• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai; Themes and Characters

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Fasting, Feasting Anita Dessai Themes Family Life Although the novel has action in two separate countries and has many characters, there is the central theme of family life that unites them all. In India, the immediate family has great importance; but the extended family also has an impact on the characters' lives. This is evidenced by the coming together of family members for securing bridegrooms and making wedding arrangements for Uma and Aruna. There is also huge family support and involvement related to times of sorrow, such as the coming together after the death of Anamika. The rituals for both these happy and sad occasions are marked with tradition and purpose. These elements seem to be sorely lacking in the Patton household in America. It is understood that the time period of Arun's stay with the Pattons encompasses only three months and does not represent a comprehensive look at the Patton family. ...read more.

Middle

Uma is a sad example of the needs of daughters being minimized for the good of the family, especially the male members. When Mama and Papa remove Uma from the convent school, it is the beginning of the end of Uma's hopes of ever learning more about the world or achieving any dreams. From that point, Uma's life takes on the role of proper subservience and indebtedness to her parents, especially in light of her failed marriage attempts. In contrast, Aruna, because of her beauty and social skills, succeeds in making a good marriage and living an affluent life. The author wants the reader to understand that life is usually easier for those women who are attractive and have pleasing personalities, despite the culture. In America, Mrs. Patton is just as subservient to her husband; although the initial restrictions were never an issue for Mrs. Patton, whom it is assumed had the right to choose her husband. Mrs. Patton was raised in a generation of girls taught to be good mothers and wives. ...read more.

Conclusion

In America, in the Patton household, food holds no such sacred place, but is more of a status symbol. For example, Mr. Patton grills fresh slabs of red meat almost every night, as do most of the other families in the neighborhood. To Mr. Patton, the overt preparation and consumption of the costly meat indicates Mr. Patton's ability to provide well for his family, as well as the importance of the neighbors witnessing his provisions. Unfortunately, Mr. Patton is oblivious to his family's emotional needs, evidenced especially by Mrs. Patton and Melanie. Mrs. Patton, who feels unneeded and unloved in her own home, shops every day and fills the cupboards and freezer with snack foods consumed by her disjointed family, symbolizing the emptiness experienced by all of the Pattons in spite of their zealous consumption. Melanie is the one who exhibits the most serious emotional deprivation, as exhibited by her bulimic behavior hopefully caught in time by the end of the novel so that Melanie may have the hope of better physical and emotional nourishment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Other Authors essays

  1. How Should Great Expectations End?

    One of them is related to the ending of the book. Dickens may be ironical related to the first version of the ending. The reader is expecting to be a happy-ending, but is wrong, and he gets an unromantic ending.

  2. Diaspora in Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao".

    Fuk�, is not without a counterpart, zafa that is the good that happens to the family. Fuk� might cause the tragedies, but zafa protects the family from total catastrophe. Both fuk� and zafa are characters in an immigrants experience, as they are a part of the themes of finding new worlds and the boundaries of one's own world.

  1. In what ways, and to what extent, does Mrs Dalloway illustrate Woolfs intention to ...

    Woolf and her fellows were creating a whole new way of life, of education, art and science. With thanks to authors like Woolf and the Bloomsbury group of which she was a part, literary works were written in many narratives, and timelines were fluid.

  2. Fast Food Nation

    Food that has been tainted with these viruses had most likely come in contact with an infected animals stomach or manure during processing. In the twentieth century, hamburgers had a bad reputation. It was believed that ground beef was made from putrid meat and heavily laced with chemicals.

  1. Assess the extent to which Great Expectations is a realist novel

    all clearly present a scene of fear and suspense which throws question upon the realist setting. Furthermore the description of Satis House and its inhabitant Miss Havisham add to the gothic description. She is described as ?corpse-like? [11] and ?wax-work and skeleton? [12], images which again are associated with fear and horror and create an unnerving effect on the reader.

  2. Two different Jamesian heroines: Daisy Miller and Catherine Sloper

    We are never told the story from Daisy's perspective so we can only have a piece of the story. Therefore the portrait of the young American lady who is travelling around Europe with her mother and her little brother is completely drawn by the others, by society and most particularly, by Winterbourne.

  1. Is 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' a book for children or adults?

    Alice makes a conscious decision to climb into the Looking Glass rather than accidentally fall into it like she did with the Rabbit hole. In the first book Alice was very confused by the adult world. In Through the Looking Glass, we almost see a grown up Alice that is

  2. Comparing Julian Barnes A History of the World in 10 Chapters to Elisabeth ...

    Metroland in 1980, his work has been received with much attention, by reviewers as well as by literary critics and, of course, the reading public. Especially since Flaubert?s Parrot was published in 1984, every new publication of Barnes? work has spurred increased activity at reviewers? desks, bookshop counters, even on the internet and in university classes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work