Life offers a multitude of new opportunities and challenges to individuals. A challenge such as taking on a new role with new responsibilities is an inevitable part of aging. Encountering and surpassing new milestones often marks the start of a new chapter in ones life. In the short story "A Devoted Son", education, marriage and a family members illness all contribute to the new roles assumed by the protagonist. The author Anita Desai develops the idea that change is the ongoing force that causes individuals to accept new roles in their lives. In her short story, Rakesh and Varma essentially switch roles in their family as Rakesh ages and struggles to accept the difficult choices that come with maturity.
From the very beginning there were high expectations placed on Rakesh by his parents. Being such a bright and respectful boy meant he never disappointed. He always had amazing grades and ended up becoming the most recognized doctor in his home town, but above all Rakesh remained loyal to his parents and continued to show them the same respect he had as a young boy. The first major change faced by the protagonist was his departure from where he grew up to the United States where he studied and practiced medicine. Upon return Rakesh was welcomed with love from his family and plenty of jealousy from the town. This marked the beginning of his ever changing role as apart of his family. With knowledge came responsibility for Rakesh; he opened his own practice and became the main provider for his family. After years upon years of depending on his parents for monetary support it was his turn to show that his studies were not in vain. Varma and his wife graciously accepted the new lifestyle supported by their son and took pride in the fact that they had raised him to be the near perfect doctor and son that he was. Rakesh took pride in his clinic and the sign above the door bore his name and qualifications establishing him as a man of power.
Soon after returning...
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