A Wife's Story

Topics: Gender role, Bharati Mukherjee, Gender Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: June 25, 2012
A Wife’s Story

Moving to a new country is an emotional hardship and even harder when you leave family behind. Bharati Mukherjee uses her outlook on American as a new country to tell her story. By using American culture, conformity, and loss, the gains and losses of a new arrival becomes apparent in Bharati Mukherjee’s “A Wife’s Story.”

Mukherjee uses American culture to expand and express Panna’s out look on the new culture she is placed into. The normal ways of conducting herself in India begin to become more and more distant. She realizes this change when she says “I’m to shy to break into dance on Broadway. So I hug Imre instead” (3117). The reader is able to see the old ways of India are slowly fading. She is not fully an American woman so to speak because she is not ready to dance in the street but she will hug Imre. In India her “husband would never dance or hug a woman on Broadway” (3117). Public affection even a small amount as such as a hug is completely wrong for her culture. However in New York there are few limits and Panna is becoming enlighten to the new ways of America. She is completely surrounded by this new culture. Her roommate Charity is also an immigrant and shows Panna the ways of the city. Charity is an oriental and Panna knows “here she’s a model with high ambitions. In India, she’d be a flat-chested old maid” (3118). The reader can since a touch of jealousy and some greed in Panna. The gender roles in New York are still shocking Panna and taking some getting use to. When Charity and her lover are at the apartment the act very sexual even when Panna is there. She says, “a darkness comes over me when I see them horsing around” (3118). The sexual actions of the couple are not private and this becomes a big shock to her. Even to say that she feels awkward and embarrassed to be around when it takes place. In India the affection of lovers is kept behind doors. When Panna’s husband comes to visit she is worried about what he will think...
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