Bharati Mukherjee’s Desirable Daughters Essay

:: 10 Works Cited
Length: 1358 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Generally, in the depiction of the immigrant woman’s negotiations with the New World, Bharati Mukherjee’s treatment of the past spacetime becomes crucial. Usually, her novels portray the past spacetime as a circumscribing space that must be escaped in order to (re)construct identity. For instance, in Wife, Mukherjee depicts Dimple’s inability to escape from the past as an inability to transform into an American individual who has the agency to define her self. On the other hand, in Jasmine, the protagonist almost completely rejects her past and her Indianness to facilitate her transformation and assimilation in America. Both novels depict the past as a constricting spacetime. However, in Desirable Daughters, instead of depicting the past as an essentialist, fixed entity that thwarts the transformation of identity, Mukherjee highlights the active participation of the past spacetime in (re)defining identity. Mukheree’s new artistic vision parallels Homi Bhabha’s theory of the performative space, whose dynamicity challenges pedagogical fixity and contributes to the continual (re)structuring of both individual identities and nation-spaces. Meanwhile, Mukherjee’s new treatment of the past spacetime resolves some of the dialectical strands of her artistic vision. To delineate the dissolution of these dialectics, this article traces Mukherjee’s portrayal of the past spacetime, first as an essentialist entity, then as a fluid metaphor, and lastly as an ambivalent entity that helps the protagonist redefine her identity. In the process, critics who brush off Mukherjee’s novels as having an Orientalist vision may be made to reconsider her aesthetics as well as her novels.

Keywords: Bharati Mukherjee, Desirable Daughters, identity, Orient...

