Journey to Ithica

How the character of 'the Mother' was dubious.

The novel Journey to Ithica is a literary genre from the second half of the 19th century. Novel as a literary genre rose in Spain in the 17th century, France and Europe in the 18th century and America in the first half of the 19th century. Literary novel is a criticism of life and gives an authentic picture of life. It’s only character based and the central character revolves around the growth and development of that character.

The main theme is how Sophie wants to prove that what the Mother is seen for is fake, and she wants to expose her true self. Things weren’t exactly harmonic between Sophie and her husband Matteo, Matteo was ill from hepatitis (dangerous form of jaundice). He finds the Mother/Guru and starts to live in her ashram and blindly believes everything be sees. On the other hand, Sofie, the more mature one, realized that there is more to what meets the eye and tries to uncover the truth as only then can Matteo be treated in the hospital. In this article, I’ll be expanding my thoughts on how the character of the Mother is dubious.

About the author:
Anita Desai was born on June 24, 1973 in Missouri, India. She is an English language Indian novelist who excels in evoking character and mood through visual images. Most of her novels reflect the tragic view of Life. Journey to Ithica was first published in 1995.

Journey to Ithica describes a pilgrimage to India by a young couple, Matteo and Sophie and the life of a mysterious woman, ‘the Mother’, who runs the ashram where they live. The ashram is located at the foothills of the Himalayas.

~ The character of ‘the Mother’ in the novel is portrayed as very suspicious or dubious. Even though Matteo completely trusted and devoted himself to her, Sophie was still unsure about her and the fact that she went on a whole journey just to learn more about her or learn about her spiritual journey does raise a lot of suspicion.

~ We see how Matteo was so ill, he still chose to stay with ‘the Mother’ and learn more about scriptures rather than go home to his kids and wife. This shows how devoted he was to ‘the Mother’. It is also suspicious how every time the mother falls, all her devotees fall ill too. It is very a natural for something like that to happen.

~ Even though, in the story she is shown as someone who might be doing better than other gurus, the readers do not find it amusing or any different as she sits among her devotees and not at the top. This raises suspicion of her being a Guru.

~ The novel tells us how ‘the Mother’ has childhood roots from Egypt but the doubtful part here is that she possesses the Indian English accent of dragging the letters.

~ It is still a question as to why she travelled to India and what was the reason that she decided to do things differently compared to other cult leaders. All of her actions points towards the fact that she has not yet attained enlightenment or even any kind of divinity. Her actions are childish and immature which makes us question if she is even worthy of the title ‘Guru’.

~ She also does not treat her devotees equally. She mainly focuses on the new members and ignores the old members which is suspicious.

Henceforth, all her actions prove that she is a very doubtful and dubious person.

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