverty of city is crueler than the poverty of village. The formal distribution of different caste rights and obligation gives poverty its place and its support in the village structure. The high castes are served by the lower caste. Traditionally the higher castes repay them not only in commodities or cash, but also help them when they need. Furthermore, the caste itself has a family character so that one member may properly call upon others for help. The poor of the Indian village belong to each other and to the village itself while the poor of the Indian cities belong to no one and to nothing. For the laborers and their families who stream into Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta in the endless search for food, leaving the known caste relationship of the village behind them, there is seldom more than the terrible isolation of the makeshift and meaningless slum. Even more terrible is the poverty too great for shelter even in the slums, the hundreds of thousand who eat and sleep, love and die in the street. No one knows how many there are altogether or in only one city. A senior journalist on the Times of India stated that during 1960s-1970s between 200,000 and 300,000 people lived on the pavements; other opinion said that 550,000 people lived on Calcutta’s pavements.
from villages to Calcutta to find better life, but most of them generally live in pavements or in temporary sheds. In Calcutta hundreds of thousands of those who do not have shelter for living, eat, sleep, love and die in the street (Segal, 1965: 19). 220.127.116.11. Livelihood
India is a very poor nation. The poverty spreads to the whole country. The average income of the Indians was $80 a year. Only a few people in India who were wealthy. Many Indians only lived with 5 cents a day. Segal (1965: 19) mentions that many people in India especially those who live in the cities do not have shelter in the slums because they are very poor.
Nearly three quarters of the population were directly dependent on agriculture. The agricultural sector contributes nearly one-half of the national income, provides livelihood about three-fourths of the population, supplies the bulk of wage goods required by the non-agricultural sector and raw material for a large section of industry (1980: 207).
The average size of Indian farms was only five acres, and Indian farmers only had two acres or less. Some large Indian farms belonged to landlords. However, these landlords do not cultivate the farms by themselves. About two-thirds of the farmers own their own land. Most of their land become smaller and smaller with each generation because of Hindu inheritance customs. Usually when an Indian dies, his farm is divided equally among all his sons. The share of each son may be too small to provide a living (1971: 106f).
low production per acre. About 7 of every adult Indians, both men and women, were farmers. However, Indian Farmers earned very little money. Most of them lived and die in debt, and they also seldom had enough to eat (1971: 106f).
Segal (1965: 184) explains that India agriculture yields were low because the farmers did not have large-scale mechanized farming, with the employment of fertilizers and pesticides. The Indian farmers also did not have land organizations and enough money to increase yields significantly.
Besides, the India’s climate also causes low production of harvest. It causes low production of harvest because India’s climate is unpredictable. The climate of India is described as tropical monsoon type. India has four seasons, the first is winter season (January-February), the second is hot weather season, summer (March-May), the third is rainy season, south-western monsoon period (June-September), and the fourth is post-monsoon period or north-east monsoon period in the south peninsula (October-December). Rainfall is not regularly coming in India and the distribution of the rain is not good. In the whole of Assam and the Western Ghats are areas of very heavy rainfall with more than 2,000 mm of annual rainfall. Some places in the Khasi and Jaintia hills of Meghalaya receive the heaviest rainfall in the world. In contrast, Rajastan, Kachchh and the high Ladakh plateau of Kashmir only have a yearly rainfall of between 100 and 500 mm (1980: 3).
arrive in time, the crops will fail to grow. Some monsoons also drop too much rain so that they cause flood and ruin crop (1971: 106d)
Dominique Lapierre has succeeded in writing the story of poor people in a slum, Anand Nagar. The novel that he writes entitled The City of Joy is based on a true story. He conducted the research for two years in Calcutta and various areas of Bengal before he started to write the book. In his book, he writes an epic about the soul of humanity: a song of love, a hymn to life, a lesson in tenderness and hope for all people for all times.
After publishing his book, he receives over twenty thousand letters from readers expressing their love for The City of Joy. The City of Joy became one of International bestsellers book. Dominique Lapierre then shares his royalty (at least 2 billion dollar) to people in Anand Nagar. After reading The City of Joy, many people from around the world have supported his actions by giving donation to people in Anand Nagar, giving criticism for his work, and sending letters.
