Free Balance Of Fragile Things Critical Thinking Sample
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The book, namely the balance of fragile things, is written by Olivia Chadha. In the book, Chadha has encompasses a total of six different point of views with the six characters that are presented in the entire book. Chadha has also allowed the book’s primal focus to bring out the more sophisticated components of life. In this manner, Chadha has accomplished her goal of allowing readers to understand what it feels like to immigrate to a country, mix with different cultures and then struggle to survive within those given cultures. The book also focuses on how careless and misappropriate some corporate cultures can be within given societies. In this manner, the book focuses on corporate negligence that is presented to the land that the author cherishes so much. Chadha also focuses on the imminent problem of diversified multicultural societies that exist within the United States of America and how it becomes extremely difficult to be a centralized household who is not so much different from other households that exist within the same area. Furthermore, the book also focuses on the socialization problems that occur in new environments for people who come from different cultures as well as how such problems are handled most of the times. However, the most important issues that are discussed in the book, include the issue of self-esteem and how a person thrives to become a leader in an environment where he is considered different, how several cultures from different societies make one household so talented and diversified with skills that it is hard to comprehend them, and how immigration has been a technical issue for the immigrants when it comes to the topic of the United States of America. This essay will focus on analyzing the characters so as to determine how Chadha demonstrates as to how immigrants face trouble as they are trying to integrate themselves in the American society.
The book has six main characters, which make up the entire storyline of the novel as well as establish the six different points of views that are represented in the book. However, immigration is one theme that is centralized on all six characters in the book. Immigration is also related to the cultural backgrounds that each character is associated with within the book. This allows the characters to be more diversified as they try to accumulate strength in order to integrate themselves within the American society. However, these multicultural differences play in important part in further clarifying the differences that each character faces in order to integrate within the American society. How these multicultural problems occur and why they occur have reasons which primarily focus on the issue of immigration. Hence, every character will be explained in deep details so as to bring a more viable outcome of their problems and differences in viewpoints according to the theme of immigration and integration in the American society.
The first character to be discussed as perhaps the most important character in the entire novel. The name of this character is Vic. He is the most important character in the book since he resembles the character of someone who is left out to feel different from what is considered “normal” in the American society. Vic is shown to be bullied and faces constant racism due to his cultural differences. This enables Vic to become a rich target for bullies who reside in his school, such as Joe. Vic is also the most elusive character in the book due to his challenges that make him more susceptible to bullying and racism, some factors which are common for most people that are trying to integrate into the American society, but belong to different cultural groups. Vic is also a more different character in the book in comparison to other characters since he has very different interests and his brain is considerably more intellectual than most of the people that surround him in his life within the novel. Vic is shown to be the kind of kid who avenges harsh treatment through orchestrated and planned attacks rather than diligent physical assault that could render him in trouble. Vic is shown to be the kind of kid who has struggles ever since he moves to the United States of America. This is because Vic is half Indian, and half Latvian, much like his sister Isabella. However, Vic is considered as an Indian by the majority of people in his school, who have stereotyped him due to the traits and traditions that he carries, most of which are related to Sikhism, a form of religion and cultural traditions that are found in India, in the province of Punjab. Vic is shown to struggle because of these mishaps and that becomes quite prevalent when Vic is constantly bullied and called names such as Ali Baba and Babu, all names that are associated as racist insults and racist bullying comments towards Indian kids or children who belong to the Indian culture in one way or the other. The sad thing, as said by the author herself, is the fact that the bully does not even consider to realize the fact that Vic is not an Indian, only partially Indian. Such moments and instances make it abundantly clear as to how Vic struggles in integrating into the American society after immigrating to the United States of America.
