Essay 2 - Literary Analysis.docx

References to her old home are incredibly prevalent

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Western home because she cannot let go of her identity from her old home in India. References to her old home are incredibly prevalent throughout the story, as individual items symbolize Mrs. Sen’s connection to her old self and her old home. One of her most prized possessions is her blade from India which she uses to cut vegetables. Mention of the blade reminds her of the contrast between her two homes as she “cannot sometimes sleep in so much silence… in this place where Mr. Sen has brought [her],” while her old neighborhood in India is frequently bursting with “laughing and gossiping and slicing… of vegetables through the night” (Lahiri, 115). Mrs. Sen describes her new home as a place that she was brought to or forced to come to rather than a place she chose to come to, which shows that she feels little connection to it. This disconnect between her and this new place combined with her physical displacement from her emotional home back in India leaves her homeless. Likewise, her emotional homelessness restricts her from forming roots in her new physical home from which she can construct her identity. In an attempt to replicate her life back home, Mrs. Sen goes to the fish market to buy and prepare fish for supper like she would back in India. However, when Mr. Sen says that he can no longer take her to the market, she breaks down. Since fish, one of her few connections to her old self, is taken away she is left vulnerable to the nothingness that is her new identity. In order to regain access to the fish, and similarly her link to her old home, Mrs. Sen makes a bold act and decides to drive on her own to the fish market. Some analysts suggest that this “act of taking the courage to drive in order to be independent” shows her acceptance of her new home
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Yee-Yanagishita 4 (Bahmanpour, 46). However, since her overall decision to drive is in an effort to have access to fish once again, Mrs. Sen’s courage in driving is not representative of her willingness to cultivate a new identity, rather to salvage her old one that remains linked to India through the fish. Mrs.
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