Comparative Essay B/W “Memories of Montreal and Richness” and “Lend me your light”

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Comparative Essay B/W  “Memories of Montreal and Richness” and “Lend me your light”

The following essay focuses on a comparison between the cultural practices detailed out in the two articles “Memories of Montreal and Richness” and “Lend me your light.” Both articles have a unique exposition of the significance of cultural practices. In addition to this, both of them explored quite a few cultural practices despite the fact that both of them are based on a different cultural setting. The former one is based on the Canadian culture and difficulties faced by Milstein and his son in that culture (Abellaand Troper, 54). On the other hand, the article “Lend me your light” is based on Indian setting and discussed the common cultural practices faced in Bombay by Mistry while living in the same society since childhood (Morey, 18). While reading the two article, the first commonness identified was that the two outlined the carefree childhood and youthfulness enjoyed by the authors in their native place. This can be clearly seen by the description of wonderful and soothing childhood memories described by the authors.

Talking about the story “Lend me your Light” by Rohinton Mistry, the author has clearly explained in-depth the ethnic selfhood of immigrants and emphasized the hardships faced by the Diasporas. In the story, he talked about a person named ‘Jamshed’ who is ambitious and focused on his bright future dreams. Being a victim of the large-scale corruption in India, he decides to migrate to America but this does not reduce his miseries too. Mistry defines how Jamshed got captivated between the two worlds (Chandra, 199). The first was the one he has forsaken and second was the one that promises success and prosperity. The article highlighted the reality of the society that an emigrant will always consider as a foreigner and that makes him sad whenever he looks back and feels sad for the world he left behind and get alienated from his people. It was realised that “Lend Me Your Light” explains the various liberal ways to become a part of new land. It has been found in Mistry’s writing that he writes around a particular identity or theme (Malieckal, 220). In lend me your light, he has written around the ethnic identity of the migrated people and emphasised on the issues such Diasporas encountered. The story explores the feelings of unsuccessfulness and denial. Overall, the writer carried out an interrogation of the experiences and feelings of being an emigrant and unsuccessful attempts at escaping from the native place (Genetsch, 54).

On the other hand, “Memories of Montreal and Richness” written by Moses Milstein tried to expose the distinct cultural era of the 1950s. The story revolves around the perspective of an Austrian 7 years old boy. In the story, currently, the boy and his father live in Vancouver. In the story, the author recollects the memories of growing up in Montreal (Tulchinsky, 14). While reading the book, one can get the subtle nostalgic feeling of how things got changed with time. The overall façade of the streets, urban experience, cultural diversity, and economic conditions have changed in the generation. Moses felt that these characteristics of a city cannot be duplicated for his 7 years old son who is ageing in a more homogeneous world. The essay talked about generational, ethnic, and class differences. It also discussed the gains that are entailing losses (Tulchinsky, 34). The best part of the article was the recollecting description of the street given by Mosses. While describing the alley’s characteristics, the author talked about a Jewish Tailor who had been a victim of holocaustic perspective and the mass hatred Jewish people had faced during the World Wars (Abellaand Troper, 19). The writer expressed the cultural legacy of painful experiences Jews have faced in the time of Wars. In the whole article, the description of the neighbourhood and transformation it has undergone brings a strong and deep sense of identity by comparing the ethnic stereotypes.

The two articles are different in a sense that both tried to bring out a different side of society and its features. While in the “Memories of Montreal and Richness” Moses spoke about the cultural stereotypes and diversity that he had experienced on the streets of Montreal while growing up there. He recollected the sense of cherishment and enjoyment he had witnessed on the alleys of Montreal that probably his son might not have while growing up in the high class, a homogeneous society of the Vancouver. In contrast to this, Rohinton Mistry detailed out the other side of the society in the different country. He talked about the poor life experiences and conditions along with high discrimination and corruption in India. These prevailing conditions had forced Jamshed to leave the country and reside in Canada. Both stories give an insight into different cultural practices and explain how the development of social consciousness takes place to strengthen diversity.

Before ending on a high note, it is important to understand that the assignment has tried to demonstrate the cultural practices that have been described in the two articles: “Lend Me Your Light” and “Montreal and Richness.” In the books, the authors have described two stories and the cultural diversity in them (Chandra, 204). The stories discussed how cultural practices vary from one country to another and while reading the two, it was noticed that the authors respond differently to the surrounding experiences and locations he has visited.

Works Cited

Abella, Irving, and Harold Martin Troper.  None is too many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948. University of Toronto Press, 2012.

Chandra, N. D. R.  Contemporary Indian writing in English: Critical Perceptions. Sarup& Sons, 2005.

Genetsch, Martin.  The Texture of Identity: The Fiction of MG Vassanji, Neil Bissoondath and Rohinton Mistry. Toronto: TSAR, 2007.

Malieckal, Bindu. "Rohinton Mistry."  Asian American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook  (2000): 219-28.

Morey, Peter.  Rohinton Mistry. Manchester University Press, 2010.

Tulchinsky, Gerald.  Canada's Jews: A people's journey. University of Toronto Press, 2008.

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