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Department of English,
MKBU
Presenters
Pooja Bhuva
Bhavyata Kukadiya
Hina Parmar
Avani Jani
Date: 13 February 2024
Paper: Contemporary Literatures in English
Academic Information of Presenters
Pooja
Bhuva
Batch: 2022 - 2024 Semester: 4 Masters of Arts
Avani
Jani
Hina
Parmar
Bhavyata
Kukadiya
About the Author
Resources
Key Facts
About the Novel
Characters
Plot
Learning Outcome
Book Review
Articles
Themes
Tables of Contents
Amitav Ghosh
➔ Born: 1956, Calcutta
➔ Studied: The University of Delhi & Oxford
➔ Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for ‘Sea
of Poppies’ in Ibis Trilogy. (Ghosh)
➔ Jnanpith Award in 2018 (Ghosh)
➔ Drawing inspiration from a myth involving
the snake goddess Manasa Devi, Ghosh wrote
Gun Island (2019), about a rare-book dealer
who undertakes a journey in which he must
face issues of his past as well as climate
change.
➔ Amitav Ghosh again addressed climate
change with Jungle Nama (2021), a retelling
inverse of a legend of the Sundarbans region;
it includes illustrations by Salman Toor.
About the Author
Key Facts
➔ Full Title: Gun Island
➔ Author: Amitav Ghosh
➔ Published: 2019
➔ Published by: Penguin Random House
India
➔ Setting: Kolkata, India, Sundarbans
Mangrove Forest, Los Angeles & Venice
(Google Earth) (Google)
➔ Narration: First & Third Person
➔ Pages: 288-289
➔ For: Anna Nadotti and Irene Bignardi
➔ Genre: Novel, Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) &
Historical Fiction
➔ Style: Blending of Realism & Magic
Realism
➔ This novel teaches about the power of storytelling, how
myths and legends shape our understanding of the world,
and how interconnected our lives are with nature and
each other.
➔ It also explores themes of environmental change,
migration, and the impact of globalisation on
communities.
➔ Through the protagonist's journey, we learn about
resilience, adaptation, and the importance of
acknowledging our shared human experiences across
cultures and borders.
Learning Outcome of Anjali Rathod
➔ On a visit to his birthplace, Kolkata, a Brooklyn-based dealer in rare
books finds his life becoming entangled with an ancient legend about
the goddess of snakes Manasa Devi. While visiting the temple, deep
within the vast mangrove forest of Bengal, he has a disturbing
encounter with the most feared, and revered, of Indian snacks, King
cobra. This is followed by a series of increasingly uncanny episodes
that seem to dissolve the borders of the human and non-human.
➔ Peopled with a diverse cast of characters, and set in places that range
from the Sundarbans to Los Angeles and Venice, this is a story about
a world in which creatures and beings of every kind have been torn
loose from their accustomed homes by the catastrophic processes of
displacement that are now unfolding across the Earth, at and ever-
increasing pace. It is a story about a man whose faith in the world is
restored by two remarkable women. (Ghosh)
About Novel from the Original Text
Characters
➔ Deenanath Datta
➔ Kanai Dutt
➔ Nilima Bose
➔ Piyali Roy
➔ Tipu
➔ Rafi
➔ Lubna Khala
➔ Gisa - Imma
➔ Cinta - Lucia (Daughter)
➔ Palash
➔ Larry
➔ Lisa
➔ Bilal - Kabir
➔ Tall Women
➔ Admiral
➔ Chand Sadagar
➔ Manasa Devi
➔ Nakhuda Ilyas
➔ Calcutta
➔ Cinta
➔ Tipu
➔ The Shrine
➔ Visions
➔ Rani (A Dolphin)
➔ Brooklyn
➔ Wildfires
➔ Los Angeles
➔ Gun Island
Part 1 - The Gun Merchant Part 2 - Venice
➔ The Ghetto
➔ Rafi
➔ Strandings
➔ Friends
➔ Dreams
➔ Warnings
➔ High Water
➔ Crossings
➔ Winds
➔ The Lucania
➔ Sightings
➔ The Storm
Plot
➔ The narrator, Deen Datta, visits Kolkata every winter and is there now. At a
wedding, Deen's distant relative Kanai tells him about a legendary figure called
"Bonduki Sadagar" and a shrine associated with him in the Sundarbans. Kanai
says his aunt Nilima knows more about this legend.
➔ Deen visits Nilima, who tells him the story of how she first heard about the
Gun Merchant's shrine in 1970. After a devastating cyclone hit the Sundarbans,
Nilima visited the shrine which had magically protected a nearby village.
➔ The caretaker of the shrine tells Nilima the legend - similar to the classic tale of
the merchant Chand who angers the snake goddess Manasa Devi. In this story,
the Gun Merchant angers the goddess and flees to a place called Gun Island,
but she haunts him everywhere until he agrees to build her a shrine in Bengal.
➔ Intrigued by the story but unsure about visiting the remote shrine himself,
Deen meets Piya, she encourages him to visit and promises her friend Moyna
will arrange everything smoothly. Deen agrees to think it over and confirm the
next day.
Part 1 - The Gun Merchant
➔ Second Chapter Cinta - Cinta unexpectedly calls Deen from an airport lounge
in Venice. She recalls a brief moment from decades ago when she visited
Kolkata - standing with Deen outside a tent where there was a performance
about the goddess Manasa Devi.
➔ Deen looks back in his journal from that visit and finds the description
matches Cinta's recollection. He provides more background on getting to
know Cinta during her research visit to his university library in the US
Midwest. - Here comes the brief story of Cinta’s life - This adds intrigue to the
reappearance of the Manasa Devi legend in Deen's own life recently.
➔ The next morning, Cinta learns about the tragedy that sent Deen to America -
his activist girlfriend Durga being killed in a police encounter likely set up by
her comrades. - Cinta recommends Deen for a job in the rare books business
in New York and they maintain a lifelong friendship.
➔ After her call reminding him not to always take the easy path, Deen decides to
visit the Gun Merchant's shrine in the Sundarbans after all.
➔ Deen also encounters a charismatic Bengali businessman
named Tipu, who becomes his guide and confidant.
➔ As Deen explores Gun Island and its surroundings, he
encounters a diverse cast of characters, including Tipu, a
charismatic Bengali businessman who becomes his guide
and confidant. Together, they uncover clues that suggest
the legend of Gun Island may have some basis in reality.
➔ Deen grapples with questions of identity and belonging,
particularly as he reconnects with his Indian heritage after
years of living in the United States. He reflects on his
family's history of migration and displacement, as well as
his own experiences as an immigrant in America.
➔ When Deen goes to the shrine he observers everything and
symbols which are on the Shrine. There he also knows more
about Tipu and that he is great in Technology.
➔ As Deen mentions the possibility of the myth being true, a cobra suddenly
appears behind him. Rafi notices the danger and alerts Deen, but before they
can react, the cobra strikes, biting Tipu. Tipu cries out in pain as the venom
quickly spreads through his body. The poison courses through Tipu's veins,
causing him to convulse and lose consciousness. In his delirium, Tipu
manages to utter, "Rani is in danger." Somehow they save him.
➔ After all this Deen returns to Brooklyn. Here he got a message about a seminar
in Los Angeles.
➔ Now, Tipu uses the mail bonduki@bonduki.com and asks Deen questions: Do
you believe in Bhoot? What is the meaning of Possession?
➔ When he was in Brooklyn he got a message from Piya that there is Wildfire in
Los Angeles.
➔ Here we are introduced to a new Character named Lisa, all the blame for this
Wildfire goes on the head of her for the fund for her research.
➔ Now, Deen goes to LA and he sees Wildfire from the window and also that two
birds are fighting for the snake.
➔ Here comes the event of seminar in which Cinta is going to make her
points, and there is also a speech which discusses a historical survey
of the seventeenth century that so many calamities happened but we
didn’t take notice of it.
➔ After this when Deen and Cinta are talking Deen tells her about the
Manasa Devi and Cinta tries to connect it with history and real
places.
