In literature the image of women in fiction has undergone a change during the last four decades. Women writers have considerably moved away from traditional portrayals of enduring self-sacrificing women, towards conflicts, female characters searching for identity, no longer characterized simply in terms of their victimized status.
One such prominent Indian author, whose writing addresses issues focusing on the condition of women in India, is Anita Desai. Desai’s novels chiefly center around the representations of women and their struggles against patriarchal and colonial oppression. Her novel Fasting Feasting (2000) is above all a work which delineates the psychic entrapment of women in a oppressive environment. Though India attained independence from colonial rule it failed to unburden women from the ideal visions of womanhood. Advancement of learning and modernization have made little impact on the internal psyche and attitude of the society towards women specially in context of India.
This paper attempts to critically examine Anita Desai’s outlook and standpoint on the socio-cultural issues of patriarchal oppression, ideological conditioning, female freedom and empowerment with special reference to her novel Fasting Feasting. The paper brings into focus the interaction of women’s traumatic experiences, the psychological plight of the female characters, and the state of their oppression in a male dominated patriarchal framework. At the same time the paper also attempts to