Existentialistic Ideas in Anita Desai's Novels.

Topics: Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, Protagonist Pages: 2 (631 words) Published: November 26, 2012

The protagonist herself has an existential entity. Desai, has presented an intense identity crisis of the central character Sita, a sensitive woman in her late forties.Existentialism’ is a difficult term to define and an odd movement as many feel, but it not totally impossible to define. ‘Existentialists’, tend to take freedom of the will, the human power to do or not do, as absolutely obvious. Only now and then, there are arguments for free will. Sita was one such character depiction of Anita Desai. However, in general the existentialists recognize that human knowledge is limited and fallible. The protagonist expects miracles to happen on her island. One can be deeply committed to truth and investigation and simply fail to find adequate truth, or get it wrong. The world in which we live is full of spiritual stress and strain. Sita terribly wants to escape from her day to day life and its mundane extensions.Modern man has become materialistic, so self centered and so ego- centric that,he cannot afford to help without suffering the inner problem – a conviction of segregation and purposelessness prevails in his day to day life. Sita is tired of the monotony of the life in Bombay. She wants to run away, from the daily duties that torture her. She slowly feels, like going far away and leaving the place would help her get rid of her mental turmoil. So, ultimately Sita’s option was her father’s magical island ‘Manori’. The existential problem is so critical and enveloping that it threatens every sphere of her life. We see Sita, the landlord of the mansion in the magical island Manori, arriving there after a long gap of twenty years. The air seems to be pathetic, as nothing seems to be perfect when she arrives, with her two children, in search of peace and harmony.

Desai employs the sea, as a contrivance of progress that is focused in this novel.Sita, the central...
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