Why are the themes that emerge out of Desai's A Devoted Son representative of important thoughts about life?
The original question had to be edited. Desai's story focuses on the theme of relationships between parents and children. It shows how the dynamics between parents and children change over time. The ability to rely on structures and external reality to provide an understanding of these dynamics is a recipe for personal unhappiness. Rakesh's father believes his son to be dutiful and devoted to his every wish and his very being. Rakesh's father does not engage in open discussion with his son about his child's wishes. At the same time, he never contemplates that he needs to allow his son to live his own life either growing up or when Rakesh is fully grown.
It is this lack of open discourse that causes the friction that ends up defining the narrative's themes. The antagonism between father and son can be seen in a variety of ways. Yet, the one element that is present is that Rakesh's father believes in a static dynamic between he and his son. He does not account for the fact that Rakesh might have changed after doing what is considered to be his son's duty, which includes moving back to India, marrying and having children of his own. This becomes a very important life lesson out of the story. Desai is compelling the reader to examine how social expectation might never change, but the intimate connections between people do. This causes an inevitable collision between what is expected to be and what actually does exist between individuals. One is left to think that if there had been an open and honest discussion between Rakesh and his father, an understanding between both of them could have been evident, averting the antagonism that is present between both at the end of the narrative. The need to speak openly about where consciousness is and how its dynamics have changed over time becomes a life lesson present in the narrative. It helps to underscore that labels such as "devotion" and "expectation" must constantly be assessed and reassessed in light of the personal experience of the individual.