Bharati Mukherjee Jasmine Essay

Essay about Analysis of Identity in Jasmine

2759 Words12 Pages

The novel Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee is an incredible story about the transformation and life experiences of a Panjabi girl from India. The life of Jyoti is told from her point of view when she is twenty-four years old, and pregnant with the baby of Bud Ripplemeyer, a crippled banker who is more than twice Jyoti’s age. During the span of two months in Iowa, Jyoti narrates her biographical experiences in Punjab and in America as she strives to become independent. Jasmine illustrates that when one’s relationships go through changes, it will impact one’s identity.
Born in Hasnapur in India, Jyoti is said to be the most beautiful and clever person in her family. Unlike her sisters and other girls, Jyoti excels in school and continues her…show more content…

His individuality and strong presence was what attracted her to him. When recounting how Praksash wanted her to call him by his first name, Jyoti said, “In Hasnapur wives used only pronouns to address their husbands. The first months, eager and obedient as I was, I still had a hard time calling him Prakash” (77). The conflict she has trying to call him by his name shows the difference between how she lived in Hasnapur before Prakash and how she is after she marrieshim. Prakash also insists on calling Jyoti, Jasmine. Prakash plays an important role in Jasmine's life because he is the first person who helped Jasmine become more conscious of the modern world and the opportunities it holds. Prakash is a modern man as it is revealed, “My husband, Prakash Vijh, was a modern man, a city man” (76). He is determined to live in a modern way that is the reason why he does “trash some traditions” (76). He expects Jyoti to change her ways, “He wanted to break down the Jyoti I’d been in Hasnapur and make me a new kind of city woman. To break off the past, he gave me a new name: Jasmine…Jyoti, Jasmine: I shuttled between identities” (77). The narrator’s gradual change in how she referrers to herself from Jyoti to Jasmine shows how she is viewed by others and how she accepts this new identity. Later on, Jyoti reveals,

“Parminder in flat 2B said that since I had no in-laws and no infants to harass me all day, why didn’t I go with her

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Bharati Mukherjee deals with the themes related to IndianWomen particularly the problem of cross-cultural crisis and ultimate search for Identity. She also depicts the cultural clash between the East and West. In the novel Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee takes up the theme of search for identity. She writes how the female protagonist tries to tackle the problem of loss of culture and endeavours to assume a new identity in the U.S. The protagonist-- jasmine leaves her country to fulfill her wishes. On reaching the U.S., she begins to search for self-independence. She struggles hard to achieve it and at last she realizes that self independence is not to be anIndian or American but to be at peace with herself. Sumita Roy aptly remarks that "Consequently, to read Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine as an ambitious endeavour to outline the life of a woman engaged in a seriousquest for values is rewarding." The novel is in fact, saga of suffering or immigrant women in an alien culture. Yet, it is journey towards the fulfillment of wishes what she cherished in her heart. 

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JLCMS [ISSN: 0974-7192 (Print)]

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