This paper examines the confusions and struggles of the immigrant characters in two novels Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine (1989) and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake (2003) to be able to find a possible representation through their diversities despite being reduced in so-called multicultural areas. These characters remain foreign to their actual selves due to being in the state of becoming, that is, their roots shadow them no matter how far away they travel. Thus, further analysis of the experiences of first and second-generation immigrant characters in both novels helps us better understand the reflections of how they shuttle back and forth between the two different cultures. The paper aims to provide insight into how the characters end up with inescapable conformity to the dominant culture, yet, as Homi Bhabha proposes, in a reformed, creative and iterative way called mimicry. The paper then aims at shedding light on this struggle of conformity in the light of Bhabha’s formulation of the third space and even offering a new matrix for looking at conformity as an advantage since ultimately it enables the immigrants to be in either place at once. As a result of such an unsettling ‘reversed’ situation, in Lacanian terminology, not only do they perform the Other, but they can also undertake the role of the Self.
|Publication Date||June 30, 2022|
|Published in Issue||Year 2022, Volume 4, Issue 1|