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Too Much Devotion (An Analysis Of “A Devoted Son”)

1021 words - 5 pages

There will come a time in most of our lives where we will have to take care of our parents. Whether it is telling them what they can or can’t eat, or whether or not they are able enough to drive. Indian writer Anita Desai captures this transition in her short story entitled, “A Devoted Son”. In which the son of an aging father, now a successful doctor, takes too much control in his father’s life, to the point where the father has to tell him to stop. Anita beautifully wrote this piece, but she also made a famous statement about her writing when she says, “I wanted to capture that duality of human nature, of human life. Nothing is so simple as it seems; everything is complex, mysterious.” ...view middle of the document...

Here it is. Promise me you will take it regularly papa.” (Desai, A Devoted Son, page 1429) Soon after this, his father takes the pills and throws them to the ground. The roles of caretaker and the one to be cared for are switched through the story.
Another validation made from Desai’s statement concerning her story is how simple life is, as it appears on the surface. Many things in life can seem simple on the surface. For example, someone in school can seem like the happiest person in the whole building, but in reality they are suffering from deep depression. Such as in Desai’s story; everything on the surface seems alright, the overall plot seems alright, the attitude of the son toward the father seems alright; however this is where the problem is. The son doesn’t understand the pain and torture his father is going through. It doesn’t take an effect on the son on how depriving his father of certain foods, making him rest, and with his heavy medication, truly affects his father. To the son, it seems like the father is living a simple life, but unknown to the son, the father’s feelings truly lay. The educated son overlooks his patient’s (father’s) true emotions and treats him as the doctors did in the “Death of Ivan Ilych”.
The last validation made through Desai’s statement about her story is the underlying complexity of a simple life. We can see the son in this situation as symbolizing the simplicity of life, while the sick and dying father can be symbolized as the complex part of life. The father shows his true emotional scars from his coming with death. This can be seen when the story says, “Then Varma turned and looked at his son. His face was so out of control and...

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