Congugal Cacaphony in Anita Desai's Novels

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Suneeta Upadhyay, Research Scholar
M.M.H. college, Ghaziabad, C.C.S. University, Meerut
Indian novelist and short story writer, Anita Desai is specially noted for her insightful depiction of the inner life of the female characters in her writings. In most of her novels Anita Desai dwells on the themes incongruity, incertitude and hazards of human relationship particularly the man-woman relationship. D.H. Lawrence points out:

The great relationship for humanity will always be the relationship between man and woman. The relation between man and man, woman and woman, parent and child will always be subsidiary.

Desai in her portrayal of man-women relationship mostly broods over the predicament of modern women particularly in male-chauvinistic society and her destruction at the alter of marriage. According to Anita Desai most marriages are proved to be unions of incompatibly. Though she does not negate the futility of institution of marriage but depict the psychic state of her protagonist at some critical juncture of life. She has presented conjugal cacophony in Indian male dominated traditional families. In India where women have resigned role, which does not allow any room for individualism, identity and assertion, Anita Desai talks of women who question the age old traditions and want to seek individual growth. They try to discover and rediscover meaningfulness in life through the known and establish.

Thus, Desai dramatises the clash between two irreconcilable temperaments (man-woman) who does not find a proper channel of communication. She writes mostly about the miserable plight of women suffering under their insensitive and inconsiderate husbands, fathers and brothers. So man-woman relationship brings characters into alienation, withdrawal, loneliness, isolation and lack of communication that frequently occurs in her novels. Most of her novel’s protagonists are alienated from the world, from society, from...
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