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Analysis of The Devoted Son

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jacy hampson

on 24 February 2014

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Transcript of Analysis of The Devoted Son

Conflicts in "A Devoted Son"
I think the biggest conflict in “a devoted Son” would be that Rakesh does everything for everyone else and nothing for himself. He would do anything he was told and followed is parents traditions; a truly devoted son. Throughout the story you don’t really see much of Rakeshs voice that is another area of conflict. I think that Rakesh had lost his voice through expectations and understandings. Throughout the story Rakesh continuously puts his desires and wants, second to his parents.

“A first division, son? His father asked, beaming, reaching for the papers.”(Desai, 75)

“At the top of the list, papa”, Rakesh murmured, as if awed. “First in the country.” (Desai, 75)





Analysis of The Devoted Son
By: Anita Desai

Plot Summary
A devoted son focuses on a poverty stricken family who lives in India. Their son Rakesh is able to pursue his medical career in the United States; all thanks to the sacrifices his family made. As he finishes up his schooling and becomes a successful doctor in the United States, his mothers health takes a turn for the worst and eventually passes away. Shortly after this occurred his father, Varma became ill quickly, causing Rakesh to take control of his fathers diet and treat him as if he was a patient. However, by the end of the story Varma remains stubborn and wants to live his life like he use to; not by Rakeshs rules.
Characters
The plot relies on the characters involved in the story. The main character is important as they create the problems and solutions of how to overcome, therefore conflict will exist. Also included in a story are minor characters, these characters not only help main character but also help move the plot along. When examining characters, we must always look at his or her motivations. what makes them behave in that way?
Rakesh's mother- Flat Character
Rakesh's mother is a flat character as she does not change at all in the story
Conflicts
There are two types of conflicts that can occur in a story, they are internal and external. An example of internal would be man v. himself. An example of external could be man vs. nature. man vs. society and man vs. unknown.
Step 1. Plot
Opening Statement

The opening statement is when characters are introduced and the setting is established.
Inciting Force
Conflicts are developed between characters. For example, person v. person
Rising Action
The conflict becomes more pronounced between characters
Climax
The moment in the story with the greatest suspense.
Falling Action
The actions throughout the story is resolved
Final Outcome
The writer wraps up the story, and leaves the story satisfied
Conflict between Father and Son
Father son conflict is created as Varma is not able to accept the fact that the parental roles have been reversed and now Varma is being treated like a child. Varma considers the restrictions put on him by Rakesh are immoral and unfair. By the end of the story I think Varma finally realizes the only reason why he is alive is because of Rakesh's help.
“if I ask him for one piece of bread he says no” (Desai, 81)

Setting
The physical background of the story, when and where the story takes place.
Setting in "A Devoted Son"
The setting takes place in India. The environment is very realistic based on the indian culture. The environment has a big influence on the characters because the Indian culture is a big contrast to the United State civilization. Rakesh and his family are in the lower class neighborhood in India
Rakesh
HE IS THE CONTROVERSIAL PROTAGANIST, HE IS THOUGHT TO BE A GREAT SON WHO DEVOTES HIS LIFE TO HIS FAMILY. Rakesh is a round character as he changes throughout the story from being a doctor to caring for his father twenty four seven.
HE SHOWS HIS RESPECT FOR ALL HIS FAMILY HAS DONE FOR HIM BY KISSING VARMA’S FEET. "TO THIS RAKESH RETURNED AND THE FIRST THING HE DID ON ENTERING THE HOUSE WAS TO SLIP OUT OF THE EMBRACES OF HIS SISTERS AND BROTHERS AND BOWED DOWN AND TOUCHED HIS FATHER'S FEET."(DESAI, 76)
Varma- Dynamic Character
VARMA IS A PERSON OF PRIDE AND RELIGION; HE TAKES INDIAN CULTURE VERY SERIOUSLY. VARMA HAD SACRIFICED A LOT IN ORDER FOR RAKESH TO HAVE THE HIGH EDUCATION. IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SHORT-STORY VARMA IS PROUD OF RAKESH, BUT AS THE STORY PROGRESSES HE BECOMES BITTER AND UNSATISFIED WITH HIS SON'S BEHAVIOR. VARMA HAS LOST HIS AUTHORITY AND HIS DIGNITY AS THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY, BECAUSE OF HIS ILLNESS.
Varma Continued
Rakesh's mother IS A WOMAN WITH HIGH FAMILY VALUES. SHE TAKES CARE OF THE COOKING IN THE KITCHEN AND SHE IS UNEDUCATED AND STAYS AT HOME.

