DEV OF BYE BYE BLACKBIRD
Anita Desai is a reputed Indo Anglican woman novelist. She is known as an existentialist novelist. In her novels the focus is on the inner climate, Her 'Bye Bye Blackbird is a very fine novel. It deals with the theme of alienation. This theme has been clearly reflected through the character of Dev.
Dev is the most important character of Bye Bye Blackbird. He is the central figure of this novel. This novel starts with his arrival in London. He has gone to London to join advance course of economics at the London School of Economics. He has been reading the scholars like Lamb, Dickens, Addison and Boswell. By this study he has come to know about London and the entire West.
Dev has to face many problems of adjustment in London. He finds himself in a foreign country and alien atmosphere. For him everyone is a stranger and lives in hiding. The people of London live silently and invisibly. Dev does not hear his neighbours. Their children are all kept behind closed doors. The silence and the emptiness of the houses and streets of London make Dev uneasy. He is not able to accustom himself with the silence and emptiness of the city. These things make him nostalgic about India. Dev is a very sensitive young man. He does not like the behaviours of the Britishers with immigrants. They are called wogs. He remarks that London docks have three kinds of lavatories- Ladies Gents and Asiatics. Indians use the lavatory made for them only. What Dev dislikes most is the sheepiness of the immigrants in England. It seems to him that once they land in this country they loose all their self-respect.
Dev is a man of strong will. Slowly he takes up he situation. He begins to wander about the streets of London, observing its various allurements and attractions. He begins to become soft. He feels little change in himself. Thus he decides to remain in London when Adit and Sarah leave for India. But at the end he finds himself in dilemma. He continues to think whether he should stay here or go back to India. But finally he decides to stay in London to continue his study.
Thus Dev is a fine character. He has many qualities. He is very convincing.