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Go, be brave.

In the short story “The Mangement of Grief” by Bharati Mukherjee, the main character Shaila Bhave has just lost members of her family in a plane bombing. I found that there are two main themes that drive the story: culture and grief. Both of these affect not just how Bhave acts, but how the other characters, who also lost family members, react as well. While some are able to just pick up and move on, others are stuck in a cloud of mourning and grief. Bhave refers to herself as fluttering between worlds like her husband’s spirit (442). Unlike the other characters, Bhave is stuck in a state of limbo. On one hand, she is feeling haunted by the accident, and on the other hand, she still tries to move on with her life to the best of her ability which makes her different from the other characters. She does not want to run away and avoid her problems, but she still looks for the feeling that her loved ones are near in spirit. Trying to continue the life she started with her husband before he died is proving to be difficult. The culture Bhave was born into does not allow her the to remarry as she is now seen as an unlucky woman. The men who lost wives are able to remarry and reconstruct their lives, a luxury the women are not necessarily allowed. Despite this, Bhave does not seem to have great interest to remarry anyway. I believe this is because she wants to continue her life the way it would have been if her husband was not dead. But since her husband is dead, she is required to learn how to live in a new way and adapt. She must be brave and break free of her state of grief and do something with her life that her family would have been proud of. It takes a great deal of courage to break through barriers such as culture and grief, anyone who can overcome such hurtles must be a very strong person. As a result of that just for trying I believe Bhave’s family would already be proud of her.

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