The surge in immigration to the United States after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, altered both its demographic and cultural composition. The shift in its ‘melting pot’ theory that advocated immigrants to assimilate into America’s cultural core to embracing a multicultural outlook, enhanced the nation’s status as home to diverse cultures. However, America’s transition into a multicultural nation often experiences setbacks when occurrences like the 9/11 create a rift among cultural communities creating a debate on the politics of identity. In addition, dominant narratives of hegemony and prejudices are reinstated when such incidents seep into the multicultural fabric of the nation. Such is the case with India as well, where events like the Godhra Riots impact relationships within one’s private sphere. Identities become markers of ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’ of an individual within the society. With Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl (2013) as the vantage point for this study, this paper aims to examine the close relationship between power and identity at the individual, communal and national level. Located within the cultural spaces of Kolkata (India) and the United States, the novel traces Korobi, the protagonist’s journey from India to the United States in the quest of her own ‘identity.’ The complex engagement between an individual’s everyday life and larger aspects of identity such as race, ethnicity, gender and class are also addressed within this paper. The paper concludes on the positive note emphasizing the enabling effect that power has over the creation, choice and performance of an identity with special reference to Korobi. Within the present context of strong divide between communities world over, it is essential to explore the idea of identity in her works.
Deciphering the Politics of Identity in the Multicultural Context of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl
Journal Title: Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research & Review
Author(s): Lynsha Lobo
Published On: 02/01/2024
First Page: 93
Last Page: 104
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher
Cite this Article
Lynsha Lobo, Deciphering the Politics of Identity in the Multicultural Context of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl, Volume 4 Issue 6, Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research & Review, 93-104, Published on 02/01/2024, Available at https://ajmrr.thelawbrigade.com/article/deciphering-the-politics-of-identity-in-the-multicultural-context-of-chitra-banerjee-divakarunis-oleander-girl/
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