Essay: Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee
A person’s life and the choices they ultimately make are shaped by their continuously changing circumstances. In Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee introduces us to the various changes that her novel’s main protagonist – Jasmine – goes through, as she journeys from the world of rural Indian Punjab to that of America’s Mid-West, discovering her American dream in the process. The author does not shy away from exposing the inadequacies of both these worlds and masterfully explores their inhabitants’ individual search for peace and happiness, giving the main character of her novel the liberty to make a more human choice towards the end.
Mukherjee is equally unforgiving when looking at the hollowness of both the American Mid-West and the many social cruelties of rural India, but she carefully uses them to show the changes that take place in Jasmine’s personality as she moves from one end of the world to another. The author also does not shy away from showing how each such transformation is accompanied by its own share of pain and, sometimes, violence.
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