Sea of Poppies Symbols & Objects

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The Ibis

The Ibis is a former slave ship purchased by the English trading company Burnham Brothers slated to be refitted to carry opium. The ship's second voyage, however, as a vessel of the Burnham Brothers, is to carry convicts and indentured migrants from India to Mauritius. Throughout the novel, Ghosh personifies the Ibis as if it were a living being. It both carries and traps the characters. It provides a place for transformation for some and causes death for others.

The Ibis appears on the first pages of Sea of Poppies as Deeti, a central character, has a vision of it. Although she's never been to the ocean, Deeti sees "an immense ship with two tall masts" (8). "Suspended from the masts were great sails of a dazzling shade of white. The prow of the ship tapered into a figurehead with a long bill, like a stork...

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This section contains 2,292 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sea of Poppies Study Guide
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