Three magazines that have given criticism to Lapierre’s novel are New York Post, New York Times and Houston Chronicle. New York Post writes that there
are many heroes in The City of Joy. All characters in The City of Joy novel are heroes but in their own way. In this novel, the reader can find laughter, love, beauty, and a flooding spiritual Joy. New York Times and Houston Chronicle mention that The City of Joy is a story about suffering. Besides suffering, the novel also contains loyalty,
Birmingham, Alabama. She says that the way Lapierre’s portray the people in Anand Nagar, their spirit, and their love of God is so beautiful.
2.2. Theoretical Framework
In order to analyze the problem of this study, socio-cultural background by Rohberger and Woods is applied. The socio-cultural is used to answer the first problem and the second problem, what the socio-cultural background of India during 1960’s-1970 as seen in The City of Joy and how karma influences the struggle for survival of poor people as seen in The City of Joy. It is significant to know the socio-cultural background of India because the reader can have clear vision about India, the culture the custom, the people, the situation, the climate, etc. After knowing the socio-cultural conditions in India, it will be easy to find out why there are many poor people in India and how karma influences these poor people struggle for survival.
The City of Joy is one of a literary work that is written based on the reality life of India. That is why in order to understand the reality of life in the novel, it is important to relate the real condition in society to the social condition in the novel. Besides the explanation above, referring to the socio-cultural background of the setting of time is also done. This thesis will present the socio-cultural background of the story during 1960s-1970s.
people, the influence of karma on the struggle for survival of those poor people is easy to be revealed.
Reincarnation, dharma, moksa/release and caste system are also explained in this study because these doctrines cannot be separated by the law of karma. These doctrines cannot be separated by karma because these doctrines are tied together. Dharma is duty in which every human being has his own duty. Human being who
26 CHAPTER 3
3.1The Subject of the Study
During his frequent stay in Calcutta, Dominique Lapierre decided to write a book that tells a story about people who live in Calcutta. After his two years research in India, he published his book in 1985. The title of the book is The City of Joy, which is taken from one of a slum area in Calcutta. In his book The City of Joy (1986: 1), Dominique Lapierre mentions that the story concerns men, women, and children who have been uprooted from their homes by implacable nature and hostile circumstances.
Pressinter, S.A, published the City of Joy at the first time in 1985. This International Bestselling novel consists of 519 pages which are divided into 72 chapters including epilogue, afterwards and acknowledgements. There are many characters in The City of Joy. Those characters represent the characters of people in Calcutta. Each character in the story has different origin, occupation, and religion. Dominique Lapierre writes the story of each character clearly such as how the characters survive, seek a job, face problems and help others. Lapierre shows in his novel good values of poor people who live in a slum through the character’s actions. The most important value is the struggle of each character to survive in the middle of poor life and natural disaster. There are many heroic people arise in Anand Nagar, the place in which each people have to struggle in order to survive.
3.2 The Approaches
there are five approaches to literature. The first approach is the formalist approach. The second is the Biographical approach the third is the sociocultural-historical approach. The sociocultural-historical approach is an approach that refers to the civilization that produces it. The civilization here means that attitudes and actions of a specific group of people (1971: 9). The fourth approach is the mythopoeic approach. The fifth approach is the psychological approach.
In order to reveal Indian culture in this paper, socio-cultural approach was used. The socio-cultural approach was used to figure out the socio-cultural background of India as seen in the novel and to reveal the influence of karma on the struggle for survival of poor people.
3.3Method of the Study
In analyzing the novel, the writer used library research. It means that the writer used books to answer the problems. The primary source of this study was a novel The City of Joy. The novel was read several times in order to get better understanding about the story. In order to determine the topic of the study and to find the answer of the problems, some quotations from the novel were taken. Several books that could support the analysis and give information about India and Hinduism that were needed in doing the analysis were also read. Besides reading socio-cultural books of India and reading some Hindu books, the writer also reads some books related to Hindu ethics especially karma. Then, some criticism to Dominique Lapierre and also some sources from internet site were used.
