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Obstructions 's Autonomy Of Self Discovery

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Obstructions to Autonomy for Self-Discovery From Jyoti to Jasmine to Kali to Jazzy to Jase to Jane, this dynamic character, an illegal Indian immigrant woman comes to America and is said to assert her autonomy in a foreign world. Tai claims “[Jasmine] achieves a sense of self-identity and self-value in the world as she searches for freedom and love in America” (Tai 71). With each name, she “avoid[s] becoming a fixed subject or identity” (Tai 66). Jasmine is reborn, however not in accordance with her own will. Tai says, “Jasmine has created many selves” (Tai 70), but has she or the men in her life and western society created these selves for her? Although Jasmine strives to find herself, patriarchal and western ideological external factors…show more content…
Having lost her “virginity and innocence”, Jasmine realizes she must abandon her old self and establish a new identity for survival (Mukherjee 153). She meets Lillian, the “facilitator” who helps Jasmine assimilate to American culture as Jazzy, who can “walk and talk American” to conceal her foreignness (Mukherjee 131,134). Both Half-Face and Lillian pave Jasmine’s new search for identity in America. Next, Mukherjee places Jasmine in Flushing, New York with Professorji to shed light on the degenerate immigrant lifestyle in cultural enclaves to emphasize western societies pull on the formation of Jasmine’s identity. Jasmine’s refusal of this life where she feels “immured” by Indian food, language, films, news, and people illustrates her desire to dissociate herself with everything Jyoti-like (Mukherjee 148). Professorji’s family finds joy in their Indian lifestyle which serves as an escape from the America which has “drained” their dreams of family and professionalism and turned them into, “ghost[s] hanging on” (Mukherjee 147,153). Unwilling to live like them, Jasmine leaves. However, she is misguided in believing she can avoid the unlucky fate of Asians in America by attaining happiness and fulfilling her dreams. Tai says, “the Vadhera family traps her, preventing her from escaping to the nourishing and nurturing outside world” (Tai 69). In actuality, barriers placed between Asian and Americans in the outside world confine Jasmine to its views and wants for
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