“Having been deprived of the company of her own parents upon moving to America, her children’s independence, their need to keep their distance from her, is something she will never understand.” (166)
The majority of the first two chapters of this novel is Ashima explaining how much she misses her family back in Calcutta and how much she wishes she could be closer to them. In this quote, she compares her feelings about her family with how Gogol and Sonia keep trying to distant themselves from Ashima and Ashoke.
This connects with the idea that the role of family does influence a character’s struggle/failure: in this case, Ashima’s failure ( a failure in her own eyes) of trying to keep their Bengali traditions and cultures within their children. She even mentions at one point that her children, when speaking their native tongue, sound more American than they do Bengali.