The married life of Maya and Gautama is mutually opposed. Maya is full of life and wants to enjoy life to the utmost. To her, sexual satisfaction is a necessity and the total denial of it may give mental disturbance. She is interested in all the good things of life — nature, birds and animals, poetry and dance.
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The married life of Maya and Gautama is mutually opposed. Maya is full of life and wants to enjoy life to the utmost. To her, sexual satisfaction is a necessity and the total denial of it may give mental disturbance. She is interested in all the good things of life — nature, birds and animals, poetry and dance. She loses herself in the enjoyment of beautiful sights and sounds. The cries of birds evoke a sympathetic chord in her.
She is presented in the novel as a woman who longs for pleasures of life. He always accused his wife. While Maya is longing for love and affection, her husband Gautama is incapable of understanding her genuine feelings and emotions.
The Albino astrologer had once told her that either she or her husband would die within four years of her marriage. The anxiety caused by this prophecy had diminished her happiness. After marriage Maya has to leave her father.
Not only he pampered her but also fed her infant brain with fairy tales because the doctor had advised him not to make her anxious or sad. This pampering spoils Maya and makes her crave for attention all the time. She wants demonstrative love and does she has to loud displays of love.
After marriage she expects her husband to play as father with her. Maya does not grow up mentally which results in suffering. Gautama expects Maya to behave like a mature person. She therefore, looks upon him as an antagonist and her psychic problem becomes an existential one.
The trouble with Maya is that she fails to realize that each one is a different individual — who necessarily thinks, act and behaves in a different manner from others. He approved of whatever, she did or said, never differed from her, even when she was wrong. At every step she compares Gautama with her father to the disadvantage of the former because she fails to realize that a father-daughter relationship is different from a husband-wife relationship.
She is longing for the companionship like that of Radha and Krishna. It is a communication that she seeks — the true marriage in which body, mind and soul unite — the sort which the peacock seeks when it shrieks out its inside in its shrill intense mating calls. Like her, they are creatures of exotic wild and will not rest till they have danced the dance of death. She describes how they danced and produced a remarkable impact on her mind: In the shadows I saw peacocks dancing, the thousand eyes upon their shimmering feathers gazing steadfastly, unwinkingly upon the final truth — Death.
I heard their thirst and they gazed at the rain clouds, their passion as they hunted for their mates. With them, I trembled and panted and paced the burning rocks. Agony, agony, the moral agony of their cry lover and for death. Father; Brother; Husband. Who is my saviour? I am in need of one. I am dying. God, let me sleep, forget, rest. There is no rest anymore — only death and waiting. The solitude and silence of the house prey upon Maya.
Also, the death of her pet dog starts a chain of reminiscence and reverie. The novel portrays the inner emotional world of Maya who is the victim of city life. It was broken repeatedly, and repeatedly the pieces were picked up and put together again, as of a sacred icon with which, out of the pettiest superstition, we could not bear to part.
It is not for the lack of love for her husband that she suffers, but for too much of love for him. Maya feels helpless and she needs someone to offer her protection and consolation. Though Gautama and Maya are married, they do not really communicate with each other.
What is real to her is shadow to him, what are facts and hard realities to him have no interest for her. She is obsessed by her childhood prophecy of disaster that prevents her from leading a normal life with her husband Gautama strangely the albino astrologer may forgot her but she cannot forget the astrologer and his prophecy. It shows her sensitiveness. This is the trait that governs the protagonists of Anita Desai. Dance and dinner cause her headache. The ultra-modern sense of enjoying the life becomes a threat.
Her own house is presented as a prison in disguise. The colorful world has been presented to reveal a dark side of evil and ugliness. The city plays a crucial role in widening the marital gap between Gautama and Maya. She feels the absence of her husband in the house for long hours. Whenever he comes he gets busy with his clients or discusses politics and philosophy which do not interest her.
It is that — my loneliness in this house. Death was certain. The struggle, one can readily see is not without purpose and the aim is to achieve the sort of harmony. The major concerns of the writer are loveliness, depression and solitude. In the first place, Maya has been deprived of the love of mother, brother, and later her father. Secondly she is alienated from her husband and in the end she brings about his elimination from life and her own self from her family and society.
