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  • 4 International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E- ISSN- 2320-5474, Aug-Oct, 2013 ( Combind ) VOL –V * ISSUE – 55-57 Introduction: Where Shall We Go This Summer? (1975) is Anita Desai's creative endeavour to probe the ennui- ridden psyche of an educated and urbanized woman, feeling suffocated by her humdrum metropolitan life. The novel is"an epitome ofan irresistibleyearning for purposeful life" (Ram 74). Hypersensitive and intro- vert, Sita is out of harmony with her husband. She seeks an authentic life and so, she escapes to Manori island,herdreamland,wheresheexpectslifetoofferits best to her. However, after gaining maturity, she re- establishes her contact with the society she had ab- jured and realizes that life must be lived, facing all its odds. This enlightenment enables her to surmount her alienational angst and subsequently, she starts involv- ing herself actively with life and learns to laugh in the end. The novel, thus, suggests integration, disintegra- tion and reintegration in human life. Exposition: Sita,amarriedwomanofforty,withfourchil- dren and pregnant for the fifth time, suddenly encoun- tersaterribleexistentialproblem,findingherlifefullof incertitude and tedium.As such, she becomes reckless and rebels against her family and in her desperation, decides to leave her home. The very title of the novel alludes to the "angst and ennui of her anguished soul" (Prasad 64), and is indicative of an escape, not only from the summer, but also from the inner tension and disharmonyofherpsychological self.Sita isunwilling to deliver her fifth baby into this world where the cre- ative impulse has no chance against the overweening destructive tendencies. She has started apprehending childbirth as yet another act of murder in a violent world. Her mental state signifies "the boredom and loneliness experienced by married women when they feel ignored and unwanted" (Ram 74). Tormented by the sporadic violence in the modern life, Sita wants to Research Paper -English Aug- Oct , 2013 Integration,DisintegrationandReintegration in Anita Desai's Where Shall We Go This Summer? * Jyoti Sorout * ResearchScholarinEnglish,KurukshetraUniversity,Kurukshetra (Haryana). Where Shall We Go This Summer? suggests thematically the process of integration, disintegration and reintegration in human life through the depiction of the aching void in the life of Sita, who faces the loneliness as a woman, a wife and a mother. Nevertheless, she realizes soon that the escape from obligations of life, its responsibilities and routine is not the way to face and to vanquish the challenges of life. Her perception clears and finally, she experiences the unification of sensibility and unity of being. A B S T R A C T Key words: Ennui, angst, disharmony, loneliness, existential dilemma. escape to Manori island. Put symbolically, "Sita seeks to escape essentially from the cannibalism that is op- erative, unseen and unobserved, in contemporary city life"(Sharma95). Sita'sdisinclinationto deliverthebabysymbolizesher desire to prevent the very cycle of experience and existence that makes suffering and violence possible. In Manori, she thinks as if"she had come on a pilgrim- age,tobegforthemiracleofkeepingherbabyunborn" (31). However, her "pilgrimage" to the island "ends in an utter fiasco because of her inability to evaluate her pastwithdetachment"(Prasad 71). Disillusioned,she asks, "Where was the magic of the island that she had promised herself, promised the children. Was this it?" (31). In fact, Sita's abnormal attitude towards her family, society and life is the result of her unusual childhood as a motherless, neglected girl. "Without an affection- ate, understanding mother to look after her, she has been a victim of emotional deprivation in her child- hood"(Pathania41).Itleavesadeepscaronherpsyche and a seed of insecurity is sown in Sita's life. Usha Banderightlycomments:"Thisexperiencebreedsfeel- ing of worthlessness and its consequent strategy is rebelliousness. Sita cannot corroborate her father's dubious ways. It seeps down her psyche as a bad humanexperience"(107). Lackofcongenialdomesticenvironmentaftermarriage worsens Sita's condition. She comes to be afflicted with a sense of void in her life, resulting in her loss of identity and self-confidence. Her nostalgic return to her childhood days implies her aversion to the very notion of growing up and accepting the responsibili- ties of the adult life. Actually, the island is "an evoca- tive symbol of a lost paradise of Sita" (Naik 242), but paradoxically,a retreatto theisland withits promiseto renewalandregenerationimpliesatthesametimealien-
  • 5SHODH, SAMIKSHA AUR MULYANKAN International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E- ISSN- 2320-5474, Aug-Oct, 2013 ( Combind ) VOL –V * ISSUE – 55-57 ation whether it is personal as it was in the case of her father or social as it is in her own case. Ironically, none ofSita'sexcitementsissharedbyherchildrenincoming totheisland.Theyviewthewholetripasakindofexile, which their mother has led them into and therefore, they write to their father to come and fetch them to Bombay. Sita's attempt to overcome her existential despair stemming from her alienation from her family proves inanewhen Raman,her husband,comesto take thefamilybacktothecitylife.Enigmatically,whenthe news of the likely visit of Raman reaches her, she her- self experiences a "warm expression of relief, of plea- sure, of surprise" (128) and demurely admits that she lacks her husband's "greater capacity for accommoda- tion." (128)ItisherethatSitagetsoutofherexistential dilemma. She realizes that "in essence there can be no runningawayfromreality"(Jain28).Shebeginstofeel that gap of communication between her and Raman is, afterall,not unbridgeable. Her decisionto accompany her family to the city signifies that her sojourn to the island has graduated her into acquiring a mature sen- sibility. Things now fall into a proper perspective and she finds an answer to her problem. Therefore, she walks after her husband following his footsteps on the sands of Manori. Conclusion: Herdecisionshowsherpositivegrowth.Usha Pathaniarightlysays,"Sitahasresolvedherexistential dilemma, has made choice and has thus saved herself, Ramanandherchildrenfromdisintegrationandchaos" (45).Theabilityto "connect"(Forster188)enablesher to realize her place in the larger scheme of life. She apprehends the reality that life is not meant to be shunned, but to be experienced in all its vicissitude. 1 Bande, Usha. The Novels of Anita Desai: A Study in Character and Conflict. New Delhi: Prestige, 1988. Print. 2 Desai, Anita. Where Shall We Go This Summer? Delhi: Orient Paperback, 1999. Print. 3 Forster, E.M. Howard's End. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976. Print. 4 Jain, Jasbir. Stairs to the Attic: The Novels of Anita Desai. Jaipur: Printwell, 1987. Print. 5 Naik, M.K. A History of Indian English Literature. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1982. Print. 6 Pathania, Usha. The Fiction of Anita Desai and Kamala Markandaya. Delhi: Kanishka, 1992. Print 7 Prasad, Madhusudan. Anita Desai: The Novelist. Allahabad: New Horizon, 1981. Print. 8 Ram, Atma. "A view of Where Shall We Go This Summer?" Journal of Indian writing in English, Vol. 9: 74-80. Print. 9 Sharma, R.S. Anita Desai. New Delhi: Arnold Heinemann, 1981. Print. R E F E R E N C E