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Analysis Of Mrs. Sen's By Lahini

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In the story “Mrs. Sen’s”, Lahini presents the struggles of assimilating into a new country and portrays how lonely and restricted immigrants can feel. She is able to do this through her use of the character, Mrs. Sen, a woman who is originally from India. Throughout the story we see how difficult it is for Mrs. Sen to assimilate to the lifestyle in America. Her days, usually consist of staying in an apartment while her husband teaches at a nearby university. Mrs. Sen’s Indian lifestyle still seems very prominent, all her furniture is still wrapped in plastic, the shoes are all lined in a bookcase by the front door, she refuses to purchase fish from the supermarket and she uses and abnormal blade to do her cooking. All of this illustrating…show more content…
Sen is often restricted, unable to do much. She doesn’t know how to drive since in India they usually have a driver for themselves. Because of this, Mrs. Sen usually has to rely on her husband to get anywhere. Something as simple as going to buy fish from the seaside, requires her to rely on her husband. Mrs. Sen does not have the freedom that she is accustomed to having. Her life and what she does relies on whatever Mr. Sen is doing. For example, when Mr. Sen began to hold office hours for his students, Mrs. Sen was no longer able to go buy fish from the seaside and was only able to cook chicken. Mrs. Sen not knowing how to drive is something other people would easily take for granted however, she fears tackling these restrictions. It’s possible that she would not fear learning hot to drive in India as much as she fears learning how to drive in America, but because she doesn’t know the language very well or the area, this automatically makes this task much more complicated. As Elliot compares sitting in the backseat with his mother driving and then with Mrs Sen driving, he states “Then the road was just a road, the other cars merely a part of the scenery. But when he sat with Mrs. Sen...he saw how that same stream of cars made her knuckles pale, her wrists tremble, and her English falter” (Lahini 121). Driving is something that immigrants often fear for various reasons. Sometimes it’s because the driving rules are different or because…show more content…
Sen often refused to drive, it didn’t seem like she cared very much about being restricted. In reality, she may have not even realized that she was being restricted. To her, this lifestyle was very different than what she had been accustomed to, but she also didn’t know too much about American lifestyle so she accepted it. It is almost as if she wasn’t really realizing how restricted and encaged she was living until she finally hit a breaking point. This lifestyle was nothing like what she was accustomed to and having her family far away was difficult, especially when they were thinking that she was living her dream life in America. “Send pictures of your new life”. What pictures can I send?” (Lahini 125). Mrs. Sen had nothing exciting in her life, she was always restricted and had the same repetitive schedule every day, yet she kept this frustration all to herself. She is the classic example of someone who rarely speaks her mind, afraid to be a bother to anyone, until she tells Eliot “Tell me, Elliot. Is it too much to ask?” (Lahini 125). Here, Mrs. Sen finally spoke up about what she was feeling. After her husband was once again unable to take her to buy fish, she realized she was all alone. Mrs. Sen finally realized how restricted she really was, she couldn’t drive anywhere, so she always had to rely on her husband but her husband was too busy for her. Although it does seem as if Mrs. Sen was finally realizing how restricted she was, she also didn’t do very
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