➔ Cinta invites Deen to come to Venice but Tipu hasn’t enough money
for that but as if like some ‘Shakti’ with him he got an offer from Gisa
that she wants a translator for Bengali and she will pay him money
for it. Gisa wants to make a Documentary on the people who are
migrating.
➔ Here we got the detailed story of Cinta and the death of her
Daughter and her Husband.
Land of Kerchiefs
Rumali Desh in
Bengali
Island of Chains
Venice
Shikol Dwip
Land of Palm
Sugar Candy
Taal Misri Desh in
Bengali
Gun Island
Four Places
➔ When Deen came to Venice he remembered Varanasi.
➔ Here comes the point that Manasa Devi and Medusa are mediators and without
them there will not be any connection between Human and Animal.
➔ When he was going from here and there in Venice he heard the sound
‘Sabdhan’ in Bengali and he was shocked to know that he is Rafi. Deen got to
know that if someone wants to work they have to contact Lubna Khala.
➔ Here comes the backstory of Lubna Khala and her husband.
➔ Now, when Deen goes to meet Rafi there is a sudden encounter with a spider,
that very same spider appears in the room where Deen is staying later.
➔ Deen took photos of it and sent it to Piya and Piya sent it to Larry who in the
USA and Deen and Piya talked about what happened.
➔ In the next Chapter Surroundings, he got a call from Piya that she got an Email
from an unknown person and about the Beaching of Dolphins. Here we got the
Idea of Beaching and Pollution from industry, etc.
Part 2 - Venice
➔ In chapter Friends the story of Rafi continues that he was beaten by Bilal.
When Deen and Bilal meet, another story of Bilal and Kabit opens up. And from
their story we got to know about Human Trafficking and Organ Transplant.
➔ Now, Rafi tells him how he and Tipu got separated and he is going to do
anything to bring him back.
➔ Now, when Deen goes to meet Lubna Khala she isn’t there but he meets
another person named Palash and his story opens up.
➔ Then Palash tells that Khala goes to meet some activists because Blue Boat
(Luciana) is coming and that there are people from poor countries.
➔ In the next chapter Warnings we got discussion about possession. Also there is
talk between Cinta and Deen and she tries to give a mystical interpretation
about the event of Spider.
➔ Later, when Cinta and Deen walk towards the church they recall that it was
built around 1629 and it has references of Mythical character.
➔ They walk more and more and the scene where Cinta got injured is mentioned
and a reference about Shipworm came.
➔ Now, suddenly Bilal came from somewhere and helps injured Cinta to go to the
hospital in the same one where Rafi is now
➔ Here Rafi says that Tipu might be on a Blue Boat.
➔ Now, after all this, all the characters go to Blue Boat and while going there in
between they encounter Tornado but somehow they reach the place where
Blue Boat is coming.
➔ Here, another character came - The Admiral from Italy - he was from the right
wing party but got the change of heart and helped the people who came here in
Blue Boat.
➔ When the Blue Boat is coming the event of bioluminescence happens and the
mystery of Manasa Devi and Pirates solved with the Ethiopian Dark Tall
woman.
➔ The story ends with the returning of Deen to Brooklyn and he has now idea
that this tale might be somewhere in reality.
➔ What Do You Think, Is it Reality or Myth?
➔ Bonduki Sadagar - This is in Bengali which means The Gun Merchant
➔ Cyclone - Bhola Cyclone occurred in 1970 - named after years later it
happened
➔ Chand - Chand Sadagar - Gun Merchant
➔ Manasa Devi - similar to Medusa (Mythological character who has
snakes as hair)
➔ Nilima got story orally cause the Gun Merchant wants it passed down
mouth to mouth - Story can be suspicious - Plato’s view of Speech over
Writing
➔ Story of Gun Merchant - When he is traveling from here to there
because of natural disasters he was captured by Pirates and there
Manasa Devi appears and tells him if he built his shrines he will help him
and Gun Merchant agrees with her. When he returns to Bengal he brings
vast fortune and an amazing tale. - That’s how he got famous.
Clues and Ideas
➔ While reading the story from the original text I am able to
connect so many points with the real events and with some
movies as well.
➔ I got to know about the Beaching of the Dolphin and Whales as
well.
➔ I know about Wildfire but I got a new point that this novel was
written before its time. So, the timeline can be this interesting I
know from this novel.
➔ While reading I also was inspired to write my Dissertation and
Research Articles as the characters in this Novel are dedicated to
their professions.
➔ Ideas and Plot is inspiring me to write a Novel myself with
connection of Myth and History with new points.
Learning Outcome of Pooja Bhuva
Themes
1] Etymological Mystery and the title
‘Gun Island’.
"At the heart of the story of Gun Island, there lies an etymological mystery, a derivation that points to the deep and
inextricable intermeshing of cultures and civilizations over the ages. This is why etymology fascinates me: like sailors,
words, too, are travelers, and tracing their journeys is like describing voyages of adventures." (Bhattacharya, "Gun Island
by Amitav Ghosh.")
In "Gun Island," etymology isn't just a background detail—it's integral to the story.. It shows how language connects to
the world and changes over time, helping us understand the narrative better.
1.Title - ‘Gun Island
The title suggests a story about a merchant who went to Venice and found a place where weapons
were made, called a foundry. The word "ghetto" comes from Venice and is connected to where
Jewish people lived. Venice also has connections to guns because of its name in Arabic. So, the
title hints at a story about a merchant discovering this connection between Venice, weapons, and
the Jewish area.
24
24
‘And through Arabic the name of Venice has travelled far afield, to Persia
and parts of India, where to this day guns are known as bundook – which is,
of course, none other than “Venice” or “Venetian”!’
2] ‘Gun Merchant’ or ‘Bonduki Sadagar’ means ‘A Merchant who visited
Venice’.
Was it possible that I had completely misunderstood the name ‘Bonduki
Sadagar’? Could it be that its meaning was not ‘The Gun Merchant’, as I
had thought, but rather, ‘The Merchant who went to Venice’?
25
25
3] Bhoot
● Bhoot means ‘Ghost’.
● The word 'booth' is mentioned in the Brooklyn chapter of the novel.
● It is part of a conversation between Tipu and Dinanath, discussing
the meaning of a word.
● In novel it means ‘Past state of being’.
● "bhuta" simply means "a being" or "an existing presence".
● This word "bhuta" also refers to the past, in the sense of "a past
state of being". Like we use "bhuta-kala" or "times past".
● "bhuta" is not "ghost" but it is "memory". So it can be with you in the
form of memory.
‘All I can tell you is that the Bangla word “bhoot” or “bhuta” comes from a
basic but very complicated Sanskrit root, “bhu”, meaning “to be”, or “to
manifest”. So in that sense “bhuta” simply means “a being” or “an existing
presence”.’
‘Because “bhuta” also refers to the past, in the sense of “a past state of
being”. Like when we say “bhuta-kala” or “times past”.’
4] Possession
● ‘Possession is when someone is taken over by a demon.’
● In other words possession is consciousness of things.
In the ‘Warning’ Chapter Conversation of Deen and Chinta - according to
cinta, The word ‘Possession’ is not demonic or negative.
27
27
Cinta explained that possession became when a person loses "will" and
"freedom". Further she said it is a kind of awakening, you are waking up to
things that you had never imagined or sensed before.
5] Ghetto
● Ghetto is a Residency Where Jewish People are Living .
● In the Novel not Related to Jewish but used as Island within Island
.(sundarban)
● Possession is not like someone's soul comes into our
body and all things! It's our greed that we have taken
over that greed.
‘The old ghetto is an island within an island, as you can see.’
‘The island that was allotted to the Jews, she said, had previously been a foundry where
armaments, including bullets, were cast. The word for foundry in the old Venetian dialect
was getto and this had become the name of the city’s Jewish settlement. Not only would
this settlement become a great centre of Jewish learning, it would also lead to the
coining of certain words, of which ghetto was only one.’
