Anita Desai as a Novelist

Anita Desai as a Novelist

Anita Desai as a Novelist
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📃Table of Contents:-

📄Anita Desai: A Novelist :-

Born to a German mother and Bengali father, Anita Desai is one of the greatest Indian novelists who enjoys vast popularity. Famously known as 'the mother of psychological novel genre in India', she seldom meets with any adverse criticism. Her delicate and meticulous depiction has secured her a unique place in novel writing.

Desai's novels are set against the background of the social structure and explore the feminine psyche of modern Indian women in that structure. She doesn't follow the same old path of abstract and idealistic portrayal.

✒️Plot Construction in Anita Desai's Novels :-

The plot of most of her novels deals with her personal experiences of life, concerned entirely with the personal distress of individuals. The characters in her novels appear in the search of their individual identity. Barely interested in political events or mundane and worldly affairs of her character, she inspect into the minds of her characters and reveals their inner psyche. 

Most of her novels follow same pattern of plot construction and are based on a typical setting. In these novels all of the protagonists are concerned about their individual identity and are occupied with past. These protagonists are annoyed with their existing course of life and quest for a more joyful and meaningful life.

📙Theme of Anita Desai's Novels :-

The central theme of her novels is the existential predicament of an individual. She throws light on human relationships from different angles. Many of her novels are concerned with the family drama and  the tension arising between members; with the ultimate alienation of female characters. 

In most of cases very sensitive females feel humiliation and dishonour as their male counterparts are unloving and indifferent to their feelings. 

She has also dealt with topics such as anti-semitism, western quintessential ideologies of India and the death of indian customs and traditions. Her works also takes into account the cultural clash between east and west, generational differences or contrasts and emotional exile.

📘Anita Desai: Cry, the peacock :-

Anita Desai is a keen observer; her main concern is human relationships. Her novel Cry, the peacock beautifully presents the conflicts in human relationships and the feminine psyche of a common woman. 

Cry, the Peacock is a story of a young woman Maya who is extremely conscious and sensitive to the environment around her. She was married to Gautama who was a lawyer. Gautama, being a practical and pragmatic person, was completely opposite of Maya. 

As Maya got all the attention, love and care from her father; she expected this from Gautama too. But, he was unable to provide her with that as he lacked these quantities. Apart from this, there was an astrologer's prophecy also on which Maya believed as she came from an orthodox Brahmin family. All of this resulted into a constant conflict and discontent between her and Gautama. Which ultimately lead to a complete tragedy and total mental breakdown/collapse of her.

📕Anita Desai's other Novels :-

After Anita Desai published her first novel Cry, the Peacock in 1963, her second novel 'voices in the city' was published in 1965. Its setting is based on the city of Calcutta. The novel encompasses Desai's own experience in the city. Its deals with the problems and dilemma characters face in their adaptation to the modernism and changes in the society.

Her another famous novel is 'Bye-Bye, Blackbird' based on the city of London. This novel carefully and delicately portrays the dilemma faced by the Indian immigrants in these countries. Their alienation and relative deprivation has been beautifully presented. The novel reflects the psychology of immigrants. 

Her another famous works are 'In custody', 'Fire on the mountain', 'Where shall we go this summer', ' Clear light of day' etc. These novels are  praised for their imagery, original characters, poetic symbolism and realistic subject line.

✒️Imagery & Symbolism in Anita Desai's Novels :-

Imagery and symbols are a notable features of her work. With these, she points out hidden aspects of human life in a colourful and vibrant way. She picks relevant concerns from the matters of ordinary life and presents them with the help of flashback technique, depicting the inner qualities of life.

Desai's concern for female existentialism, quest for their own identity, their isolation and alienation distinguishes her from all other novelists of her age. Her novels become the medium to the helpless voices of  the millions of married women to be heard. They are victims of existentialist problems and isolation; and through her characters she depicts the subconscious oh these alienated modern women.

Thus it would be no exaggeration to say that Anita Desai has been successful in exploring and depicting the modern Indian society's psychology. She enters into the inner depth of her Novels' characters, who search for a valuable meaning of life.

💡READ MORE in Indian English Literature :-

  1. Character Sketch of Maya.
  2. Emerson as an Essayist.
  3. Ref:Englitmail.

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