Essay on "Clothes” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Words: 936
Pages: 4

The short store “Clothes” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is about a young Indian woman, Sumita, and her cultural transition to America that is symbolized by her clothes and the color of her clothes. The traditional Indian attire for a woman is a sari and each one has its own purpose. Her clothes also indicate her progression from daughter, to wife, to woman.
The story starts off with the bride to be in a yellow sari preparing to meet her future husband by bathing in a lake. She describes the yellow sari as a sunflower after rain. Yellow here could possible signify new times to come or peace. The bath she was taking is relaxing her to the idea that she is about to marry a man she has not even met, as well as the thought of losing her
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She is turning to American traditions which, in her belief would be very worldly. [Indian tradition and how Americans can be very offensive]
Now over in America we can slowly see her Indian beliefs start to drift. She is given America clothes by her new husband, clothes that are tight fitting, clothes that showed all of her curves that the sari’s had coved for so many years. Sumita would model her light blue jeans and orange t-shirt that had “Great American” spelled across the front, but only in the safety of the room and only to her husband. With marriage comes change and Sumita has now change from a daughter to a wife.
In summary colors can symbolize a lot of things. In many different cultures we use colors to describe a feeling or a way of life. For Sumita the colors of her outfits played a major role in the way she felt about herself. Her blue sari represented the color of possibilities and made her feel better about the trip and not knowing her husband. For instance, on the plane ride to the United States she started to feel physically sick about embarking on her new life. In order to make herself feel better she started thinking about all her beautiful saris that were in her suitcase such as her purple silk saris and cotton woven ones that reminded her of the Bengal countryside. She describes green saris that are like young bananna plants and grey ones that remind her of a lake from back