Colette Rossants memoir, Apricots on the Nile, portrays the authors mother in a negative light, as a selfish woman concerned only about her own needs. Anita Desai’s novel, The Zigzag Way, portrays the character of Dona Vera in a similar way, as a selfish older woman who is full of herself and does not treat her servants or assistants with much consideration.
Analyze the ways both of these texts, one fiction and one an autobiography, portray European women who came of age right before the second world war as self-centered tyrants. Which women serve as contrasts to the mother and Dona Vera in each narrative? I just need a good intro paragraph for this topic. Can you underline the thesis statement? Also, I do not need any other references, other than the 2 books: Apricots on the Nile, and The Zigzag Way.
Colette Rossant’s French mother in her autobiography and Dona Vera in Zig Zag way of Anita Desai’s fiction are of European by origin and belong to the World War II generation. These seem to be the only similarity between the two of them, their continent and their age. Other than they are entirely different in every aspect.
At the outset, both women come from contrasting classes of the society, Dona Vera from the middle Class and Rossant’s mother from the upper strata of the society. Dona Vera flees Austria as a result of her connections with the Nazis whereas the other lady has been forced to move to Egypt because of her husband’s sickness. Dona Vera is a self made woman but Rossant’s mother is privileged to live luxurious life because of her status in the society.
Therefore the two women actually act as a foil to each other rather than being similar in any other way except the period of time in history and the dislike of the respective protagonists of the two books, Rossant and Eric. Instead of calling them tyrants who are inconsiderate to the people around them or self centered women, we can simply say that they have successfully survived the perils and troubles in their own varied but familiar way.
They do not know any other way. Interestingly, Dona Vera’s contrast is Betty Jennings, and French lady’s contrast is her own daughter, Colette Rossants.
Colette Rossants Apricots on the Nile
Anita Desai The Zigzag Way
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