suitable boyfriend (Kareem), pre-med or pre-law, U of C
Phil (a white, all star football player), filmmaker, NYU
Theme Development #1
Maya what's wrong?
Giuliana DiGregoryProgress Check #3: Theme
Theme Development #2
No. You will fo to U of C and study to become a lawyer.
A theme I found in the story is that culture does not always define who a person is. This theme is brought up throughout the entire story and plays a big role in the climax as well.
Theme Development #3
My first example of theme is right at the beginning of the story, when Maya is forced to attend a very Indian wedding instead of going to MORP. Maya's family is Indian and Muslim, so she's not surprised when she's forced to go to an Indian themed wedding. Maya would rather be having fun with Violet and her friends at MORP because she really doesn't care all that much for the wedding. Maya's thinking, "But I'm walking across a noxious parking lot with my parents toward a wedding where a well-meaning aunt will certainly pinch my cheeks like I'm two years old, and a kindly uncle will corner me about my college plans with the inevitable question: premed or prelaw?" (page 3). She is also very uncomfortable wearing her gold jewelry and high heels. This connects to my theme because although Maya is Indian, she doesn't like everything Indians do. For example, Maya likes wearing jeans, not dresses or heals. She also would rather be doing more "American" things than be attending a very Indian wedding. Just because Maya is Indian doesn't mean she wants spend every second of her life acting like one. She wants to fit in more and accomplish that by doing more American things.
Another example of the theme is whenever Maya tells her parents about NYU. Maya's parents have always had it set in their brains that Maya will go to the University of Chicago and study in either pre-med or pre-law. They think this way because that's how most immigrant parents think. They want their kids to be successful and feel that in order to accomplish that they need to go to either med school or law school. However, Maya doesn't want to do that. She wants to go to NYU and study film. She says,"No, Mom. You and Dad agreed. Not me. I want to go to NYU. It's one of the best film schools in the country" (page 127). Maya doesn't want to follow the traditional culture because that's not who she is. She wants to become a film director and make movies. Just because Maya's Muslim and Indian doesn't mean she has to become a doctor or lawyer, and that's exactly how she feels.
I want to go to NYU and study film in school.
My last example of the theme occurs when Brian attacks Maya for being Muslim. The first time Brian attacked Maya was with words twice and he was saying that the terrorist attack is somehow Maya's fault because of her religion. Brian says, "Why don't you people leave America if you hate it so much?" (page 157). Maya fought back by saying that she was born in America and that he was a racist for saying that and other things too. However, things escalated quickly when Brain physically attacked Maya during their school field trip. Brian doesn't understand that just because people are Muslim doesn't mean that they're going to perform terrorist attacks. Brian just has a strong hatred for Muslims because his brother lost his leg fighting them and he doesn't understand that nothing that happened has anything to do with Maya. This plays into my theme because not every Muslim hates Americans or wants to be a terrorist. Brian is so full of hatred that he doesn't understand how Maya and her family are the complete opposite of terrorists. He sees Maya and her family as a threat because of her religion, but all they want is to be accepted as who they are and as regular Americans.
Is the terrorist your uncle?
Shut up, Brian!
Let's go, Maya. Ignore him.
The solution to my theme is that Maya will attend NYU and her parents will finally learn that they can't control her life anymore. Maya ends up finding her voice and speaking up to her parents. She tells them that she's going to New York and they cannot stop her. Maya's parents don't immediately agree with her decision, but over time they ease up to her again. They finally realize that this is her life and she should do what makes her happy. Maya's parents eventually accept that their strict Indian and Muslim culture is not who Maya truly is.
Welcome to NYU
I'm finally going to pursue my dream of becoming a filmmaker!