Atmosphere
The atmosphere is the mood or tone of the story. Atmosphere is usually established at the start of the story, through clothing and surroundings
Atmosphere in "A Devoted Son "
Rakesh- protagonist

Varma is an antagonist and a round character as his character changes throughout the story. At the beginning of the story he is happy for his son but as the story continues he starts to feel regret and annoyed with him. I would say he is the antagonist as he creates the conflict between his son and himself and he is very demanding towards his son throughout the entire story.
Sterotyped Characters
servants:
these are sterotypes as people who usually work for a family are poor.
grandchildren
: this is a sterotype as they are often looked at as young kids who play at their grandparents house
neighbours
:these are sterotyped as they are referred to as always noisy.
Style
The style is the way the author expresses himself, and presents his ideas. Every writers style is unique; no two are alike.
Diction
This is the word choice, It can be formal, informal, colloquial, or slang.

Informal:
An example of this would be " And that was only the beginning, the first step in a great, sweeping ascent to the radiant heights of fame and fortune" (Desai, 76)
Slang:
An example of slang would be; " to everyone who came to say, mubarak Varma-ji"(Desai, 76)
Sentence Structure
The sentence structure is determined by whether the sentences are long, short, complex, compound or compound-complex
Compound-complex sentence:
"When the results appeared in the morning papers, Rakesh scanned them, barefoot in his pyjamas, at the garden gate, then went up the steps to the veranda where his father sat sipping his morning tea and bowed down to touch his feet" (Desai, 75).
Complex sentence
: "He needn't think we don't remember that he comes from the vegetable market himself, his father used to sell vegetables, and he has never seen the inside of a school" (Desai, 76).
Point of View
The point of view is the vantage point from which the author presents the action of the story. The point of view is the person telling the story, the narrator.
The point of view in "A Devoted Son would be third person. The story is third person as they use names and not I, or me.
Irony
Irony refers to some sort of discrepancy between what is expected and what actually happens. There are two kinds of irony, they are verbal and dramatic irony.
Dramatic Irony
Dramatic irony that Rakesh who is a doctor is causing the most harm to Varma
Situational Irony
This is ironic as everyone expects Rakesh will make Varma the happiest.
Dramatic Irony
It is ironic that in the beginning of the story Varma is loving and proud of Rakesh, but by the end of the story, he despises him. The love that Varma had once felt for his son has been replaced with fear and suspicion
Internal Conflict
Varma vs, Varma,
this is a conflict as he struggles with adjusting to the reversal of roles between his son and himself
Symbolism
A symbol means something itself in the story but also suggests a wealth of meaning beyond what is told.
The Gate:
They change the name when Varma was sick, he took responsibilities, as a man of the house
Food:
This symbolized culture; that all Varma wanted was the traditional foods and cultures of India. This was taken away from him when his son began to take care of him.
Medicine:
When Varma throws the medicine on the floor at the end of the story, to show his son that the medicine was not important, that his fathers own wishes should be more important.
Theme
The theme in a story is the overall message, what did you learn from the story.
One theme in the story could be power and control.

I think this is a theme as Varma and his son are always struggling to be in power and control of each other other.
Another example of a theme would be the demand for success and the obsession that carries along side with it.
An example of this would be when Rakesh is extremely successful in the city and through the fame he soon loses sight of what is truly important in his life.
Devotion

This is an important theme in the story as Rakesh is a very devoted son to his parents. He does everything for them, and puts his wants and needs second to theirs.
Imagery
There are two types of imagery, they are sensuous imagery and figurative imagery
Sensous Imagery
- Food . ex
-traditional India
- western imagery
Figurative Imagery
"All of this was not accomplished in a wink of an eye". (Desai, 77)
"And at last the fruits of their sacrifice had arrived, golden and glorious".(Desai, 76)
"So there he sat, like some stiff corpse"(Desai, 79).


"That is how he treats me after i have brought him up, given him an education, made him a great doctor.
A GREAT DOCTOR!"(Desai, 81)
In the story " A devoted son" the atmosphere changes a few times throughout the story, from happy, to sad to depressed, to thankful. The atmosphere is happy when Rakesh gets into school and becomes a successful doctor. The story becomes sad and depressed when Rakeshs mom dies and father becomes ill. And lastly at the end of the story the mood changes to thankful as Rakesh's father would not be alive without Rakesh's help.
Citations
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Calvin College openURL resolver
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Ex. "All this was gratifying for the old man"(Desai, 79)
Connection
Putting "Slumdog millionaire" into perspective
A significant aspect of the movie is that family in indian-culture stick together no matter what. Jamal returns to his brother, inspite of all his brothers bad actions.
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