A Comparative Analysis Of Fasting, Feasting By Anita Desai

999 Words4 Pages
Though the novel ends in facilely compromising way of Sita’ s returning with her husband and children to the dull and disgusting Bombay life, she doesn’t make any attempt to liberate herself from the shell of psychic paralysis and resigns herself passively to the inanimate and insipid life of Bombay which in reality is a limbo of death in life.
In Fasting, Feasting, Anita Desai uses light touch, simple language, uncomplicated structure, but at the same time addresses some very big issues and makes a point. In this novel Uma and Arun are children of Mamapapa, the apparently indivisible common identity that parents present. These parents, however, are not at all alike. Mama is protective, perhaps selfish, and not a little indolent. Papa is a parsimonious control freak who locks away the telephone because someone might use it. But they are at least together. Their relationship has survived, despite the long wait for a son, and their disappointment at his disability. Fasting, Feasting presents apparent opposites, two contrasting, if imbalanced scenarios, India and the USA. It offers two deformed observers, Uma and Arun. It unpicks two contrasting cultures and finds that women are slaves in both. The opposites are thus ultimately similar, hardly opposed.
Fasting, Feasting contrasts American and Indian culture, and male and
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In beautifully detailed prose Desai draws the foods and textures of an Indian small town and of an American suburb. In both, she suggests, family life is a complex mixture of generosity and meanness, license and restriction: The novel's subtle revelation is in the unlikely similarities. In one dark moment, Arun recognizes in the Pattons' bulimic daughter a version of his own unhappy sister Uma, and the shock provokes a reflection on these two frustrated women: "But what is plenty? What is not? Can one tell the difference?" Desai's novel is a moving, eloquent exploration of that

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