Meena Alexander through her diasporic writings and experiences exemplifies that diaspora, displacement or dislocation essentially stems from a sense of loss of identity, an intrinsic need to find one’s ‘self’, one’s roots in a land that is basically alien but where one needs to establish oneself and treat as one’s own.
From a young age, writing become a big part of who she is, since it was the only way she could express her feelings without really speaking. Lahiri expresses when she says, “My reading was my mirror, and my material; I saw no other part of myself” (4). She is describing how writing really made her feel like a different person, did not have to worry about the two cultures she had to switch around, follow a certain tradition of which to write, and could write express her thoughts without a problem. Her tools, desk, everything she used to do here writing became a part of who she was because she had never made any other connections with anything else. She is now showing what it meant, “When I became a writer my desk became home; there was no need for another” (Lahiri 6). While Lahiri had trouble identifying her identity, she did not know what was really her home. She struggled to find a place that she could be happy to call “home,” and was able to find that when she started to explore and expand her writing. When Lahiri said “I belonged to my work” (6), she was describing the passion she had found within the work she was achieving. Even though, her parents did not think she could make a living from her writing, which she did by publishing her book back in 1999. The different
In Lahiri’s story the attention and the plot of the story both stayed in one same direction that was the cultural clash. Lahiri’s story “Imperator of Maladies” revolves around people who are Indian’s living in India, Indian’s living in America or people Americans with an Indian decent. As her being a second generation immigrant in America, she realized at a very young age that her family is settled here but she was still not sure about the fact which place she could call her real home because of the different cultural she was witnessing in her everyday family life. In the story when the Das’s family did decided to visit India they did witness the same exact feeling. As the story progresses Lahiri gives us a brief background about Mr. and Mrs. Das as they both were born and raised in America but after sometime their retired parents decided to move back and spe...
Diasporic Consciousness is a complex term as it encompasses ideas including exilic existence, a sense of loss, consciousness of being an outsider, yearning for home, burden of exile, dispossession and relocation. The lives of immigrants do not have straight lines. They live centuries of history in a life lifetime and have several lives and roles. They experience a sense of uprootedness in the host countries. Inspite of their attempts of acculturation, they do remain at the periphery and are treated as others. “Migrants,” says Salman Rushdie, “…straddle two cultures … fall between two stools” and they suffer “a triple disruption” comprising the loss of roots, the linguistic and also the social dislocation.” (279) Trishanku, the character from the Indian epic Ramayana, who went embodied to heaven but had to settle at a place midway between the earth and the paradise, serves as metaphor for the modern expatriate inhabiting the contested global local space.
Identity is 'how you view yourself and your life.'; (p. 12 Knots in a String.) Your identity helps you determine where you think you fit in, in your life. It is 'a rich complexity of images, ideas and associations.';(p. 12 Knots in a String.) It is given that as we go through our lives and encounter different experiences our identity of yourselves and where we belong may change. As this happens we may gain or relinquish new values and from this identity and image our influenced. 'A bad self-image and low self-esteem may form part of identity?but often the cause is not a loss of identity itself so much as a loss of belonging.'; Social psychologists suggest that identity is closely related to our culture. Native people today have been faced with this challenge against their identity as they are increasingly faced with a non-native society. I will prove that the play The Rez Sisters showed this loss of identity and loss of belonging. When a native person leaves the reservation to go and start a new life in a city they are forced to adapt to a lifestyle they are not accustomed to. They do not feel as though they fit in or belong to any particular culture. They are faced with extreme racism and stereotypes from other people in the nonreservational society.
In “Identity in Flux: Negotiating Identity While Studying Abroad,” (Young) students identities were studied within in their normal life in the states and while they were in various parts of the world (Young 178). The world has a variety of different cultures, and the people in these cultures have different outlooks on life. If a person is unfamiliar with a culture, first impressions create lasting effects on their identity. “If [the British] don’t accept me, then I wont accept [the British]” (Young 180), a student claims that because the people of the United Kingdom were not completely comfortable with her, she was going to completely steer clear of the British, a task that is impossible for someone studying in the United Kingdom. Because this student was presented with discrimination in a place where she was a minority, she took that characteristic as part of her own identity. Being exposed to ideas can have either a positive or negative affect on a person’s identity. A positive affect could open a person’s mind to a broader perspective of the world to add complexity to their identity. In the case of the student, her identity was negatively affected in the way that she limited her ability to grow through experiences with a people group other than her
Bhabha, Homi K. Interview by J. Rutherford. Identity, Community, Culture, Difference. 1990. J. Rutherford. London, Lawrence and Wishart: 207-221
These groups then have to essentially find their place within a new society. Cultures and norms may be completely different so often those living in exile face challenges as the lines between their own culture and traditions and the ideals of the new society start to blur. Their main challenges fall on ‘the necessity [to bridge] the gap to the past and to distant places, in order to create continuity… with the necessity to adapt to new circumstances’. (Engebrigtsen: 2007: 727) They feel a deep loss of their culture and thus are left with the idea of the loss of their own identity.
