Character Sketch of Maya in Cry, the peacock (Summary)

Character Sketch of Maya

(Cry, the Peacock by Anita Desai)

Character Sketch of Maya. Anita Desai
Source : : Anita Desai
Table of Contents:-
1) Introduction: Anita Desai.

Introduction : Anita Desai :-

Mrs. Anita Desai is a very popular Indian novelist. She ably and skillfully explores different aspects of feminine psychology which also includes man-woman relationship. Known as the "mother of Indian psychological novel genre", she makes a very minute and scrupulous portrayal of modern indian life. She is placed amongst the renowned indian authors. Her distinct style of writing, authentic characterization and realistic subject line is what made her writing so attractive.
Anita Desai
Born 24 June 1937, Mussoorie
Died ------- (alive)
Notable work Baumgartner's Bombay, In custody, 'Cry, the Peacock'
Genre Fiction
Awards Sahitya akademi award, Booker prize, Padma Bhusan
Nationality Indian

Anita Desai's Novel: Cry, the Peacock :-

The novel Cry, the Peacock deals/(is concerned) with the subjects such as suppression and oppression of the Indian Women. Being a family story, it mainly deals with the theme of marital discord/discontent between husband Gautama and wife Maya. Through this novel the novelist has beautifully presented the feminine psyche of a common woman.

Cry, the Peacock
Created by Anita Desai
Published   in
Main   Character Maya
Genre Fiction
Theme Psychological realism, Alienation, Suffering and loneliness
Other   Character Gautama

Character Sketch of Maya:-

Cry, the peacock is a story of a young girl named Maya, who was surrounded by childhood prophecies of disaster and was provided with more than enough attention, love and care from her father. Maya is extremely sensitive married girl. Her  actions are impulses borne, reacting to human reality and nature as per her interests and detests. There is also an element of tragic pathos in her expressions, varying from one moment to other according to her anxiety ridden mood.

Maya was married to Gautama, who was a lawyer. As she got all the attention and care from her father she expected the same from her husband also. But being a busy person he is failed to meet her desires. He is completely opposite of Maya. He is a practical and pragmatic man. Maya needs a beloved spouse with broad understanding, extreme consciousness, creative and susceptible temperament but Gautama lack these qualities. Seeing her mental indisposition he put the blame on her father for spoiling her.

Maya is extremely sensitive to beauty around her , the nature -flowers, fruits, pets, animals, sky, trees etc. Gautama on the other hand is totally different from her. He is insensitive to the beauty of the nature. He is pure rationalist. Maya is enormously attached to past, lives almost in the world of memories, while Gautama values the importance of action because of his rational natural. 

The name of the characters in the novel are consistent with their behaviours. Maya means illusion and Gautama was Mahatma Budhha's name. Who was able to rend the veil/illusion of maya. Thus it is Maya that reveals the world of senses while Gautama rejects it entirely.

Maya comes from an orthodox brahmin family. She believed in astrology. The astrologer prophesied that one person of the couple would die soon in an unnatural manner. Unable to get herself away from this thought, she quickly slips into mental illness and get herself alienated from others. She herself is the cause of her alienation because she never makes herself/(her point) clear to Gautama. She always remains disturbed by the death fear of the astrologer's prophecy. She also faces a number of emotional and psychological upheavals/disturbances but never dares to tell anything to her husband.

                  Thus while Maya is attached to the world of senses Gautama disproves it entirely. Unsuccessful in  resolving her discontent/conflict with Gautama she pushes him from the terrace, subsequently terminating her struggle. She commits suicide too at the end because of her guilt. The novel end with her total/complete mental breakdown/collapse.

Important Links
Critical Theory Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy
Question Paper (Indian English Writings) Important Questions 
American Literature Emerson: Self Reliance
British Literature Shakespeare : The Tempest
Linguistics Phonetics & Phonology

Thus with Cry the Peacock novel, Anita Desai had tried to present the psychological alienation of the Indian women. The issue of women, a hot subject / (a heated debate) in feminism, is addressed by Anita Desai with sensitiveness. By character of Maya she carries/brings a new aspect of feminist publishing. Maya stands distinct from every female character in the novel. She is most exciting and psychologically amazing/surprising amongst Anita Desai's all female characters. The novelist, therefore, has spotlit/highlighted the feminine predicament in several aspects.

For similar topic :-

  1. Character sketch of Satan in paradise lost.
  2. Character Sketch of Cordelia in King Lear.
  3. Theme of Savitri an epic poetry by Aurobindo.
  4. Aurobindo Ghosh as a poet.
  5. Various Themes of Geetanjali.

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