Filial Piety In A Devoted Son

Decent Essays

Filial Piety in “A Devoted Son” “A Devoted Son” is the story of Rakesh, a young Indian man and the relationship with his family. He receives top honors at school, accolades from his American and Indian comrades, rises to the director of the local hospital, and becomes the richest doctor in his town. Critics argue this is Desai’s comment about “perfect” Indian society, where adherence to filial piety, respecting one’s parents, elders, and ancestors, is paramount (Crane). Rakesh’s view of it leads to a breakdown in his relationship with his father. The father feels neglected by his family because they no longer respect his wishes. To Rakesh, belief in protecting his family from the ills of society, despite their temptation, proves his dedication to family (Desai). Filial piety in the abstract is a good standard to live by, but it could lead to destruction because adhering to it removes emotions. In the beginning, the relationship between Rakesh and his parents was an admirable one. Rakesh considers his parents’ feelings prior to making major decisions. From choosing a wife to becoming the primary caretaker to his father after his mother’s death, Rakesh’s sole desire seems to make his parents proud. Though the author does not dwell on the concept of filial piety regarding the mother, she shows her dedication to the family at the expense of her health.
The mother’s death marks a change in the family. The “old father very quickly went to pieces,” (Desai) and could not adjust

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