Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock

B. Chitra, M.A., M.Phil.

Anita Desaai - A New Dimension to Indian Novel

Anita Desai is one of the renowned novelists working in English in the sub-continent. For K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar, she has added "a new dimension to the achievement of the Indian women writers in India."1 (Seshadri 50). Her novels catch the bewilderment of the individual psyche confronted with the overbearing socio-cultural environment and the ever-beckoning modern promise of self-gratification and self-fulfillment. She has given a new dimension to the Indian novel in English by shifting the emphasis from outer to inner reality.

Feminine Sensibility of Anita Desai

Ann Lowry Weir examines the feminine sensibility of Desai's states: "Anita Desai is the vanguard of a new generation of Indian writers who are experimenting with themes of inner consciousness… she gives her readers valuable insights into the feminine consciousness through her memorable protagonists."2 (Dodiya 3). Her artistic skill primarily lies in the delineation of the psychic conditions of the characters who often indulge in a self-analysis and discover themselves in the process. The hall mark of Desai's fiction is "to focus on the inner experience of life."3 (Dodiya 6).

Psychological Exploration of Women Characters

A study of her novels reveals that she is interested in the exploration of psychological states of her women characters. Prasanna Sree emphatically comments that she "penetrates psychologically deep into the inner working of women and externalizes their passive reaction"4 (Sree 22). Desai uses the fiction as a site for studying the role of women in society and there by indirectly offer a critique of the existential social set up that marginalizes women.

Desai's Cry, the Peacock ideally deals with the psychological consciousness of the female protagonist and is aptly illustrated amidst detail images, monologues and flashbacks. The protagonist Maya is a young girl obsessed by a childhood prediction of disaster. The story unfolds that Maya's father without thinking much, married her off to his own lawyer friend Gautama who was a middle aged man. The marriage was never fruitful and slowly Maya turns into a psychopath whose emotional needs were seen to be collided with that of the extremely practical outlook of her husband.

Electra Complex

The climax of the story lies when Maya's attachment with her father further develops into an "Electra Complex" which again acts as the catalyst in the deflowering of her marital relationship with her husband. Extremely frustrated, Maya then looks back to the days of her childhood spent with her father.

This reminiscence of those long lost days serves as the defense mechanism to set her free from her inner frustration and conflicts. She therefore relaxes her tension, eases her frustration by pondering unconsciously on how "peacock breaks their bodies" in order to relieve their own pain. Here comes the sense of violence, the feeling of killing or get killed which engulfs Maya. The violent desire of killing her husband awakening from her own frustration as revenge against his icy cold impassiveness and indifference weaves the story of Cry, the Peacock.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

B. Chitra, M.A., M.Phil., B.Ed.
Department of English
Kongunadu Arts And Science College
Coimbatore-641 029
Tamil Nadu, India

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