Short Story

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In the short story “Silver Pavements, Golden Roofs”, the author Chitra Divakaruni highlights and enhances the theme of how Jayanti’s high class and wealthy background sets her up for high expectations of living the American Dream but later on disappoint her. Jayanti’s mindset initially presents an optimistic future and more idealistic view of America, but upon her arrival this idealistic view slowly begins to deteriorate by her uncle’s view of America. This idea raises the question of how does Jayanti’s uncle effect her view of America in terms of what she thought America would be and how it actually is? By analyzing Jayanti’s impressions of and interactions with her uncle, I will prove how Jayanti’s high expectations of America are later on let down by her uncle’s substandard way of living life. Jayanti has a more hopeful and promising attitude towards America, while her uncle is more cynical and hopeless towards the life he currently lives due to the different experiences they have while being in America. This causes confusion towards Jayanti’s high expectations. Jayanti is so young and inexperienced with exciting dreams but she does not fully understand her uncle’s dismal actions because he has been in America for longer and he has been trying to build himself yet he still is not living the American Dream. At the start of the story, Jayanti’s behavior suggests that she is excited to come to America and has high expectations, but upon her arrival merely the sight of her uncle reverses these feelings. She begins by expressing her excitement and how sure she is of the realities, even with something as simple as chocolate, which she describes as, “The American chocolate melts in my mouth, just as sweet as I thought it would be” (71). She continues to overhype her experience when she describes the airplane food as if it is the best food in the world. She wants to “save the shiny tinfoil that covers the steaming dish”(70) and she feels sad for her friends who will...
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