Jasmine’s Travail from Widowhood to Selfhood in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine.
Bharati Mukherjee happens to be a prominent Asian American writer who has in her works vividly represented the experiences of Asian immigrants and the evolution of their migrant selves in America.Her works reflect both, her pride in her Indian heritage and also her earnestness for embracing the new world, America.
Mukherjee’s much acclaimed novel Jasmine depicts the story of a young Punjabi woman who dares to rebel against the norms of patriarchy since her childhood. Her stifling experiences of leading the life of a widow in a small Indian village of Hasnapur doesn’t dent her spirit as she dares to sail on her own as an illegal immigrant to the United States on a mission to perform ritual Sati on the campus where her dead husband had enrolled to study. The problems of acculturation drags immigrants like her into an identity crisis. But it does not deter her, as she continuously strives to refashion herself to fit into the mainstream American culture. In this context, the paper attempts to explore how the feminist protagonist, Jasmine, through her shifting identities rediscovers her own independent self by assimilating into the land of opportunity, i.e., America.
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