6]‘Land of Palm Sugar Candy’ (Taal-misrir-desh) = Egypt
7]‘Land of Kerchieves’ (Rumaali-desh) = Turkey
8]‘The Island of Chains’ (Shikol-dwip) = Sicily
2] Historification of Myth and Mythification of History
Four approaches to study myth and history in literature.
1.myth and ritual,2. functionalism, 3.psychoanalytic approach, and
4.structuralism.
Amitav Ghosh, uses myth as a tool for the narrative at three levels:
contemporary, historical, and mythological.
The book mentions real places like the Sundarbans, Venice, Gito, and Sicily,
along with some mythical locations.
The picture might look like a snake and a gun,
but it's actually a letter from the Hebrew
alphabet. This letter represents Ilias Identity.
30
Myths in the novel are not just made-up stories; they reflect real events from
history.
The story seems to take place in the 17th century because it mentions events
like the plague, fire, and the character 'Bonduki Sadagar'.
The image looks like it's showing an island within
another island, but it's actually a historical place
known as a getto.
This Image might look like a spider, but it's actually
showing arms. It could also be related to a foundry.
3] Climate Change
One of his most influential and powerful pieces of nonfiction about climate change is
“The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable”(2016).
1)Stories
2)History
3)Politics
Gun Island. It “is a story of travel and migrations, overlaid
with myth and folktales, and the deepening crisis of climate change”
This fascinating mix of different things even includes moments where myths and
magic smoothly combine with events about climate change.
The author uses animals like spiders and snakes appearing in unexpected places
Sometimes, they end up in strange places, like spiders in places they don't usually live
or snakes on beaches where you wouldn't expect them. This shows how the world is
getting weirder and more messed up because of climate change.
32
“These snakes generally lived in warmer waters, to the south, but sightings in
southern California had become increasingly common: their distribution was
changing with the warming of the oceans and they were migrating northwards”
In "Gun Island," the author uses the character Deen's trip to Los Angeles to show
another scary effect of climate change: massive wildfires. He was inspired by real
wildfires that happened in California in 2018, which were the worst in the state's
history. Deen could even see the burned-up land from the plane! where hillsides and
forests had turned into nothing but ash. “vast field of ash”
Corpus
1.Flood
2.Storm
3.Cyclone - Aila and Bhola
4.Calamities
5.Drought
6.Reforestation
7.Famine
8.Plague
9.Smoke
10.Tornado
11.Green house
12.Fossil fuel
13. Weather alert
14. Wildfires
15. Tsunami
16. Apocalypse
17. Volcano / Volcanics
18. Temperatures
19. Seismic
20. Earthquake
21. Air quality
22. Global warming
23. Hail storm
24. Coal
25. Tufaan
26. Winds
4.Migration / Human Trafficking and Refugee Crisis
1 - War and natural disaster.
2 - Religious Migration.
3 - Climate Refugees.
The Novel mainly talks about two places:
the Sundarbans and Venice. Both these places are
sinking, so people have to move from there often.
Reasons of Migration
1 Natural Calamities
2 Communal Violence
3 Poverty
4 Socio - Economic conditions
Learning Outcome of Bhavyata Kukadiya
Stories from the past teach us about history.
The world is more confusing than it seems.
Keep trying, even when things are tough.
Traveling can help you grow as a person.
Illegal Migration become harmful .
The novel isn't just imagery; as a reader, I feel it tells history.
Articles
Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh review – climate and
culture in crisis (Alex Clark)
❖ This review argues that traditional realism in fiction is insufficient to
capture the complexities of the climate crisis and its cultural impact.
❖ In 2016, author Amitav Ghosh wrote "The Great Derangement," arguing that
people are avoiding the harsh reality of climate change. He wonders why
even fiction, including his own, struggles to openly address this crisis.
❖ "Gun Island" is full of unlikely events and surprising encounters. It mixes old
myths and legends with stories of brave people and magical things, all
happening in our modern world where people and animals are constantly on
the move.
❖ The story follows a skeptical Bangladeshi man Dinanath Datta who sells rare
books.
❖ An ancient legend about a merchant cursed by a snake goddess, Manasa
Devi, whispers its way back into Deen's life at a party. (Clark)
‘Gun Island’ Is a Surreal Novel About Climate Change and Migration
(JR Ramakrishnan)
❖ This article explores the themes of climate change, migration, and societal
inequalities through a conversation between Amitav Ghosh, the author of "Gun
Island," and J.R. Ramakrishnan, a reviewer.
❖ Climate change - The Sundarbans, a landscape heavily affected by climate
change, plays a significant role in the story.
❖ Mobility and migration - The conversation highlights the stark contrast between
those who can move freely and those who face immense challenges and dangers
in their journeys. Characters like Piya and Deen represent the former, while
Tipu and Rafi exemplify the latter.
❖ Technology and its impact - Ghosh touches upon the theme of technology and
its uncanny presence.
❖ Referencing his own experience with "The Hungry Tide” (Ramakrishnan)
The Era of Environmental Derangement: Witnessing Climate Crisis in Amitav Ghosh’s
Gun Island (Nupur Pancholi,
Sanjit Kumar Mishra)
★ This article explores how our human-focused ideas of "good life" might be causing climate change,
using Amitav Ghosh's book "Gun Island" and his ideas about climate denial. It argues that our desire
for more stuff is hurting the planet, leading to rising temperatures, extreme weather, and habitat
loss, especially in places like the Sundarbans.
★ André Krebber in his article Anthropocentrism and Reason in Dialectic of Enlightenment:
Environmental Crisis and Animal Subject (2011), endorses this viewpoint and notes that human
history is a constant human-centric struggle to subjugate Nature in order to ensure betterment and
security of human society.
★ Ghosh regards that anthropocentric culture is primarily responsible for generating these desires, he
says:
“You have to think about a whole history and culture of people reading, perhaps, Jane Austen and
imagining English greensward all around them. That becomes the idea of a good life. What we are all
chasing is an idea of the good life that comes to us from culture”.
★ Ghosh compares climate change with death since “no one wants to talk about it” (Rao, 2016).
(Mishra,Nupur)
● George Marshall writes: “People yearn for normality and safety, and no one
wants to be reminded of a growing global threat. As they rebuild their lives,
they invest their hopes along with their savings in the belief that the
catastrophe was a rare natural aberration” (Marshall, 2015).
● Ghosh, in his essay Folly in the Sunderbans (2004), shows an attempt of human
encroachment in the area. The essay criticizes an ambitious plan of creating an
enormous new tourism complex in the Sundarbans, proposed by Sahara India
Pariwar in 2003.
● Ursula Kluwick in her essay, The global deluge: floods, diluvian imagery, and
aquatic language in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide and Gun Island (2020),
claims that the tale of the Gun Merchant functions as a review of climate
change and it determines human reluctance to recognise the underlying and
inextricable links between human actions and environmental
alterations.
( Mishra,Nupur)
42
With ‘Gun Island,’ Amitav Ghosh turns global crises into engaging fiction
Review by Rumaan Alam
★ In Rumaan Alam's review of Amitav Ghosh's novel "Gun Island," he
highlights the novel's engagement with significant contemporary issues,
such as climate change and human migration. Alam acknowledges Ghosh's
skill in crafting a narrative that tackles these pressing global concerns
while maintaining the essence of a captivating story.
★ Alam notes the novel's narrative structure, where Deen's quest for the
meaning behind the myth parallels Tipu's quest for safe passage to the
West, providing a quest-like structure to the story.
★ The review suggests that "Gun Island" manages to balance entertainment
with thought-provoking ideas, making it a novel that grapples with
contemporary issues while offering a diverting and engaging reading
experience.(Alam)
Learning Outcome of Hina Parmar
❖ Reading different articles and reviews exposes me to diverse
interpretations of the novel, enriching my understanding and offering new
angles to consider. first review argues that traditional realism in fiction is
insufficient to capture the complexities of the climate crisis and its cultural
impact. Second article explores the themes of climate change, migration,
and societal inequalities. Third article explores how our human-focused
ideas of "good life" might be causing climate change, using Amitav Ghosh's
book "Gun Island" and his ideas about climate denial. In the fourth review
Rumaan Alam' highlights the novel's engagement with significant
contemporary issues, such as climate change and human migration.
