Until a child is eighteen years old, the parents have full responsibility. They provide a stable and loving environment for their children. As the leaders in a household, caring and loving parents also maintain the bonds that hold the family together. However, absence of loving parental guidance can create tension between family members. Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day shows how war, specifically the partition of India, affects a particular family. The partition of Indian in 1947 created the separate countries of India and Pakistan, consequently ripping families apart. The partition, initiated by India’s independence from Britain, attempted to accommodate irreconcilable religious differences between Muslims and Hindus by forming the…show more content…
While Clear Light of Day never specifies if Raja converts to Islam, because of his interest in the Islamic arts and his formation of a new family, Raja represents Muslims breaking apart from India to form Pakistan.
Like Raja, Tara leaves the family, but she exemplifies the expatriates who flee India to avoid conflict by taking up new lives in other countries. Tara believes the house she has grown up in is full of “illness passing from one generation to the other so that anyone who live[s] in it [is] bound to become ill and the only thing to do [is] to get away, escape” (156). The conflict in the Das house, caused by the parents’ negligence and Raja’s departure, spreads like a contagious disease and Tara knows she has to leave. Marriage provides the escape for Tara, who becomes “taken up with her husband, her new home, and her new life” (174). She emigrates from India and travels around the world with her diplomatic husband. She later realizes that she “must have used [her husband] as an instrument of escape. The completest escape [she] could have made — right out of the country” (157). Through marriage, Tara is able to create a new life for herself. Like Tara, approximately “15 million people fled their homes” (Hartnack 244) to escape the violence of the partition. By trying to escape the conflict in her family, Tara symbolizes the expatriates.
As Tara flees India, she leaves her sister Bim behind to take care of their mentally disabled