The Water Told Me Analysis

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Short Story Analysis The theme of the story deals with the struggles of the protagonist who is an immigrant living in a new cultural ambiance and society. The author is successful in portraying the difficulties that are faced by an immigrant person who aims to make his transition to a new urban milieu. It becomes very clear that the person in context is in a hostile milieu away from his home, and he is endeavoring to fit into the societal ambiance in some way or the other avoiding the cultural, ethnic and racial barriers. Mistry leaves readers feeling the inner core of the immigrant protagonist who succeeds in portraying the impediment of his life in a new cultural ambiance. While he had come to the place with dreams of achieving excellence,…show more content…
The author uses water symbolically in the course of the story. The protagonist opines, “The water terrified me” (Mistry) Here, water is symbolic of the hostile milieu the character finds him in the alien land. He is scared to mingle in the new ambiance and is faced with impediments. The culture, society and people work as hostilities for him- all of which have been symbolically represented by the water of the swimming pool. Thus, learning to be in the water is symbolic of his endeavor to fit into the new ambiance in Canada. The author goes on to use a fixation on the body so as to confront the experience of the immigrant. The bodily attributes are symbolic of the psyche and the perspective of the protagonist of the story in context. At one point the protagonist says, “I wonder how everything will stay in place, not that I’m boastful about my endowments. I try them on, and feel that the tip of my member lingers perilously close to the exit. Too close, in fact, to conceal.” (Mistry) Thus, the person is skeptical that his Parsi identity would fail to be contained within a Canadian identity. As such, one might feel that a part of the protagonist wishes to be able to assimilate into the new cultural milieu he is in. But, in reality he wishes to have a harmony between his Parsi identity and the Canadian culture. This becomes clear when the protagonist symbolically talks about being able “to taste the pleasures of (his) delectable Asian brown body.” (Mistry) The author goes on to portray the struggles of a brown immigrant in Canadian milieu through more symbolic representations. The protagonist says in the course of the story while explicating the reaction of three white skinned people of Canada that, “One of them holds his nose. The second begins to hum, under his breath: Paki Paki, smell like curry. The third says to the first two:
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