Nathaniel Hawthorne suggests the idea of striking ones roots into unaccustomed soil in order to spark the nourishment of human nature. He sets up the novel in a way that integrates how blending differing cultural elements affects an individual. Hawthorn’s quotation prepares the reader to understand how Larch’s characters are undergoing a journey to find who they are, whether it be in worn-out soil they have lived in their whole life, or a destination, where they must respond to the unaccustomed earth.
Harboring a compound identity herself, being born in London ND raised In Rhode Island as an Indian American, Alular Incorporates a unique voice In her stories that elucidates the struggle of her characters because perhaps It Is one she experienced herself. The diasporas characters of Laird’s novel must adapt to the American society, and undergo processes of adoption as well as self resistance to their newfound counterpart of their migrant identities. The collection of stories of unaccustomed Earth exposes how an individual of hybrid identity fluctuates between divergent cultures and the conflicts this provokes.
Rail’s and Rumba’s struggle to establish a devotion to one culture and identity leaves them torn between differing ways of life. Rail’s inability to keep up with the expectations of his Indian family while attempting to assimilate to American culture, and Rumba’s difficulty In confronting her past during her father’s visit, exemplify the constant battles American-Bengali face. Since Arum is a Bengali woman, but born in America, her life is defined by an imbalance between the culture of her parents and her country of origin, America, which leads to uncertainty and an incapacity for her to develop true elf.
Rumbas conflicted heart Is exemplified when she decides to subject herself to a life of creating and assuming the role of a housewife, one that does not bring her joy. The narrator shows this notion by comparing Arum to her traditional Indian mother, “Growing up, her mother’s example – moving to a foreign place for the sake of marriage, caring exclusively for children and a household – had served as a warning, a path to avoid. Yet this was Rumba’s life now’ (“Unaccustomed Earth” 11).
Arum subconsciously molded to her mother’s styles in order to compensate for the did she experiences due to her mother’s absence in Rumba’s life. Arum sacrifices her Independence and success, accepting her role In the home as one based on Indian values that her mother pursued, rather than pursuing American values of work and self-determination to achieve happiness. Rumba’s lack of a sense of belonging, makes her unable to distinguish a balance in her identity with India or America.
Arum cannot find happiness In who she Is because of the confusion she faces In whether she must preserve her roots or fully acculturate Into American society, the unaccustomed earth she now lives in. Similarly, Rail’s inability to keep up with the expectations of Indian familial obligations in an American society exemplify how the lack of harmony between the two cultures lead to the downfall of an Individual. Rural resists the dreams his Indian parents develop for him and falls to fulfill the Identity of an American because like Arum, he struggles to find a balance between the two 1 OFF cultures.
Urinal’s parents play a role In Nils struggle to Tina enamels mainly Owe to tenet efforts to keep the two worlds separated, yet they expect Rural to meet standards valued by both cultures, the root of his self conflict. According to Rail’s parents, “their children were immune from the hardships and injustices they had left behind in India, as if the inoculations the pediatrician had given Studs and Rural when they were babies guaranteed them an existence free from suffering” (“Only Goodness” 144).
The parents in this story want their children to protect the Indian ways rooted within them, yet to pursue opportunities offered in America like ivy league schooling ND certain career paths. The parents are clouded by the ideal American lifestyle that is dissociated with the faults of their Indian past and do not acknowledge that their children are constantly exposed to and could be easily affected by the realities of American society. This disillusionment is shown through Rail’s addiction and how his parents view his predicament as “an American thing” (“Only Goodness” 144).
Due to Rail’s Indian parents’ fluctuation between the two worlds, Rural fails to decipher his rightful place between them. The demanding contradictory pressures put on by his Indian parents and the expectation for him to at times disconnect himself from his already adopted Americanizes, leave him lost in a constant unaccustomed in-between space. The Indian presence Rail’s parents provide suppresses his American self that possesses an aspiration for freedom and self- reliance.
Rail’s conflict comes to a head when he attempts to break away from the confines of his Indian parents by wishing to marry an American girl and participate in activities like art. His parents’ unwillingness to accept his genuine, self-driven desires crush his individualism and exposes the conflicts a hybrid individual torn between differing lifestyles must face when trying to pursue an identity. Apart shows how a hybrid individual fails to fully disconnect from their culture of origin in a way that enables them to live in harmony with their bipartite identities.
In addition, Amid and Megan exemplify how the incorporation of a hybrid individual into a marriage instills conflict due to the divergence of cultures. Apron’s exposure to two contrasting ultras simultaneously, interferes with her ability to assimilate into American culture. Similarly, her reluctantly to break away from India is furthered due to the presence of Prang, who provides companionship and a tie to her homeland in a time of loneliness and bitterness toward coming to America.
OSHA recounts on the mother’s relationship to Piranha, “He brought to my mother the first and, I suspect, the only pure happiness she ever felt. I don’t think even my birth made her as happy. I was evidence of her marriage to my father, an assumed consequence of the life she ad been raised to lead” (“Hell- Heaven” 67). Prang represents India, Apron’s homeland, making him an easy target for her to distance herself from the assimilation process, maintaining her Indian ties and preventing her from developing a new American identity.
However, Prang’s deviation from the “traditional” Indian ways that allowed he, Apart and OSHA to connect, leaves Apart, especially, struggling to develop an identity for herself, because not only does she lose companionship but the one component of her life that revived her multi-faceted identity. Amid and Megan, on the other hand, signify the cultural blending that often conflicts the characters of Laird’s stories, and in this case a marriage. Lair displays the marital issues with a dialogue between the characters, muff know, we should nave Just stayed nerve … E could nave save two nearer collars, Ana I wouldn’t have spent half the night worried you’d vanished into thin air. ‘ He closed the closet, then shut the door to the room. There was no way to lock it from the inside. ‘My fault for trying to have a romantic getaway” (A Choice of Accommodations” 124). This exchange between the couple explores the idea that marital expectations often fall short due to the reality of society, and in this case American society.
Amid, being an Indian who was once forced to live and assimilate into American society, by attending Langford, still embodies resentment toward the once so unfamiliar lifestyle. Amid is a clear representation of the confliction one with a hybrid identity faces and his inner struggle has carried over into his marriage. He attempts to lock he and his wife off from the confusion and external factors of the outside world, that shed light on their stints American and Indian differences, such as the way they view and worry for their children.
Their marriage, a symbol of cultural diffusion has suffered in a way similar to how an individual with a two part identity struggles to find a balance between the two, however, their marriage also wavers due to the contrasting views of marriage between the two cultures and the ways in which one finds love. Their marriage, due to an Indian presence cannot fully embody the characteristics of an “American” marriage and therefore struggles to find a balance between Indian and American ways within the Joining of an Indian and an American.
Through Apron’s internal conflict and Amid and Mean’s marital issues, Lair presents Justification for the idea that bringing American and Indian culture together, whether it be within one individual or due to a partnership, brings imbalance to a relationship and interferes with self-discovery. The disparity that exists between American and Indian culture leaves the characters of Laird’s book displaced and internally divided, hindering their progression into individualism.
Lair utilizes poignancy to show the stark confliction of a person who possesses dual identities that inevitably repel each other. Laird’s ability to center her collection of stories around the conflict hybrids undergo, highlights the growing diversity of the modern world. More and more individuals today possess multiple aspects of various cultures and therefore must respond to the conflicts that accompany this kind of identity. The struggle of this concept is primarily how individuals fuse the different cultures into one identity they choose to execute, as who they are.