Cultural Shock in Anita Desai’s Novels
Keywords:Drunkard, Hunger for freedom, Man and Women relationship, Alienation, Dream and imagination.
Cultural Shock is a phenomenon which is generally experienced by the migrants whether they migrate for jobs, studies or in case of women, after marriage. Anita Desai has dealt with Cultural Shock in her novels along with other major themes.
Anita Desai is one of the pioneers of Indian English Literature. Her novels are replete with themes of Cultural hybridity, alienation, nostalgia cross-cultural clashes etc. These themes are studied under the gamut of theme of Cultural Shock which forms a prominent theme of Desai’s novels. The characters she potrays in her novels undergo a transition from one culture to another wherein they receive this Cultural Shock because the new culture appears to them completely alien and contradictory to their opionions. Critics have often praised her for her lucid writing style and fecundity of thought in various books, edited volumes and research articles. However, the theme of Cultural Shock explicitly expressed in her novels has not caught the attention of many critics. There seems to be a considerable dearth of critcal appraisal with regard to the experience of Cultural Shock by her characters once they migrate from homelands to abroad.
The present study aims to fill this void by emphasizing and critically examining the novels of Anita Desai with respect to the theme of Cultural Shock. The Cultural Shock of individuals which Anita Desai has potrayed in her books once they migrate from subcontinent towards the western world. The characters make a conscious choice or sometimes a forced decisions to migrate in expectation of better future and life in the new found worlds. The paper analyses the experience of Cultural Shock by these migrants once they reach and confront the alien cultures.
The paper will also deal with the resultant themes of alienation, depression, nostalgia and agony experienced by the characters once they migrate from eastern cultures to western culture. The research article also delves deep into the cross-cultural connections and hybridity produced once the two culture meet and mingle in an individual’s personal life.
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