Human emotion is the final determinant discerning a good work from a great work, thus a good author will be able to stimulate their readers’ emotions whereas a great author is able to take control and electrify their readers’ emotions. The way an author captures the minds and hearts of a reader while transporting them to a deeper understanding is often unique to that author in particular. Jhumpa Lahiri is an expert who enraptures her readers with complex, sympathetic character development. Each person she creates and chooses to develop in her short stories, no matter how large or small of a role they play, is hugely important to entwining her readers into a profound and empathetic consideration of story theme. The dividing line between what constitutes a major and minor character within literary work is a narrow and often overlapping plane chalk full of inconstancies. The division is largely based off of the unpredictable, perhaps at times even random, nature of human emotion overlaid by author intent. Many authors such as Orson Scott Card of the Writers Digest believe that minor characters are plainly “inconsequential placeholders” ( ), objects who just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Although these minor characters are needed to add fullness to the literary piece, more often than not, minor characters share a limited and equal place to the setting: they are an extension of the background. Yet Lahiri manages to shape the small roles of these characters within her short stories it into something significant, intensely layered with thematic meaning, grand in substance. Jhumpa Lahiri is an up and coming extremely successful author: a Pulitzer Prize winner by the age of 32. She is known for her excellently authored...
Jhumpa Lahiri inserts numerous ideas hidden behind the words in each story of “Interpreter of Maladies”, containing many fascinating themes throughout the entire thing. Each narrative’s themes correspond in one way or another. It is hard to get a clear understanding of the book unless you are willing to analyze the text and find the common themes. The major things happening are the importance of identity, parent and child relationships, and the many things that take place during marriage. These ideas relating to various situations taking place in each story. When placed together, these topics create a masterpiece.
Hall, Stuart. "Cultural Identity and Diaspora." (First published in the journal Framework (vol. 36) . N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. .
In the Third and Final Continent, Jhumpa Lahiri uses her own experiences of being from an immigrant family to illustrate to her readers how heritage, cultural influences and adaptation play a major role in finding your true identity. The Third and Final Continent is the ninth narration in a collection of stories called the Interpreter of Maladies. In this story, it discusses themes such as marriage, family, society, language and identity. In this story, we focus on an East Asian man of Bengali descent who wants to have a better future for himself so he leaves India and travels to London, England to pursue a higher education. His pursuit for higher education takes place on three different continents. In India, he feels safe in his home country and welcomed, but when he travels abroad he starts to have fear and anxiety. Through his narrations, we learn how he adapts to the European and American and through these experiences he learns to assimilate and to adapt to the new culture he travels to.
Modern identity often takes shape in the blending of lines that weren’t supposed to blend. No matter how coded or enforced, labels never hold all of one’s identity in place. The lines bounding the identity of the refugee are determined by the UN, and dictate a system of values foreign to many would-be refugees. For the Tamil mother from Sri Lanka, individual status as a refugee does not make sense; she is connected to the bones of her son and the soil in which they lie in Canada (Daniel 278). Terms of individuality are relative in the cultural understanding of many displaced peoples: collective identity in family structure supercedes that dictated by Western nation states, though the argument for asylum depends upon cognizance of Western value systems.
“As we journey through life, identity and belonging must be consistently renegotiated.” Each person’s identity goes through a process of stages in order to be fully developed and be a whole identity. Some people needs more time than others to attain a full, whole identity. There are many factors which play a role in sharpens people’s identity such as the environment that the people love in and the experiences that they went through. Undoubtedly, immigrants, especially those form two different cultures, need more time to achieve a stable and whole identity as they become trapped between two cultures, unable to categorize themselves with a particular one. For instance, it is very hard for Asian Americans, especially the first and second generations, to assimilate and adjust in America as they have different culture, traditions and features. This paper will depict how Obaachan in Silver like dust and Pearl in Shanghai Girls defines their identity and belonging during their lives’ journeys.