Culture And Identity In Bend It Like Beckham And A Bridge To Wiseman’s Cove

Culture is something that surrounds us all and continues to shape our lives every day. But what is culture? How does it influence us? How does it shape who we are as people? These are some of the questions that cross-cultural psychologists and other social scientists work hard to try and answer.

In the novel A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove and in the film Bend It Like Beckham both the novel and film portray a deep understanding of an individual’s background and society shaping who we are because of our surrounding environment. This is shown through many scenes in the novel as well as the film. This is shown through the quote, “It’s the Matt Family. They’re a curse on Wattle Beach. It goes right back you know. Trash.” The use of hyperbole and negative connotation in the word ‘curse’ illustrates how the actions of the Matt family control the way Carl is presented in Wattle Beach. This allows the audience to anticipate how the environment of Wattle Beach impact on Carl’s identity by creating a low-class reputation that the community has already set for him. This is also shown In the film, when Jess’s mother objectively states “What family will want a daughter that who can run around kicking football all day but can’t make round chapatis?” Jess experiences a sense cultural conflict, because her parents disagree with her playing soccer because it is not deemed culturally appropriate. The camera all the way through the dialogue uses a close-up shot effectively switches between Jess and her parents, emphasising On the emotions they depict on their faces. Jess is depicted with a contrasting distressed face, arrogance, and courage on the faces of her parents. The audience captures the moment family's strain on Jess to fulfil the role her parents set up her, more of a traditional Indian than of her passion.

Moloney uses the example of Kelly being absent and away from her children. Moloney shows this through symbolism with a few words, “Who's going to love you if your own mother doesn't”. This was exactly what his Aunt Beryl had told Carl because his mother was taking short breaks, leaving him to fend for himself and feeling insecure. This technique of symbolism gives a sense of how isolated and deprived Carl is from a family and love since such sickening words had been mentioned in his own blood. Thus, by using these techniques Moloney highlights the influence a family can have on the identity of a child. Chadha provides an insight on how the pressure to comply to the standards A person may be restricted from a culture from freely expressing his or her identity. This is shown when Jess is kicking the soccer ball across traditional Indian clothing hanging on the washing line through the use of long shot. The way the traditional clothes were placed represents that the culture of Jess is an obstacle that she may not be able to overcome in order to reach her goals and dreams. Chadha also used the high angle shot where the soccer team's girls attempt to help Jess wear traditional Indian sari clothing. This shot allows the viewers to visualise the state of confusion that the other girls display while Jess takes the lead and shows the girls how it is done. Illustrating how Jess was raised differently to be from the Westerners.

Things people have either been through their fault or not, let scars. These scars are what constitutes the basis for the identity of an individual. Moloney depicts this through dialogue and mood, “ Is this ... a joke? You are bringing a Matt onto my barge, let him come and ask me for a job! 'He shouted ... the building of indignation in his face. 'Get my barge off,' Skip shouted at the kid. This conveys The scar Dessie Matt once left on Skip, even if it was 10 years ago, indicates and now Skip has a strong base of hatred towards the Matts to the extent that he wrests his anger over the grandson of his son's murderer. building tension and evoking sympathetic emotions in the reader.

To put it briefly, one 's identity is a product of both the environment in which they grow up and their DNA. One needs to regulate the social conventions of their culture, their family forcing their decisions on them, and the faults in one's life. To be able to build upon who they are now and who they will be in the future.  

16 December 2021
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