Comparisons Between “The Tenant” and “Lust”
In Mukherjee’s story “The Tenant”, Maya is an Indian woman who immigrates to the United States at the age of nineteen. She only remembers a little of her childhood, but what happens to her grandmother and her great-aunt still has impact on her. She recalls “her grandmother had been married off at the age of five in a village now in Bangladesh. Her great-aunt had been burned to death over a dowry problem” (102). These two incidents give us a sense that in what kind of society she is being brought up. It also reveals that women are always the ones who get suppressed in Indian. As she is growing up in Indian, Maya also has to undergo a lot o
f things that Indian women ought to go through at their adolescent period. "Maya has slept with married men, with nameless men, with men little more than boys, but never with an Indian man. She "had been trained to speak softly, arrange flowers, sing, be pliant" (102). "She feels ugly an unworthy" of the fact she is facing now (107). Maya is the type of person who rarely shares her private sexual life with her friends. "The reputation she"tmd gained, before Cedar Falls, for "indiscretions"" (101) tell us that she sometimes makes love with the men she picks up only for the sake"tms of sex, not for the sake"tms of love. Ironically, she finally comes to a realization of what love really is when he ultimately meets an Indian man. The reason she has this kind of attitude towards sex is because she does not really know what love is. Her strong resistance to Indian men also influences the way she chooses her sex partners. Not only does Maya"tms Indian cultural background and experiences determine her behavior, it also gives her an impression that there are no good Indian men. But most people know that she has plenty of men whom she sleeps with. As she proclaims that "all Indian men are wife beaters" (101), we can see that Maya does not like Indian men and does not get along with them well. She realizes "she has accomplished nothing" but sex (107).
Some topics in this essay:
Maya Indian, Cedar Falls, Indian Never,
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