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A Devoted Son - By: Anita Desai

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gabriel lopez

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of A Devoted Son - By: Anita Desai

A Devoted Son - By: Anita Desai
Plot Summary

The story was set in India, a young boy Rakesh lives with his parents. His parents sacrificed their lives working in order to get him an education. He was extremly successful with his studies, winning him a scholarship to the US. He becamed a well known doctor who later returned home to share his wealth with the town. Married an indian woman his mother wanted, following tradition. Had kids and had a life of fame in India, starting his own clinic. His mom later passed, and Rakesh inherits all the responsibilities after his father becomes ill. He ended up treating him like a patient and stopped caring for him as a father. His father liveed his lasts months feeling betrayed.

The gate- they changed the name when his dad was sick, he took the responsibilities as man of the house.
Food- symbolizes culture as he wanted all the traditional foods and the culture that he was a part of. This was all taken from him as he was refused all the dishes he asked for.
The degree- was hung up where everyone could see, he became overconfident where he lost sight of the important things. Fueled by his career, he lost his innocence.
Medicine- when the dad throws the medicine on the floor at the end, trying to show his son that its not whats important, that his father should be more important then that.
New Criticism
Setting: Story takes place in India and the U.S.A

Foreshadowing: that Rakesh was going to be really successful.
"how one man - and a man born to illiterate parents, is father having worked for a kerosene dealer and his mother having spent her life in a kitchen - had achieved combined and conducted such a medley of virtues, no one could fathom, but all acknowledged his talents and skills." p.78
The Climax: occurred when Rakesh started taking care of the dad which later would rather die than continue living with his illness/family.

"he opened his eyes- rather they fell open with shock- and he stared at his son with disbelef that darkened quickly to reproach" p.80

Conflict: the son started treating the disease inside of his father, instead of the family member that had given so much for him.
"after i have brought him up, given him an education, made him a great doctor. Great doctor! This is the way great doctors treat their fathers" pg. 82
The theme is power and control, also the demand for success and it leading to obsession.

Rakesh is fueled by success and soon loses sight of what is truly important in his life.
point of view- the story is written in third person.
irony-success doesn't equal happiness, as the parents pushed him so hard to be successful
and the perfect son, but it later led to him pushing them closer to their grave.

Discussion Question
Do you feel that it is better for a doctor to treat a patient how he would like to, or rather give him joy for the last bits of life he has?
The end.
Thank you for listening.
Full transcript