Role Within A Role

Culturally, there has always been a major emphasis on the way that the roles of gender play in one’s society. It permeates through every social and family structure, paving the way for a strong and long history of influence. In Bhumika, the character Usha, as a child, lived in a time where the men were the head of the household. Without any hesitation, Usha’s father would willingly discipline his wife but give his daughter compassion and freedom in the way she can think. Throughout the movie, Usha has a gift of being able to entertain that affords her the opportunity to be an important role for her family. What becomes intriguing, is Usha’s freedom to have choices and what she decides with those choices. Ultimately, it seemed like all she wanted to do and be was the traditional housewife; from the men she chose to have relationships with, she fantasized about something that she thought was there but never really was. Her husband had a hard time being in the role he was in with their family, because he was not the traditional “man being the bread winner”. Usha’s family suffered from this, with miscommunication with her mother and her expectations, her daughter and how she should be influenced, and Usha’s fight to connect her happiness while confining to what is expected of a woman. In conclusion, Usha finds herself alone because she cannot follow the role that her culture asks of her. Years of tradition cannot be broken with just one person.

In the movie Mirch Masala, one of the characters that wanted to get her daughter an education said that change would have to be a slow process that could come with time. The whole plot of that movie concluded with a radical action against what the community’s role should have been. Collectively, the village stood up for not just one woman, but for the freedom to what they should be allowed to be.

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