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March 18, 2016 | Author: | Posted in asian literature, literature and language


Jasmine by Bharathi Mukherjee

The Pitcher Remains Unbroken , Immigrating into Enculturation



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The novel , Jasmine , by Bharati Mukherjee , spans three major geographic places . In the beginning is India . In between India and Iowa is Flushing and Manhattan , New York . The novel ends as the title character is on her way to California . In each of these places , the novel ‘s protagonist has different names as she adds onto herself the effects of the physical economic , political , and [banner_entry_middle]

cultural conditions she encounters . The sum of these effects is relevant for her to adopt changed behavior patterns

In India , as Jyoti , and as a seven year old , her future was foretold She would , said the fakir astrologer near the village of Hasnapur become a widow and an exile . The astrologer struck here and she fell against a twig that scarred her forehead for life . Her sisters worried as all the Hindu family would worry , about the scar reducing her changes of marriage . This physical injury only entered play in her interactions in India . Another physical encounter in India was with a dead dog in a stream . Once touched , the dog released a stench . At twenty-four , in Iowa , she recalls the stench – every time I lift a glass of water to my lips , fleetingly I smell it . I know what I don ‘t want to become (Mukherjee , 1989 ,


She did not want to remain known as one of nine her father had raised on thirty acres . She envied Vimla who lived in a two-story brick house with real windows (Mukherjee , 1989 ,

.15 . Jyoti lived in a mud hut But Vimla killed herself early in her marriage after her husband died – The villagers say when a clay pitcher breaks , you see that the air inside it is the same as outside . Vimla set herself on fire because she had broken her pitcher she saw there were no insides and outsides . We are just shells of the same Absolute (Mukherjee , 1989 ,

.15 . Jyoti ‘s shell remained unbroken in India , New York City , and Iowa . Also remaining was the desire to hoard water sorely needed at times in her village in Punjab

Her mother hoarded water and thought it cruel that God sent Jyoti ‘s family from a comfortable life in Lahore to a mud-hutted village . The Partition Riots had occurred as people were uprooted because Pakistan was coming into being out of the former India . Her father wanted the Lahore life to come back . It never could be , another pitcher had been broken . Ghosts and spirits came in the dark at nightfall . Her family had no electricity to keep them out

Jyoti liked chores but wanted to remain in school longer than had her sisters . A chance to marry off Jyoti , at thirteen , to a passable groom was scotched by her mother (Mukherjee , 1989 ,

. 48 . For her support her mother was beaten by her father , but Jyoti remained in… [banner_entry_footer]

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