Why did the woman in "Montreal 1962" move from India to Canada and how does she perceive both homes?

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This is a very interesting question, and I will give you some ideas as to how you could try to answer your question. “Montreal 1962” is a short story written by Shauna Singh Baldwin. The story is about an Indian woman who has emigrated to Canada with her husband to start a new life there.

You could point out that when referring to Canada, the narrator mourns the fact that Indians are expected to leave their Indian heritage behind to settle successfully in Canada: Indians in Canada should “be reborn white-skinned—and clean-shaven to show it—to survive.” This indicates that she clearly does not feel fully accepted in Canada. You could therefore argue that she does not see Canada as her true home.

By contrast, the narrator speaks extremely fondly of India, which could make the reader assume that she is homesick. For example, she is reminiscing about fond memories such as being in “Delhi on a flat roof under a hot sun or perhaps near a green field of wheat stretching far to the banks of the Beas.” You could use this to explain that the narrator feels a lot more at home and more secure in India. She may well live in Canada, but she seems to consider India her real home. You can see that reflected in the negative description of her flat in Canada: the narrator describes the walls as “pallid”, she hints that she is constantly feeling cold, as her husband has to “turn up (the radiator) hotter” and she describes the windows as “small” and “unnaturally high.”

The couple had moved to Canada to start a new life there. They were hoping to find a better lifestyle and earn more money. In terms of the promises given to the couple, you might want to explain that they were promised a good career, given that Canada “need(s) professional people.” They were also tempted with statements promising them a much better lifestyle, as they were told that they would have more “freedom and opportunity.”

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