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The Other Family

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Monitha Leng

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of The Other Family

The Other Family by Himani Bannerji Introduction Characters Setting Plot Conflict Point of View Theme Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? That no one would accept you for who you are? Don't worry you're not alone!

In the story "The Other Family", it's all about acceptance. Accepting yourself for who you are, accepting your culture, your family, your uniqueness.

Sit back and enjoy the journey through the analyzation of "The Other Family". In the story, you meet the Mother and the Daughter. In the story “The Other Family” it is told in third person because they narrator is not a character in the story and they do not speak in first person.

They're a limited omniscient narrator, as they know only the thoughts of a few of the character in the story.

They're an authoritative narrator because they are not a character in the story, emotionally involved and we have no reason to doubt their story. In the story when the mother states that she took the daughter away from her people, language and moved here to Canada, she struggles with her guilt and regret throughout the story over her decision, which causes her to be unhappy.

We could also argue that this could be Person vs. Nature conflict because she has trouble adapting to the world around her, which fuels her fear for her daughters adaption to Canada. In the story this conflict isn't really resolved, as in the end the mother doesn't appear so we don't know whether or not the problem gets resolved. The theme that was identified in the short story "The Other Family" is it's okay to be different and we don’t choose our place in the world, it chooses us. The mother is a recent Indian immigrant. She has dark hair, black eyes and dark skin. She is married with one child and is the protagonist of the story.

She's a round character, as her emotions are very raw and real, but also a static character, as her key trait (regret) doesn't change throughout the story. In the beginning of the story, it starts out like a normal day. She watches her daughter walk home from school and eats dinner with her Once she sees the picture her daughter drew, she becomes very emotional, lashes out at her and begins to cry. After she calms down, she tucks her daughter in and then goes to bed. The Mother Basic Information/Looks Actions Spoken Words “How about you sit in my lap? No? OK, sit next to me then and we will squeeze in somehow.” This shows her distant relationship with her daughter.

"You said you drew our family. This is not it, is it?” She says this to her daughter when she shows her the picture she drew of her family, she knows her daughter wants to fit in in her predominately white school/class.

“Is this the family you would like to have? Don't you want us anymore? You want to be a mem-sahib, a white girl?” She wants her daughter to have her own identity and not have to feel that being white is necessarily the “right” option. She's also afraid of losing her daughter to the white community.

“What will happen to you? What did I do to you?” Guilt consumes her because she regrets bringing her daughter to Canada and putting her in a country where she doesn't feel like she fits in. Thinks/Feels “First I bring her here, and then I try to make her feel guilty for wanting to be the same as the others.”
She took her daughter away from her own people and language.
Seeing the picture made her feel anger, sadness, and distant from her daughter.
She wants her daughter to like herself, her heritage and her culture.
Panic at the thought of losing her daughter.
Despair and guilt for lashing out at her daughter.
Her daughter will be ashamed of her someday and they'd be enemies.
Fear of the daughter never accepting her culture and always wanting to be white.
Remorse because she was the cause of her daughters yearning to be white.
She hated her child in fear of being rejected. What Others Think/Feel About Her Her daughter thinks she's pitiful and emotional, but nevertheless still loves her and values her opinion. The Daughter Basic Information/Looks The daughter is an only child, and has a mother and a father. She's a recent Indian immigrant, is young, around 7 to 9 years old and attends school.

She's the supporting character and a round character as she's very easy to relate to and she seems like a real person. She's a dynamic character, because her key trait (her wanting to be white) changes by the end of the story.

She is fine boned with black hair framing her face. She has dark skin, a scar on her nose, dark eyes, a brownish pink mouth and is little/short. Actions The daughter's day starts out normally, as she walks home alone in the snow from school and then eats dinner with her mother.

After dinner, she showed the picture she drew to her mother and watches her reactions, which eventually worsen and then the two begin to argue.

When the fight was over and her mother was asleep, she looked at herself in the mirror, and began to accept who she is.

The next day she went to school and finished her painting, adding her own family to the picture. Spoken Words “You aren't listening to me, Mother.” With her patient tone of voice, it implies that (her mother not listening to her) happens pretty often, and she's tolerant of it. A factor in their distant relationship.

