Familial Relation

Topics: Novel, Family, Marriage Pages: 6 (1967 words) Published: June 21, 2013
ReseaRch PaPeR

Literature

Volume : 3 | Issue : 3 | March 2013 | ISSN - 2249-555X

Familial Relationships in Anita Desai’s ‘Cry, the Peacock’ Keywords

Dr. Mrs. Asha Sharma
Asso. Professor in English Law Faculty, M.D. University, Rohtak Pin-124001 ABSTRACT Anita Desai holds a significant place as modern Indian English novelist. Most of her critics have focussed their attention on the psychological and existentialist approach in her novels. For them ‘existentialism’ seems to be a favourite subject of Anita Desai where the characters recognize the world as negative and meaningless and feel alienated. Their critical attention revolves round her manner of individualising the characters and presenting them as hypersensitive, solitary and introspective. Such an approach to her novels completely ignores an important dimension of her fictional writing i.e. her attempt to record reactions and responses of her characters to each other in their effort to adjust in their respective familial relationships. The present paper attempts to focus that Anita Desai has made the theme of familial relationships basic and central in her novels and her first novel ‘Cry, the Peacock’ is concerned with failure of the central character Maya to have a meaningful and sustaining relationship with any other member of the family in general and her husband Gautama in particular. Anita Desai holds a significant place as modern Indian English novelist. Most of her critics have focussed their attention on the psychological and existentialist approach in her novels. For them ‘existentialism’ seems to be a favourite subject of Anita Desai where the characters recognize the world as negative and meaningless and feel alienated. Their critical attention revolves round her manner of individualising the characters and presenting them as hypersensitive, solitary and introspective. Such an approach to her novels completely ignores an important dimension of her fictional writing i.e. her attempt to record reactions and responses of her characters to each other in their effort to adjust in their respective familial relationships. The present paper attempts to focus that Anita Desai has made the theme of familial relationships basic and central in her novels and her first novel ‘Cry, the Peacock’ is concerned with failure of the central character Maya to have a meaningful and sustaining relationship with any other member of the family in general and her husband Gautama in particular. Anita Desai is widely praised as the finest of her generation of Indian writers in English. She is known for the difficult task of moulding the English language and idiom to her purpose without a self-conscious attempt of sounding Indian. Her works like any other important work of art, have been created not in a state of vacuum, but are endowed with the efforts of the author who is acutely conscious of her social milieu and responds to its various aspects in an artistic manner. Her works offer an increasing sobering commentary on the human conditions while focussing on familial relationships and conflict between the individuals facing the overwhelming and seemingly incomprehensive power of family and society. In the well-knit Indian social system, the individual as a part of the family exists in relationship with others as father or mother, as a son or daughter, as a husband or wife. As most of the characters of Anita Desai are not ready to mingle themselves with the outer world by shedding of their individuality they are not able to make harmonious relationship with others. Thus most of the familial relationships depicted in her novels are hollow and meaningless. Here it would be appropriate to quote Dr. N. Raj Gopal who has said that “The inner most psyche of her protagonists is revealed to us through their interaction with those who are emotionally related to them on the basis of kinship. For the purposes of fiction, no human relationship is more fertile and potential than that...
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