The IUP Journal of English Studies
Quest for Empowerment and Assimilation: Images of Diaspora in Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES32020
Author Name : Yeddu Vijaya Babu
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 05



In recent times, postcolonial diaspora writing is principally concerned with themes such as marginalization, resistance, racism, ethnicity, adaptability, and self-independence. In the novel Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee showcases the problems of women, particularly those related to cross-cultural crisis and quest for identity. Themes such as expatriate sensibility, the unresolved dilemma of modern women, and immigrants? admiration for Americanness find expression in the novel. This paper explores expatriatehood as a metaphysical experience of exile and the manifestations of diaspora by probing the protagonist's search for identity and transformation in Jasmine.


The word ?diaspora? is used now ?to signify a more general sense of displacement as well as a challenge to the limits of existing boundaries? (Mitchell 1997, 259). Bharati Mukherjee?s novel Jasmine is an example. Jasmine?s search for self-independence in the novel begins on her reaching American soil. Her persistent struggle to achieve self-independence, not to be an Indian or American but to be at peace, offers broad diasporic glimpses.

Born during a period of transition and being a sensitive observer of the prevailing sociopolitical conditions, Mukherjee understands immigrant issues. Her vivid portrayal of Jasmine highlights two different cultures and the concept of ?New Woman?: ?the emotional segregation of women and men, which brought about and led to the development of a specifically female world? (Gupta 2000, 154). In Jasmine?s words, ?I shuttled between identities? (Mukherjee 1990, 77).1 And her identity reflects her two worlds: both India and America.


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