“Moushumi wonders how long she will live her life in trappings of student hood in spite of the fact that she is a married woman that she’s as far along in her studies as she is that Nikhil has a respectable if not terribly lucrative job. It would have been different with Graham-he’d made more than enough for both of them” (Lahiri 254)| One of the main themes in this story is pressure. Throughout the story Gogol feels pressured by his parents to follow the Bengali culture, to marry a Bengali girl, to eat Bengali food and to live the Bengali lifestyle. Myself being of the South Asian decent, I can relate to Gogol as well.
My parents expect me to marry a Sri Lankan boy because they believe a Sri Lankan boy can make me happy. They also want to continue to pass down our culture to newer generations. This quote foreshadows the breakup that is going to happen between Gogol and Moushumi because you can tell Moushumi isn’t happy with the life she lives with Gogol. Gogol is pressured by his mother to ask out Moushumi a Bengali girl. They end up getting married but as they spend more and more days together through individuation Moushumi realises that she is not happy and this is because she was pressured into marrying a Bengali.
She made herself believe her and Gogol had a lot in common and that they had a good time with each other, but deep down inside she only married him because it was what her parents wished for (her to marry a Bengali man). It develops the plot because as she begins to compare Gogol to Graham she realises she isn’t satisfied and starts to cheat on her husband. Bengali parents ideology is that culture guides you in life, it helps find your place. Throughout the story Moushumi puts on a persona of being a happy wife, who is loyal to her husband.
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But she is really sad about her relationship with Gogol and she transgresses by cheating on him with a former friend. Cheating on Gogol was a good move for Moushumi because this is what helps her realise that she is not happy and in love with Gogol. Gogol is a proletariat who worked hard to become an architect but Moushumi seems to be more interested in men in the bourgeoisie class. She cheated on Gogol with a very rich man (Dimitri) who inherited his wealth through his grandma. Moushumi cheating on Gogol was good for Gogol because he becomes aware of his life and what he believes in.
He slowly begins to realise that his parents had gone through the trouble of learning different customs such as Christmas dinners and other celebrations all for him. This relates to peoples everyday life because a lot of people come to Canada as immigrants but they slowly adapt to the country and it’s traditions such as Canada Day. Gogol realises that all the events that happened in his life have shaped him and determined who he is. Moushumi and Gogol lived in patriarchy because Gogol had more power over Moushumi. She turned down a grant offer that she had applied for even before she met Gogol.
She knew that Gogol wouldn’t like her going to another country for a few months so she declined the offer. The other reason she dropped the offer was because she needed to take care of the house now that she was a wife. The story follows the stereotype of women cleaning the house and looking after the husband. Moushumi is portrayed as an object who listens to what Gogol says, but she slowly gains power as she begins to cheat and at the end she becomes the subject because she has the power and ends the relationship. | ``…read the book he had once forsaken, has abandoned until now.
Until moments ago it was destined to disappear from his life altogether, but he salvaged it by chance, as his father was pulled from a crushed train forty years ago`` (Lahiri 290)| Another main theme is identities. Throughout the story Gogol only wants an American life, he decides to rebel against his culture by changing is name from Gogol to Nikhil. This quote develops the plot because it shows that by the end of the story Gogol gains more knowledge about his culture and slowly begins to accept it. When Gogol finally decides to read the book he is in the setting of his home specifically his room.
This shows that throughout his journey (highschool/university) Gogol rebelled against his culture and it did nothing but brought him back to his own bed. The book Gogol`s father gives him is an anima symbol because it represents the feminine side of both Gogol and his father. Books are known to give information and to express ones feelings, this is also what females are known to do. By giving his son this book Gogol`s father is sharing his life story and how he felt about the train crash with his son. The train crash is a metaphor for life and death because the train represents how quick life really is and the crash represents the end of it.
The symbol of the book developed the plot because without the book there wouldn’t be anything to symbolise Gogol`s fathers journey. After Gogol`s fathers passing Gogol becomes the subject in his house. Ashima and Sonia live under patriarchy because Gogol tells them what to do and what not to do. The story also follows the universal unconscious of men being the one to protect their families. As soon as Mr. Ganguli a hard working proletariat passes away everyone expects the son to step up and protect the family. Ashima doesn’t mind this because she is use to having a man protect her.
This follows the stereotype of men leading the household and women just being objects and following. Women are represented as weak people in this story because they cannot do things for themselves and they always rely on men. In my household both my mom and dad have an equal say in everything that goes on, they both contribute there ideas. Also in the world today you definitely don’t always find men leading. Women are becoming leaders and filling many positions that are usually occupied by men. For example many women today are working in construction sites and are accountants or doctors.
If I was Ashima I would learn to become more independent and not rely on men to do everything, this would give me a sense of pride because I would realise I can live my life without a husband. Ashima`s persona throughout the story is a caring mother who tries her very best to make her family happy. One key ideology in this story is education makes you a better person because it instils positive values. Gogol studied hard throughout university and finally became an architect. Throughout his education he gained positive values such as being very hardworking and intelligent and this helps him throughout his journey.
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