Everything Was Goodbye Essay Analysis Of A Desi Woman's Life

1306 words - 6 pages

ENG4U

The Effects of Suppression on a Desi Woman's Life and Sense of Self Regarding the Novel Everything Was Goodbye

Due to widespread sexism, misogyny, and the entirety of the patriarchy, women,
specifically women of colour, are under constant suppression in modern-day society. Partly due
to traditional and cultural ideologies, women in desi culture have a difficult time living their
everyday lives. Society allows for a clear power imbalance for women that convinces women
that they are inferior. This idea does not allow women to create an image of themselves but
instead does it for themselves. In the novel Everything Was Goodbye by Gurjinder Basran, Meena is
shown to be struggling with the way her life is playing out. Pressures from various factors in her
everyday life make her feel as though she is unable to do anything about her well-being. She has
been forced to place outdated notions of women upon herself throughout her life. The culture
surrounding her is another factor that continues to push her down. Past events within her family
shape her state of mind. The people in her life play a large part in contributing to her parochial
notions of what a woman should look and act like. Communication between Meena and her
mother is often a difficult feat. She is the biggest deterrent in Meenas early life. The clear
suppression from various factors creates a standard in which Meena struggles to find her place
in a life that is built against her.

Throughout her life, Meena is raised in a way that forces outdated notions of gender and
norms onto her. Through a closed-minded culture, she finds it difficult to create a reality in which
she strays from expectations. She learned her place in the world from a young age when she
has a conversation with her sister, And when do I get to do what I want? When you get
married. When Im married? Then Ill just be someone elses daughter and someones wife.
When will I get to be who I am? This is who you are, (Basran 31). Meena learns when talking
to her sister, Serena, that she has no option but to follow the expectations that are set for her.
She learns that her life and identity will rely on belonging to someone. Women throughout desi
culture feel the same; their only real expectation from others is to become somebodys instead
of somebodies. Meenas entire perspective on the world stems from her position in her own
culture. After a few weeks of reuniting with Liam, he and Meena find themselves in an
argument. She angrily yells, Youve no idea what its like being me. Being Indian and all that
shit that comes with it, (168). Meena believes that everything wrong with her life and all the
choices that are difficult to make is part of being Indian. Liam responds, Meena, life is full of
choices. Thats not about being Indian. Thats just life, (168). Meena, living her close-minded
life up until this point, had never considered this to be true. Her entire stance on life was that
she ...

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