The Minimal Selves By Jhumpa Lahiri Analysis

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In postcolonial approaches the identities of immigrants are not fixed. The local circumstances and cultural conditions shape the identities of immigrants. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s fiction characters migrate for some or other reasons. Due to migration, Lahiri’s characters do not have consistent identities. This chapter focuses on Lahiri’s fiction to explore the hidden reasons behind the migration of the characters. Before exploring the reasons behind shifting identities, it is reasonable to explore the reasons behind the migration. 4.1.1 Reasons of Migration Stuart Hall has given some reasons of migration in his essay The Minimal Selves. Before migration people are hopeful about their future life. They migrate to achieve some goals. Lahiri’s fiction…show more content…
Subhash thinks about Gauri “…. Of her becoming a mother, only to lose control of the child. He thought of the child being raised in a joyless house” (115). Subhash further forces Gauri to migrate and explains her that this place is not safe for her, her in-laws are not going to allow her to live here, rather they are going to keep the baby with them (119). Here the brighter future of her and baby and also the freedom she can get in America become the reason of migration. Gauri is a bit reluctant to go to America because she thinks it can be a burden on Subhash’s shoulders and he is doing all this due to his deceased brother Udayan, but when she thinks about her life in Calcutta, that harshness and cold attitude she agrees to this option. So she decides to migrate with Subhash. “She thinks about her child’s raising in America without any tension and burden as Subhash assures her that all matters are going to be resolved in America” (119). Gauri accepts Subhash’s offer of taking her to America with her after marriage. Ashoke in The Namesake, after getting married to Ashima goes to America and starts a new life with her. After two years they have a baby boy Gogol. Ashima thinks she cannot raise her child amongst foreigners. Ashoke rejects his wife’s idea to go back to India. He makes her understand that America is a land of opportunities and that they have come here to have a better life for their children. Their child can get so many facilities, a better lifestyle, better career and fame in
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