Is Global Warming the 21st Century’s Black Death?
- Melanie Finn
● This article focuses on how our reliance on technology, material comforts, and
rationality has led to a form of "demonic possession," wherein we are unable to
confront the realities of climate change despite being aware of its consequences. The
author emphasizes the importance of storytelling, faith, and irrational beliefs in
motivating collective action and addressing complex challenges like climate change.
● Melanie Finn considers -This kitchen sink approach is either a brave experiment in
bringing climate change to action-adventure readers or an overwrought
provocation, a dialectic an experienced writer like Ghosh (best known for his
fictional Ibis trilogy) probably intends, since in the course of his narrative he
makes reference to jatra, a style of Indian performance art that goes on “for
hours with absurdly costumed figures screeching in falsetto voices.”
'Gun Island' Is Amitav Ghosh's Most Tender Book Yet
- Shreya Ila Anasuya
● The intertwining of fantasy and reality: The book blends magical realism and supernatural elements with gritty
depictions of climate change and the refugee crisis. This shows how storytelling does not need to choose between
entertainment and addressing serious issues.
● Challenging positivist worldviews: A key theme is critiquing objective, colonialist modes of thinking and making space
for feminine, marginalized forms of knowledge and spirituality. The book argues for integrating different ways of
knowing.
● Urgent warnings about climate crisis and displacement: While imaginative, the book directly confronts the horror of
extreme weather events and the unjust treatment of migrants. It links imperialism's historical role to current
humanitarian issues.
● Connecting past and present crises: By drawing parallels between current and historical crises, the novel emphasizes
how we ignore the lessons of history at our own peril when facing present threats.
● Transforming mindsets through story: The ultimate point is that while facts alone cannot spur action, the art of
storytelling has power to shake people out of denial and complacency to engage with even demonic threats.
● Shreya Ila Anasuya reviews that the story has its problems, including its flaws
in pacing, or its preoccupation with the inner life of its principal character to
the neglect of many of its other compelling people, particularly the women
(especially Cinta, who feels woefully underused and whose perspective could
liven up a novel like this immensely). Even so, this is in some ways Ghosh’s
most tender, even most personal novel yet – while simultaneously being
global in scope. It is a story full of that particular grace.
From ‘Manasa’ to ‘Madonna’: Reading Religion and Mythology in
Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island
- Dr. Sanjukta Chatterjee.
The key things this article attempts to convey are:
Blending of myth and history: It shows how Ghosh interweaves ancient mythology like
the tale of the snake goddess Manasa with actual historical events like the 17th
century plague in Venice, connecting mythic narratives across time and space.
Linking diverse cultures: The article discusses how Ghosh draws parallels between
Indian, Italian, and Cretan mythological figures/traditions to emphasize cultural
interconnections and universalism underlying myths.
Critique of institutionalized religion: It examines how Ghosh questions colonialist
conceptions of "religion" in favor of a more mystical, pluralistic spiritual understanding
embracing marginalized belief systems.
Highlighting climate crisis and displacement: The analysis touches on how the mythical
natural disasters in the novel mirror current climate disruptions and refugee crises, linking
past and present human displacement.
The power of storytelling: Ultimately, the article conveys Ghosh's belief in the
transformational ability of myth and narrative to transmit deeper truths and motivate action
against existential threats like climate change.
In essence, the article attempts to convey how Ghosh employs mythology, magical realism and
intertextuality to put forth a universal, pluralistic vision of spirituality while also tackling themes of
environmental destruction and the plight of the displaced. The healing power of stories is a core
highlight.
Learning Outcome of Avani Jani
● After reading the articles and book review, I noticed a similarity
between religion and tradition across different nations and religions. I
learned that the treatment of refugees and migrant communities in the
novel reflects societal injustices faced by displaced groups due to
climate disruptions and economic crises, which can be traced back to
questionable historical forces. The connection between mythical
disasters and current climate disruptions raises awareness about the
worsening environmental destruction and its increasing human
consequences.
Resources
➔ Alam, Rumaan. “With ‘Gun Island’ Amitav Ghosh Turns Global Crises into Engaging Fiction.” The
Washington Post, 8 Sept. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/with-gun-
island-amitav-ghosh-turns-global-crises-into-engaging-fiction/2019/09/08/efe6b35e-d0ce-11e9-
b29b-a528dc82154a_story.html. Accessed 2019.
➔ Anasuya, Shreya Ila. “Review: 'Gun Island' Is Amitav Ghosh's Most Tender Book Yet.” The Wire, 6
July 2019, https://thewire.in/books/amitav-ghosh-gun-island. Accessed 13 February 2024.
➔ Barad, Dilip. “Characters and Summary - 1 | Sundarbans | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.”
YouTube, 9 November 2017,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn70pnUIK1Y&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO-
NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=1. Accessed 13 February 2024.
➔ Barad, Dilip. “Characters and Summary - 2 | USA | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube, 9
November 2017,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiYLTn7cWm8&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO-
NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=2. Accessed 13 February 2024.
➔ Barad, Dilip. “Etymological Mystery | Title of the Novel | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube,
19 January 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yg5RmjBlTk. Accessed 11 February 2024.
➔ Barad, Dilip. “Part I - Historification of Myth & Mythification of History | Gun Island |
Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube, 21 January 2022,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBLsFEKLGd0. Accessed 11 February 2024.
➔ Barad, Dilip. Climate Change | The Great Derangement | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_3tD4voebA&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO-
NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=5&t=8s. Accessed 11 February 2024.
➔ Barad, Dilip. “Summary - 3 | Venice | Part 2 of Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube:
Home, 9 November 2017,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F3n_rrRG9M&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO-
NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=3. Accessed 13 February 2024.
➔ Chatterjee., Dr. Sanjukta. “From ‘Manasa’ to ‘Madonna’: Reading Religion and Mythology
in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island.” PROTEUS JOURNAL, vol. 11, no. 10 2020.
http://www.proteusresearch.org/.
➔ Clark, Alex. “Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh Review – Climate and Culture in Crisis.” The
Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 June 2019,
www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/05/gun-island-amitav-ghosh-review. Accessed
11 Feb. 2024.
➔ Finn, Melanie. “Is Global Warming the 21st Century's Black Death? (Published 2019).” The New York
Times, 10 September 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/10/books/review/gun-island-amitav-
ghosh.html.
➔ Francis, Ashna. “(PDF) Gun Island: A Tale of Myth, Migration and Climate Change.” ResearchGate,
SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 29 August 2023,
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354938252_Gun_Island_A_Tale_of_Myth_Migration_and
_Climate_Change. Accessed 11 February 2024.
➔ Ghosh, Amitav. Gun Island. Penguin Random House India Pvt. Limited, 2019.
➔ Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. India, Penguin Random
House India Private Limited, 2018.
➔ Ghosh, Amitav, 1956. The Hungry Tide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
➔ Google. "Google Earth Map of Setting of the 'Gun Island' by Amitav Ghosh." Google Earth, Google, 13
February 2024,
https://earth.google.com/earth/d/11YOCTYl6De5qebpkmJqlUzxxd2zBLfWE?usp=sharing. Accessed 13
February 2024.
➔ Lou, Jo. “‘gun Island’ Is a Surreal Novel about Climate Change and Migration.” Electric Literature, 10
Sept. 2019, electricliterature.com/gun-island-is-a-magical-realism-novel-about-climate-change-and-
migration/. Accessed 10 Feb. 2024.
➔ Mishra, Sanjit Kumar, and Nupur Pancholi. “The Era of Environmental Derangement: Witnessing
Climate Crisis in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island.” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in
Humanities, vol. 13, no. 2, 15 June 2021, doi:10.21659/rupkatha.v13n2.29.
