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America for Beginners


A poignant debut that explores unlikely friendships forged in unusual ...
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Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

Created: 07/26/19

Replies: 10

Posted Jul. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2754

Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

Pival reflects that "I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way. The way we were taught that happiness was. I think this is a cause of much pain, thinking, perhaps, that there is a right way." Would Bhim agree? Would Rebecca, who has her own fraught relationship with her parents?


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elyseg

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 29

Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

Yes, I'm sure they would. Rebecca especially. Her story was an intentional mirror to Bhim's.


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 304

Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

I think Rebecca and Bhim would agree that parents think they know the “right way,” meaning the parents’ way—and they also would agree that their parents didn’t know what was the right way for Rebecca or Bhim.
To find your own path in life is a fundamental human need as you reach adulthood. Pival didn’t fully experience this herself, as she got sidetracked by marrying a man who took over her life. But Rebecca’s parents also dismiss their child’s choices. Many parents do. Sometimes it gets resolved, other times not. Rebecca and her parents were able to work it out, but sadly, Ram’s ostracism of his son, his lying to Pival, and Bhim’s death before she could reach him, left Pival without that opportunity to resolve her conflict. In a way, though, Rebecca helped her do this—as did meeting Bhim’s partner.


Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 284

Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

I think we all struggle with this as parents. Sometimes it’s difficult to get past cultural, societal and familial expectations to allow our children to do the right things for themselves. It’s not always even conscious thought. Along with this most children struggle with the way they believe is their parents right way versus their own. Children like Bhim who vary greatly from their parents expectations struggle the most. In the end, I think Rebecca realized her parents just really wanted her to be happy, not matter the path to that happiness


Posted Jul. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

I like elyseg's observation that Rebecca's struggles were an intentional mirror to Bhim's. Neither of them could operate without the shadow of their parents' expectations.


Posted Jul. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 137

Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

An interesting point that elyseg brings up - that Bhim's and Rebecca's stories were intentional mirrors of each other which I hadn't thought that until now. I think Bhim and Rebecca would agree that parents want their children to be happy using their idea of happiness which was not the child's idea of happiness. Parents need to accept their child's idea of happiness if they want to have a good relationship with their child.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 327

RE: Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

Bhim wasn't able to trust himself or feel as confident with his choices because it was such a strong part of his culture to meet expectations of others (and especially parents) and NEVER embarrass your parents with your choices. Maybe it was Rebecca's choice of career, in part, that hurt her self esteem. How many times can you be told over and over "no, you are not right for this part", "no, we are looking for someone thinner (or funnier, or better looking, or ________________). And then after hearing it all day at auditions, your parents reinforce it whenever you talk to them. I think a lot of her acting out was in some way to punish herself for disappointing her parents. She felt guilty but wanted to stay true to herself. She just wasn't sure how to manage the two things together.

Speaking for myself, there were times I dismissed my son's ideas or plans and attempted to "lead" him in another direction. My thinking at the time was that I desperately wanted him to have less hurt, less failure, and more opportunity that I did. I tried to shield him from life's disappointments and challenges. I assumed that I knew better for him because I had more experience. So I definitely understand what Pival means when she says "happy in the right way".


Posted Aug. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 353

RE: Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

I think when we have children we want them to be happy according to our expectations. We see them as an extension of ourselves and want them to do what made us happy or what we wish we could have accomplished. As they grow and become individuals and start to reject our ideas, we realize they are not us. At some point, I think, every parent just wants their child to find the mate, the job or the situation that makes them happy. What we thought would make the happy becomes inconsequential.


Posted Aug. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 406

RE: Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

Pival's statement reflects what most parents have felt at one time or another. Bhim had the most difficult time in trying, always trying to meet the expectations of his parents because these were also the expectations of his religion and his culture. His struggle was truly a deep one as it went against his very nature to meet these expectations. Rebecca's mom, in my opinion was not domineering, but rather was trying to save her daughter from repeated hurt. Whatever mom would say, Rebecca heard the negative. It is always a struggle for the child to "break free" and become, in their own eyes, an adult. In this novel, I feel Rebecca and her mom made some great progress.


Posted Aug. 21, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuriedInPrint

Join Date: 08/03/19

Posts: 8

RE: Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

This is a passage that I copied out in my reading of the novel as well. It resonates for me as much as it resonates for the characters. A feeling that you are disappointing a parent by making choices that defy their own priorities or the set of priorities they accepted from their own parents...it carries a substantial weight: Franqui does a great job of illuminating this struggle through both Rebecca's and Bhim's experiences and showing how successful they are - and are not - with managing this stress.


Posted Aug. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teachlz

Join Date: 07/28/16

Posts: 43

RE: Pival reflects that 'I do think most parents at the heart, want their children to be happy. It is only that we want our children to be happy in the right way...' Would Bhim and Rebecca agree?

I think that what Pival and Rebecca's Parents truly want their children to be happy in a way that they think happiness is and should be. I think that Bhim and Rebecca have different thoughts of what happiness should be for themselves personally, not necessarily their parents' view.


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