Psychoanalytical Fiction in the Works of Anita Desai

Meena Kadyan


Anita Desai, as a novelist adds a new dimension to Indian English fiction by concentrating on the exploration of the troubled sensibility which is a typical modern Indian phenomenon. In her hands, Indian English Fiction has acquired a depth which it seldom had before. This paper is an attempt to focus on Anita Desai’s use of symbols and its psychoanalytic implications as projected in her works. In her novels, she introduces a shift of ideational focus from the outer to the inner part of human existence. I have tried to examine this interplay of thoughts and emotions which is also reflected in her use of language, imagery and symbols. Dealing with the thoughts, emotions and sensation at various levels of consciousness, Anita Desai found the technique used by D.H Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner and Henry James which is quite suitable for her purpose of character delineation. Hence, we have use of flashbacks and the stream-of-consciousness technique in some of her novels, mainly in her first novel, Cry, the Peacock which is considered as “the first step” in the direction of psychological fiction in Indian writing in English. The novels of Anita Desai raise many issues of universal relevance and they deserve a comprehensive review, the aim and intent of present paper is to reflect on her use of symbolism in portraying the inner realities of her characters. It will also contribute to the psychological study of her characters in the contemporary world.

Keywords: Psychoanalysis; Symbolism; Stream-of-Consciousness; Narrative

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 2016 Meena Kadyan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


All published Articles are Open Access at 

Paper submission: