In his article "Duality of Illusion and Reality in Desai's In Custody," Narinder K. Sharma analyses Anita Desai's internal confrontation of choices. In the novel, Desai's narration offers various options at every step and the author suggests that it becomes difficult to decide what actually should be done. The attempt is to personalize impersonal time and space thereby brings it into the domain of conflicting choices signifying an existential desire to manifest freedom. Going a step further, it can be deciphered that the individual desires to make an ideal choice to experience "authenticity"; however, the desire of making an ideal choice results in the creation of psychic tension. Thus, for Desai, the subject often feels a psychic pull which signifies a "lack," a "void," or a possibility of something ideal left out or missed. In Sharma's analysis of In Custody the contradiction that splits an individual apart as subjective reflection takes place with relation to making an existential choice.

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