In her first novel, Cry the Peacock , Anita Desai portrays the psychic tumult of a young and sensitive married girl Maya who is haunted by a childhood prophecy of a fatal disaster. She is the daughter of a rich advocate in Lucknow. The excessive love Maya gets from her father makes her have a lop-sided view of life. She feels the world to be a toy made especially for her, painted in her favorite colors and set moving according to her tunes.
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In her first novel, Cry the Peacock , Anita Desai portrays the psychic tumult of a young and sensitive married girl Maya who is haunted by a childhood prophecy of a fatal disaster. She is the daughter of a rich advocate in Lucknow. The excessive love Maya gets from her father makes her have a lop-sided view of life. She feels the world to be a toy made especially for her, painted in her favorite colors and set moving according to her tunes. Having lived a carefree life under the indulgent attentions of her loving father, Maya desires to have similar attentions from her husband Gautama, a father surrogate.
When Gautama, a busy, prosperous lawyer, too much engrossed in his own vocational affairs, fails to meet her demands, she feels neglected and miserable. Seeing her morbidity, her husband warns her of her turning neurotic and blames her father for spoiling her. The terrifying words of the prediction, like the drumbeats of the mad demon of Kathakali ballets, ring in her ears and unnerve her.
It was now to be either Gautama or she. The loving attention of her father makes Maya oblivious of the deadly shadow; but as her husband Gautama fails to satisfy her intense longing for love and life, she is left to the solitude and silence of the house which prey upon her. How I want to love. How it is important to me. Maya has romantic love for the beautiful, the colorful and the sensuous; Gautama is not romantic and has no use for flowers.
Maya is creature of instincts or a wayward and high stung child. As symbolized by her name she stands for the world of sensations. He is realistic and rational. He has philosophical detachment towards life as preached in the Bhagwad Gita. Such irreconcilably different temperaments are bound to have marital disharmony. Her attempts to divert herself by visits to her friend Leila and Pom or Mrs.
But once they are gone, she finds the house empty and herself alone with her horrors and nightmares. Listening to the cries of peacock in the rainy season, she realizes that she should never sleep in peace. She is caught in the net of inescapable. Who is my savior? I am in a need of one. I am dying, and I am in love with living. I am in Love and I am dying. God let me sleep, forget rest. There is no rest anymore- only death and waiting.
Maya suffers from headaches and experiences rages of rebellion and terror. As she moves towards insanity, she sees the visions of rats, snakes, lizards and iguanas creeping over her, slipping their club-like tongues in and out.
Her dark house appears to her like her tomb and she contemplates in it over the horror of all that is to come. Then suddenly, during her interval of sanity, an idea hopefully dawns in her mind that since the albino had predicted death to either of them, it may be Gautama and not she whose life is threatened. She thus transfers her death wish to Gautama and thinks that as he is detached and indifferent to life, it will not matter for him if he misses life.
Gautama remains so much lost in his work that Maya finds him even oblivious of the dust storm that has raged earlier in the afternoon. When she asks him to accompany her to the roof of the house to enjoy cool air, he accompanies her, lost in his own thoughts. Passing out of the room, Maya catches sight of bronze Shiva dancing and prays to the Lord of Dance to protect them. Climbing the stairs she finds her cat suddenly speeding past them in a state of great alarm.
They walk towards the terraced end, Maya looking enraptured at the pale hushed glow of the rising moon. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.
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Buy Now. Anita Desai is one of the most famous Indian English novelists. Do you believe in prophecy or prediction? Yes No See results. Watch Desai on Youtube. Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience. Legal Studies. Performing Arts. Thanks for updating me with all this great stories by excellent writer.
I loved the theme. Haven't read yet. But I have a dissertation over this novel. Really excited. It's very very interesting and one of my favourite novel of Desai ji. Sign In Join. Connect with us.
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Summary Of Anita Desai's Cry The Peacock
However they find a way out by self-discovery and introspection. Anita Desai 's first novel, Cry, The Peacock, softened new ground up Indian English fiction and is said to be a pioneer. It has been termed as 'a wonderful novel ' by the pundits. Cry, The Peacock speaks the truth conjugal disharmony, absence of personality, idealism, and a feeling of aimlessness of life. Much has been composed on the subjects and style of Anita Desai 's novels.
A Psychological Study of Anita Desai's "Cry, the Peacock"