Amazon Rainforest
Deforestation Awareness
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Group_Presentation_Gun_Island_Amitav_Ghosh.pptx

  • 1. Department of English, MKBU Presenters Pooja Bhuva Bhavyata Kukadiya Hina Parmar Avani Jani Date: 13 February 2024 Paper: Contemporary Literatures in English
  • 2. Academic Information of Presenters Pooja Bhuva Batch: 2022 - 2024 Semester: 4 Masters of Arts Avani Jani Hina Parmar Bhavyata Kukadiya
  • 3. About the Author Resources Key Facts About the Novel Characters Plot Learning Outcome Book Review Articles Themes Tables of Contents
  • 4. Amitav Ghosh ➔ Born: 1956, Calcutta ➔ Studied: The University of Delhi & Oxford ➔ Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for ‘Sea of Poppies’ in Ibis Trilogy. (Ghosh) ➔ Jnanpith Award in 2018 (Ghosh) ➔ Drawing inspiration from a myth involving the snake goddess Manasa Devi, Ghosh wrote Gun Island (2019), about a rare-book dealer who undertakes a journey in which he must face issues of his past as well as climate change. ➔ Amitav Ghosh again addressed climate change with Jungle Nama (2021), a retelling inverse of a legend of the Sundarbans region; it includes illustrations by Salman Toor. About the Author
  • 5. Key Facts ➔ Full Title: Gun Island ➔ Author: Amitav Ghosh ➔ Published: 2019 ➔ Published by: Penguin Random House India ➔ Setting: Kolkata, India, Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, Los Angeles & Venice (Google Earth) (Google) ➔ Narration: First & Third Person ➔ Pages: 288-289 ➔ For: Anna Nadotti and Irene Bignardi ➔ Genre: Novel, Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) & Historical Fiction ➔ Style: Blending of Realism & Magic Realism
  • 6. ➔ This novel teaches about the power of storytelling, how myths and legends shape our understanding of the world, and how interconnected our lives are with nature and each other. ➔ It also explores themes of environmental change, migration, and the impact of globalisation on communities. ➔ Through the protagonist's journey, we learn about resilience, adaptation, and the importance of acknowledging our shared human experiences across cultures and borders. Learning Outcome of Anjali Rathod
  • 7. ➔ On a visit to his birthplace, Kolkata, a Brooklyn-based dealer in rare books finds his life becoming entangled with an ancient legend about the goddess of snakes Manasa Devi. While visiting the temple, deep within the vast mangrove forest of Bengal, he has a disturbing encounter with the most feared, and revered, of Indian snacks, King cobra. This is followed by a series of increasingly uncanny episodes that seem to dissolve the borders of the human and non-human. ➔ Peopled with a diverse cast of characters, and set in places that range from the Sundarbans to Los Angeles and Venice, this is a story about a world in which creatures and beings of every kind have been torn loose from their accustomed homes by the catastrophic processes of displacement that are now unfolding across the Earth, at and ever- increasing pace. It is a story about a man whose faith in the world is restored by two remarkable women. (Ghosh) About Novel from the Original Text
  • 8. Characters ➔ Deenanath Datta ➔ Kanai Dutt ➔ Nilima Bose ➔ Piyali Roy ➔ Tipu ➔ Rafi ➔ Lubna Khala ➔ Gisa - Imma ➔ Cinta - Lucia (Daughter) ➔ Palash ➔ Larry ➔ Lisa ➔ Bilal - Kabir ➔ Tall Women ➔ Admiral ➔ Chand Sadagar ➔ Manasa Devi ➔ Nakhuda Ilyas
  • 9. ➔ Calcutta ➔ Cinta ➔ Tipu ➔ The Shrine ➔ Visions ➔ Rani (A Dolphin) ➔ Brooklyn ➔ Wildfires ➔ Los Angeles ➔ Gun Island Part 1 - The Gun Merchant Part 2 - Venice ➔ The Ghetto ➔ Rafi ➔ Strandings ➔ Friends ➔ Dreams ➔ Warnings ➔ High Water ➔ Crossings ➔ Winds ➔ The Lucania ➔ Sightings ➔ The Storm
  • 10. Plot
  • 11. ➔ The narrator, Deen Datta, visits Kolkata every winter and is there now. At a wedding, Deen's distant relative Kanai tells him about a legendary figure called "Bonduki Sadagar" and a shrine associated with him in the Sundarbans. Kanai says his aunt Nilima knows more about this legend. ➔ Deen visits Nilima, who tells him the story of how she first heard about the Gun Merchant's shrine in 1970. After a devastating cyclone hit the Sundarbans, Nilima visited the shrine which had magically protected a nearby village. ➔ The caretaker of the shrine tells Nilima the legend - similar to the classic tale of the merchant Chand who angers the snake goddess Manasa Devi. In this story, the Gun Merchant angers the goddess and flees to a place called Gun Island, but she haunts him everywhere until he agrees to build her a shrine in Bengal. ➔ Intrigued by the story but unsure about visiting the remote shrine himself, Deen meets Piya, she encourages him to visit and promises her friend Moyna will arrange everything smoothly. Deen agrees to think it over and confirm the next day. Part 1 - The Gun Merchant
  • 12. ➔ Second Chapter Cinta - Cinta unexpectedly calls Deen from an airport lounge in Venice. She recalls a brief moment from decades ago when she visited Kolkata - standing with Deen outside a tent where there was a performance about the goddess Manasa Devi. ➔ Deen looks back in his journal from that visit and finds the description matches Cinta's recollection. He provides more background on getting to know Cinta during her research visit to his university library in the US Midwest. - Here comes the brief story of Cinta’s life - This adds intrigue to the reappearance of the Manasa Devi legend in Deen's own life recently. ➔ The next morning, Cinta learns about the tragedy that sent Deen to America - his activist girlfriend Durga being killed in a police encounter likely set up by her comrades. - Cinta recommends Deen for a job in the rare books business in New York and they maintain a lifelong friendship. ➔ After her call reminding him not to always take the easy path, Deen decides to visit the Gun Merchant's shrine in the Sundarbans after all.
  • 13. ➔ Deen also encounters a charismatic Bengali businessman named Tipu, who becomes his guide and confidant. ➔ As Deen explores Gun Island and its surroundings, he encounters a diverse cast of characters, including Tipu, a charismatic Bengali businessman who becomes his guide and confidant. Together, they uncover clues that suggest the legend of Gun Island may have some basis in reality. ➔ Deen grapples with questions of identity and belonging, particularly as he reconnects with his Indian heritage after years of living in the United States. He reflects on his family's history of migration and displacement, as well as his own experiences as an immigrant in America. ➔ When Deen goes to the shrine he observers everything and symbols which are on the Shrine. There he also knows more about Tipu and that he is great in Technology.
  • 14. ➔ As Deen mentions the possibility of the myth being true, a cobra suddenly appears behind him. Rafi notices the danger and alerts Deen, but before they can react, the cobra strikes, biting Tipu. Tipu cries out in pain as the venom quickly spreads through his body. The poison courses through Tipu's veins, causing him to convulse and lose consciousness. In his delirium, Tipu manages to utter, "Rani is in danger." Somehow they save him. ➔ After all this Deen returns to Brooklyn. Here he got a message about a seminar in Los Angeles. ➔ Now, Tipu uses the mail bonduki@bonduki.com and asks Deen questions: Do you believe in Bhoot? What is the meaning of Possession? ➔ When he was in Brooklyn he got a message from Piya that there is Wildfire in Los Angeles. ➔ Here we are introduced to a new Character named Lisa, all the blame for this Wildfire goes on the head of her for the fund for her research. ➔ Now, Deen goes to LA and he sees Wildfire from the window and also that two birds are fighting for the snake.
