Essay about Analysis of Identity in Jasmine

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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. Born in Hasnapur in India, Jyoti is said to be the most beautiful and clever person in her family. Unlike her sisters and other girls, Jyoti excels in school and continues her…show more content…
His individuality and strong presence was what attracted her to him. When recounting how Praksash wanted her to call him by his first name, Jyoti said, “In Hasnapur wives used only pronouns to address their husbands. The first months, eager and obedient as I was, I still had a hard time calling him Prakash” (77). The conflict she has trying to call him by his name shows the difference between how she lived in Hasnapur before Prakash and how she is after she marrieshim. Prakash also insists on calling Jyoti, Jasmine. Prakash plays an important role in Jasmine's life because he is the first person who helped Jasmine become more conscious of the modern world and the opportunities it holds. Prakash is a modern man as it is revealed, “My husband, Prakash Vijh, was a modern man, a city man” (76). He is determined to live in a modern way that is the reason why he does “trash some traditions” (76). He expects Jyoti to change her ways, “He wanted to break down the Jyoti I’d been in Hasnapur and make me a new kind of city woman. To break off the past, he gave me a new name: Jasmine…Jyoti, Jasmine: I shuttled between identities” (77). The narrator’s gradual change in how she referrers to herself from Jyoti to Jasmine shows how she is viewed by others and how she accepts this new identity. Later on, Jyoti reveals, “Parminder in flat 2B said that since I had no in-laws and no infants to harass me all day, why didn’t I go with her
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