Silver Pavements Golden Roofs

898 words 4 pages
Moving to America, for many, has been a reason for opportunity and prosperity. Through persistence, hard work and struggles, they pursue to find success in achieving the ‘American Dream’. One of the major struggles is maintaining one’s traditional values and their individuality while assimilating and not forgetting who he or she really is. The narrator, Jayanti, in “Silver Pavements, Golden Roofs”, by Chitra Divakaruni, illustrates a good example of how a person loses their individuality and self-identity to do whatever it takes to assimilate and fit into the society. From the beginning of the story, Jayanti shows signs of assimilation and acceptance, to become an American. Before reaching America, she promises to give herself a typical …show more content…

Furthermore, her Uncle’s reaction shocks Jayanti even more when, “the back of his hand catches Aunt Pratima across the mouth”, because she stepped out of the house without his permission(82).
After overlooking these events, Jayanti feels the need to assimilate and blend in into her new found enviroment, as she says, “ I notice that the snow has covered my own hands so they are no longer brown but white white white. And now it makes sense that the pain should be part of each other” (83). The repetition of ‘white’ shows the urge of becoming ‘white’ because she sees white as the only color that will not be discriminated against. And by ‘pain’, she refers to the struggles she will have to face so she can assimilate and feel accepted in the new environment she has decided to live in, as she states, “until they’re completely covered. Until they do not hurt at all” (83).
Jayanti’s urgency to assimilate compels her to change herself just so she can blend in and become the person the society would accept. In this process, she loses her true identity just so she can achieve the American dream. This short story is a good explanation of Steve Forbes’s quote, “ The essence of the American dream is the understanding that we are here on this earth and in this land for a higher purpose…
Anything that stands in the way of the dream, we must fight. Anything that enhances the dream, we


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