Last Updated 13 Jan 2021

Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee

Category Feminism, Writer
Words 706 (3 pages)
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Kelsey Johnson Dr. Michele levy ENGL 336 April 14, 2013 Weekly Informal Response 1a. “Kureishi’s articulation of his identity crisis is both an index of the pain of feeling devoid of secure roots, and also something we might use as a pivotal moment when thinking about the creative necessities of migrancy and diaspora…living ‘in-between’ different nations, ‘of, and not of’ each place, feeling neither here nor there, unable to indulge in sentiments of belonging to either location, defined by others in often unflattering ways. ” (Beginning Postcolinalism, p. 47) 1b. The above quote from our theory text describes the feeling of not belonging somewhere due to an identity crisis. This crisis was described as coming from the fact that one was not from a certain region, or may not “belong” to the group of that particular region. For example, I may be seen as odd or not belonging in a region full of white Irishmen and they would make it known I don’t belong in these said “unflattering” ways. 1c. In the novel Jasmine, she is continuously moving and suffering because of this identity crisis tied to her constant migration.

For example, when Jyoti’s first husband is killed she does not do the traditional burning of her own body with her husband; but she moves to Florida. During her travels and attempts to obtain citizenship in America, Jyoti endures the horrible conditions that come with illegal immigration; For example, secrecy, hunger, rape, and even murder. All of this because she ‘isn’t’ of’ this nation…? The text says, “I wanted to become the person they thought they saw: humorous, intelligent, refined, affectionate. Not illegal, not murderer, not widowed, raped, destitute, fearful.

In Flushing, I had lived defensively in the midst of documented rectitude. I did not want to live legally if it also meant living like a refugee. ” (Jasmine, p. 171) 2a. “In this section, we shall consider the extent to which Western feminist discourses are able to address the double colonization of women living in once-colonised societies and in Western locations…John Thieme has explained that ‘Western feminist writers and theorists have frequently seen parallels between their struggles and those of post-colonial women and have particularly identified with women who suffer “double colonization” (BP, p. 06) 2b. The above quote describes the relationship between “first world” and “third world” women. Of course, third world countries are those that exist below the poverty line and struggle to survive. Theime says that feminist writers often see similarities between the lives of their subjects as well as their own. 2c. I believe the entire novel “Jasmine” is a prime example of the relationship described above; how feminist writers connect with their subjects and audiences due to “double colonization”.

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In our novel, Mukherjee writes about the life story of Jyoti and notices similarities in their lives, not because they have the same exact life story, but because of their struggles as women in society. For instance, Jyoti took control of her own life and created her own destiny (despite starting over several times); also because she is a woman and isn’t expected to have much control over her own life. This is also shown in other novels we’ve read. 3a. These “in-between” spaces provide the terrain of elaborating strategies of selfhood – singular or communal – that initiate new signs of ‘identity’… Bhabha also opposes the idea of a sovereign or essentialised subject. For Bhabha and Spivak identity is a discursive product. Second, because subjectivity is discursively produced, it is possible for it to be remade and remodeled in new and innovative ways – hence his attention to the processes of ‘articulation’ and ‘elaboration’ in the quotation. The border is a place of possibility and agency for new concepts, new narratives, new ideas.

Third, the new ‘signs’ of identity which are possible impact upon both individuals and groups. ” (BP, p. 252) 3b&c. The above quote speaks about the crossing of physical borders and how they coincide with the crossing of imaginary borders within oneself. For instance, when a person moves from one geographical location to another, they seem to move from one persona to another. This was DEFINITELY seen throughout the novel Jasmine. As the narrator moved, she changed identities and personalities.

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