Characters

  1. Mr. Sunday: A villager of Nigeria 
  2. Thomas Agnio: A well-educated villager who discloses the damage being caused by the chemicals.
  3. Natasha Revenko: A resident of Vorobyov village in Ukraine

Introduction 

In the lesson, “A Tale of Three Villages”, the narrator highlights three places in particular I.e. Coco village in Nigeria, Ponnimanthuri Village in India, and Vorobyov Village in Ukraine. The narrator wants to show the effects of industrial wastes on the environment as well as on people. The narrator wants the readers to realize the damage being caused to the environment for the temporary pleasure of humans.

Summary 

Coco Village, Nigeria 

Mr. Sunday’s maternal grandfather, his wife, and four children live in the village of Koko, Nigeria. Five years ago the village was like any other African village – picturesque, colorful, and noisy. But now 200 meters from the village, next to a creek, from where the villagers get drinking water, is a huge pyramid of identical drums reaching to the sky. The skull and crossbones symbol is visible on each. Later one of the most promising boys in the village, Thomas Agnio, explained to the villagers that the drums contained toxic chemicals and had come from Italy. Those poisonous drums had killed 13 people and sickened many of their children over the past five years.

Ponnimanthuri Village, India

Ponnimanthuri village was once a beautiful village with lush green fields and good crops all around. But now it has become highly polluted due to the leather factory which uses 250 different chemicals including heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, and chromium. The villagers hope that the men will get jobs and they will all become rich. But these chemicals poison their fields so that nothing grows. There were blisters and wounds on his body. All are in a state of despair.

Vorobyov Village, Ukraine (formerly USSR) 

Natasha Revenko shares her bittersweet memories with the narrator. Natasha is a resident of Vorobyov village in Ukraine. On 26 April 1986, his mother’s birthday, a terrible incident happened. In the morning there was a big explosion from a nuclear reactor, and they saw a cloud of white smoke coming from the nuclear reactor. Since it was a Saturday, the children were playing outside on the weekend, picking up handfuls of dust and laughing and throwing them at each other. On Wednesday, he was warned by the authorities not to touch the radioactive dust. But it was too late. A week later, the children started vomiting and lost their hair. Two weeks later, on the same day, three of her children died. Many village children and adults were killed.

Conclusion 

A common theme of the three narratives under the title ’A Tale of Three Villages’ is the pathetic condition of the people of the rural areas who faced the ill effects of industrialization. In the three stories, we can see how under the pretext of industrialization and modernization, there are harmful effects of it on the environment. These narratives tell us how horrible the condition people had to face was.