In the story of "The Village by the Sea" one of the main characters is Hari. Hari, is in a sense the support for his family, and in this extract from this book, we see the burden that is put on the twelve year old boy from the responsibility that has been placed upon him following his fathers drunk behaviour.
"They could never look forward to working on a fishing boat or in a factory, as he did. THey would have to marry, one day, and he would have to see to it since his father would not....shadows of the night." (Para4)
from "and he woudl have to see...since his father would not..." Desai communicates the theme of responsibility that is felt by Hari through this line, this is further emphasized by the listing used by Desai to list all of the items that would be required for the weddings of his sisters. Desai also shows how troubled Hari is, faced with these problems" ....if he was to find his sisters a way out of this dark, gloomy house and teh illness and drunkenness and hopelessness that surrounded them like the shadows of the night." Hari clearly wants a way out for him and his sisters, but he feels that this would be impossible as "he could never earn enough in thul to help his whole family. He would have to go to Bombay." From this extract, Desai has depicted Hari as a young boy but with a very mature mind. Maybe he is a symbol of all the other children in India, in a small town like Thul, where from such a tender young age, they are already expected to make decisions that should really be the job of adults.