The Namesake

2573 Words Mar 10th, 2012 11 Pages
The film I have chosen is “The Namesake” by Jhumpra Lahiri. A traditional Bengali Indian family, the Ganguli’s, are moving to New England and are trying to stay engulfed in their unique cultural identity. Ashoke Ganguli brings his new wife, Ashima, to a strange new world, leaving her lonely and confused of a culture outside of her own. Ashima needs to learn to love a man she does not know, to customize herself to a country she is unfamiliar with, and to hold true to her values in a culture foreign to her traditional beliefs. In this paper I will inform the reader of the Family structure, social class on gender as well as material culture and nonmaterial culture pertaining to the Ganguli’s and how they made a place in American society. I …show more content…
Ashima is seen as fragile in this movie. She does what as expected of her at all times. She holds true to her values as a Bengali. Defining her more as supporting a separate sphere ideology, she stays home training children, while her husband works (Partnership and Marriage p. 70). Overtime, her families beliefs do hold true, Ashima does learn to love, honor and respect her husband. Traditional Masculinity is being displayed and defined by Ashoke, in honoring his family’s wishes in marrying Ashima. Ashoke portrays the role of a more traditional husband working and living in the Industrial Era. Ashoke is a good father, husband ,and a good moral provider. Throughout the movie he is shown teaching Ashima and Gogol. One example of this Ashoke and Ashima first arrive in New York; after a flight halfway around the world, he tells his new wife to lie down and he will make her tea. Her face carries a look of astonishment. She replies “I can’t.” He proclaims that this is America, “Things are different here in America.” This is not traditional Bengali ways. His new bride is not sure what to think. Another example of Ashoke teaching his new bride is Ashima wanting to show her new husband that she can take care of him. She wanders to the laundry mat to do laundry, shrinking Ashoke’s clothing in the process. Ashoke, seeing this, negatively sanctions (Macintyre, 2006) her. He explains how the Indian rupee is in comparison to our American dollar. Realizing

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