... middle of paper ... The Immigrant Consciousness in Jasmine.” Bharati Mukherjee: Critical Perspectives. Ed. Emmanuel Nelson. New York: Garland, 1993. 181-96.
Mason, Deborah. “The Cross-Culture Wars.” New York Times Book Review. Apr. 28, 2002. Vol 151 Issue 52102.11.
Mukherjee, Bharati. “Beyond Multiculturalism: Surviving the Nineties.” Journal of Modern Literature 20.1 (1996): 29-34.
--. Desirable Daughters. New York: Theia, 2002.
---. “A Four-Hundred Year Old Woman.” The Writer on her Work: New Essays in New Territory. Ed. Janet Sternburg. New York: Norton, 1991. 33-8.
--. Jasmine. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1989.
--. Wife. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1975.
Piper, Karen. “Post-Colonialism in the United States: Diversity or Hybridity?” Post-Colonial Literatures: Expanding the Canon. Ed. Deborah Madsen. London: Pluto, 1999. 14-29.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Chaos of the Melting Pot: Multiculturalism in Bharati Mukherjee’s Fiction - Bharati Mukherjee has distinguished herself among the ground-breaking novelists in the genre of diasporic Indian literature. Her account of the experience of the diaspora and its effect upon women provide the readers with an insight into the lives of South-Asians who currently reside in the United States. This paper aims to study how Bharati Mukherjee has captured the chaos of the Melting Pot about the Indian immigrant experiences in America in her short stories and novels. The longing for the security of home and comfort of their own culture creates a conflict known only to those born in the third world, burdened with the choice of living in the West....   [tags: cultural diversity, ethnic societies]
:: 6 Works Cited
1148 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Exploring the Implications, the Outcry and the Outcome of Marriage in Bharati Mukherjee’s Miss New India - ... (7) Anjali explains her about her sister’s arranged marriage which fails and Sonali, a divorcee, lives as a single mother with her four years daughter (Piyali) in Patna working as a secretary in an office: The bridegroom was discovered too late, to be a heavy drinker and philanderer. But when Sonali has finally got up her nerve to institute divorce proceedings, their father turned against her for wreaking on the Bose family, the public shame of divorce... A divorced single mother supporting herself and her four year daughter by working long days as an office typist....   [tags: issues of marriage in a typical indian fmaily]
:: 5 Works Cited
3340 words
(9.5 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay on Desh and Videsh: Be/Longingness in Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine - ... The story of Jasmine is the story of dislocation, nostalgia, longing for original home and re-establishing connections with its past through reminiscences. The novel opens with an astrologer’s prediction about Jyoti’s widowhood and exile. “ Lifetimes ago, under a banyan tree in the village of Hasnapur, an astrologer cupped his ears- his satellite dish to the stars- and foretold my widowhood and exile”(1). Undeterred by the prophesy, she continues her life and gets married to Prakash Vijh. Prakash wants her to become a modern city woman and as he aids her in her transformation from ‘Jyoti’ to ‘Jasmine’....   [tags: Indian diaspora, story analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
1363 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dilemma of Immigrants in America Essay - In the essay, “American Dreamer” by Bharati Mukherjee, Mukherjee writes about the problems of immigrants nowadays. Because of her families religious tradition, Mukherjee is confined by her permanent identity in her own culture, “a Hindu Indian’s last name announced his or her forefathers’ caste and place of origin…a Mukherjee could only be Brahmin from Bengal…my identity was viscerally connected with ancestral soil and genealogy” (Mukherjee 1). From her attitude towards her identity, Mukherjee does not want to confine by the Hindu tradition....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Bharati Mukherjee] 1375 words
(3.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Analysis of Identity in Jasmine Essay - 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....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Bharati Mukherjee] 2763 words
(7.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Comparing Bharati Mukherjee's The Tenant and Susan Minot's Lust Essay - Comparing Bharati Mukherjee's The Tenant and Susan Minot's Lust       The protagonists in both Bharati Mukherjee's "The Tenant" and Susan Minot's "Lust" are extremely promiscuous; both have many sexual relationships with little emotional involvement and no commitment. While the two protagonists display many of the same behaviors and often have similar motivations, their reasoning and reactions sometimes differ. "The Tenant" and "Lust" offer two different perspectives into the social expectations that would lead someone to be so irresponsible with their relationships....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
768 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Women Empowerment: A Critical Study of Bharati Mukherjee's Wife Essay - In the novel, the main female character named Dimple Dasgupta breaks the traditional notion of an Indian wife. She is shown in the novel as a vibrant person but with a sort of mental aberration or apathy. Even while she was unmarried, she nurtured number of fixations such as the nature of husband she is going to have, the manner in which her marriage is going to take place and the kind of married life she is going to lead …etc. All her dreams and aspirations about her married life get shattered....   [tags: indian culture, indian wife, dimple dasgupta]
:: 11 Works Cited
2038 words
(5.8 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Bharti Mukherjee's Jasmine: An Innovative Diasporic Representation Essay - Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine: an Innovative Diasporic Representation Diasporic literature reflects challenges, aspirations and anxieties of a person who migrates to a new land. The first generation of all immigrants always suffers from a broad sense of nostalgia, and the first generation immigrants tend to cling strenuously together in order to preserve their cultural, religious and linguistic identity. Preserving their identity is one of their chief concerns. (Anand viii) The understanding of migration and existing in a Diaspora have aroused active engagement in Postcolonial literature, criticism and theory....   [tags: Indian born Canadian-American novelist]
:: 11 Works Cited
2905 words
(8.3 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Marriage to Morbidity : Women in Anita Desai’s Cry,the Peacock and Bharathi Mukherjee’s Wife - The predicament of women, their institutional subjection and freedom have been the major concerns of Indian women novelists since the 1960s. Their initial attempts were to challenge the ideal of the traditional, oppressed women in a culture permeated by religious images of virtuous goddesses devoted to their husbands. Gradually however, women writers have moved away from the stereotypical portrayals of enduring self-sacrificing women towards psychically perturbed female characters searching for identity, asserting their individuality and defying marriage and motherhood....   [tags: Indian Literature]
:: 5 Works Cited
1864 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Indian Woman in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters - The status of women in India has not enhanced much even after six decades of Indian Independence. Repression and enslavement still compel her to lead a regulated life. However, education has come to the aid of women to move forward and they have endeavored to liberate themselves from the domination of men. In this context it is interesting to note that the last decade of the twentieth century witnessed a world of change in the literature produced in India in the English language....   [tags: Difficult Daughters Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1850 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]