Cultural Alienation In Diaspora

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Diaspora literature is often considered as a product of the privileged immigrants having the advantages of education and literacy. This kind of literature is tinged with different types of diasporic feelings that the first and second generation of diaspora writers explore. The literature has as its central focus discrimination, nostalgia, identity crisis and a sense of cultural alienation. In general, this type of literature draws our attention towards the isolation of the immigrants in the new land, the problems of discrimination and assimilation in the new society and their in-betweenness. This paper focuses on the portrayal of cultural alienation and identity formation of the protagonists in two fictional works, Bharati Mukherjee’s Wife…show more content…
In the host land, the members of a diaspora community often find themselves in minority positions and are torn between the two cultures. Diaspora works skilfully portray all those facets of diaspora experiences. In fact, diaspora literature often places its characters in a “third place” or between the two cultures and female immigrant writers find them even in a narrower place for a woman in a diaspora community is frequently regarded as a minority within a minority. From the perspective of diaspora studies, woman writers constitute a very significant part of diaspora literature as they cast valuable insights into day-to-day activities like household works, pastimes and several forms of identity construction by the ethnic as well as gendered minorities in a broader society. In fact, the female writers of Indian diaspora easily outnumber their male counterparts. These diaspora writers may also be grouped on account of their generations or ages. The first generation of diaspora writers, i.e., writers who are born in one country and later move to another country for several reasons, by and far prefer their home country as well as their settled country as the settings of their works. On the other…show more content…
In a very similar line, Dimple in Wife hardly interacts with the Americans of her neighbourhood as, according to her perception, they are nothing but the symbols of violence, consumerism, and sensual pleasure. With the exceptions of a few young Americans, almost all Americans remain to her the inhabitants of a distant land just like the Indian film stars of her early days in Calcutta. Thus, her desire to form her self-identity within and outside the diaspora community is severely threatened and her mental, as well as psychological alienation from the outside world, embarks her in a third place between the diaspora community and the American society. As a first generation immigrant, Dimple fails utterly to form her self-identity in the diaspora society as well as in extremely flexible American society. The fact that other Indian housewives lead their lives with apparent ease in the same manner and convention as in India further exasperates her. She is severely critical of the other extreme also where to correspond with the foods and clothing of American manner is a way to recreate one’s
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