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Volume 1 Issue 4

September 2014

Expatriate Experience in Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting
Ms. P. Chitra, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, 
Kongunadu Arts and Science College, 
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting (1999) is an intricate family relationship portrayed in the two countries India and the United States. The novel is based on the criss-cross pattern of hope and despair in a woman’s life. The story contrasts the life of the protagonist, Uma, a spinster, the family’s eldest daughter, with Arun, the boy of the family. She spends her life in subservience to her older demanding parents, while massive effort and energy is expanded to ensure Arun’s education and placement in a university in Massachusetts. The narrative shuttles between the two worlds, one is fasting; signifying self-denial and suppression of longings, represented by Uma, the other world is of feasting which stands for self-indulgence and complete freedom, the world of Arun. One is the world of smothering, traditional family system; the other is the alien world of Maschussetts. Desai lays bare the depth and complexity of the experience of a comman man engaged in the struggle against his limitations. Both of them are entrapped by oppressive bonds exercised by their own parents. Uma though she lives in India and stays at her home she feels that she is marginalized and expatriated. Arun with the support of his parents is in America yet he also undergoes an expatriate experience. This paper focuses on the expatriate experience in the lives of Uma and Arun in Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting.
Expatriate Experience; Anita Desai; Fasting, Feasting.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.