Wisdom in Anita Desai’s novels

Desai’s novels furnishes us with the wisdom that an individual must accept the burdens of his/her past and continue to live in as socially responsible a way as possible. This adjustment of the self is the only alternative to annihilation. The only way to cope with this absurd existence is through involvement with other and caring for others, not by withdrawal and isolation. Desai’s protagonist though defeated by life could not have lived it honestly in any other way. In their death, disillusionment or isolation, Desai’s heroes or heroines, who strive hard for their existence, appears to have discovered some values of life like love, nobility, dignity and authenticity. In other words, the solution lies in positive self-alienation and non-destructive self-abnegation. Desai’s protagonists suggest through their experiences that the only sensible thing is to “adapt oneself to existing conditions” and if someone takes it upon oneself to alter the disposition around him/her, he or she runs “the risk of losing the his/her footing and falling to destruction”. They are convinced that human life is absurd because “there is nothing, nothing absolutely no reason for existing”. To endure anxiety is to have one’s eyes opened to the reality of the human condition.

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