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November 2018: Family Life


Guiding Questions

  1. Are you close to any immigrants?

Yes: have you asked them about the circumstances bringing them to the US? Have you asked them about their families as they settled in the US? No: what barriers exist to forming those relationships?

  1. Ajay’s mother seems to have lost everything that marked her self worth - her job as a teacher, her eldest son, and the agency created by effectively being single in India. What types of coping mechanisms did she employ and what mechanisms have you seen others use when experiencing severe loss?

  2. What is the American Dream? How does the fear of poverty play into it for the Mishras?

  3. What are the implications of confounding illness with nobility and holiness?

  4. Ajay casually distances himself from other immigrants because he sees a hierarchy. Have you practiced this? Do you still practice hierarchy maintenance? Dow did page 137-138 make you react?

  5. Superstition as community building. When does imagination become power and when does it become oppression?

  6. There are several mentions of class and caste while in the American context. What traditions, designed to hurt, came to the US with your families?

  7. Like his discovery of Hemingway and writing, has anything given you an unexpected jolt in understanding your worth?

  8. Asian families are not immune from mental health changes and addiction. How did the community’s reaction to Mr. Mishra make you reflect on these issues in your own life?

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