Accepted 31st October, 2019.
An attentive perusal of Anita Desai’s Fasting Feasting shows that the novel is really a picturesque reflection of predicament, plight, pains and pangs done one the females in male-chauvinistic society of the then India. In other words, the novel reveals her struggle for female autonomy against the backdrop of the patriarchal cultural pattern prevailing in India. She has picturesquely shown how the women are deprived of what they deserve. Desai has used the characters of Uma and Anamika to delineate how women are bereft of human rights –social, political, familial, cultural, economic, academic etc. and used for sexual gratification and then discarded. How women are persecuted in the family as well as in the society by the husbands and father or mother-in-laws, ignored to be educated, bound to go for miscarriage or hysterectomy, not allowed to enjoy various tastes of life have also been depicted in the novel. That the ‘new woman’ is essentially a woman of awareness and consciousness of her low position in the family and society is discerned here. This paper, besides showing how the Indian women are indescribably and brutally persecuted in the family and society,sidelined and not allowed to be educated, suffer from father obsession and look for the typical father in her husband, also aims at describing how Anita Desai has struggled for the independence of women of her time.
Keywords: Autonomy, chauvinism, deprivation, education, feminism, hysterectomy, persecution etc.