  • 15. ➔ Here comes the event of seminar in which Cinta is going to make her points, and there is also a speech which discusses a historical survey of the seventeenth century that so many calamities happened but we didn’t take notice of it. ➔ After this when Deen and Cinta are talking Deen tells her about the Manasa Devi and Cinta tries to connect it with history and real places. ➔ Cinta invites Deen to come to Venice but Tipu hasn’t enough money for that but as if like some ‘Shakti’ with him he got an offer from Gisa that she wants a translator for Bengali and she will pay him money for it. Gisa wants to make a Documentary on the people who are migrating. ➔ Here we got the detailed story of Cinta and the death of her Daughter and her Husband.
  • 16. Land of Kerchiefs Rumali Desh in Bengali Island of Chains Venice Shikol Dwip Land of Palm Sugar Candy Taal Misri Desh in Bengali Gun Island Four Places
  • 17. ➔ When Deen came to Venice he remembered Varanasi. ➔ Here comes the point that Manasa Devi and Medusa are mediators and without them there will not be any connection between Human and Animal. ➔ When he was going from here and there in Venice he heard the sound ‘Sabdhan’ in Bengali and he was shocked to know that he is Rafi. Deen got to know that if someone wants to work they have to contact Lubna Khala. ➔ Here comes the backstory of Lubna Khala and her husband. ➔ Now, when Deen goes to meet Rafi there is a sudden encounter with a spider, that very same spider appears in the room where Deen is staying later. ➔ Deen took photos of it and sent it to Piya and Piya sent it to Larry who in the USA and Deen and Piya talked about what happened. ➔ In the next Chapter Surroundings, he got a call from Piya that she got an Email from an unknown person and about the Beaching of Dolphins. Here we got the Idea of Beaching and Pollution from industry, etc. Part 2 - Venice
  • 18. ➔ In chapter Friends the story of Rafi continues that he was beaten by Bilal. When Deen and Bilal meet, another story of Bilal and Kabit opens up. And from their story we got to know about Human Trafficking and Organ Transplant. ➔ Now, Rafi tells him how he and Tipu got separated and he is going to do anything to bring him back. ➔ Now, when Deen goes to meet Lubna Khala she isn’t there but he meets another person named Palash and his story opens up. ➔ Then Palash tells that Khala goes to meet some activists because Blue Boat (Luciana) is coming and that there are people from poor countries. ➔ In the next chapter Warnings we got discussion about possession. Also there is talk between Cinta and Deen and she tries to give a mystical interpretation about the event of Spider. ➔ Later, when Cinta and Deen walk towards the church they recall that it was built around 1629 and it has references of Mythical character. ➔ They walk more and more and the scene where Cinta got injured is mentioned and a reference about Shipworm came.
  • 19. ➔ Now, suddenly Bilal came from somewhere and helps injured Cinta to go to the hospital in the same one where Rafi is now ➔ Here Rafi says that Tipu might be on a Blue Boat. ➔ Now, after all this, all the characters go to Blue Boat and while going there in between they encounter Tornado but somehow they reach the place where Blue Boat is coming. ➔ Here, another character came - The Admiral from Italy - he was from the right wing party but got the change of heart and helped the people who came here in Blue Boat. ➔ When the Blue Boat is coming the event of bioluminescence happens and the mystery of Manasa Devi and Pirates solved with the Ethiopian Dark Tall woman. ➔ The story ends with the returning of Deen to Brooklyn and he has now idea that this tale might be somewhere in reality. ➔ What Do You Think, Is it Reality or Myth?
  • 20. ➔ Bonduki Sadagar - This is in Bengali which means The Gun Merchant ➔ Cyclone - Bhola Cyclone occurred in 1970 - named after years later it happened ➔ Chand - Chand Sadagar - Gun Merchant ➔ Manasa Devi - similar to Medusa (Mythological character who has snakes as hair) ➔ Nilima got story orally cause the Gun Merchant wants it passed down mouth to mouth - Story can be suspicious - Plato’s view of Speech over Writing ➔ Story of Gun Merchant - When he is traveling from here to there because of natural disasters he was captured by Pirates and there Manasa Devi appears and tells him if he built his shrines he will help him and Gun Merchant agrees with her. When he returns to Bengal he brings vast fortune and an amazing tale. - That’s how he got famous. Clues and Ideas
  • 21. ➔ While reading the story from the original text I am able to connect so many points with the real events and with some movies as well. ➔ I got to know about the Beaching of the Dolphin and Whales as well. ➔ I know about Wildfire but I got a new point that this novel was written before its time. So, the timeline can be this interesting I know from this novel. ➔ While reading I also was inspired to write my Dissertation and Research Articles as the characters in this Novel are dedicated to their professions. ➔ Ideas and Plot is inspiring me to write a Novel myself with connection of Myth and History with new points. Learning Outcome of Pooja Bhuva
  • 23. 1] Etymological Mystery and the title ‘Gun Island’. "At the heart of the story of Gun Island, there lies an etymological mystery, a derivation that points to the deep and inextricable intermeshing of cultures and civilizations over the ages. This is why etymology fascinates me: like sailors, words, too, are travelers, and tracing their journeys is like describing voyages of adventures." (Bhattacharya, "Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh.") In "Gun Island," etymology isn't just a background detail—it's integral to the story.. It shows how language connects to the world and changes over time, helping us understand the narrative better. 1.Title - ‘Gun Island The title suggests a story about a merchant who went to Venice and found a place where weapons were made, called a foundry. The word "ghetto" comes from Venice and is connected to where Jewish people lived. Venice also has connections to guns because of its name in Arabic. So, the title hints at a story about a merchant discovering this connection between Venice, weapons, and the Jewish area.
  • 24. 24 24 ‘And through Arabic the name of Venice has travelled far afield, to Persia and parts of India, where to this day guns are known as bundook – which is, of course, none other than “Venice” or “Venetian”!’ 2] ‘Gun Merchant’ or ‘Bonduki Sadagar’ means ‘A Merchant who visited Venice’. Was it possible that I had completely misunderstood the name ‘Bonduki Sadagar’? Could it be that its meaning was not ‘The Gun Merchant’, as I had thought, but rather, ‘The Merchant who went to Venice’?
  • 25. 25 25 3] Bhoot ● Bhoot means ‘Ghost’. ● The word 'booth' is mentioned in the Brooklyn chapter of the novel. ● It is part of a conversation between Tipu and Dinanath, discussing the meaning of a word. ● In novel it means ‘Past state of being’. ● "bhuta" simply means "a being" or "an existing presence". ● This word "bhuta" also refers to the past, in the sense of "a past state of being". Like we use "bhuta-kala" or "times past". ● "bhuta" is not "ghost" but it is "memory". So it can be with you in the form of memory.
  • 26. ‘All I can tell you is that the Bangla word “bhoot” or “bhuta” comes from a basic but very complicated Sanskrit root, “bhu”, meaning “to be”, or “to manifest”. So in that sense “bhuta” simply means “a being” or “an existing presence”.’ ‘Because “bhuta” also refers to the past, in the sense of “a past state of being”. Like when we say “bhuta-kala” or “times past”.’ 4] Possession ● ‘Possession is when someone is taken over by a demon.’ ● In other words possession is consciousness of things. In the ‘Warning’ Chapter Conversation of Deen and Chinta - according to cinta, The word ‘Possession’ is not demonic or negative.
  • 27. 27 27 Cinta explained that possession became when a person loses "will" and "freedom". Further she said it is a kind of awakening, you are waking up to things that you had never imagined or sensed before. 5] Ghetto ● Ghetto is a Residency Where Jewish People are Living . ● In the Novel not Related to Jewish but used as Island within Island .(sundarban) ● Possession is not like someone's soul comes into our body and all things! It's our greed that we have taken over that greed.
