The Waiting Earth – Commonwealth Literature

The Waiting Earth

The Author

Punyakante Wijenaike is a Sri Lankan writer with distinguished qualities accustomed to herself alone. She had been writing short stories, a collection of which came up in the form of a book THE THIRD WOMAN. She has to her credit published in newspapers, magazines and was broadcast in Sri Lanka and over the BBC.

Based on a Sri Lankan theme, THE WAITING EARTH is supposed to be her longest novel and it has been selected as a prescribed textbook for GCE A/L English Literature. Punyakante’s novel GIRAYA was televised achieving much fame and popularity.

Using “the raw material of rural folk experience” revealing the genuine qualities of the village folk who have been neglected and thus subjected to ignorance and illiteracy.

The writer was highlighted the pathetic condition of the village folk in the remote rural areas in Sri Lanka; deprived of education, living in extreme poverty, gripped by the well-to-do shrewd people and ultimately being subject to extreme poverty and misfortune.

Punyakante spot lights clearly how the cunning minority dominates the poverty-stricken majority.

The story in brief

THE WAITING EARTH is really a long novel consisting of twenty one chapters. The story of a man and his wife and their three children; two sons and a daughter.

PodiSingho is the main male character and his only hope and desire to own a piece of land to call his own, thriving with a plantation that some day, he could pass over to his sons as their father’s land. Owning land, was prestigious inheritance.

His repentance of his childhood days; illiterate and poor without even a bit of land passing from his father to be owned by him.

Sellohamy is the shining female character playing a very prominent role in the story, symbolizing THE WAITING EARTH devoted, patient, bearing a strong willpower to bear the burden throughout her life; expecting her man to understand and realise the value of her existence as his wife; obedient, patient, courageous, tolerant and loyal to her husband though he lives in a suspicious manner always entertaining a fear of jealousy.