Interrogating the Ambivalence of Self-Fashioning and Redefining the Immigrant Identity in Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine

Banerjee, Suchismita
June 2012
Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language & Literature;Jun2012, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p10
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
Rejecting the paralysis of exilic consciousness, Bharati Mukherjee embraces the cultural diaspora of America to create a transformed identity of her own. Her psychological evolution is reflected in her fictional character, Jasmine, who, like her, subverts and participates in the hegemonic notion of immigrant identity and tries to carve out a different selfhood by participating in the violent process of decolonising the mind. However, the novel subverts this emancipatory rhetoric by creating ambiguous sites of identity performance where the protagonist is both complicit and resistant to the dominant culture. Analysis of these ambiguous sites in the novel would require us to consider the rhetoric of American "exceptionalism" which makes the United States a unique, liberal, "redeemer" nation, a place where individuals could carve out their identities through hard work, agency and determination. The aim of this paper is to apply the above rhetoric to explore the ambivalence of identity and subvert the notion of agency in Mukherjee's diasporic novel, Jasmine (1989).


Related Articles

  • Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine A Paradigm of Psychic Disintegration and Regeneration. Mythili, M. // Language in India;Mar2013, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p526 

    The term Diaspora refers to the dispersion of religious or ethnic groups from their established homeland either forced or voluntary. Initially this word was used for the dispersal of Jews when they were forced into exile to Babylonia. However, today it has come to mean any sizeable community of...

  • Aparajita Ray: Immigrant Identity in Bharati Mukherjee's novels. Ray, Aparajita // Muse India;Jan/Feb2011, Issue 35, p24 

    A literary criticism of the books "Jasmine," and "Desirable Daughters," by Bharati Mukherjee is presented. It outlines the characters in these books and explores the symbolic significance of these characters in representing Indian migrants to the U.S. An overview of the stories is also given. It...

  • Jasmine. Kellman, Steven G. // USA Today Magazine;May90, Vol. 118 Issue 2540, p96 

    Reviews the book "Jasmine," by Bharati Mukherjee.

  • BRIEFLY NOTED.  // New Yorker;10/2/89, Vol. 65 Issue 33, p119 

    Reviews the book "Jasmine," by Bharati Mukherjee.

  • Jasmine. Benson, Mary Margaret // Library Journal;7/1/1989, Vol. 114 Issue 12, p110 

    Reviews the book "Jasmine," by Bharati Mukherjee.

  • IDENTITY CRISIS- With special reference to some of the works by Bharati Mukherjee. Kolekar, T. N. // Golden Research Thoughts;May2012, Vol. 1 Issue 11, Special section p1 

    Now you have tampered with the women, you have struck against rock, you have dislodged a boulder, Now you will be crushed. Search for identity is a typical feature of the diasporic writings. Let us at the very outset look at the team diaspora. The scattering of the Jewish people across the...

  • Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine - A Study. Umadevi, A. // Language in India;Sep2012, Vol. 12 Issue 9, p607 

    A literary criticism of the novel "Jasmine" by Bharati Mukherjee is presented. The novel's protagonist struggles to achieve herself in the Indian society where she belongs. Themes in the novel include poverty, gender-discrimination and social conventions. The character was smuggled into Florida...

  • The aesthetics of dislocation. Katrak, Ketu H. // Women's Review of Books;Feb2002, Vol. 19 Issue 5, p5 

    Contends that the categories of race, ethnicity and nation, gender, class, religion and language must be included in constituting diasporic identities and communities. Details on the article 'Two Ways to Belong to America' by Indian American writer Bharati Mukherjee; Description of non-resident...

  • From Hyphenation to Amalgamation: A Study of Multicultural Elements in Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine. Vinod Kumar, V.; Chitra Shobana, R. // International Journal on Multicultural Literature;Jan2014, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p11 

    The article discusses the novel of Indian-born American writer Bharati Mukherjee, "Jasmine." It states that the novel features the multicultural society of U.S. and depicts the Indian society through contradictory images. It also mentions that the main theme of the novel tackles the condition of...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics