The contemporary novelist, Anita Brookner’s novels bring to light how the feminine self is also a patchwork of social injunctions as well as images inscribed in the literary canon. Her novels fictionalize the self in the process of rethinking and seeking its worth through a more meaningful identity than just the self-denying or sexually desirable conceptions of womanhood, reflected through cultural representations. Brookner’s novel, The Bay of Angels (2001) is an exploration of self-restraint, dignity and obligation within a tale of love and loneliness. Being orphaned and dejected by her flirtatious lover, Adam, she hopes to have a lifelong commitment characterized by certainty. Finally, Zoë happily accepts the present arrangement and considers her relationship with Dr. Balbi a precious one as it has involved no change of character, no effort to meet each other’s requirements. Zoë’s idea of love shows her broad vision as she does not want the man she loves for herself alone but is generous enough to let him share his affections with his helpless sister. This attitude of not wanting to be loved for oneself alone, in the broader sense, serves as the foundation for a healthy and harmonious society.
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