Maya’s Materialistic Longings Resulting in Alienation and Frustration: A Feminist Reading of Anita Desai’s Cry, the Peacock
Keywords:Gender Discrimination, Patriarchal Society, Resistance, Frustration, Human Psychology, Liberty
Anita Mazumdar Desai occupies a much privileged place in the Indian Writing in English. She is known as an acclaimed Indian woman novelist who deals with the psychological problems of her women characters. She was born in 24 June 1937 in Mussoorie. Her father D.N. Majumdar was a Bengali businessman and her mother Toni Nime was a German immigrant. Anita Desai is working as Emeritus John E. Buchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Anita Desai got a congenial environment to learn different languages in her own home and neighbourhood. She learnt Hindi from her neighbourhood. They used to speak German, Bengali, Urdu and English at their home. She learnt English at her school. She attended Queens Mary Higher Senior Secondary School in Delhi and she did her B.A. in 1957 from the Miranda House of the University of Delhi. So far is Anita Desai literary career is concerned, she wrote her first novel Cry, the Peacock in 1963. With the help of P. Lal, they founded the publishing firm Writers Workshop. Clear Light of Day (1980) is her most autobiographical work. Her novel In Custody was enlisted for the Booker Prize. She became a creative writing teacher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. When she published her novel Fasting Feasting and it won the Booker Prize in 1999, she came to the limelight. She was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times in 1980, 1984 and 1999 for her novels Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984) and Fasting Feasting (1999) respectively. She received Padma Bhushan in 2014 also. She has received Sahitya Akademi Award in 1937 for her well-known novel Fire on the Mountain. The present paper analyses the central female protagonist Maya’s materialistic pursuits which turn in a great catastrophe for her in the novel Cry, the Peacock.
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