Instructor Mrs. Ayik
Writing 01 Sect.25
9 November, 2012
The Only Difference Between Us Is the Social Class
The Space Between Us, written by Thrity Umrigar, the author presented a woman named Sera, who is different from other characters in the novel due to her social class. Her family is more important than anything for her, as her reputation to the society. First, her actions and thoughts are driven by her desire to keep her family together. She is willing to do anything for her lovely family, such as keep suffering domestic violence from her husband Feroz. Second, the relationship with her daughter Dinaz; Sera is jealous with Bhima because her daughter always tries to be on Bhima’s side when she does not let her sit on the couch for chewing tobacco. Sera know that her daughter have feelings towards Bhima and she sacrifice the mother’s rules to not break a part her family. If she put a stop to Dinaz on not letting her be close to Bhima, Dinaz can turn against Sera and she is trying to avoid that conflict that can be between them. Third, Sera betrayal Bhima because the son in law convinced her that Bhima stole money from them.
Sera is a sensitive woman who tries to keep her family together as any other family. Her relationship with Feroz began as lovely couples that formed a family the time goes on and domestic violence is what Sera started facing. Her desire to keep a beautiful family together cost her pain physically and emotionally. Even though she had bruises all over her body she does not want to think about divorce. For Sera the divorce does not exist and more in a country like India. Feroz is an aggressive man who hits a woman first and then he regrets for his actions, which indicates that has a high pressure blood who feels complete after hitting someone. Before sera got married she was born in a family that wanted to keep her in the same social class, Sera’s parents decided so looked for a man who belongs to same level as them but they found the wrong man. After her relationship started getting complicated by domestic violence she felt lost in the dark where nothing made sense for her after her, “after a few minutes, Sera felt the music enter her body and make it relax. She closed her eyes so that she was lost in the dark and orange world, where nothing introduced except the sacred sound of a single piano” (83). Sera found peace and passion by listening to the instrument that made her feel alive with tranquility which she could not find any more at home. Umrigar had a meaning by telling Sera’s relationship to the audience that even in a high class family violence always exist and more in a poor country where the women does not have a voice. In the first days of her wedding she was not expecting to live a life with a man who cannot control himself. A couple of years later Feroz died, Sera felt bad to lose one of the members of her family. She was suffering physical pains next to Feroz but she also wanted him to complete that family. At the same time she felt free because domestic violence was over at home.
Sera’s daughter is the only one left to complete her family. Bhima has been working in Sera’s home for years but she does not want to take her as part of her family yet. Dinaz is the daughter and she grew up with Bhima, she feels gratified towards her because she has always been there when she needs her. Sera know her daughter, she knows that Dinaz loves Bhima and she is jealous. When Sera disallows Bhima to sit on the couch, eat with them or touch different things at home, Dinaz tries to protect Bhima because she thinks is not right to not let her do simple things. Even though Sera can stop this she does not want to do it because Dinaz can turn against her which is not good and she is trying to avoid it. On that way the family can be together and not let Dinaz be disgust with Sera. The relationship between the mom and daughter it goes far and a strong connection is with them. Sera tries to educate Dinaz in a good track by treating her good, helping her to be a great woman in society. This means Sera is trying to be a little different than Banu, the mother in law. Banu used to treat Sera with love taking care of her, sometimes screaming at her to be a good girl. Banu was a hard woman when she had to, Sera was growing in that atmosphere which she kept in mind for years. Banu always wanted to take care of Sera; this is what she is trying to do with Dinaz, a mother who is always there for the person she loves. A modernize mom who supports her daughter. Something that changes Sera to be better than the mother in law is to remember that Banu was a woman who has passion with the people she loves. The author Umrigar tries to say that Sera is leaving the past behind, with good memories that she experienced and she is starting a new life with her only daughter Dinaz and the son in law which now form part of her family. The main point about the relationship between Sera and Dinaz is to show that jealous exist in a family, a mother can try anything to keep the family together and not to let break it apart. Also important for an Indian family to have the members closer to each other because families are very important in the country. Sera’s family is what keeps her going, sometimes she has to sacrifice her rule as a mother to not destroy the family, she also has to do it because of the new member that is going to be born.
Bhima and Sera have a relationship which goes more than an employer and a servant. Bhima has been working for Sera for more than twenty years and since then no one has betrayal each other. They share similar things such as stories, sometimes Bhima gives free massages to Sera, there is more connections than just been a servant. After all that, Sera got in to a point where she does not believe her servant anymore. Sera betrayed Bhima by not accepting the truth that she is saying, “the horrible thing that Viraff did to my Maya is something that I would not forgive him, now you are saying that I stole that money” (423). Viraff is trying to get rid of Bhima to not see her face in that house anymore. Sera want to believe Bhima but she can because she rather believes to her son in law than a servant. After twenty years of loyalty to Bhima now she steps back on refusing to admit the truth. She did it because her family is first than anything else. During all this discussion Umrigar points out the important topic on which Sera’s family comes before justice and decency. Bhima got hurt when her boss could not believe her. Sera wanted to be on her side and she mentioned some words where she says, if Bhima did it because she needed the money Sera could provide it to her. Her emotions on not believing Bhima is so sensitive but is the word between the son in law and the servant. There are some reason on why Sera is believes Viraff. The main reason is because he is going to be the father of the child that Dinaz has in her stomach. She cannot kick out Viraff and let the kid grow without a father. That is very important because her role as a mother is to keep the family together. At the end Sera was not thankful to Bhima by not believing her, after taking care of her many years she showed no compassion for the servant.
All in all, Sera’s actions and thoughts are driven by her desire to keep her family together. To fight against anything to have her love ones close to her. Her role as a mother took her to a point where anything was not more important than the family. Even though she was experiencing domestic violence at home by her husband she decided live next to him for the rest of her life. The relationship with her daughter Dinaz is sensitive and Sera always tries to be there for her, now she needs her more because of the pregnancy. At the same time Sera is jealous because she knows that Dinaz love Bhima and she sees her more than a servant. Dinaz tries to protect Bhima and let her do anything when her parents are not at home. Sera is trying to be different than the mother in law she had, she wanted to be a protected mother who is a role for their kids. After many years of serving for the family Sera betrayed Bhima on firing her supposedly because she stole her money. In the novel Sera and Bhima are seen as friends, who shares similar lives and their families are the most important for them. For Sera the family always comes before justice and decency.
Umrigar, Thrity. “The Space Between Us” New York: Harper Collins, 2005