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Characters in Literary Fictions

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Edited By Jadwiga Wegrodzka

The book focuses on the category of character in fiction. It provides a general outline of different approaches to literary character followed by nineteen essays on individual authors from Conrad to Coetzee, on various genres from utopia, fantasy and gothic fiction to academic novel, and on characters’ extra-textual contexts from intertextuality to history and autobiography.
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Anita Desai’s fiction: Marginalisation as a technique of character creation

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JOANNA PASTERNAK

One of the characteristic features of Anita Desai’s writings is almost a complete absence of political or social ideology in her novels, which is explained by the novelist herself who firmly declares in interviews that “[her] writing is a process of discovering the truth – the ninety percent of the iceberg that lies submerged beneath the one tenth visible portion […] called Reality. Writing is the way of plunging to the depths and exploring this underlying truth […] to discover and convey the true significance of things […]” (Amanuddin 1898: 154-156). She takes her readers on an inward journey into the realm of the minds of the characters she creates. Having said that, a working assumption can be made that Desai uses a literary character as an essential material to weave the story line in the fictional world of her novels. The novelist focuses on exploring the depths of consciousness and reveals major problems of the novels through the inner life of her characters. Human nature is analysed by Anita Desai not through heroic deeds of the characters but through their psyche. It is not an exaggeration, therefore, to say that the world of Anita Desai’s novels is the inner world of her characters, who represent individual human beings with their uniqueness, complexity and also moral flaws (Nityanandam 2000: 18-40).

The chief goal of the present article is to explore the techniques Anita Desai uses to structure her characters and shape some aspects of the fictional...

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