The second character to be discussed in light of these struggles and similar problems is Isabella. Now, Isabella is also half Indian, and half Latvian like Vic. However, she has different problems to struggle with while immigrating into the United States of America. In her Indian culture, women are seen as gender roles that are typically associated with housework and supporting roles rather than in leading roles and scenarios where such female genders have to make entire decisions about their careers or someone else’s life. Isabella is also seen as a child who suffers from nervous vomiting repulsively, every time she gets in such a situation where she is bound to get nervous . However, as soon as Isabella comes to the United States of America by immigrating to the country, she is seen as someone completely different from the female gender roles that are represented in the United States of America. She has lost meaning to all her past experiences and roles since they are not represented in the same way in the United States of America as they are represented in India. Therefore, this causes a lot of concern for Isabella in her early tenure of life. This is because Isabella is convinced by one of her closest new friends to take part in a school drama play, something that is bound to make her nervous. However, Isabella, under peer pressure, accepts this challenge and then later on, she sees her best friend withdraw from the play and ask Isabella to take her place instead. Now, Isabella is someone who has never led anything in her life, even if she had the desire to do so. This is because she was expected to have supporting gender roles as per her culture that runs through her family. However, she now has no choice but to take the leading role, which causes her more than one issue over the course of time. This sees Isabella struggle with new gender roles in a new culture where she has to integrate into the American society after immigrating to the United States of America.
The third character to be discussed in this novel is Paul. Paul is the father of both Vic and Isabella. He is also a Sikh, part of the Sikhism religion. He is, therefore, completely Indian. He faces several business losses due to constant roadwork that continues to take place in front of his Kwicki filling station. Paul is seen as a character who has to settle for less since he wants his family to survive in the new harsh environments that they are enduring in the meantime. This also sees Paul to transform into a gentler and kind character, as opposed to the characters of people that are present in Paul’s workplace. He is not treated as fairly as other people are treated within the working environments of his workplace. Hence, the Indian father has a hard time gaining his human rights within the pale and therefore, he becomes target of a shameful society where he tried to work as peacefully as possible, so as not to be treated differently in comparison to other people. However, this is so not the case in the novel as Paul is continuously harassed, most of the times on purpose, while he is regarded and insulted as an Indian fellow. Moreover, Paul is faced with the situation of handling his own son from racists and bullies at school. This was evident when Vic came home to Paul and Paul had to straighten Vic’s nose, since it had been broken. Paul had to do this on numerous occasions, not to correct the nose of Vic but to look after Vic as he was vulnerable to racism and other threats that pose to new immigrants who are trying to integrate into the American society. This constant reminder to him of his Indian culture, and the constant insults that he is drenched with due to his Indian culture shows the true face of difficulties that Paul faces as he tried to integrate within the new American society that he sees, all the while trying to remember that his immigration to the United States of America was not a bad choice, but rather a good decision that needs to be upheld, even if circumstances worsen over the course of years that he lives within the society.
According to Chadha, immigrants struggle with how much they must integrate in the culture of U.S and more in their daily lives. It is identified that Americans are the least of any religious group to be registered to vote. The analysis show that Americans still struggle with problems such as whether to befriend non-Muslims. It is recognized that most of the recent inflow of immigrants demonstrates that they are integrating well according to the five indicators such as socioeconomic achievement, residential segregation, language proficiency, political participation and social interaction. According to the research of Chadha, children have the most difficult adjustment to U.S culture as they rarely have contact with mainstream social customs and norms until they enter into elementary school. Previous studies have shown the resiliency of the key issues in order to provide support and ameliorate stress. Chadha demonstrates that political experience can be characterized as a struggle for a legal recognition and greater integration. The mother of the two children, Vic and Isabella, is Maija. Maija is a Latvian born and her culture, therefore, tremendously represents the Latvian culture. Maija is quite an essential figure in the novel since she is the one who has supernatural abilities, if one can call premonitions supernatural. Her “sightseeing” abilities allow her to see more destruction, chaos, and disappointment for the family. This allows Maija to struggle between two ideologies that are making life extremely difficult for her throughout the novel. Maija is seen as the other parent who continuously looks after Vic, in a way to allow Vic to understand the new society that he has come to experience. Moreover, Maija is the mother that tries to comfort everyone else in the family that everything will turn out okay at one given point or the other, when she, herself, agrees to the fact that their family will endure more pain rather than peace in coming years, due to the visions that she has had. Moreover, Maija is also struggling to keep up with the roles that other housewives in her neighborhood play. In this manner, Maija is seen as a struggling parent, not born with the necessary parenting communication skills, but still a mother who would adore her kids nonetheless . Maija has had her own share of surviving and finding it difficult to integrate into the American society ever since she immigrated to the United States of America, particularly in Cleveland. She was a child that had faced isolation as soon as she had immigrated, not because of other children not accepting her but because her father had passed away before the immigration and her mom would not give her as much emotions and attachment as was needed by Maija. Needless to say, this behavior had vanished by the time both Vic and Isabella had been born. Moreover, this new integration method that Maija was trying to adopt after her immigration to the United States of America is what makes Maija as fascinating as a character within the novel. She plays an integral part in defining how difficult it is to integrate into the American Society after the process of immigration has been successfully, and painfully, achieved.