The first step in analyzing the novel was reading Dominique Lapierre’s The City of Joy, as the primary source to get clear explanation of the story. The City of Joy
poor people in one of slums in Calcutta. Besides that, this novel also explained clearly that religion had a vital role to Indians. Then after getting a better understanding of the story, it was decided to discuss the influence of karma, one of fundamental doctrines of Hinduism, to the struggle of poor people as seen in The City of Joy. The second step was after getting the topic that would like to be
discussed; some references in the library start to be searched. These books were read in order to get more information that could answer the problem. The third, a teacher of Hindu teachings named Ibu Nyoman and a lecturer of East Philosophy named Romo Sudiharjo were interviewed to get correct explanation about karma. Besides
29 CHAPTER 4
This chapter will explore The City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre to find out the answer of the problems that are formulated in the previous chapter. Dealing with this problem that will be answered, this chapter will be divided into two parts. The first part is the Socio-cultural Background of India during 1960s-1970s as seen in the novel and the second part is the Influence of Karma on the Struggle for Survival of Poor People as seen in the novel.
4.1. The Socio-Cultural Background of India during 1960s-1970s as seen in the
City of Joy
This part will be divided into two parts; the first part is the social-economical condition of India and the second part is the socio-cultural condition of India. The social-economical of India consists of India’s main source of income, India’s main source of poverty and what poverty caused to people. While the socio-cultural condition of India consists of races, languages, belief, caste system, and custom.
4.1.1. The Social-Economical Condition of India.
parts; the first part is India’s main source of income, the second part is India’s main source of poverty and the last part is what poverty cause to the people.
18.104.22.168. India’s Main Source of Income
India is a poor nation. The average income of the Indians during 1960s-1970s was $80 a year. Agriculture provided nearly half of the India’s national income. About seven of every adult Indian both men and women were farmers (1971: 106f).
India’s income really depends on agriculture. This is indicated by Lapierre’s statement which tells that five hundred or so million inhabitants of India are farmers. One of the main characters of the novel, Hasari Pal, is also a farmer. Thus, if the harvest production is low, it will influence India’s national income and of course it will influence all farmers’ income. Here is Lapierre’s statement about the amount of Indian people who work as a farmer:
“Yet thirty-two-year-old Hasari Pal was merely a peasant, one of the five hundred or so million inhabitants of India who were looking to the goddess Earth for their livehood”.(p.8)
Not all of Indian farmers have their own land. Indian farmers who do not have farmland worked for zamindars or landlords. Some large Indian farms belong to landlords (1971: 106f). These lands do not cultivate the farms by themselves but they pay some agricultural laborers to cultivate their farms.
month. Although some farmers have farmlands, they commonly have only small farms. Usually, the production of harvests is not enough to feed the whole family. This condition is stated by Lapierre in chapter 1:
“Such labor then earned only three rupees (about thirty U.S. cents) a day a portion of puffed rice and six bidis-a very slim cigarettes made out of tobacco rolled up in leaf.” (p.15)
Lapierre writes in the novel that the Pals work for zamindar while they wait for the next harvest. Actually, the Pals own their own farm, but they still have to be agricultural laborer because the harvest from their farm is not enough to feed the entire family, this conditioned described by Lapierre in chapter 3:
“While they waited for the next harvest the men would have to hire out the services to the zamindar, a very aleatory employment, which provided at best four or five days of work per month, but most of the time only a few hours.” (p.15)
Besides working as agricultural laborers, farmers without land in India also work as sharecroppers. They hire the land from zamindars, and then they share the harvest for the payment. Lapierre writes that Prodip Pal and his sons become sharecroppers in chapter two:
“To make up the deficit, Prodip Pal and his sons managed to sharecrop another plot of land. Although some owners demanded three quarters of the harvest in payment, Prodip was able to retain half of it.”(p.9)
22.214.171.124. India’s Main Cause of Poverty