Maya is an instinctive woman of passions and emotions. Gautama, on the other hand, is a philosophical intellectual. Despite all the luxurious, the home still lacks the vital family spirit.
She says that she loves Gautama, rarely shows her love in deeds. Gautama, on the contrary is gentle and patient with her, except those times when she is too unreasonable. Even then he blames her father and not Maya herself.
Gradually by the suppression and the isolation she earned the murderous intent. She thought that she is neglected by Gautama. Life to him would mean death to her. She kills Gautama, but his death fails to leave any sense of tragedy or pathos. For Maya it is only a push, for Gautama it is death. While others have been removed from her life in a subtle way, her murder of Gautama is her most daring act. Gautama is a faithful husband who loves and cares her in his own way yet Maya never satisfied and happy.
Marital relationships are established with the explicit purpose of providing companionship to each other. However, the element of companionship is sadly missing in the relationship between Maya and Gautama. Though she is fond of possessing books by Tagore, Keats, Shelley, she hardly ever reads them.
This tendency continues after marriage and Gautama points out to her, that she never reads the newspaper or a book neither does she involve herself in any extra-curricular activity. Maya fails both in creating an identity for herself and in leading a stable life.
The cry of peacock is the cry of the natural instinct of a woman who is unfulfilled. But such a fulfillment is denied to Maya. She is capable of empathy which enables her to experience what the peacock and peahen are experiencing but this makes her feel all the more intensely that though there is an emotional arousal, there is no physical fulfillment which is the cause of her agony.
Maya pushes Gautama off the parapet of their house. Thus, she murders her husband in a fit of insane fury and commits suicide. Through Maya, the novelist has tried to stress the great yearning of the woman to be understood by her male partner. Anita Desai looks into the reasons for marital discord and illustrates how such discord affects the family.
The matrimonial bonds that bind the two were very fragile and tenuous. Lack of communion was the chief cause of intricacies in the life of Maya and Gautama. Maya identifies herself with the peacocks in the agony of ecstasy of their fatal love-experience? This novel presents an impression of the marital incoherence and encountered conjugal life.
Maya seems to be innocent and extremely sensitive. This novel Cry, the Peacock exposes an impression of marital incongruity and unhappy conjugal life. No other writer is so much concerned with the life of young men and women in India cities as Anita Desai.
ANITA DESAI CRY THE PEACOCK SUMMARY PDF
Tellingly, the literary example which Desai set off to emulate was that of another migrant to India of German origins: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Thus, the immobility and frustration of the central female character in Clear Light of Day , Bim Das, an apparently independent woman who is hostage of her past memories, are conveyed by zooming in on several details of the house where she lives, signifying decay and dullness. As Desai herself admits, her novels are not populated by heroic characters, whether male or female, at least in the traditional sense. Her protagonists are marked by a certain passivity and have been criticised as being swept away by historical and social forces rather than being able to face and control them. I think if you can come through the experience of life with the heart and mind intact, without compromising yourself, that to me is a heroic act that needs to be celebrated. The protagonist, Hugo Baumgartner, is a Jew who fled from Nazi Germany to India, only to find that he cannot be fully accepted by Indian society either: he is first interned in a camp for Germans during the second world war, and then remains a firanghi, a stranger, in post-independence India.
Anita Desai is one of the most famous Indian English novelists. In her first novel, Cry the Peacock , Anita Desai portrays the psychic tumult of a young and sensitive married girl Maya who is haunted by a childhood prophecy of a fatal disaster. She is the daughter of a rich advocate in Lucknow. The excessive love Maya gets from her father makes her have a lop-sided view of life. She feels the world to be a toy made especially for her, painted in her favorite colors and set moving according to her tunes.
Cry, the Peacock
Lack of communion was the chief cause of intricacies in the life of Maya and Gautama. While Maya is longing for love and affection, her husband Gautama is incapable of understanding her genuine feelings and emotions. Anita Desai looks into the reasons for marital discord and illustrates how such discord affects the family. Post was not sent — check your email addresses! Watch Desai on Youtube.