“for mataji” by amita handa. brainstorm traditions in your family favourite childhood memories
Post on 12-Jan-2016
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For Matajiby Amita Handa
Brainstorm traditions in your familyfavourite childhood memories
Making ConnectionsHow does Handas tale cross cultural boundaries?
Brief Overviewreln btw grandmother/grandchild2 parallel incidents when they get separated (childhood/adult life of narrator)Mataji - unfamiliar w customs of new country she keeps alive traditions of her native culture in India, sharing these with her granddaughter
Authors noteThis is a story about one family, a story about my grandmother from a pre-industrialized generation and some of the barriers and alienation she faced once she migrated to Canada.
Grandparent--GrandchildRelationshipThere is a special bond between grandchild and grandparent that only the distance of a generation can explain
Parallelismstory recounts 2 parallel incidents in Mataji and granddaughters life - Matajis pending death makes the narrator remember first time they were separated
ParallelismWhat is interesting about the storys structure? Notice how the author links the 2 incidents with similar themes, words, and actions
Parallel IncidentsSeveral examples reveal the theme
M. waits at school for narratornarrator waits in the hospital when Mataji is sickMataji not allowed to go to school as a young girlM. not allowed to wait in school for narratorringing of bell in school: narrator discovers Mataji is goneringing of phone as adult: realizes Mataji is gone (dead)M. consoles narrator in school as she rubbed my head with her handnarrator consoles M. in hospital: with my hand rubbing herschild marks on vacuum (in dream) and on wall (in reality)M. copied letter from billboards in India (attempt to write)
Theme: For Matajitheme 1: loss - readers empathy increases b/c narrators present feelings for Mataji are explained and reinforced by their relationship in the pastpresent loss of grandmother reminds narrator of 1st time her grandmother was lost to heradult feelings are as intense as child
Similarities Reinforcetheme reinforced: narrators similarities with Mataji create strong bond - times they felt aloneas she holds Matajis hand in her final moments narrator is reminded of her special relationship with her grandmotherwill culture be lost with death of her grandmother? will she carry it on?
Theme contdtheme 2: cultural difference creates isolation of the individualcan you think of examples where Mataji is isolated?
Matajis CharacterMataji is loving and devoted to her granddaughtere.g. taking her to school each morning and waiting for her
Matajis Charactershe is stubbornwhen narrator cries about having to wear a slip, Mataji stands firm
Matajis Charactershe is defiant - when granddaughter was born in England, Mataji told family in India that she was a boy so village would celebrate the babys birth
Matajis Characterpersistent/strong willed: never gives up the idea of becoming literatelooks at the Gita, writes letters in the sand
Mataji as Outsiderkept out of school as a childnow, kept out of granddaughters school
Matajis Charactershe has faced discrimination all her lifeas a girl in her native land; as an adult not fully accepted into Canadian culturemother is mortified that M. has dressed narrator in a slipteacher/mothers disapproval BLINDS them to love and goodness in Matajis actions
Matajis culturekeeps traditions alive: reads Gita, speaks Punjabi, wears a sariI could smell the coconut oil on her hair as she rubbed my head with her handM. feeds little girl traditional foods (roti and subji - cooked vegetables) at school
Matajis Barriersas an adult - lack of familiarity with the culture, customs and languageinability to read and writejudged by others: try to correct her actions w/ trying to understand her
Grandmother/GranddaughterSimilarites both are: fascinated with writingstubbornstrongly attached to each other