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What you want and what your parents will accept is a common disagreement in most households these days. In the movie ‘Bend it like Beckham’ they showed the conflict between Jess between and her parents. The conflict was how they feel and what they want for her, how Jess sees the situation and how it is resolved. Throughout the movie Jess is constantly pulled in different directions for what she wants and what her parents and culture expect from the Indian girl Jess.
Jess’s dreams are more important to her then her culture. They are more important to her because they are who she is as a person. Jess does not want to be the traditional Indian girl her parents want her to be. Jess wants more from her life then the day-to-day life of the traditional Indian girl. Jess decides that instead of following the traditional path of the Indian girl life style she goes off on a limb and decides to play soccer.
Despite what her parents want from their little girl, she wants to be free and chase her dreams. Jess’s passion for soccer trumped her feelings for her culture that she was willing to bend all the rules to do what she loved to do, and that was to play soccer.
Her parents are her major downfall. Jess’s father worried about Jess playing soccer in fear that she will get hurt just like he did when he wanted to play cricket. Her father was treated differently because of the way he looked.
In the movie her father talked about how they made fun of the towel he wore on his head and was not allowed to play on any of the teams. Her father is afraid that she will be disappointed and end up just like he did. Jess’s mother seems to be caught up way more then her father in this soccer situation. Her mother does not agree with Jess playing soccer at all. Jess’s mother thinks that she should be spending all her time cooking and trying to be a traditional Indian girl. For example when her mother talks about running around outside playing soccer with a bunch of guys with her legs showing she says “you bring shame to our family!” Jess’s mother says this because it is against their cultural beliefs.
The conflict is present due to many reasons. Jess loves to play soccer, but also respects and loves her family and culture. She is drawn to decide to keep her soccer life hidden from her family. She does not want to keep it a secret because everyone believes she is amazing at soccer, but she does not want to disappoint her parents. Jess tries so hard to meet her mother and father’s expectations to avoid disappointment. The fact of the matter is that Jess loves soccer and is not willing to give it up just for some silly tradition.
This story shows us that if you are always trying to please your parents you are going to not be happy were you are in life. It is always important to follow your dreams. When different cultures come together it can be difficult to combine them both without losing original cultural values. Bend it like Beckham shows it is possible to incorporate the values of another culture into Jess’s lifestyle while still maintaining her cultural identity. It also shows that regardless of what culture a person is, there are always challenges that you must overcome in order to be who you want to be.
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