Over the course of your life, you come to struggle with the philosophical idea of personal identity; the thing that makes you, you. Oneself may shape their identity around aspects of their life that they have no control over like race and physical traits, as well as decisions that are made throughout their lives like affiliations and religion. Your personal identity can be seen through your passions and interactions with others. An individual’s search for their identity is something that may occur in everyone’s’ life. In the novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie highlights the theme of how the search for identity is always prevalent, through the conflicted characters of Junior and Mary throughout the novel.
A person’s heritage and cultural identity may be lost when moving to a new country where the culture is different and other cultures are not easily accepted. In the short story “Hindus”, Bharati Mukherjee uses setting, characters and the plot to discuss what it is like to lose your cultural identity while being a visible minority in America. Mukherjee uses the plot to describe the events that take place in the main characters life that lead her to realize how different the culture and life is in the America’s. She also uses the characters as a way of demonstrating how moving away from one’s culture and heritage can change a person’s perspective and ways of thinking. Mukerjee also uses setting in her story to identity the physical differences in culture between living in India and America. Alike the setting and characters, the plot helps describe the loss of culture with a sequence of events.
As a first generation Indian-American, I am no stranger to being a part of a distinct community while observing two unique cultures. Traveling to India exposed me to a dynamic population with rich diversity comprising of numerous languages and differing religions. Though these individuals may have had differing customs from their neighbors, there were similar ambitions to conquer grinding poverty. This poverty can be clearly noticed by seeing citizens sleeping on floors of a railway station, or the lack of air conditioning in searing hot weather. The frailty and mortality of the human condition was starkly visible in India. As a fellow human, I was humbled not only by the lack of privilege and opportunity of many citizens, but also by their
Momaday's book collapses conventional divides between myth and history: by fusing the two he suggests that the conventional white conception of history as an enclosed and protected category is inherently suspect, and without speaking of politics makes a claim for other, equally valuable ways of knowing. However, in this sense his method of storytelling is political, because he suggests that the Indian ways of interpreting experience are just as valid as
Notably, McCurry’s neat and predictable photographs of India, taken over the course of 40 years, are more popular than Singh’s more realistic, chaotic and exciting images. Cole argues that this popularity is because of McCurry’s portrayal of places and people due to orientalism, based on conventional preconceptions of historical India. They are our colorful fantasies of old India realized on glossy
She explains her thesis by stating “Others who write stories of migration often talk of arrival at a new place as a loss of communal memory and the erosion of an original culture. I want to talk of arrival as a gain,” (360). The key points of the text include Mukherjee describing her transition between Calcutta and the United States, and what it means to be and American and how culture influences that aspect. The information in the text is significant; the people of America are a part of a melting pot, sometimes it is hard for them to find the distinction between American culture and their own. The information in Mukherjee’s story is clear and specific, unbiased, and is relevant to the purpose of the story. I believe Mukherjee has achieved her purpose of informing her audience about cultural differences; she presents certain strengths and weaknesses within the text.
The Dalai Lama has also challenged adherents to accept the fate that is given to them and make the greatest use of their reincarnated form. As a young child he was unable to reject the position of ‘Dalai Lama’ however he has managed to utilise this position to the best advantage and has bettered the world through this. He has pushed for the bettering of the world for both religious and secular societies. His messages of peace, tolerance and the renunciation of the desires of anger and revenge have resonated with people globally.
In “Holding Your Breath in India”, Gardiner Harris presents his views on a particular situation to his readers with techniques to enhance his viewpoint. His article’s message is that wanting to be successful and provide for his family ultimately acted as a hindrance in their lives, until a crucial decision was made. The happiness of his family and how they feel should come first over a job that can be replaced. Harris intricately weaves this message into the mind of the reader as he writes about his experience in India, after three years.
The Partition of India in August, 1947 was a significant event in history that accounted for the separation of one of the world’s oldest civilization into two, independent nations – Pakistan and India. Like many other wars in history, The Partition of India was instigated by religious, political and social conflict. This resulted in violence, discrimination and the largest human displacement in contemporary history. While the Partition was well-studied, much of our understanding was focused on the political side of history, not the human side of it. This was why oral history played an important role in manifesting the complexity of a historical event. Our focus here is Maya Rani’s testimony from Butalia’s book, The Other Side of Silence:
About 100,000 people followed him into exile and he established a democratically based alternative government at Dharamsala in Punjab, India, aptly known as little Lhasa. It has cultural and educational institutions and serves as a “capital-in-exile” for 140,000 Tibetan refugees. In the past decade, the Dalai Lama has tried to negotiate with the Chinese while in the main time pleads for help where ignored by United Nations and NATO who have gone to war to defend the Kawaties, the Bosnians and others. Despite the fact that they have forsaken the Tibetan people in favor of selling products to the Chinese masses the Dalai Lama is still fighting for the freedom of his people until this day. He is 63 years old and hopes to return to his country in his lifetime.
Through her tasteful selection of contemporary Indian influenced prose pieces, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the unique journey of Indian families established in America. Focusing on the intergenerational aspect of traditional households, Lahiri conveys the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies a person who is branded as a foreigner. In America, there exists a common misconception that immigrants who arrive in this country fully assimilate or seek to assimilate as time progresses. The category I chose was "The Dot of true Happiness." The dot which signifies the bindi, a traditional red mark worn by Indian people, is the source of true happiness among these immigrants.
Transitions of place, time, and character are key to the storytelling in Salman Rushdie's “Midnight's Children” and Virginia Woolfe’s “Mrs. Dalloway”. Rushdie explores the History, Nationalism and Hybridism of the nation of India after they became independent of Great Britain. Woolfe comments heavily on English society more through her description of her characters, and the weaving of time and place is an effective way to telling the stories of her characters as we follow them through a single day. This essay will compare in three passages from “Midnight’s Children” the effectiveness of transitioning from place and time to the way Woolfe did so in “Mrs. Dalloway”. Furthermore, it will explore why each passage is a good demonstration of
E.M. Forster’s classic novel “A Passage to India” tells the story of a young doctor, Dr. Aziz, and his interactions with the British citizens who are residing in India during the time of the British Raj. Throughout the novel, the reader gets many different viewpoints on the people and the culture of India during this point in history. The reader sees through the eyes of the Indian people primarily through the character of Dr. Aziz, and the perceptions of the British through the characters of Mr. Fielding, Adela Quested, and Mrs. Moore. Through the different characters, and their differing viewpoints, the reader can see that Forster was creating a work that expressed a criticism that he held of the behavior of the British towards their Indian subjects.