annual disasters such as floods and long dry seasons. Disasters often cause the failure of harvest in India, and then the failure of harvest causes India cannot produce enough food for the citizens. Flood and long dry season strike India every year because some monsoons fail to arrive in time and some monsoon drop too much rain. In the novel, it is also mentioned that rainy season often comes late in India. The lateness of rainy seasons causes the low production of farming and sometimes causes the failure of harvest. Farmers do not have irrigation pump to anticipate this condition. Consequently, in every planting season, all farmers hope that monsoon will come on time. If monsoons cannot come on time, their crops will fail to grow. When monsoons come late, some farmers are compelled to rent irrigation pump. However, the cost to rent irrigation pump is so expensive that not all farmers can afford to rent it. Peasants have to spend about six rupees for an hour to rent one irrigation pump. For poor farmers, six rupees means a lot for them because they can buy four pounds of rice with the money. Every planting season, all farmers constantly hope that they are not supposed to rent an irrigation pump, but human cannot predict the nature. It means, every time monsoon comes late, they will not have any other choice except to rent the pump. Most of farmers who do not have much money have to cut down their money for food or to borrow some money from mahajan (usurer) in order to rent the pump. Here Lapierre explains the condition of
farmers when the monsoons come late:
turn yellow. The village elders delved deep into their memories in an attempt to remember when the monsoon had ever in the past kept them waiting like this”. (p.15)
“Yet neither Ganesh nor any of the other gods heard their prayers and Hasari was compelled to hire the irrigation pump. For six hours the pulsating of its engine brought the lifeblood essential their growth to the shoots in the Pal’s field”. (p.16)
Besides flood and long dry season, there are other disasters that also often cause the failure of harvest such as storms, cyclones, and parasites. Parasites often destroy the entire field of rice in midgrowth and storms often destroy vegetables and coconut trees besides destroy crops. Whereas, vegetables and coconut trees are planted in order to replace rice when farmers run out of rice.
Disasters are only one cause of the failure of harvest. Segal (1965: 184) mentions other causes of the low production of harvest are the farmers do not have large-scale mechanized farming, with the employment of fertilizers and pesticides. Indian farmers do not have land organizations and enough money to increase yields significantly. Whereas, if Indian farmers have organization lands, more efficient equipment, and more money; they can find solution to avoid parasites and to avoid the failure of harvest when rainy seasons come late. Without more efficient equipment and more money Indian farmers cannot do anything to avoid parasites and to do something increase the production of rice. When farms cannot produce rice, they only eat vegetables and fruits which they plant for food store. Here Lapierre describes how the farmers try to survive when the farm cannot produce rice:
“During the third year, however, disaster struck once more. A parasite destroyed the entire field of rice in the midgrowth. To overcome this catastrophe, the father set out on the path that led to the only brick house of the village.” (p.9)
Mahajan (usurer), the person who have the only brick house of the village, is
another factor that indirectly causes poor Indians becomes poorer than before. Mahajans are usurers, which often make the condition of the farmers becomes worse
than before. Peasants and other people usually go to mahajans to borrow money or to mortgage their jewels or their lands. They do not have any other choice. Most of other villagers also have the same difficulty so that they cannot ask others for help. All people know the consequences of borrowing money from mahajans. Mahajans will ask high interest on a loan, so that people who borrow money from them cannot pay the loan back. The borrowers have to work very hard in order to pay the loan and to retain their jewel or their land. Only a few people who can turn the money back to these mahajans because the interest is unreasonable. The high rate of interest does not make the borrowers dare to refuse. They accept all the rules and try to fulfill what the mahajans want. No one hopes to get their jewels or their lands back after mortgaging them to mahajans.
The sum loaned by the mahajan represented only half the actual value of the items, at a rate of interest that was astronomical: 5 percent per month, 60 percent for one year! The poor woman had little hope of seeing her jewels again-jewels that she had worn with such pride on feast days during the forty years of her life with Prodip Pal.” (p.11)
126.96.36.199. What PovertyCause to People
the second part is city. By reading this part the readers will know the situation and the condition of Indian poor people.
