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From Colonization to Diaspora Gender Relations in “Her Mother” – and the other texts.

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Presentation on theme: "From Colonization to Diaspora Gender Relations in “Her Mother” – and the other texts."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Colonization to Diaspora Gender Relations in “Her Mother” – and the other texts

2 Outline zIndian Diaspora: Main Concerns zThe Author Anjana Appachana z“Her Mother” and our other texts

3 Indian Diaspora: Main Concerns zCultural conflicts zGender -- Marriage, parents’ match-making & expectations; z racial and gender discrimination of the host society, aggravated by the structure of inequality of their home country.  exiled and uncertain/multiple cultural and gender identities (e.g. “What is Worth Knowing,” “Situation” “To Sylvia Plath” )  taking a critical or a new perspective on Indian tradition or society. (Earth, Monsoon Wedding)

4 “Her Mother” by Anjana Appachana Different Cultural and Gender Identities from A Native Mother’s Perspectives

5 Anjana Appachana z Born in India and educated at Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Pennsylvania State University. z“Her Mother” from her first book, Incantations and Other Stories (published in England, the United States and India and was translated into German.) zThe recipient of an O.Henry Festival Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowship. zShe lives in Tempe, Arizona. (source)source

6 Anjana Appachana (2) –”Her Mother” zLate 20th century Indian literature. zUnlike many of her contemporaries, Appachana’s focus is on the domestic rather than the political landscape of modern Indian life. (source)source

7 “Her Mother” : Gender issues zWhat is the most important question the mother asks of her daughter? How does she find out the answer? (the daughter’s change 131, 134; the question: 133; process of discovery: 140 - 141 - ) zWhich parts of the mother make her a “traditional” mother? What aspects of her are “feminist” and unconventional? zHow is the mother related to the daughter and her husband? zWhat makes the mother similar to our mothers?

8 “Her Mother” : Contradictory Gender identities z“traditional” mother— 1.Motherly advice: Eat, Bathe, Oil your hair, stay with Indians, go meet the good buy.(pp. 131; 134) 2.Views about marriage & Concern with the two daughters’ (135; ) 3.Her own dream (of a large home) and collections (132) z “feminist” – 1.Rebellious thoughts pp.132; 142 2.teach the daughter independence 3.Views of her husband (135), Indian men and American culture (134, 137, 138)

9 Mother –in between her daughter and her husband zFeels jealous about the daughter’s being closer to the father, p133; zCriticizes the husband’s double standard, but understands his sense of betrayal p. 138

10 “Her Mother” : Cultural Issues zHow does the mother and the father look at the U.S. and India differently? Which of their views of “Westerners” are stereotypical? zAmericans y not clean vs. “more civilized” y divorce, and y racist (134; 135 )

11 “Her Mother” : Gender + Culture Issues zThe daughter’s hair-cutting and leaving: z How does the mother get to understand the daughter? x Grief + memory x Significant clues: midnight encounter, Rapunzel, handkerchief; pinched look z Solution? y prayer – passive; ySisterhood and Mother-daughter bonding x the ending: expresses the mother’s hope and continued efforts

12 Her Mother & The Other Texts we have read …

13 Children, Class and Sex Salaam Bombay & “Gainda” – 1. Children from the lower classes; illiterate  Exploited sexually or physically.  They have premature knowledge, or experience, of with sex.  They get tough and survive. 2. Class Differences and Communication: The narrators in “Annamalai,” “Gainda” and Earth—  from upper class; with limited understanding

14 Marriage and Shifting of Gender Boundaries  Child bride in “Gainda,” “Earth”; bride-bride game in “Gainda” & “Pigs Can’t Fly”  Marriage – arranged or not, it is desirable for women Shifting Boundaries and Concepts  “Her Mother” – the mother’s love marriage; the daughters’ no marriage or registered marriage (selfish marriage?)  Persepolis – marriage as trial  Monsoon Wedding – adultery and child sexual abuse  arranged + love marriage

15 Cultural Mixing and Migration –the US, UK and Indian/Iranian  Indian cultures – Ms. Hawaii & Bollywood films in SB; kite ritual in Earth  The departure of the British people and permanent influences of British culture -- e.g. dinner party in Earth; the statues in both films; cricket game in SB and Monsoon Wedding, Shar regime and the revolution in P.  The arrival of the Americans – bombs (Earth), drug-buyers and reporters (SB)  Or – the departure for the US, Austria and the other countries – Persepolis, Funny Boy, Monsoon Wedding and “Her Mother”

16 Racial and Political Conflicts  Between Tamil and Sinhalese -- “Pigs Can’t Fly”  Among Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs – Earth  Partition has its impact even in a comedy like Monsoon Wedding

17 General Questions re. Race, Gender and Identity  1. How are the personal identities and relationships connected to and influenced by the racial relationship and national identity?  2. How are children and women affected in times of wars and political upheavals?  3. How is Taiwan's situation similar to or different from that of India's?

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