  • 28. ‘The old ghetto is an island within an island, as you can see.’ ‘The island that was allotted to the Jews, she said, had previously been a foundry where armaments, including bullets, were cast. The word for foundry in the old Venetian dialect was getto and this had become the name of the city’s Jewish settlement. Not only would this settlement become a great centre of Jewish learning, it would also lead to the coining of certain words, of which ghetto was only one.’ 6]‘Land of Palm Sugar Candy’ (Taal-misrir-desh) = Egypt 7]‘Land of Kerchieves’ (Rumaali-desh) = Turkey 8]‘The Island of Chains’ (Shikol-dwip) = Sicily
  • 29. 2] Historification of Myth and Mythification of History Four approaches to study myth and history in literature. 1.myth and ritual,2. functionalism, 3.psychoanalytic approach, and 4.structuralism. Amitav Ghosh, uses myth as a tool for the narrative at three levels: contemporary, historical, and mythological. The book mentions real places like the Sundarbans, Venice, Gito, and Sicily, along with some mythical locations. The picture might look like a snake and a gun, but it's actually a letter from the Hebrew alphabet. This letter represents Ilias Identity.
  • 30. 30 Myths in the novel are not just made-up stories; they reflect real events from history. The story seems to take place in the 17th century because it mentions events like the plague, fire, and the character 'Bonduki Sadagar'. The image looks like it's showing an island within another island, but it's actually a historical place known as a getto. This Image might look like a spider, but it's actually showing arms. It could also be related to a foundry.
  • 31. 3] Climate Change One of his most influential and powerful pieces of nonfiction about climate change is “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable”(2016). 1)Stories 2)History 3)Politics Gun Island. It “is a story of travel and migrations, overlaid with myth and folktales, and the deepening crisis of climate change” This fascinating mix of different things even includes moments where myths and magic smoothly combine with events about climate change. The author uses animals like spiders and snakes appearing in unexpected places Sometimes, they end up in strange places, like spiders in places they don't usually live or snakes on beaches where you wouldn't expect them. This shows how the world is getting weirder and more messed up because of climate change.
  • 32. 32 “These snakes generally lived in warmer waters, to the south, but sightings in southern California had become increasingly common: their distribution was changing with the warming of the oceans and they were migrating northwards” In "Gun Island," the author uses the character Deen's trip to Los Angeles to show another scary effect of climate change: massive wildfires. He was inspired by real wildfires that happened in California in 2018, which were the worst in the state's history. Deen could even see the burned-up land from the plane! where hillsides and forests had turned into nothing but ash. “vast field of ash”
  • 33. Corpus 1.Flood 2.Storm 3.Cyclone - Aila and Bhola 4.Calamities 5.Drought 6.Reforestation 7.Famine 8.Plague 9.Smoke 10.Tornado 11.Green house 12.Fossil fuel 13. Weather alert 14. Wildfires 15. Tsunami 16. Apocalypse 17. Volcano / Volcanics 18. Temperatures 19. Seismic 20. Earthquake 21. Air quality 22. Global warming 23. Hail storm 24. Coal 25. Tufaan 26. Winds
  • 34. 4.Migration / Human Trafficking and Refugee Crisis 1 - War and natural disaster. 2 - Religious Migration. 3 - Climate Refugees. The Novel mainly talks about two places: the Sundarbans and Venice. Both these places are sinking, so people have to move from there often. Reasons of Migration 1 Natural Calamities 2 Communal Violence 3 Poverty 4 Socio - Economic conditions
  • 35. Learning Outcome of Bhavyata Kukadiya Stories from the past teach us about history. The world is more confusing than it seems. Keep trying, even when things are tough. Traveling can help you grow as a person. Illegal Migration become harmful . The novel isn't just imagery; as a reader, I feel it tells history.
  • 37. Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh review – climate and culture in crisis (Alex Clark) ❖ This review argues that traditional realism in fiction is insufficient to capture the complexities of the climate crisis and its cultural impact. ❖ In 2016, author Amitav Ghosh wrote "The Great Derangement," arguing that people are avoiding the harsh reality of climate change. He wonders why even fiction, including his own, struggles to openly address this crisis. ❖ "Gun Island" is full of unlikely events and surprising encounters. It mixes old myths and legends with stories of brave people and magical things, all happening in our modern world where people and animals are constantly on the move. ❖ The story follows a skeptical Bangladeshi man Dinanath Datta who sells rare books. ❖ An ancient legend about a merchant cursed by a snake goddess, Manasa Devi, whispers its way back into Deen's life at a party. (Clark)
  • 38. ‘Gun Island’ Is a Surreal Novel About Climate Change and Migration (JR Ramakrishnan) ❖ This article explores the themes of climate change, migration, and societal inequalities through a conversation between Amitav Ghosh, the author of "Gun Island," and J.R. Ramakrishnan, a reviewer. ❖ Climate change - The Sundarbans, a landscape heavily affected by climate change, plays a significant role in the story. ❖ Mobility and migration - The conversation highlights the stark contrast between those who can move freely and those who face immense challenges and dangers in their journeys. Characters like Piya and Deen represent the former, while Tipu and Rafi exemplify the latter. ❖ Technology and its impact - Ghosh touches upon the theme of technology and its uncanny presence. ❖ Referencing his own experience with "The Hungry Tide” (Ramakrishnan)
  • 39.
  • 40. The Era of Environmental Derangement: Witnessing Climate Crisis in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island (Nupur Pancholi, Sanjit Kumar Mishra) ★ This article explores how our human-focused ideas of "good life" might be causing climate change, using Amitav Ghosh's book "Gun Island" and his ideas about climate denial. It argues that our desire for more stuff is hurting the planet, leading to rising temperatures, extreme weather, and habitat loss, especially in places like the Sundarbans. ★ André Krebber in his article Anthropocentrism and Reason in Dialectic of Enlightenment: Environmental Crisis and Animal Subject (2011), endorses this viewpoint and notes that human history is a constant human-centric struggle to subjugate Nature in order to ensure betterment and security of human society. ★ Ghosh regards that anthropocentric culture is primarily responsible for generating these desires, he says: “You have to think about a whole history and culture of people reading, perhaps, Jane Austen and imagining English greensward all around them. That becomes the idea of a good life. What we are all chasing is an idea of the good life that comes to us from culture”. ★ Ghosh compares climate change with death since “no one wants to talk about it” (Rao, 2016). (Mishra,Nupur)
  • 41. ● George Marshall writes: “People yearn for normality and safety, and no one wants to be reminded of a growing global threat. As they rebuild their lives, they invest their hopes along with their savings in the belief that the catastrophe was a rare natural aberration” (Marshall, 2015). ● Ghosh, in his essay Folly in the Sunderbans (2004), shows an attempt of human encroachment in the area. The essay criticizes an ambitious plan of creating an enormous new tourism complex in the Sundarbans, proposed by Sahara India Pariwar in 2003. ● Ursula Kluwick in her essay, The global deluge: floods, diluvian imagery, and aquatic language in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide and Gun Island (2020), claims that the tale of the Gun Merchant functions as a review of climate change and it determines human reluctance to recognise the underlying and inextricable links between human actions and environmental alterations. ( Mishra,Nupur)
  • 42. 42 With ‘Gun Island,’ Amitav Ghosh turns global crises into engaging fiction Review by Rumaan Alam ★ In Rumaan Alam's review of Amitav Ghosh's novel "Gun Island," he highlights the novel's engagement with significant contemporary issues, such as climate change and human migration. Alam acknowledges Ghosh's skill in crafting a narrative that tackles these pressing global concerns while maintaining the essence of a captivating story. ★ Alam notes the novel's narrative structure, where Deen's quest for the meaning behind the myth parallels Tipu's quest for safe passage to the West, providing a quest-like structure to the story. ★ The review suggests that "Gun Island" manages to balance entertainment with thought-provoking ideas, making it a novel that grapples with contemporary issues while offering a diverting and engaging reading experience.(Alam)
  • 43. Learning Outcome of Hina Parmar ❖ Reading different articles and reviews exposes me to diverse interpretations of the novel, enriching my understanding and offering new angles to consider. first review argues that traditional realism in fiction is insufficient to capture the complexities of the climate crisis and its cultural impact. Second article explores the themes of climate change, migration, and societal inequalities. Third article explores how our human-focused ideas of "good life" might be causing climate change, using Amitav Ghosh's book "Gun Island" and his ideas about climate denial. In the fourth review Rumaan Alam' highlights the novel's engagement with significant contemporary issues, such as climate change and human migration.