Disaster, the cruelty of mahajans, and a little payment of zamindars are only three factors that make Indian farmers get into the cycle of poverty and this what Prodip Pal and his family have gotten into. The cycle of poverty is an unavoidable process which some are caused by those three problems. One disaster after another that strikes India, has made most of Indian farmers become sharecroppers and laborers. A little payment from zamindars makes them unable to buy enough food for the whole family. Then, mortgaging the lands to mahajans make the farmers lose their land. This is Lapierre’s explanation about the cycle of poverty:
“Yet further terrible trials lay in store for Prodip Pal and his family. Just as ten or twelve million other Bengali peasants during this second half of the twentieth century, they were to become the victims of that endemic phenomenon known to economists as the cycle of poverty- that unavoidable process of descending along the social ladder by which the farmer became a sharecropper, then a peasant without land, then an agricultural laborer, then eventually forced into exile.” (p.8)
they only come to Brahmin so that the Brahmin can do a puja for someone who gets sick. It is lapierre’s descriptions about this condition:
“Two further incidents were to aggravate the Pal’s financial difficulties. Weak ended by the lack of food, Hasari’s youngest brother fell ill. One day he began to cough blood. For such a poor people illness was more of a curse even that death. A doctor’s fee and the cost of medicine could take several months income.” (p.10)
Nevertheless, these people’s physical condition gets even worse because they must work extremely hard. These people, especially the men, comprehend that as the head of the family, they have responsibility to support their family. No matter how sick they are, they still have to work for the sake of their family. If they do not work, their family is going to die of starvation. When the condition gets worse, these poor peasants realize that they cannot stay in their village any longer. If they insist to stay, they cannot support their family anymore. Dry season has caused shortage of water for agriculture even for drinking. Besides that, foodstuff is also difficult to get. The rate of mortality because of malnutrition in villages is so high that the government has to give free food for those farmers. The difficulties have come into point in which the villagers cannot stay any longer. Thus, most of them make a big decision to go to the cities. These conditions can be seen in chapter 3:
“Many of villagers were already left with nothing. The first indication of this harsh reality was the disappearance from the village of the very poorest families- the untouchables. They had realized that this year would be not a single head of rice to be gleaned from the fields. No one actually said anything but people knew that the untouchables had left for the great city of Calcutta, about sixty miles away. Next it was the turn off the fathers and the oldest sons, in homes where the earth ware empty. Then whole families began to take the road that led to the city.” (p.18)
better life in big cities, but these people do not recognize that city life can make their life even worse. Lapierre describes this condition in chapter 1:
“You my eldest son take this money and go with your wife and children to Calcutta. In the big city you will send us whatever you can. You are only hope of not dying of starvation” (p.20)
Segal writes in his book The Crisis of India (1965: 19) that the poverty of village is not only less obvious, but also less cruel than the poverty of the city. In villages, people still have support from people of the same caste. The formal division of different caste rights and obligations gives poverty its place and its support in the village structure. In the village structure, the upper caste that is served by the lower castes has duties not only to repay them in cash or commodities but also help them when they get difficulties. However, the poor of the Indian cities belong to no one and to nothing
“Hasari questioned them about the possibility of finding work, but they had found nothing themselves yet. To avoid dying of starvation they admitted to having been reduced to putting their children out on streets to beg”. (p.23) The number of people who move to big cities has caused the difficulty of finding a job. Consequently, those who have already had a job are insisted to maintain their job. Most of them cannot take a rest although they are sick. It is because most of the employers in big cities do not care with their workers’ condition. They do not care whether their workers are sick or not. They only care with their financial profit which they can get. If their workers come to work, they will pay them. However, if they cannot come to work, there will be other people who will replace their job. The shortage of work cause many people waiting to replace the sick workers. It does not matter if they only work as a coolie, a rickshaw puller, a driver or any other kind of job; they are pleased to take it. Therefore, the workers are afraid, if they take a rest while they get sick, other people will take their job. This condition frequently causes the condition of workers in big cities gets even worse. Thus, there are many people in cities who die on work. Here, Lapierre described how people in cities die on work.
“As he was passing a workshop where some collies were loading iron bars onto a telegarghi, a long handcart, one of the collies suddenly began to vomit blood. His companions laid him out on the ground. He was so pale that Hasari thought the man was dead. When the workshop owner came out, shouting because the telegharhi had not yet gone Hasari rushed forward and offered to replace the ailing collie. The man hesitated but his delivery could not wait any longer and he offered three rupees for the run, payable on arrival.” (p.27) “That afternoon he had learned a harsh lesson: “Since men in this inhuman city die on the job, I’ll damned if I can’t manage one day to replace one of those dead.” (p.28)