The fifth character to be discussed is Oma. Oma is the mother of Maija, and grandmother of both Vic and Isabella. She is seen as one of the cleverest characters in the novel. This is particularly because Oma has had her own experiences of immigration during world war two where she had to evade Nazis as well as Russians while she moved from Latvia to Poland in a bid to find peace and new establishments to reside in. Oma is seen as an important figure to the children since she is one character that has integrated well into the American society after the process of immigration.
However, Oma’s tales and stories of how she immigrated to the different places that she has been to, and how she was able to survive using her cunning abilities is one aspect that allows he rot be, perhaps the only character in the book, who has fully integrated into the American Society after immigration, before the novel has even started altogether. Therefore, Oma is an essential character to focus upon when the problem of immigration and integration into the American society are discussed within the noel. She has also made it evident that it takes up to decades for a person to integrate successfully into the American society after immigration, and how hard it is to achieve such integration as the people have to actually fight for such freedom and rights that they are originally promised right after they immigrate into the United States of America.
The final character of the book is Papaji, the grandfather of the children, and the father of Paul. Papaji is an Indian born Sikh, who follows the religion of Sikhism, much like Paul and Vic. However, Papaji has lived most of his life in India and has travelled to the United States of America for the first time. In a way, he has immigrated to the United States of America and integrating into the American society has been far from easy for him. First, he is faced with the task of apologizing to his son, for the times he neglected his son when Paul was younger and more cheerful.
Secondly, Papaji cannot fathom the different landscapes and cultures that are presented in the United States of America. This becomes quite evident when Papaji starts recollecting the weather and how it is unsuitable for the American soil, in comparison to the Indian soil, which is the best soil for cultivation during monsoon season, according to Papaji . Moreover, Papaji makes other remarks that are not known to anyone else in the family. He has a different accent as opposed to anyone else in the family, let alone the new American society that he is going to face in his coming time.
Hence, in this manner, the character of Papaji also struggles to integrate in the American society after the process of immigration has allowed him to successfully emigrate to the United States of America from India.
Therefore, it is discussed as to how each character feels differently about the American society in relation to their own lives and their own likes as well as dislikes. Gender roles, ethnocentrism, ethnic genealogy, location, religion, and gender roles are all laid out in sequence for each character in the novel as their struggle to integrate into the American society after the process of immigration is narrated over and over again. It is also discussed as to how each character faces a different problem form one another when encountering the difficulties that hamper the characters’ integration in the American society. The concepts and ideologies that differ for the people who already live in the American society, in comparison to the concepts and ideologies that the six main characters of the novel have in relation to their own culture and their recent societies, are also briefly described in the entire essay. Hence, it can be concluded that while the book has displayed a lot of viewpoints in defining the book’ overall nature and aim, the struggles that the various main characters have to face and overcome in order to integrate in the American society after the process of immigration has allowed them to successfully immigrate to the United States of America is what makes the novel a must read.
Chadha, Olivia. Balance of Fragile Things. Ashland Creek Press, 2012. Print.
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