“What happened? Don't you like it?” Values her mother's opinion

“I drew it from a book, all of our books have this same picture of the family.” She's being influenced into thinking that society's way of thinking is always right.

“It's not finished yet, the books I looked at didn't have something. Can I finish it now?” She realized that “they” (referring to the authority figures) aren't always right and that her family picture would still be right even if it isn't in the textbook.

“It's the other family.” Referring to the family that isn't included in the textbook, her own family. What Others Think/Feel About Her Her mother feels guilty over bringing her daughter to Canada and that she took her daughter away from her own people and language. She also thinks that she's going to lose her daughter to society, her daughter will be ashamed of her, and they'd be enemies. What She Thinks/Feels In the beginning, she wants to be white like the rest of her class and the families in her textbooks, causing her to feel insecure about herself.

When her mother sees the picture and scolds her, she feels guilty, angry, defiant,cornered and confused when her mother lashes out at her for it.

In the end, she accepts her culture and heritage causing her tof feel more confident. In the story, in most of it, it's snowing, which relates to the story because it's like the relationship between the mother and the daughter - cold and distant. The sky is often mentioned and is described as a sheer blue sky and later a steel grey sky. Weather Mood/Atmosphere The mother is constantly regretting her decision to come to Canada, which is a big factor in creating the mood, making it more tense.

During the parts when the mother was lecturing her daughter and they were arguing, that was also a factor in the mood, causing it to become very angry, and regretful.

The story takes a turn in the end as the atmosphere lightens up when the daughter accepts herself and finishes the painting. In the story, the Mise en Scéne was very subtle. Time of warmth, hot steaming food on the table, watching her daughter walk home in the snow, scraping of chairs, the scar on her nose and "rushed her over like a tide", are a few of the examples of the Mise en Scéne in The Other Family. Symbol Mise en Scéne The snow in the beginning of the story, symbolizes the cold and distant relationship between the mother and the daughter, as they weren't very close. The mother hated her daughter in fear of being rejected, causing a wall to create in between the two of them. Introduction The daughter shows her mother the picture she drew of her family, a white family with blonde hair and blue eyes. Her mother is shocked and tries not to frighten her daughter with her powerful emotions. Inciting Incident Introduces the mother and the daughter as the daughter is walking home from school in the snow while the mother watches her and thinks about her regrets in life. Rising Action The daughter feels unloved and anxious as she thinks her mother doesn't like the picture she drew, and her mother begins to lecture her. Climax The mother and daughter get in a heated argument about the picture regarding race while the mother loses control of her emotions and says words she regrets later in the story. Falling Action After the mother goes to sleep, the daughter looks at herself in the mirror and finally begins to accept herself for who she is. Resolution The daughter goes to school and finishes the painting, adding an Indian family to her painting, showing that she accepts her culture and isn't ashamed anymore. Person vs. Person Person vs. Self This conflict is when the daughter is rejecting herself because of the colour of her skin and wants to be like the majority of the people in Canada-white, but near the end story, she begins to accept herself, resolving that particular conflict. Person vs. Self Another conflict or the main conflict would be when the daughter shows her mother the picture that she drew of the white family. This created conflict between the mother and daughter because the mother realized that her daughter wanted to be white, and didn't accept herself, scaring her and causing her to lash out at her daughter. In this story the little girl didn't accept herself. She wanted to be white, because her classmates were, and she wanted to fit in. The truth is, we are made up of our differences, no one remembers the one who “fit in”, they remember the one who wasn’t like the rest! Society makes us think that if we are different, we should hide it, but really we should embrace our uniqueness as it makes us who we are. At the beginning of the story she didn't accept herself, but near the end she took off her top, looked at the colour of her skin, and she knew that she couldn't change herself. She realized that she had to live with it and make the best of it. The sad thing, is we all have something that we want to change about ourselves, whether it’s internal or external, but you shouldn’t change for other people, you need to learn to please yourself because once you are at peace with yourself, no one can bring you down. Monitha Leng Created By Jessica Butler Tanya Peters Nick Jraige and
Evan Mastronardi Mitchell Chausse Brooke Banks The story takes place in Canada, recently around 1990's to mid 2000's. The End
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