  • 44. Is Global Warming the 21st Century’s Black Death? - Melanie Finn ● This article focuses on how our reliance on technology, material comforts, and rationality has led to a form of "demonic possession," wherein we are unable to confront the realities of climate change despite being aware of its consequences. The author emphasizes the importance of storytelling, faith, and irrational beliefs in motivating collective action and addressing complex challenges like climate change. ● Melanie Finn considers -This kitchen sink approach is either a brave experiment in bringing climate change to action-adventure readers or an overwrought provocation, a dialectic an experienced writer like Ghosh (best known for his fictional Ibis trilogy) probably intends, since in the course of his narrative he makes reference to jatra, a style of Indian performance art that goes on “for hours with absurdly costumed figures screeching in falsetto voices.”
  • 45. 'Gun Island' Is Amitav Ghosh's Most Tender Book Yet - Shreya Ila Anasuya ● The intertwining of fantasy and reality: The book blends magical realism and supernatural elements with gritty depictions of climate change and the refugee crisis. This shows how storytelling does not need to choose between entertainment and addressing serious issues. ● Challenging positivist worldviews: A key theme is critiquing objective, colonialist modes of thinking and making space for feminine, marginalized forms of knowledge and spirituality. The book argues for integrating different ways of knowing. ● Urgent warnings about climate crisis and displacement: While imaginative, the book directly confronts the horror of extreme weather events and the unjust treatment of migrants. It links imperialism's historical role to current humanitarian issues. ● Connecting past and present crises: By drawing parallels between current and historical crises, the novel emphasizes how we ignore the lessons of history at our own peril when facing present threats. ● Transforming mindsets through story: The ultimate point is that while facts alone cannot spur action, the art of storytelling has power to shake people out of denial and complacency to engage with even demonic threats.
  • 46. ● Shreya Ila Anasuya reviews that the story has its problems, including its flaws in pacing, or its preoccupation with the inner life of its principal character to the neglect of many of its other compelling people, particularly the women (especially Cinta, who feels woefully underused and whose perspective could liven up a novel like this immensely). Even so, this is in some ways Ghosh’s most tender, even most personal novel yet – while simultaneously being global in scope. It is a story full of that particular grace.
  • 47. From ‘Manasa’ to ‘Madonna’: Reading Religion and Mythology in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island - Dr. Sanjukta Chatterjee. The key things this article attempts to convey are: Blending of myth and history: It shows how Ghosh interweaves ancient mythology like the tale of the snake goddess Manasa with actual historical events like the 17th century plague in Venice, connecting mythic narratives across time and space. Linking diverse cultures: The article discusses how Ghosh draws parallels between Indian, Italian, and Cretan mythological figures/traditions to emphasize cultural interconnections and universalism underlying myths.
  • 48. Critique of institutionalized religion: It examines how Ghosh questions colonialist conceptions of "religion" in favor of a more mystical, pluralistic spiritual understanding embracing marginalized belief systems. Highlighting climate crisis and displacement: The analysis touches on how the mythical natural disasters in the novel mirror current climate disruptions and refugee crises, linking past and present human displacement. The power of storytelling: Ultimately, the article conveys Ghosh's belief in the transformational ability of myth and narrative to transmit deeper truths and motivate action against existential threats like climate change. In essence, the article attempts to convey how Ghosh employs mythology, magical realism and intertextuality to put forth a universal, pluralistic vision of spirituality while also tackling themes of environmental destruction and the plight of the displaced. The healing power of stories is a core highlight.
  • 49. Learning Outcome of Avani Jani ● After reading the articles and book review, I noticed a similarity between religion and tradition across different nations and religions. I learned that the treatment of refugees and migrant communities in the novel reflects societal injustices faced by displaced groups due to climate disruptions and economic crises, which can be traced back to questionable historical forces. The connection between mythical disasters and current climate disruptions raises awareness about the worsening environmental destruction and its increasing human consequences.
  • 50. Resources ➔ Alam, Rumaan. “With ‘Gun Island’ Amitav Ghosh Turns Global Crises into Engaging Fiction.” The Washington Post, 8 Sept. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/with-gun- island-amitav-ghosh-turns-global-crises-into-engaging-fiction/2019/09/08/efe6b35e-d0ce-11e9- b29b-a528dc82154a_story.html. Accessed 2019. ➔ Anasuya, Shreya Ila. “Review: 'Gun Island' Is Amitav Ghosh's Most Tender Book Yet.” The Wire, 6 July 2019, https://thewire.in/books/amitav-ghosh-gun-island. Accessed 13 February 2024. ➔ Barad, Dilip. “Characters and Summary - 1 | Sundarbans | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube, 9 November 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn70pnUIK1Y&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO- NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=1. Accessed 13 February 2024. ➔ Barad, Dilip. “Characters and Summary - 2 | USA | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube, 9 November 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiYLTn7cWm8&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO- NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=2. Accessed 13 February 2024. ➔ Barad, Dilip. “Etymological Mystery | Title of the Novel | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube, 19 January 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yg5RmjBlTk. Accessed 11 February 2024.
  • 51. ➔ Barad, Dilip. “Part I - Historification of Myth & Mythification of History | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube, 21 January 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBLsFEKLGd0. Accessed 11 February 2024. ➔ Barad, Dilip. Climate Change | The Great Derangement | Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_3tD4voebA&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO- NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=5&t=8s. Accessed 11 February 2024. ➔ Barad, Dilip. “Summary - 3 | Venice | Part 2 of Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh.” YouTube: Home, 9 November 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F3n_rrRG9M&list=PLSmZQVxjN9_iDDfODO- NC3Le2cOAd9Xnt&index=3. Accessed 13 February 2024. ➔ Chatterjee., Dr. Sanjukta. “From ‘Manasa’ to ‘Madonna’: Reading Religion and Mythology in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island.” PROTEUS JOURNAL, vol. 11, no. 10 2020. http://www.proteusresearch.org/. ➔ Clark, Alex. “Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh Review – Climate and Culture in Crisis.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 June 2019, www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/05/gun-island-amitav-ghosh-review. Accessed 11 Feb. 2024.
  • 52. ➔ Finn, Melanie. “Is Global Warming the 21st Century's Black Death? (Published 2019).” The New York Times, 10 September 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/10/books/review/gun-island-amitav- ghosh.html. ➔ Francis, Ashna. “(PDF) Gun Island: A Tale of Myth, Migration and Climate Change.” ResearchGate, SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 29 August 2023, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354938252_Gun_Island_A_Tale_of_Myth_Migration_and _Climate_Change. Accessed 11 February 2024. ➔ Ghosh, Amitav. Gun Island. Penguin Random House India Pvt. Limited, 2019. ➔ Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. India, Penguin Random House India Private Limited, 2018. ➔ Ghosh, Amitav, 1956. The Hungry Tide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. ➔ Google. "Google Earth Map of Setting of the 'Gun Island' by Amitav Ghosh." Google Earth, Google, 13 February 2024, https://earth.google.com/earth/d/11YOCTYl6De5qebpkmJqlUzxxd2zBLfWE?usp=sharing. Accessed 13 February 2024. ➔ Lou, Jo. “‘gun Island’ Is a Surreal Novel about Climate Change and Migration.” Electric Literature, 10 Sept. 2019, electricliterature.com/gun-island-is-a-magical-realism-novel-about-climate-change-and- migration/. Accessed 10 Feb. 2024. ➔ Mishra, Sanjit Kumar, and Nupur Pancholi. “The Era of Environmental Derangement: Witnessing Climate Crisis in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island.” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, vol. 13, no. 2, 15 June 2021, doi:10.21659/rupkatha.v13n2.29.
  • 53. Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Awareness Here is where your presentation begins Ssssssss……Thank You Do you Dare to ask any Question?