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Shvoong Home>Books>Classic Literature>Summary of Anita Desai’S, “a Devoted Son” Review

Summary of Anita Desai’S, “a Devoted Son”

Book Review   by:akso6o175     Original Author: Andy Kester Sawian
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                  Anita Desai’s story is all about duty and devotion. It draws a picture of the life of a son. The son is brought up by his father, starts earning his livelihood and then, dutifully looks after his father. However, crisis develops as his father, whimsical due to age, starts misinterpreting his son’s treatment. The question that the story posse is that how long should a son take care of his father? What should be the extent of his dutifulness and obedience? This is a problem of the modern world caused by the busy life. It becomes difficult to attend to the whims of the elderly people after a days’ hard work. But should the duty and the toleration end? Or should a person remain ever dutiful? Should sacrifices be made on our part or should we continue to be self-centered and move and move our own way. The world has both instances of both but which is more acceptable?
            Rakesh was a son born to illiterate parents. He was the first to receive education in his generation and how well he utilized it. Villagers felt proud as Rakesh stood first though the jealousy factor didn’t cease to exist. His education took him to the United States of America but to everyone’s surprise, he returned to his country to marry an Indian removing all doubts to marry a foreigner. His devotion towards his parents was proud when he married an uneducated girl of their choice. The girl too was good natured and they were soon blessed with a son. Rakesh’s rise continued and he soon went to the top of the administrative organization, bought a car and thus it was the beginning of his fortune. However, he did not forget his parents and he did take them out in his brand new car. Rakesh was not only devoted but was also good natured. He obeyed his parents, humored his wife, hosted his friends, and in addition, was an excellent doctor. However, Rakesh’s joyride was short-lived. His mother passed away which also ensured his father’s breakdown. Old age caught up with his father and it was difficult to distinguish between his peevish whims and matters of significance. A birthday party for the youngest son had to be broken up at once, when they discovered that the old man was on the verge of death. The old man, however continued to live much longer thereafter.
            Rakesh however, accepted his fate and its’ twist. He brought his father’s morning tea, read the newspapers and visited his father after returning from the clinic. All these couldn’t make the father happy and the situation worsened when Rakesh as a father began to supervise his diet. The supervision which included the cutting down on oily, fried stuff, sweets and beetle nut was seen as a sort of disrespect and mal-treatment by his father. The matter was so serious that the old man even went to the extent of complaining to his neighbors. Rakesh couldn’t help but be sterner. He as a doctor believed that strictness was better where his father’s health was concerned. The old man even tried to bribe his grand children which were met with strong reproach from Rakesh.

            The father-son relationship began to go haywire. The old man began to hate his son and his daughter-in-law. The wife of Rakesh stayed out of trouble tactfully and Rakesh, able to feel every pulse, neglected nothing about his father. He made constant and repeated attempts to make improvement in his father’s mental and physical health. His efforts went in vain. This is the poignant question that we face to continue or discontinue service of a son to his father.
            This is a matter of both culture and tradition. Old age is also called the second childhood. We are always tender to a child in spite of his naughtiness and undue demands. Similarly, we should treat elderly people the same way. We don’t discard children because they disturb us. In case of old people, we become biased, as we have seen them wise and matured before our own eyes. The grey cells become disfuntioning in old age and so elderly people behave in a childish way. Life is hard and difficult and all of us have our own share of problems. However, the rise above limitation will only make us better human beings. Patience and sacrifice shaped our hallmark. We should understand our own maturity and wisdom are not lost and this would help us to be kinder to them. Old age is cyclic and all of us would step into its shoes one day. The remembrance of this fact can wake us up to the reality of this life. Rakesh, in spite of everything else understood this, which made him stand apart and above from the rest.

Published: March 08, 2011   
Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5
  1. Answer   Question  :    In The story "A Devoted Son", the son touches his father Varma's feet. What is the significance of this, and how does it change as the story progresses? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    its a sign of respect for the father of the house and now that hes become a man they dont normally do that. It changes because the son takes care of the father and the father isn't acting like a responsible adult Friday, June 13, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    A lot of this summary is not true and needs to be revised. You are spreading inaccurate information. View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    how has time changed attitudes and customs between older and younger generation? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is a good thesis statement for this story" ( 3 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    madharchod dimag kharab mat kar....kal exam hai padhne de.....teri maa ka bhosda.... Thursday, April 10, 2014
  1. Answer  :    maa ka chud tumhari Tuesday, February 19, 2013
  1. Answer  :    ma ka bhosda rakesh ka Thursday, January 17, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    what aspect of human experience does this story explore? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the conclusion of this story..... ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    The father refuses to take any more pills and it is assumed that he passes away after his last quarrel with Rakesh. He leaves with hatred in his heart. Wednesday, July 03, 2013
  1. Answer  :    conclusion is that baap mar gaya pills khate khate .... use oily khana khana tha :P jalebi pakaudi nuts .... he start hating his son at the last ....... chal basa ........ Tuesday, February 19, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    CREATE A CHARACTER SKETCH OF RAKESH ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    Rakesh is a devoted son as the title speaks. He used to touch the feet of his parents to get their blessings before doing anything. He was the one who could do anything for the happiness of his parents. He was well mannered and grown up into a fine man, he was great friend, husband, father and a doctor. After the death of his mother he was actually afraid to lose his father hence, led him to become more strict and careful about his father which was negatively projected in the eyes of his father. Monday, March 04, 2013
  1. Answer  :    lao pencil paper sketch banae :P Tuesday, February 19, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    the nuances of the father-son relatiomship? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    As for your question,it's not a nuisance.It is basically the relationship between a father and a son.The son always tried 2 protect his father from falling ill and getting affected 2 various diseases.But the father thought that his son was preventing him from eating his delicious foods and meals . Friday, August 10, 2012
  1. Answer   Question  :    what would be a good alternate ending? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    If the son was less conscious about the health of his father and more about his happiness and not the long life. The father would've been thousand times happier and would not complain about anything and live a good life with his family, for as long as he is alive in joy and happiness without complaining. Monday, March 04, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    the son sterling persnality and characetr now underwent curious sea change.comment ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    teri maa ki dabba Monday, June 02, 2014
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  1. 2. RADHA

    ENGLISH

    REALLY ITS TRUTH, IN OUR LIFE ALSO WE MAY FACE MANY OF INCIDENTS LIKE THIS. SO NICE, PARENTS ALSO SHOULD REALISE ABOUT THE SITUATINS.

    1 Rating Wednesday, April 17, 2013
  2. 1. sony

    comment

    This was very helpful. Thanks a lot.

    1 Rating Tuesday, November 01, 2011
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